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You don’t have to be in the CRM software business to know that there have been some recent shifts in the market that have fundamentally changed things, all you have to be is a customer. Think about it, customers today are smarter. With a constant connection to the internet, they have quick access to any information they want. It’s prevalent and easily consumable. Social networks mean the people they trust are just a tweet away and probably eager to share their perspective. And studies show that the impact of this shift is as true for B2B customers as it is in B2C situations. Therefore it is no surprise to find that customers are almost 60% through the sales cycle before they actually make contact with the company that they are researching. And that fact right there changes everything.
First of all, it magnifies the importance of marketing. Where are your customers doing their research? What are they reading? Who are they talking to? Who is in their social network? What do they want? These are questions to which the savvy marketer needs to know the answers. It is no surprise then that IT spend is increasing for CMOs, but so too are the demands to report return on marketing investment.
Second, it changes the way you need to sell. In fact, customers don’t want to be sold to anymore. If they are 60% through the purchase process by the time they make contact with you, your salespeople need to be able to smartly engage them at this point. That means they need to have a good understanding of who the customer is and what they want.
Third, it makes your customer care department even more critical to your long-term success. Every customer your team interacts with is a potential evangelist. Getting every interaction right, is critical to your ability to create brand advocates that impact the journey of potential customers through the customer lifecycle.
Here’s where being in the CRM software business comes in handy. At Microsoft Dynamics, we have reimagined our CRM solution to address these shifting fundamentals, giving your people the tools they need to be successful. To us, this means making business personal. Forget those infamous words from “The Godfather” that business is not personal – business is personal. Buying decisions are very personal, and companies who are looking to deliver exceptional customer experiences need simple, intuitive, smart and easy to use solutions to help them succeed.
That’s why we are so excited about our upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. We have completely reimagined our user experience, streamlining it so that the user can easily see what they need to do, accomplishing their tasks quickly and easily. And this experience extends to iPads and Windows 8 tablets, so salespeople have a seamless experience as they move through their days—at work and on the road.
We think businesses today can also find success by taking a page out of the match.com playbook. If your customer doesn’t want to be sold to, that means that you need to be able to gather critical information about them to understand what they need and then match them to the product or service that best meets those needs. Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can harness the rich social data that will enable you to gain the insights you need to make this match.
Lastly, keeping people connected extends beyond their work group, through the entire organization and beyond. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has embedded the rich social collaboration capabilities to help people make the direct connections they need to the people and resources that will guarantee success.
Learn more at… http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-vision.aspx
Good post Bob. For the reasons that you share, the purchase power has forever shifted from seller to buyer. The sales cycle must now be recognized as a buy cycle, and sellers must change their communication style from monologue blasts to dialogue conversations. Social channels are where buyers now get connected, get informed, get independent reviews and get existing customer feedback on potential vendors. If those vendors are to be found, and be considered during the first ~60% of the buy cycle (and before buyers actually engage their short-listed finalists), they must meet buyers in those social channels. It's a very interesting time for sellers to craft innovative social CRM solutions. I look forward to learning more at WWPC.
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