A Comprehensive Guide to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM

Everything you ever wanted to know about Dynamics 365 CRM – but didn’t know whom to ask

In today’s noisy and crowded buyer’s market, smart organizations make an effort to focus on what really matters – the customer. They know that the modern-day customer is digitally-savvy and well-informed. They know that he doesn’t care how great a product or service is but only what the product or service can do for him. Smart organizations also understand the importance of speaking the customer’s language. And they make an effort to manage their relationships with the customer in ways that benefit them both.

Undoubtedly, one of the most powerful ways to do all of this is through Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. For close to two decades, Microsoft Dynamics has been the CRM of choice for smart organizations all over the world.

What can you do with Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

For starters, you can manage customer data, and improve your interactions with current customers and future prospects. You can also synchronize your previously-‘siloed’ Sales and Marketing functions to extract necessary synergies that can improve your collectively lead nurturing capabilities. It can even empower you to improve your Customer Service processes. And all of this is just the tip of the iceberg. With a full suite of out-of-the-box features and powerful functionalities, Microsoft Dynamics is one of the best CRM solutions in the market today.

What is Microsoft Dynamics CRM? Is it different from Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Microsoft Dynamics is a comprehensive, integrated, data-driven CRM platform that helps organizations improve customer acquisition and retention, streamline various business processes, and meet their Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service goals.

In late 2016, Microsoft released Dynamics 365, a combined CRM/ERP solution that builds and improves upon the existing capabilities of Dynamics CRM, while also providing additional capabilities.

Dynamics 365 breaks down the previous ‘silos’ of ERP and CRM, and delivers new purpose-built applications for each in the easily accessible and secure cloud. These applications work seamlessly together to help organizations manage, coordinate and synergize business processes across multiple functions, including sales, marketing, customer service, field service, operations, project service automation and more.

Moreover, unlike Dynamics CRM, users of Dynamics 365 CRM don’t have to pay for the features they don’t use. Organizations can choose a ‘custom’ pricing plan based on the functionalities they plan to use, whether it’s an ERP feature, a CRM feature or some combination of the two.

Who can benefit from Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

Dynamics 365 offers a highly dynamic, super-flexible solution that can be customized to meet the needs of organizations of every size and business profile. Thus, it can benefit both:

· Small or medium businesses looking to grow in size, scale and scope

· Larger corporates looking to expand into new markets (or countries), product lines or customer segments

This CRM enables smaller organizations to centralize their customer information, automate business processes, and transform their operations – all benefits that can positively impact their revenues and profits.

Established enterprises looking for a way to simplify and streamline even complex processes or customer engagement strategies can also (and especially) benefit from Microsoft Dynamics CRM. With this solution, they get powerful customer insights and business intelligence so they can nurture and track leads, connect better with customers and improve their conversions.

5 Powerful Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM

Unlike many other CRM platforms which mainly focus only on the needs of Sales and Marketing teams, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is differentiated by its ability to extend and scale across multiple business units. It thus gives companies the ability to leverage their CRM investment and increase their ROI without the need to purchase or deploy additional software.

Here are 5 more powerful reasons to choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM:

1.It offers multiple deployment options

Both cloud and on-premise hosting options are available with Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM. Dynamics 365 in the cloud reduces operating costs and simplifies deployment even across the organization’s existing infrastructure.

2.It supports multiple devices

Microsoft Dynamics CRM comes with a native mobile app that enables access to its features from anywhere and at any time. It can be further customized or extended to meet complex business requirements. Users can create, update and view CRM data including content, leads and prospects while on the move, which allows for increased productivity while working from out of the office.

3.Robust security model

The robust security model for Microsoft Dynamics CRM supports efficient data access and collaboration, while also protecting data integrity and privacy. This model includes:

· Role-based security: This allows for the grouping of sets of privileges based on the roles assigned to them within Dynamics 365.

· Field-level security: It can be configured to restrict access to specific fields in an entity, and only to specified users or teams.

· Form-based security: This level of security can be configured to allow (or restrict) access only to certain users or teams.

4.Built-in Power BI, AI and ML capabilities

Users can import data from Dynamics 365 into the Power BI dashboard to access the most important information right at their fingertips. Moreover, built-in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities provide intelligent and detailed insights about customers’ behaviors, preferences and needs, so organizations can update their solutions offerings to meet these needs. The AI-powered Relationship Assistant produces action cards to keep the sales pipeline moving, suggests next steps that can help nurture relationships, issues timely notifications about opportunities. In short, it can help your organization close more sales.

5.Microsoft Flow and PowerApps

With the cloud-based Microsoft Flow, you can create automated workflows across different apps and services. And with PowerApps for Dynamics 365, a drag-and-drop app builder, you can quickly build custom apps, and even combine data and actions from multiple apps based on business needs.

Key functional modules in Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM?

Dynamics 365 is a pay per user per month, software-as-a-service (SaaS) range of products offering a host of pre-built integrations. This CRM extends the functionalities of the previous Dynamics CRM with its multiple powerful modules:

1. Sales

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides a familiar and intuitive solution to effectively and accurately manage the sales process. Sales teams now have on-the-go access to all kinds of customer data for lead generation, lead qualification and conversion into customer accounts. They can also collaborate across geographies or work groups to drive personal engagement with leads, prospects and customers, and thus win more deals. The sales automation process in Dynamics 365 also includes functionalities for order management and invoice tracking.

2. Marketing

Microsoft Dynamics 365 enables organizations to streamline all their Marketing tasks. With enterprise-ready collaboration, you can work across multiple teams and even external agencies to effectively plan, manage and execute your multi-channel marketing campaigns from start to end. With the marketing automation capabilities of Dynamics 365, your organization can drive innovation, improve customers’ service engagement experiences, reduce your time to market and ultimately bring your marketing vision to life.

3. Customer service

Microsoft Dynamics 365 enables organizations to simplify the ‘retention’ phase of the customer lifecycle. With its process-driven interface, as well as data analysis and predictive care capabilities, Customer Service teams can streamline the case resolutions process in order to reduce response times, and increase the number and quality of resolutions. The AI-driven service ‘bots’ can increase customer self-service and free up customer service agents for more meaningful interactions that exceed customers’ expectations.

4. Field Service

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides a comprehensive field service automation solution to connect with customers in meaningful ways that build trust over the long term. Field agents can streamline scheduling, manage inventory, automate work orders perform preventative maintenance and deliver more personalized service.

5. Project Service automation

Microsoft Dynamics 365 also provides Project Service Automation capabilities to help create project quotes and contracts, anticipate resource requirements, forecast project profitability, and even manage the entire project from end to end. You can even manage schedules, track expenses, and analyze and simplify billing to improve profitability on every project. With collaborative tools and built-in analytics, Dynamics CRM 365 enables project teams to build a truly customer-centric service delivery model.

5 New Features in Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM for Business Users

Here are 5 of the most popular features that place Microsoft Dynamics 365 in a different league from all other CRMs available today:

1. App Modules

App modules enable users to create customized, highly-targeted apps or business process flows within the CRM. A simple drag and drop functionality that eliminates the need for add-ins, plug-ins and writing code. These apps are not limited to a single page or sitemap or page, but can be used throughout the platform.

2. New Unified CRM User Interface (UI)

The new unified UI in Dynamics 365 CRM adapts to the device or screen being used to provide a consistent and highly accessible experience across the web, Outlook and mobile devices. In conjunction with this new UI, the new Sitemap Designer allows users to easily create and edit sitemaps. Another feature – the Visual Process Designer– allows users to create visual representations of business process flows, business rules and task flows.

3. Customer Insights

This feature provides intelligent analytics and detailed visualizations to help teams and individuals better understand and engage with their customers. In addition, two powerful features, Predictive Match and Predictive Scoring, provide contextual information about customers, and empower users to generate Machine Learning models in order to predict business outcomes.

4. Customer Service Hub

The ​Customer Service Hub enables service teams to manage cases and knowledge posts with greater efficiency, agility and speed. Built on the new Unified UI, Customer Service Hub provides AI-enabled experiences and insights to empower service teams to intelligently handle routine requests, resolve more complex issues and deliver tailored service to customers across multiple channels.

5. Learning Paths

Learning Paths in Dynamics 365 is a series of interactive assets like videos, guided tasks and documents that enable users to familiarize themselves with its features and functionalities. These resources can be customized depending upon each user’s department or job responsibilities.

For information on Microsoft Dynamics 365 features for developers, read our article here

Multiple deployment options for Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM?

For enhanced organizational flexibility and agility, Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers multiple robust deployment options: on-premise, cloud and partner-hosted. All the capabilities of the CRM are available for each option.

Dynamics 365 CRM online is a convenient cloud-based hosting solution offering a number of benefits including: remote real-time access, freedom from purchasing expensive additional hardware or software licenses, automatic updates and enhanced security protection.

Dynamics 365 CRM on-premise requires the set-up of applications and servers within your organization’s own environment. Although this increases the cost, it also provides better control over your data.

The third hosting option, partner-hosted deployment, is essentially an on-premise CRM running on a Microsoft partner’s server.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Integrations

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM provides powerful integration capabilities – with the Microsoft stack and with third-party solutions – that can empower your organization to embrace a more collaborative way of working. This improves your organization’s productivity and also enables your workforce to have all the information they need to serve customers better.

Microsoft:

· Exchange and Outlook

· Office 365

· SQL Server

· SharePoint

· Power BI

Others:

· Adobe Document Cloud for digital signatures

· ProntoForms for offline mobile access

· Xero and Sage account packages

· Skype for communications

· LinkedIn for lead capture and social selling

· Cortana virtual assistant;

and many more.

Make Microsoft Dynamics 365 work for your organization

In 2019, the global research and advisory firm, Gartner recognized Microsoft Dynamics 365 as a ‘Leader’ in its Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center. Gartner also named Microsoft one of the 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for CRM Lead Management. From powerful data insights and customizable functionalities to enhanced third-party integration and automation capabilities – Microsoft Dynamics 365 is truly a cloud-based CRM platform for the new age.

If you’re still not sure whether Dynamics 365 is right for your organization, contact us today for personalized help. WayPath’s highly-skilled team of Dynamics 365 technical and business experts can help you identify and grab the many opportunities available with this CRM so you can unify your siloed business functions, power automated processes and develop more meaningful customer relationships. Get in touch today for a free demo.

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