CH2M HILL Optimizes Business Development Performance with New CRM Solution
CH2M HILL’s multiple CRM and home-grown opportunity-tracking systems resulted in diverse, disconnected applications for supporting business development. These islands of data drove redundant data entry and data inconsistency, and could not provide a single, enterprise-level view for managing strategic pursuits/accounts. Management engaged technology research firm Gartner Consulting to discuss CRM needs and objectives, and to get suggestions about potential vendor solutions. CH2M HILL’s selection committee narrowed the choices to four vendors and ultimately selected Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM.
CH2M HILL is an engineering, construction, and operations company that employs 23,000 people worldwide. The organization is comprised of 12 business units that are staffed with dedicated business development resources. Over the years, the business units adopted various tools and systems to support their sales activities. The internal mix of CRM applications included SalesLogix, Salesforce.com, and a variety of home-grown sales opportunity tracking tools. These disparate systems created data silos that made it difficult to gain an enterprise-level view of sales opportunities. There was also no centralized customer or contact management system, resulting in uncoordinated selling by multiple business units into strategic accounts. Consequently, it became a labor-intensive process to provide aggregated opportunity data to CH2M HILL decision makers, and it was a challenge for them to make timely, informed decisions regarding the new business portfolio.
“These separate systems made it difficult for us to leverage efficiencies in selling our full-service portfolio,” says Thomas Doerr, Project Delivery Director in Corporate Marketing and Communications at CH2M HILL. “We needed to bring our CRM processes and tools under one umbrella to provide the strategic coherence necessary to increase sales opportunities.”
Armed with a list of criteria and a clear idea of where they wanted to take their business development infrastructure, CH2M HILL management consulted with Gartner’s CRM experts. Based on their suggestions, as well as on input from key CH2M HILL executives, a request for information was sent to five CRM solution vendors. Of the respondents, two eventually went head-to-head to compete for CH2M HILL’s business. The company contracted with both vendors and assigned a team to test both
solutions. “We looked under the hood of both products, did detailed use-case evaluations, and performed some system configurations and integration,” recalls Doerr. “Our detailed analysis led to our selection of Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM. The 10-year TCO [total cost of ownership] was a major differentiator. Ease of use and the integration with our existing SharePoint®, Outlook®, and Office applications was also a very strong factor in its favor. These combined advantages, coupled with the ability to leverage our existing IT infrastructure, made it a simple choice for our committee.”
||When the [Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0] deployment is complete, we will have achieved the initial goal of providing an enterprise view into our accounts and opportunities. This breaks down business group barriers and provides a single platform for selling our full-service portfolio.
Project Delivery Director in Corporate Marketing and Communications, CH2M HILL
Other deciding features included the capability to support a large-scale rollout to the company’s 12 business units. “Because we’re a global organization, the multi-currency capabilities of [Microsoft Dynamics] CRM 4.0 were very important to us as well,” explains Doerr.
To create an enterprise-wide system, CH2M HILL management selected the on-premise deployment option. Business development personnel will make use of the sales module features primarily. “Effectively tracking and managing key accounts and opportunities is a core success factor for our business development,” says Doerr. “Microsoft [Dynamics] CRM and the SharePoint integration support this goal. The system also organizes data so that there is clear ownership and accountability.”
The lead-management system in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM business software is new to CH2M HILL. “The notion that a lead is worked in the system until it becomes a viable contact, account, and/or opportunity, is a good way to drive positive results,” states Doerr. “It may take time for that idea to take hold, but it will be much easier through the structured approach the new solution provides.”
The next link in the chain is the company’s handling of opportunities. “We’re doing the most customization around this entity,” says Doerr. “We’re integrating our business rules and configuring the solution to provide common metrics across the enterprise. We’ll be able to produce good sales forecasting from that data and provide dashboard views to help our business development staff track sales performance.”
Once the solution is fully integrated into the firm’s business development operations, 2,500 users will be accessing the system.
Ultimately, the solution supports the enterprise’s business development strategy for growing the right clients and increasing opportunity evaluation and selectivity.
- Account and contact visibility boost effectiveness. The new solution will significantly enhance the ability of CH2M HILL’s business groups to sell services across accounts and to make more informed decisions regarding opportunities. This replaces legacy solutions that resulted in data silos.
- Historical data enables ROI analyses. By using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 to capture sales forecasting and business development costs, CH2M HILL management will gain better visibility into account profitability. It was difficult to create ROI reports with the legacy systems.
- Standardized tool fuels future growth. The company is poised to accelerate its growth and is implementing new standards, processes, and tools to efficiently scale operations. Implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 will allow CH2M HILL management to drive sales and marketing efficiencies across the firm’s 12 business units.
- Microsoft® software utilizes existing infrastructure. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 integrates well with the company’s existing installations of Microsoft Office, the Office Outlook messaging and collaboration client, and SharePoint Products and Technologies. A familiar and intuitive user interface will reduce training time and speed user adoption.