Sales Forecasting and Analysis for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce

This article discusses tools that will impact forecasting and analyses for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce users.

Photo taken from Shutterstock.

Photo taken from Shutterstock.

If your organization has a sales and marketing team, and your organization wants to show your customers that they are a priority, a customer relationship management (CRM) software is probably a good thing to invest in. If you are not familiar with CRM, let me give you a brief overview of it, as well as examples of how CRM can benefit your company.

According to TechTarget, CRM is a term that refers to “practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.” A CRM solution is a multi-faceted platform where all things essential to customer relationship development are collected. It is designed to consolidate information on clients across multiple channels or points of contact between the customer and the company. Sales forecasting and analysis for CRM applications enable companies to create accurate forecasts, improve collaboration between teams, and speed up revenue growth. Without CRM, business relationships look and function very differently. For instance, imagine misplacing one of your clients’ contact information, only to find out that your delay pushed your customer to your biggest competitor. In this article, we will focus on two leading CRM solutions – Microsoft CRM and Salesforce. Before we go into the forecasting and analyses portion of Microsoft CRM and Salesforce, let’s get to know more about CRM and the background of the two.

So what does a CRM solution really do? CRM tools provide business intelligence (BI), automate interactions, and facilitate communications for increased productivity. A CRM solution tracks opportunities for your sales team, analyzes data, and aids in delivering efficient customer service. It brings all areas of an organization into one place. Some common features of a CRM solution include marketing automation, sales force management, geolocation technology, and contact center automation. CRM tools with marketing automation can automate repetitive tasks to improve marketing efforts to clients; sales force management helps prevent duplicate efforts between a salesperson and a client; geolocation technology allows CRM systems to create geographic marketing campaigns based on customers’ locations; and contact center automation reduces repetitive tasks of a contact center agent’s job.

According to Technology Advice, one of the long-standing rivalries in business information technology (IT) is Microsoft Dynamics CRM versus Salesforce. They are two leading CRM products whose solutions are quite similar. These two CRM software share similar pricing, the same target business and user experience. Dynamics CRM and Salesforce share similar core CRM features such as Reporting/Analytics, Lead Management, Accounts/Contacts, Social CRM, Add-on Marketing Automation, Partner Management, and so much more.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce CRM are business applications that assist business professionals with tracking all interaction and information from your customers. This is extremely helpful because you can easily share the interaction and information with your team, department, division, or entire organization through multiple channels. This benefits larger corporations because it gives every person in the company a full and clear picture of what their clients want and need. Both software products are available on the cloud which means you can work from anywhere.

Forecasting and analyzing sales data allows organizations of all sizes to create more accurate forecasts, expedite revenue growth, and encourage collaboration among management teams. Many organizations rely on CRM applications to manage customer and sales data. Without sales forecasting and analysis, CRM has limitations. For instance, CRM applications show limited visibility into prospective sales and give limited ways to see screenshots of data at different times. This kind of insight is important because it gives a better understanding of creating accurate forecasts. Some important benefits users get from a sales forecasting and analysis solution are understanding significant changes in forecast over time, integrating sales and corporate financial plans, and improving structure across finance, sales, and marketing companies. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, users can not only manage spent hours, but also plan ahead by forecasting and check expected performance and estimated revenue per company employee. With Salesforce, users are able to forecast for complex sales teams and get an accurate view of their entire company with thorough forecasts as well as track their top performers, so users are able to set higher goals.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce offer many options for helping businesses get quick access to the data they need to run their companies. The software offers integration with Microsoft Excel to extract data from about any list. These reports can be updated and customized to your company’s needs. Microsoft CRM has included a powerful reporting solution SQL Reporting Services (SRS) as the reporting solution that works with Dynamics CRM 3.0. SRS allows companies to create more complex reports with powerful filters and grouping so users can shape what they see and how they see it in the report. On the other hand, Salesforce had to build its reporting engine from ground up and then perform on top of this creation due to the type of reports their customers were demanding. Clearly, Microsoft has a wide array of applications and tools that can be incorporated into its own CRM system. You can learn more about these two different CRM systems on CRM Switch. On the other hand, Salesforce has numerous dashboard tools, including its own, while Microsoft is relatively new in the visualization space with its Power BI solution.

The software you choose for your organization can determine how efficiently your teams work and whether or not your business grows. I suggest researching more and using the links I have provided throughout this article.

Solver enables world-class decisions with BI360, a leading web-based CPM suite made up of budgeting, reporting, dashboards, and data warehousing, delivered through a web portal. Solver is reinventing CPM with its next generation solution. BI360 empowers business users with modern features including innovative use of Excel in the model design process. If you’re interested in learning more, our team is excited to hear about your organizational needs and goals.

Leave a Reply