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Geoff Ables's Articles

Upgrading From CRM 2011 to CRM 2015?

Microsoft has added a lot of functionality to CRM since version 2011.  If you’re on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 (or earlier), Dynamics CRM 2013 or are on Dynamics CRM 2015 but have not yet applied Update Rollup 1, this article provides a useful list of resources to help you understand the new benefits for your users. 

CRM 2011 to CRM 2015 Update Rollup 1

Replace Tasks with Queues for Inside Sales Productivity

queueInside Sales teams are rapidly replacing traditional sales teams.  This approach to sales is resulting in significant productivity gains, improvements in responsiveness to prospects and customers, and cost savings.  It also introduces an ability to have a much tighter and more buyer-driven sales process.  But it also requires some rethinking of the tools used in CRM to support the sales function.

Activity planning and management is one of those areas. Learn how queues can boost the productivity of the Inside Sales team.

Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Use CRM to Identify and Convert More Leads

Did you know it takes an average of 7 contacts to convert an unqualified prospect into a sales qualified lead?  And did you know that 60%-95% of sales leads are never worked at all?  That’s a huge amount of untapped potential!

In this article, we will look at the "3 C's" of lead management using customer relationship management.

Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Weekly Planning

If you’re not using CRM as a tool to plan your day, week, month – or more – then you’re missing out.  You’re leaving valuable referral sources in the cold.  You’re letting opportunities slip through the cracks.  And you’re letting your competitors snap up your best customers.

This article takes a look at how to use CRM as a planning tool.

Measuring Enterprise Social Collaboration

The days of the production-line worker, the inbox/outbox process and any other repetitive task for humans to perform – are vanishing quickly. With automation, apps and robotics replacing humans at an unprecedented rate, our ability to collaborate to innovate, inspire, inform and to discover new insights might be one of the last ways to differentiate human labor from an automated workforce. But there is a problem. Most organizations have only a vague notion of how they are doing with social collaboration – let alone a vision and measurable goals for how they will make improvements.

Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Track Your Activities

If you’ve started to track contacts, accounts and your pipeline in CRM, then you’re ready to start tracking activities too.  Most CRM solutions provide a way to track activities such as calls, appointments, emails and tasks.  This article provides some quick tips for tracking your activities.

Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Manage Your Pipeline

Click Here to Open Index of Sales Rep Quick TipsOne of the most important benefits of a CRM solution is that it allows a Sales Rep to track their pipeline. Sadly, this is also one of the areas that many organizations tend to make overly complicated and so painful, that reps often revert back to using a legal pad. This article will provide some tips for using your CRM solution to track your pipeline – and why this is important – regardless of the condition of your CRM solution.

CRM vs ERP: Where to Handle Quotes and Order Entry?

CRM vs ERP for quotes orders pricebook catalog

Are your customer care or inside sales reps straddling CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning, or accounting) systems in order to get their jobs done?  Is it slowing them down?  Are they missing opportunities to collaborate with your field sales reps because they don't have enough time to keep things updated in CRM?  Are your outside sales reps asking for more information about order history to be visible in CRM?

This article takes a look at the benefits of handling these processes in CRM rather than in an ERP solution.

Dynamics CRM – Spring 2015 Related Products Roadmap

Many improvements to Dynamics CRM were announced last week at Microsoft Convergence 2015. But CRM isn't really just one application anymore - there are a host of things that companies need to consider in order to work together better both externally with customers and internally with employees who are striving to serve those customers.  This article looks at recent and upcoming improvements to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (MDM), Social Listening, Parature and Unified Service Desk; as well as some of the more standard products such as Excel, SharePoint and Outlook.

Dynamics CRM Roadmap – Spring 2015 and Beyond

New CRM Spring 2015 SiteMap Menus

Get ready ... CRM 2015 just came out, but the spring release is just a few months away.  Microsoft is including a lot of new features in this release that you'll want to take advantage of including: new (easier) navigation, OneNote integration and Power BI dashboards.

Collaboration at Microsoft Convergence

A lot of exciting information is being shared this year at Microsoft Convergence in Atlanta, GA.  This post summarizes the highlights of day 1, with a focus on the sessions that discussed working together better inside and outside of the organization - customer and employee engagement.  We will pay particular attention to the discussions around collaboration in this post.

Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Make CRM Your Rolodex

CRM for Contact Management Sales Rep AdoptionLooking for a way to expand usage of your company's CRM?  Here's a simple idea: commit to making it the one and only place that you use to manage your list of contacts. It sounds simple, but it's amazing how many contact lists are spread out over a pile of business cards, in our mobile devices and handwritten on notepads.  This article shares some practical ideas on how to get all of your contacts into CRM.

Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Index


CRM Quick Tips for Sales RepsDoes your organization have a CRM system, but you struggle with making it a useful tool for getting your job done? You're not alone! Sales Rep CRM Quick Tips from C5 Insight are an ongoing set of 5 minute tips that a Sales Rep can use to transform any CRM solution into the most valuable tool in their personal sales toolbox.

Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Take a Long-Term View

CRM Quick Tips for Sales Reps In spite of what you may have heard from CRM software vendors, a customer relationship management system is not a "shot in the arm" or "30 days to productivity". In all but a few teams (those that are highly process-driven) a CRM project takes time to fully adopt.

Why Collaboration?

Why Collaboration is Changing the Business World 

There is a lot of discussion about collaboration in the workplace, but little explanation as to why it is becoming increasingly important.  This infographic explains the four primary business-drivers behind the movement towards collaboration between employees, customers and suppliers.  

From CRM 2011 to CRM 2015: Multi-Device and New Integration

 Meet Cortana, your new CRM personal assistant.

This is the sixth and final part in a series exploring the upgrades available when moving from CRM 2011 to CRM 2015.  In this article, we will be looking at the new mobile versions of CRM as well as some of the improvements to other products such as SharePoint, Yammer, Lync and Skype.  Included in our discussion will be an overview of Cortana - Microsoft's new voice-activated digital assistant - and how she gives you voice access to create and lookup records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.

From CRM 2011 to CRM 2015: Settings and Administration

imageIf you’re still using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, now is the time to consider an upgrade.  With CRM 2015, you can teach your CRM to do all sorts of new tricks that will make your team more productive. In this article we will look at the new administrative features that you can use to expand what your team can do with CRM.  Don’t worry, we’re not going to get too technical.

From CRM 2011 to CRM 2015: Sales, Service and Marketing

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This is the fourth in a series of articles discussing the CRM upgrades available to organizations who are on CRM 2011, and are considering the leap to 2015.  This entry takes a look at the new functionality specific to the sales, service (aka customer care, inside sales, customer support) and marketing.  All three of these functional areas received upgrades in both CRM 2013 and again in CRM 2015.  That's a lot to cover - let's dive in!

From CRM 2011 to CRM 2015: 9 New Form Features

CRM 2015 Has Maps on Forms

Welcome to the third in a six-part series on the new features available to you if you are upgrading from CRM 2011 to CRM 2015, with a focus on changes made to CRM forms.

In this article, we will look at 9 new features available on the forms within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.

From CRM 2011 to CRM 2015: The User Experience

Upgrading from CRM 2011 to CRM 2015 - the User Interface

If you're upgrading from CRM 2011 to CRM 2015, there are some game-changing upgrades to the user experience that will radically improve your teams performance, and your ability to ensure that everyone is using a consistent (but flexible) process.  

From CRM 2011 to CRM 2015: Introduction

Still working with CRM 2011?  Working with CRM 2013, but wondering if you should go ahead and jump to CRM 2015?

This blog series outlines the many upgrades available to you by upgrading to the latest version of CRM 2013 - the latest version of the MIcrosoft Dynamics CRM application.  The upgrade is due to be released in December, 2014.

Are You a Servant – or Just Providing Good Service?

servant Great customer service is the mantra of many companies. But that might not be enough anymore. How can businesses and individuals move from merely providing exceptional service, to having the attitude of a servant?

The Salesforce and Microsoft Partnership – Part 2 – What it means to the companies and to the market

After the article we published yesterday, a number of people have asked what the Microsoft/Salesforce global partnership announcement might mean for Salesforce and Microsoft as companies (rather than as CRM products).  Financial details of the deal were undisclosed, so we can only speculate.  Here are a few quick thoughts for discussion:

The Salesforce and Microsoft Partnership: What It Means To You

Microsoft Plus SalesforceOn May 29, 2014, Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft) and Marc Benioff (CEO of Salesforce.com) announced a global strategic partnership between the two firms.

As one of the very few organizations certified on both platforms and providing in depth books and digital training on both platforms, C5 Insight is uniquely qualified to comment on this announcement and what it might mean for the customers of both products.  So what has the scuttlebutt been around our office and among our clients on the topic?

Lead Scoring – Other Ways to Use Scoring – Part 4 of 4

Using predictive analytics and scoring for more than lead scoring. SharePoint. Dynamics CRM. Salesforce.

Used properly, scoring is a way not only to optimize your organization’s budget, but also to serve your customers, prospects and employees by trying to respond to them in the most relevant manner possible.  Think of scoring as a way to simulate an individual prioritization process across thousands – or even hundreds of millions – of people, all at once.

Blog Topics

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CPR for CRM Study

The complementary paper includes over 12 years of research, recent survey results, and CRM turnaround success stories.

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SharePoint Readiness Assessment

This 60-second assessment is designed to evaluate your organization's collaboration readiness.

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CRM Self Assessment

Learn how you rank compared to organizations typically in years 1 to 5 of implementation - and which areas to focus on to improve.

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SharePoint Feedback Solution

This is a sandbox solution which can be activated per site collection to allow you to easily collect feedback from users into a custom Feedback list.

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SharePoint Upgrade Checklist

Whether you are upgrading to SharePoint Online, 2010, 2013 or the latest 2016, this checklist contains everything you need to know for a successful transition.