Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Office 365 – The Seller’s Total Solution

Microsoft has done an amazing job integrating Dynamics CRM 2015 Online and Office 365 to create the total end-to-end productivity solution for sellers. Now with Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online Update 1, there are a bunch of new synergies that take sales productivity to a whole new level.

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Here are several that will make a huge difference in your business:

  • Dynamics CRM to Outlook
  • Immersive Excel in CRM
  • OneNote integration in multiple record types
  • PowerBI for dashboards and data analysis on mobile

Dynamics CRM to Outlook

Set CRM to automatically synchronize email messages, tasks, contacts, and appointments to Outlook. This is not exactly news, i.e., it’s been around a while. For the purposes of this blog I’m going to assume that you’re familiar with Dynamics CRM integration with Outlook. If you’re not, contact me.

Immersive Excel Experience

This integration kills 2 huge birds with 1 stone. Customers have always wanted to review and edit multiple CRM records, like opportunity forecasts and contact records. Until very recently, the only option was a 3rd party plugin. Customer have always sought the ability to manipulate and analyze CRM data without having to leave CRM. Now, you can export your CRM system views into Excel Online. Update your sales pipeline in a single view and import back to CRM, eliminating the need to go through all your opportunities separately. This saves a ton of time. You can experiment with the data and perform what-if analysis on customer data using full Excel Online functionality. Here’s an example:

Open up your Opportunity view:

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Export to Excel Online:

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Review data in the fields of the Opportunity record, e.g., estimated close date

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Make changes in Excel.

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Import the changes back into CRM and voilà! You’ve revised your forecast in a fraction of the time.

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OneNote for Note Sharing and Collaboration

OneNote is perfect for free-form information gathering, note taking, and multi-user collaboration. Compile notes, drawings, screen grabs and more. OneNote lived in Office before but is available now in Dynamics CRM. This provides you a new and easier way to enter notes in a CRM record. Share the OneNote with your colleagues. Here’s an example of what you can store in CRM.

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Power BI Dashboards

CRM users should be familiar with the concept of dashboards. CRM dashboards provide visualizations of key performance data that lives inside the CRM. Now think of Power BI as dashboards with super powers. Power BI permits you to mash up our CRM data/KPIs along with data from other proprietary or public databases. Plus, you can perform natural language queries to find additional insights within your data. The visuals are easy to reference and consume on a desktop, tablet or phone. Here are samples of what you can see and how you can use Power BI to easily do a deep-dive into your business data:

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This represents a huge opportunity for organizations to place critical data within easy reach of sellers, analysts, managers and customers.

These are just 4 of the new ways Dynamics CRM and Office 365 work together to provide salespeople the tools and data they need to be more productive in the office and on the road. Contact us to learn more and put them to work for you!

By Mark Abes/Vice President Sales & Marketing of xRM³, a Microsoft Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM consulting, implementation, integration, and administrative services. Based in San Diego County Southern California.