Following recent growth, Belvoir fruit Farms made a decision to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM, now know as Dynamics 365, to increase transparency and availability of business information. With better reporting they can manage the success of sales and marketing activities and deliver a more agile and responsive service.

In summary, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has enabled Belvoir Fruit Farms to:

  • Gain a better external view of customer services plus a reduction in the timeframe from new sales lead to on-shelf availability
  • Enjoy measurable staff benefits as well as better transparency of communication and business information
  • Speed up decision-making grounded in ‘one version of the truth’ and deliver a more agile and responsive customer service
  • Capture a wider sphere of opinion which should inform promotional strategy in a complex area of the business, positively impacting future sales and marketing plans
  • Benefit from a long term CRM solution with solid foundations which can grow and expand with the rest of the business capability

On a trajectory for growth

Sales Director Lawrence Moore explains why Belvoir made the decision to migrate to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. “We’d been using a combination of tracking spreadsheets and an older version of Act. But our recent growth had resulted in a larger and more fragmented customer base. We use a number of different routes to market and the flow of information was becoming increasingly difficult to manage. It was getting harder to ensure consistent and measurable approaches to sales and marketing.”

Belvoir was looking for a CRM solution that could be deployed with minimal disruption and be accessible to personnel in a number of job functions. “CRM is more of a cultural shift than a piece of software, so getting ‘buy-in’ from staff was crucial. Any package had to be intuitive and friendly as well as powerful in terms of data handling.

“Microsoft Dynamics fitted the bill really well in terms of its look and feel, and we felt it would be far better received than some of the alternatives. It’s also very customer-centric and genuinely helps the day-to-day work organisation with measurable staff benefits as well as improved transparency of communication and business information.”

One version of truth

Microsoft Dynamics was installed in March 2014. “Of course it’s early days, but – so far – the primary benefit is the tracking of communication between ourselves and key customers,” says Lawrence.

“Now multiple staff members can have on going dialogues with customers grounded in ‘one version of the truth’. Indeed it’s my hope that soon we’ll be able to dispense with the phrase ‘I will just need to check with….’ With such a geographically disparate team, it’s definitely helping to speed up decision-making. From a customer perspective, it’s making us more agile and responsive.”

In addition, the company has a large number of independent customers serviced by wholesalers. “We needed to be able to track activity effectiveness and end-customer ‘buy-in. Not just at a wholesaler/route to market level’”, Lawrence adds. “Dynamics is enabling us to capture a much wider spread of data which, in the longer term, should help inform our promotional strategy in this complex area of the business.”

Streamlined processes

“Already we’re seeing improvements in communication plus streamlining of the sales lead management process,” says Lawrence. “Also, our teams are able to organise their time more effectively and be more responsive to customer needs.

“Essentially the three key benefits are: information, information and information! It isn’t data for data’s sake. Microsoft Dynamics delivers and organises salient and useable information to which everyone has access and which helps them to deliver more efficient and qualitatively better customer service.

“Ultimately the key deliverables will be a better external view of our customer services and a reduction in the timeframe from new sales lead to on-shelf availability. All of this will be coupled with better internal perspectives on market availability of the brand which will, in turn, impact future sales and marketing plans.”

Belvoir hopes to expand the role of CRM, but is taking a phased approach “to ensure that individual elements work in areas where the benefits will be most readily felt” before moving on to the next phase. “Management time is at a premium, so a phased deployment is our best chance of landing a long term solution with solid foundations which can grow and expand with the rest of our business capability.”

Finally, why did Belvoir choose Xperience Group? “We had a sense that, from day one, they weren’t simply interested in the optimum solution for our current needs but one that would be scalable for the future. Their product demonstrations were participative and thorough, and at no point did we feel we were being ‘sold to’.

“With Xperience we had simply found a partner willing to spend the necessary time with us to understand our business past, present and future and deliver software and – more importantly – after sales service and training which has got us off to a good and confident start.”

About Belvoir Fruit Farms

Belvoir Fruit Farms make naturally delicious Cordials, Pressés and Botanical drinks at their home in the gorgeous Leicestershire countryside.