Is your Digital Transformation the Christmas present you thought you wanted and got, but it sucks?

Digital transformation is one of the hottest topics when it comes to IT lately. In a recent CIO article, 7 Digital Transformation Myths, several business and IT people were interviewed, including Dan Doggendorf, VP of business operations and CIO for the Dallas Stars NHL hockey team. He says to avoid a digital transformational fail, you should take the advice author Stephen Covey has about “beginning with the end in mind. Otherwise, you’re just spending money on new cool toys. It’s the Christmas present you thought you wanted and got, but it sucks.” 

Has this ever happened to you? You were dying for a Hatchimal but were disappointed after you opened it on Christmas morning? Ok, maybe not. Or the Xbox One X…ok, that sounds pretty awesome.

The article goes on to say that a successful digital transformation can deliver significant rewards. But these common misconceptions can undermine your company’s ability to achieve desired results. These are the most common myths:

Myth No. 1: Digital transformation is an IT function

I agree that this is a myth. We recommend that our clients involve more functional and operational business units than just IT in a digital transformation. To truly transform your business, you must have buy-in from all departments.

Myth No. 2: True transformation is a blue chip’s journey

We have solutions for businesses of all sizes and find that even the smallest company can successfully transform their business with Microsoft Dynamics.

Myth No. 3: Digital transformation is about reducing the workforce

People are nervous that they will be replaced by machines with all of the machine learning and IoT that’s out there now. But, as it says in the article, I think companies are seeing the opposite: The more automation and data analytics that organizations put in place, the more human beings are needed to drive the algorithms and understand what’s happening in complex buildings or manufacturing plants.

Myth No. 4. Digital transformation is all about the technology

The article says that a digital transformation is not just all about the technology, but invest[ing] in building the right culture, and also in the transformation of the IT function, including new skills and partnering opportunities.

This is where you must think about new and better ways to delight your customers. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales and Customer Service empowers sales, marketing and customer service with insights to personalize relationships, predict customer needs, and increase sales.

Sales-630X472

Myth No. 5: Executive buy-in is a sure thing

You can’t always count on executive buy-in, and if executives are not fully on board with your project, it won’t be successful. Involve executives in digital transformation meetings from the get-go.

Myth No. 6: Digital transformation brings IT-business harmony

It’s not always harmonious when business people and IT people are in the same room. That’s what we are here to help with. SBS Group has a streamlined approach that ensures everyone is operating from the same blueprint, helping you realize business value faster.

Myth No. 7. The digital journey ends at implementation

Often companies believe go-live is when their digital transformation ends, and this simply isn’t true. Without regular check-ups, training, and re-training, there is a danger of low user adoption and a wasted IT budget. SBS Group’s E3 system integrates strategic planning, ERP and CRM, Business Intelligence and Analytics together, enabling the entire organization to create, communicate, measure and manage plans, objectives, and initiatives at the organization, team, and individual level.

I hope that you don’t fall into the trap of these digital transformation myths this holiday season. Let us know if you have a concern about any of the seven above and we can help. Join us for one of our upcoming webcasts where we talk about how Dynamics 365 can help.

Best regards,

Robbie Morrison
Chief Solution Strategist, SBS Group

About Robbie
Robbie Morrison has spent nearly 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions. From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and Robbie-2017products helps SBS Group customers maximize ROI on technology investments.

Today, Robbie serves SBS Group customers in his role as Chief Solution Strategist where he provides thought leadership and manages the development of B2B solutions. Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robbiemorrison

 

Are you at Risk of an Epic Digital Fail? 3 Ways to Avoid it.

You want to get the most out of your business technology investments. But are you at risk of an epic fail? A recent CFO Magazine article focused on just that. The biggest reason for a digital fail: companies neglect the very parts of their business that have the greatest impact on revenue generation — namely value creation and monetizing for that value. Instead, they focus on reducing costs, improving operations, or aggressive pricing to keep up with the competition.

Instead, CFO Magazine says, companies must focus on these three areas:

  1. Unlocking new value
  2. Building pricing power
  3. Improving customer segmentation and sales tactics

Let’s break it down and talk about how Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales can help in these three key areas:

1. Unlocking New Value to Reach More Consumers and Open New Markets

The CFO Magazine article says digitalization is not just an upgrade to maintain competitiveness or improve efficiency. Most companies overlook how digital technologies can be applied to reach more consumers and open new markets.

In a previous BLOG we talked about how LinkedIn Sales Navigator for Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be used to further relationship sales. Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn has brought new and exciting integration and opportunities for the sales users within Dynamics 365 via Sales Navigator.  Finding the people/firms that you want to do business with and effectively managing those opportunities within Dynamics 365 is within reach. You can utilize common contacts within LinkedIn to build better relationships with your prospects, and reach more potential prospects. Not only will Dynamics 365 allow you to build relationships, but you can manage relationships at scale without dropping the ball.

2. Building Pricing Power

Digitalization is often accompanied by more intense pricing pressure due to increased competition, price transparency, and customers’ power to negotiate. Companies must have the discipline to refrain from engaging in price wars, which has a detrimental effect on margins.

Don’t get into a price war with your competitors. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales helps you competitively price your products with advanced algorithms, artificial and predictive intelligence, and bots. You can also increase sales by adding related products as suggestions for up-sell, cross-sell, accessories, or substitutes. You can define related products within Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales to help your sales agents with their recommendations to customers.

The related products are displayed as suggestions to your sales agents during opportunity or order management. These suggestions help your sales agents recommend related products and bundles/kits to the customers, and increase product sales.

3. Improving Segmentation and Sales Tactics

To stay competitive, companies must become customer-centric organizations and develop a multi-dimensional and sophisticated understanding of their customers’ needs, behaviors, and most importantly, their willingness-to-pay. More effort is needed to harness digital technologies and behavioral science to support advanced customer segmentation, personalization, and customer experiences that resonate.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales helps you segment customers and prospects to ensure that they receive the right communication from you at the right time. You can better understand the customer journey by composing role-specific visualizations that bring together customer profiles, interactions, metrics, inferences, and predictions.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer segmentation

Segment customers and anticipate customer needs with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Digitalization can free up the sales force and help them engage better with the right customers.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales lets you manage all your customers and deals right in Outlook. You can prioritize your daily activities and take the right steps to close more sales. Your team can follow up on leads and opportunities from anywhere using mobile apps.

Don’t let your technology projects become a big digital fail at the end of the day. Do you have more ideas about how to avoid an epic fail? Drop me a line on LinkedIn and let me know.

Sincerely,

Joe Gulino
Director of Corporate Account Sales, SBS Group

About Joe
Joe Gulino has spent 30 years growing and running mid-sized ERP and CRM consulting organizations. Recently, he has focused his career on helping large and mid-sized services companies select, procure and implement ERP and CRM solutions. He has experience in several industries including manufacturing, distribution and professional services.
joegulino
Today, Joe serves SBS Group customers in his role as Director of Corporate Account Sales where he helps customers solve business problems using Microsoft Dynamics 365 technology. Joe holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Computer Science from Rosary College, and is based in Naperville, Illinois.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-gulino-0a0ba72/

Stop all of that Typing and Start Connecting

Do you find that your sales and customer service people spend a ton of time typing? Typing contact names, typing notes, typing information. Typing, typing, typing. It’s just not the best use of your people’s time. But with all of the data included in your CRM, email, and team calendars, it can be difficult to keep your customer and prospect records up to date.

What if we told you that your sales and customer service teams no longer need to manually enter data and associated activities with contacts, leads, accounts, or opportunity records? Inbound and outbound interactions and meeting information can be intelligently searched and displayed in an intuitive dashboard.

SalesConnect 365 integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365

Get Intelligent with SBS Group SalesConnect 365

SBS SalesConnect 365 for Dynamics 365 for Sales searches your company’s email and calendar system to retrieve relevant data about your customers and prospects, and presents that information as actionable insights. SalesConnect365 can create more opportunities, improve close ratios, and drive more revenue.

The SalesConnect 365 Cloud

All documents are searchable on Dynamics 365 records and stored in the SalesConnect Cloud, so you can stay connected from anywhere, at any time. Taking away the burden of (attempting) to enter all prospect and customer data into Dynamics 365 empowers your team to spend more time in front of your customers, actually selling—and with high-potential customers highlighted in your analytics, you can focus your resources on the opportunities most likely to close and create revenue. And servicing the customers who need help the most.

Improve Customer Interactions

SalesConnect 365 identifies customer buying behaviors and measures the strength of your customer relationships, allowing your team to better understand their preferences and create a more engaging experience—therefore improving your relationships and ultimately creating and converting more opportunities.

SalesConnect

Today’s customers are more informed and have higher expectations than ever before. Dynamics 365 for Sales enables you to better understand customer needs, engage more effectively, and win more deals. Dynamics 365 for Customer Service gives your team a  single, unified experience that delivers end-to-end service across every channel—earning customer loyalty and empowering agents. When combined with SalesConnect 365, your CRM experience is enhanced to drive more business.

Learn more about SalesConnect 365 or request a free evaluation today.

Sincerely,

Joe Gulino
Director of Corporate Account Sales, SBS Group

About Joe
Joe Gulino has spent 30 years growing and running mid-sized ERP and CRM consulting organizations. Recently, he has focused his career on helping large and mid-sized services companies select, procure and implement ERP and CRM solutions. He has experience in several industries including manufacturing, distribution and professional services.
joegulino
Today, Joe serves SBS Group customers in his role as Director of Corporate Account Sales where he helps customers solve business problems using Microsoft Dynamics 365 technology. Joe holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Computer Science from Rosary College, and is based in Naperville, Illinois.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-gulino-0a0ba72/

 

What Additional Project-driven Solutions can Strengthen your Microsoft Investment?

You’ve already made quite an investment in Microsoft technology. And it can be confusing to determine what else works for service and project-driven company like yours. To accelerate your digital transformation, you need a new type of business application. One that breaks down the silos between CRM and ERP, that’s powered by data and intelligence, and helps capture new business opportunities.

In our webcast last week, we covered 10-12 different Microsoft software solutions that can strengthen or round out your Microsoft solutions. We talked about a few different ERP options as well as small and large project management solutions and some really cool apps included with Office 365.

We help you determine how to meet the unique needs of your organization with a modern business platform that makes it easy to tailor and extend Dynamics 365 applications—with little to no code development. Quickly build apps, automate workflows, and bring additional data insight into your business with the Microsoft business application platform.

If your company provides professional services and relies on delivering successful, profitable projects, then you should check out the recording.

Here are a few products and tools you can expect to see:

* Microsoft ERP Comparison: Dynamics 365, Dynamics SL and Dynamics NAV

* Microsoft CRM and PSA Simplified: Dynamics 365 for Sales and Project Service Automation

* Microsoft Office 365 Hidden Gems: Microsoft Planner, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and Yammer

Don’t worry. We didn’t forget Excel…we know how much you love it!

If you thought Excel was the only tool in the Microsoft arsenal capable of managing projects, you’re going to be surprised.

Recorded Webcast: Microsoft Mash-Up

This is the second in a series of webcasts targeting project-driven companies. This  1-hour recorded webcast pulls a variety of solutions together for project-driven companies, including ERP, Sales, Marketing, Project Management and Business Productivity. Check out upcoming events.

In our recorded webcast, we demonstrate how our clients are utilizing multiple Microsoft solutions to improve project profitability, employee productivity and customer engagement…without breaking the bank. Let me know what you think about the webcast, and send any questions that you may have my way.

Best regards,

Robbie Morrison
Chief Solution Strategist, SBS Group

About Robbie
Robbie Morrison has spent nearly 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions.  From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and Robbie-2017products helps SBS Group customers maximize ROI on technology investments.

Today, Robbie serves SBS Group customers in his role as Chief Solution Strategist where he provides thought leadership and manages the development of B2B solutions.  Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robbiemorrison

 

Dynamics 365 for Sales/CRM Announcements at Microsoft Summit User Group

At the Microsoft Dynamics 365 User Group Summit 2017 in Nashville, the Dynamics 365 product team walked customers through a range of updates within Dynamics 365 for Sales/CRM.

Connecting CRM data with Office, LinkedIn graphs

Within Dynamics 365 Sales, there is an emphasis on “social selling with context,” meaning more bi-directional flow of data between D365, Office and LinkedIn, to round out visibility of a lead or opportunity, and to make it all about relationship sales. Microsoft is using “fuzzy logic” technology to  surface LinkedIn data from Dynamics, and vice versa. Actions taken in Sales Navigator will also filter back to the field and activities of the Dynamics entity. Dynamics 365 leads can also be sent to LinkedIn if the sales rep believes he or she will be better engaged via communications on that platform. Those interactions will be fed back to Dynamics, too, as part of the integration.

Azure Advancements

Microsoft noted advances in the use of Azure-based analytical tools for the benefit of Dynamics 365 for Sales/CRM customers. The team is updating Customer Insights with segmentation, lead scoring, conflation analysis (duplicate matching), and other machine learning capabilities.

Customer Insights: Engage your customers with intelligent insights
Understand your customers to better engage them through intelligent insights. Using Dynamics 365 with Microsoft Azure, transform your data into timely and relevant information, inferences, and predictions that help your business succeed.

In Customer Insights, segmentation capabilities of the current release are “not just demographic, but psychographic,” said Dynamics 365 general manager, Param Kahlon, speaking at a Summit general session. So while segments can be created based on static attributes like postal code, they can also be created based on predictive logic about the likelihood that the people will respond to a particular message or offer.

Customer Insights is built to support two things, Kahlon explained. First, it can ingest large volumes of data from multiple sources about customers. Second, the system is designed to identify the same person or entity represented across systems and provide an accurate and cohesive profile for use in analysis.

Beyond out-of-the-box algorithms provided with Customer Insights, Microsoft also wants customers to create their own machine learning algorithms. For example, a customer churn score could be developed relatively easily, Kahlon told users, if the organization has lists of known customers that have and have not churned. The machine learning engine can analyze data around those lists and build a model that can be applied to new customers to provide a likelihood-to-churn score. A set of activities or alerts could then be implemented to manage those high-risk customers.

SBS Group SalesConnect 365 Connections that Drive BusinessSBS SalesConnect 365 crawls your company’s email and calendar system, intelligently searches and retrieves all useful data about your customers and prospects, organizes the information in Dynamics 365 for Sales, and presents that information as actionable knowledge you can use to improve close ratios, create more opportunities, and drive more revenue. Click here for more information, or to request a demo.

User experience to be updated to a unified interface

The v9 launch also opens the next chapter in the Dynamics 365 team’s work to optimize the user experience. It is a journey that began over six years ago, Kahlon said, and has now been through several iterations. The new interface, known as the Unified Client Interface (UCI), will be used to update all the existing customer experience apps, as well as the as-yet unreleased lower-tier sales app and marketing app.

The updated look and feel is subtle in some places, but the technology change is significant, and Microsoft representatives say they have tried to find a balance between improving visual borders, information density, and layout. Some seemingly small improvements will make a big impact on customers, like the ability of a long field value to dynamically wrap to a new line rather than being cut off – a feature that drew applause from users.

Let us know if you have any questions about these or other announcements at Microsoft Summit.

Sincerely,

Joe Gulino
Director, Enterprise Sales, SBS Group

About Joe
Joe Gulino has spent 30 years growing and running mid-sized ERP and CRM consulting organizations. Recently, he has focused his career on helping large and mid-sized services companies select, procure and implement ERP and CRM solutions. He has experience in several industries including manufacturing, distribution and professional services.
joegulino
Today, Joe serves SBS Group customers in his role as Director of Corporate Account Sales where he helps customers solve business problems using Microsoft Dynamics 365 technology. Joe holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Computer Science from Rosary College, and is based in Naperville, Illinois.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-gulino-0a0ba72/

 

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