When most industry observers hear customer relationship management (CRM), they think of applications for sales, service and marketing. However, actual CRM software users think of the much more specific functionality required to do business in their industry. For example, sales software used by a pharmaceutical rep to track FDA-related information will vary greatly from that used by a cattle rancher to track their herd. Yes, there’s an app for that.
To meet these unique industry requirements, Microsoft has called on hundreds of partners that resell, customize and implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM. These value-added resellers (VARs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) are extending the core Dynamics CRM applications to meet the unique needs of companies in a range of vertical markets. There are now over 750 certified industry solutions built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The breadth of industry solutions available is impressive – a testament to the scope and sophistication of the Microsoft partner channel.
To demonstrate the specificity of these solutions, we decided to highlight some of our favorite Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner solutions. For easy navigation, we've linked each industry to its corresponding solution:
InterDyn just released DynamicsADvantage, a CRM solution for the media and entertainment industry. Increased consolidation in the entertainment and media industry has complicated management of the ad sales process. It has also produced a greater need for tighter integration with ERP and back-office operations.
To meet the specific needs of this industry, InterDyn’s suite of solutions includes opportunity management, advertiser/agency relationship management and commission calculations. Opportunity management allows agents to generate ad pricing on the spot, and combine similar product offerings to help in cross-selling. Advertiser/agency relationship management provides a full view of campaigns and proposals in the pipeline. Commission calculations help navigate often-complicated business relationships by making it easy for agents to find out just how much they will bring in for every contract made. Mad Men is no longer the example. In today’s competitive advertising industry, it is an effective software solution, rather than a three-piece suit and lowball of whiskey, that leads to success.
Atrio Systems has developed CRM for Livestock, a solution designed specifically for agriculture companies that manage or provide services for livestock. Beyond the traditional CRM challenges of tracking interactions with customers and suppliers, these companies need to maintain detailed data on the health and background of their herd. Both customers and regulators impose strict demands for animal-specific histories.
To address the needs of the livestock industry, Atrio has developed a suite of solutions for herd management, reproduction tracking and veterinary records. Herd management tracks all of the animals on the farm – inventory, if you will. Reproduction tracking monitors breeding and births, including detailed genetic information by animal. Finally, veterinary records provide a detailed health history by animal, including nutrition, test results and dispensing of drugs and supplements. When you previously thought of CRM, had you ever thought it would be used to manage Milk Urea Nitrogen (MUN) and Somatic Cell counts for Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI)?
Quorum has developed Xsellerator, a dealer management system (DMS) that integrates every department in an automotive dealership. Dealerships require specialized capabilities that go beyond traditional CRM software, such as tracking and monitoring dealership assets. This information must also be communicated quickly to several people who are often in multiple locations.
Quorum’s solution meets the needs of both the salesman and dealership manager with a software suite that has capabilities for customer/vehicle database management, sales performance tracking and cross-departmental communication. Database management helps dealerships maintain detailed information on all potential and current customers, as well as every automobile on their lot. Sales performance tracking lets managers know how each sales person is performing and where they stand with their monthly quota. Cross-departmental communication provides every sales agent with immediate access to the deal-closing information they need, such as pricing, trade-in value, and financing options. Perhaps the image of the sleazy car salesman will disappear when they no longer have to slink away every five seconds to go “check with their manager.”
KMS has created Project-CRM 4.0, a CRM solution for the construction industry. In addition to sales, marketing and customer service management, this CRM offering has unique capabilities required for managing construction projects and the complex business processes that go along with that. Contractors and suppliers alike require a full view of company operations to manage each project to completion.
Project-CRM 4.0 is used by contractors, consultants, product manufacturers and suppliers. It meets the needs of those users with a set of solutions for project management, tender/bid recording, and supply chain management. Project management monitors project status and tasks. Tender/bid recording tracks what proposals have been made by the contractor and monitors the overall contract win-rate. Supply chain management connects contractors with back-end operations to ensure that they have what they need to finish the job. For the Facebook-loving construction worker, KMS has integrated social networking tools into their CRM solution to help target more opportunities. Who knew?
Infosys has created a CRM solution for wholesale distributors. Beyond traditional CRM capabilities, Infosys’ Wholesale Distribution Solution helps wholesale distributors measure up against their competition by providing tools for identifying, attracting and retaining customers. Relationship building is is a key component of maintaining that customer base.
To meet these industry demands, Infosys’ Wholesale Distribution Solution provides capabilities for in-depth account and territory management, sales quota management, and lease management. Account and territory management help sales agents to identify important leads by segment and region, and execute contracts. Sales quota management tracks all sales interactions across multiple channels and segments. Lease management assists in the tracking and renewals of leases on equipment and consumer durables. And these days your organization most likely needs a third-party credit rating agency to run credit checks. Well, there’s an app for that.
GaleForce CRM provides a CRM solution for professionals in wealth management, banking and other financial services industries. GaleForce CRM has built on top of the generic CRM offering to help users navigate the unique challenges of the financial services industry such as procuring new clients and effectively managing deals and client portfolios. In addition, industry regulations require that all such activities meet certain rules and requirements.
GaleForce CRM’s suite of solutions meets the needs of industry professionals with account management, client procurement, and security compliance capabilities. Account management keeps track of each client’s investments, portfolios and preferences, and helps bankers and managers identify opportunities for cross- and up-selling. Client procurement tools help identify detailed and time-sensitive information on individuals and companies for targeting new client opportunities. Security compliance capabilities are built into the system to ensure that all professionals execute their job duties while keeping within the guidelines of such industry regulations as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Optional add-ons can increase customer service with functions such as news & quote integration that allows advisers to provide clients with the most relevant information based on their needs and investments.
ePartnersMD's CRM solution was created to meet the needs of the healthcare industry. It’s additional capabilities address the issue of improving staff, partner and patient relationships. The automation provided by the software reduces the challenge of data and information collection that has traditionally been handled manually within the healthcare industry.
ePartnersMD's CRM solution provides benefits such as automated admissions data entry, enhanced record keeping capabilities, and better physician management. Automated admissions data entry helps organizations cope with high patient influx and reduces redundant entry of information. Record keeping is integrated across HR, billing, and accounts receivable to improve management of patient information. Physician management provides extensive physician tracking and credentialing capabilities for managing recruits and placement across multiple facilities.
IQubz offers a full CRM solution catered to the hospitality industry. It offers capabilities beyond a traditional CRM offering that help hotels manage their two biggest challenges: driving participation in loyalty programs and improving customer satisfaction. It is also important that a CRM application integrate with common hotel systems already in place, such as property management software (PMS) and central reservation systems (CRS).
To address industry-specific needs, IQubz has a suite of solutions for managing corporate partnerships, travel agent accounts and guest profiles across all front-end operations. Corporate partnership management has tools for creating targeted campaigns to attract the right partners for your hospitality organization. Travel agent account management targets and attracts the agents that will bring your hotel the most traffic. Guest profile management provides detailed information on every guest, including their contact information, guest history, participation in loyalty programs, and even detailed preferences for regular or VIP guests. This means that when Barbara Streisand checks in, you will already have the rose petals in the toilet and the peach-colored tissues by the bed. Seriously.
VUE Software has combined their software offering, VUE Compensation Management, with Microsoft Dynamics CRM to create VUE IncentivePoint, a solution for insurance organizations. Improving agent sales performance is one of the bigger challenges in the insurance industry. Managers must maintain a competitive environment to motivate their sales teams.
VUE IncentivePoint meets the needs of the insurance industry with a suite of solutions for sales pipeline management, territory alignment and incentive management. Sales pipeline management identifies leads within territories and monitors communication among carrier, agency and producer through to an in-force policy. Territory alignment allows managers to define territories based on pre-defined metrics and ensures that leads are routed to the right agents. Incentive management gives managers insight into agent performance so they can adjust monthly quotas and create new incentive programs to drive higher performance when needed.
Client Profiles has developed CRM4Legal, a CRM solution for the business of law. Client Profiles has enhanced the traditional CRM offering to provide a solution that helps meet the unique challenge most law practices face of creating and maintaining client relationships. It was developed to address the issue of client loyalty by helping law firms understand what makes up the client experience and how they can address each client's current and future needs.
CRM4Legal offers a suite of industry-specific solutions for managing marketing efforts, managing development of the practice, and monitoring client care. Marketing campaigns provide tools for targeting new leads and measuring matter and revenue produced on closed deals. Business development gives managers, lawyers and partners insight into opportunities, occurring deals, and revenue coming in from specific services provided to clients. Client care capabilities manage client issues with tools for a knowledge base and management of contracts and service agreements. CRM4Legal also has a social networking tool, Accelerator, so that managers and lawyers can track opportunities and monitor customer feedback.
Axem offers Vital DB, a CRM solution for non-profit enterprise management. Non-profit organizations can easily get bogged down by administrative tasks, particularly those relating to money management. Automation of administrative tasks helps non-profits to focus more on initiatives that support their charter and mission.
Vital DB is comprised of six modules – event management, membership, fundraising, volunteers, clients, online interaction – that work in concert together, but can be deployed as best-of-breed solutions. When implemented as a full suite offering, Vital DB allows non-profit managers to execute and measure success of events and fundraising efforts; manage volunteers and track things such as past training and overall contribution; and improve client communication to better understand their needs. One unique offering of the software is the online payments and receipting functionality through integration with Pay Pal's PayFlo Pro. This tool makes it easy for users to make payments and donations, and it requires little to no administrative interference.
ePartners combined the CRM capabilities of Microsoft with ProScape, an industry standard solution in the pharmaceutical sector, to create ePartners CRM. In addition to traditional CRM capabilities, ePartners CRM equips pharmaceutical organizations to handle drug sales, Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulations, and physician management. In order to handle these challenges, organizations also require a solution that can integrate front- and back-office operations.
ePartners CRM has unique physician contact management and call center functionalities that help sales and support agents in the pharmaceutical sector. Improved organization of physician and product information combined with targeted sales messages make interactions between drug reps and physicians more focused and efficient. Call center capabilities enable drug reps to create specialized call lists and execute physician call campaigns more quickly. Service reps benefit from automated routing and queuing capabilities, as well as an easily accessible knowledge base with detailed drug and health information. With industry regulation compliance features built into the software, pharmaceutical companies can implement this CRM solution without having to look over their shoulder to make sure they are in compliance with the FDA and other big guys in government.
Eskel Porter developed the Public Records Tracker as a CRM solution for government agencies. It addresses the specific needs of agencies across the country that manage citizen records requests. Government documents are accessible to the public through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but because of the high volume of requests, processing time has typically been pretty lengthy in the past.
The Public Records Tracker has capabilities beyond a typical CRM offering, such as prioritization rules, automated tasks, and FOIA integration. Prioritization rules help organize, route and escalate incoming requests to the correct person or department. Task automation includes formatted email responses to common questions, fee estimations for special requests, and due date alerts. Because every state has different FOIA regulations, specific features are built into the software so that each government agency can be in full compliance, no matter where they are located. In addition, the Public Records Tracker helps agencies manage all those fun bureaucratic procedures, protocols, and regulations, so that when the U.S. Attorney General comes knocking, all your organizational ducks will be in a row.
Ascendix created Real Estate Advantage as a CRM solution for brokerages, property owners/operators, and real estate investment trusts. Real Estate Advantage has additional capabilities built on top of a traditional CRM solution that helps users navigate complex business relationships among companies and contacts, as well as manage real estate assets. It also helps investment companies deal with the issue of making their investment products stand out in a highly competitive market.
To help real estate professionals manage these industry complexities, Real Estate Advantage offers a suite of solutions for property management, investment performance analysis and brokerage activity reporting. Property management gives property owners a complete view of activity related to each property, including photos, sales activities, tasks, and related documents. Investment performance analysis tracks selling agreements and provides asset managers with data on how each property is “performing” in comparison to similar properties. Brokerage activity reporting tracks all brokerage activity related to the property, including showings, sales communications, leasing activities, and marketing campaigns. Ascendix literally goes above and beyond – into space, to be exact – to help mangers and owners track their property. Integration with Microsoft’s Virtual Earth allows you view 2D and 3D mapping of your properties.
Nodus Technology has created CRM Charge, a CRM solution for retail organizations. The core of Dynamics CRM addresses the primary challenges retailers are facing now of getting to know customers better and bringing them into the store to buy. CRM Charge is a Dynamics CRM add-on that addresses the additional issue of slow payment processing times. Retail workers typically have to process payments manually which means a lag in data transfer and longer verification waiting periods.
CRM Charge offers a solution with tools for credit verification, audit-trail monitoring, and Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards compliance. With the credit verification tool, users can pre-authorize and charge payments almost immediately, and all payment information gets logged into the customer's history automatically. Audit-trail monitoring lets managers see all payment activities, including cancelled and reverse payments. This, along with other advanced security features – such as encrypted and masked value displays – keeps your retail organization in compliance with the PCI standards that prevent things like credit card fraud. The automation of the payment process improves the accuracy of payment information, which means an error-free balance sheet at the close of business and therefore fewer occurrences of employees pulling their hair out trying to figure out where that extra $3.50 came from.
Software Advice has created an online directory of Microsoft Dynamics CRM partners for buyers in need of a reseller to help with training and implementation. To find a Dynamics CRM partner in your region, please visit our Partner Directory.
For more information on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and to find a partner specific to your industry, check out Microsoft’s CRM Partner page.