Dynamics 365 CRM: Everything you need to know

21/02/2020

What is Microsoft CRM?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 includes a comprehensive customer relationship management CRM platform, with every customer-related app your business may need. Once known as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it has now been renamed and upgraded to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement. 

A CRM is a software which helps businesses manage and organise everything to do with your client relationships and data. Every time you interact with customers it will be tracked and recorded. This provides you with a singular platform where you get total visibility over your customer activity. 

What are the types of CRM software used in Microsoft Dynamics 365?  

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement has an extensive list of customer service and management applications. These features all work together to give a complete customer management platform. This helps coordinate your sales team, marketing campaigns and operations.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Features:

· Dynamics 365 for Sales

· Dynamics 365 for Customer Service

· Dynamics 365 for Marketing

· Dynamics 365 for Field Service

· Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation

· Dynamics 365 for Retail

· Dynamics 365 for Talent

Alongside these applications, Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers Finance and Operations and Business Central. While Finance and Operations is an ERP solution, Business Central integrates the best of ERP and CRM capabilities. When you can manage your existing clients, new leads and your business operations together you have better visibility for decision making.

Together the Dynamics 365 platform will help you do everything from contact management, to tracking phone calls, to logging new products and services. You can guarantee your customer information will inform everyday activity and long-term strategies.

How do Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM apps work and what are they used for?

Microsoft CRM apps are all available individually. Although they used to be delivered as a package, they were split into modules to give businesses more freedom and flexibility. This way, you can get exactly what you need. And don’t worry about adding data silos – all these modules integrate and work together as if they were one solution. 

These CRM apps are each designed to help you streamline your administration and operations surrounding sales, marketing, and client service. Now you can focus on strengthening and developing your customer relationships and leads. With simplified organisation and automated processes automated you will never miss another sales opportunity. 

It is easy to lose track when your client data is scattered across Excel sheets, databases and documents. That’s why a clean and centralised CRM system is so important. That’s what Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides.

And if you want to take the next step in integration and automation - think Business Central. This interconnected platform can share workflows and information across your CRM and ERP apps. Making staying on top of client and sales projects second nature.  

What kind of businesses will Dynamics 365 CRM work for? 

Any business that works with a client base, for example professional service industries, will benefit from CRM capabilities. And by customising your CRM package you can be sure you have the apps that will meet your needs. 

Businesses, big or small, can find a package that suits their resources. A start-up may not need all seven apps right away. In fact, having all of them may make processes more complex. Whereas a medium to large company will require a more robust solution.

That’s why Microsoft upgraded their package to let you pick and choose. It means everyone can adopt what they need, at the pace that works for them. 

Why should I choose Dynamics 365 as my next CRM? 

So why should Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps be your next CRM software? There is a plethora of reasons – and that’s because Microsoft has built an all-encompassing platform to address every customer management pain point you’ve ever felt. 

Here are our seven top reasons for choosing Microsoft Dynamics 365 to empower your CRM actions:

1. Data trust

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is cloud-based, hosted by Azure. While this may sound less secure than your on-premise hardware storage, it actually makes your data much more difficult to hack or lose. With Azure you can be sure your client information is inaccessible to anyone without permission. 

And don’t worry about compliance issues - the Microsoft Cloud meets GDPR regulations. No matter what device you access your software from, all the information is stored in UK data centres. 

2. Unify sales processes

All your client related apps and data integrate together. And everyone in your team has access to the same information. This means your client relationships can be easily maintained across the board. And they will experience the same quality of service at every point of contact. 

3. Simplified platform

No more over-designed, complex dashboards that end up making it more difficult to understand your client data. Instead, you can customise what you want to see. Microsoft has also created interactive, simplified displays so the most important information stands out. 

This makes it much easier for your team to adopt the new solution. No programming, coding, or technical expertise is required. 

And you don’t have to spend months training people to perform basic CRM tasks. It’s all intuitive. But you won’t be thrown in the deep end either. Our Microsoft partners spend time helping you onboard the software – making sure that the whole team can make the switch seamlessly.  

4. Automated tasks

The Dynamics 365 CRM apps have more enhanced workflows than ever. With connected tasks and automatic triggers, you can stop wasting time with monotonous and repetitive admin. Creating new workflows that are unique to your business means you can focus on what really matters – the client. 

As well as saving you time, CRM automation ensures nothing important falls through the cracks. Keeping up with even the smallest contact opportunities has a significant impact on your conversion rate. There’s no point in creating leads if you don’t have the resources to manage them properly.

5. Complete Integration

With the Dynamics 365 platform every process and piece of data is connected. Each app is designed to work as one. As always, Microsoft’s priorities are to eradicate data silos, open up visibility and empower insightful decision-making.

And Business Central takes this one step further. The comprehensive platform naturally combines CRM and ERP capabilities, so everything you need is available from one point of contact. 

6. Advanced Insights

Dynamics 365 CRM is embedded with real-time reporting and AI abilities. Put data at the forefront of your business plan with key insights at your fingertips. 

Business Central lets you combine these features with the impressive analytics of Power BI. Advanced forecasting abilities, trend tracking, and analytics tools you will be empowered to make data-driven decisions and future-proofed strategies. 

7. Create conversions

A centralised, automated CRM system ultimately helps you increase conversions. You can coordinate your sales and marketing efforts, track the position of leads, and target them appropriately. Plus, you’ll never forget to follow up. This funnelled system creates a more efficient and effective sales process. 

Managing your customer relationships well is the first, and most critical, step towards business success. That’s why the right CRM solution is crucial.

How much does Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM cost? 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a SaaS product which means the cost is more flexible than an on-premise system. You only have to pay a license for the apps you need and the users that need them. In contrast to package systems, you don’t pay extra for hundreds of features you’ll never use. 

And you save money down the line too. Updates are easier, cheaper and included in your initial subscription. Microsoft are fully transparent about their costs which you can find easily on their site.

Which is the Dynamics 365 CRM customer portal? 

Customer portals are here to help you connect your CRM with your customers. It acts as an additional point of contact as your website for your customers online. With different portals for different customers, they can communicate with your company in a more efficient way.

Much like other Microsoft apps, this portal framework can be customised to your needs. If you need to manage a specific area of your client base – create a portal. This way you can collaborate with your customers, not just sell to them.

Which is better, Microsoft 365 CRM or Salesforce?  

Of course, we believe in Microsoft products - that’s why we’re a Gold Microsoft Partner. But we won’t tell you that Salesforce is the enemy either. Both systems are leading CRM providers for a reason.

What we will tell you is that Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the flexible solution. The modular CRM apps means every user can create the system that works for them. So from start-ups to SMBs to large enterprises, Microsoft can support your client relationships. 

And if you’re using Office 365, Excel, Word, or any other standard Microsoft product, then 365 is the best fit. Its integrative nature means deployment is simplified and interdepartmental adoption is seamless.

What is the future of Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM? 

As we’ve said, Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM is now a collection of apps rather than a single platform. They’ve been broken down to accommodate the changing way businesses work. When you can be flexible with your software, you can be agile with your business strategies.   

Business Central has been created to replace the comprehensive-style solution. It’s a more efficient and integrative version of CRM – plus it brings ERP capabilities to the forefront of your customer activity. 

Microsoft is consistently tending to its apps and platforms. Business Central and the surrounding client-related apps just received a major boost in the 2020 release wave. This ensures that your CRM – and your business – is always top of the pack and future-proofed.

Looking for a new CRM? Fill out the form below or get in touch with one of City Dynamics's experienced advisors to find out how Microsoft Dynamics 365 could solve all your customer management problems.