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.
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.
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.
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 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)
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.