Microsoft released the latest version of its robust Customer Relationship Management solution, Dynamics CRM 2015, in December, 2014.
This page highlights some of the new key features and enhancements of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.
Download the Preview Guide as PDF here:
Business Context – The world is changing and it is impacting how companies need to engage with customers. Customers are 57% of the way through the buying cycle before they engage with you. Marketers, more than ever, need to be there every step with the customer, ensuring that when the customer does reach out, sales, marketing and the customer are all on the same page.
Marketing owns more of the customer journey than ever before, so they must engage customers in new ways, across new channels in a personalized, relevant way. At the same time, marketers are being held increasingly accountable for the ROI of their marketing investment, yet most lack the ability to track campaigns end-to-end and understand impact in real-time. More than 50% of CMO’s feel unprepared for the new marketing landscape.
Microsoft Dynamics Marketing enables your marketing team to seamlessly go from planning, to execution, leveraging the power of Excel and Power BI to measure campaigns across channels from start to finish so you can bring your marketing vision to life. You can engage customers one-to-one across channels, build your sales pipeline and demonstrate the impact of your marketing investments in real-time.
Today’s buyer is smart and getting smarter each day. You need to understand what matters most to them and help them get to the truth that they seek. Quickly and consistently. The 2015 update of Dynamics Marketing helps organizatons streamline campaign creation and improve segmentation with graphical email editing, A/B and split testing, integrated offers and approval workflows.
The new Email editor provides marketers with the ability to select from pre-defined templates or create an Email from scratch using an interactive drag and drop build process or an advanced editor for the CSS & HTML experts.
Campaign Management Console
The Campaign Management Console has been enhanced to include complex multi-condition triggers to fine tune responses, embedded cross campaign offers and A/B testing. A/B testing provides marketers the confidence that their efforts will deliver the desired impact by easily setting up and running A/B tests that are multi-objective with results displayed via in place real-time analytics.
Integrated Social Listening
Ensure success with integrated transactional and social insights and positively impact on your brand with sentiment analysis.
Strengthen your marketing and sales synergies with the new Sales Collaboration Panel which allows sellers to provide input into campaigns and targeting. Sellers can gain visibility into the campaign activites and can control communications targeting their customers as well as setup and receive alerts based on their interactions.
Deepen your lead management capabilities with webinar integration and improved lead scoring, including the ability to introduce multiple lead scoring models.
Marketing Resource Management
Gain unprecedented visibility into your marketing plan with the new Marketing Calendar and improve collaborative marketing with click to call capabilities from Lync.
Internal Process Automation
Easily design approval processes and track their status to ensure your team is aligned and on target to meet deadlines.
Geographical availability of Dynamics Marketing will expanded to include Japan and Russia.
In order to help sellers sell more effectively by selling more, winning faster and driving results, we are pleased to deliver the following features:
Guided Sales Processes
Guide sellers toward desired outcomes with enhanced branching logic and increase impact via automation of business processes and enforcement of business rules across all devices.
This release further improves the business process flows introduced in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 by introducing the branching capability to allow organizations to implement complex business processes. The branch selection is done automatically, in real-time based upon rules defined during the process definition. For example, in selling products or services, you can configure a single business process flow, which after a common qualification stage splits into two branches – one specific to products and the other for services.
Boost selling effectiveness with the ability to bundle products and recommend related products for cross-sell/up-sell and simplify and minimize product management with product attributes.
Improvements to the product selling experience help sales operations managers and salespeople manage and sell their company’s products more effectively. Sales operations managers can easily configure product offerings that bundle related products together and provide tailored pricelists giving sellers the ability to position the best products at the best price. Salespeople can see suggestions for cross-selling and up-selling, and get recommendations for accessories or substitutes right on the opportunity form while they are working their deal.
Product properties (attributes) such as updatable, read-only, required and hidden allow sales operations managers to determine how they can be used by the sales agent at run time, that is, while adding an associated product to an opportunity, quote, order, or invoice.
Manage and report on your sales data in a way that maps to your business. New hierarchical visualizations and roll-ups bring real-time territory and forecasting data to your fingertips. Visually explore and traverse hierarchies with key information displayed on tiles, launch actions or communications from any node, and query filter records using the under operator.
With this release, users can see how info is related or grouped by viewing accounts, products, or users in hierarchical charts. You can click a block of info to get more details and navigate to the info you’re interested in.
For example, from the hierarchical view for accounts, you can:
- See how an account is doing in overall revenue
- Drill into tiles for sub-accounts to see where the deals are coming from
- Find out who is working an account and enlist help from others by sending email or sharing the account with other salespeople
- View important details about each account, such as credit limit and latest activity posts for the account
Hierarchical views are also available on mobile.
CRM for tablets enhancements
Microsoft Dynamics CRM for tablets helps you stay connected and productive wherever you are. Use your Windows 8, iPad or Android tablets to stay up to date with your customer info—even when you’re on the go. CRM for tablets has been enhanced to increase sales productivity with flexible, role tailored dashboards and analytics, personalized home pages and the ability to navigate by hierarchy, as well as improved support for disconnected scenarios. A new personalized home experience allows mobile employees to pin key records and surface analytics from any tablet enabled dashboard in CRM and to easily access and analyze their key data on the go.
Connectivity is not always available while traveling. With offline drafts new records can be created and changes can be synchronized once reconnected.
Social and mobile have forever changed customer expectations of how they interact with companies for service. 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. They expect high quality, consistent service on the channel of their choice, whether it is over the web, social networks, or on the phone. Today, 67% of consumers use web self-service to find answers to their questions.
The challenge for customer service organizations is to balance delivering amazing customer experiences against their cost to service for an optimal mix over time. Cost of service varies significantly across channels, so companies are investigating how to provide differentiated levels of customer support, while looking at how to empower their agents and make them more efficient and effective.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM enables companies to build customer loyalty, empower agents and drive resolution by providing relevant, proactive and personalized service across all channels. Companies can connect their customers with the right answers to their service inquiries at the right time, via their channel of choice across web, social, chat, mobile and phone.
Enable agents to provide differentiated levels of support with flexible Service Level Agreements “SLA’s”. Gain insight into service effectiveness with the ability to track and analyze key metrics like First Response and Case Resolution.
In the previous release we enhanced the case management capabilities with Microsoft Dynamics CRM to include:
- updated case form to manage related cases, review entitlements , and a Timer to ensure you do not exceed/breach your SLA’s
- defining and managing service entitlements and SLA’s
- creating dynamic routing and queuing rules to ensure you hit your service targets
- merging duplicte or creating parent / child relationships between cases to eliminate redundancies
This release further improves the case management capabilities to allow agents to pause and resume SLA’s and track the time for which a case was on-hold or waiting on customer to ensure SLA’s are met.
Social has changed the way people engage and communicate. Today’s customers are more informed and getting their information in new ways and from new sources. Decisions are influenced by discussions online and user reviews. In fact, 75% of B2B customers are likely to use social media to influence their purchase decisions, and customers are over 70%* of the way through the sales cycle before they contact you.
Most of today’s social listening tools, however, are so complex and expensive that they’re only available to an elite few – which means relevant information rarely gets to the front lines who need it. We believe this valuable information should be available to everyone.
Microsoft Social Listening
Microsoft Social Listening is a powerful new service that your organization can use to monitor social media channels like Twitter and Facebook. Use Microsoft Social Listening to track products, brands, competitors, and campaigns globally and in real time to gain a true understanding of your customers and your business across the social web.
Analyze what people are saying: In addition to the existing sources (Twitter, Facebook, blogs and videos), you can now add news to your search topics and analyze sentiment in Italian.
Gain social insights: Use location filters to narrow your data set and to see posts from specific countries or regions. Create and manage location groups that allow users to filter the data efficiently.
Geographic availability: Listen to social conversations in 19 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Thai and analyze sentiment in six languages: English, French, German, Portuguese (Portugal), Spanish and Italian. The Microsoft Social Listening user interface is localized in the same six sentiment analysis languages.
Powerful tools allow you to tailor Microsoft Dynamics CRM to meet your unique business requirements. Microsoft Dynamics CRM facilitates the delivery of rapid business value with an agile solution framework that can be easily tailored and configured.
The Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform provides a declarative paradigm that ranges from defining the data model to providing integrated persistence, security, API access, user experience and programming paradigms based on a modern open architecture. The following investments in our platform capabilities further our commitment to an open, customizable and extensible product and online service.
Improvements to quick search make it faster and easier to find customer records. Improved search capabilities provide a quick way to find and navigate to records by letting users enter keywords in the search box on the nav bar. The search box supports using an asterisk (*) as a wildcard character, and allows the user to search across record types and get a full list of matching search results.
To do more sophisticated searches, click the new Advanced Find icon, which is now on the nav bar. To only see matches for a certain type of record, on the search results page, you can select a filter from the drop-down list. Click a search result to open it.
Synchronize more types of information between CRM and Outlook or Exchange
Teams that use Outlook/Exchange as their centralized information hub can synchronize more types of information now, including:
- Additional contact and task fields
- Assigned tasks
- Appointment attachments
Users can easily view the fields that are synchronized, which provides confidence about where the data comes from and how it’s shared. Additionally administrators can enable, disable and configure the direction of synchronization for these fields.
New Configuration Wizard makes it easy to configure CRM for Outlook for your organization
The CRM for Outlook Configuration Wizard has been redesigned making it easier to configure CRM for Outlook. The new Configuration Wizard also makes it easy to add and manage additional CRM organizations.
Business Analysts can easily create advanced business logic through a declarative “point-and-click” interface to perform actions within CRM. Business Rules, introduced in Dynamics CRM 2013, have been enhanced to include the following:
- Write once, execute everywhere – Business logic is now even easier to implement and enforce
- Server side execution allows business rules to be executed irrespective of whether changes are made through the client or on the server though the SDK. Rules can be executed on create or update of the record and form specific actions (field visibility, lock/unlock and field requirement) are ignored.
- Express richer business logic
- If.. Else if.. Else support enables more complex structures to be easily defined
- Combine multiple expressions using simple and/or grouping to enable the definition of richer conditions. For instance, if the lead rating is hot or if the lead is from an existing account, mark this lead as ‘ok to pursue’.
- Support for default values and behaviors
- Set up each record just right for your sales reps by pre-filling information when a record is created. Express condition-less business logic for rules formed of Set Default, Show/Hide, Lock/Unlock, Set Required.
Business Process Flows
Often, the users are looking for data that is a result of some calculation. For example, a salesperson wants to know the weighted revenue for an opportunity which is based on the estimated revenue from an opportunity multiplied by the probability. Or, they want to automatically apply a discount, if an order is greater than a certain amount. To provide this data, you can define the calculated fields in the CRM User Interface without needing to write code. The calculated fields contain a value calculated based on conditions and a formula defined within this field. The conditions and formulas can refer to the values of the other fields in the same entity or values of the fields in the related entities. You can define a calculated field to contain values resulting from many common calculations, such as simple math operators, and conditional operations, such as greater than or if-else and many others.
Business Rules Editor Improvements
The initial release of business rules could only evaluate whether all the conditions in a rule were true. In this release, in addition to the AND operator, you can use OR and If-Else to build more complex and rich business rule logic with less effort. Creating a commonly used branching logic, becomes a simpler task. The business process flow branching capability is built on the new If-Else logic.
For example, you can move the logic for commonly used scenarios out of plug-ins into the entity-level business rules that you define in the CRM user interface. In addition, the support for setting default values has been added to business rules. For instance, if Contoso only does business in the United States, a simple business rule can be created such that on the creation of an incoming lead, the country is automatically set to U.S.A.
Capture key business metrics with Rollup fields
The rollup fields are used to capture key business metrics at a record level from related entities with One-to-Many (1:N) relationships. The rollup fields also provide the ability to aggregate over hierarchies for more complex scenarios. You can define the entity rollup fields as a decimal or whole numbers, currency, and date/time. For example, users may want to know:
- How many open opportunities they are working on
- A total revenue for the open opportunities related to the account
- A total number of high priority active cases related to the account
The aggregates are rolled up from the child records to the parent record. A maximum of 100 rollup fields can be defined within an organization and each entity can have no more than 10 rollup fields. The rollup fields are calculated by asynchronous system jobs. The Calculate Rollup Fields is a recurring job that runs according to the recurrence pattern. The Mass Calculate Rollup Fields job runs once, when a Rollup field is added or updated. Because the rollup fields are solution components, they can be easily transported between organizations and distributed in solutions.
Field Level Security for Out Of the Box fields
Many businesses have sensitive data that should only be viewable or editable by certain users. With field-level security, you can restrict access to custom fields and now other fields. For example, admins can enable the account number field to be viewed but not changeable for members of the sales team.
Continuing our commitment to deliver CRM functionality on the latest technologies we have updated the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Compatibility List providing an up to date view of recent and upcoming compatibility testing results.
Contact FMT Consultants today for more information about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015.