Dynamics CRM 2015 Update 1: Intuitive Sales Functionality

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The way customers interact with businesses has fundamentally changed. The technological environment is constantly evolving, and as a result today’s customers are constantly connected via mobile devices, plugged into their social network, and doing their own research. This means that traditional ways of doing business are becoming obsolete, as consumers strive to take advantage of all of the technologies at their disposal. A recent report from prnewswire.com forecast that the global digital media adaptor market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.47% over the period 2014-2019, considering that these devices play a major role in the functioning of smart homes, this prediction illustrates not only the trajectory of the digital media adaptor market, but also the rate at which digital media and technology are penetrating into the everyday existence of the modern consumer.

Implications for Sales People

In order for sales people to continue selling effectively they need to fully embrace the changes in both technology and in how their customers engage with it. Luckily, Microsoft invest millions staying abreast of industry trends and adapting their technologies to enable their partners in the CRM space, to provide solutions that not only take heed of the volatile environment, but provide their end users with the tools necessary to harness the inevitable changes and use them to their advantage. The recent Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Spring Update has introduced a number of new features that provide benefits to all areas of business. This article aims to illustrate how the update allows sales people to maximise productivity and create a flexible and engaging customer experience.

Outlook

Microsoft strive to provide sales people with the capacity to work in a way that enables them to maximise productivity, this means aligning with how and where they want to work, bearing in mind that different people work in different ways.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Outlook already integrate with one another. This has provided sales people with offline and sales capabilities from the familiar application. The recent update has integrated the applications further by exporting relevant information from Dynamics CRM directly to the users’ inbox.

Mobile

CRM Online 2015 Update 1 introduces a new version of CRM for phones that’s based on and shares much of the features of CRM for tablets. This offers users an intuitive experience that allows sales people to access leads and opportunities whilst on the move. Users are able to stay productive when they are not connected to the Internet. The mobile app keeps records have been used recently, so they can still be accessed even though there is no internet connection.

Folder Level Tracking

An extremely useful feature of the update is that it now allows the users track incoming emails using folder level tracking, which enables the tracking of emails on any device that supports Microsoft Exchange folders. Before the update the user would have to manually track one email at a time by opening the email clicking on the “track” and then “set regarding” to choose the correct account or opportunity.

The update gives the user the ability to create a folder that tracks an account or opportunity, emails can be tracked using the drag and drop feature, and this process can be fully automated by setting inbox rules. These rules dictate that emails from specific addresses go to specific folders related to an account or opportunity, which means that they are automatically tracked in CRM. This feature is particularly useful for companies that have teams who share and collaborate on specific accounts or opportunities.

OneNote Integration

Update 1 saw the integration between Dynamics CRM and OneNote which forms part of the Activities pane. This allows the user to record notes into OneNote directly from CRM and easily access these notes from within CRM. This is also extremely useful for sales people where there is a requirement collaborate if they are working on the same leads or opportunities.

Immersive Excel

Immersive excel allows users seamlessly utilise the functionality of Microsoft Excel from Directly within Dynamics CRM, which mitigates the need to export all of the data to perform more complex calculations and analysis. In order to make use of this new functionality, the following requirements must be met:

• CRM Online
• Separate Office 365 License required (Online version of Office)
• Export to Excel Security Role Privilege
• Available in the Web Client only (not available for the phone, tablet, or Outlook clients yet)

Social Sales

Update 1 has provided sales people with the ability to create leads and opportunities directly from social media posts. This could potentially be an extremely valuable feature as it is another source of good quality leads based on buying intentions found in conversations on various social media channels.

The improved user interface further enhances the intuitive feel of the application. Clickable areas on widgets let users visually add or remove filters for quick and interactive analysis. It enables users to communicate with. One of the most effective ways to understand what people are talking about is content analysis and this new feature enables users to do just that.

Download our white paper for a detailed overview of how update one has impacted upon other areas of business.

The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Features-and-Benefits-of-Update-1

Upgrading to CRM 2015

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 is here and many of you will be eager to upgrade soon.

What does it take to upgrade CRM 2013 to CRM 2015 and what support changes can you expect? Let’s have a look:
 

Supported Systems

Operating systems

After the CRM 2015 update, Microsoft will continue to support Windows server 2012 and 2012R OS’s. Microsoft also supports Windows SQL Server 2012 and Windows 7 and Windows 8 clients. This includes Windows 8 and 8.1.

With the recent release of Windows 10, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 users will be able to use Cortana to set up meetings and reminders as well as search for contacts, accounts and activities and create new records using voice commands. Source: ZDnet.com

With the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, Microsoft has ceased supporting Windows 2008/2008R2, Windows Vista as well as Small Business Server and SQL Server 2008 and 2008R2.

Internet browsers

Microsoft is going to continue to support IE 10 and 11 going forward.

Microsoft has withdrawn support for Internet Explorer 8 and 9. If you are using these browsers, you’re encouraged to upgrade to the most up-to-date IE version (or any other browser that supports CRM) as more and more CRM features will stop working in these browsers over time.

Other platforms

In the case of Exchange and Outlook, Microsoft will support versions starting from 2010. They will drop support for Exchange 2007 and Office 2007 as well as SharePoint 2007.

Find out more on Feridun’s Knowledgebase.
 

Server Upgrade Process: CRM 2015 on Premise

Upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 on Premise is a one-way process, which means CRM 2015 on Premise cannot be uninstalled.

There are two ways to upgrade to CRM 2015 on Premise:

  1. In Place: By installing media on top of the servers that you have
  2. Migration upgrade: By installing another CRM instance with a separate database and then migrating your existing database over. This is the preferred method as it allows you to fall back on your existing CRM 2013 account in case something goes wrong.

For both types of upgrade method to work, your CRM must be at least version 2013 6.1 (your server must be on CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 or higher).

Before proceeding with the upgrade, Microsoft will carry out a health check on your existing database to see whether it’s safe for you to upgrade. If there seems to be an issue, Microsoft will alert you. If the issue is something Microsoft knows how to solve for you, they will provide you with a guide on how to solve it.

Change in CRM database structure

After the CRM 2013 upgrade, users could choose whether to keep the existing database structure or to switch to a more efficient system (expanded series of data tables were merged and replaced by collapsed tables). The CRM 2015 update will make it mandatory for you to start using this system.

If your database is not merged yet, the update will automatically do this for you. If for some reason your database can’t be merged, Microsoft will make you aware of this so you can resolve the problem.
 

CRM 2013 to 2015 Online update

For all the CRM Online users, the great news is that Microsoft will take care of all this upgrading work for you – as part of the service. Microsoft recommends you work with your CRM partner on upgrading your CRM Online to make sure everything is migrated correctly.

If you want to upgrade from CRM 2011 straight to CRM 2015, this will not be possible without updating to CRM 2013 first. This is because the Microsoft development team has made significant changes to the core of the system.

For example, the lead forms have got a new layout with the CRM 2013 upgrade. CRM 2011 users were allowed to keep their old lead form design (but were encouraged to upgrade to the new one so they can take advantage of new features). Now with the CRM 2015 upgrade, companies can decide for themselves whether they want to keep the existing layout and upgrade it later, or upgrade it along with the rest of their CRM.

Upgrading CRM 2011 to 2013 to CRM 2015 forms

 

CRM 2015 migration tools

Microsoft provides many tools and capabilities within your CRM system to help you upgrade to CRM 2015.

The documentation can be found either in your Software Development Kit (SDK) or on the Microsoft website. It covers:

  • The process you need to go through to upgrade
  • The design considerations you should take into account (for example, how your lead forms will appear on your mobile and Outlook client)
  •  
    For clients wishing to upgrade from CRM 2011, the in-app tools can be found in your form designer. In CRM 2011, all lead forms are called Information. In CRM 2013, the name changed to Account. Once you’ve upgraded to CRM, you’ll see a button called Merge Forms. You’ll be presented with a look-up dialogue that allows you to select the 2011 form. When you import that form, it will take the information from your 2011 form and move it to the bottom of your CRM 2013 form.

    Matthew Barbour, Principal Solutions Architect PM At Microsoft, explained everything CRM 2013 clients need to upgrade to CRM 2015 in this video. To see Matt explain upgrading to CRM 2015, watch it now:


     
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    Do you have a different version of Dynamics CRM and want to upgrade to CRM 2015? If you have:

    • CRM 4

    • CRM 2011

    • or even CRM 2013,

    Let us know and we’re happy to offer you free advice on upgrading your Microsoft Dynamics CRM. There’s no obligation and we’re super friendly!

    MS Dynamics CRM 2015

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Online pricing

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We’re happy to see so many people eagerly expecting Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.

As you already know, the main attraction of CRM 2015 is that it’s going to bridge the gap between Sales and Marketing. So what about CRM 2015 pricing?

In this blog, we talk about CRM 2015 Online licences (for on-premise licences, please refer to Microsoft’s website).

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Online Pricing

There are a few different types of licences you’ll be able to get for CRM 2015 Online: Enterprise, Professional, Basic and Essential.

What pricing and features can we expect from these licences? Here’s a summary:

Essential

Price: £9.40/user/month
Suitable for: Users who only need access to custom relationship management (xRM) capabilities created specifically for their use
Main features: custom entities, notes & activities, executing workflows

Basic

Price: £18.70/user/month
Suitable for: Employees who need CRM for areas other than marketing, sales and customer service. These users may need access to accounts, contacts, leads, cases, reporting, and custom relationship management (xRM) capabilities
Main features: Same as above plus basic marketing, sales and service features

Professional

Price: £40.50/user/month
Suitable for: Everyone who needs full access to sales, marketing and service features
Main features: Same as above plus bulk data import, workflow editing and unified service desk

Enterprise

Price: £124.60/user/month
Suitable for: All employees who need full marketing, sales and service features plus Microsoft Marketing and Parature (a help desk software for multi-channel service delivery)
Main features: Same as above plus Microsoft Marketing and Parature

The full Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Online licence pricing list including Microsoft Social Listening, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, additional storage, additional production instance, enhanced support and professional direct support can be found here.

Microsoft now offers a great deal on their Sales Productivity Package. It’s a bundle of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 & Office 365 Business Intelligence bundle and includes:
• Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015
• Office 365
• Yammer enterprise social network
• Power BI (Graphic visualisation of data)
• Microsoft Social Listening

Find out more about the CRM and Power BI bundle in this Microsoft Dynamics video:
 

Companies that already subscribe to Office 365 will get the Sales Productivity Package for £28.09/user/month.

Good to know

Companies that wish to adopt CRM will have to purchase a minimum of 5 Professional CRM licences. After that, CRM 2015 is flexible on the rest of the licences. CRM 2015 users will even be able to choose dual use rights, a type of licence that lets the user access both the online and on-premise version – perfect for hybrid CRM solutions.

Current CRM 2013 users will be able to transfer/change their licences by contacting Microsoft or one of Microsoft’s CRM accredited partners: why not try us?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015: Top 11 new features

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Microsoft has recently announced the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, which is planned for Q4 2014. What can we expect?

From the initial conversation, it seems like Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015’s goal is to further shrink the gap between sales and marketing.

[box_frame start_color=”#ffff99″ end_color=”#ffff99″ border_color=”#919599″ text_color=”#000033″]Exclusive bonus: Download this list as a PDF with extra information on Microsoft Social Listening, Outlook/Exchange integration, Business Rules, security and more!

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In today’s post we’ll have a look at what we can expect from the new CRM 2015:

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 for Marketing

Marketers can expect richer functionality in terms of social marketing, email marketing and collaboration with Sales.

  1. Integrated Email editor: simple drag-and-drop email editor that lets you create emails from scratch or customise any of their pre-defined templates. You’ll also have the possibility to switch between a visual and a HTML editor to create the perfect visual effect!
     
    CRM-2015-EMail-Editor

  2.  

  3. Improved Campaign Management: more intelligent lead scoring systems, multi-condition triggers, cross-campaign offers and finally – A/B testing! All this to make sure your marketing is better targeted and delivers better results. And our favourite? Webinar integration – for an even deeper insight into what works and which leads are passionate about your products!
     
    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Console
     
    CRM 2015 B2B

  4.  

  5. Integrated Social Listening: No more separate marketing & social listening platforms – now it’s all in one! With CRM 2015 you’ll be able to analyse what your audience is saying about you, your product, your market or any other keywords you choose. You’ll also be able to zoom in on a particular location and monitor sentiment in 19 languages.
     
    CRM 2015 Social Listening
  6.  

  7. Sales Collaboration: Sales will be able to access marketing campaigns and will gain some controls over communications to make sure the transition between Marketing and Sales is more seamless. Have you previously met one of the leads on a networking event and want to personalise an email? With CRM 2015 that will no longer be an issue!
     
    Sales-Collaboration

 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 for Sales

CRM for Sales will improve in navigation, visualisation and faster streamlining of Sales processes.

  1. Improved mobile experience: you can look forward to better dashboards and more powerful analytics analytics, as well as straightforward multi-level navigation and offline drafts availability. Next time when you’re in a meeting with a client with no wifi access you don’t have to panic!
     
    Mobile CRM 2015 for sales
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  3. Better visualisation: Sales will be able to see how individual accounts, leads and contacts relate to each other in helpful diagrams (hierarchies). These diagrams will also have basic information about each account (i.e. revenue, who owns the account, latest activity etc). so it will save time and make your team meetings more efficient.
     
    Hierarchy
  4.  

  5. Product bundling: The new CRM will enable you to spend less time on product management by letting you access pre-bundled product families that can be assigned to leads with the intention to up- or cross-sell these later on. Your product strategy will become that much easier and you can say goodbye to one more spreadsheet.
     
    Product bundling
     

  6. Improved real-time processes: Now you’ll be able to choose from various directions the business processes will follow. For example, all your leads might follow the same route from the initial touch point until the reach a certain score, and after this they can be dropped into a separate business flow according to the product you wish to sell to them.
     
    Improved real-time process

 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 for Customer Service

We can expect higher flexibility and better business logic for the Customer Service department.
Customer service will be able to:

  1. Manage related cases together and assign parent/child roles to them
  2. Define and manage multiple Service Level Agreement levels
  3. Use a smarter routing and queuing rules to make sure all customers are served in time
  4. Pause and resume SLA’s and track the on-hold time to help meeting the SLA requirements

 
Customer Service CRM 2015
 

Migrating to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015

Watch this video for details on how to migrate to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015. We’re also happy to answer all questions on info@redspire.co.uk.
 


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Want to know more?

We have recently published a blog about upgrading to CRM 2015 so if you think CRM 2015 is for you, you should definitely check it out.

To find out in detail about the features we’ve mentioned in this article, check out the full Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Release guide!

CRM 2015 preview guide download
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