Better Sales Management Options for Home Builders with Dynamics CRM 2011

Tailoring Dynamics CRM to fit the unique needs of the residential construction industry allows home builders to better track customer activities, provide improved sales presentations, improve employee productivity, and ultimately, increase sales. Here’s a look at how we recently helped one of our clients in the home builder space adapt their Dynamics CRM instance to handle some of the unique needs of the residential construction industry.

Warranty Management
A key concern of any home builder is efficient warranty management. Our client was processing warranties outside of their CRM tool, which made it difficult to effectively generate reports or track customer claims and follow-up. We helped them integrate warranty management into their Dynamics CRM instance, instantly simplifying and improving their entire warranty process.

Improving the Home Buyers Experience
Another key concern for home builders is how to provide prospective buyers with the best possible sales experience. Our client’s sales agents revealed that the existing sales experience involved walking the home with the prospective buyer, and manually recording (in writing) the homebuyers specific “wish list” of upgrades and customizations. This process was not only time consuming, it didn’t let the agents offer the client readily available pricing or visual examples of available upgrades or features.

Thanks to recent upgrades, Dynamics CRM can now be used with IPads, tablets, and most smart phones. We utilized these upgrades to provide our client with a Dynamics CRM tool that lets their sales agents easily record, display, and facilitate client customization and upgrade requests, and provide the homebuyer with immediate pricing options.

A More Efficient Way To Track Residential Home Sales
West Monroe helped our client address inefficiencies in how they managed their internal sales processes. We began by visiting one of the client’s sales teams, and reviewed the daily functions, processes, and tasks tackled by each sales associate. We asked the sales associates (without providing instruction or guidance) to show us how they performed their daily activities within the current Dynamics CRM setup, and found many inefficiencies and personal work-arounds preventing true optimal use. For example:

  1. Follow-up phone calls and email were reviewed within the sales associate’s personal email outside of CRM. The sales associate would then enter the relevant data (contacts, tasks, and updates) inside Dynamics CRM. To address this, we integrated Microsoft Outlook with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, allowing the sales team to complete daily tasks, send emails, update and add customers in one central environment.
  2. Sales associates preferred putting follow-up notes in the Subject heading of an email rather than in the Notes field on the Contact form. They felt that this was a quicker way to see what follow-up was necessary, since it didn’t require the extra step of opening the Contact record. We addressed this issue by creating a sales specific view within the Dynamics CRM dashboard, which allows each sales associate to view current Contacts and Leads (and related notes) from one dashboard without having to open up each individual record.
  3. The sales team communicated through hand written, inter-office notes entered into a “community log” containing a calendar of events, daily activities, customer follow-up, and tasks pending completion. The inefficiencies of this hand written “community log” quickly became apparent; sales associates working outside the office had no access to the log (and therefore no access to the info needed for any follow-up), sales managers were required to be in the office to facilitate workflow, and unless the sales associates were very diligent in checking and updating the log, notes and follow-ups were not completed in a timely manner. West Monroe replaced the “community log” with a comparable online version inside the CRM platform by utilizing Activity Feeds. Sales associates, regardless of location, can now easily access the log and view upcoming events, follow-up, and status reports (all of which are linked and tracked within Dynamics CRM) for the day and upcoming week.

Learn More About Dynamics CRM for Homebuilders
West Monroe’s knowledgeable staff and expert experience with both the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform and the home builder industry can help you improve how you manage your internal and customer facing sales processes. Click here to read more about our Dynamics CRM.

Phone: 312-602-4000
222 W. Adams
Chicago, IL 60606
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