First, Why CRM?
The value of CRM in an organization
In today’s market, customers have more options than ever when choosing the companies they choose to do business with. Because of this, it is essential that an organization fully understands their customers from the first interaction through the last interaction and across the organization. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems allow for easy information tracking and sharing to ensure that each interaction with a customer is meaningful, productive, and pleasant.
More than just salesforce automation
Traditionally, CRM systems have been regarded as sales tools for accessing a pipeline or activities specific to the sales process. Today, companies are increasingly seeing exceptional value in sharing information throughout the entire organization. The use of a CRM is spreading beyond the traditional sales department. Although specific information needs will differ from one role to the next, more often than not customer information can and should be shared beyond sales.
For example, it is quite valuable for sales representatives to know about any issues their customers have brought to the support team or marketing materials that have recently been sent from the marketing team. It is equally valuable for the marketing team to be able to understand where a prospect is in the sales process. Today’s CRM systems make it possible to share this relevant information.
Integration with other systems
Beyond sharing information in CRM, integrating CRM with other systems in the organization allows an individual to get all the information they need from one location. Gone are the days of multiple logins for multiple systems to complete simple tasks. Integrating a billing system with CRM can bring paid invoices into the CRM system, which limits the number of people that have access to the billing system but ensures each individual has the information they need.
Invaluable insights into data
CRM systems provide managers with greatly improved visibility into their teams. They can see in a snapshot where processes need to be tweaked and if any team needs training to improve productivity—and they can access the data in real-time. In the past, reports were often generated on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. This is no longer good enough—reporting needs to be real-time and accurate. CRM accommodates these needs.
Another key element of modern CRM systems, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 specifically, is mobility. Everyone is on the go, and people need to access data beyond the walls of the office. CRMs have migrated from the office to the mobile world. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is available on all the major devices which mean a user can access information when and where they need it. Providing access on mobile devices ensures that the information is entered into the CRM and a manager can see reporting in real-time. The value of a CRM within an organization is endless.
Why Microsoft Dynamics 365?
One of the leading products in the CRM space that delivers the value talked about previously is Microsoft Dynamics 365. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is unique in the CRM marketplace and is leading the way in innovation and usability across the globe. The Dynamics 365 platform offers companies a unique set of productivity tools across sales, marketing, and customer service. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is differentiated from competitors by its ability to extend and scale across multiple business units, giving companies the ability to leverage their CRM investment without the need for additional software.
The Power of Choice
Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers organizations the power of choice in deployment. Dynamics 365 supports on-premise, in-the-cloud and partner-hosted deployment options. All the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 are available regardless of whether you use on-premises installation or use CRM in the cloud with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online, thus giving you the power of choice. Microsoft is a leader in cloud-based services, with data centers across the world, it supports a robust physical network and attains strict data security.
Intuitive and Intelligent
Microsoft Dynamics 365’s intuitive user interface ranks amongst the highest in user adoption. Its ability to connect with other Microsoft tools, such as Microsoft Outlook, is unmatched in the market. And Dynamics 365 is much more than a data entry system. It’s intelligent, informative, and drives a streamlined approach to manage customers and key relationships. It’s a valuable tool that not only equips teams to be more productive and educated with the work they do but also gain deeper insights into the entire customer relationship across multiple business units.
What can CRM do?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales effectively and accurately manages your sales process. The process-driven user interface simplifies the lead qualification process and helps drive 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.
What does this mean for companies using Microsoft Dynamics 365? It presents sales teams with the accuracy and consistency required to effectively drive opportunities through the sales process faster and better. Lastly, Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps drive customer focus on key accounts and close opportunities faster.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing offers the ability for customers to effectively manage campaigns, including all applicable planning tasks as well as the ability to distribute planning tasks and manage budgets. It also has a robust marketing list creator, giving the power to drill down and segment very specific customers and contacts.
Case management and customer service automation
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service offers a full suite tools to help companies manage the support the retention phase of the customer lifecycle. The process-driven user interface helps streamline the case resolutions process. Similar to the opportunity and lead process user interface, the customer service user interface can be tailored to work the way you do.
Dynamics 365 also helps companies manage their SLA and Entitlements. The user-friendly form also displays all previous interactions with the customer and will display related cases based on specific attributes.
For example, if my company fixes computers and a customer calls in and needs help troubleshooting their computer, based on the attributes I select like, troubleshoot, make and model of computer, and type of question. I can trigger Microsoft Dynamics 365 to search the database and pull in cases that match the attributes selected which helps employees be more educated and able to respond to customer inquiries faster.
Field Service automation
Field Service capabilities extend Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) to provide a complete Field Service management solution, including service locations, customer assets, preventative maintenance, work order management, resource management, product inventory, scheduling and dispatch, mobility, customer billing, and analytics helps enhance the communication and collaboration between customer service, dispatch, field agents, and the customer. Field Service helps optimize scheduling with efficient routing for reduced travel time, resource skill matching to help get the right technicians with the right skill sets to the right jobs.
Project Service automation
Project Service Automation capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) help create project quotes and contracts and create and manage projects for your customers after you’ve won the contract. It also provides analytics to ensure projects are feasible and profitable. Manage work hours, price lists, and employee resources to effectively track project progress and costs.
Extending CRM: XRM
The final module of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is huge! The ability to extend Microsoft CRM to help manage other areas of the business that don’t typically fall within the realms of sales, marketing, and customer service. The powerful and extremely flexible platform can easily be configured and customized to help facilitate other processes within your organization.
For example, let’s say you’re a Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer and you need a solution to manage properties. Or perhaps your organization needs a solution help manage travel requests. Microsoft CRM can help automate and/or manage any area of your business, without necessarily needing custom development to get you started. (Note! Always consult with your Microsoft Consultant before building anything.)
In summary, the rapid growth and adoption of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a testament to the investments Microsoft has made in delivering a world-class solution that real people can use to streamline their businesses and be more productive.
So what makes Microsoft Dynamics 365 stand out from its competition? Think of this: No two companies are the same in terms of how they operate. Customers need a solution that can easily be molded to fit their unique processes. Sometimes a best-of-breed solution is not the right fit, and oftentimes these solutions are not easy to configure and end up costing more in the long run. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is easy to use, integrates to Microsoft products you already own, is flexible, and provides a rapid development environment. Microsoft is innovative, intuitive, and helps drives success across your organization to meet your desired business outcomes.
CRM for Dynamics 365 and Microsoft stack
One of the most powerful propositions of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the integration with the Microsoft stack. The Microsoft stack consists of products such as Windows Server, Microsoft Exchange, Skype, Microsoft SharePoint, OneNote, and Yammer. This stack helps give an end-to-end solution designed to work together and increase the value of technology in your business.
- SQL Server. Dynamics 365 harnesses the power of Microsoft SQL Server. Microsoft SQL Server can handle 1 million commands per second and is 460% less expensive to manage in administration over an oracle database (learn more here). These benefits in turn lead to Dynamics 365 as a robust system that has much lower total cost of ownership than its competitors.
- Exchange and Outlook. Dynamics 365 integrates with Exchange and Microsoft Outlook. Exchange and Outlook by itself is a leading business email, calendar and contact solution. Combining Dynamics 365 with Exchange and Outlook allows the end user to interact with CRM in a convenient and familiar user interface.
- Skype. This tool enables easy communication to internal company contacts and external partners and customers. Dynamics 365 integrates tightly with Skype allowing presence information (Available, Busy, and Away) to be seen at a glance, and provides out-of-the-box click-to-dial integration with Dynamics 365 when working on customer records.
- Yammer. This enterprise social network platform integrates with Dynamics 365 to allow expertise in your organization to be shared efficiently to acquire new customers and provide great service to existing ones. All of this expertise shared through this internal social platform is then stored on the related record automatically so others can review it at any time.
- SharePoint. As information comes together during interaction with customers, business documents will be generated throughout the lifecycle. Dynamics CRM integrates with SharePoint creating a consistent folder structure to store and organize documents while making them easily accessible in the related CRM records—regardless if that is an account, contact, opportunity, case or a custom record type.
All of these technologies that integrate and enhance Dynamics 365 are available as service-as-a-subscription (SaaS) cloud options or on-premise deployments to give the customer the ultimate power of choice.
If you’d like an even deeper dive into the why. Check out WhyCRM by PowerObjects.