Power and renewables

Why utilities need more than an out-of-the-box CRM

Why Utilities Need More than an Out-of-the-Box CRM

Contact us:

Daniel Jarvis

Daniel Jarvis

Head of Department, Analytics and Technical Services

Discover why utilities need more than a generic CRM and how EVOLVE 360 is uniquely equipped to accelerate the clean energy pipeline.

If you’re an outreach specialist in the energy industry, you spend your days building relationships with customers, prospects, and industry leaders. You connect with people at meetings, conferences, and networking events, acquiring leads, answering questions, and turning prospects into customers.  

But as virtual connections replace in-person experiences, the ability to continue nurturing these relationships is vital to reaching sales targets. Furthermore, connected insights across the customer journey and workflows that accommodate the unique needs and practices of utilities are critical to optimizing every touchpoint. 

As product manager for EVOLVE 360o—a custom, Dynamics-based solution for the energy industry—I devote much of my time listening to outreach specialists, marketing managers, and other 360o users and building out new ways to help them connect with customers and drive greater impact. And the feedback I’m hearing from our users is that EVOLVE 360o has been a key advantage as they transition to a world dependent upon virtual connections.  

In this article, I want to share my own insider’s perspective on why utilities need more than a generic CRM, and how EVOLVE 360o is uniquely equipped to accelerate the clean energy project pipeline.  

What Is EVOLVE 360o? 

To keep energy programs on target, outreach specialists and marketing managers need line-of-sight across multiple touchpoints. They need to understand the outreach activities that deliver the greatest impact, whether calls, emails, or marketing campaigns.  

Unfortunately, out-of-the-box CRMs aren’t structured around utilities’ workflows or the specific relationship intel they need, such as customers visited, emails sent, or energy assessments scheduled. Furthermore, generic CRMs don’t provide alerts to engage prospects and customers at key points in their journeys. This lack of visibility leads to knowledge gaps, lost productivity, stalled projects, and ultimately, missed opportunities.  

Part of the EVOLVE Digital Suite, EVOLVE 360o leverages the deep expertise of DNV to deliver a comprehensive solution designed around energy efficiency industry best practices. It goes beyond contact and opportunity tracking to deliver full line-of-sight into the project pipeline and every touchpoint along the way. EVOLVE 360o drives activity-based delivery through a data-driven feedback loop, so users can benchmark performance against key performance indicators as well as their peers. EVOLVE 360o integrates seamlessly with the entire EVOLVE Digital Suite as well as Microsoft Office tools, which means users can work and collaborate from anywhere.  

How Does EVOLVE 360o Help Outreach Specialists? 

EVOLVE 360o allows users to track their outreach activities including phone calls, in-person meetings, emails, and more. They benefit from a portal, workflows, and configurations that are tailored to their specific energy programs, so for example, they can pull up contractor information that is pertinent to specific customers. They can also view a full record of customer and prospect engagement including the date of the last touchpoint, questions or concerns that came up, their response, and so forth. Outreach specialists can use this information to determine how and when to move forward.  

Another great feature is automated reminders, so outreach specialists never forget to follow up—especially helpful with multiple prospects and customers to manage. As I mentioned before, because 360o is built on the Microsoft Dynamics platform, it also integrates with Microsoft Teams and all the Microsoft Office tools, so emails, Outlook contacts, Teams meetings, and document sharing is all tracked. This helps outreach members build and maintain relationships with customers and prospects in a seamless way throughout the customer journey—no matter where they are.  

But even more importantly, 360o helps outreach members develop and adjust their strategies. It provides users with data that reveals how various approaches might lead to different outcomes. Since activities are tracked, users gain visibility into which channels are generating the best results. One of our outreach members put it succinctly, “You can see the data and see what is effective.” Ultimately, EVOLVE 360o provides clear insights around what’s working and what’s not. This viewpoint helps outreach members to tailor efforts and optimize resources, while enabling leadership to make more informed strategic decisions. 

As mentioned, 360o is integrated with the full EVOLVE Digital Suite. Here’s a quick example of how 360o leads to better outcomes. Let’s say an outreach specialist gets a customer complaint about a high bill. Because the solutions are integrated, the outreach specialist can access a customer scorecard in EVOLVE CX to better understand customer usage and identify possible energy program opportunities that would resolve their issues. Equipped with this information, the outreach specialist can follow up with the customer and engage with a qualified contractor or partner to help them lower their costs—converting a customer complaint into a clean energy project. 

How Does EVOLVE 360o Help Marketing Managers? 

Marketing managers have a different goal. They want to optimize their marketing campaigns. Recently we enabled the ability to tag leads to a marketing campaign, so marketing managers can see which campaign strategies are working and where optimizations are needed. Fully integrated with PowerBI, users can surface data on elegant dashboards and easily drill down for deeper insights.  

For example, our program provides monthly lunch-and-learn trainings. Following each session, we run a campaign to gauge program interest and capture potential projects. However, 360o data revealed that most trainings were being attended by the same individuals. Based on these insights, we added screening to target new individuals attending the trainings to increase interest and program participation.  

As we continue to navigate the shift to a remote work culture, leveraging modern technologies designed for the energy industry is more crucial than ever. Make sure your utility is equipped with a CRM like EVOLVE 360o that will help you adapt and reach your customers, transform your outreach efforts, and win more opportunities.  

Contact us to learn more about EVOLVE 360o and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. For information on the full toolset, Daniel Jarvis, VP of Technology for DNV’s Energy North America business, has written a fantastic article on how the EVOLVE Digital Suite unlocks the potential of clean energy programs.

Contact us:

Daniel Jarvis

Daniel Jarvis

Head of Department, Analytics and Technical Services