What’s so good about Microsoft Dynamics 2016?

06 December 2015 by Naresh Raj

Microsoft has announced the next update of Dynamics is due out soon but just what’s so good about this major release and what does it mean for membership organisations?

 

Microsoft has announced the next update of Dynamics is due out soon but just what’s so good about this major release and what does it mean for membership organisations?

Microsoft has focused on a few areas with this upgrade:

Productivity

Better in-platform integration with Excel so sales and technical staff can more easily see data in Excel without having to first export it. Also, new Excel templates will automate many core tasks for individuals across departments, but particularly for those who work in sales. A couple of the tasks that these new templates will make easier are calculating commissions and managing sales forecasts. Better yet, all this insight can be accessed directly within CRM, with no need to toggle between programs, saving you valuable time and effort.  We reckon this will be useful for membership organisations in understanding and managing costs for events/training courses, ecommerce sales and membership renewals. 

Dynamics 2016 introduces a new survey tool enabling questionnaires and other feedback forms to be distributed from Dynamics to collect customer opinions, ratings and views. Through connected workflows automated actions can be triggered when surveys are completed. This can include scheduling an activity or sending automated messages such as an auto-responders, or alerting an account manager. Each survey response is linked back to the individual contact record in CRM and these responses can be aggregated to analyse the survey results. The survey designer includes radio buttons, tick boxes, star ratings and smiley face satisfaction options to cater for virtually any survey type. Landing pages are responsive so CRM surveys can be completed on desktop, tablet and mobile.

Mobility

There is now a CRM App for Outlook making it easier for people to interact with your CRM and data when out and about. It will allow you to track emails and add contacts from within the email client or even create new records through which to track emails on any device (PC, Mac, phone or tablet). We’re very pleased about this as we’re being asked about CRM mobility more and more by Directors and Board members who want access to all key information at their fingertips. It’s also ideal for flexible/mobile workers as it will reduce barriers to working.

But we think the key upgrades for membership organisations will be in the Intelligence area:

Microsoft Social Engagement

Seeing what social channels your members are using and interacting with you on has long since been the domain of the marketing team but, with the Microsoft Social Engagement tool, CRM users across all departments can now see social engagement across your membership.

Monitor what is being said on key topics across Twitter, Facebook, Wordpress, Tumblr, YouTube and now RSS feeds. And Social Engagement has just got a bit more intelligent, detecting potential leads and cases when there is a buzz on social around a topic. It will also help you gauge the sentiment of that buzz to be able to see quickly whether you need to get involved.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

There have been improvements to the Dynamics Marketing tool, including SMS marketing functionality so you can get key information straight to members’ mobiles and integrate mobile comms with your other channels.

The email marketing capability has also been enriched, e.g. you can now see the HTMLs of marketing emails created in an interactive way and high email volumes are more easily managed.

When’s it launching?

Dynamics 2016 is available now for both online and on-premise versions so talk to your CRM partner about scheduling your upgrade.

For full details on the features download the official preview guide»

We’ll keep you posted with any more improvements we find out!