In order of importance, the complete satisfaction of the customer sits at the top. But given the inevitable challenges, stresses and misadventures that come with running a company, attending to back-office matters can prevent you from getting out in front of issues that affect this vital goal.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM applications solves that, a powerful software suite that enables organizations in customer-centric business processes — like field service or complex sales processes — to boost sales, enhance marketing effectiveness and enrich customer service interactions like never before. As a CRM software solution, it can complement your enterprise resource planning platform and the back-office tasks that ERP software supports.
What is CRM software and why does your company need it?
Before diving into the details of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM applications as a solution and its variety of features, it’s helpful to understand what CRM software actually is and why it’s important to your business.
CRM software is an application that allows midsize and large businesses — which typically have multiple departments, such as marketing, sales, service, senior management, accounting, operations — to synchronize their business processes across the organization. In doing so, CRM software increases visibility into the ongoing affairs and activities of each department in real-time. Greater insight reduces redundancies, increases communication and facilitates collaboration — all crucial components needed to deliver unparalleled customer service.
How does CRM software differ from ERP software?
Enterprise resource planning is similar to CRM in a number of ways. Much like a CRM solution, ERP stores and analyzes data in a defined data structure – whether in a cloud or an on-premise environment. Additionally, ERP assists with mission-critical business activities. The type of activities that ERP supports is the central distinction from CRM. For example, whereas ERP facilitates responsibilities associated with order management, production management, supply chain management and procurement — primarily back-office tasks — CRM assists with front office, customer-facing tasks. These tasks may include marketing, customer service, customer engagement and sales. CRM applications are usually designed to be molded around preferred business processes whereas ERP tends to be more rigid and structured.
Paired together, ERP and CRM software provide the tools that help to increase efficiency so businesses can grow and remain competitive.
What are the Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications all about?
Part of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 family of products, and available through the Microsoft’s cloud solutions, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications are actually four different interdependent applications:
- Customer Service
- Field Service
As a package, these applications can be combined or implemented on an a la carte basis. Available in different deployments — on-premise, as a Microsoft cloud offering, or deployed utilizing Microsoft Azure — the Dynamics 365 CRM applications are fully customizable and can be scaled to fit the needs of a business and its storage environment.
While it was once exclusively an on-premise solution, more businesses prefer deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM online as a cloud solution for the flexibility, cost savings and convenience the cloud brings. Users don’t have to deal with manual updates or data backup when it’s deployed in the cloud, nor with the maintenance and expenses associated with data servers.
Other benefits include:
- Faster implementation.
- More data storage capacity.
- Reduce IT costs.
- Fully scalable.
- Enhanced business continuity.
- Easier access.
- Robust security protection.
How are the Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications structured?
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications are widely viewed as the gold standard in a broad field of CRM solution options. Perhaps its biggest differentiators are its customizability and flexible deployment options. The applications are sold a la carte in four suites or what some may call modules: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service, Marketing and Field Service.
Dynamics 365 Sales
Replete with sales tools such as leads, opportunities, accounts, quotes and orders, the sales module is an end-to-end solution that increases customer engagement by driving the lifecycle of a potential buyer. These entities help to manage complex sales processes and build customer relationships by managing all the contributing factors that are associated with turning a prospect into a repeat customer.
Dynamics 365 Marketing
The level of customer engagement — as well as sales — that a business receives largely derives from its marketing efforts, which can account for between 5% and 12% of a business’ annual spending. The marketing modules assist teams with a robust blend of easy-to-use tools that help to craft a successful advertisement, campaign, initiative or proposal. Submodules include: marketing lists, campaigns and quick campaigns.
Dynamics 365 Customer Service
The customer service module is largely the nerve center of the Dynamics 365 CRM applications because it helps business owners track, manage and seamlessly control all the customer service operations that come with improving the buyer experience. The Knowledge Base submodule maintains information for FAQs and responses to those inquiries.
Dynamics 365 Field Service
Electricians, door-to-door salespeople and installers are a part of an industry where the business goes to the customer — not the other way around. Dynamics 365 Field Service helps to make each visit an efficient and convenient one for all involved by equipping workers with the right tools, recommendations and solutions that streamline orders, improve service accuracy, monitor progress and boost first-time fix rates.
Again, while all of the modules are available a la carte and sold separately, they’re typically purchased as a package because they drive the entire lifecycle of gaining and maintaining a customer.
Why choose the Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications in particular?
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to customer relationship management platforms. What sets Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM applications apart from the competition? Let us count the ways:
Familiar and intuitive user interface
If you’ve ever used Microsoft Office or Microsoft Outlook, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications work nearly identically, just with slightly different functionalities given the tasks each software system is designed to support. It’s little wonder why Microsoft Dynamics 365 products have some of the highest ratings in successful user adoption among leading CRM solutions on the market today.
Need to add on separate user-defined modules for better functionality? The Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications offers a higher degree of flexibility for industries where adaptability is critical. Additionally, the solution integrates with just about any Microsoft software system, including Business Central and Power BI.
Competitive pricing and subscription options
Available as a full suite or a la carte, this solution is designed to fit the needs of your business and your budget. The number of users also affects the price. When licensing the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM applications, a client would typically start with a base sku such as Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise Edition for $95/user/month. If that salesperson also needed access to the Dynamics 365 Field Service module, then the client would add a $20/user/month attach license. There are also device and team member licenses that give clients a lot of flexibility, but also make licensing confusing and it is best to discuss licensing with a Microsoft Cloud Solutions Partner like The TM Group.
Quantify customer service
Customer service can be likened to whether a high-demand product offering is in stock: You either have it or you don’t. CRM software from Microsoft provides a deeper layer of data analysis and measurement that enables users to actually quantify customer satisfaction. Businesses can then work on the activities that help to stimulate more customer engagement — leading to more sales as a result.
Choose The TM Group
To get the most out of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications, you need an implementation partner with experience and passion for helping organizations improve their capabilities. That’s why companies choose The TM Group for their business solutions partner.
Having completed well over a thousand implementations of Microsoft products, we also have over 1,000 years of cumulative implementation experience just within our Michigan offices. As a Microsoft partner, we have clients in more than two dozen states and assist organizations of all sizes in numerous industries, from manufacturing to field service to health care to retail and grocery, among others.
Contact us today to learn more and check our blog for more details about how Microsoft CRM has improved customer engagement and brought greater efficiency to all types of verticals.
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