4 great features of Microsoft Dynamics, above and beyond CRM

While it’s celebrated as one of the world’s most sophisticated CRM solutions, Microsoft Dynamics 365 has far broader features and capabilities than what most people realise.

Here are four of them.

When it comes to maximising, growing and evolving customer relationships, having a robust CRM solution is crucial. According to Microsoft research, 53% of top-performing companies say they have invested in CRM to drive sales and productivity, and 47% of polled CRM users say their customers’ satisfaction has been positively affected by their CRM solution.[1]

However, many organisations are now broadening their CRM activity – integrating their CRM with other aspects of their business, and other technology solutions and applications, in order to streamline processes and seize more opportunities.

Today, more and more customers are seeking broader, integrated solutions in order to drive digital transformation. Increasingly, we’re finding that our customers want to bring together the disparate parts of their business – and integrate a raft of applications and tools, from financial data to social media insights, so they can approach every transaction with far greater awareness.

While it’s well known for its powerful CRM capabilities, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an extensive solution and enables a far wider view of the organisation that what most people think – spanning everything from case management and field service automation, to finance and operations.

Following, for instance, are four key things that you can do with Microsoft Dynamics 365 that go above and beyond traditional CRM.

1. Get deep, cross-channel sales insights

With Dynamics 365, you can turn your customer relationships into real revenue, by using data and business intelligence to better understand what your customers want, and provide personal attention that will help you convert more opportunities.

Today, data is the new currency. Organisations are creating more data – and can access more data, faster, than ever before. With Dynamics 365, this data can be harnessed and used across the organisation – to generate action and drive outcomes. Importantly, Dynamics 365 allows businesses to establish intelligent business processes across a range of individual apps, including marketing, sales, service and operations.

By bringing all of your sales and customer data into the one, streamlined channel, you can also very quickly identify trends for potential sales, and rapidly determine next steps. And smart usability tools within the Dynamics 365 interface also keep your people focused on what they need to do; helping them prioritise tasks, activities and action items.

Thanks to its integration with social media applications, website tracking tools and the Microsoft Office suite, Dynamics 365 also makes it easy for your sales team to target the right prospects, at the right time, with highly personalised information.

You can earn the loyalty of your customers by proactively addressing any issues, and delivering the service they expect, every time. Plus, you can give your employees the knowledge they need to deliver faster, more accurate and more consistent customer service around the clock.

With Dynamics 365, you can stay informed about the people and companies you care about, thanks to account and lead update features. You can also monitor your customer relationship health by merging engagement signals from Office 365, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn, and even make contextual recommendations on the next best action based on an engagement with a customer.

2. Manage remote workers and assets

If you operate a business with remote assets or workers, it can be extremely challenging and time-consuming – especially if much of your monitoring and management is done manually.

For this reason, more and more businesses are turning to cloud-based CRM solutions, which enable remote workers – including sales staff – to tap into crucial data from anywhere, and from any device.

According to a recent Nucleus Research report, 65% of companies that are using a mobile CRM solution are meeting or exceeding their current sales quotas. Compared with companies that are not using these solutions, just 22% of them are meeting or exceeding their sales quotas.[2]

With Dynamics 365, you can optimise your field service via intelligent scheduling tools, in-built mobile support, and remote asset monitoring.

By implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) devices on certain machinery or assets, for instance, and integrating it with your Dynamics 365 solution, you can very quickly determine when an asset requires maintenance – meaning you can action it before the problem escalates. This of course means less downtime, better efficiency, and improved productivity.

By integrating your overarching Dynamics 365 solution with mobile apps in the field, you can also ensure that your field service technicians have the information they need at their fingertips – meaning they’re more likely to perform an effective, first-time fix.

Plus, you can also use smart scheduling features to reallocate resources quickly during escalations, provide real-time customer insights and guidance, and process work orders from mobile apps, allowing your business to achieve a more customer centric approach no matter where you and your staff are.

3. Automate project-based processes

With Dynamics 365, you can put the client at the centre of your operation – not just to make an initial sale, but also on an ongoing basis.

A Forrester study[3], for instance, recently polled 2,000 employees who were using Microsoft Dynamics. The study found that by using Microsoft Dynamics, return on investment – in terms of productivity gains – was a whopping 245%. According to the study:

  • 50% of teams improved productivity
  • sales productivity and uplift was 5%
  • consultation time was reduced by 10%
  • revenue increased by 2%
  • customer service labour costs reduced by 40%
  • labour costs overall decreased by 20%
  • marketing budgets saved at least $75,000

For instance, Dynamics 365 simplifies and enhances project planning – making it easier for your sales and project managers to collaborate on estimates using templates. You can also integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Project, so you can improve project planning from estimation to completion.

Resourcing is also simplified via Dynamics 365, as you can assign the best consultants to each project based on their skills, availability and interest, by unifying resources and scheduling. You can optimise your resources across project service, customer service and field service, and in so doing, increase your consultants’ job satisfaction.

Plus, thanks to mobile integration, you can give your people access to powerful and easy-to-use apps for iOS, Android and Windows. With these apps, your team members can select projects, update skills, manage schedules, enter time and expenses, schedule automation services and collaborate using Office 365 to ensure higher productivity – anytime, and anywhere.

Importantly, you can also use real-time analytics to take your projects from being reactive to proactive. This means it’s easier to identify actionable trends across your organisation—from financials to operations to compliance to KPIs—using customisable dashboards and scoreboards.

4. Enhance and evolve your marketing

With Dynamics 365, you can unify your sales and marketing activities to deliver more integrated customer service experiences.

Dynamics 365 means you can bring your marketing content, data, and processes together—to deliver engaging customer experiences for all customers. You can also create a 360-degree view of customers across sales and marketing, and take a more proactive approach to sales and marketing – anticipating customer needs, uncovering insights and personalising all touchpoints.

For instance, you can get at-a-glance information about all the interactions customers have had with you to help create a seamless experience for them—whether they’re responding to your marketing campaigns or speaking with your sales team. You can also deliver consistent messaging between your sales and marketing teams to increase retention rates, reduce the sales cycle and increase close rates.

You can also manage content using dynamic marketing software on a platform that scales globally. This means you can create and deliver faster digital experiences, lower management and resources costs by using a single provider, and rely on a platform that’s compliant with government, industry, and corporate standards.

When your business runs on Microsoft Dynamics 365, your sales and marketing teams share one source of information and use connected, consistent processes. This means you can prioritise leads who are ready to buy, automate lead hand-off and track the progress of every lead. You can also use concise dashboards and reports to analyse and share marketing results faster, leading to smarter decisions and improved return on your marketing  investment.

As an accredited Microsoft Gold Partner, and with a broad, Australia-wide network, Data#3 is uniquely positioned to help you realise the full potential of Microsoft Dynamics in your operation. We have over 15 years’ experience implementing best-practice Microsoft solutions, and have partnered with a range of organisations across several industries. In every instance, we listen intently to our clients’ requirements, and create completely customised solutions that deliver tangible and ongoing results.

If you’re interested in finding out more, please get in touch with a Data#3 expert to find out how we can help you.


[1] Microsoft Dynamics Community, Amazing CRM Statistics, accessed 29 September 2017,  https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/powerxrmblog/archive/2016/06/21/amazing-crm-statistics

[2] IBM, 2017 CRM Statistics Show Why it’s a Powerful Marketing Weapon, accessed 2 October 2017, https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/blogs/d27b1c65-986e-4a4f-a491-5e8eb23980be/entry/2017_CRM_Statistics_Show_Why_it_s_a_Powerful_Marketing_Weapon?lang=en

[3] IBM, 2017 CRM Statistics Show Why it’s a Powerful Marketing Weapon, accessed 2 October 2017, https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/blogs/d27b1c65-986e-4a4f-a491-5e8eb23980be/entry/2017_CRM_Statistics_Show_Why_it_s_a_Powerful_Marketing_Weapon?lang=en

Tags: Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Microsoft, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Office 365



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