The Redmond company is planning to roll out updates later this summer that would integrate data from LinkedIn with its sales software Microsoft Dynamics 365. This move is seen as a direct challenge to CRM market leader Salesforce.
As part of the update, a Dynamics 365 user’s email, calendar and LinkedIn account will be checked by the software to ascertain the relationship of the salesperson with a potential customer on LinkedIn. The system will then recommend ways to proceed with a deal that will be beneficial to the company, like suggesting a co-worker who has an active connection on LinkedIn with that person.
To make this possible, according to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, AI capabilities are pivotal for the software to function in this manner. “I want to be able to democratize AI so that any customer using these products is able to, in fact, take their own data and load it into AI for themselves,” he said in an interview with Reuters.
The aim is to make it easier for users by bringing together LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales as one solution at what Microsoft terms “about half the cost of competitive solutions in the market”. This sales solution is for $135 per user per month.
The points that Microsoft is trying to get across to potential users are about finding the right leads from over 500 million LinkedIn members then locating the right path to connect through co-workers. Another way is by increasing the sales pipeline with the latest data while engaging buyers with relevant content. And lastly, the ability to monitor what’s happening across email, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn. This according to Microsoft, will give “contextual recommendations for your next best action.”
Dynamics 365 integration with LinkedIn Sales Navigator is not the only announcement from Microsoft. Starting in July also, the company will roll out Dynamics 365 for Talent, a new application that can be used by HR organizations. This will also integrate with LinkedIn so companies can find the talent they need to become more successful.
As if that is not enough, for now, Microsoft has also announced Dynamics 365 for Retail. This is “a new intelligent cloud service” which gives retailers “an Integrated end-to-end view of their operations with centralized management and clear visibility across stores, employees, customers, inventory and financials.”
Additional updates to Dynamics 365 will include Dynamics 365 Business Edition apps for Sales and Marketing which will be available on July 1 for preview and some new industry-specific solutions available in Microsoft AppSource.
If you would like to know more about Dynamics 365, Microsoft will be holding a virtual event on Wednesday, May 3, at 10 a.m. ET where you can hear from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Corporate Vice President James Phillips and Executive Vice President Judson Althoff. To learn more or sign up for this event, go here.
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