Microsoft purchased LinkedIn in December 2016 for $26.2 Billion. This was a purchase that saw Microsoft take the fight to Facebook and Google. With the move they entered into the social media and data as a service space but they also created a perfect resource for their CRM platform.

Microsoft’s CRM solution is Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, it offers a wide range of functionality and is split into role based applications for Sales, Customer Service and Marketing. All of the applications are part of the same platform and integrate seamlessly. The area that LinkedIn adds the most value is of course Sales.

Microsoft now has access to 500+ million and counting people’s data. This includes work history, location, connections, seniority, job title, etc. This represents a gold mine of business data for B2B Sales and Marketing teams. Tapping into this effectively and efficiently is important.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is LinkedIn’s tool for doing exactly that – a lead management solution, where you can search for prospects and identify people of interest. This allows you to identify opportunities for referrals, track changes at the organisation and manage all your prospects from LinkedIn easily.

CRM integration

Good news for Dynamics 365 (CRM) users is that you can now integrate Sales Navigator, meaning you can pull all of that LinkedIn data into your CRM. This provides a much clearer picture of your prospects and customers, to help you identify who you need to work with. Microsoft offer a package that includes licenses for both (minimum of 10 users).

The benefits of using this include;

  • Access to contextual information essential to building strong relationships with automatic data synchronisation across LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Dynamics 365 for Sales, and Office 365.
  • Access to 500+ million LinkedIn professional profiles including photos, current roles, and work history. With this, sales professionals can both gain a better understanding of their current customers and use the network to identify new leads.
  • Recommendations for users’ next-best action within Dynamics 365 based on combined signals from e-mail, CRM and LinkedIn. Suggested actions are artificial intelligence (AI) based and include suggestions for introductions and connection requests, as well as suggestions for sending InMail and messages.
  • Notifications on buyer relationship health including upcoming meetings, how many e-mails have been exchanged, their level of engagement, and identifies email messages that may be waiting for a reply from the seller. Users may also gauge relationship health through user activity on both the sales team and the customer side through trends within that activity such as the number of e-mail opens, attachment views, and link clicks.
  • Notifications on updates such as news mentions and job changes. This allows users to tailor the conversations for each specific buyer in real time throughout the account lifecycle.

Nucleus Research estimate that the ability to integrate both of these tools could boost your productivity by 12% across your sales team[1]. This is huge – in a team of 9 that would be the equivalent of having another person in the team and what better way to hit your sales target than the equivalent of an extra pair of hands!

Interested in Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, get in touch today.