CRM on the Microsoft Cloud for Government
By Kevin Briggs, Director US Federal Business Applications on April 30, 2018
Filed under Microsoft in Government
|Focus on: Sales and Services on the Microsoft Cloud for Government|
All for One – Customer Sales & Services on the Microsoft Cloud for Government
Why a comprehensive platform for building relationships and anticipating customer needs is essential to government sales processes
Sales is a tough job. It’s even harder without the right tools or insights to uncover new opportunities and formulate strategies for approaching them. While government agencies are under enormous pressure to update the services they provide to a demanding public, the contractors who provide the solutions that power those services are feeling the crush as well.
Contractors pursuing business with government agencies already face complex hierarchies and red tape that make navigating the sales process a difficult and time-consuming task. Unlike private sector sales that may involve just a simple quote or a short RFP process, government contracts require lengthy procurement processes that include multiple bid/no bid benchmarks stretched over cycles that can last as long as 24 months.
To remain competitive and secure the contract, sales teams need to easily identify key stakeholders in the target agency, understand internal relationships, and assess how many financial and human resources they’ll need to dedicate to winning the business.
Unfortunately, outdated sales support and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions–siloed and dependent on manual data management–put many sales organizations behind the curve and at a distinct disadvantage.
In-House, Out of Pocket
Selling into government agencies today requires more intelligence, visibility, and agility than ever before. Instead of the inflexible and manual process-driven systems of the past, sales teams targeting government agencies and departments need more efficient tools and systems that provide greater insight into pipeline and opportunities, key relationships within the target organization, and smarter allocation of resources in pursuit of new business.
Specifically, they need a core CRM system that can track the budget per opportunity, resource utilization rates in sales activities, and even IP addresses of specific contacts within the organization to better target communications that can help secure net new revenues or unlock additional opportunities within existing contracts.
At the same time, new systems should provide analytics that sales leaders can use to identify and evaluate trends in their sales efforts, helping to prioritize time and resources toward accounts and contacts that are more likely to result in new business. For example, if a firm is trying to sell its services or products into the US Navy, but continues to fail, sales leaders need to see which contacts they have previously targeted to determine if they were talking to the right people, assess win probabilities based on historical outcomes, and adapt their strategies to improve their chances of winning a contract the next time around.
However, the CRM and other systems many organizations use today are incapable of delivering the features, functionality, and cross-enterprise visibility the sales teams need to be successful. Yet, replacing the existing solutions isn’t always feasible, as developing a tool in-house that meets all demands of modern workflows, cross-platform user interfaces, and the robust data and automation capabilities is often beyond the company’s skill and budget.
Integration and Time Saving
Rather than waste time and resources coding an in-house sales solution, Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides out-of-the box tools and systems that integrate every aspect of contemporary selling in an efficient, agile, and cost-effective cloud platform.
Dynamics 365 aggregates data from diverse sources to not only deliver greater visibility that keeps everyone on the same page, but it also simplifies contact hierarchies so that sales teams can more intelligently align resources to formulate an effective sales and account management strategy–and do it all from a single configurable interface.
With essential data at their fingertips, your sales team can quickly construct a project proposal snapshot that includes information like industries, dates, number of users, and the types of technology in the environment and use that information to set custom contact rules and workflows that streamline (or automate) many of the most time-consuming outreach or customer interactions.
Now, instead of spending hours exchanging emails, writing proposals, and evaluating risk, you can do it all in a matter of minutes with Dynamics 365 automation capabilities and advanced tools. Dynamics 365 contact management and sales support solutions make it easier to identify and act on the right data through meaningful analytics, build and maintain customer relationships that drive sales and repeat business, and allow sales teams to spend more time completing projects and wasting less on tedious administrative work.
Seamless integration, complete visibility for solving complex sales challenges
Dynamics 365 CRM is an end-to-end solution that represents a wholesale change from the mix-and-match approach many organizations have been forced into in the past. In fact, global leaders like HP and others have chosen Microsoft Dynamics 365 over other CRM solutions because a fully integrated environment creates new opportunities to leverage data in more diverse and impactful ways than trying to coordinate similar activities across multi-vendor environments.
Selling is one of the most challenging aspects of any successful business. But selling into a complex, often convoluted environment like a government agency demands intelligence, smarter planning, and stronger collaboration among members of the sales team, which can only be accomplished with an integrated and flexible CRM system.
Contact us for more information or questions.