Posted by Indusa Admin on September 26, 2017 12:16 pm
Microsoft has, in innovating its sales automation software over the years, finally reached the numero uno spot. Although Salesforce.com has been the frontrunner in the automation space, and has led for decades, Microsoft is the new leader on the block. In the recent Forrester Wave report, Microsoft has overtaken Salesforce (and Oracle) in CRM sales software – a big win for Microsoft who has been driving massive efforts in the sales automation space.
The latest Forrester Wave is based on Microsoft’s 2016 release – the launch of Dynamics 365, which has changed the game for Microsoft. And Forrester’s assessment of Microsoft’s deep integration with LinkedIn is only going to work in their favor – integration which is taking the IT world by storm. The seamless flow of information between Outlook, Dynamics 365, and LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator is going to ensure Microsoft stays at the top for a while, making it harder for competitors like Oracle, SAP or Saleforce.com to compete.
Microsoft vs. Salesforce vs. Oracle
The CRM market has been highly competitive, pitting Microsoft, Salesforce, and Oracle against each other since the beginning. While Salesforce has been synonymous with CRM as one of the very few standalone CRM applications, and has been the CRM leader for the longest time, Oracle has offered the analytics and forecasting capabilities needed to drive smarter sales.
However, both systems often lack critical industry specific features. Implementing Salesforce and integrating it with existing ERP systems has been a popular choice for organizations who want the best of both worlds. And although you can continue to use an ERP system’s inbuilt CRM capability, it makes more sense to have a standalone CRM application like Dynamics 365 to streamline sales processes and increase your revenue.
With Dynamics 365, Microsoft goes a step further in competing with Salesforce and Oracle; the host of new and improved applications filter data stored across the organization, and social media sites, and offer intelligent sales insights.
The Microsoft Advantage
So what has given Microsoft the edge? Is it the heavy investment in machine learning/artificial intelligence? Or, the recent acquisition of LinkedIn? Is it the heightened focus on seller productivity? It’s actually a combination of all this, and more that has brought Microsoft to the pinnacle.
Outlook On the Go
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
With Dynamics 365 integration, organizations can go beyond sales force automation and bring digital intelligence into each deal. The outcome? Better prediction of customers’ needs and delivery of personalized attention that helps build relationships and drive revenue. Create a culture that nurtures success, and spend more time selling and less time on administration.
With traditional sales software focused on reporting and analytics, Microsoft’s deep integration with Outlook makes it possible for sales reps to be more productive on the go. From simple things like not switching between apps, to complex ones like sharing real-time analytics with the team from the field has shown to have a massive impact on revenue.
Built-in machine learning and AI capabilities in Microsoft CRM helps drive a competitive advantage and generate precise results. With machine learning touted as one of the top ten trends in 2017 by Gartner, Microsoft enables organizations to bring greater predictive accuracy to every phase of the sales cycle and aids them in making critical sales decisions.
Bringing together LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales has done wonders for Microsoft. The integration enables organizations to discover the right prospects, get real-time sales insights, and engage with them in a personalized way. What’s more, organizations can automatically save leads and accounts, and log every Sales Navigator activity into CRM – in a single click.
What Forrester Says
Forresters’ report details how Microsoft’s recent investments in sales and marketing has taken their CRM platform from a simple sales software to empowering modern sellers to deliver high-quality customer experiences. Forrester says:
“Microsoft is building out its intelligent offerings and unifying its SFA solution with its larger portfolio. The 2016 transition to Dynamics 365 brought a heightened focus on seller productivity, with deep integrations into Office 365 and Outlook. With all the hype around artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, Microsoft shows considerable maturity in both its execution and vision for how advanced analytics will transform selling. Customers rate Microsoft’s pace and penchant for innovation very high. The potential around analytics only improves with its acquisition of LinkedIn.
About the Author – Elena Britton
Elena Britton is a leader for Indusa’s strategic marketing efforts. She’s worked on digital and traditional marketing projects in various B2B industries with a focus on brand management, digital strategies and event management.
Contributing Author: Malavika Nityanandam