Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Overview

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based suite combining ERP and CRM to offer businesses efficient operation, automated processes and valuable insights. Launched in 2016, it's a collection of integrated applications providing a comprehensive solution.

Launched in 2016, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based business application suite that combines the power of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). Dynamics 365 provides a comprehensive set of solutions for businesses looking to increase efficiency, automate key processes and gain valuable insights into their operations.

With Dynamics 365, Microsoft offers a comprehensive product that allows for the integrated management of both customers and organizations. However, it isn’t one giant software—it’s actually an assortment of applications working together under the same name.

Dynamics 365 is comprised of components from ERP systems as well as Power BI reporting functionalities. Initially, two separate systems known as Dynamics AX (ERP) and Dynamics CRM (CRM) were offered, but they have since been unified under the Dynamics 365 label.

The main benefits of using Dynamics 365 include improved customer and employee experiences, enhanced productivity through automation, and powerful insights into operations. The software also offers a variety of customizable features that can be used to meet the unique needs of any business.

Why this product is good

Positives for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Software

  • A comprehensive suite of applications and features helps businesses build a robust and integrated tech stack without needing multiple products or software. Since it integrates with other Microsoft products, businesses can get more out of the suite than just ERP and CRM.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 is ideal for organizations that have adopted a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. Regardless of whether you opt to run it in the cloud or through hybrid cloud, its management and deployment are both straightforward processes based on your budget and infrastructure requirements. What’s more, employees can access all their required Dynamics 365 applications via Outlook, a web browser, or a mobile device anytime.
  • The Dynamics 365 platform shortens the sales cycle for in-office, remote, and field sales alike. With a wealth of customer data at their disposal, sales reps can target opportunities more effectively and optimize their strategies for maximum impact.
  • Dynamics 365 users leverage the platform’s data to improve their customer service experiences. Its BI tool delves into the websites people visit, how they engage with businesses, which communities they are involved in, and much more. It uncovers customer sentiments, purchasing habits, and brand loyalty—data points that can’t be quantified but are immensely valuable for sales and customer success purposes.

Product Details

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?

At its core, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is two things: an ERP system (formerly Dynamics AX), and a CRM system (formerly Dynamics CRM). It is designed to manage the end-to-end operations of businesses, from customer acquisition and sales management to analytics, forecasting, supply chain management, financial performance tracking, and customer service. Because of Dynamics’ unique approach (i.e., CRM and ERP in one), it streamlines communication between customers, internal stakeholders, partners, and suppliers. This leads to faster, reliable decision-making and better customer experiences.

Features of Microsoft Dynamics 365 include:

  • Sales 
  • Customer insights
  • Field service
  • Customer service
  • Finance and operations
  • Marketing
  • Retail and ecommerce sales
  • Project service automation
  • Talent management

Sales: Microsoft Dynamics 365 includes all the core features necessary for improving sales. This includes tracking, forecasting, and analyzing sales data. It also provides tools for creating new sales opportunities and pipelines, as well as tracking customer purchase history. With Dynamics 365, sales reps can also access performance metrics, value reports for lead scoring and prioritization, and AI tools for predicting customer behavior.

Customer Insights: This module merges customer information from Microsoft Dynamics 365, Office 365, and third-party data sources to help users discover useful insights. With the included Power BI for analytics and data visualization, advanced artificial intelligence tools can be implemented to recognize consumer patterns and trends that reveal predictive data. This data can be used to target customers with more accurate sales plans and strategies.

Field Service: Field service operations, including repair and maintenance activities, are managed more efficiently with the Dynamics 365 Field Service Module. This feature provides comprehensive job scheduling and dispatching capabilities, allowing managers to assign jobs using a drag-and-drop interface. It can also be integrated with other third-party software and IoT technologies to enable field service teams to troubleshoot issues in real time.

Customer Service: The Dynamics 365 Customer Service Module provides an integrated workflow that helps resolve customer inquiries quickly and effectively. Automated ticketing and support systems ensure timely response to customer service requests, while real-time access to customer data ensures accurate resolution of problems. Self-service portals provide customers with access to product information and other resources, allowing them to find solutions on their own. Multi-channel support systems make it easy for customers to contact customer service representatives through their preferred channels.

Finance and Operations: The Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Module provides more than just financial management, reporting, and analytics tools. It also includes manufacturing, retail, and supply chain management capabilities. Manufacturers can track production processes and inventory levels instantaneously. Retailers can automate the ordering process for customers, suppliers, and distributors. Supply chain managers can monitor their entire operation from one centralized system.

Marketing: Dynamics 365 seamlessly connects Dynamics CRM and Adobe Marketing Cloud to furnish you with custom-made marketing tools that include campaign management functions. That way, bsuiensses can easily plan, execute, and monitor all of their marketing activities. It also provides tools for segmenting customers and targeting them with personalized messages.

Retail and Ecommerce Sales: With Dynamics 365’s retail and ecommerce solutions, companies can take advantage of omnichannel capabilities to improve customer experiences. This includes options like real-time inventory management and predictive analytics. Businesses can also use Dynamics 365 to manage customer loyalty programs, process payments quickly and securely, and optimize sales operations. With native support for Magento and Shopify, companies can also monitor performance, customer engagement, and sales productivity in their ecommerce stores.

Project Service Automation: Project planning, resource allocation, and task scheduling are simplified with Microsoft Dynamics 365. This system can track project milestones, resources, and costs across multiple locations or teams. It also enables users to quickly create and send estimates to customers to close deals faster.

Talent Management: Microsoft Dynamics 365’s cloud-based HR platform connects with LinkedIn Talent Solutions to provide organizations with a fully integrated talent management system. This includes recruitment, onboarding, and performance management tools that can help companies find, hire, and retain the best employees.

2/1/2023 Update
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What are the advantages of using Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s Benefits

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a feature-rich tool that is useful for all business models, from manufacturers to ecommerce sellers to recruitment agencies.

Benefits of using Microsoft Dynamics CRM include:

  • Integrated Tech Stack: The best thing about Microsoft Dynamics CRM is its integration capabilities. It can be integrated with most third-party systems and all of its other modules. Without having to switch between software providers, business tools, and user interfaces, Dynamics enables users to work seamlessly in all their applications.
  • Backed by Microsoft: Since Dynamics is a Microsoft product, its infrastructure has been designed to handle massive amounts of data and customer interactions. It is also built with elements of its other products, including LinkedIn and Adobe, two industry leaders in their respective areas.
  • Time and Cost Savings: Microsoft Dynamics CRM is designed to streamline processes, reduce operational costs, and increase customer service quality. Automating repetitive and error-prone tasks like order processing and customer support reduces labor costs while providing customers with a better user experience.
  • Data Security: With its advanced security features, Dynamics ensures that all data stored in the system is secure, while also providing users with the ability to control access and enforce policies. Data is encrypted both in transit and at rest, which helps protect customer data from unauthorized access.
  • Better Customer Service Experience: With Dynamics, users can easily manage customer data and create personalized customer experiences for their customers. This includes features like segmentation, automated marketing campaigns, and customer self-service tools.
  • Built-In Analytics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s analytics engine is designed to give businesses real-time insights into their sales data. Using this information, they can track KPIs, monitor team members, investigate the customer experience, and improve their sales process.
  • Scalability: Dynamics 365’s modular design allows businesses to add new features and customize their system as they grow. This helps organizations keep up with changing market conditions, customer needs, and industry trends without investing in additional software or hardware.
2/1/2023 Update
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Microsoft Dynamics 365 Pricing

Dynamics 365 offers an innovative way to access and use business applications, equipped with additional features that can’t be found in Dynamics AX, NAV, GP, SL or CRM. Nevertheless, these products are still available for those who wish to continue using them. This is not a replacement but rather an alternative option for licensing and leveraging the advantages of valuable software tools.

Since its software suite is based on many different tools and features, its price varies wildly depending on the organization. For its sales module, the pricing is as follows:

  • Professional ($65/user/month + $20/user/month for each additional app): Sales Professional is the first tier in Dynamics CRM, offering basic features like contact management, lead tracking, and customer segmentation. Its AI engine gives Sales Professional licensees lead and contact scoring capabilities, helping sales teams prioritize their efforts.
  • Enterprise ($95/user/month + $20/user/month for each additional app): This tier includes all features of the Sales Professional license, plus more advanced features like predictive analytics and conversational intelligence.
  • Premium: ($135/user/month): Like Sales Enterprise, Microsoft’s third tier of Dynamics CRM includes all of the features of lower tiers, including Viva Sales—a digital assistant for sales teams. Additionally, the Premium tier includes rebuilt customizable selling solutions for sales reps and managers. This includes solutions for territory management, product bundling, and pricing optimization.
  • Microsoft Relationship Sales ($162/user/month): Microsoft Relationship Sales is the Sales Enterprise subscription bundled with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, making it best for sales teams that incorporate LinkedIn into their outbound strategy.
  • Microsoft Viva Sales ($40/user/month): With the Microsoft 365 and Teams-integrated seller experience application, sellers can now automatically transfer data into any CRM system without manual input – allowing them to spend more time on selling and less energy on tedious administrative tasks.

CPQ Integrations

Which CPQ Solutions Integrate with Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Integrating Dynamics with CPQ streamlines company sales processes and ensures accuracy. This integration allows businesses to use a single platform to manage customer data, create personalized experiences, and automate their sales processes.

Here are five CPQ providers that integrate with Microsoft Dynamics 365:

  • Configure One CPQ
  • DealHub CPQ
  • Experlogix CPQ
  • Infor CPQ
  • Tacton CPQ
  • Cincom CPQ

Configure One CPQ is a specialized solution made for manufacturing and other industries that need intricate configurations. With this application, sales reps can create individualized configs of complex items, compute pricing in real-time, integrate factory data into the system, supply customers with complete product quotes quickly, and expedite orders.

It is exactly this manufacturing capability that makes it such a great for the Dynamics 365 CRM/ERP system. By coupling Dynamics CPQ integration with Configure One, users are able to directly tie customer data from Dynamics into the Configure One quoting interface while conveniently populating all quote information. Product configurations, customer data flows, and dynamic pricing can all be pre-populated and quickly sent off for customer review.

Configure One is supported on both Dynamics 2016 on-premise (with ADFS or Azure authentication) and Dynamics 365 cloud (with Azure authentication).

DealHub CPQ is a world-leading solution for complex B2B quoting and deal management. With its intuitive interface, sales teams can build comprehensive quotes by combining line items, automating calculations, and adding discounts. It also syncs with Dynamics 365 to give users access to customer data stored within the system, so information is accurate and up-to-date.

DealHub’s sales playbook function enables sellers to easily create and manage standard sales processes through guided selling workflows, while its AI-powered configuration engine speeds up the quote creation process dramatically. Beyond CPQ, DealHub’s digital sales room technology can help users get the most out of Microsoft Dynamics’ communication capabilities while dealing with vendor and customer price negotiations.

Experlogix CPQ is Microsoft Dynamics 365 certified, meaning that it integrates seamlessly with the platform to provide a unified customer view and centralized quoting capabilities. Experlogix CPQ for Dynamics 365 Sales and CE/CRM enables you to craft sophisticated regulations and pre-arranged bundles, allowing your most crucial customer quotes to be accurately compiled with just one click.

With Experlogix, even the most intricate pricing and discounting situations are managed without a hitch. Non-technical individuals can easily craft sophisticated equations and edicts with no programming knowledge required, so your sales force provides precise prices at their fullest margins every time.

By using Experlogix CPQ’s Image Compositing technology, you can easily switch up colors and textures to craft complex compositions with layers. As you make alterations, they’ll be dynamically updated on-screen for resellers and customers alike—creating an improved overall experience.

PROS Smart CPQ revolutionizes the configure, price, quote process by utilizing cutting-edge artificial intelligence algorithms. This automation empowers sales teams to promptly respond to customer quotes, bids, and RFPs with personalized product and pricing offers that can be delivered in minutes. What’s more, its prescriptive recommendations ensure a streamlined journey for creating comprehensive proposals—all within minutes.

With a centralized, streamlined user experience that’s seamlessly integrated into Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, PROS not only helps sales leaders improve their efficiency but also optimizes deal velocity. By accelerating the configuration process and reducing manual errors, team members are able to tailor their offerings, increase customer loyalty and improve overall profitability.

Infor CPQ integration with Dynamics CRM automates order entry, production procedures, and retrieving valuable information from the ERP system. Plus, it can instantly search for available stock items to expedite the process. This combination of features dramatically improves communication companywide while reducing lead time and providing a more enjoyable customer experience overall.

For companies that utilize Dynamics 365’s ERP system (e.g., manufacturers and distributors), Infor CPQ provides a comprehensive view of their entire supply chain and sales process, from product selection to purchase order fulfillment. It pulls pricing, quantity, and resource availability information directly from the ERP system in real-time, and it launches its price configurator directly out of Dynamics 365. That way, data comes from a single source of truth.

Tacton CPQ

When you use Tacton CPQ software for Microsoft Dynamics 365, selling customized items becomes effortless. Designed for B2B manufacturers, Tacton can handle even the most intricate configurations. Tacton CPQ’s out-of-the-box capabilities enable Microsoft Dynamics CRM users to express millions of product variants to configure complex products. Features like guided needs-based selling, AR technology, and Visual Configurations enable sales reps to configure products to match customer needs.

Utilizing Tacton CPQ’s API for Cost and Price Data allows you to pull up-to-date information from your price management systems so that sales reps can send customers accurate quotes with the best deal margins. With this efficient tool, you can minimize margin leakage caused by outdated pricing data. Tacton’s powerful integration links your enterprise systems with new product introductions and sales-to-order processes to help sales teams produce accurate sales orders in ERP and sync all of your selling data to Microsoft Dynamics 365 seamlessly.

Cincom CPQ

The integration between Cincom CPQ and Dynamics 365 is designed to streamline sales operations, making it easier for organizations to manage their quotes, proposals, and orders. The integration makes it easy to track customer information from the moment a quote request is received until the order is shipped or fulfilled. This helps ensure accuracy in pricing, as well as a customer experience that is timely and efficient.

Sales ops use Cincom CPQ to integrate their product catalog and configuration template libraries to generate accurate sales proposals easily. A simple drag-and-drop product configurator enables sales reps to create configured product quotes in minutes. Manufacturers find value in Cincom’s ability to show real-time inventory and materials levels availability and its management of special manufacturing instructions. The localization capability allows companies to create sales processes that consider local currencies and regulations.

Valuable Insight From Real Customers

Gartner Peer Insights

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Gartner Peer Insights. In their reviews, users are getting value from the software’s functionality and sales automation. Users also mention its ease of use and excellent customer support. However, some users mention that customization and integrations may require an implementation expert and the UI could be improved.

The reviewers and customer demographics are as follows:

Reviewer’s Company Size

  • <$50M: 14%
  • $50M-$1B: 38%
  • $1B-$10B: 24%
  • $10B+: 18%
  • Gov’t/PS/Ed: 6%

Reviewer’s Industry

  • Manufacturing: 17%
  • IT Services: 11%
  • Consumer Goods: 8%
  • Services (non-Government): 8%
  • Other: 57%

Reviewer’s Deployment Region

  • North America: 44%
  • Europe, Middle East, and Africa: 26%
  • Asia/Pacific: 21%
  • Latin America: 9%

Gartner Peer Insights affirms that Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps users track their sales process and pipeline efficiently.

30/11/2023 Update

CPQ Integrations