Trying to decide which CRM software is right for your business? According to Gartner, Microsoft has been positioned in Leaders Quadrant for CRM Customer Engagement Centre. More specifically, the top two contenders in this area are Dynamics CRM and Dynamics 365. But what improvements does Dynamics 365 offer over the traditional Dynamics CRM? And what’s the main difference between these two products?
Let’s review some of the exclusive features, enhancements, and improvements in Dynamics 365 over the original Dynamics CRM.
Out with the Old, in with the New
Both platforms have the same purpose—they can be installed on premises and are also designed for the cloud. Just like every other CRM software, Dynamics CRM also has three components: sales force automation, marketing automation, and service automation.
In 2016, Microsoft replaced Dynamics CRM with Dynamics 365, a fully rebranded product specifically designed for customer engagement. Dynamics 365 is a combined CRM and ERP product that includes full Dynamics AX suite for ERP and the Business Edition includes the financial suite built from Dynamics NAV. Unlike its predecessor, Dynamics 365 eliminates the traditional silos that exist between external (CRM) and internal (ERP) information. Thus, it presents more opportunities for individuals to leverage information from other cloud services (like Microsoft Azure or Office 365); that way, you can focus only on the tools you need to better perform your role.
Unlike Dynamics CRM, Dynamics 365 has seven components:
- Operations (earlier Dynamics AX);
- Project service automation;
- Field service; and
- Customer insights.
In short, Dynamics 365 extends the functionality of Dynamics CRM.
Dynamics 365 and Office 365
Unlike Dynamics CRM, Dynamics 365 also has a closer relationship with Office 365. For example, Relationship Insights is a new feature in Dynamics 365 that leverages information in Outlook to provide you meaningful insights about customer relationships. Additionally, Microsoft Flow helps you create and automate custom workflows running across Azure, Outlook, and Dynamics 365. For instance, customer support staff could define a rule that performs sentiment analysis on the body of each new email in their Outlook inbox. If an email has negative sentiments, it will automatically generate a case in Dynamics 365 CRM so that serious issues can be addressed as soon as possible.
New Features and Functionality
With a variety of features to boost productivity, Dynamics CRM is undoubtedly a robust and flexible CRM solution to meet all of your sales, marketing, and customer service needs. It helps organizations generate new leads, manage their customer database, engage with their customers, and resolve customer issues.
Equipped with many cutting-edge tools, Dynamics 365 also features a number of other business management products, including ERP. This makes it a tempting option for SMBs who want to use a single digital platform for all of their CRM needs.
LinkedIn and Microsoft: A Powerful Duo
Dynamics 365 users—in particular, sales representative and recruiters—get access to LinkedIn’s rolodex of 500+ million professionals. Direct access to LinkedIn allows Dynamics 365 users to share leads, recruit and track any new customers, and rate customers in terms of their abilities. Dynamics 365’s deep integration with LinkedIn means that contact, account, and other lead profile information is automatically synced with changes on LinkedIn.
AI and Machine Learning
Dynamics 365 leverages AI and mixed reality to help business users derive more intelligent and detailed insights. Relationship Assistant is one of the latest exclusive AI features in Dynamics 365; it tracks behavior and collects and analyzes information from various sources in the Microsoft ecosystem. Based on that information, it then produces action cards to keep your sales pipeline moving. The Relationship Assistant can suggest next steps to help you maintain a healthy relationship with customers. For example, it can identify emails that require a reply from your end, send reminders for upcoming tasks, issue notifications when an opportunity is nearing its closing date, suggest the best time to reach out to an inactive contact, and a lot more.
Microsoft Flow and Power Apps
New tools allow users to create and customize their Dynamics 365 experience without any code. Microsoft Flow lets you create automated workflows across different apps and services. For example, you could create a workflow to identify any mentions of your brand on social media. When any new post pops up, the workflow will send you a notification and add a new lead record to the system. There’s also PowerApps for Dynamics 365—a drag-and-drop app builder where users can create new custom apps that connect to their systems, all without needing to have any technical expertise.
The ability to import data from Dynamics 365 into the Power BI dashboard ensures that users always have the most important information right at their fingertips. Connecting these two platforms allows you to visualize your data and products through in-depth reports. Dynamics 365 not only connects with the data but also lets users pull Power BI dashboards back into CRM.
Licensing and Pricing
Dynamics CRM users had to pay even for the features they didn’t use, but that’s not the case with Dynamics 365. For example, if your business wants to use only the sales automation function and relies on a different platform for marketing, you can do just that by paying only for the sales module. This means you can choose a custom pricing plan based on the functionality you need—whether that’s an ERP solution, a CRM solution, or a combination of both.
Additionally, the original Dynamics CRM has four access levels, while Dynamics 365 has only two: Team Member and Full User. Organizations can save money by purchasing a Full User license to get more access for less. It costs $95 per Full User access for each app separately (Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, and Project Service Automation) and $8 for each team member access. Users who need all the Dynamics 365 apps can enjoy a discounted rate rather than purchasing the license for each separately. The customer engagement plan for D365 lets users enjoy the functionality of all the apps at just $8 per Team Member and $115 per Full User.
(4 Different Access Levels)
(2 Different Access Levels)
|Full User: $115
Team Member: $8
And if you’re still skeptical of Dynamics 365, consider this: Clients who have migrated to the cloud-based version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 have witnessed considerable cost-savings on licenses and a positive ROI by successfully reducing their labor expenses.
Choosing the Right CRM System
Our experts at SherWeb can measure your sales and marketing performance to identify any missed opportunities and improve your bottom line by helping you choose the right Dynamics CRM for your business.
Still have questions about using Microsoft Dynamics CRM? If you’re not sure whether Dynamics CRM or Dynamics 365 is right for you, contact us today for personalized help.