Learn more about the latest industry news.

3 Ways Quality CRM Leads to Happier Customers

In today’s buyer-driven market, a good customer relationship management (CRM) solution has a lot of direct benefits for your company, such as facilitating targeted marketing, revealing sales leads with advanced analytics, and enabling social selling. Additionally, effective CRM tools can have some long-term secondary effects that help create a positive cycle of sales growth and success for your organization.

One way first-rate CRM can help your business in the long haul is by improving the experience of your customers. Sales aren’t just about selling, they’re also the beginning of the customer relationship that’s so critical to your business’s future success. Top-notch CRM tools help engage your customers by increasing sales team collaboration, allowing your sellers to spend more time interacting with prospects, and empowering your customers with the right information.

Here are 3 ways to make customers happy with CRM:

1. Increase collaboration within your organization

While there are many factors that can contribute to a positive customer experience, one way to increase engagement is by increasing collaboration within your own business. In The Thinking Behind Customer Relationship Management, CRM entrepreneur Jon Ferrara explains, “Good customer service begins from the inside; employees need to be unified in their mission to enhance the customer’s journey.”

Quality CRM software enables collaboration within the sales team and across departments by making it easy to capture and share customer information, as well as connecting employees through integrated communication platforms. Customers prefer – and are coming to expect – a highly personalized experience. With the right CRM tools, you can ensure your sales team has the information they need to make it happen.

2. Increase time actually interacting with prospects

study by Pace Productivity revealed that sales reps spent just 22% of their work week actually interacting with prospects to sell things. The remaining 78% of time was mostly taken by planning, administration, order processing, and similar tedious tasks.

CRM tools can automate these non-sales duties by offering information, collaboration, advanced analytics, and numerous other features. With the right solution, you can make it easier for sales reps to spend time actually interacting with a customer, rather than wasting their time on data entry, research, or accidentally pursuing the wrong prospects. By freeing up sellers to do their actual jobs, you give them time to provide a better experience to the prospect.

3. Empower your customers

Keeping customers engaged and loyal is a lot of work throughout the entire life cycle of the business-customer relationship. However, businesses that adopt CRM solutions are able to use these tools to target the right prospects in the first place.

Advanced analytics, for example, can help sales reps determine which prospects are most likely to convert to a sale, and then provide those prospects with the information they need to make their own decision. Built-in social media tools make it easier for your sales reps to truly engage with the customer, which in today’s buyer-driven market is a key step toward success. By giving your sales team the tools they need to succeed, CRM can enable your sellers to begin the customer relationship on the right foot.

Considering an upgrade to your CRM solution?

Here at OTT, Inc., we use a proven 5-step methodology to assess your business’s needs and help you find and implement the right solution for successful sales and business growth. Contact us today to learn more about upgrading your CRM solution and improving your customer experience, beginning at the first moment of marketing and sales.

By |2021-02-18T15:10:25-06:00July 5, 2019|

How Will Switching to Cloud ERP Affect Your Personnel?

OTT Cloud ERP eBook

In today’s business world, successful organizations need to leverage the best technology while cultivating a good work culture for their employees. If you’re considering implementing a new ERP solution, then understanding the relationship between your ERP application and your employees’ daily experiences is critical to making choices that will maintain a healthy, growing business.

How will adopting cloud-based ERP affect your business and your people? Our new eBook, The Midwestern Skeptic’s Guide to Cloud ERP, explores this topic further, but here’s a quick summary of effects your personnel may experience: 

IT Department

If you switch from on-premises ERP to cloud-based ERP, you’ll no longer need to purchase and maintain your own infrastructure, so you’ll save money on hardware. That also means you’ll save time and money on personnel. For the IT folks who’ve traditionally been tasked with the hardware upkeep, you’ll be freeing them up to do more important tasks that are more strategic for the business. 

Key Decision Makers

Compared to traditional on-premises systems, cloud-based ERP solutions provide better access to more metrics, usually in real time. Because of this, the transition to cloud-based digital finance usually provides a huge boost in data visibility for key decision makers in an organization. With quality cloud-based software and customized dashboards with real-time metrics, your decision makers can access key business information from anywhere, anytime. This knowledge transforms daily executive decisions from an art into a science.

The Finance Team

Quality cloud-based ERP solutions focus on workflows, automation, and collaboration to enable your finance team to save time on manual tasks and information distribution. With this time saved and the increased visibility offered by real-time dashboards, your finance department will be empowered to gather and analyze more data, and to play a larger role in the success, strategies, and growth of the company.

Mobile Workers

To do their jobs best, your workers need to have access to important information even when they’re working remotely or traveling. With cloud-based ERP, your organization can easily provide mobile access with intuitive interfaces, without worrying about the security concerns of having data scattered across home computers and thumb drives.


If your business has investors or other stakeholders, switching to cloud-based ERP ensures your software remains compliant and secure as laws and technologies change. This compliance is critical for investors to put their trust in your business.

How Will Cloud ERP Change Your Business?

Switching to cloud-based ERP software will affect your business processes as well as the daily experiences of your employees and stakeholders. For a list of helpful questions about switching to the cloud, check out our new eBook, The Midwestern Skeptic’s Guide to Cloud ERP or contact us today for a personalized assessment of your business’s readiness to make the switch.  

By |2021-02-18T15:10:25-06:00June 19, 2019|

4 Topics to Consider Before Switching to Cloud ERP

OTT Cloud ERP eBook

Here in the Midwest, more and more businesses are switching their ERP software from an on-premises environment to a cloud-based solution. There’s good sense in this – after all, experts will tell you the cloud is the future of business management. However, that doesn’t mean switching to cloud ERP today is a good idea for every business.

Should your organization switch to a cloud-based ERP solution or stick with an on-premises environment for now? Our new eBook, the Midwestern Skeptic’s Guide to Cloud ERP, explores some important considerations for any business considering making the switch to cloud-based ERP.

Here are some broad topics to consider when asking questions of software vendors, cloud service providers, and your own business:

1. Performance and security

Will your data be secure in the cloud? Keeping your data in the cloud is often more secure compared to storage in a server on-premises, but either method can carry risks. When you’re researching a particular ERP solution, you should ask about the provider’s data security protections. Although cloud service providers generally provide high-quality security, there are different levels of safeguards that vary based on the provider.

In addition to protecting your data from intruders, you also need to be able to access it for your business when you need it. Will you be able to access cloud data as quickly compared to on-premises ERP? That may depend somewhat on where your business is located, because let’s face it, not everywhere in the Midwest can boast great internet infrastructure. However, many businesses find that cloud ERP is faster and easier to access compared to an on-premises system.

2. Cost-effectiveness

Will switching to cloud-based ERP be cost-effective for your business? There’s no doubt that choosing, implementing, and learning a new system is an investment of time and money. However, due to the lack of needed infrastructure, implementing a cloud-based system tends to have fewer up-front costs compared to implementing an on-premises system.

In addition to the actual cost of the implementation, there are other cost factors to consider when switching to the cloud. Not needing to pay for and maintain on-premises infrastructure typically leads to a long-term cost savings and frees up your IT team for more strategic work. Additionally, the dynamic upgrades of subscription-based cloud solutions means you won’t need to purchase upgrades or pay to implement them; they are automatically applied on a regular basis.

3. Daily operations

How will cloud ERP work with your other business applications? Will this save time on daily processes? The answer to this will be specific to your business and the cloud solution you’re considering, but many cloud-based solutions make it easier to automate daily tasks. Additionally, as time goes on, more and more business management applications become cloud-based, making it easier to integrate with cloud ERP systems. 

Additionally, modern cloud-based solutions are constantly improving their ease-of-use. If you transition to the cloud, you’ll likely enjoy more workflows and automation, freeing up time for more important activities. 

4. Strategic advantages

Strategic benefits are a great topic to explore in-depth with your ERP vendor. How will cloud-based ERP affect your business’s strategies and growth? The increased automation available with the cloud, the easy gathering of data, real-time mobile access to metrics, and more can really impact your daily business processes for the better. Once you’ve settled the smaller logistical questions, it’s critical to take a look at the big-picture and the long-term future of your business.

Download the eBook today

The Midwestern Skeptic’s Guide to Cloud ERP provides 18 questions to help you decide whether your organization should transition to the cloud. If you’re interested in learning more about how cloud ERP might suit your unique business, contact us for a free 2-hour Cloud Feasibility Assessment. OTT, Inc. uses a proven methodology to assess your organization’s needs and find the best solution to help you grow.  

By |2021-02-18T15:10:25-06:00June 5, 2019|

Is the Cloud for You?

OTT logo

Limited Time Offer from Microsoft

Available May 1, 2019 and October 31, 2019 Only

Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional

If you already own between 25 – 300 licenses of Microsoft Office OR Office 365, you receive 25% off
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional for up to 3 years!

Office OR Office 365, you receive 25% off Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional for up to 3 years!

  • You need to purchase between 10 – 75 seats.
  • Between May 1, 2019 – October 31, 2019.
  • Available only from OTT, Inc, a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Partner.
  • This offer is NOT available from


You may notice that we are working hard to educate our clients on the advantages of moving from on-premise ERP solutions to Cloud ERP solutions. If you missed our recent webinar on the Changes Coming to Microsoft Dynamics GP, watch the recording here.

Moving to the cloud is not a slam dunk for all our clients. There are line of business applications that need to be modernized, processes that need to be established and followed, employees who need to be trained. Because of the many questions we answer every day, we compiled them into an eBook. If you have additional questions we haven’t answered, please give me a call.


Sincerely, Eric Sheehan
Direct: 651.262.2622
Cell: 651.558.7527


18 Questions You Should Ask About the Cloud 

Midwesterners are smart. They don’t just jump on a bandwagon without knowing all the options, costs, risks and benefits.

Cloud ERP is no exception. Even though businesses of all sizes, in all industries, are moving their applications to the cloud—should you?

Download the eBook
Accelerate your Digital Transformation

Accelerate your Digital Transformation with 19% off in 2019

To mark the close of the 2019 Microsoft fiscal year, Professional Advantage wants to ensure all of our customers have the tools to launch into summer successfully.

Customers who purchase either of our Company Data Archive or Collections Management products will receive an 19% discount (for the software costs).

Don’t delay! This offer is only valid from May 19th through June 19th. 

Contact OTT, Inc. to lock in your discount today.

By |2021-02-18T15:10:25-06:00May 30, 2019|

4 Reasons Sales Teams Love Microsoft Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 sales dashboardIf you’re involved in the sales side of your business, you know how difficult it can be to stay organized and effective in your approach. Each customer is unique, so how can you create unified strategies that will win them over?

The importance of a memorable, personalized customer experience increases every day, and that experience truly begins with your sales team. With the right software solution for sales management, you can learn more about potential leads, become more efficient in your allocation of resources, increase your sales, and set up an amazing customer experience right from the start of your interactions.

Read more.

By |2021-02-18T15:10:25-06:00April 24, 2019|

Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps manufacturers manage holiday sales

How Will Holiday Sales Reshape Your Manufacturing Processes?

Manufacturers have a lot of people to satisfy from customers to distributors to employees. Whether made-to-stock (MTS) or make-to-order (MTO), products must be precise and high quality to satisfy demanding customers.

Right now, you are probably watching key performance indicators (KPIs) to see how well business is faring during this busy holiday shopping season. Where do you stand so far? How will holiday sales orders reshape manufacturing processes? If you are finding gaps or friction, here’s how to solve these complications in the new year.

By |2021-02-18T15:10:26-06:00December 17, 2018|

Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps firms integrate business data

How to Work Faster and Smarter, Not Harder

In this digital era, businesses have little choice but to work faster and smarter. That doesn’t mean you have to work harder. With a strong digital foundation, you can position your business for more efficient operations and strong growth. Modern systems, like Microsoft Dynamics 365 offer a whole new level of flexibility. Learn how you can work smarter and more efficiently with scalable business technology.

How Flexible Are Your Business Systems?

Disparate business systems are rigid. Accounting systems manage financial operations, inventory software tracks the products coming and going from warehouses, and there is no shortage of other specialized software for a variety of tasks. While these systems may work well individually, they don’t often work well together. Problems arise when your C-suite is trying to forecast for future sales or expansions and can’t get their hands on the information needed to make good decisions. Detailed, reliable data is necessary for planning the future of your business and it’s often lost within multiple, disparate software programs.

Modern technology is built to be flexible and designed to work with the ebb and flow of today’s business model. In a fast-paced, constantly changing marketplace, you need the support of a flexible, scalable business management solution.

Businesses Need Room for Change and Growth

Each day often brings something new to the mix – new customers, trending products or services and new employees. When business is busy, you plan for growth. When business is slower, you plan for change. At the end of the day, you need data to make all this happen successfully.

Businesses are realizing that outdated, legacy systems aren’t keeping up with the pace of change. Innovative cloud ERP, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, provides a foundation that lets you easily adapt to change and growth. For example, you get:

  1. A single source for all financial, operational and key business data.
  2. Time-saving automations that simplify common tasks and improve productivity.
  3. Integrated data for forecasting sales, customer trends, product trends and growth.
  4. Business intelligence features that deliver better insights.
  5. The ability to add new users, features and functionality as your business grows and changes.

Deploy a Business System That Supports Growth

An integrated business system like Dynamics 365 provides the strong foundation you need to grow your business. It’s much easier to enter, access, and analyze business-critical data and the faster you can access information, the faster you can put it to use to boost sales, improve customer satisfaction and drive profits. Contact our experts at OTT, Inc. for more information about Dynamics 365 cloud ERP.

By |2021-02-18T15:10:26-06:00September 17, 2018|

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Helps Measure Social Media Marketing

Are Your Social Marketing Campaigns Making Cents?

Marketing and advertising have evolved greatly as new social channels continue to demand your attention. Does a business even exist if it doesn’t have a social media presence? In many cases, probably not. However, just having a social media presence doesn’t mean guaranteed success. To the contrary, you could be wasting valuable time and efforts on marketing in a social media space that isn’t right or relevant for your business—or customers. Learn how technology can help you better measure and manage your social marketing campaigns.

Most Marketing and Advertising Budgets Have Limits

Like every other line item on the budget, chances are good that your marketing and advertising budgets have limits. If you are like many of the marketing professionals we work with, that limit is never roomy enough to accomplish everything you’d like to do. Which means you need to watch your spending, but also ensure that your efforts are being fruitfully rewarded.

So, how do you watch your spending? How do you know when a specific campaign delivers a new customer or more sales? Those are good questions and the answers aren’t always easy to get. You could watch sales information to see when sales peak or watch production lines to understand trending products or talk to your sales teams to learn what customers are saying. Certainly, those are all common avenues to pursue, but can they deliver the type of reliable data that you can hang a hat on? Unlikely.

Rely on Modern Technology for Reliable Data

Deploy a business management solution that will support your marketing, advertising and customer service efforts. A customer relationship management (CRM) solution, like Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, offers the platform you need for launching campaigns and understanding their results. Fully integrated, you can connect your people, customers and data to get a 360-degree view of all of these operations from start to finish. You also gain business intelligence features that highlight key metrics. This is exactly what your team needs to dissect each marketing and advertising campaign to determine which efforts yield the best results.

A flexible system, like Dynamics 365, offers time-saving automations that streamline common tasks, provide a single source of data, and add mobility. Your team can enter, access and analyze data from Dynamics 365 on nearly any device, at any time, and from almost anywhere. You can also extend features and functions and take advantage of other applications that can be integrated into your system.

Using this powerful platform, your marketing team can follow key performance indicators (KPIs) and watch how these metrics change over time. You might find that certain marketing efforts attract new customers or spur sales faster than others. Some of your customers may prefer online interactions, whereas other customers like email or a phone call. All of this information can be contained within a customer account, so you gain a better understanding of customer behavior and develop campaigns your customers will respond to.

Strengthen Marketing and Advertising Efforts with Dynamics 365

Improve the productivity and profitability of your marketing and advertising efforts by deploying a modern CRM system. With the right data at your fingertips, you can market more effectively, boost sales and strengthen customer relationships. Contact OTT, Inc. to learn how Dynamics 365 can help you drive more conversions on social media and every other marketing channel.

By |2021-02-18T15:10:26-06:00September 17, 2018|

Drive Growth with ERP

How to Drive Growth with ERP Data

What exactly is your measurement for success? Is it found in revenues and profits, meeting sales quotas, customer satisfaction or something different? There could be any number of key performance indicators (KPIs) that show business is heading in the right direction or the wrong one. However, capturing and understanding these metrics can be challenging. Secondly, using them to drive growth and success could be even more complex. The right enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution will help you leverage your very own data to drive success.

How Do You Evaluate KPIs?

Most business owners and managers look to revenues, profits, sales and a wide variety of other information to determine operational success. Monitoring specific data points over time suggests whether business is gaining ground or may need changes to ensure goals are being met. Unfortunately, asking for data is the easy part of the process. Getting it can be a challenge, especially when data is captured in disparate specialty software and spreadsheets.

Combing through multiple software programs or reports prepared by staff is not only time-consuming, it’s risky. Data is outdated the moment it’s exported or printed. If it takes even longer to review or validate before it hits your desk, the data has aged even more. Another common problem encountered by leaders is the limited nature of the data found in these reports. The accounting department will send out one set of figures, the sales team will deliver another set of data, and inventory data is yet another set of data to manage. Combining data is difficult and still might not provide a clear view of your business performance.

Gain a 360-Degree View of Business Operations with ERP

More businesses are turning to innovative management systems to capture, monitor and analyze core business data. Today’s ERP solutions offer an efficient way to gain a 360-degree view of business operations. Centralized and integrated, businesses just like yours can manage all core operational data within ERP. From accounting to inventory to sales and customer data, all data is funneled into and through an ERP solution. This alone offers a competitive advantage – access to reliable, current data on the spot.

  1. ERP is comprehensive: Capture data from across your enterprise within a single, integrated ERP solution. Accounting and financial management, inventory and supply chain, manufacturing and distribution, and other core business operations can be monitored and managed within ERP with greater efficiency and accuracy.
  2. ERP is scalable and flexible: Add or change features and functionality as your business needs change. Robust systems provide built-in and customizable workflows and integrate with other systems to ensure all your business data remains in one system and not spread across your organization.
  3. ERP delivers business intelligence: The key feature of ERP is what delivers the greatest advantage. Role-tailored dashboards, charts and other rich visualizations make it easier for leaders to monitor and evaluate KPIs in real time. Owners and managers can choose which metrics are most important and ERP will deliver them in a format that makes sense.

Get Your Data, Then Use It to Drive Growth

To drive growth, you first need access to current, reliable data and then must be able to evaluate and analyze that data to guide your business in the right direction. Replacing disparate systems with a single, integrated ERP solution will make it easier to find, analyze and put KPIs and other key business information to use. Contact OTT, Inc. to learn more about leveraging business data to drive growth and success with ERP.

By |2021-02-18T15:10:26-06:00May 29, 2018|

Here’s What CRM Can do for Your Business

Without customers, your business won’t get very far. Right now, you and your sales team might be able to stay on top of existing customer needs and look for new opportunities. However, there will come a time when there are too many leads to remember and you might start dropping the ball with your current customers. A customer relationship management (CRM) solution offers a much easier, automated way to stay on top of everything from marketing to sales to customer services.

In fact, after you see what CRM can do for your business, you might wonder why you waited so long to deploy it in the first place!

Read more.

By |2021-02-18T15:10:26-06:00May 29, 2018|
Go to Top