An Interview with Jennifer Pollard, Director of Product Marketing, Microsoft
“For any company that wants to provide amazing customer experiences you should look at Microsoft and see how our technology can help you do that. That is what we are trying to enable you to do no matter the size of your business.” - Jennifer Pollard, Director of Product Marketing, Microsoft
Jennifer Pollard is passionate about CRM. “Everything we do from a Dynamics CRM perspective is done on the premise of helping our customers deliver amazing customer experiences. We want to help them market smarter, sell effectively, and care everywhere.”
She pointed out that with the functionality available in the new release of Dynamics CRM, the silos are going away. All the activity that happens between marketing, sales, and customer care are coming together and the lines are blurred, not just in large enterprises, but in the small and medium business space.
Marketing needs to be able to deliver qualified leads, not just leads. This means understanding what touch points were made with the customer and how interested they are.
Sales needs to be able to get vital social information inside the systems they are already working in, so they can make connections that are meaningful.
Customer care should be able to work with people on whatever channel they want so that they can provide the care needed but also can use that opportunity to market and sell and get customers into products that are right for them.
What size company can use the new Marketing, Social, and Care Functionality in Dynamics CRM?
Although most of the case study clients that were showcased at Convergence 2014 were global brands, Jennifer Pollard feels strongly that it is not only for large enterprise customers.
“We a have strong SMB (Small & Medium Business) customer base. As long as you have 5 or more CRM users, you should consider Microsoft Dynamics CRM offerings. A lot of our marketing messages might not be pitched right at these smaller businesses, but we have vital technology they can use. We have so much to offer now. They might not need it all at once, but wherever you start in Dynamics CRM you have somewhere else to go. You can take bits and pieces depending on where your business is. You don’t have to take on all of Dynamics Marketing if you are not ready. You can start with Social Listening and see what your customers are saying, and that alone takes your business to a new dimension.”
How can a smaller company use Social Listening?
“In the age of social and mobile, when one person can make or break your brand overnight, companies need to figure out how to make this relationship thing work. I think that is the new frontier for the next decade. Microsoft social listening will absolutely be a big help in that.”
As an example, SeaLord is a large New Zealand based company in the canned fish business, and an early access user of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Social Listening.
“One of the things they listen for is the “reprehensible practice of shark finning”. They were able to come out and speak against that and really make huge waves in social media by taking a stand. They were able to see the power they had to further establish their brand. That can happen if you are a huge company or a small one. Small companies can be listening for trends that are going on in markets to figure out ways to break through the noise. I very much think a small company could use Dynamics CRM social listening.”
What makes Microsoft Dynamics CRM different?
“The way other companies have embraced social is very different than the way Microsoft did. We have always brought it in and thought about it as technology that needed to be democratized so everyone in the organization can get it. And it also needs to be contextual. We are bringing all these tools in where you need them so you can get the info in your user interface.
The next wave of releases is huge. There is so much in those releases that answers the needs that people are facing in jobs today. Helping companies embrace this new technology is a huge focus for us right now and going forward.
But could a small company use our competitor’s products? No, they couldn’t pay for that. These companies are charging huge amounts for social listening tools and those tools are then relegated to just a few people in the organization.
Some competitor offerings are very complex. Getting information that you need out of them, or having the ability to go in and look at it if you are not the one who set up the report, can be very challenging. We are trying to make it accessible to everyone.
So it is a much different approach that we at Microsoft are taking. I think ours is much more suited to SMB.”
In conclusion Jennifer Pollard leaves us this advice to remember, “For any company that wants to provide amazing customer experiences you should look at Microsoft and see how our technology can help you do that. That is what we are trying to enable you to do no matter the size of your business.”
Editors Note: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Pricing with Social Listening
Social Listening will be available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM in Spring 2014.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional licenses will remain at $65 per user per month and will include Microsoft Social Listening at no additional charge (as long as you have 10 users or more). Dynamics CRM on premise users can add Social Listening for $20 per user per month.
So a company would be paying a minimum of $650 per month. This may out price some of the very small businesses, but certainly should be a feasible investment for any growing or medium sized company. Especially one that has a brand to promote and protect in the public eye.
Read: New Microsoft Dynamics CRM Pricing Coming Spring 2014
You can calculate the current price of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 at www.crmsoftwareblog.com/quick-quote. This free, automated tool will show you the cost of license, maintenance and estimated implementation fees for both Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and On-Premise. It will be updated with new pricing in Spring 2014. Request your quick quote today.
By CRM Software Blog Editors, www.crmsoftwareblog.com