Archive for February, 2012

When choosing a CRM system one basic choice is do you want to have your data reside in the cloud or on premise.  There are distinct advantages to both approaches.  This post will talk about some of the advantages of a cloud based CRM system.

When a company wants to improve their relationships with their customers and future clients, then implementation of a cloud or web based CRM system has been proven to be cost effective and incredibly efficient.

A cloud based CRM system allows any company the ability to track data across many different departments, trace orders, monitor discounts, and well as track any system that a company puts in place. Saying this, Cloud computing gives a company an advantage that is truly unlimited.

Cloud CRM -The Advantages

Cloud CRM also called Web CRM or SaaS (software-as-a-service) CRM, has quickly become the standard in how a company uses their front office software. SaaS offers a cost effective solution to companies, allowing them the ability to reduce both customer service and even IT expense on the company as a whole.

A Saas CRM system can help provide an economical solution to startup companies that need to save their capital on other aspects of business processes by helping a company save money by reducing IT costs that are required to operate a CRM.

In fact, running an SaaS customer relationship management software system can cut the costs, especially the initial cost of hardware and licenses for running an on premise CRM. Savings include and are not limited to; saving a corporation on server costs, as well as ongoing support and upgrades. However, CRM is truly beneficial to a company at any level, whether it is a web based CRM or on premise.

A Web Based CRM Helps To Reduce Employees Expense

By having a CRM, any sized company can expect to run more smoothly. Any organization that does not have centralized CRM system in place is at a distinct disadvantage.

One of the main benefits to a CRM system is its scalability. A small company that implements a CRM can use the exact same web based CRM and scale it to their needs as they their corporation grows. Making this transition is fairly easy, as when a company grows, only an upgraded license and servers need to be upgraded or moved to a dedicated server in order to host the CRM.

Another main benefit to a web CRM, is that it is extremely user friendly and requires very little training expense on a company's part in order to teach their employees how to become proficient. Learning to navigate this type of CRM also requires very little computer knowledge which makes it a perfect solution for a company regardless of its size.

Utilizing CRM on the web not only makes it less intimidating for employees, it utilizes a web browser, which is something that many people are already familiar with and feel comfortable using.

If your company is looking for a proven method on how to increase productivity as well as monitor systems and get a bird's eye view of your business, customer relationship management can more than fit the need for any startup company as well as any established organization that wants to take advantage of breakthrough systems.

If you are still trying to figure out if web based or a hosted CRM solution would make more sense for your organization, give us a call at 858-541-1820 or by send us an email to info@rbdata.com and we would be glad to help.

Salesforce.com, one of the most popular customer relationship management (CRM) solutions on the market has incorporated what they call Salesforce chatter, or sfdc chatter.  CRM's have become very popular for both large and small companies because they work extremely well in helping to organize and even automate different portions of a company's processes.  In this article we will cover the advantages of chatter and how this innovated approach can help your company succeed.

What is Salesforce Chatter?

Salesforce chatter is a communication tool, much akin to social websites such as Facebook.   The chatter allows any company to get real time feedback as well as updates from other employees in a company, regardless of their location.

This system also allows you to share documents as well as any data. 

Chatter also allows you to create different groups that are private to other parts of an organization. For exmaple, if a company has a new sales team for a project, sfdc chatter will allow a company to make a specific group for this sales team and then all members can have a private conversations, share data, as well as interact with each other in order to strengthen the communications in that sector.

With social sites such as facebook gaining in popularity and respect from users all over the world, migrating employees to use a similar method of talking to other employees is faily easy as they are already in a habit of communicating in this fashion. 

Communication between team members and team leaders not only strengthens a relationship, but it helps an employee feel like an intergral part of a company. This is just one benefit how utilizing Chatter can improve the momentum in any department that utilizes.

What Other Ways Are Companies Using SFDC Chatter?

There are many profitable and creative ways that a company can use Chatter, besides having the ability to stay informed about what is happening in the office and share important data, chatter has also been found to reduce the prevel ance of emails in a company due to the instant feedback that is available in chatter. 

Chatter also helps employees easily locate internal experts within their organization for a number of problems.  A common example is if a customer service rep or a sales team member runs into a problem with a customer that they do not have to answer too, such as how to properly address a customer concern or close a client, they will have a number of suggestions almost instantly via Chatter.

Again, Chatter is very effective in increasing the productivity within an organization.  

In a competitive field such as sales, other sales team members in different areas can share what works best for them and how they are closing sales, overcoming objections and so on.  With the ability to share data either company wide or privately within an organization as well as get instant feedback on real issues that employees face on a daily basis, makes Salesforce Chatter a must for any company that is looking to improve communication and productivity in their company.

If you want to learn more about how you can more effectively use chatter with your Salesforce.com implementation, contact us at 858-541-1820 or by email at info@rbdata.com

Getting new customers is essential for any business. However, when you have the ability to effectively retain your customers, you reduce your customer acquisition costs and your business becomes an effective presence in the marketplace.

Once a customer is obtained, every effort should be made in order to maximize a solid relationship with them which will inevitably turn into consistent and qualified leads via referrals from your current clients.  CRM software gives you the ability to analyze, understand and correctly profile your customers which eliminates any guesswork in your endeavors.

CRM software can help you meet this objective by aiding in the interaction between a business and their customers on a more efficient and personal level.

Prior to installing your customer management software or client management software, it is highly recommended that you clearly define your goals and have a solid plan of action in place.

By preparing beforehand and making a list of the areas in your business that you want to improve, it will be easy to see the difference that CRM software can make in the productivity of your business processes.

By thoroughly understanding your customer's demographics you can easily create a sales process that is geared towards targeting your most profitable customers.  Having the ability to analyze and determine where a majority of your income originates can help you easily expand your business reach and make your business process more effective.  In fact, many companies spend far too much money trying to understand their customers when a CRM can help them perform this market research at a fraction of the cost.

Once you understand and profile your customers, you can now easily communicate and forge a solid trust based relationship by improving your communication.  Customer service is the lifeblood of any service-based business and by enhancing your ability to communicate with your current clients and target audience, your efforts will prove to be that much more successful while giving you time to concentrate on other growth factors in your Corporation.

CRM software can also help make your daily processes easier to manage which is essential for any finely tuned company.

Before you decide to invest in customer management software or client management software, it is highly recommended to investigate the best crm software that is available on the market.  Some of the most popular brands are Microsoft CRM, Goldmine CRM, and Salesforce.com.

Each of these solutions have their strengths and weaknesses and it is important for you to find the best crm software for your organization.

These CRM's have proven to help corporations enhance their customer management time and again.

Remember, customer acquisition is one thing, but making sure that your customers are happy and will refer your business to their colleagues and future business partners sets the growth rate for your Corporation heads and shoulders above companies who do not focus on their customers once they have attained them.

If your company is almost 100% sales driven, then having a CRM that can help you in the backend with retention is literally worth its weight in gold.

If you need help identifying and implementing your customer manaement strategies we can help.  To learn more, give us a call at 858-541-1820 or send us an email at info@rbdata.com

Relationship managment marketing (RMM) is a rather complex promotional approach that differs greatly from other forms of promotion that companies utilize. Some people believe that relationship management marketing is the same as customer relationship management (CRM) but although the two are closely connected, they refer to different strategies and techniques.

Relationship management marketing aims to improve customer satisfaction and to build long-lasting relationships between a corporation and its clients.  This approach is subtle, unlike the promotions that are carried out to maximize sales. Corporate website development, PR and the usage of online channels are all important parts of RMM efforts.

This form of marketing is more complex, going beyond the simple interactions that involve selling and buying goods and services.  Multiple channels can be utilized to establish relationships.  Internet and social networks in particular play an important role.

Customer relationship management solutions such as Microsoft CRM, Salesforce.com and GoldMine CRM can be utilized to maximize the results of relationship building campaigns. The two aspects of the process are, however, quite different.

CRM was defined in the late 1990s.  This business process is heavily reliant on technological developments.  It is a much more encompassing marketing strategy, managing and affecting all relations between a company and its customers.

Technological innovations are used to better organize, promote and coordinate the advertising efforts of a business, regardless of the aim or the specifics of the campaign. CRM is broader and much more complex than the single marketing effort that strives building better ties with potential and current clients.

CRM has several main goals. It establishes relations with new clients. It also maintains good ties to the people who have already tried the services and products of a company.  One of CRM's important goals is to win back old clients that have decided to purchase somebody else's products. Overall, CRM strives to minimize marketing costs and to manage all processes connected to a company's relationship with its clients.

CRM can be seen as a large scale business strategy.  Marketing that focuses on relationships is a part of this strategy but its magnitude is smaller and the campaign is concentrated inside a single promotional niche.

A definition that distinguishes the two terms can easily be given. While CRM is concerned with the creation of strategies, RMM is the manner in which these business plans concerning company-customer relationship get implemented.

In today's world, CRM is of exceptional importance for every company.  The fact that it is so crucial for success has led to the development of numerous customer relationship management hi-tech solutions. All of these minimize the chance of human error and make planning, sorting and analyzing information much easier.

CRM and RM are very much connected and the two cannot exist without each other.  CRM is the set of tools and technological innovations that facilitate the strategic process. RMM on the other hand is the specific campaign, the manner in which a company strives to establish long-term relationships with its clients.

Some people use the terms CRM and RMM to refer to the same things but a major difference does exist. Each one of these is important for the successful marketing of a company but the strategic approach happens to be quite different.

For more help implementing CRM and Relationship Management Marketing strategies in your organization contact us at 858-541-1820 or by email at info@rbdata.com

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is very popular customer relationship management software that can help bring a lot of flexibility and agility to your Corporation.  If you have a company that either collects a lot of leads or is dependent upon lead generation in order to increase revenues then, a CRM will help you streamline this process effectively so you can pinpoint major problems and address them as well as improve upon your successes and enlarge them to make them into even greater successes. 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 implementation in a business can make the difference between a moderately successful business and an extremely profitable business.

Why are you making money?  Many sales companies, although successful, may not be able to pinpoint exactly where in the sales process they are being successful.  Well, what if you were able to pinpoint the exact point in the process where you are successful and then improve upon that particular system?

Would it have a positive effect on your business? You bet it would, and as a matter-of-fact with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 implementation you can properly diagnose the sales process which will allow you to easily see any problems or hiccups in your sales presentation.

Microsoft dynamics CRM 2011 can also enhance the value that you have with your customers by providing a knowledge-based system that will allow them to log into your server for customer support. If you sell a piece of software that may require additional support, you can cut down on technical support costs by implementing a CRM system which will give your customers the answer that they are looking for.  And if they cannot find the answer to their inquiry, then your customer is able to submit a ticket on the spot. This not only improves your customer relationship by providing quick answers, but it can also help streamline your business and even create referrals for you because of your customer service.

If you have different sales forces within your organization utilizing the CRM system can help you adequately track each sales force so you can identify exactly where in the sales process someone is having an issue. This will also help you during your training, allowing you to focus on the real issues rather than general motivating speech. This can also have positive effects on employee retention.Within the Microsoft dynamics CRM system is the ability of work reporting for your entire organization. If you have purchased a certain type of lead, you can find out very quickly if that lead is profitable in your business and either expand on it or cut it out so you can increase revenues in your business model.

Every Corporation whether large or small will have many successes and internal failures that they may or may not be aware of. The question is how long can you afford to let your company go on without understanding the specific processes in your businesses that are making a positive difference and the ones that are making negative difference. Getting the ability to improve your Corporation bit by bit is extremely powerful over a long period of time.

For more information how we can help your organization give us a call at 858-541-1820 or by email at info@rbdata.com.

If you're here, you realize very well that selection of the best customer relationship management software is critical to your business' image as well as continuity.

I'd like to give you an experience based Microsoft CRM vs Goldmine CRM review, so that you can match up the right platform with your requirements.

We'll first go over a brief overview of the CRM software provided by both Microsoft as well as Goldmine and then proceed to compare them on the basis of their utilities and what you need.


# 1 : The Microsoft CRM Platform

With it's service intensive "Dynamnics" CRM, Microsoft has tried to segment your marketing efforts into targeted groups of your consumer base. The idea being that it's easier to stear your sales funnels to a targeted group with a common set of needs, when the same effort is accounted for the same consumers in your customer service.

Ultimately, your lists of leads and continuity customers, along with their service history and analytics, can be ported into multiple formats that will be used in different formats of sales accounts, workflows and moving sales plans (hence the name "dynamics").

These will be used by your customer service team to form important cases and feed them into your consumer knowledgebase. It also allows you to manage several contracts and updates on them, all integrated into one complex byt powerful platform!

That's a pretty strong usage strategy for a CRM, I'd say.

Microsoft CRM uses .NETAJAX technology, which makes using it comparable to using a seperate client program. Easy to use SQL data.

With experience of having worked on it in different firms, what I've seen is that people use the Microsoft CRM due to it's tight integration with Outlook, Word & Excel and the user interface. Also,firms that had their data on Exchange and SQL preferred it.

The only places where the team didn't choose Microsoft was because they avoided everything from Microsoft and it was just a general negative feeling that would often lead to many problems.

Long run Cost:

Per user – Moderate
For large lists – Moderate
For multiple service divisions – Moderate


> Excellent Remote Access
> Intuitive interface
> MS product compatibility
> High level of customizability
> Easy extensions with the API
> Strong data structures with lower coupling


> Still a lot of clicking to get tasks done
> Restricted web interface

# 2 : The Goldmine CRM Software Package

This platform too focuses on list division, but the primary and stronger focus is on sales-automation and project scheduling. It's intensive. Even the calls monitored will have their own clocking module running separately with respect to project progress and consumer queries!

Though an advantage, many have found that for smaller servicing requirements, going over the entire reporting and synchronization process a number of times can, and does, get cumbersome. For bigger projects and a large number of customers for every product/service, it can work wonders.

Since this is again Windows based, some firms like to have it sitting right next to their Informix and Oracle databases. It gets easy to work with their tables when modifying them in windows with Goldmine.

Long run Cost:

Per User – Moderate to Slightly High
For Large Lists – Moderate
For multiple service divisions – High


> Many 3rd party tools and add-ons
> Lots of features and modular orientation
> What it does it tends to do well


> User interface is complicated and overloaded
> Bad usability
> Not as customizable as Microsoft CRM


With the servicing part known to you, let's compare these on a technical basis, something many people writing a Microsoft CRM vs Goldmine CRM review goof-up with bias when giving their opinion. So hang tight…

# 1 : Ease of Use

Goldmine = BAD
Microsoft = EXCELLENT

# 2 : Ability to customize

Goldmine = Moderate, can add custom fields and views
Microsoft = Excellent, as it is really a development platform that you can add custom fields, views, tables and integrate it with your other key business applications

# 3 : Interface

Goldmine = Client platform on windows and has been improved with Premium Edition
Microsoft = Web based (better networking utlization)

# 4 : Software Complexity

Goldmine = MODERATE with a somewhat convoluted data structure
Microsoft = EXCELLENT

# 5 : Training

Goldmine = Needs tough training
Microsoft = Needs less training effort as it has Office look and feel

That said, I would finally give you my ideal choice. I have used both extensively and am truly better off with the Microsoft CRM. But again, that's my experience saying.

Your performance needs and target market will ultimately dictate what you'll love.

Both solutions offer free 30 day trial version so I would suggest that you try both and see which product you prefer.

CRM software has become very popular lately. CRS stands for "Customer Relationship Management". CRM software can help companies manage prospects, current customers, and other business contacts.  However, many people do not have a full understanding of how sales and CRM software can be directly correlated. In this article we will go over some fundamental facts about CRM software and the headaches and issues it can solve in your business.
When a company decides to implement CRM, it is making a commitment to implement a strategy that will help drive overall sales, customer support as well as in house tech support. In fact, a CRM can help you effectively measure the profitability of a single prospecting campaign.
If you are looking to improve your sales team, then making an investment in a CRM system can help you effectively identify the areas where your sales team excelled as well as locate the areas that need a significant improvement.  Microsoft CRM can help your company by providing access to your customer base via Microsoft Outlook regardless of their location.  Additional features include the MS CRM's ability to export CRM data to a PDA or Smartphone, alleviating the need for a traveling laptop. This feature, in and of itself can helps streamline a segment of your sales efforts.
CRM can help your company's sales efforts by "chaining" different steps of the sales process so you can pinpoint where a salesperson is going wrong.  By understanding what portion of the sales model seems to be causing your sales force to lag, you can identify core issues. This will help you also define exactly what sales strategies need to be focused on. Again knowing exactly where in the sales process you need to make improvement will have a direct correlation on your profits.
As a business owner or executive, CRM will also allow you to see what actions have been taken with specific leads and how your target audience is responding to your sales message.  If you see a recurring trend in your sales process, you can easily address it with the bird's eye view that CRM can give you.
CRM will give you the ability to easily automate the processes in your business that are the most profitable by providing analytics so you can decide what practices to improve on or cut out. And finally, if you sell a product that needs quite a bit of technical support, you can use CRM to create a web portal so your customers can access company data on a specific inquiry.  If your customers are not able to find their answers, they will be able to submit a ticket for further technical or sales support from your company.
Having the ability to watch your sales process, see an overview of your business analytics and allow customers to search specific areas of company data, all by CRM, can put your company miles ahead in terms of overall production and customer service, both internal and external.

Regardless if you have a small company that is getting started or a well-established company, your sales and CRM will be correlated.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Reporting

One of the most important aspects that keeps a company alive is how well it deals with its customer or client relationships and that is the focus of CRM or Customer Relationship Management. 

The goal of CRM is to enable the company to get a good view on who their best customers are, and what they tend to purchase or avail of in the company, what products or services they do not like and what comments or reactions they have to the other services, products and marketing moves that the company makes.  

On paper that may all sound really complicated by the trick is to use a dedicated database software that keeps track of all these and will allow company employees to easily access the data for future references and internal analysis. Understanding the customers is what keeps a company alive.

The issue with CRM is that it is not just a database.  CRM software will allow the employers and the employees of the company to create unique dynamic reports and lists to help them perform different analytical studies on the data.  There are numerous databases and software used for CRM and CRM reporting but the one true software utilized today is Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

There are a lot of reasons why Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the go-to software; it integrates tightly with the Microsoft Office applications that pretty much everybody is familiar with (Outlook, Word and Excel) the cloud infrastructure is the most modern means of network connectivity, and it is the only CRM tool that completely integrates an email system and active communications system.

For example: via Microsoft Dynamics CRM reporting where a group of employees create a study table of all the products that customers buy, how customers value these products purchases and how long it takes before the same customer purchases the same product will be the key to determine which are the most profitable consumers that the company has.

This is one of the most essential reports that CRM delivers; it is important for a company to know who values the company the most.  

Another good example of productive Dynamics CRM reporting is when the company pools out the data from the database to study which products coming from the company receive the least amount of error reports or complaints and then those that receive the most.  From these reports the company can properly assess what production designs they need to change and can make a forecast on how these changes can affect their sales.

It is vital for a company to identify what makes them sell, what the customers like and don’t like and what the public is saying and CRM tools are the gist of getting that information sorted out, analyzed and then manipulated for the company’s assets.

Why resort to old-school systems like paper case studies (or manually putting the information into Excel) when you can analyze all the data coming directly from your company and the clients with the Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM reporting tool? 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server:  The Ultimate CRM Solution for Enterprises

Customer relationship management is an integral part of every business today. As the importance of interaction with customers grow, it has become the need of the hour to strengthen communication especially in the marketing, sales and service departments.

Dynamics CRM has come a long way in providing high-quality customized services to users. The latest version of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM server is Microsoft CRM 2011 which includes the power of cloud computing.

Microsoft has different versions of their CRM software. If you want to deploy CRM in-house for a workforce greater than 5 in number, you need the server version; CRM Server 2011. Flexibility and control will be in your hands. You can take advantage of the seamless integration with your Office suite and also use Dynamics CRM right from within Outlook to leverage the advantages better. CRM Server 2011 integrates with your Microsoft server infrastructure perfectly.

A CRM server license is required for each instance of your software running on the systems and Client Access Licenses are required for every person who will use the CRM server. 

What you can achieve with the MS CRM Server 2011 far exceeds what you could with older versions of the software. What you gain from using this server is even greater. When you give your people the right tools (MS CRM), you can expect the right results, experience success in achieving goals and receive maximum ROI. You will find below a set of benefits that the CRM 2011 (on-premises or cloud) can offer to your enterprise.

1. CRM 2011 is highly cost effective when you consider licensing, training, maintenance, administration and deployment. 

2. Boost your productivity. Your sales processes can be automated such that you close deals fast and reduce the sales cycle times. Data access is much faster; you don’t have to wait to retrieve customers data. The result of all this is an improved relationship with your customers. 

3. Easy to navigate. CRM Server 2011 integrates completely with your existing Office products. You can start using the CRM directly from Internet Explorer or Outlook, both of which are very familiar to use. Users are, therefore, able to adapt to the environment quickly while delivering fast results. There is no delay in setting up the system to work for you. 

4. Cloud options for the server enable the entire system to run much faster and better. Your business can take advantage of cloud computing to reduce maintenance and systems management costs. Microsoft guarantees that the cloud you sign up for will always be available. Now, your business can be run cost-effectively with great flexibility. 

5. Create multiple teams around the world. With the power of the cloud you can have multiple teams in different locations working with Server 2011’s integrated tools to help them communicate and collaborate with each other while driving global results.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server you can grow your business no matter how big or small it is. Its flexibility allows it to grow with you as your business grows. The state-of-the-art technology used in CRM 2011 ensures total and reliable security. This is a simple, reliable and affordable CRM solution.

Copyright 2002-2011 RB Data Services Links Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Certified Consultants - Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Salesforce.com and GoldMine Software