Microsoft Relationship Sales Let’s LinkedIn Off the Leash in Dynamics CRM

It’s here and it’s awesome.  I’ve blogged about Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn in the past and always in anticipation of how it would ultimately impact Dynamics 365 Sales and Marketing.  I’m at Microsoft’s annual partner conference in Washington, D.C., Inspire 2017, and the news is out. We’re only one day in and Satya Nadella has already shared new Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise packages and announced launches of Dynamics 365, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and Azure Stack.

During Satya’s keynote this morning, Alysa Taylor (marketing general manager within the Dynamics business unit) delivered a live demonstration of the combined solution.  She made it clear that the new offering would stand out as a way to deliver sellers a holistic view of a prospect’s business and engage more effectively with current clients.

Microsoft Relationship Sales

As of today, they’ve announced (along with LinkedIn) the general availability of the Microsoft Relationship Sales solution, which brings together LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, Enterprise Edition.  Together, these two powerhouse solutions are intended to provide “relationship-centered insights” to help sellers deliver authentic and personal engagement with customers and prospects.  According to the LinkedIn press release, the new integrations between Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales delivers a great experience in the following ways:

  • Displaying Sales Navigator person and company information on every Dynamics lead, contact, account and opportunity page.
  • Daily updates between systems so the accounts and contacts sales reps are actively working on in Dynamics 365 are automatically saved to Sales Navigator.  In addition, sales reps can see in Sales Navigator what people and companies are already saved in Dynamics, and vice-versa.
  • With a single click, the ability to write select Sales Navigator activities (InMails, messages, notes and call logs) to Dynamics 365.

The Microsoft Relationship Sales Solution features an overall “health-score” for each selling opportunity which incorporates engagement, elapsed time and activity as well as LinkedIn profile metrics.   Sellers can utilize out-of-the-box or custom charts created in CRM to identify at-risk opportunities or pipeline gaps, then automatically reach in and through LinkedIn to approach new contacts with prospect companies.  This, along with contextual guidance baked into the system, makes it much easier to connect with unknown members of the buying committee or discover personalized buying criteria for each.  More than just improving chances to win individual sales cycles, Microsoft Relationship Sales provides a unified view across the pipeline and can drive custom nurture processes.

PointDrive Brings it all together

Alysa also showed how LinkedIn’s PointDrive solution can be leveraged within Microsoft Relationship Sales to package, personalize and deliver polished and engaging sales content to prospects and customers.  From presentations to images, links and videos a seller can create a comprehensive message together and fire it off to potential buyers.  More importantly, they can leverage built-in BI and analytics to understand what components are accessed to better understand their buying criteria.

Tools like PointDrive and LinkedIn Sales Navigator within Microsoft Relationship Sales let salespeople leave the traditional email with attachments behind and engage more effectively across desktop and mobile devices.

You can’t argue with the price tag

On July 1st, 2017, Microsoft and LinkedIn sales teams will begin selling the Microsoft Relationship Sales Solution, a new offer that combines Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 for Sales and LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator Enterprise Edition, starting at $135 per seat per month before volume discounts.  This is the most compelling offer of its kind in the CRM market today and, according to Microsoft, roughly half the cost of competitive solutions available at this time.

Check back here for a live demonstration of Microsoft Relationship Sales and additional updates as the week continues!

Best regards,

Robbie Morrison
Chief Solution Strategist, SBS Group

About Robbie
Robbie Morrison has spent nearly 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions.  From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and products helps SBS Group customers maximize ROI on technology investmeRobbie-2017nts.

Today, Robbie serves SBS Group customers in his role as Chief Solution Strategist where he provides thought leadership and manages the development of B2B solutions.  Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.