Rescued at Sea

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Since its inception in 2003, DMB Financial has been working to help its clients free themselves from debt. The tag line on the firm's Web site reads "You're struggling to stay afloat, but it feels like the tide is pulling you under." DMB markets itself as the raft that will save its customers from drowning, but when it came to lead flow and reporting, the financial services (FS) company was itself treading water, looking for a lifeboat. DMB relied on basic Microsoft applications in its first few years of business--primarily Excel--to perform all the FS firm's sales and management functions. As the company grew, however, so did its customer information, which needed to be processed. The company was losing time by trying to manage higher numbers of sales and leads with an intensive manual process, and was losing money by misplacing leads. "The problem was multitiered," says James Gargas, director of marketing for DMB. "We realized with Excel and some of the other homegrown solutions [that] we just couldn't get to the next level." DMB looked for a CRM solution that would fix these two leaks. After reviewing a number of options from smaller companies and programmers, the company decided to go with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. According to Gargas, DMB was initially attracted to the Microsoft application because of name recognition; the FS company was already relying on Microsoft Office as an operating system. COO Daniel Kwiatek says, "We felt it was more important to have the support of a company with staying power [like Microsoft] than a smaller enterprise that may or may not be around in a few years." With the help of IBIS, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, the application was up and running within 30 days. Peter Bertell, product manager for IBIS, maintains that this speedy integration was possible because IBIS had developed a method called Accurate Implementation Methodology. Although Kwiatek says that the entire process took close to six months to optimize the product, he lauded IBIS for the facilitation. "I was most impressed with the knowledge of our IBIS representative," he says. "There was many a late night and early morning, yet he was able to handle all of the challenges that came up during this time." DMB saw a return on investment "almost right out of the box," Gargas says. Within the first month of integration the company had a 30 percent increase in revenues; six months after the system went live, its monthly revenue had increased by 50 percent. The flexibility of the Microsoft application allows DMB to better track leads per client prospect--during those first six months the company saw a 100 percent increase in leads processed and tracked. DMB reps could run reports using drop-down menus to find with certainty which lead sources and which marketing campaigns were generating the highest level of business. "The most useful tool," Kwiatek says, "is the management capabilities, as our management team needs to constantly monitor, audit, and project revenue. CRM gives the team the ability to monitor every aspect of our business." However, Gargas asserts that all sides of the company have benefited from the implementation. "Our salespeople are happier knowing that we are able to refine programs so that they can be more efficient in their jobs. It has played out well through the integration. We expect our employees and management team to use as many features as necessary to increase productivity and streamline their specific area of operations." The Payoff By implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM, DMB Financial:
  • upped revenue by 30 percent within the first month;
  • increased monthly revenue by 50 percent after six months; and
  • raised processed and tracked sales leads by 100 percent.
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