Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides growing organizations a powerful solution to manage business relationships. With the launch of Microsoft Dynamics 365 in 2016, Microsoft extended the core functionality of its CRM by offering businesses new and enhanced tools to transform their sales, marketing, and customer service processes.
The practical functionality of Dynamics 365 enables employees to be more productive and knowledgeable and offers executives deeper insight into performance, opportunities, and customer relationships. The sales automation, project service and customer service modules align to revolutionize the way businesses communicate with customers, prospects, and team members.
Why companies should choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM over the competition:
- Its flexible architecture, deployment options, and pricingallow for easy customization to tailor the system to meet business’s unique needs
- The familiar and intuitive user interface ranks among the highest in user adoption.
- Its connection with other Microsoft products, such as Outlook, Office 365, Windows Server, Exchange Server, Skype for Business, SharePoint, Power BI, and PowerApps, offers a huge advantage.
- Its powerful built-in toolslike LinkedIn Sales Navigator Application Platform and Relationship Assistant improve productivity and efficiency.
- Microsoft’s commitment to the product and partner supportpoints to the longevity and quality of the system.
Dynamics 365’s group of applications are capable of managing any business process, from sales and operations to accounting and HR. The apps can be used individually or collectively depending on the unique needs of your business, so you can adapt the best solution to fulfill your individual requirements. Those specifically related to CRM are: Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Field Service, and Project Service automation.
The Dynamics 365 sales module manages sales workflows. The user interface simplifies lead qualification and helps drive the successful conversion of leads to customer accounts. The opportunity management area contains a built-in process header that can be used to manage opportunities through various sales stages and steps.
The marketing module offers the ability to properly manage leads, contacts and campaigns, including customer and prospect segmentation and campaign planning and execution. It also provides analytics, reporting, and seamless collaboration between marketing and sales.
The customer service module provides tools to help companies manage the support and retention phase of the customer lifecycle. A streamlined case management process addresses and delivers consistent, efficient customer care.
For project-based businesses, this module can offer improved productivity. With tools for project planning, resource scheduling, time and expense management, and service analytics, businesses can work smarter and gain better insight into their performance. For even more enhanced capabilities, this module can be integrated with Microsoft Project.
Advantages of the Microsoft Platform
There are numerous advantages of the Microsoft platform and some specific features of Dynamics 365 CRM that set it apart from the competition.
The Dynamics 365 CRM applications offer seamless integration can be paired with other Microsoft tools, including all of the Dynamics 365 and Office 365 apps. While this may seem like a given feature, it has a major impact on productivity and performance.
With Dynamics 365’s integration to Outlook, you can view existing customer information, sales activities, cases, and opportunity information directly in your Outlook screen. You can also complete CRM tasks such as adding new leads, adding a task, appointment, or phone call to a customer record, and tracking emails to CRM records directly from Outlook.
Here are some other features you can utilize because of Dynamics 365’s integration with Office 365:
- Import customer data from Dynamics 365 into Microsoft Word or Excel templates. Run analytics with Excel online directly within Dynamics 365, or link data from Dynamics 365 to Excel spreadsheets that will update dynamically and maintain Dynamics 365’s security permissions.
- Access anything you capture in OneNote directly from a Dynamics 365 customer record.
- Import data from Dynamics 365 into Power BI to analyze it against other information. Even better, feed data from Dynamics 365 into Power BI dashboards so the information you’re most interested in is always at your fingertips.
- Access SharePoint calendars and documents directly from Dynamics 365.
- Use Skype for Business to call anyone directly from Dynamics 365. You can also use Skype for Business Consultingto hold webinars and whiteboard discussions and immediately follow up with Dynamics 365. You may want to hire a quality Skype for Business Consulting expert to assist you with this.
- See your Office 365 Group calendars and documents in Dynamics 365.
Just as Dynamics 365 CRM integrates with Office 365, it also integrates with all of the other Dynamics 365 applications. This means you have the ability to pick and choose which applications are right for your business. And if you want to make an addition, it’s an easy matter of updating your Microsoft license. Also, because all of the applications are from Microsoft, upgrades are their responsibility, and you don’t have to worry about managing integrations with third-party solutions.
The unique Power Apps tool from Microsoft gives you the power to build custom applications quickly and easily without code or technical expertise. It pairs with the full array of Microsoft products, including Office 365 and Dynamics 365, meaning you can leverage data from any program and deploy it in a web or mobile app.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator Application Platform. In 2016, Microsoft bought LinkedIn, which means LinkedIn also integrates with Dynamics 365. LinkedIn SNAP allows your sales team to leverage the full power of LinkedIn directly through Dynamics 365. In SNAP, you can search the LinkedIn network to identify leads and save them as CRM records. SNAP will also recommend leads based on your searches. View full LinkedIn profiles directly in SNAP to identify a prospect’s current company, position, tenure, and location. Receive notifications when prospects make updates to their profiles, like job changes or new connections with someone in your network. Use SNAP to request an introduction to a lead through a mutual connection or use LinkedIn’s messaging functionality directly through SNAP.
Relationship Assistant. This nifty tool is still in beta, but it’s available for you to try now. As the name indicates, the Relationship Assistant tracks your activities, opportunities, and messages and generates action cards that will appear on your dashboard and relevant records in Dynamics 365. It can alert you to upcoming meetings, remind you to follow up on an opportunity, or notify you of a customer question or request. In addition to alerts and reminders, the Research Assistant connects to Outlook and can track email activity like opens, replies, attachment views, and link clicks directly in Dynamics 365. It will also suggest emails from your Outlook account that you may want to track in Dynamics 365.
Every Dynamics 365 app is built on the same common platform, which allows you to adapt Dynamics 365 to your companies’ unique needs. You can define your own dashboards to bring forward the graphs, reports, and information that are most relevant to your role. The platform includes powerful and flexible workflow tools that allow you to automate processes in the system, including sending emails, scheduling follow-up activities, and updating record statuses. Finally, the customization tools allow you to define additional fields of information and new objects in the system.
In addition to giving you the ability to assemble the collection of apps that best suits your business and customizing them to fit your needs, Dynamics 365 has a number of deployment options, including cloud, on-premise, or partner hosted. The software can be accessed from Outlook, a web browser, or any internet-enabled mobile device. Simply put, Dynamics 365 gives you the choice to select the best model for your organization.
With Dynamics 365, you get more functionality at a lower price point than other CRM systems. Microsoft offers three tiers of users with different levels of access and pricing for each one. This way, you can make the most out of your investment by paying for full access only for those users who truly need it.
Microsoft’s Commitment Level
Microsoft has made a huge investment in Dynamics 365 and is working to make it the catch-all for business software solutions. While they will continue to support legacy solutions, Microsoft’s focus and efforts are clearly centered around Dynamics 365. If history is any indication, that means the advantages of Dynamics 365 are only just beginning. The existing features and functionality will continue to improve, and some cool stuff will be coming soon, like the new user interface Microsoft has alluded to.
Microsoft is committed to its partner channel approach as the best way to find quality Skype for Business Consulting and Dynamics 365 Consulting experts. You might find it hard to believe, but Microsoft prefers that customers purchase their software through their partner channel rather than from Microsoft directly. Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers are available to help you select the right solution for your business and offer ongoing service and support.
Should you consider leveraging Skype for Business Consulting or Dynamics 365 Consulting services from a Microsoft Partner?
Even though Dynamics 365 is a ready-to-use platform, a professional Microsoft partner that specializes in Dynamics 365 Consulting and Skype for Business Consulting can ensure that the right implementation method and strategy is adopted to deliver the most value to your company. This platform can seamlessly capture and present vital information during the sales and prospecting lifecycle. A successful Dynamics 365 implementation will help to increase customer acquisitions and retention percentages using complete customer lifecycle management.
Dynamics 365 Consulting experts that have the experience and expertise to offer your organization the most user-friendly Dynamics 365 implementation across sales, customer service, field service, operations and financials can be of great value during implementation.
Microsoft Partners typically work to empower your users by instilling confidence, so they can leverage advanced functionalities of Dynamics 365 and improve your business efficiency.
Why Should Businesses Choose Dynamics 365 CRM?
- Ease of use
- It’s integration to the full array of Microsoft products
- It has powerful tools that will change your business
- The options that the platform offers put you in the driver’s seat
- It comes with the support of an Microsoft partner
Ready to learn more? Contact us to discuss how Microsoft Dynamics 365 Consulting can transform your organizations sales and business processes with Microsoft’s cloud-based CRM and ERP solution.
About the Author: Errin is the Founder and Chief Architect for EPC Group and the author of four Microsoft Press books covering Power BI, SharePoint and Office 365. Errin focuses his efforts on implementing Microsoft Technologies in organizations throughout the country and around the globe.
Errin’s latest book “Microsoft Power BI Dashboards Step by Step” by Microsoft Press guides you through creating world-class business analysis dashboards that integrate today’s most widely-used data sources, using any of Microsoft’s Power BI platforms, including the new Power BI Premium.