The latest release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online has the potential to increase productivity by 40%. This is the next generation of business software, providing improved mobile capabilities and intelligence that allows businesses to focus on their customers and drive growth.

The latest release of Microsoft CRM, now known as Dynamics 365, has been described by Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM as the next generation of intelligent customer engagement. Through continued research and development Microsoft have evolved their CRM solution in-line with user and customer demands. This has proved successful, with Microsoft CRM experiencing over 40 consecutive quarters of growth.

The buying process continues to change and it is now believed customers are already “…57% of the way through the buying cycle when they engage with a business.” To address this, Microsoft CRM 2015 increased the ability for sales, marketing and customer service teams to collaborate, fusing together their efforts in order to guide customers through each step of the buying cycle. Microsoft CRM 2016 takes this a step further…

Features of the future

Microsoft continue to develop features around mobility and intelligence, which in turn help improve productivity and the level of service you can provide your customers, enabling you to increase customer satisfaction and retention.

Mobility

The ability to access data via mobile devices is key to enabling your workforce when they’re working in the field. To ensure users can continue working away from the office, the mobile and tablet versions of Microsoft CRM 2016 are fully functional offline. To further address the growing popularity and dependency of mobile devices, the new release introduces SMS as a marketing channel, allowing users to utilise an alternative method of reaching out to customers.

Intelligence

Microsoft CRM 2016 integrates further with Cortana Analytics Suite, the intelligent digital personal assistant technology, which embeds sales activities, accounts and opportunities into Cortana to surface what’s most relevant to salespeople. What’s more, as Bob Stutz said, “We’re introducing capabilities like intelligent product suggestions (for cross-sell), intelligent and contextual guidance into CRM throughout the entire customer journey, which will be a real game changer for organisations looking to reduce cycle times and win deals faster.” Microsoft have also developed their social capabilities, allowing users to obtain intelligence to enable more effective social selling.

Customer Service

Great customer service is essential for a business to succeed, something we discussed here. However, many business believe they’re providing better customer service than they really are. It is for this reason Microsoft CRM 2016 includes a new survey designer allowing users to create and send out questionnaires in order to collect feedback from customers.

To allow users to improve customer service levels, the new release comes with a new knowledge management solution, which as Niraj Yadav explained on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog, “…can quickly turn customer feedback and issues into knowledge articles.

Productivity

As stated on TopTechNews.com, “Every time an employee needs to switch between a program or application, their productivity decreases by 40 percent,” Angela Bandlow, senior director of product marketing Relevant Products/Services at Microsoft, said. Therefore, Microsoft CRM 2016 has been developed to be a single, immersive experience for employees eliminating many distractions. The new release streamlines user experience further, allowing users to utilise one application for a variety of tasks. Sales, customer service and marketing professionals can now seamlessly open and move between Office 365 applications and OneDrive for Business within the CRM and the mobile application.

Users of Microsoft CRM 2016 benefit from an enhanced Excel experience within CRM, with new templates, and the ability to obtain detailed analysis and insights directly in their sales processes, without the need to export or move between applications. Added to this, the CRM application for outlook is another valuable feature enabling users to track emails and add contacts from within outlook, which is often where sales professionals spent a vast amount of time.

One to rule them all

Microsoft continue to dominate the software world. Due to the familiarity of Microsoft applications, adoption of their CRM continues to grow. Microsoft CRM is simple, familiar and is therefore seen as the next logical step. Companies such as Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, and many others may offer similar solutions for customer engagement, however, they use disparate systems, whereas Microsoft CRM is one complete and seamless package, providing some of the tightest integration between email, calendar, and CRM.

Microsoft CRM 2016 promises to be personalised, proactive, and predictive. Find out more about the new features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 here.

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