In this article we want to explore the main drivers that encourage businesses to implement Microsoft Dynamics as their CMR, looking at the unique features of Dynamics 365 that make it right for them.
Before we get started, we wanted to provide an understanding of what we mean by CRM in the context of this article. CRM (or Customer Relationship Management) refers to the technology and processes used to manage the relationship your organisation has with its customers and clients. Many opt to implement a CRM system as a way to more efficiently manage Sales, however you can utilise a CRM system throughout the entirety customer lifecycle including Marketing, Customer Service and more.
When used and implemented properly, a CRM can empower your business collate all of its customer data into a single source of truth, streamlining process efficiency, improving customer relationships in a way that drives retention, and allow the creation of richer reports and dashboards that power strategic decision making.
While Customer Relationship Management is more than technology, the platform itself is fundamental to any CRM project. While the market for CRM’s systems becomes more saturated, we want to explore market leader Microsoft Dynamics 365 leaders and what its key strengths are.
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Dynamics 365 is a platform created by Microsoft that combines Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and CRM. The platform is comprised of several different service areas, including – Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, HR, Finance, Operations, and so on.
There are the key features that you should expect to find across all platforms, features like – a mobile and offline experience so people can work from anywhere, on any device, dashboards, and charts to show analytics, and security to keep your data safe. Microsoft Dynamics delivers on all of these, but it is the next list of features that we believe are the reason Dynamics 365 is the market leading CRM:
Flexible and highly customisable
One of the biggest strengths of Dynamics 365 is the flexibility of the platform. As a platform, Dynamics 365 is highly customisable, and can be used to manage not just customer relationships, but really any relationship. You can customise the platform to completely fit your businesses unique processes rather than having to adapt how you work to fit the system. This flexibility means that as your organisation grows and potentially changes, you know the system can change with you. It also means you can remove fields and items that aren’t relevant, add custom fields or update terminology to fit with how your people speak about your processes, and make the system simple for your staff to understand and use.
Future-proof and scalable
The platform is ultra-scalable meaning it grows when you do. Dynamics 365 is used by organisations with as few as two employees, up to the largest global enterprises, so you know that when you invest in Dynamics 365 you can stay with the platform without ever ‘outgrowing’ it. Microsoft have committed to continual invest in the platform and preforming regular updates. Ensuring your business benefits from continual innovations, providing peace of mind that your CRM system won’t go out of support or become stagnant like some smaller platforms can.
Automated workflows can save a huge amount of valuable time, removing manual processes across your business, freeing up time to spend on more valuable activities. Most CRMs include a level of process automation and built-in workflows, but the power of Dynamics comes from its unique customisation and flexibility, allowing you to create nearly any type of automation and integrate workflows with a wide range of third-party applications. For simple automations, end users or super users can use Power Automate, which enables no-code/low-code workflow building opening up automation capabilities to non-technical users.
Most organisations today use Microsoft in some capacity – be it for workplace collaboration with tools like Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, or for their employees’ day-to-day roles with Office. By having your CRM in the same ecosystem, your people can easily use these familiar services within Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 includes native Excel integration to import and export data, Word integration for creating documentation templates, Outlook integration to track emails and communications with clients and suppliers, and a Teams integration to integrate CRM into your daily workspace. You also gain the confidence that any future Microsoft services will work with your CRM if you’re using Microsoft Dynamics 365.
It can also seamlessly integrate with Power Platform allowing further development and opportunities for unique process development, business insights, web integrations, the creation of integrated Virtual Agents and so much more. You can learn more about the Power Platform here.
Dynamics 365 has some of the most powerful reporting capabilities thanks to its native integration with Excel and Power BI. It features rich visual dashboards, charts and in-depth reports that can be created, customised, and automated but it’s the ‘Advanced Find’ feature that really opens up your analytics. This intuitive feature allows users of any technical ability create their own views, charts and reports to analyse data – these can be then used individually or shared with specific people or teams. If you want to get more visual analytics then Power BI is the best option, which can also be easily shared with anyone and gives you the BI capabilities that are renowned from the platform.
Security & Compliance
All CRM platforms should have strong security built-in, as your CRM has some of the most sensitive data your organisation collects and stores. Dynamics 365 is built upon the security and compliance power of Microsoft, one of the largest software providers in the world. Renowned for their continued multi-billion investment in security that feeds down into all their products. As part of the Microsoft ecosystem, you can utilise security features, such as Single Sign-On, MFA, Conditional Access and more added, integrated protection and centralised management to keep your IT team happy.
A CRM is integral to the continued success of most organisations, so choosing the right platform is key. You need to consider how you plan on using CRM, your long-term company plans and your exact requirements. Equally important is understanding what you don’t require.
For some organisations looking for a simple sales tracking CRM slightly more advanced than spread sheets, Microsoft Dynamics 365 could be overkill. However, in our experience having the long-term flexibility, scalability and ability to integrate to other data sources makes choosing Dynamics 365 a valuable long-term investment for your CRM. You can talk to one of our Microsoft Certified experts about how Dynamics could empower your business growth here.