Why Microsoft Power Apps makes for a magical and clever CRM solution for SMBs
When it’s time to upgrade the business CRM, most folks will begin by emailing colleagues past and present, dropping a shout-out on LinkedIn for recommendations, and then spending time with the obligatory Google searches in the hope of finding some good pointers and compelling information.
Cumulatively, this is time-intensive and often results in buyers sifting through numerous product reviews and reading endless blogs. But it’s time well spent, as making the wrong CRM selection isn’t just a misstep; it’s a costly blunder that can derail your business momentum.
For Heads of Sales and IT leaders in smaller organisations, the challenge involved delving through a sea of vendors, countless features, and lots of content. And if we were to ask you to name some CRMs, you’d likely real off the usual suspects: Pipedrive, HubSpot, Monday.com, Zoho and Salesforce.
But before you make any decisions that may come back to haunt you, let us present to you the lesser-known CRM hero for smaller businesses and charities: Microsoft Power Apps, which often gets outshone, unfairly, we might add, by the market leaders. In a complex software landscape, it emerges as a formidable contender, offering a sales CRM solution that’s powerful and easy to use and can scale alongside your business. It’s the embodiment of cost-efficiency and flexibility, a solution tailored for those who need a simple but powerful system without the extravagant price tag. It is this flexibility and scalability of this CRM that makes it a magic piece of kit.
Is Power Apps actually a CRM?
The Microsoft Power Platform is the foundation upon which Power Apps is built and is a low-code suite of tools that empowers users to really drive innovation. So that even those with minimal coding experience can create solutions that address unique business challenges.
Creating a sales CRM is just one way in which Power Apps can be used, and it’s in this arena that Rocket CRM has mastered the art of crafting bespoke CRM solutions, transforming the way businesses and charities interact with their customers and supporters. However, it can also be used to create apps that streamline and automate manual and repetitive tasks across all business functions. Some typical use cases include:
- Creating a field engineer app to allow data input on the go (We actually do this!)
- Client onboarding portal to speed up and improve the administration needed when onboarding (We also do this!)
- Employee onboarding apps to speed up admin and increase employee satisfaction
- CRM platform to manage sales records better (This is our forte!)
Depending on what needs to be built, Power Apps offers two distinct paths: Canvas Apps and Model-Driven Apps. Canvas Apps is like an artist’s blank canvas, offering limitless possibilities to design a bespoke application from the ground up using a formula language. This option would be good if you wanted to build a field sales app that provides instant access to crucial sales data.
Model-driven apps, on the other hand, are all about constructing robust CRMs/databases in a component fashion. It’s the backbone of how Power Apps are used to build CRM systems as well as Dynamics 365 CRM. Read more about the difference between Power Apps CRM and Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite. Or download the Power Apps and Dynamics 365 explained infographic.
The benefits of Power Apps for small organisations.
The magic of Power Apps lies in its agility, affordability, and adaptability. For growing organisations, scalability is crucial. Power Apps embodies this principle, allowing you to expand and enhance your already powerful CRM as your business or charity evolves. The change can be carried out rapidly and with minimal development time.
So, for businesses that don’t need all the bells and whistles from day one, Power Apps is a really great sales CRM solution.
Another critical feature that sets Power Apps apart from other CRM platforms is its formidable data management capabilities, enabled by an extensive array of data connectors to drive sales growth. The Microsoft Power Platform boasts hundreds of connectors that bridge Power Apps with various APIs, allowing seamless integration with third-party data services. These connectors are more than just data transporters; they enrich the Power Apps solution by adding layers of functionality and versatility.
For businesses that rely on a diverse suite of applications, many of which may fall outside the Microsoft ecosystem, these data connectors are critical. They provide a comprehensive approach to data management, meaning greater visibility and control over customer data and the sales pipeline.
This tighter management of sales opportunities and the full pipeline is particularly crucial for smaller organisations that aim to leverage their customer or supporter data effectively for lead generation and sales enablement purposes but feel constrained by limited technology budgets.
This is what we mean when we say it is magic. It’s low-cost but also powerful and helps organisations manage their data better and deliver seamless experiences to their customers or supporters. It’s literally a powerhouse in data leverage and management, hence the name ‘Power Apps’. Remember the Peril ad ‘small but mighty’? This tagline could easily be applied to Power Apps too! It may appear modest in scale but is robust in performance, resulting in endless opportunities for businesses to harness and leverage their customer data. For charities, it offers a far better way for them to run their fundraising operations and harness the goodwill of supporters.
How you apply its magic is up to you. This blend of scalability, customisation, and powerful data integration makes PowerApps an ideal choice for organisations with grand ambitions yet modest technology budgets.
How does Power Apps compare with basic CRM solutions?
Comparing Power Apps to basic, off-the-shelf CRM solutions is like contrasting a tailored suit with a one-size-fits-all garment. While off-the-shelf CRM solutions like Monday.com, Zoho, HubSpot, and Pipedrive offer immediacy and a broader range of features, they often lack the personalised touch that specific businesses require.
These platforms are designed for the masses, which means they come laden with features that many organisations will never use. This can lead to a cluttered user experience, where navigating through unnecessary functions becomes a daily frustration.
Moreover, while the initial cost of off-the-shelf solutions may appear lower, this can be deceptive. As your business grows and your needs evolve, these systems often show their rigidity. Customising them to fit your changing requirements and your evolving sales management strategies can lead to significant additional expenses, whether through the need for new software integrations or the hiring of developers to modify the existing system. Over time, the total cost of ownership of an off-the-shelf CRM can balloon, eclipsing the initial savings.
In contrast, Microsoft Power Apps offers a bespoke yet simple CRM experience. It’s a system that moulds your business’s unique processes and evolves alongside it. This flexibility is not just about adding new features; it’s about ensuring your CRM can grow and adapt as your business. This adaptability is a stark contrast to the limitations of off-the-shelf solutions, which often lead businesses and charities to resort to external tools like spreadsheets or costly custom integrations.
A bespoke CRM built with Power Apps is like having a system tailor-made for your business’s current and future needs. With Power Apps, you’re not forced to adjust your workflow to fit the system; the system is built to complement how you work.
As we stated previously, the scalability of Power Apps is also a key advantage. Which many of the off-the-shelf CRM platforms struggle to offer.
The true beauty of Power Apps lies in its cost-effectiveness and rapid deployment capabilities. Its pricing structure is designed to be budget-friendly, especially for SMBs. The platform’s lightweight, no-code nature ensures quick deployment, allowing organisations to benefit from its features swiftly. In this way, it holds its own against the rapid plug-and-play features of its competitors.
However, Power Apps scores points because it is a Microsoft product that integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem, enhancing user experience and productivity. Though admittedly, you’ll find that most well-known CRM platforms also offer this level of integration.
Power Apps really is a compelling choice
Microsoft Power Apps stands out as a compelling choice for SMBs or charities looking for a CRM solution that combines affordability, ease of use, and flexibility to grow with their business. Its bespoke nature means you get a system tailored to your needs without the excess baggage of unnecessary features. And with the flexible pricing structure of Power Apps, you’re investing in a solution that’s as budget-friendly as it is powerful.
But the journey of implementing a sales CRM solution doesn’t end with choosing the right software. It’s about partnering with the right team to bring that solution to life. That’s where Rocket CRM comes in. We don’t just build CRMs; we craft solutions that are an integral part of your business’s success story and your CRM journey. We remain by your side, helping organisations get maximum output and ROI from their CRM platforms.
Ready to embark on this transformative journey with a CRM that’s designed for your business’s or charity’s unique needs? Reach out to Rocket CRM today and take the first step towards a future-proof, powerful CRM solution. With Rocket CRM by your side, you’re not just installing software; you’re laying the foundations for future success.
About Rocket CRM
Rocket CRM is a Microsoft Dynamics 365, and a platinum ClickDimensions accredited partner, helping small to medium-sized businesses and charities harness the power of scalable CRM technology. Our mission is to make powerful CRM software simple with custom-built, user-focused solutions.