Customer Relationship Management

Take relationships with your stakeholders to a new level with CRM

Satisfied customers, suppliers and business partners are the cornerstone of successful companies. However, high customer satisfaction is no coincidence: in order to establish successful and up-to-date customer relationship management, companies rely on customer relationship management (CRM) systems. A CRM system orchestrates practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to efficiently manage and analyze data and customer interactions along the entire customer lifecycle. The aim is to systematically acquire new customers, business partners and suppliers or to expand existing customers. CRM always focuses on the stakeholders. For example, a modern CRM system provides information on the challenges a customer faces and how these can be solved, what benefits a company provides or how a customer, supplier or business partner wants to be addressed. A CRM system also provides insights into how the customer views a company’s path to becoming a preferred supplier and which factors need to be fulfilled to achieve this. The possible uses of a powerful CRM suite are almost limitless. A CRM system can be used profitably in all industries, enhancing the customer experience in both the B2B and B2C sectors. By integrating multiple channels into a central CRM system, companies can achieve omnichannel customer service and thus a seamless customer experience. This gives service employees a detailed overview of a customer’s interactions and enables them to respond to concerns, questions or complaints more effectively and efficiently.

Targeted customer management wins: Why companies are replacing their CRM systems

Customers expect appreciation and first-class service – otherwise they will quickly turn away. Close customer relationships are therefore playing an increasingly important role in a company’s business success – customer care is the formula for this. However, without a modern and powerful CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that bundles all important and relevant customer data in one central location and provides the Marketing, Sales, Client Service and Customer Care departments with precisely this data, comprehensive customer care is virtually impossible. And it may come as no surprise that, together with Statista, we found that around a third (29 percent) of companies are dissatisfied with their CRM system and want to replace it.

The reasons for this are manifold: the vast majority (58 percent) complain about the inadequate functionality of the system in use, while around 40 percent are of the opinion that these systems are very difficult to adapt to the respective processes in the company. As many as 27 percent criticize the lack of mobile use of the CRM system, which is an astonishing figure in the wake of advancing digitalization and the advent of hybrid working environments. A quarter of companies state that they are now working with an outdated system and a further 23 percent see major weaknesses in the lack of flexibility of their CRM system and that it can only be adapted to current market conditions with considerable effort.

What you need to consider when implementing a CRM system

CRM systems are true all-rounders – they increase your sales, enable professional contact management, optimize your sales pipeline, make it easier to capture new prospects, open up marketing measures tailored to your target groups, improve your teams and provide you with user-friendly tools with which you can also analyze a wide range of acquired data. However, a powerful CRM system is only as good as the users who use it. Many companies are faced with the major challenge of finding the right CRM solution that best meets the requirements of the company’s users. After all, the possibilities of a modern CRM suite can only be fully exploited if there is a high level of user acceptance.

Our IT consultants provide you with comprehensive support in the selection and introduction of CRM systems. We provide you with vendor-independent advice from requirements analysis and implementation through to the operation and support of the right solutions for you. You benefit from our many years of IT expertise and in-depth process excellence, particularly in the areas of Sales & Service.

Install a 360° view of your customers

Together with you, we use tried and tested methods to evaluate the most suitable CRM provider for you. As a first step, we always focus on your processes. We use Business Process Management (BPM) to analyze and qualify the business processes in your company. In this way, Business Process Management provides implementation concepts that enable a 360° view of your stakeholders and align your company to meet their individual requirements in the best possible way.

In this way, you not only achieve greater transparency along the value chain in your company. You also achieve a better understanding and increased acceptance in your organization for the mapping and integration of central processes in the CRM system and for cross-departmental workflows, which you establish through the seamless integration of your CRM solution into other system landscapes. Our process experts are also on hand with help and advice when it comes to role concepts. Together with you, they install complex authorization structures that ensure that the workforce can use their CRM system correctly, i.e. that it is clearly defined who is provided with which data and in what form. Because with clear structures, you can set up your team optimally throughout the company in order to fully exploit its potential.

CRM systems provide valuable support in many scenarios

The aim of a CRM system is always to build and maintain long-term, profitable relationships with customers, suppliers and business partners. The application scenarios are just as varied as the target groups addressed. To give you a brief overview, we have compiled the most important ones for you:

By using a CRM system, you can drive lead generation in your company and lay the foundations for increasing sales. This is because CRM software takes all the data and information obtained directly and assigns it to a stored address. The lead is at the beginning of the value creation process of a CRM solution. So the better you design your customer relationships or your customer journey, the more likely you are to win new customers and retain existing customers. A professional CRM system is a proven way to achieve this, as it stores data on the behavior of email recipients, for example. This is ensured by so-called B2B website trackers, which de-anonymize website visitors and transfer them to the CRM software. Interfaces to marketing automation solutions allow CRM systems to be used to target inbound mail campaigns, for example.

As part of your lead nurturing, you further qualify the leads you have gained. Automated e-mail routes or telephone calls support you in this. If the lead criteria defined in the CRM system are met, you have gained a qualified lead. This significantly increases your chances of achieving a high conversion rate and converting leads into buyers. The qualified contact is now transferred to the sales process.

Modern CRM software consistently maps a previously defined sales process. Using integrated CRM scenarios, all processes can be designed transparently: from making appointments, preparing quotations and tracking them, making phone calls and following up on customer satisfaction through to existing customer care and the targeted expansion of these.

A powerful CRM solution measures the conversion rate described above or, to put it another way, how many sales opportunities your sales team has transferred from one phase to the next. This allows you to plan and control the phases of your sales activities along the entire process cycle.

When customers use products or services, questions and problems always arise. Service requests are inevitable. A ticketing system is needed to process these customer-related concerns quickly, in a structured and measurable way. Many CRM solutions therefore provide you with a workflow or process engine that can be used to map all service processes clearly and reliably.

This makes cross-departmental work much easier. What’s more, a modern CRM system overcomes departmental barriers. The sales department can see which service requests are currently open with their customers. Conversely, your service employees can see the sales activities in the customer’s contact history. This not only creates cross-channel transparency. You also benefit from end-to-end mapping of your contact-related business processes and a significant acceleration of your workflows.

CRM systems can be variably adapted to current developments

The use of a CRM system has always been data-driven. In this respect, CRM is far more than just a software solution. There are numerous application scenarios in the CRM ecosystem whose integration offers high added value and leads to a unique customer experience. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is one such scenario that brings benefits in numerous areas of customer relationship management. AI provides profitable support in the CRM environment and offers many options for improving service processes and understanding customers even better based on the customer data collected.

AI integration in CRM revolutionizes customer approach

Our consultants have realized a pioneering option with the development of our digital and interactive video consulting assistant NEXOVI, thus taking a further step towards expanding your omni-channel concept. This is because our digital and flexibly scalable consulting assistant is freely configurable and can be linked to a platform service if required. In addition to advice, video recording edition and different tariffs, this also includes individual processes with direct contract conclusion and automatic creation of advice documentation. In short: With NEXOVI, you can revolutionize your customer approach and benefit from the use of state-of-the-art AI technologies.

Targeted evaluation of data streams in integrated CRM scenarios

Large volumes of data in particular can be analyzed faster and better with a CRM system. With integrated CRM systems, you are able to use big data, such as data streams from the Internet of Things (IoT). Sophisticated analytics functions (BI) allow you to create detailed forecasts, optimize your offers or achieve considerable time savings by automating certain processes. The increased industry focus of the manufacturers enables you to select the right tools for you from a wide range of cloud-based tools. In this way, your organization wins more orders, you increase your productivity and fill your pipeline with qualified leads. And by using flexible cloud solutions, you can also involve your business partners and suppliers in this process at the right points.

Turn your power users into CRM developers

Another current trend that can be easily mapped with a modern CRM system: In the course of the increasing shortage of skilled workers, Microsoft, for example, enables the individual further development of the CRM solution in its CRM suite via so-called Fusion Teams. A Fusion team is nothing more than a multidisciplinary team of developers, users and managers who use their specific areas of expertise and specialist knowledge to adapt the CRM suite to the company’s own requirements in the best possible way. By combining the team’s knowledge with the latest technology, Fusion Teams can deploy the CRM system faster and more efficiently. The counterpart at Salesforce and SAP is called Citizen Development. Whether Fusion Team or Citizen Developer, what they have in common is that they both use low-code and no-code platforms to create CRM applications for complex processes on their own. They select modules from an on-screen library like a construction kit and drag them into a visual workflow. The specialist departments gain more room for maneuver and relieve the professional software developers, who only provide support in such scenarios.

Our solution portfolio and process knowledge for your optimal CRM solution

Our IT consultants and process experts support you in selecting and implementing the CRM system that is best for you – from a single source, independent of manufacturer and with expert knowledge. At the start of a project, we always focus first on your processes and carry out a detailed requirements analysis together with you. Based on our many years of experience in the industry and our in-depth process knowledge, we lay a solid foundation. Regardless of whether this is followed by the implementation of a new CRM solution, the replacement of your legacy systems or a migration project in which we transfer your data from existing systems to a new IT landscape. We always stay as close to the standard as possible and adapt the CRM solution where necessary. With this tried-and-tested process model, you reduce the effort and costs involved in ongoing operation, support and quality assurance, which we can also offer you on request via our service and help desk. The functional scope of a modern CRM suite basically leaves nothing to be desired. The market leaders for digital CRM business platforms Microsoft, Salesforce and SAP rely on modular solutions that integrate IT solutions from your individual eco-system in addition to the classic application areas of sales, marketing, customer and field services (IoT scenarios). These include BI systems as well as central enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, but also collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams or Slack, with which you can optimally integrate your employees, customers and partners.

Many companies use the ERP suite from SAP to map their business processes. The largest European software manufacturer from Walldorf is continuously expanding its portfolio around this stable ERP core and offers seamless integration of its SAP CRM solution. The CRM solution’s omnichannel capabilities are deeply integrated into the SAP ecosystem and provide sales forces with the data and tools they need to optimize margins and strengthen customer loyalty.

The CRM market leaders score points with these features

In the course of the rapidly advancing digital transformation, companies need innovative applications and lean processes to keep pace. But in many places there is a shortage of specialists and the IT department itself is often the bottleneck. With the PowerPlatform, Microsoft gives everyone the option of developing solutions themselves to drive digitalization in the company.

With the PowerPlatform, Office 365, Dynamics 365, Dataverse and many other applications can be linked together. The result: you can implement cross-application workflows and connect various applications without individually developed interfaces. Using Microsoft Power Apps, a component of the PowerPlatform, your Citizen Developers can develop their own apps independently. This is because all Power Apps are characterized by a low-code/no-code user interface for the simple development of your own applications. Microsoft PowerBI, for example, is a component of the Microsoft platform and offers extensive options for running cross-application evaluations and analyses. This provides your employees with meaningful and data-supported information and thus a solid basis for decision-making. This makes Dynamics 365 a powerful CRM suite that can be flexibly adapted and scaled even without professional programming knowledge.

In future, the integration of the intelligent chatbot ChatGPT, for example, will also ensure that emails relating to certain processes can be found more quickly. By integrating ChatGPT into the Teams meeting platform, automatic meeting notes can also be created or intelligent summaries generated, from which the chatbot derives tasks and supports the creation of templates.

Salesforce Lightning – next level CRM

Salesforce has introduced a new evolutionary stage of CRM with Salesforce Lightning. With an intuitive new design, more productivity tools and access to Einstein, a facilitated AI (Artificial Intelligence)-powered search, Lightning helps you focus your time and resources where they matter most. This not only increases your productivity, but also enables you to develop your applications faster and work more agilely and intelligently overall.

The new CRM platform from Salesforce enables your IT department to create apps together with no-code builders and pro-code tools. This increases the efficiency of the sales and service team across the board. Thanks to the new functions integrated in Lightning, your sales team can design services for your stakeholders more easily and at the same time more individually. AI-supported sales tools enable you to drive your business forward and increase productivity. You can also simplify your day-to-day business by creating customized applications to automate business processes. Another advantage: Lightning provides a complete overview of the business activities of your marketing and sales teams with opportunity management.

You can easily create user-defined analyses on the Einstein analysis platform. For example, the user-defined analysis application supports you in identifying important trends or visualizing KPIs. In this way, you generate usable results for your company, regardless of the sector. You will also be able to implement partner applications and make insights available to the entire team using Einstein Analytics.

CRM systems are turbochargers for your sales

With a CRM system, you can manage all the contact details of your customers, business partners and suppliers in a structured and clear manner. They record interactions and collect all important information about them along the customer journey, from lead to purchase. This speeds up communication and thus strengthens customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. Based on a targeted approach and optimal segmentation, you can fully exploit your cross-selling and upselling potential and increase your sales. Without the support of a modern CRM solution, it is no longer possible to manage the mass of data that is generated in this process today. Information is forgotten or lost due to employee turnover. If, on the other hand, all customer data is stored in a central CRM system, you gain transparency. All employees have access to the same information. This has advantages if a contact person is not available, but urgent information is needed immediately. This enhances the customer experience and you strengthen your customer relationships on the basis of fast and targeted information.

Accelerate your business processes with CRM and make fact-based decisions

Our CRM experts will support you in consulting, selecting and implementing the CRM solution that is best for you. With their support and seamless integration into your IT landscape, you can optimize your business processes, automate recurring routines and thus speed up your workflows. This not only brings competitive advantages. With a powerful CRM solution that takes the pressure off your staff, you increase their satisfaction and user acceptance.

If you map your business processes on a workflow basis in a central CRM system, processes can be processed much faster. A centralized database makes collaboration between marketing, sales and service much easier. As everyone can access the customer data, processes and inquiries stored there, transparency increases. Your service and sales teams can see which marketing campaigns your customers are currently involved in. The sales department immediately recognizes open service requests and the service department the current sales opportunities. This helps you to better understand and assess your customers. This not only increases your productivity – an integrated CRM system also makes processes measurable on an ongoing basis, allowing them to be continuously optimized.

In short: a CRM system provides you with valuable fact-based data on the basis of which you can make reliable decisions. Analyses provide you with meaningful KPIs for sales management, such as conversion at every stage of your sales process. Weighted forecasts or the sales funnel can also be measured immediately. This allows decisions to be made on the basis of facts.

Bundle data from different sources and systems in your CRM system

In most cases, a powerful CRM system does not work independently. A CRM system develops its full strength when data from different source systems converge there. This could be data from ERP systems such as SAP S4/HANA or Microsoft Dynamics, for example, or from external supplier systems or business partners’ IT solutions. Together with you, we develop the interfaces that ensure smooth data exchange. Our IT experts also develop and integrate individual interfaces to third-party systems. As many companies already have contact data and information in various data sources, we identify these sources and decide together with our customers whether and, if so, which data needs to be transferred to the central CRM system. To ensure that this happens without errors and on time, we work together to define a migration concept that regulates the transfer of legacy and existing data. After all, high data quality is key to the successful digitalization of your company.

These are our best practices in the CRM environment

We are your reliable partner for the conception and introduction of a tailor-made CRM solution and are at your side with help and advice in all project phases – from in-depth process analysis and the implementation of an integrated CRM system to the realization of customized and highly specialized user interfaces (GUIs). To give you an impression of our proven solution expertise and our in-depth process knowledge, we have put together some of our flagship projects in more detail here:

360-degree view: individually tailored services for millions of customers

The Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV), one of the largest transport associations in Germany, has decided to use Microsoft Dynamics 365 and is relying on the IT experts from PTA as its implementation partner. Since then, RMV has been using a modern business suite that enables a high degree of automation of the process landscape. The PTA consultants managed to integrate the cloud solution into the transport association’s existing IT infrastructure via numerous interfaces and to adapt it precisely to RMV’s requirements by adding features such as countless transaction mails. Power BI can be used to run targeted evaluations and monitor campaigns and sales. This leads to transparent and efficient processes along the entire supply chain.

Seamless interaction between merchandise management and CRM system

Together with PTA IT-Beratung, beegy, a provider of complete solutions in the field of decentralized energy management, has introduced the ERP system Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. The aim: to further optimize processes in merchandise management and warehouse management. The merchandise management system was connected to the CRM environment on the existing Microsoft Dynamic 365 platform. The cloud ERP solution thus enables access to the CRM system and vice versa. With this integration, beegy will be able to use and synchronize data from the other application in the future. For example, beegy sales employees can view the availability of a stored item in Dynamics 365 Sales when creating a quotation or sales order.

Customized CRM system for efficient and sustainable customer communication

Digitalization also opens up excellent opportunities for local energy suppliers: this is why Stadtwerke Neu-Isenburg is shaping its digital transformation with the IT experts from PTA. Digitization offers particular advantages in customer management. This is made particularly clear by the example of solar contracting: the municipal utilities lease complete solar systems – particularly practical for owners of detached or semi-detached houses who want to generate their own electricity. As a result, Stadtwerke Neu-Isenburg is optimizing its customer management with digital applications such as a CRM system. Since then, all processes have become more transparent and efficient. The main objective: full focus on customers and their needs.

Research our IT projects in the area of Customer Relationship Management

The customer works with a CRM system. Part of this system includes data exchange with other customer systems developed by third parties. Due to this transfer, technical data containing sensitive customer information …
In order to realize the heat transition propagated by the German government, the customer wants to involve regional tradespeople in the installation of heating solutions in existing and new buildings. To do …
The existing system landscape will be renewed in the coming years. The main component is the migration to new SAP products such as S/4 HANA, Service Cloud and Sales Cloud. This will …
The customer is planning to convert its SAP ERP systems to a centralized S/4 HANA system. In collaboration with a partner, PTA conducts a pre-study for the S/4 HANA transformation. The current …

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Albert Buck

Responsible platform Microsoft

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