User Review( votes)
The Microsoft stack has just about everything a B2B sales rep requires for success. Keywords there are “just about.”
We’re going to talk about three things Dynamics 365 (D365 for Sales, primarily) does really well in helping you discover and drive new business, and one thing it’s currently missing that can make a huge difference.
There may be no better way to prospect than by merging the power of D365 for Sales and the vast database of prospects on LinkedIn, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2016. (With more than 500,000,000 members, it’s no wonder that the world’s leading business software manufacturer bought them up.)
You can embed prospect data from LinkedIn (and Office, too) right into D365 and enjoy a completely unified view of your target market, right down to job titles, verticals, geo’s, and more. It used to be that you’d have to do your lead generation in channel A, and your campaigning in channel B, and close your sales in channel C. With D365 for Sales + LinkedIn, those days are over.
Building on the theme of a unified view (the ability to view comprehensive prospect and customer information and behavior), D365 also, and more importantly, empowers sales leaders to act on the information they can view. And they can view just about everything.
D365 provides the analytics that creates the 30,000 foot overview every manager needs to understand his or her overall pipeline, in addition to the granular data required to monitor and improve performance at the individual sales rep level.
And as all the familiar tools are embedded (e.g., Excel, Outlook, etc.), a sales leader can execute most every task of the job without ever “leaving” Dynamics. Tweak a price, ping a rep, contact a customer, and so much more.
Traditional CRM solutions were often not much more than centralized repositories for customer and prospect information. You could store and review every aspect of a customer relationship, and get the prescriptive data required to drive sales process improvements with each new opportunity.
The catch was ensuring that reps were up-to-speed on how to enter data, how to access data, and how to act on that data. More often than not, a CRM’s efficacy was fueled (or depleted) by how people were used it. Which made a company’s onboarding process as critical as its tech stack.
Included in D365 are configurable processes that speed and perfect the onboarding process. Done right, these processes can nearly eliminate onboarding entirely, as every step a rep needs to take is right in front of them as they move through the system.
The event-driven sales processes enabled by Dynamics are easy to follow and can even be fun (no, really!). With “gamification”, it’s easy to make the data that is typically encapsulated in a spreadsheet look and feel more like a gridiron, for example. It looks like FUN is now spelled with a C, R, and M.
Time for a screeching halt on what D365 can do well. And right when the most critical step in the sales process has been reached — the creation, delivery, tracking, and signing of a sales proposal.
Because while D365 offers the benefit of working in a familiar environment (enabling access to Excel, Outlook, Word, etc.), there is very little in that environment that will help the average rep create an above-average sales proposal. Which is where iQuoteXpress (IQX), a sales proposal automation tool for Dynamics, fills a critical role.
With a library of professionally designed sales proposal templates, a dynamic product and pricing configuration engine, additional and more detailed analytics on each quote in the pipeline, AND a single sign-on extension available in D365, IQX fills one of the few missing gaps in the stack.
So: prospect with D365 Sales and LinkedIn, gather data with D365 Sales Insights, but close deals with IQX.