Who Needs a CRM Tool?

As a SCORE business mentor and presenter on business and technology, one of the questions I’m often asked is “do I need a CRM tool?”

I usually ask the person posing the question one in response, “Do you or will you have customers?”

For me, it’s really just that simple.  If you have customers and prospective customers you should be using a Customer Relationship Management tool. Period.

The next question I usually get then is “Why?”

This is where things get interesting.

There are many reasons why and they vary depending on the nature of the organization but here are a few questions I’ll ask just to get them started.

Do you remember every phone call conversation or email you’ve sent to a client or prospect over the past 5 years?  Do you think your salespeople can do that?  I guarantee you they can’t.    Someone might say “well, our sales cycles aren’t that long”.   Or I’ve heard variations on that theme “Oh we’re just a distributor, people call us and place an order or they don’t.”

Really…so you’re telling me that business is so good that when someone calls you and doesn’t place an order with you, you can afford to just ignore them and not bother following up?

Sales Statistics

But that’s Sales.  Perhaps you’re really great a making happy clients and you don’t need to worry about adding new customers.  You can just keep serving the ones you have.

Do you provide 100% customer satisfaction the first time, every time?   Nobody does!!!!    Do you know how many customer service issues your clients are experiencing?  How are you tracking that?  How long does it take to resolve a customer issue on average?  What’s the longest a customer has waited for their issue to be resolved this week/month/year?

You can't manage what you can't measure

Do you think it’s important for salespeople to know if a customer experienced some kind of customer service issue when they make or take a call with that customer?  Is an unhappy customer going to buy from you again?

How about Marketing.  We all know it’s important, especially for a small business.  You’re trying to get your name out there!   But what happens with that money you spend?  How many leads did you get from your various ad campaigns?  What happened to them?  What results are you getting from your website and search engine marketing (SEM)?   Did you get what you hoped/wanted from it?  Do you exhibit at a trade show or conference?  What did you get from that last year?   Was it worth it?  Are you going to attend again?

At the end of the day, the value of your company is your customers.   How are you managing them and what tools are you using for it?

At Tridea Partners, our team members bring decades of experience in Sales, Marketing & Customer Service.   How can we help you?

This post was written by Eric Klauss, Sales Executive at Tridea Partners. Tridea Partners is a leading provider of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  For more information contact sales@trideapartners.com.





Advanced Rule Structures in Dynamics AX

Some customers have very complicated business rules when it comes to their accounting, but end up not enforcing them in an effort to simplify the chart of accounts.  In many cases the accounting group will end up reviewing and reclassing transactions or preparing custom reports at the end of the month instead of enforcing the rules at the time the transactions are recorded.  Using advanced account structures in Dynamics AX can help users setup and enforce those rules to reduce the accounting rework at month end.

So what is an account structure?  Essentially the account structure is telling AX the valid combinations of main accounts and dimensions.  For example the main account “601300 Advertising Expense” is only valid with the “Department” financial dimension of “022 – Sales & Marketing”.

In this example, the advanced account structure comes into to play when you have a need to further define your advertising expenses into “Print”, “Radio”, “Online”, etc.  Rather than creating three or more new main accounts you can easily create a new dimension of “Adv. Expense” and create an advanced rule to make it required only when the advertising expense main account is used.

Setting up the advanced structure is not too difficult, you’re essentially creating a separate structure and applying it on top of the basic account structure.

After you’ve created your new financial dimension, navigate to General ledger/Setup/Chart of accounts/Advanced rule structures and click new to create a new advanced structure.  In this case we’ve named it “Advertising” and added the new financial dimension we created called “AdvExpense”.

AdvExpense Dynamics  AX


Next you’ll need to add the advanced rule to your existing account structure.  In the example below, we have our marketing related main accounts that are only valid with the marketing department, “022”.  In addition to that, we’ve clicked on “Advanced rule”, clicked “New” and added the advertising rule we created earlier.  Be sure to add the filter that controls when the advanced rule is used, in this case when the main account is “601300” a department and advertising expense type will be required.

AX Advance Rule

To complete the setup, be sure the advanced rule and account structures have been activated, and lastly, add the account structure to your ledger and you’re all set!

This post was written by Matthew Caffrey, AX Application Consultant at Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider serving CA, AZ, UT, CO, NH and surrounding regions.

Macros in Microsoft Dynamics GP

Have you ever needed to mass update something that isn’t available through Integration Manager? I know that most people would say ABSOLUTELY!  Sometimes we have to bring it back to how things were before we had eConnect and Integration Manager…meaning, let’s use a macro!

Macro’s are easy to create through Microsoft Dynamics GP (Microsoft Dynamics GP > Tools > Macro > Play/Record).  In order to create a macro to update many records, start by compiling your data into an excel workbook.  Next record your macro within the GP interface.  Be careful to use your keyboard as much as possible, and your mouse as little as possible while doing so.  After complete, copy and paste the macro into MS Word and create a mail merge with your excel data and the macro.  Go all the way through the mail merge wizard until you get to the point where you can ‘Edit Letters’.  Copy and paste that data into the macro and voila!  You are now ready to play the macro to update records. 

This article was written by Kaydee Baker, Dynamics GP Application Consultant for Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider serving CA, AZ, UT, CO, New England and surrounding regions.



Dynamics CRM 2015 – Can anyone now be a successful Sales Rep?

While attending Microsoft Convergence last month in Atlanta it is hard not to be impressed with the investment that Microsoft is making in Dynamics CRM 2015.  Many of the announcements can be classified as falling into two broad categories: improved integration with the Microsoft application “ecosystem” and the incorporation of sophisticated enabling technologies into Dynamics CRM:

  • Improved Integration with the Microsoft Application “Ecosystem”: The business value derived from using its suite of applications has always been a source of strength for the Microsoft brand and business. So it is not surprising that there were many announcements at Convergence on improving integration of these applications with Dynamics CRM. The list included integration improvements with OneNote, Excel, Outlook, Office 365, Exchange, Yammer, and SharePoint to name the most prominent.
  • Adding Sophisticated Enabling Technologies: Clearly an important focus best illustrated by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s comments during his keynote: “Businesses are hungry to seize new opportunities using technologies like machine learning and predictive analytics. Only when businesses create a culture that empowers everyone to have access to data and insight that drive action will they be positioned to truly transform.” So we heard a great deal about Dynamics CRM leveraging business intelligence (Power BI), data visualization, intelligent opportunity management, predictive lead scoring, self-service analytics, work flow, social engagement, and streaming analytics. All eventually available across a wide variety of platforms including Android and IOS.

Both of these developments will strongly enhance Dynamics CRM.  However, it is easy to forget amongst the plethora of technical capabilities that people drive the success of these tools in an organization.  More specifically, it is the Sales Representatives within a broader Sales and Marketing organization that drive the business value.  Therefore, a critical success factor is knowing the unique sales culture of a company including the attributes of its top sellers.  This drives the decisions on not only the features and functionalities of Dynamics CRM to deploy but the most successful technology adoption approach.

No, not everyone can be a successful Sales Rep just by providing them tools.  A successful implementation Partner needs to know more than just the technology.  At Tridea Partners we know Dynamics CRM but, more importantly, we know Sales people.

This article was written by Bob Cohen, Partner at Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider serving CA, AZ, UT, CO, NH and surrounding regions.

How To Find The Hiding Notes Window In Dynamics GP

Have you ever clicked on the Notes icon in a GP window, saw it flash, but the window never popped up? Well here is a trick to help get it back up on your screen instead of hiding in the background.

When you click on the note icon in the GP window and nothing pops up, hold down ALT and SPACEBAR, this will bring up the following menu.

Dynamics GP Note Window

Click on Maximize. This will open the note window to fit your computer screen. Then just simply resize the window by dragging in the corners and/or sides of the maximized Note window. Once you close out of the resized note window, it will open to that newly resize window you just created. This issue can come up a lot with users who use dual monitors. Hope this helps!

This article was written by Shannon Hernandez, Dynamics GP Application Consultant for Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider serving CA, AZ, UT, CO, New England and surrounding regions.