Microsoft has developed Dynamics as a platform to release multiple apps and allows its network of partners to create new apps on this platform. One of apps they have released is called Microsoft Relationship Sales which is a combination of Dynamics 365 Sales enterprise app and LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
The requirement for this combination app is that it requires a minimum 10 seats subscription purchase. It gives you access to LinkedIn and Dynamics 365 sales with a combined price rather than paying for them separately which would be more than this offering.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 Sales are powerful tools on their own and as a salesperson you may be used to working in them independently. The combined apps and the tight integration between them in Microsoft Relationship Sales provides a much better experience and productivity gains for the user. You get access to millions of LinkedIn professionals which can be future customers, influencers and with Dynamics 365 Sales gives the sales person a better understanding of their current customers and uses their network to identify new leads.
Microsoft Relationship Sales gives the salesperson recommendations for the next best action within Dynamics 365, based on all the information that is analyzed and collected within Dynamics 365 Sales. Information from emails, activities within CRM and LinkedIn can suggest the next action for the sales person for introductions or connection requests to further the chances of a successful win in the sales cycle.
Dynamics 365 Sales
My personal experience with Microsoft Relationship Sales tool within Dynamics 365 Sales was limited to the email integration and activities information. Using Artificial Intelligence, it was able to suggest emails that were relevant to an opportunity that I was working on and provide next action suggestions based on the activities already recorded against an opportunity. It also suggested emails that I should track in CRM which were not tracked yet and allowed an easy way for me to track them.
In order to make this functionality available in Dynamics Sales I just had to set up the exchange integration using the server to server authentication and configure the relationship assistant settings available under Sales AI under CRM settings. The LinkedIn Sales Navigator setup would require more set up in that you have to install the solution from Appsource and enter your credentials to connect and show LinkedIn information within Dynamics Sales.
The enhanced email integration in Dynamics 365 (with Exchange online) provides the salesperson with an enhanced view of the prospective buyer, notifications on the relationship health with upcoming meetings, emails exchanged, level of engagement, and identifying email messages that are waiting for a reply. Additional activity is also tracked such as number of e-mails opened, attachment views and links clicked. The LinkedIn profile information of the buyer highlights any news mentions and job changes which could aid in the selling process.
The integration to Dynamics CRM matters because one of the most important functionalities is the LinkedIn data that is being made available within Dynamics. Nucleus research has found that adding social collaboration capabilities to CRM deliver an 11.8 percent productivity boost (Nucleus Research m13 – The value of mobile and social for CRM, March 2012). Microsoft already had an advantage in integrating other Office 365 products with Dynamics CRM like Power BI and SharePoint. Now with the LinkedIn integration it extends its products to a team members external network.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a strong tool for finding prospects in that it allows users to save leads, provides users with recommendations, notifies users with real-time updates and provides a way for the salesperson to share content with prospective buyers and track on its relevance. Now add to that the combination of Microsoft CRM with sales processes, email integration and applying AI on all this information gives the Microsoft Relationship Sales user a complete view on a buyer. All of these capabilities make LinkedIn Sales Navigator a very competitive tool in the landscape of CRM. Its competitors like Salesforce, SugarCRM and Oracle have similar integration and capabilities but the size of user base for LinkedIn dwarfs all these other tools available from its competitors.
The LinkedIn Sales Navigator license and its functionality makes the Microsoft Relationship Sales tool all that much more important. Without the LinkedIn integration you can still see the analytics and information analyzed from your email activities but to make it more effective in gathering information from outside your organization the LinkedIn data comes in handy. The LinkedIn data provides information on the buyer connections, ice breakers and any additional news that can help a salesperson in their sales process.
You also have to keep in mind that the information gathered from your email exchange is only available if it’s coming from Office 365 Exchange, otherwise you get basic email integration between Dynamics 365 and any other email provider that you may be using. It makes sense to have and utilize the power of Office 365 and Dynamics as using it together makes it easy to not just do the initial setup but also the ongoing use of it. I would say the return on your investment is much higher when using an all-in-one ecosystem like Microsoft with Office 365, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn.
Future Innovations in Microsoft Sales
Looking ahead, Microsoft has also released Dynamics 365 AI for Sales which builds on top of the sales relationship tools available and provides more insights and automated predictions within the sales process. With the addition of Dynamics 365 AI for sales it provides predictive lead scoring, predictive opportunity scoring, Notes analysis, relationship analytics and connection insights. All these together along with a separate license for Dynamics 365 AI for sales provides a better view of the sales process, and its activities based on existing records within the Dynamics 365 Sales system.
KTL Solutions Can Help
As a Microsoft Partner, KTL Solutions can help you pick the right sales integration for your team. Dynamics 365 can be customized many different ways, especially with the addition of the Microsoft Relationship Sales tool. Don’t get lost trying to find the right sales software for your company. Call KTL today for more information on different sales platforms.