Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, along with updates to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. All will be generally available in the fourth quarter of this year.
This release will focus on knitting together the sales and marketing functions.
“We worked to break down the silos in which sales and marketing, as well as service, still exist,” Angela Bandlow, director of marketing for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, told CRM Buyer.
The goal is to provide users of the app with more opportunities for collaboration and, ultimately, a better user experience.
The new Sales Collaboration Panel, which is part of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, is particularly noteworthy, as it gives the sales team greater input into campaigns and targeting.
“It provides one common hub for people to see all the campaigns and contacts related to their accounts,” Jujhar Singh, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, told CRM Buyer.
The panel lets users see how customers are responding to various campaigns by tracking their responses.
“It is — for sales people — a higher view into what is happening in the organization,” Singh said. “They get proactive insights pushed to them about what their customers are doing and responding to.”
The new release also provides the sales team with the ability to bundle and recommend products for upsell and cross-sell across product families. The Guided Sales Processes have been updated with an eye to enforcing business rules across all devices.
The Mobile Piece
Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s last release represented a major leap forward in mobile functionality, becoming available for all major operating systems.
In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, the company fined-tuned some of its mobile features, adding new sales tools that increase productivity. These include role-based dashboards and analytics, as well as personalized home pages.
Marketing Functionality Upgrade
Marketers also discovered upgraded functionality in the 2015 release.
New tools will allow them to improve segmentation with graphical email editing and A/B testing. The ability to make integrated offers was enhanced, as were approval workflows. These different testing mechanisms were built in a generic format so they could be used across different channels, Singh said.
Campaign creation has been streamlined and enhanced.
“Now the CMO can run the company’s entire internal marketing operations through these rich automation tools,” Singh said.
The graphical display has also been improved and an interactive marketing calendar added, giving the CMO “complete visibility through the entire campaign planning process,” he pointed out.
Another update gives marketers access to Lync click-to-call, as well as the ability to schedule and execute webinars as part of their marketing initiatives.
Microsoft added Italian as a sixth native language for sentiment tracking and analysis, and it expanded listening capabilities to include news sources. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing also will be made available in Japanese and Russian in the forthcoming release.
The company is expanding its reach into Latin America and will be available in 17 new markets there for a total of 65 worldwide.
All told, Bandlow said, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has posted 40 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth.