A dramatic change in B2B buyer behavior has redefined the needs of CRM users and the requirements of CRM systems in the last few years. Buyers are more educated, self-sufficient, and reliant on their social network as they make buying decisions. This evolved buyer behavior has raised the bar for both companies that want to reach buyers and customers, and CRM providers.
A year ago, we began a strategic collaboration with Microsoft to rethink how customer intelligence can support sales and marketing professionals in this changed world. Together, we’ve imagined an evolved CRM experience that puts essential customer intelligence at the fingertips of users in their day-to-day CRM workflow. Today, we announced the fruits of that collaboration: an important OEM partnership with Microsoft that jumps over that higher bar with a new, more intelligent CRM. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, with Social Insights powered by InsideView, brings the CRM experience and value to the next level.
Through our joint innovation, real-time customer data, insights, and professional connections are available to all Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online users, natively integrated into their workflow. It’s a ground breaking first step towards delivering a truly intelligent CRM experience that aligns with the ways buyers engage with companies and sales teams.
Our joint vision for a more intelligent CRM is a system that blends real-time insights into workflow and uses those insights to make workflow more valuable to the users of CRM. Understanding a customer, their business drivers, their personal preferences and their goals, is the basis for meaningful sales engagement. It is just as important for existing customers as it is for prospects.
Until now, CRM users (whether they have a marketing, sales or account management role) were left to their own devices to discover and assemble insights manually. They searched thousands of financial, news and social sources in the cloud to find information that is essential to their success. Marketing departments and sales teams have found themselves in the data aggregation business, trying to combine social media with financial information into their marketing workflow. This has been a very time consuming, inefficient proposition—usually with poor results.
Starting today, users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online don’t have to spend time searching for information any longer, as real-time information aggregated from over 30,000 financial, news, and social sources appears natively within their CRM workflow.
The big winners in this partnership are customers and end-users. With Social Insights, powered by InsideView, Dynamics CRM users now have native access to customer intelligence, at no additional cost. They will increase productivity in a myriad of customer-facing use cases:
- Sales and marketing professionals are able to produce more qualified leads, faster than ever before
- Sales teams are able to find the right buyer within an organization more easily, and engage them more effectively
- Account managers are able to monitor their customers more efficiently and proactively engage when important changes occur
In a previous blog, I talked about The Next Generation of Business Intelligence. We are witnessing a critical step in this market revolution, from “dumb” automation systems to fully intelligent CRM systems that “listen” to market changes and business events, down to the individual company or person. An intelligent CRM provides a foundation for finding more leads, winning more deals, and growing the value of existing accounts. We are excited about our partnership with Microsoft, and look forward to the innovation we will jointly bring to market.