This is the second of three posts about Professional Advantage’s utilisation of MS Dynamics CRM across the organisation.
Professional Advantage works with companies looking to gain business improvements through the use of technology. Since its beginning, the company has worked with over 1,000 clients to improve revenue and profits, manage and reduce costs, improve efficiencies and achieve more with the information they have. Professional Advantage has over 250 employees in offices across Australia, the UK and the US.
Taking marketing to the next step
When Professional Advantage implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the system quickly became a well-entrenched tool. No one could imagine the business without it and the company is continually looking for new ways of using the data to improve customer and prospect relationships, reduce the cost of sales and increase profitability.
The answer to this search arrived in 2011 when the marketing team was introduced to ClickDimensions, an automation solution that sits on top of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to support email, web and social marketing initiatives. The software offers a way of easily issuing and managing electronic direct mail pieces, digital communications and invitations. It contains exceptional web tracking functionality, allowing marketers to monitor the behaviour arising from their communications. One of the most appealing aspects of the software however, is the fact that the cloud-based solution required on average just 15 minutes to install.
Given the speed of deployment, Professional Advantage’s marketing department decided to conduct a software trial. Marketing Manager Craig Panigiris says, “One benefit of cloud based solutions is that there is no extensive implementation. With ClickDimensions it was simply a matter of connecting the software up to our Microsoft CRM database and allowing data to flow into it. It mitigates a lot of the risk of deployment.”
The first test was simple. ClickDimensions code was added to some of Professional Advantage’s highest trafficked website pages, allowing the software to track visitor behaviour. Immediately reports began to provide information such as which pages were most frequently visited, how long visitors spent on each page and where they travelled to next. “Some of the data was very revealing,” Panigiris says. “It allowed us to really get a feel for what visitors were looking for.”
The tests so impressed the marketing department that ClickDimensions has since been rolled out across all areas of Professional Advantage’s Australian operation. In the US office a ClickDimensions trial was recently concluded and the software is about to be adopted as a permanent marketing tool. It’s a similar story in the UK office.
Turning prospects into leads
Today Professional Advantage uses ClickDimensions to manage events, marketing emails, social marketing initiatives, newsletters and subscriptions. Reports show coordinators how successful their campaigns are – including information such as how many people opened an email or how many clicked on a link.
Web tracking shows what visitors are searching for and alerts staff to any sudden rise of interest in a topic. “It allows us to be proactive in terms of producing content to drive greater engagement with prospects,” Panigiris notes.
The system is also used to build profiles of prospects visiting the company’s website, regardless of whether the person is known to the company. ClickDimensions tracks where and when they visit, what they are looking for and how long they spend there. If or when the prospect eventually provides their name and contact data, past behaviours are matched to the name and added to the CRM system. As the profile builds ClickDimensions automatically applies a lead score that allows marketing staff to identify how engaged the prospect is likely to be.
The software has also become integral to event management. Panigiris says, “We’ve automated the entire registration process, from collecting data about who was invited and who has registered, to sending confirmation emails and recording the registration as a campaign response in our CRM.” It’s saving the company time and the automation is ensuring greater accuracy in the data.
Within the next 12 months Panigiris is keen to take on additional functionality including automated client surveys and a drip nurturing program. He is enthusiastic about the software and believes the potential to improve marketing results will only increase over time.
“ClickDimensions is a dynamic company. Their products are always evolving but because theirs is a cloud based solution, we don’t have to worry about trying to install software to a server. Any upgrade is managed on their side, within their system.”
For Professional Advantage, the combination of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ClickDimensions has provided the missing piece of the marketing/sales puzzle. ClickDimensions bridges the gap between initial expression of interest and a hot-to-trot prospect. It allows marketing to actively manage relationships, educating and guiding leads through the early stages so that sales staff can focus their efforts on the prospects of greatest potential benefit. In doing so it is improving relationships, reducing costs, increasing profitability and helping marketing to deliver ever-greater value to the business.