What You Should Know About Microsoft 365 Business Apps - Part 1

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the latest version of Microsoft’s business applications. It includes Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE/CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications, and ERP  (Enterprise Resource Planning) applications. As Microsoft has updated, separated, and renamed its Dynamics suite of products over the years, this article will provide an overview of the main components, or modules of the latest Dynamics product called Dynamics 365 Business Applications.

For example, Microsoft updated its Microsoft Dynamics CRM and included those capabilities into the new Dynamics 365 landscape. However, there is no longer a product called “CRM”. Instead, those capabilities were separated into individual apps. The apps can be used independently or in conjunction with others in the Dynamics 365 family.

While the new product definitions may be completely different from previous Microsoft Dynamics products, the purpose is clear. Microsoft has moved away from offering the capabilities in two versions, one for large businesses and one for smaller ones. That approach resulted in forcing their customers to license everything in those packages at one time. Microsoft wanted to give customers more choice.

The way Microsoft Dynamics 365 is structured, a business can acquire the apps and modules that best meet their needs. They don’t waste money on applications they won’t use in the short term, or perhaps ever. Today, a business can start small to take advantage of advanced business tools and grow their use of the apps along with their business. Or, if a mid-sized business needs an application typically considered useful only for enterprises, they can include that application in their plans.

This overview of the Dynamics 365 apps and modules will help you understand the newer structure and allow you to decide about whether Dynamics 365 will help you meet your goals.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE/CRM Capabilities

The CRM capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics 365 are divided into five main categories: Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Field Service, and Project Operations (formerly Project Service Automation). The Sales application also offers separate complementary modules.

Dynamics 365 Sales

This application is designed to let users manage the sales process in one all-encompassing dashboard. Users can utilize the app to identify target customers, move those leads through the sales pipeline, manage the relationship when they become customers, and generate useful reports.

When you use Dynamics 365 Sales, the application can guide a user through customizable sales activities to improve productivity and meet business needs. It will also use AI-powered conversation analysis to evaluate the customer’s emotions and priorities to help the user relate to leads or customers more effectively.

The Sales app also utilizes LinkedIn Sales Navigator (Microsoft purchased LinkedIn in 2016 to integrate with its Office 365 products, and more) to find new leads and learn more about existing leads. The relationship tracking capability scores leads in terms of highest profitability and identifies those leads who need more attention.

Collaboration is a key feature of the Sales application. For example, an embedded Microsoft Teams chat can support collaboration in real time. Interactive dashboards and reports track performance to keep users focused and help sales managers coach their team.

The Sales module can also be accessed using the Unified Interface that will work in any platform including mobile devices. With this capability, employees who aren’t in the office can still see daily priorities, join Teams meetings having reviewed the meeting details, and use the voice-to-text capabilities to enter data into the customer record.

Modular Sales App: Dynamics 365 Sales Professional/Hub

Microsoft created a separate app called Sales Professional for companies using Office 365 that don’t need the capabilities of the full-blown Sales app. It is a streamlined version of the Dynamics 365 Sales Hub app that still allows a user to manage the sales process from start to finish.

Sales Professional use dashboards to help users prioritize prospects and track customer activities. The app helps to eliminate repetitive tasks by automating the sales process and provides the ability for the user to collaborate with coworkers and clients. Reporting gives real-time information with interactive dashboards. The stand-alone Sales Professional module also integrates with the LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Modular Sales App: Relationship Sales

Microsoft acquired LinkedIn, although the LinkedIn organization retained its independence and its leadership, Microsoft was able to incorporate LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator into a number of other products. The Relationship Sales module is basically a combination of Dynamics 365 for Sales and the LinkedIn Sales Navigator Enterprise service.

Using the two applications together, users can review information about prospects to tailor their approach, and they can sometimes find other people on LinkedIn who can introduce them to buyers who meet their target market definition.

The predictive lead scoring in this module also helps users identify high-potential leads, and the module will help them by recommending activities to keep leads flowing through the pipeline. Activities are tracked by prospect or customer to help the user track the success of their efforts.

Dynamics 365 Customer Service

Customer service is an important part of Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM apps. Microsoft starts by offering a Customer Service app that helps businesses reduce the need for an agent to answer simple questions. It also meets consumer expectations for a self-service option. By offering self-service support, users can set up virtual agents that may be able to answer the buyers’ questions. If that isn’t successful, buyers can access a knowledge base or community portal where peer-to-peer help is available.

The Customer Service app allows for personalized customer service in several ways. Agents use a centralized dashboard, meaning that any user can see a 360-degree view of the customer and previous contacts.

Omnichannel support in the central dashboard allows customer service agents to respond to the customer on their preferred channel including voice, chat, SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp and more. Since users see a history of the current issue and past support interactions, users can almost anticipate what customers need.

Getting the right answers quickly is another important part of customer service. The application supports that goal by offering AI-powered suggestions in real time for knowledge articles or cases. An integration with Microsoft Teams allows a user to reach an expert quickly, and they can search among different database sources to find the right answer.

Users can work toward a positive outcome using sentiment analysis and translation to respond appropriately to a customer interaction. Reporting is available to help managers identify where additional articles are needed to resolve issues, and they can also review how well users and topics are meeting key performance indicators.

For a complete overview of all of the Dynamics 365 Business Applications, download Datavail's white paper, What Everyone Needs to Know About Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Apps – An Overview.

Feel free to reach out to one of our Microsoft Dynamics 365 experts to discuss your CRM implementation, upgrade, or cloud migration initiatives.


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