Microsoft says coming Dynamics CRM and Marketing apps will let salespeople influence marketing and vice versa. Catching up with

Doug Henschen, Executive Editor, Enterprise Apps

September 16, 2014

4 Min Read
A new calendar view in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 gives marketers and salespeople alike a comprehensive view of upcoming campaigns.

Microsoft Office For iPad Vs. iWork Vs. Google

Microsoft Office For iPad Vs. iWork Vs. Google

Microsoft Office For iPad Vs. iWork Vs. Google (Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Microsoft on Tuesday said it will release Dynamics CRM 2015 and Dynamics Marketing 2015 in the fourth quarter, and it's promising that these integrated apps will help close all-too-common gaps between sales and marketing.

"Marketing tries to keep sales in the loop, but sometimes they're paying attention and sometimes they're not," said Angela Bandlow, director of marketing, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in a phone interview with InformationWeek. "Inevitably you get reps saying they didn't know about campaigns, or, worse, they say 'stop spamming my accounts,' which is something you never want to hear."

To close such gaps, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 will introduce an Interactive Marketing Calendar and a Sales Collaboration Panel that will give both parties an "outside-in" view of how marketing impacts accounts and contacts.

[Want more on marketing-integration moves? Read Previews Sales Feature To Promote Pardot.]

"It's the customer's view versus the CMO's view, and you can see all communications and how customers are responding to emails, links, downloads, and other content and offers so you can personalize ongoing engagement," Bandlow said.

If an important account or contact has definitively said no to a cross-sell or up-sell offer, for example, a sales manager or salesperson can use the Sales Collaboration Panel to opt customers out of certain campaigns or messages. Managers can assign this veto power to whatever groups or individuals they deem appropriate. Taking the opposite perspective, Dynamics Marketing 2015 will enable marketers to see the activities of salespeople in Dynamics CRM 2015, and they will be able to assign tasks to be executed on the sales side.

Stepping up competition with its chief CRM rival,, Microsoft introduced Dynamics Marketing in June, building on a platform gained through its 2012 acquisition of Marketing Pilot, a company that had roughly 100 customers at the time of the sale. Since integrated with Dynamics CRM and relaunched as Dynamics Marketing, the cloud-based app is gaining 15 to 20 customers every 10 days and now has more than 350 customers, according to Bandlow.

Acquired at undisclosed terms, Marketing Pilot was a modest deal for Microsoft compared to the $2.5 billion spent to acquire ExactTarget, a 14-year-old company that had more than 6,000 customers at the time of its acquisition.

In other moves to broaden its footprint and better compete with Salesforce, Microsoft acquired Parature early this year to power Dynamics CRM Customer Service and Unified Service Desk (call center) offerings introduced in June. And in 2013 the company bought social-analysis vendor NetBreeze, which brought capabilities since turned into Microsoft Social Listening.

Other upgrades in Dynamics Marketing 2015 will include:

  • A graphical email editing tool for developing rich HTML campaigns

  • Improved segmentation capabilities with A/B testing, multivariate analysis, and multipath analysis across customer-interactional channels

  • Integration of Microsoft Lync click-to-call capabilities for scheduling and executing Webinars

Upgrades to expect in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 include:

  • The ability to bundle and recommend products for up-sell and cross-sell across product families

  • Enhanced Guided Sales Processes to steer salespeople toward desired outcomes and enforce business rules across devices

  • New mobile sales capabilities including role-tailored dashboards and analytics and personalized home pages

Dynamics CRM has experienced 40 consecutive quarters of double-digit sales growth and now has some 4.25 million users from among more than 40,000 customers, according to Microsoft. Salesforce says it has more than 100,000 customers. A key differentiator for Dynamics CRM versus Salesforce is that it can be deployed on-premises, hosted in private clouds, or consumed as a multi-tenant service as Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

Cloud Connect (Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, 2014) brings its "cloud-as-business-enabler" programming to Interop New York for the first time in 2014. The two-day Cloud Connect Summit will give Interop attendees an intensive immersion in how to leverage the cloud to drive innovation and growth for their business. In addition to the Summit, Interop will feature five cloud workshops programmed by Cloud Connect. The Interop Expo will also feature a Cloud Connect Zone showcasing cloud companies' technology solutions. Register with Discount Code MPIWK or $200 off Total Access or Cloud Connect Summit Passes.

About the Author(s)

Doug Henschen

Executive Editor, Enterprise Apps

Doug Henschen is Executive Editor of InformationWeek, where he covers the intersection of enterprise applications with information management, business intelligence, big data and analytics. He previously served as editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise, editor in chief of Transform Magazine, and Executive Editor at DM News. He has covered IT and data-driven marketing for more than 15 years.

Never Miss a Beat: Get a snapshot of the issues affecting the IT industry straight to your inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights