Source: Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft has made a comeback in a big way. And their CRM, Dynamics, is proof of that.

Where they were once considered the dinosaur of the tech world, their new CEO, Satya Nadella, brought Microsoft into the 21st century with innovative ideas and enhanced user-friendly design.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is one example of its growth and advanced approach in recent years. Although Microsoft first introduced Dynamics in 2001, it has only lately started to become a serious competitor with other well-known CRMs.

Today, Microsoft Dynamics CRM can give sales leaders and their teams a serious advantage. From their use of cloud automation to top-of-the-line security and beyond, businesses can stand to gain a lot from what they have to offer. However, Dynamics does have one serious weakness: field mapping capability. Microsoft discontinued their mapping application, MapPoint, in 2013.

Dynamics' integrative capabilities, though, allow sales leaders to take their CRM from great to completely transformational. When you introduce field mapping, your reps will be able to get the most out of their sales calls. Your leaders can also use the charting and reporting capabilities to get a better understanding of what is going on in the field.

Here’s what you need to know about getting the most for your field sales team: Microsoft Dynamics CRM with integrative field mapping.

The CRM Advantage with Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers serious flexibility and an effective CRM solution. Dynamics users report impressive results of the CRM. One survey of 2,000 employees who were using Microsoft Dynamics reported an amazing 245% return on investment as a result of increased productivity. Here are some more impressive results of the survey:

·     50% of teams saw improved productivity

·     2% increase in revenue

·     40% reduction in customer service labor costs

·     20% decrease in overall labor costs

·     5% increase in sales productivity

Clearly, Microsoft is doing something right. How are they helping businesses succeed at such an amazing rate? Through many of their offering, which includes:

Cloud-Based Experience

Microsoft also owns Azure, the second largest cloud service provider. They used this to their advantage when they updated Dynamics. They are the only CRM that offers cloud automation, which makes it more innovative and user-friendly than its competitors.

Your sales team can access the power of the cloud to sell better and faster. Dynamics combines CRM, ERP, Office, and whatever apps you need into one cloud-based experience. It will make employees daily work easier since sales reps can have all the information that they need at their fingertips.

Scalable Solution

No business wants to pay for something that they don’t need. Many executives and sales leaders are nervous at the thought of being roped into purchasing an over-complicated CRM that they won't use. On the other hand, they also don't want to outgrow their CRM in a few years and have to invest in another. Dynamics, however, offers a monthly subscription. The subscription allows you to purchase as much or as little as you require.

A monthly subscription has two advantages for your business. Many businesses have busy and slow seasons. You have the option to pay for what you need for the month. A busy one, like holidays? Ramp up your CRM. A slow month right afterward, like January or February? Scale your CRM back down. You also don't have to worry about growing pains as your business picks up. Dynamics can grow right along with you and provide whatever you need.

Integrative Everything

Another great advantage of using a Microsoft CRM is that it will integrate seamlessly with all of the other Microsoft programs you already have, such as Office and Outlook. It makes transitioning to a CRM that much easier when you already know and have the programs that it integrates with perfectly.

Microsoft doesn’t work on their own to make Dynamics the ideal CRM. They have an impressive community around the world to help make it stronger. Also, Microsoft has an extensive app marketplace where you can find anything you need from third-party providers and partners. Whatever you need, you can have through their app store.

In-Depth Analytics

Both your sales leaders and team need as accurate a picture of the data as possible to see where they are and where they’re going on their current trajectory. Dynamics’ built-in predictive analytics combines Azure Machine Learning, Power BI, and Cortana Intelligence. It gives not only predictive insights but prescriptive advice.

You can also have access to social data for lead generation and relationship management with their analytics tools. Your reps can have more relevant and productive customer conversations, leading to more sales and faster sales cycles.

Connect Sales and Support

Your business doesn't stop with sales. Microsoft holds that communication is at the heart of excellent customer service, so this CRM goes beyond sales and has impressive offerings for your customer support team as well.

Dynamics allow your customer service team to stay connected. They can register queries, customer communication, and respond to client callbacks. You can offer superior service with Dynamics.

Superior Security

A CRM holds some of your most valuable and sensitive information. Considering that the average security breach costs small business $46,000 and enterprises $620,000, your business’ livelihood depends on your ability to keep that information safe.

Dynamics provides hefty security to protect your vulnerable information and keep you from liability. Its robust security includes the ability to scale access to apps and data, so only the people who need the data have access to it.

The Achilles Heel of Dynamics

For all of its impressive offerings and capabilities, Dynamics does have one glaring weakness: a lack of mapping capabilities. They failed to understand how crucial data visualization is for sales teams and missed a critical element to their CRM.

They did at one point offer mapping capabilities through MapPoint.

What Happened to MapPoint?

MapPoint was created in 1988. Even then, when most people didn’t own computers, it was an immediate success and became one of the most successful applications, selling 400,000 copies. Finally, gone were the days of navigating an awkward map and precious time wasted trying to find the best route to every customer. It was one of the first-ever GPS systems. Microsoft ended up buying MapPoint and using its capabilities for many years.

However, Microsoft decided to discontinue MapPoint and ended support lines in 2015. At the time, Microsoft was pouring all of its energy and resources in Bing. Google had become a serious competitor, and Microsoft tried to rival Google Maps with Bing Maps. They hoped to replace MapPoint with Bing Maps eventually. However, six years later, Bing Map failed to make headway against Google Maps and has mostly fallen by the wayside.

As a result, Microsoft now misses out on crucial mapping capabilities for field sales. It probably is a significant drawback for your field reps and business.

To find out more about the story of MapPoint and modern softwares that can replace it, check out our piece on 2019 Alternatives to MapPoint.

Get the Most Out of Your CRM with Integration

However, all is not lost with Dynamics CRM. Their integrative technology means that you can have your cake and eat it too by adding field mapping to your CRM. You can harness the power and clarity of territory mapping with the cloud-based technology and security of Dynamics by integrating a territory management app.

Here are some of the advantages you can expect:

Data Visualization

The first benefit of territory mapping is being able to see your data on a map. Although Dynamics does a great job organizing data, it’s too easy to miss out on valuable insights without data visualization.

Whether you’re trying to find the best route, pinpointing trends for regions, looking at a reps' territory, or need to take in the information quickly, data visualization will make your job easier and your business stronger.

A picture is worth a thousand words with data visualization. No matter how organized Dynamics data is, it can’t compete with the ability to see the information in a helpful picture.

Charting and Reporting

Because Dynamics is not equipped for mapping, they miss out on crucial metrics related to sales travel, such as miles traveled. As a result, you might be missing out on critical information that can hurt your business and leave your executives and sales managers confused.

Metrics are essential for leaders to make decisions that make sense for the company. By missing out on specific metrics, you won't have full access to the information about your sales team and might be making serious errors in your decision-making. However, you can sleep easy knowing all the available data with field mapping capabilities.

Territory Mapping

Did you know that only 36% of sales reps' time is spent actually selling? The more you can cut down on wasted time, the more selling they can do. Territory mapping gives you an accurate look into each reps' territory. From there, you can make the best decisions on how to optimize their time in their region.

There are certain things that data cannot tell you. You can cut down on any inefficiencies within your sales team by looking at their territories and planning accordingly. With field mapping, you can enable your sales team to do what they were hired to do: sell.

Sales Execution

On the same topic of efficiency, the right field mapping app will help you automate any sales tasks that aren't directly vital to selling and remedial. Sales reps are infamous for forgetting about the small, technical functions in their jobs, such as logging in visits. After all, they're usually hired for their people skills, not technical skills.

Use technology to help them. Automatic check-ins, for example, will automatically log a customer visit when the sales rep is with a customer for longer than 15 minutes. You can yell, discipline, or nag your sales reps to remember each remedial task for sales. Or, you can let your tech take care of these tasks for them and let them spend their energy selling.

Integrative Mapping with Dynamics CRM for Better Field Sales

Best of all, Dynamics’ integrative technology makes adding field mapping simple. It can take as little as ten minutes with automatically updated information. Amazingly, you can have a more efficient and stronger sales team in just ten minutes!

Dynamics is one of the most cutting-edge CRM on the market. With their cloud technology, scalability, integrative solutions, and top-notch security, they offer one of the most comprehensive and sophisticated CRMs today. However, without their mapping capabilities, your business could seriously be hampered. By integrating a field mapping solution, though, you can have all the information you and your sales team need right at your fingertips.