The Information Technology ecosystem is changing rapidly more than ever, adapting to the demands of an age where almost everything is done online. The CRM industry, of course, is no exception. CRMs consistently try to meet these trends and exceed expectations to allow users and businesses to thrive.
One of those is Microsoft Dynamics 365, an extensive suite of tools and applications, offered by Microsoft. Different applications are bundled together similar to what they did with Microsoft Office 365.
Microsoft has put together Dynamics 365, a set of business-empowering applications that interconnect with each other to deliver the necessary features that enable businesses to streamline workflows and increase productivity. Dynamics 365 is a combination of ERP and CRM capabilities and is best for mid-sized to large enterprises.
Unlike Salesforce, it offers an On-premise option that allows you to host the applications and all of its data on your servers. However, it also has a powerful cloud service called Microsoft Azure where you can safely store your company’s data and access the extensive apps housed under it.
Dynamics 365 will be especially valuable for businesses that already utilize a lot of Microsoft Applications. It can seamlessly coordinate with other apps developed by Microsoft such as Outlook and Excel, and based on statistics presented by FinancesOnline, these are the top two applications that companies use to support their CRM functions. These apps are embedded in the system, so no need to manually integrate and pay extra.
In addition, Dynamics 365 offers a wide range of functionality and can serve as a single hub for all your business processes. It’s perfect for those looking to have an all-in-one platform, equipped with a rich source of modular SaaS applications with little to no integrations needed. However, Dynamics 365 may not be suited for those who are only starting with CRM nor for small companies, as it is more advanced, with a multitude of features that may not be necessary for beginners.
Dynamics in 2022
Microsoft has recently announced their Wave 2 release for 2021 wherein exciting new offers will be gradually released from October 2021 to March 2022, and it’s only the beginning of an array of features that will be continuously developed for 2022 and onwards.
There are hundreds of new offers for this wave throughout the various MS applications including, but not limited to, Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, and Field Service. The question is, how will these new features rise to meet the trends of the upcoming year?
Here, we will look at the CRM demands and trends for 2022, and how Dynamics 365 is being updated and developed to meet those demands:
In recent years, we’ve seen an immense rise in the usage of mobile phones, and for good reason: it’s portable, convenient to carry around, and provide quick access to the internet. Especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand to work remotely has never been this high, so being able to carry your access to work anytime, anywhere, is very important. This trend also applies to CRM, and Dynamics 365 has made a few updates as a response.
Microsoft offers a lot of mobile app counterparts for its computer applications, but as far as CRM goes, Dynamics 365 for Sales has been one of the apps with upcoming developments for 2022. The wave 2 updates focus on making the CRM experience easier for users on mobile, streamlining their work overall.
These updates include:
- A worklist of prioritized activities
- Quick actions that serve as prompts to speedily complete tasks
- Ability to Summarize activities after a meeting or call
- Create follow-up action items
- Speech-to-text notes
- Ability to generate Links and share them
- Digitally delegate tasks for better collaboration
Using AI to Automate Personalized Marketing
Having personalized marketing efforts for the customer is no new trick. However, with the industry advancing in the aspects of AI and other related technology, CRMs in 2022 are expected to automate the delivery of highly customized offers to clients. This not only applies to emails and ads but also in the initial profiling of a customer during the lead scoring and segmentation phase.
Customer Journey Orchestration was released in August 2021. It allows for highly personalized AI-driven communications with clients based on real-time updates, and can soon be aided with Power Automate flows. A client journey can be intelligently customized by adding event triggers, as well as using the client’s demographics and other attributes. When a client hits a trigger, a new and separate journey is created to make sure that each client receives the most appropriate personalized experience.
Other updates include:
- Link customer Journey Orchestration with data stored in your own Azure Data Lake
- Dynamics 365 Customer Insights integration to enhance engagement and segmentation
- Simplifying segmentation with new segmentation builder
A Unified Communication Channel for users
Having a singular software for all communications is going to be more common in the coming years, especially for CRM, where users have to send messages through various channels. Having this setup will eliminate the hassle of having to go back and forth through multiple channels to check messages, emails, texts, etc. Because in the end, what’s important is the message, not the medium, therefore a channel-less communication approach will greatly help with CRM adoption as well as productivity.
In light of this, Microsoft has been focused on developing the new MS Teams Integration for Dynamics 365 with no extra cost. Although it’s not a complete “channel-less” solution, it is a huge step towards that direction, as the new Teams integration will allow users to seamlessly collaborate, mention, notify, and view opportunity details using teams.
Specifically, enhancements are being developed to allow notifications from Dynamics 365 to be received in teams, as well as to view customer records, details, and even create notes to be saved in Dynamics 365, on the side panel during a Teams meeting. These updates will allow users to collaborate more efficiently, both within the company and towards their clients.
Overall, these updates will surely increase the functionality of Dynamics 365 as a leading CRM for 2022. However, it also presents a new set of unfamiliar features to its existing users, as well as for the users to come. While it’s already been established that Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a complex CRM intended for intermediate-level users, it is always a good thing to simplify the user experience. According to statistics, 72% of CRM users are very much willing to trade in functionality for ease of use.
Simply put, users want their CRM to be easy to use. One of the best ways to solve this issue is by subscribing to a Voice to CRM service. It reduces touchpoints and allows users to access features and input data using their voices. This is perfect for complex CRMs such as Dynamics 365. It makes data entry fast and easy, giving the company a competitive edge.