A CRM solution is an invaluable tool in managing your interactions with the people you serve, be they customers, clients or members. The resulting efficiencies can make your life easier in countless ways. Read on to find out how!
As a Microsoft partner, Dynamics 365 is the platform we use here at Vendere. It is an enterprise management solution that combines a wide range of features to meet CRM, HR, sales, project management and other needs. By centralizing an organization’s data and providing a big-picture view of its operations, the Dynamics 365 platform can streamline workflow and save precious time.
A CRM solution lets you bring all your data together in one place. No more jumping from one application or one spreadsheet to another looking for a critical piece of information. Everything you need can be found through a single interface, so you can locate, download and share data in a snap.
You can also use your CRM solution to automate various tasks — another time saver par excellence. Use the platform to create automated sales, invoicing or customer service processes in order to manage incoming requests faster and without having to copy anything from one system to another (a sure-fire way of unwittingly introducing mistakes that you’ll later have to find and correct). Plus, the project tracking and task planning features are great at helping you increase productivity and making your processes run even more smoothly.
What’s more, once your data is centralized, you can make better use of reporting and analytics features to track and analyze your performance or the output of a working group or sales team and use this information to drive ongoing improvement. The more insight you have into what makes your organization and your customers tick, the more informed your decisions will be and the better use you can make of your time and resources.
At Vendere, we use Dynamics 365 to keep all our data in one central location and turn our tedious, time-consuming processes into easy-to-manage automated tasks. As a result, we can be more proactive and strategic in our thinking, our workflow isn’t constantly interrupted and the decisions we make are better aligned with our growth ambitions and business objectives.
6 time-saving tips a CRM solution can deliver
Automate labour-intensive and repetitive tasks: Data entry, report generation, batch emails… you can automate these and other tasks to save time, be more efficient in your work, reduce the risk of errors and improve your overall accuracy.
Power up your workflows: Use Dynamics 365 automated workflows to streamline your processes and accelerate decision-making. For example, you can create a procedure to have vacation requests automatically forwarded to each successive level of management to avoid delays and eliminate the need for email or phone follow-ups.
Analyze real-time data: A CRM system provides real-time information on your organization so you can make smarter decisions. For example, you can bring up a real-time dashboard to track various aspects of your performance or create alerts to keep you notified of important events as they arise. You can then course-correct as needed and move forward with the confidence that you are basing your choices on the most up-to-date information available.
Collaborate in real time: Here at Vendere, we use Dynamics 365 to make it easier for our team members to work together no matter their physical location. They can share information about clients, projects and leads, and collaborate on documents, all in real time. The time-saving possibilities are endless, as are the opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint, as the need to send emails and documents back and forth is significantly reduced. The result: more strategic, more insightful and more environmentally responsible interactions.
Track sales and leads more efficiently: A CRM solution is great for keeping a close eye on the status of your current sales and future prospects. You can then use this information to establish your priorities based on your most promising options and focus your efforts where they will have the most impact.
Save on integration time: The Dynamics 365 platform also allows us to be more efficient in integrating with other systems using Power Automate.
By using a management tool like Dynamics 365 every day, you can make the most of your time by automating redundant, low-value tasks, harnessing the power of real-time information, standardizing processes across departments and locations within your organization, and facilitating collaboration at every level. The result? Less time spent on non-core operations and more time for growing your organization and your revenues.
Specific benefits for associations and non-profit
A CRM system tailored to your needs can make all the difference!
Associations, chambers of commerce and other non-profits stand to benefit greatly from a CRM solution with features built specifically around their needs, allowing them to optimize their relationships with members, donors, volunteers and partners.
Top 5 reasons a CRM solution is the way forward for your organization
Membership management: Keeping track of members and their personal information, enrolments, dues, contributions and participation in activities is extremely important in fostering retention and engagement. Using a CRM solution to automate these tasks, keep all of your data together in one place and learn from your membership metrics is key to building strong and lasting relationships with your members.
Donor management: Many non-profits are dependent on donations to fund their activities. A CRM solution that is geared toward your particular needs can help you manage fundraising campaigns and generate easy-to-read reports on the contributions you receive.
Volunteer management: Associations by their very nature tend to be volunteer-driven. Keeping track of your volunteers, and coordinating their availability, their interests, their skill sets and their involvement with your various initiatives is a complex task that the right application can make more manageable.
Communication: Communicating regularly with members, donors, volunteers and partners is a must for every association and non-profit organization. You can use your CRM application to send emails, newsletters, event invitations and surveys to various groups in a highly targeted way.
Reporting: It’s one thing to be doing well. It’s another thing to be able to understand why and explain it to others. An application like Membri 365 can generate reports on registrations, contributions, events, volunteers and more to optimize your membership management.
In other words, a solution developed specifically for associations and non-profits is uniquely capable of managing members, donors, volunteers and partners in a way that suits your needs and lets you tailor your communications to each of these groups. Not only that, but it also allows you to monitor your performance using features that have been built around your requirements.
When shopping for a membership management solution, what should associations keep in mind?
There are several key considerations when looking for a solution to manage your members.
6 selection criteria to help you find the solution that’s right for your association:
Features: A solution that has been developed explicitly to help associations manage memberships, registrations, dues, volunteers, events and more will be better attuned to your needs than a generic application. Be sure to also have a closer look at the communication, content management and reporting features to make sure they tick all the boxes on your wish list.
Cost: Cost is always an important factor for dues-driven organizations and non-profits. In addition to the initial purchase cost of a membership management solution, don’t forget to consider any applicable subscription, configuration, training, customization, maintenance and support fees. Be sure to compare these costs with the potential benefits to assess your actual return on investment.
Intuitiveness: It is important to find a user-friendly solution that your staff and board members can learn quickly and easily. The interface should be visually appealing and simple to navigate, with clear and complete instructions.
Flexibility: You’ll want a solution that is versatile enough to suit the particular needs of your association. It should allow for customized fields, forms, processes, workflows, reports and integrations with other applications.
Security: Being able to keep your members’ personal and financial information safe and secure is crucial. Make sure the solution you select guarantees the highest levels of data security, privacy and confidentiality.
Support: The importance of fast, reliable support cannot be overstated. Check to see whether your software provider provides a 24/7 knowledge base and technical assistance by phone or online, along with training tutorials and guides.
Those are the top 6 considerations applicable to all associations and non-profits. But the size of your organization, your operating budget, and your specific objectives and needs will also influence your decision.
Planning to take the CRM plunge?
Let Vendere walk you through the process of finding a membership management solution that works for you. Whether it’s building a specific set of CRM services using Dynamics 365 or optimizing the performance of your association or non-profit with our Membri 365 software, one of our specialists would be happy to assist you in bringing your plans to life!