Technical Sales and CRM

CRM has the greatest potential to transform a business and yet it also the most likely to fail! CRM initiatives often fail because companies focus on the tools (the software) and forget the people and process. The key to a successful CRM initiative is to spend 90% of your effort on the people and process aspects of your customer touch points and 10% on the tools.


A recent project involved a large manufacturing company with a global market and a small technical sales force was struggling with visibility into the sales pipeline. They were already using data from several publicly available databases and combining this with manually assembled Excel lists of potential orders but this information was difficult to maintain and in most cases out of date and inaccurate. Sales staff wasted a large portion of their time on administrative tasks rather than talking to customers. The company had a long list of people, process and tools related projects that were all considered critical to improve the visibility of future sales, reduce the time sales staff spent on non value adding tasks and assesses new market opportunities. As is often the case when there is a long list of projects and limited resources all the projects were in a partial state of completion with none actually completed.

Darren worked with an internal team to review and rapidly implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) live test system. The chosen system was Microsoft Dynamics CRM and a targeted trial using the Cloud version of the system was initiated. An external developer was also engaged to develop a simple data connection between the Cloud hosted CRM and the company’s On Premise Microsoft Dynamics AX Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. This data connection enabled CRM use for Contacts, Opportunities, Leads and Activities (COLA) prior to a major upgrade of the ERP system scheduled for the following year. The latest versions of Dynamics ERP and CRM now come out of the box with deep data integration well beyond basic COLA.

The trial project gave visibility into the sales pipeline that had not existed before and this in turn lead to the later implementation of the same CRM system On Premise across the entire company.

Pivotal Data Solutions then continued to work with the executive team to review the sales processes. This lead to a people and process project and Pivotal Data Solutions was engaged as an advisor to the executive sponsor. This project lead to the successful restructuring of the sales and marketing team paving the way for the project implementing the CRM system and associated sales process across the entire company.

If you are considering a CRM system or Sales Process change feel free to contact us to arrangeĀ an obligation free discussion.