CRM stands for customer relationship management. It's a category of integrated, data-driven solutions that improve how you interact and do business with your customers. CRM systems and applications are designed to manage and maintain customer relationships, track engagements and sales, and deliver actionable data—all in one place.
CRM solutions streamline processes and increase profitability in your sales, marketing, and service divisions. A strong CRM solution is a multifaceted platform where everything crucial to developing, improving, and retaining your customer relationships is stored. Without the support of an integrated CRM solution, you may miss growth opportunities and lose revenue because you’re not maximizing your business relationships.
Imagine misplacing customer contact information, only to learn that your delay pushed your client into the arms of a competitor. Or, picture your top two salespeople pursuing the same prospect, resulting in an annoyed potential customer and some unfriendly, in-house competition. Without a centralized program where your people can log and track customer interactions, your business falls behind schedule and out of touch.
The fundamentals of customer relationship management
CRM tools make the customer-facing functions of business easier. They help you:
- Centralize customer information
- Automate marketing interactions
- Provide business intelligence
- Facilitate communications
- Track sales opportunities
- Analyze data
- Enable responsive customer service
Running a successful business is no simple task. When marketing campaigns, data analysis, meetings, customer care, and more all happen simultaneously, you need a powerful CRM solution to bring all these functions together in one place.
Dynamics 365 delivers the full spectrum of CRM through five individual apps— Sales,Customer Service, Field Service, Project Service Automation, and Marketing —that work seamlessly together. So you can buy just what your business needs now, and add others as those needs grow.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a customer relationship management software package developed by Microsoft focused on enhancing the customer relationship for any organization. Out of the box, the product focuses mainly on Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service sectors, though Microsoft has been marketing Dynamics CRM as an XRM platform and has been encouraging partners to use its proprietary (.NET based) framework to customize it. In recent years, it has also grown as an Analytics platform driven by CRM.
The CRM Solution can be used to drive the sales productivity and marketing effectiveness for an organization, handle the complete customer support chain, and provide social insights, business intelligence, and a lot of other out-of-the-box functionalities and features. As a product, Microsoft Dynamics CRM also offers full mobile support for using CRM apps on mobiles and tablets.
As of writing this tutorial, the latest version of CRM is CRM 2016. However, in this tutorial we will be using CRM 2015 Online version as it is the latest stable version as well as frequently used in many organizations. Nevertheless, even if you are using any other versions of CRM, all the concepts in the tutorial will still hold true.
Dynamics 365 delivers the full spectrum of CRM through five individual apps that work together seamlessly:
- Customer Service
- Field Service
- Project Service Automation
Designed to Be Flexible
Microsoft Dynamics 365 has two different licensing levels so that you pay only for how much you need and nothing more. You can choose the apps that your business needs and add additional apps or users as your needs grow. Dynamics 365 encompasses all of the best practices of CRM, with the flexibility, familiarity and functionality you would expect from Microsoft.
It's a solution that helps organizations in all industries to build more productive relationships with current customers and forge relationships with new ones.
All of Your Data…in One Place
Microsoft Dynamics 365 gives every customer-facing employee the information they need to truly impress clients. Customer data is stored in a centralized repository that:
- Tracks sales & service interactions
- Automates marketing campaigns
- Provides valuable insights into customer communications & business intelligent data