Over the first part of this year, we have explored four key concepts that drive value from cloud innovation—Secure, Analyze, Automate, and Adopt. While many of the features and topics we’ve discussed have highlighted Microsoft 365 and Azure, this Insight dives into another piece of the Microsoft cloud ecosystem—Dynamics 365. Specifically, we’ll uncover how you can leverage Dynamics 365 to streamline the marketing-to-sales process and enhance your marketing efforts with data-driven decisions to grow your business.
First, let’s start with the basics.
What is Dynamics 365, and what can it do for your business?
Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s set of intelligent cloud applications that help you run your business and deliver quality results through AI-driven insights. Dynamics 365 applications are tightly integrated with the Power Platform (Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents) and work seamlessly to provide a comprehensive solution for your entire business—including Sales, Marketing, Service, Finance, Operations and Commerce. With scalability in mind, you can choose the applications that meet your business needs—whether that is one, some or all.
Dynamics 365 is a robust ecosystem, capable of solving business challenges across your organization. This Insight highlights several features that can optimize your sales and marketing operations with the Dynamics 365 platform.
Aligning Sales and Marketing Operations for Business Growth
Many businesses are struggling because the gap between sales and marketing operations continues to widen. While the sales and marketing operations teams may have individual responsibilities and areas of interest, they also share many common goals where the teams must work in alignment to be as productive as possible. These areas include planning, data organization, demand management and measurement/analysis.
According to SiriusDecisions*, high-growth organizations are:
- 60% more likely to have a central planning process with strong alignment across sales and marketing stakeholders.
- More effective in their demand process, resulting in 18% fewer touches to move leads from marketing to tele-sales, and 8% fewer touches to move leads from tele-sales to sales.
- 41% more likely to measure customer marketing investment, and 25% more likely to measure marketing spend as a percentage of revenue.
Dynamics 365 can be your one-stop-shop for planning, automating, and monitoring the full customer journey as prospects travel from discovery through nurturing and onward to become Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL).
Additionally, Dynamics 365 integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365 (aka Office 365), so your team can access prospect and customer information via their preferred application—whether directly within Dynamics 365, Microsoft Outlook or Teams.
Centralized Sales and Marketing Data
With its integrated array of applications, Dynamics 365 enables potential cost-savings by eliminating the need to pay for separate platforms to manage email communications, social media presence and other digital marketing efforts. In fact, Forrester reports a 63% ROI when migrating from on-premises CRM to Dynamics 365**. Additionally, since all marketing and sales data—including account, customer and prospect information—is centrally managed, you gain peace of mind, knowing that everyone has access to the latest-and-greatest information about contacts, including all previous interactions and communications.
Crafting Compelling Messages
Ask any digital marketing expert and they will tell you that even with the rise of social media and other marketing trends, email marketing is alive and well as a necessary component of most digital marketing strategies. The Dynamics 365 drag-and-drop marketing email designer allows you to quickly create captivating messages based on professional and customizable templates. These responsive templates ensure all emails will render beautifully across different devices, platforms and email clients. Emails can be customized to include personalized contact information such as first name, company or location to create a more engaging user experience.
In addition to email marketing, Dynamics 365 equips you with tools to design compelling web landing pages, manage events (both in-person and online) and much more.
Creating Customized Buyer Journeys
Dynamics 365 offers many options for compiling audiences for your marketing campaigns and sales outreach efforts. You can easily manage subscription lists, which put the power into your customers’ hands to opt-in and out based on their interest and preferences. Beyond traditional subscription lists, you can design marketing campaigns targeting segments of your contacts based on demographic, geographic, behavioral data and other characteristics. Furthermore, you may choose to create static segments of contacts based on individual knowledge or offline interactions.
Once you have defined your various target audiences, you are primed and ready to run automated campaigns to nurture leads and grow opportunities. These campaigns provide individualized experiences based on each contact’s interaction with campaign assets which may include email marketing, web landing pages, events, telemarketing, SMS integration and LinkedIn integration.
With intelligent marketing automation, you can easily design a tailored customer journey that is sure to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time for an optimal buyer experience.
Improved Marketing Effectiveness
With your sales and marketing data centralized and automated campaigns generating personalized experiences, you can start to analyze the data in Dynamics 365 to make real-time decisions on what adjustments may be needed to continue to elevate business success. Prebuilt and custom dashboards allow you to monitor engagement and effectiveness at each step along the way—for each contact, account, lead, email, event, campaign and more.
With the power of Dynamics 365, your sales and marketing operations are streamlined, relationships are established and nurtured with ease, and prospects transition into customers more rapidly.
As of July 2020, 57% of Fortune 500 companies are using Dynamics 365 and 97% are using the Power Platform to orchestrate their business operations. So, you can be sure you are in good company with Microsoft’s intelligent business cloud. Engage with Abel Solutions today to start streamlining your operations to deliver value and drive business growth.
This month’s Insight was written by Nicole Vesser, Sr. Solutions Manager.