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We recently interviewed our client Doug Eagle, CEO and president of Eagle Retirement Plans, Inc. and Eagle Wealth Management Group, Inc. 

Here’s what Doug had to say about his organization’s Challenge, the CTC Solution, and the Results:   

  

Challenge:

I have big growth goals for my organization. So, I didn’t just want to hire someone to complete a task—I wanted something that could be scaled as the business grows. 

With this objective in mind, I knew that leveraging technology was the best path forward. We had adopted the Microsoft 365 platform a few years earlier, but knew we were not taking full advantage of all the various apps—especially with the ever-changing world of Microsoft. We wanted to leverage all of Microsoft 365’s integrated components, automations, and capabilities to strategically organize information. 

We had previously hired another consulting firm to support setting up a CRM in Microsoft Dynamics. Unfortunately, that was a dead end. They just couldn’t get it configured to meet our organization’s needs. After many months of failed attempts, we abandoned the project. 

Luckily, a previous client of CTC Productivity, Robin Edgar, recommended CTC as experts in Microsoft 365. (Read more about CTC’s work with Robin in the case study “Supplementing Your CRM to Drive Efficiencies.”) CTC is known for working with businesses that view technology solutions as a strategic weapon, not a cost center to manage. We have great ideas and knew there was untapped potential in our technology, so we wanted to prioritize this initiative. 

  

Solution

CTC was able to properly configure our CRM in Dynamics exactly as I envisioned it.   

CTC began by unraveling the mess in our Dynamics setup, fixing all the errors that the previous consulting firm had made and reworking it to best serve our business needs.     

We chose a retainer model instead of a project-based model so they could not just create the technical framework—but also augment our knowledge of the Microsoft 365 suite to increase our organization’s efficiency.   

The retainer model gave us the flexibility to explore Microsoft 365’s various apps and tools with the CTC team and learn how they could support our workflow. By dialoguing with a Microsoft 365 expert about day-to-day challenges, CTC identified solutions in the software we already own. I appreciated this flexibility instead of worrying about the original scope of a project agreement.   

Through this model, we were able to expand our organization’s use of Microsoft 365, build workflow automation solutions, and incorporate some of Microsoft’s newly introduced apps, like Loop and Microsoft’s AI tool, Copilot. 

  

Results

Dynamics CRM

CTC did a great job setting up our CRM correctly in Dynamics. They were able to answer a question about Dynamics within an hour that our previous consulting firm had still not answered after six months!   

One example of a configuration that has greatly increased our efficiency is creating a catalog system to group clients by “gold,” “silver,” and “bronze,” each with its own customized workflow to support their unique needs. We can now easily sort our CRM by these categories, allowing our team to focus more attention on top-tier clients.   

CTC also reworked our Dynamics set-up to incorporate automation. One of the biggest workflow processes that we automated is for when a client passes away. We have a two- to three-page SOP for this event, with many tasks assigned to every person in our office. CTC added automation to this intensive process, which is now created and kicked off by a simple “Client Passing” button in our CRM that lists the date of their death. This automatically drafts an entire task list that can be viewed and assigned in the Microsoft 365 Planner tool, providing invaluable oversight for this crucial task management.   

Another time savings we are immediately seeing is with our client onboarding process. We previously used multiple forms, which meant that inputting data was a manually intensive process that took thirty minutes. Now we add onboarding information to Dynamics, click a button, and it’s done in thirty seconds! 

  

Loop

Our paraplanner is offsite, and Loop has greatly increased the efficiency of our remote collaboration. 

The CTC team often refers to Loop as “OneNote on steroids.” OneNote is a tried-and-true tool in the Microsoft 365 suite, but its information is stored in one static location. Loop is designed to be broken up into webparts that can be populated into other apps, integrating information while still maintaining “one central source of truth.” In other words, it “loops” disparate pieces of information together.   

CTC has helped us leverage Loop’s integration with multiple Microsoft 365 apps, including: 

  • Dynamics. All customer meeting notes and review letters now directly link to client information from our Dynamics CRM. Avoiding the need to retype notes or link to information from other systems has saved our team a substantial amount of time and ensures that we can easily review the most up-to-date client information. This allows for seamless collaboration across the team. 
  • Planner. The date and time for each meeting is now scheduled and tracked in one central location. 
  • To Do. With Loop’s integration of To Do and Planner, our paraplanner can update assignments using Microsoft’s task management tools as meetings are scheduled. 
  • Teams. We can record customer review meetings in Teams and add the video link to Loop for team members to review. 

  

Copilot

Like many business leaders, I was interested in how Microsoft’s new AI tool, Copilot, could be integrated into our workflow to reduce manual work.  

CTC educated my team on how to create a script to effectively prompt Copilot to do exactly what I want. This knowledge can now be repurposed in so many other areas of our business.  

For example, we now leverage Copilot to populate correct information from client meetings and to construct white papers, allowing us to create high-quality informational content in half the time. 

 

Summary 

One of my favorite words is “leverage.” And that is exactly how I feel about the results of our work with CTC. Before working with CTC there was so much untapped potential with the Microsoft 365 platform. We are now leveraging its power, and I am very happy we prioritized this initiative. 

Like many business leaders in a world of rapidly advancing technology, I used to feel like we were “behind.” Now we are leapfrogging ahead of the competition. 

  

ROI: 

Cost: $14,000 

Ongoing: $0 

Time Savings Example:   

New client onboarding process used to take 30 minutes, but now it takes 30 seconds! 

 

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