Your sales team is facing challenges that did not exist 10 or 20 years ago. Prospects are better informed, more technically adept and tired of the same old sales tactics. Even long-time customers have begun to expect more and become more demanding. If your sales team is to succeed, they need tools that can boost productivity, help forge better relationships and work smarter. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one such tool that can help sales teams excel in a competitive, global economy.
What Is Microsoft Dynamics 365?
Dynamics 365 combines ERP and CRM solutions in the cloud. Different modules are available that can be mixed and matched to tailor an integrated solution for every area of business. For example, you can choose the sales, marketing, customer service and finance modules or the sales, field service and customer service modules. The sales module is focused on three basic needs.
- Centralized contact management provides sales teams with accurate, detailed information on each customer's data and interactions. Since everyone can have access to identical information, staff members will not need to ask customers to repeat the details that have already been provided, improving the customer's experience, allowing staff to be more efficient and reinforcing the image of your company as a knowledgeable, reliable provider.
- Mobilizing your sales team allows them to be more productive. Dynamics 365 can be accessed from any location and at any time with a tablet, smartphone, laptop or desktop computer. If a sales representative needs information while meeting with a client, he or she can access it quickly. Furthermore, integrating OneNote and Skype allows your sales team to stay in touch with you, their teammates and their customers regardless of location.
Insight into business operations enhances your ability to adjust quickly or understand the critical data that you must have if you are to improve your performance. Dynamics 365 offers a number of reporting tools that can help you collate and interpret data, allowing you to review what is working and how your sales team is performing.
Dynamics 365 Tools for Sales Teams
The sales module for Dynamics 365 offers several tools that can help boost productivity for your sales team. The tools help enhance customer service as well as improve communication and collaboration. Here are some of the most important tools for sales professionals.
- Integration with Office 365: Dynamics 365 is deeply integrated with Office 365. For example, if you need to make changes to a sales order, it will open Word, an application with which virtually most everyone is familiar. After the edits are made, you can save your changes and continue; you do not need to switch out of Dynamics 365 to amend the sales order.
- OneNote: OneNote is an excellent application for taking notes. In Dynamic 365, your notes and photos that you have recorded in OneNote will be added to the customer's account automatically.
- Skype for Business: Integration with Dynamics 365 enhances communication and collaboration between customers and colleagues. It is ideal for hosting webinars as well.
The power of Dynamics 365 lies in its integration with other Microsoft products as well as the integration of a CRM and ERP. This is the era of big data, a time when companies are collecting more data in a month than most collected during a year in previous decades. Without integrating your CRM and ERP, data in each system can be inaccessible. Bridging solutions may resolve some of the issues related to data silos, but without true integration, your sales team will not be able to be as productive.
To illustrate the advantages, consider the experience that Kennametal had when the company embraced Dynamics 365. The company had been forced to reduce its sales staff due to an economic downturn. In an effort to ensure that the sales team was able to spend as much time as possible with customers, the company analyzed their duties. The study found that the sales team was spending almost 30 percent of their time on manual administrative tasks. Lead tracking, customer queries and reporting were all burdensome and inadequate. Kennametal used Dynamics 365 in some interesting ways.
- Skype for Business allowed the company to hire recent retirees as telecommuting part-time employees, which let the company retain the specialized knowledge that these employees had.
- Kennametal is planning to have Dynamics 365 send alerts whenever a customer appears in a news story online. This gives the sales team the chance to be the first to respond when a customer announces expansion plans or strikes a new deal.
- The sales team can generate reports in a matter of minutes that once required several hours of work. This gives the sales representatives more time to spend building relationships with their customers.
- The company plans to use Skype to establish an internal knowledge base. The idea is to have employees approaching retirement to record videos demonstrating how a task is handled or discussing internal "know-how" that others may not know.
Dynamics 365 also ensures that you will always be working with the most current version. Instead of waiting years for new features to be added, updates will be made as soon as they are available.
Dynamics 365 can be a winning solution for companies of all sizes that need to become more competitive by empowering their sales teams. As a bonus, the overall operation can experience improvements in efficiency and productivity, which can lead to increased revenue and larger profits.