As reported in ZDNet, a survey of 1,000 IT decision-makers found that the road to the single view of customers has a few potholes—such as integration of systems, data silos, and collaboration issues between departments. These potholes can be particularly troublesome for service businesses with multiple branch locations and offerings. They tend to store a lot of sales and project management data on prospects, customer accounts, opportunities, proposals, and scopes of work. In cases where all the branches do things a little differently, managing all that data can be a complex challenge.
But if commercial customers interact with more than one branch location (because they too have multiple locations), finding a way to share information across the entire company is vital. As the sales team at one branch works on a proposal, or as project managers estimate the required resources on a project for a particular customer, they will very likely benefit from the knowledge collected by the sales and project management teams of another branch.
In many cases, sales and project management data exists in silos—such as spreadsheets, collaboration platforms, the ERP system, and even in individual email accounts. These systems are usually not easily accessible to personnel within each branch and at other branches. Senior management teams at corporate offices also find it difficult to readily access the data to evaluate key sales and project management performance indicators.
So the key question is…How can a company consolidate isolated information from multiple sources?
Construction Firm Creates 360-Degree Customer Views
One of our clients that recently solved this challenge is Marek Brothers Construction. The 82-year-old private and family-owned specialty interior contractor provides commercial and residential construction services throughout Texas as well as in the Atlanta and Nashville areas.
Marek started by forming a strategic committee to select and deploy a consolidated CRM system that would bring all branch sales information together and make the data easily accessible across the company. The committee decided to partner with Western Computer to implement Dynamics 365 Sales in the cloud. That decision has paid off with big-time dividends!
For example, Marek has created a 360-degree view of all customer accounts, opportunities and bids. The company has also provided data access to personnel across all eight company locations while giving each branch the flexibility to tailor CRM entities for their unique needs.
Personnel at the branch offices appreciate they can easily share information across their sales, estimator, and project management teams, which has streamlined bid processes. Sales personnel can also view historic customer and bid information to respond more quickly to RFPs, and they can identify and collaborate on bids involving shared customer accounts.
Executives Now Easily Access Sales KPIs
Back at the Marek corporate office in Houston, executives value the ability to easily access consolidated sales performance data. They use a weekly dashboard with real-time metrics to see how each branch is performing to make informed recommendations on any changes that are needed for sales strategies.
Setting up that dashboard was driven in party by Dennis Yanowski, the past president of the Marek San Antonio branch and one of the leaders of the project to implement the new CRM system. “Western Computer knows how to design, build and deploy IT solutions that make information always available,” Yanowski says. “Now that we have consolidated data on customers, outreach hit rates, and bid success rates, it will be very valuable to our sales reps, estimators, and project managers as they interact with customers. They will always be well-armed with information that helps them reach more contacts and make informed decisions in the pursuit of business.”
Marek is now talking with us about integrating the data in Dynamics 365 Sales with data in Microsoft SharePoint, the company’s JD Edwards ERP platform, and Microsoft Power BI reports. This shows how our partnership continues to grow stronger—we always strive to provide candid feedback to ensure clients implement the functionality they really need.
To find out more about how Western Computer collaborated with Marek Brothers to deploy Dynamics 365 Sales in the cloud to consolidate sales and project management information across branch offices, download the full customer success story. We would also be glad to schedule a call to discuss how we can help your organization achieve similar benefits. Feel free to contact us to start the conversation.
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