Announcing the Sales Management Solution Template for Dynamics 365 with Data Export

Written by Richard Tkachuk as seen on Microsoft Corporation
Back in May, we announced the sales management solution template that simplified and accelerated building powerful and compelling Power BI solutions on Dynamics CRM (now Dynamics 365). The sales management solution template offered a very fast guided experience to create compelling reports on an extensible, scalable, and secure architecture that could be customized however one needed. This meant that instead of spending one’s time on plumbing, one could instead spend it on extending and customizing the solution template to meet your organization’s needs. Today, I’m pleased to announce the integration of Dynamics CRM Data Export with the sales management solution template for Dynamics 365.
Data Export is a free add-on service made available as a Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution that adds the ability to replicate Dynamics 365 online data to a Microsoft Azure SQL Database store in a customer-owned Microsoft Azure subscription.
There’s no more scheduling – your data is automatically replicated from Dynamics 365 as soon as it changes.
With this new capability, customers can use the sales management solution template create an enterprise-ready Power BI analytics solution on data that is replicated to their Azure SQL database in a fast, robust, and scalable manner.
Provisioning the solution template is just as simple as before, but now it’s much, much faster with Data Export. You don’t need to do anything new – if you’re a Dynamics 365 administrator, just run through a couple of pages to let us know about your instance and we do everything. Once you’re done, all changes in your Dynamics 365 records are automatically updated in the Azure SQL database and available to your Power BI reports.
And while we were at it, we rejuvenated the Power BI reports to give them a clean new look – here’s what the new first page looks like:
I hope you can check it out – we’re very happy with the changes and hope you are as well.


Get to Know Your Customers

The Managed Solution Sales Team shares their favorite ways to build relationships with customers

By Kelly Cronin
Happy official Get to Know Your Customers Day! Every great sales team knows the best part of working with customers on a daily basis is building relationships with each and every customer.  Sometimes connecting with customers means stepping outside of the office environment.  To celebrate the big day, we asked our sales team what their favorite techniques are to get to know their customers better.
Here are some of the responses we got:

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"I really enjoy having lunch or dinner with my customers. It’s great to talk over good food and get them away from the office. I learn a lot more about their personal life and get to know them as potential friends, not just clients."

-Kim Wolf

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"I connect with customers by asking them about their favorite restaurants and activities – people enjoy talking about the things they love, which makes it easier to connect on a personal level before getting down to business."

 - Danielle Hamra

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"I like to get them out of the office for a drink or a bite to eat.  This helps get more personal and less salesy!"

-Tina Rountree

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"My favorite way to build relationships is to get to know them on a personal level by asking about their kids, hobbies, etc."

-April Koeing

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"Just take the time to hear a little about their personal life.  Usually you have something more in common with everyone you meet if you let yourself have an ordinary conversation.  I met with a customer here in town on Monday and the next time I spoke to him he ended the call 'thanks my friend'"

-Cherla Ramsey


Feeling inspired?  Check out more tools to build customer relationships with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.



On June 7th , Microsoft will be hosting a Live Virtual Event called “Customer Driven” to showcase the exciting new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring 2016 Release. This 90 minute event will include keynotes from:
  • Scott Guthrie, EVP Cloud & Enterprise
  • Jujhar Singh, GM Dynamics CRM R&D
  • Paul Greenberg, President of The 56 Group, LLC; CRM Analyst
  • As well as a Customer Panel.
The registration link will not be live until May 23rd, but we wanted to make you aware of the event so that you can “Save the date”.



4 Ways Real Companies Sell Smarter with Sales Analytics

By Stephanie Dart, Director of Product Marketing with Microsoft Dynamics as written on
All sales managers want better numbers from their teams, but many are ignoring the obvious solution. A paltry 15 percent of organizations use analytics to drive objectives. Investing in analytics isn’t just a nice idea if you have the time and money to make it work. A sales team backed by superior data analysis is an unbeatable force. Sales analytics is a time-tested way to get more from the employees and customers you already have and uncover opportunities you may have missed.
Analytics helps sales teams:
• Identify overlooked opportunities
• Find ways to turn existing customers into repeat customers
• Track individual customer trends
• Develop new offerings to satisfy customer need
• And more

Identify overlooked opportunities

Your reps can’t spend all day trolling the Internet for hot tips. That’s where intelligent business software comes in. Kennametal, a leading material science and manufacturing company, uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM to track customers in the news. Whenever client-specific content appears in sources such as The Wall Street Journal or NPR, the CRM software aggregates the headlines and delivers them to sales and marketing teams. That way, the sales team can act right away when opportunities arise. And up-to-the-minute knowledge of their customers’ competitive landscape helps sales reps generate new leads and engage in productive conversations with current clients.

Find ways to turn existing customers into repeat customers

Marketing and sales go hand in hand when it comes to customer retention and have for a long time. Analytics can turn traditional methods into sure-fire outreach. Mike McMinn, Group IT Director for the English pub chain Marston’s, links his company’s enthusiasm about data analytics to the trackability of ROI. “In the UK, companies have a tendency to just give out offers. We want to provide a better experience by knowing customers better—and knowing which of our efforts are paying off. If we can understand our customers better, [using] campaigns that encourage them to buy just one more pint we can increase our profit by several millions of pounds per year.”
Analytics can also reveal how and when your customers need you the most, so you’re able to prepare for a rainy day. When bridge repairs shut down a transit route, Transport for London prepared by studying commuter behavior. The data told a very clear story, so the transportation authority developed strategies—a temporary interchange, increased bus service in the area, personalized commuter notifications—that would keep riders using public transit despite the closure.

Track individual customer trends

On a sales team, you’re going to get good data only if your whole team is invested in tracking it all the time. Reporting software that’s easy to use makes sales teams more agile and increases the quality of the output.
Kennametal finds that visual reporting (like what Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers) helps surface spikes and trends, and this reporting provides insight into profitability and allows for detailed drilling down to the customer-detail level. Better still, reporting can be automated to provide regular updates on how the company is performing against projections. And anyone can access these tools across the organization at any time. No special analytics background required.

Develop new offerings to satisfy customer need

At accounting firm Grant Thornton, analytics is also indispensable in the discovery and development of new sales offerings. Data uncovers demands and desires that customers can’t even clearly articulate. Insights gathered according to line of service, type of service, revenue, and other factors can reveal an untapped opportunity—so the accounting firm can capitalize on it and satisfy a customer need.
We’ve highlighted four advantages here, but there are countless ways analytics can bolster your sales organization. The insights that data analysis can provide a sales team make very smart people even smarter. Since deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Grant Thornton has experienced a 450 percent jump in the number of opportunities it is tracking, a 36 percent increase in average win value, and a 700 percent rise in the number of contacts in its system. Numbers don’t lie. Let them help your team reach the next level.

For information on deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM in your organization, please call us at 800-257-0691 or fill out the contact form below and an expert will contact you shortly.


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