B2B Sales and Marketing Made Easier with Microsoft Dynamics CRM: 7 Amazing Email and Social Tools
Companies that sell to consumers (B2C) have been taking advantage of email and social selling for quite some time now. Meanwhile, companies that sell to businesses (B2B) have sat on the sidelines, trying to figure out how to use social technology to deliver on their customers’ more sophisticated needs.
Does Social Media Sales & Marketing Work for B2B Companies?
Typically, the social channels have not been seen as relevant for B2B sales and marketing. However, a recent Harvard Business Review Article found that social media sales and marketing actually do work for B2B companies. That same article went on to cite a survey which found that only 12% of 370 sales and marketing executives felt they were ready for this new digital disruption in how B2B companies are making buying decisions.
Ready or not, the disruption has occurred…and even if you’re not ready, your competitor is. It’s a fact that how we buy is changing, in business as well as in our personal lives. B2B buyers now have a wealth of information available at their fingertips. The sales process now begins with someone using search engines and other electronic resources to gather preliminary information.
B2B marketers need to make sure their offerings stand out in those searches, so they need to connect with the customer and provide authentic, insightful content to help drive the buying decision.
The numbers show that sales and marketing professionals who take advantage of social technologies generate more leads, which leads to higher revenue. This is where Microsoft Dynamics CRM can help. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you have access to 7 very powerful tools that can help you improve your sales and marketing efforts through email and social channels. Let’s take a closer look at them:
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Marketing Tool #1: Email Templates
The Email Templates tool in Microsoft Dynamics CRM is relatively underused but provides a lot of bang for very little buck. Typically used by marketing and sales groups. these templates are helpful for sending both personalized and bulk emails. They allow you to pull CRM data, such as a person’s name, address info, or product interest into a professional, pre-written email. Emails can also include attachments! Other benefits:
- You save time when creating multiple email messages by making email templates. They contain prefilled data that you specify, so you don’t have to reenter the same information for each article.
- They are repeatable, consistent, easy, and can be managed by a central team.
- They can be accessed from a Web or Outlook client.
Think about how much more efficient your users can be as well as the improved consistency in your messaging and positioning using templates. And it’s simple. Once you create an email template, it can be made available from Outlook, as you can see here:
It can be used from a browser as well:
Here is a quick example of how a template can use CRM data to personalize content. To access the email templates, go to Main Menu > Settings > Templates > Email Templates:
Then create new template or open an existing one:
The one thing that email templates don’t do—and that most everyone asks for—is tracking opens and clicks. What about Microsoft Dynamics CRM? The answer is no. It can track that the email/template was sent, but it cannot track opens or clicked links. For that, we typically recommend ClickDimensions.
Note: Microsoft Dynamics 365 will soon offer feature that will allow you to track email opens and clicks. We will kick off a new Deep Dive series in January that will cover these new features and more.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Marketing Tool #2: Insights
If you use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, included at no extra charge is a tool called Insights, which helps you find more leads, win more deals, and grow and retain your accounts. Insights infuses CRM with essential company and contact data, business insights, and the ability to socially interact with your contacts and leads.
As you can see below, I have access to insightful information about the people I deal with. Connecting it to your own social channels, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, provides for interactions right from within CRM. No longer are we limited to just reaching out to people we know or want to know; social opens new avenues and topics of conversation.
In June of this year, LinkedIn was purchased by Microsoft, which will lead to some exciting integrations with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Dynamics 365 and Office 365. Stay tuned as we all learn more about how Microsoft will marry the world’s best business social network with CRM.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Marketing Tool #3: ClickDimensions
ClickDimensions is a fully embedded marketing automation tool within Microsoft Dynamics CRM. All features are accessed through the CRM interface, and data is stored in your CRM database, unlike other third-party options.
ClickDimensions provides an intuitive experience that allows you to create and send both individual and bulk HTML emails with all send, open, click, and bounce data reporting. In addition to emails, you can also create web forms, landing pages, surveys, nurture campaigns, and more with intuitive drag-and-drop functionality. In this post, we will briefly review the email capabilities.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Marketing Tool #4: Quick Send
Similar to the Email Templates too, Quick Send can be used to send to Contact or Lead records, which is useful if you often send the same email on an individual basis. For example, if a sales person routinely makes calls and then sends a follow-up email, they can set up a template for this using the Quick Send feature.
From any contact or lead record there will be a new Quick Send button. Simply click that button and this form is presented. That’s all there is to it. Fill in a few fields, then hit Send. You will now have visibility into when the email was opened, how often, and if any links were clicked. Add a simple workflow to CRM, and you can be automatically notified every time an open or click is performed! Wouldn’t you like to know when and how often that proposal you sent is being viewed?
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Marketing Tool #5: InboxCast Email
InboxCast makes it easy to prepare and send an email through ClickDimensions without having to design an email template in CRM. This way, you get the personalized look and feel of a regular email without sacrificing the tracking features in ClickDimensions.
When you click the InboxCast button, a new Outlook email form opens, and you type in whatever you want. Then send the email through Outlook like you normally do:
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Marketing Tool #6: ClickDimensions Profile
Like the Insights tool, ClickDimensions offers a Profile view that combines quick access to your contact and lead social information while displaying interactions they have had through your email, landing pages, and web sites.
Gain valuable insight about your lead or contact as you view their CRM record. ClickDimensions will retrieve data and direct links to the lead or contact’s identities from sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr. View the social information on the ClickDimensions profile, or easily embed social profiles anywhere on your CRM lead and contact records.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Marketing Tool #7: Microsoft Social Engagement
Your customers and prospects are having conversations through social media, blogs, and other public networking websites. How do you learn about it? If you have purchased ten or more licenses of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional, included in your subscription is tool called Microsoft Social Engagement.
Microsoft Social Engagement collects data from social media websites and presents it to you in charts and graphs that you can use to spot emerging trends in people’s comments, whether they’re positive, negative, or neutral. You can drill down into the data and see who is mentioning you, where they posted the comment, and exactly what they said:
Drill into the data to see exactly where conversations are happening and what those conversations are:
And again, from within Dynamics CRM, you take action on those conversations. You can:
- Assign ownership for someone to follow up with that person
- Create release CRM records, including Account, Contact, Lead, Case or Opportunity
- Use a history of social conversations to help you provide better service
- See how to identify and connect with the most influential users
- Learn how to stay on top of information with dedicated email alerts
So, to all of you in B2B marketing and sales: You have not been left out in the cold! Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers many powerful tools that can help you and your users reach and engage with prospects and clients more effectively. Want to learn more about these tools and how to use them? Watch our complimentary webcast, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Deep Dive: Introducing a New Generation of CRM…and More.
You can also contact us for a personal demonstration.