In the online business world, integrated solutions are the name of the game. The digitization and automation of manual business processes enable companies to significantly cut down on costs while reaping the benefits of improved decision-making and customer insights. Until recently, solutions existed in the form of separate CRM and ERP software that synergized disparate departments within businesses and streamlined operations. However, none have been as resourceful as Microsoft’s successful business applications platform: Dynamics 365.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based umbrella solution that comes with a host of ERP and CRM solutions. It combines powerful sales, marketing, and servicing tools to give businesses a clear view of its customers from the initial contact to after-sales support. Heralded as the future of enterprise software, Dynamics 365 is one of the big four CRM vendors and one that – during the past year or two – is experiencing one of the highest growth and acceptance rates among consumers.
Immense in its scope, application, and value, in this article, we’ll be looking at some key benefits of Dynamics 365 for sales and marketing functions.
Dynamics 365 for Sales
A significant part of effectively managing the sales process lies in finding, qualifying, and nurturing leads up to the buying stage. Dynamics 365 for sales allows businesses to establish strong relationships with customers, make informed decisions based on insights, and quickly close sales. The software also assists in keeping track of contacts and accounts, create sales collateral, and nurture sales from beginning to end.
Dynamics 365 is a user-friendly CRM system that offers relevant features to a business’s sales objectives. The following are a few benefits that make Dynamics 365 the sales-software of choice:
Successfully Track Competitors’ Performance
A significant part of being successful in sales lies not only in tracking your conversion rate, but also understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Doing so can be difficult for organizations that might prefer focusing on more pressing issues. However, Dynamics 365 has an in-built feature that allows businesses to accurately create their competitors’ profiles including the accounts as well as the sales opportunities they are trying to attain.
For example, let’s say one of your clients informs you of prospects they are receiving from two of your competitors. You can take this information – along with the competitors proposed strengths and weaknesses – and feed the information into Dynamics 365. Now, you’ll have a report that’ll help you formulate an effective sales strategy to offer the best product/service to the client and stay ahead of the competition.
Import Data with Ease
The task of importing business data into a new system during upgrades can prove to be both frustrating and time-consuming. Consumers will not wait for you to master new systems and even the slightest moment of complacency might end up in a loss of valuable leads. Incorporating Dynamics 365 will save you from such problems and import data easily into the new system.
External data can be categorized as a single import or be transferred in batches. Dynamics 365 has an “always-on” connection with Excel allowing businesses to focus on satisfying their customers’ needs while accessing information from a single portal.
Get the Right Feedback
When it comes to asking questions from customers, too many businesses follow a standardized approach and then wonder why they can’t achieve set targets. Simply making several phone calls isn’t enough because that’s also what everyone else is doing. Instead, what you need is a differentiator, something that sets you apart from the competition.
With its unique process flow UI, Dynamics 365 is that key differentiator. It assists sales teams in asking the right questions based on research and makes it easier to qualify new leads. Each step of the sales funnel is properly defined with a logical progression that pushes consumers towards the buying stage; increasing conversion rates and making it possible to reach set quotas.
Integrate Social Media
Today, sales are made online, in person, and even on social media platforms. It’s an open space where consumers are quick to voice their opinions about products and services and it’s in your company’s best interest to see what the clients and potential buyers are saying about your business.
Understanding just how impactful social media is for sales and marketing functions, Dynamics 365 comes equipped with a “Social Listening” tool just for that very purpose. Customers’ feedback can be viewed from each social media platform and companies can even join in on the conversations. Also, insights from Social Listening provide an opportunity to convert cold leads into sales and develop a highly personalized and customer-focused sales strategy.
The digital landscape is one that is mobile and easily accessible. Consumers are always connected to the internet via mobile devices and have an entire marketplace available inside their smartphones. This is equally true for businesses and sales team that require access to information while on the move in order to meet customer demands. As mentioned previously, Dynamics 365 is cloud-based and allows employees to enter CRM data to access customer information while on the move.
Being a Microsoft product, Dynamics 365 can be easily integrated with SharePoint libraries as well as the Microsoft Office suite. Office templates are easily stored, and RFPs and emails can be sent quickly. Dynamics 365 also keeps track of every Outlook email sent or received granting your business access to a comprehensive communication history preventing the need to scan emails and allow for a greater level of convenience.
Effectively Manage Customer Events
Sales teams usually offer live demos, presentations, and a host of other events for clients and prospects. These present ideal opportunities to have live interactions with stakeholders and prove how your offerings align with their business objectives and needs.
This requires successful event management which can also be handled by Dynamics 365. The software has planning, management, follow-up, and execution features, some of which include lead generation, registration conversion, automated follow-up messages, and attendance count. No longer do businesses need to manually track multiple events and instead have everything managed by Dynamics 365.
Enhanced Customer Tracking
Qualified leads progress through the sales funnel and go through different stages meaning that you’d likely end up having a different conversation with a “cold” lead than you would with a “hot” lead. Experienced salespeople understand the importance of tailoring each conversation according to its appropriate sales funnel stage. Fortunately for businesses, Dynamics 365 tracks opportunities via pre-determined milestones set by the company.
Conditions can be set with respect to each individual stage preventing opportunities from progressing until certain conditions have been fulfilled. This saves time by preventing confusion and tailoring communications in a way that’s relevant to each individual stage of the sales funnel.
Access to Sales Dashboards
When the time comes to renew a contract, replace a product, or close a sale, businesses must act fast or risk losing clients to competitors. The only possible way to act on time is with a system that keeps you up to date and allows you to make informed decisions. Dynamics 365 provides sales dashboards in real-time along with KPI charts, statistics, graphics, and more.
Useful types of data points help businesses gain better understanding of customer needs and make it possible to anticipate potential problems, boost loyalty, and increase customer satisfaction.
Automated Lead Scoring
For businesses that have hundreds of thousands of leads flowing in each month, it can be difficult to manually manage them all. Automate the process with Dynamics 365 can score additional leads while abiding to set rules and assign leads to the proper person each time.
When it comes to sales, Dynamics 365 makes it simple to gather, qualify, organize, access, and score leads much faster than the competition. Plus, it’s also cloud-based, intuitive to use, and integrated with Microsoft Office.
Now, let’s move onto the marketing side of Dynamics 365.
Dynamics 365 for Marketing
Dynamics 365 for Marketing is a marketing-automated app that assists businesses in turning prospects into beneficial relationships. The application has a built-in BI and works seamlessly alongside Dynamics 365 for Sales. It also includes several solutions and apps carefully designed to coordinate with sales and support marketing departments.
Some of these solutions and apps are available as add-ons or bundles alongside other 365 products whereas they themselves are unique to the marketing package. The following are some of these solutions:
- Event Management: Promote and organize webinars or in-person events. It also includes online portals for attendees that can be used to review the speakers, schedule, and register for events. This feature is currently unique to Dynamics 365 for Marketing.
- Core Marketing: Provides behavior tracking, customer journeys, email marketing, marketing pages, lead scoring, and much more. These features form the marketing app’s core and are unique to the marketing package.
- Dynamics 365 Portals: Dynamic 365’s portals are used by the Marketing app to publish events, conduct online surveys, and market pages. The portal feature is included within the Marketing App but isn’t exclusive to it and can be availed separately as an add-on for other Customer Engagement or Dynamics 365 products. A feature-rich, ready-to-use website is also included in the package and is only available as part of the event management feature.
- Voice of the Customer: Develop online surveys to determine consumer trends. The feature is part of the marketing app but isn’t unique to it and can be bought as an add-on with other Dynamic 365 products.
Leveraging these tools, businesses can improve their marketing strategies and avail several benefits, a few of which are as follows:
- Create interactive customer journeys and provide a more personalized experience: The marketing app has a designer journey feature that can be used to create a multichannel, automated campaign which sends personalized messages via email, launches workflows, generates follow-up activities, and does much more. Every single contact within the target group goes through a customized path which considers various interactions and locates the best prospects. Campaigns can easily be tracked and analyzed to create profitable and long-lasting relationships.
- Create quality online content that supports marketing initiatives: Customize landing pages and templates for emails that broaden your marketing efforts. Intuitive design tools make personalizing messages, setting up lead scores, and creating content a simple and easy task.
- Prioritize leads: Create an automated lead-scoring system that identifies the best leads depending on how they interact with customer journeys and events. Whenever a lead meets the established sales-score, the system directs it to a salesperson for a follow-up securing the highest chance of conversions.
- Publicize and organize events: Record all the necessary information regarding your logistics, event venues, speakers, ticketing, sponsors, and sessions in a single place to make it accessible to every team member and to make coordination easier. Proceed to develop an online event website by which attendees can view event information and updates and register online. Incorporate your events into customer journeys and email messages to create awareness.
- Make information easily accessible: Share information about leads and contacts across different teams in a secure manner. It also helps the business understand how interactions end up affecting the results. Connect marketing and sales processes to automate follow-ups and track lead progress.
- Gain a better understanding of your leads: Gain a better understanding of the market with a complete view of every customer and lead. A single information source coupled with connected processes ensures both marketing and sales have access to real-time data including recent activities, key contacts, open opportunities, and past purchases.
- Analyze and document the Return on Investment (ROI): Utilize reports and the dashboard to track the performance of marketing initiatives and identify the best marketing activities and lead sources. Combine the marketing and sales results to increase its impact on the business.
- Capitalize on survey results: Surveys are one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to gain actionable customer feedback. It helps in understanding each individual customer’s expectations and needs enabling businesses to develop lasting relationships and increase revenue.
- Expand the application: Customize and expand the marketing application to better serve your business needs. Make basic adjustments and customizations by using the application’s in-built tools. Add new features and expand its capabilities by incorporating third-party packages directly from the Microsoft AppSource. Both the Marketing and Sales applications are built on the same database and platform allowing different teams access to the same records.
Plan, Manage and Promote Marketing Webinars and Events for Successful Campaigns
Although webinars and live events can prove to be complex regarding the arrangement, execution, and follow-ups, they act as a crucial and rewarding marketing-and-sales channel. Dynamic 365’s event management features help businesses throughout the entire process starting from the initial budgeting and planning, promotion and publication, through attendee registration, online broadcasting, and finally during lead generation and evaluation of the return on investment. Key features of event-management also include:
- Speaker management, session, and session tracks
- Guest logistics for room allocation, registering hotels, and reservations
- Business processes guiding users through the necessary event-planning procedures
- Review the attendance record of each contact including sessions and events attended
- Venue management for tracking rooms, layouts, and buildings
- Create webinars and simulcasts with attendance metrics
- Seamless registration, attendance, and contact features all in one system
- Manage attendee passes to allow access to specific tracks or sessions
To create, edit, and view events and all related records, simply navigate to the Events area of Dynamics 365 where you’ll have the option to create new events. While working from a single event record, users are also able to add other types of information and records required for planning, publishing, promoting, and analytical purposes. Like other types of records in Microsoft Dynamics 365, the records allow for customizable business processes which guide users each step of the way.
Other parts within the Event work area can be used for specific record types related to event planning including logistics, sponsors, sessions, and more. After the event, track, session, pass, and speaker records are gathered in one place, users can then upload it on the event website allowing attendees to read the information and register if they so desire. Users also have the option to make the registration an invitation-only or available to anyone who applies.
All in all, Dynamics 365 is an exceptional solution owed to its intuitive use and customizability that make it attuned to businesses’ needs. The product is affordable and results in overall business growth. EX² Outcoding is a nearshore software development company in Costa Rica that also provides Microsoft Dynamics Solutions to businesses seeking the cost-effective benefits of ERP as well as the sales analytics provided by its CRM software. Contact us today for more information.