Best Buy For Business
Best Buy Supports New Line of Business and World-Class Sales Force
Best Buy for Business, an expanding unit of Best Buy Company, has more than 1,000 consultants who sell, implement, and support solutions for small-business customers. Saddled with a home-grown business-management tool originally designed for its retail business, the growing business unit sought a solution that would support its extensive outside sales force and would provide a commercial CRM solution it could sell to business customers. Best Buy for Business found both in Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM. It rolled out Microsoft CRM to more than 150 consultants in the field and has plans to extend this to its entire team of consultants. Today, the company has a robust solution that supports its complex sales cycle and integrates easily with the business tools employees use every day. In addition, the company has a solution that it will soon add to its own IT services and solutions offerings.
For anyone in need of electronics, personal computers, entertainment software, or appliances, Best Buy is a one-stop shop. With annual revenues of more than U.S.$30 billion and 100,000-plus employees, Best Buy is the largest consumer electronics retailer in North America.
Best Buy for Business
Since 2003, Best Buy has focused on growing its business beyond the traditional retail market by catering to the needs of small businesses. Driving this effort is Best Buy for Business, a strategic business unit of Best Buy that implements and supports affordable and reliable end-to-end information technology and telecommunications solutions to small businesses (defined as fewer than a hundred employees). Best Buy for Business is a key contributor to driving additional growth in an already well-established company.
“Growing a company from a $30 billion business to a $60 billion business requires a comprehensive strategy that involves more than just physical growth and adding more retail stores,” says Jay Devers, Director of Technology Solutions for Best Buy for Business. “With Best Buy for Business, we’re creating end-to-end solutions for a customer segment that we’ve never catered to before. The end result for Best Buy is a whole new channel of growth.”
||Microsoft CRM provides tremendous insight into the most effective way to manage our outside sales force and complete visibility into what our consultants are doing.
||Jay Devers, Director of Technology Solutions, Best Buy for Business
One way that Best Buy for Business reaches out to small-business customers and differentiates itself from the competition is through its technical business consultants and widely recognized Geek Squad. Technical business consultants are responsible for developing and selling unique, end-to-end solutions for the customer. Geek Squad “agents”—who make up the always-available computer-support task force—help customers install and deploy the technology and provide ongoing support for day-to-day IT challenges.
Enhancing Customer Sales and Insight
As Best Buy for Business entered a new business realm, it realized that it didn’t have the technology to support a world-class outside sales force. The company had an internally built customer management system but the solution was tailored to support retail employees. Instead, Best Buy for Business wanted a new solution that would enable sales force automation and foster strong customer relationships. In addition, the company wanted a solution that it could add to its own portfolio of services and solutions offerings. This would enable Best Buy for Business to empower its own customers to improve how they manage customer relationships.
Tom Healy, Executive Vice President for Best Buy for Business explains, “For the past three years, Best Buy has focused on our ‘Customer Centricity’ initiative. The information that we’ve discovered—such as who our best customers are and what percentage of business they account for—is knowledge that we want our small-business customers to discover as well.”
Best Buy for Business considered several options, including expanding its internally developed retail application, adopting a hosted CRM solution through Salesforce.com, or implementing Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM. In the end, the solution was clear.
“We didn’t want technology, we wanted a solution to our problem,” says Devers. “What ultimately drew us to Microsoft CRM was the fact that it is fully integrated with the Microsoft® Office Outlook® client. In addition, Microsoft CRM is feature-rich and supports a fast time-to-market.”
With Microsoft CRM, Best Buy for Business has a centralized repository of customer data that integrates with the Microsoft Office applications that employees use every day, such as the Office Outlook messaging and collaboration client. Within Office Outlook, employees can access Microsoft CRM sales, marketing, and customer service modules to make sales decisions, market products, solve problems, and obtain strategic views of the business.
The solution was implemented initially to 150 of the company’s technical business consultants. The rollout included customizing Microsoft CRM to support the Best Buy for Business eight-step selling methodology and to automate the entire process. Looking to the future, the company will expand Microsoft CRM to an additional 500 sales team members. The company also has plans to implement Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007, using dashboard views to proactively manage outside sales people. The company will also deploy the Microsoft Windows Mobile® 5.0 client so sales team members can access Microsoft CRM on their portable devices. Finally, the company has plans to create a smart client front-end (built on the Microsoft .NET Framework) that will integrate to Microsoft CRM for in-store use, providing role-specific information to each user.
With Microsoft CRM, Best Buy for Business has a new solution that it can build into its already expansive portfolio of services. Microsoft CRM also supports the company’s complex sales cycle and integrates with other solutions—meeting the company’s needs for today and the future.
||So far, we’ve liked everything we’ve seen about the Microsoft CRM architecture. So much so, that the Microsoft CRM platform soon could become the de facto infrastructure for our entire enterprise.
||Jay Devers, Director of Technology Solutions, Best Buy for Business
“We’ve embarked on building a world-class sales organization, and we couldn’t have done it without a world-class sales force automation tool. Microsoft CRM is playing a central role in achieving this goal,” says Devers.
Expands Solutions and Services Portfolio
Small-business owners have a vested interest in seeing their businesses succeed. Consequently, they take decisions such as technology investments seriously. Best Buy for Business elevates its customers’ success rates by delivering and providing ongoing support for a robust portfolio of services and solutions that help customers overcome networking, productivity, communications, and security challenges. For example, to satisfy a customer’s networking needs, a consultant may implement Windows Server® 2003 or Windows® Small Business Server 2003. Or to help small retailers track and manage sales, inventory, and customer information, consultants may install and support Microsoft Dynamics Point-of-Sale software. And soon, Best Buy for Business will add another solution to its robust service portfolio: Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
“When looking at the basic IT infrastructure that small-business customers use, it generally includes Office Outlook or Microsoft Exchange Server for communication needs. To enable a more collaborative environment, businesses will also use instant messaging and group collaboration solutions. We believe the next extension to this infrastructure is Microsoft CRM,” says Healy. “Microsoft CRM is a unique, viable solution for our customers. It is easy to use and it integrates with the business tools that our customers use every day.”
Supports a Complex Sales Cycle
With Microsoft CRM, Best Buy for Business now has a robust sales force automation tool that benefits both salespeople and others.
“Today, we have a solution in place that salespeople can use every day as a part of their regular business rhythm and that helps them maximize their customer relationships,” explains Devers. “Microsoft CRM provides tremendous insight into the most effective way to manage our outside sales force and complete visibility into what our consultants are doing.”
And with comprehensive insight into its sales cycle, Best Buy for Business can easily track where each customer is in the sales process so nothing gets overlooked.
Provides a Foundation for Growth
“One of the highlights of Microsoft CRM is that it integrates so easily with Office Outlook. For example, appointments that appear in a consultant’s e-mail are easily transferred to the calendar—there’s just a very natural integration,” says Healy.
Best Buy for Business expects the benefits from this easy integration to continue as the company implements Microsoft CRM more deeply into its organization. For example, when the company integrates Microsoft CRM with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, it will use dashboards to provide executives with visibility into sales force activity. In addition, the company looks forward to implementing Microsoft CRM in the Windows Mobile 5.0 environment. This implementation means that salespeople can access Microsoft CRM through their handheld devices, further supporting how they work and enabling on-site consultants to gain a more thorough and faster understanding of a customer’s needs.
Devers sums up, “So far, we’ve liked everything we’ve seen about the Microsoft CRM architecture. So much so, that the Microsoft CRM platform soon could become the de facto infrastructure for our entire enterprise.”
Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, which means less of a learning curve for your people, so they can get up and running quickly and focus on what’s most important. And because it is from Microsoft, it easily works with the systems that your company already has implemented. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success.
For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to:
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