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Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Customer Story : CRANE Worldwide Logistics centralised their sales platform with Microsoft Dynamics 365

As it approached its 10-year anniversary and its first billion in revenue, global logistics and freight company Crane Worldwide Logistics looked for a modern platform that brought all its sales tools into one place. With the Microsoft Relationship Sales solution, which brings together LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, its salespeople have the tools to drive more meaningful engagements with customers, convert opportunities faster, and create more revenue.

 

A global sales team

From a startup created in the risky business climate of the 2008 recession, Crane Worldwide Logistics has become a major player in the global transport and logistics industry, on track to hit USD1 billion in revenue in 2019. Created by former Eagle Global Logistics executives and headquartered in Houston, Texas, Crane Worldwide aims to provide customers with full transparency into its supply chains by coupling talented people with game-changing technology.

But with salespeople spread across the globe, Crane Worldwide found itself with a visibility problem.

“We weren’t all working on a common platform, so we were lacking in visibility,” says John Jergens, Vice President of Global Sales at Crane Worldwide. “We knew we had a vast sales pipeline out there, but there wasn’t much data available on it—so we couldn’t see how robust it was.”

From data silos to connected visibility

A key part of the Crane Worldwide ethos is providing customers with meaningful interactions—and that relies on having a customer relationship management (CRM) solution that salespeople can use to build and maintain relationships and convert opportunities more effectively. But, with a seven-year-old siloed CRM system that it had simply outgrown, the company lacked the tools its salespeople needed. “The previous system never had very good adoption,” Jergens adds. “It just wasn’t very functional.” So, the team went looking for a platform that could replace it.

With implementation support from Microsoft Partner Network member PowerObjects, Crane Worldwide deployed the Microsoft Relationship Sales solution, a powerful combination of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales and LinkedIn Sales Navigator, to support personalized, meaningful customer engagements. The team was already using LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Microsoft Office 365, so Dynamics 365 for Sales was the ideal addition to the Crane Worldwide ecosystem.

“We saw how Microsoft Relationship Sales could help us focus on being easy to work with from a customer’s perspective,” explains Jergens. “So this whole deployment was part and parcel of becoming easier to do business with.” Now, just six months into deployment, Crane Worldwide has 300 Microsoft Relationship Sales users in its ranks, including 150 direct sellers along with employees from its marketing and account management teams.

New processes, simpler sales

Using the Microsoft Relationship Sales solution, Crane Worldwide salespeople have already changed the way they work. And they’re reaping the benefits of the visibility they’ve gained into the sales pipeline.

“Once we rolled out Microsoft Relationship Sales, the overwhelming response was that it’s really easy to use, and it doesn’t take much time,” says Jergens. “We created a very simple weekly routine where our sellers spend about 30 minutes adding new data into Dynamics 365 for Sales. That’s just six minutes a day to keep everything up to date.”

With faster processes freeing up more time for the sales team, sellers can focus their energy where it matters most—building the customer relationships that turn into revenue. And, at the end of each week, management can analyze activity through a global dashboard, which combines CRM and customer interaction data into detailed executive reports that show how salespeople are turning relationships into revenue.

“With Microsoft Relationship Sales, we can generate KPIs that tell us what a healthy pipeline should look like. We look at the number of prospects and targets, how long the sales cycle takes, and the time from when we close an account to the time it generates revenue,” explains Jergens. “And if the pipeline isn’t where it should be, we can support the sellers with the resources that they need—it’s more productive all around.”

A centralized sales platform

Because Microsoft Relationship Sales brings together so many sales capabilities, Crane Worldwide sellers have everything they need to do their jobs in one place. Previously, they had to manage a relationship from scoping to sale across disconnected tools and platforms, far from an efficient process.

“It’s difficult to put a number on what it’s like to manage 30 or 40 customers with an email folder and a spreadsheet,” says Jergens. “Now, once the salesperson finds a prospect using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, they use Dynamics 365 for Sales to easily track those conversations. Instead of creating and referencing a lot of notes, they can quickly link activities and discussions through Microsoft Relationship Sales.”

With LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales together, salespeople can start building the context they need to deliver a meaningful interaction before the first contact even occurs. Insight into potential prospects’ roles, connections, and priorities through LinkedIn Sales Navigator is fed straight into Dynamics 365 for Sales—increasing conversion chances from the very start. “It’s had a direct impact on the time it takes to develop customer relationships, because we have true visibility into those opportunities now,” explains Jergens.

A built-in assistant also sends prompts to help sellers accelerate the sales cycle, reminding them to contact a lead that might go cold or nudge an opportunity as it approaches its estimated close date.

A roadmap for integration

In businesses the world over, sales and marketing teams struggle to communicate and collaborate effectively. As the sales team adapts to Microsoft Relationship Sales, Crane Worldwide is already adopting more of the solution’s capabilities to help sales and marketing stay on the same path.

“The marketing teams are able to work in tandem with the sales team to help them understand how marketing activities can help nurture their prospects,” says Jergens. “They’re really starting to get up and running, using Microsoft Relationship Sales to communicate with the customer base and help convert contacts into leads and then into opportunities.”

Uncategorized

Reduce supply chain disruptions with AI, IoT, and mixed reality

Disruptions in global supply chains have significantly increased over the last decade, fueled by a myriad of triggers ranging from trade wars, demand surges from social marketing, natural disasters, and most recently, the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Updates to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management in the 2020 release wave 1 help organizations proactively transform every aspect of manufacturing and supply chain operations to reduce disruptions. These new and updated capabilities drive automation and reduce downtime using IoT and mixed reality, and provide the agility to re-plan production in real time to dynamically changing demand. In fact, the agility enabled by Supply Chain Management is currently being leveraged by a consortium of major UK industrial, technology, and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive, and medical sectors that has come together to produce medical ventilators for the NHS.

Reducing the risk of supply chain disruptions

As the threat of disruptions increase, companies are pressured to ask if the supply chain is ready for the next event, pushing them to build a more resilient supply chain to ensure business continuity for them and their customers in the most cost-effective manner. More companies will start buffering for risks and move from a “Just-in time” mentality to a “Just-in case” mentality. Factories will need to transform rapidly to adapt to change, serving a wider range of products produced in smaller batches with lower set up time, faster throughput, and the ability to quickly respond to fluctuating demand and customer expectations. Companies are likely to move from single supplier to multi-supplier and single location to multi-location models for mission critical parts even if it is cost prohibitive in order to reduce the impact of supply chain disruptions.

To reach this optimal state of agility and delivery speed, manufacturers need to adapt every aspect of the supply chain to enable tools, equipment, and people to become instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent—a state of persistent adaptive learning and optimization as more data is available to tighten links between manufacturers, suppliers, and customers.

The latest release from Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management enables customers to reach this optimal state by proactively transforming their manufacturing and supply chain with predictive insights and intelligence from AI, IoT, and mixed reality—across planning, production, inventory, warehouse, and transportation management—to maximize operational efficiency, product quality, and profitability.

Train workers faster with integrated mixed reality learning experiences

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is now integrated with Dynamics 365 Guides to help mainstream mixed reality for manufacturing. Companies can deliver a faster ROI by getting the workforce trained sooner with fewer trainers and with an interactive learning experience. Workforce efficiency can skyrocket with step-by-step instructions that guide employees to the tools and parts they need and how to use them in real work situations, available at a glance on a Microsoft HoloLens device that keeps their hands free to do the work.

Dynamics 365 Guides can not only eliminate costly errors in production but also improve workforce safety. Companies can significantly reduce asset downtime by making asset maintenance skillset-agnostic and avoid costly waiting time for a specific expert to perform maintenance on an asset. The guides are extremely easy to author and do not require any coding. A guide can be authored by simply writing the step-by-step instructions on a PC followed by picking and placing the holographic parts and inbuilt icons on the machine where the work is happening.

Learn how to use Dynamics 365 Guides
Introducing Dynamics 365 Guides for HoloLens 2

Dispatch the right resources at the right time

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is now integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service. Customers can significantly reduce downtime of geographically dispersed mission critical assets by automating field service operations so that the right resources—workforce, machines, parts, and tools—are available at the right place, at the right time, to proactively maintain them.

Companies can improve the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of their geographically dispersed mission critical assets by performing predictive maintenance based on real-time performance data from IoT and field data from Dynamics 365 Field Service. Traditionally, disparate systems hinder the ability to accurately forecast demand for critical and expensive parts frequently used in both service and new production. Due to lack of forecasting for service demand, companies constantly take parts from production to fulfill the service demand, and vice versa, to deliver good customer service. This often creates a shortage for new production and significantly impacts on time delivery to new customers. As a result, the company is unable to deliver a delightful customer experience on both fronts. This integration will eliminate the need for disparate systems and significantly improve the forecast accuracy of these mission-critical parts due to real time tracking in the service supply chain.

Seamlessly integrate IoT capabilities

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management now offers out-of-the-box IoT capabilities that leverage Microsoft Azure IoT Hub to connect signals from mission-critical assets with business transaction data. Manufacturers can improve uptime, throughput, and quality by proactively managing shop floor and equipment operations with a real-time view of their entire production and stock. This will significantly reduce costly downtime of business-critical equipment by performing predictive maintenance before disruptive failures occur. There is no coding required to implement these out-of-the-box IoT scenarios on your manufacturing floor today.

Learn more on how Majan is using Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management and IoT Intelligence customer spotlight with Majans

Improve on-time delivery with real-time production planning

The Planning Optimization Add-in for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management enables companies to improve on-time delivery by performing production planning in real time, accounting for dynamically changing customer demand, material availability, and capacity constraints across multiple sites and warehouses. It also enables customers to improve inventory turns by right-sizing inventory levels based on dynamically changing customer demand and capacity constraints. This helps eliminate excess and reduces slow moving inventory. Planning Optimization Add-in for Retail and Distribution is available and Production planning is currently in preview.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

New AI features connect and extend insights across the organization

Today we’re unveiling new and enhanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities across Dynamics 365 applications, as well as a new solution to help project-centric services organizations transform their operations.

Joining more than 400 new and updated features in the 2020 wave 1 release, these new capabilities expand a fast-growing set of applications powered by AI-driven insights, and further propel our vision to empower every organization to unify data across the business and use it to power personalized customer experiences and processes.

Personalize customer experiences with unified data and unmatched time to insight

Customers expect personalized and consistent experiences across every touchpoint. Many organizations, however, struggle to modernize the customer experience, often due to disconnected systems and data siloes that can’t deliver the full picture of the customer’s journey across websites, purchases, service calls, and mobile apps.

Updates to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, Microsoft’s customer data platform (CDP), will help solve these issues. We’re introducing new first and third-party data connections to further enrich customer profiles that can be updated and activated in real-time, as well as enabling deeper insights with Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics.

Customer Insights will now uniquely enrich profiles with a combination of proprietary audience intelligence and 3rd party data sources such as demographics and interests, firmographics, market trends, and product and service usage data. Customers can also integrate Microsoft Forms Pro, the simple, powerful enterprise survey solution, to bring in the valuable voice of the customer across channels, allowing organizations to act on insights based on changing customer behavior and perception. All of this comes together to create a holistic, 360-degree view of a customer and to update those customer profiles and activities in real-time enabling organizations to know their customers and improve engagement.

Customer Insights is built on a powerful and flexible platform that enables full extensibility. Organizations can derive deeper insights by using Azure Synapse Analytics, which combines customer data with enterprise and streaming data to improve data completeness, run high-speed analytical processing, and build custom machine learning models. This allows organizations to predict customer needs with insights and get guidance on the next best action to reduce churn and capitalize on revenue opportunities for the lifetime of a customer relationship. Organizations can act upon these insights in real-time across multiple destinations through prebuilt APIs to enable onsite clienteling, website personalization, dynamic marketing campaigns, and effective ad targeting.

As part of the wave 1 release, we’re expanding the availability of Customer Insights to government cloud computing (GCC) environments helping to improve the citizen experiences essential to modern government. This means our government and public customers with higher compliance needs can now leverage Customer Insights to better understand and interact with citizens, empower employees, and transform cities at scale.

Automate sales forecasting with predictive analytics

In addition to expanded AI capabilities on our customer data platform, we’re extending the ability for sales professionals to forecast sales more accurately and introducing a new, unified engagement center for inside sales representatives.

Available now for Dynamics 365 Sales and for Dynamics 365 Sales Insights, new manual and predictive forecasting capabilities empower sales organizations to have a better understanding of the pipeline, more accurately predict results, and gain visibility into future performance.

The predictive forecasting capabilities enable the proactive decision-making needed to meet sales goals. Dynamics 365 does this by extracting patterns from customer relationship management (CRM) data, current and historical leads, won or lost opportunities, contacts, accounts, customer interactions such as emails and calls, and more data sources, and then projecting these patterns into the future. Best of all, anyone can access the insights, no data scientists or tech experts needed (a big change from some other forecasting systems).

Dynamics 365 Sales dashboard with sales forecasting for FY2019 per quarter.

With a new engagement center designed to accelerate sales, we’re giving each inside seller a streamlined way to quickly triage, research, and engage new leads or opportunities. This provides them with their own prioritized work queue to take action on the highest priority leads and tasks based on built-in predictive scoring from Dynamics 365 Sales Insights and new, configurable sales cadences.

The experience helps sellers stay in the context of Dynamics 365 and quickly move from one lead or opportunity to the next in an AI-prioritized work queue, without needing to switch views to take the next best action. Additional embedded AI capabilities offer sellers a path to a warm introduction, and guidance from the assistant.

Dynamics 365 Sales Insights customer Regina Murphy profile.

Transform the back office with AI-infused finance insights

Not only are we expanding AI capabilities for customer and sales insights, we’re also bringing the power of AI to the finance department.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance Insights, coming to preview in May, accelerates your digital transformation by bringing the power of AI into your finance processes. As organizations look to make decisions rapidly, reduce risk, and focus on strategic initiatives, it’s critical to free finance from repetitive, time consuming and low value daily activities. Leveraging the power of AI, Finance Insights enables you to not only quickly understand and act on your company’s cash position, but also to take proactive action to improve it. Menial tasks are automated or removed, the barrier of developing or hiring AI-expertise is bypassed, and you’re left with insights to move your business forward.

Dynamics 365 Finance AI-infused Finance Insights daily cash on hand graph.

Our continued investment in expanding AI capabilities across Dynamics 365 helps your organization accelerate digital transformation initiatives while empowering employees with insights to drive better business outcomes every day.

Optimize project success and profitability with the ability to drive operational excellence across service-centric organizations

How people work today has changed, as has the way organizations run their business operations. Companies across all industries are innovating business models to support project-centric service offerings. And while business optimization has gotten easier with the rise of mobile and cloud technology, organizations continue to stitch together systems and struggle with managing data across disparate systems. These data silos within project-centric businesses and teams are negatively impacting business model transformation, customer acquisition, employee retention, project delivery, and business profitability.

Today we’re announcing a new Dynamics 365 application that connects cross-functional project teams, providing the visibility, collaboration, and insight needed to drive the success of project-centric organizations. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operationswhich will be generally available on October 1, 2020, delivers everything needed to optimize operations from prospect to cash, all in one application.

Dynamics 365 Project Operations timeline of 10 day project in task view currently in discovery phase.

Dynamics 365 Project Operations is built on our unified business cloud and leverages our rich-history across front and back office, as well as project management. We’re in a unique position to connect project-centric teams around actionable data. By applying the power of Microsoft Project together with Dynamics 365, Microsoft is developing the next generation of tools to reinvent how project-centric organizations operate.

Connect with us for Dynamics CRM Solution at info@tridentinfo.com

Blog Source: https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/bdm/2020/02/19/new-ai-features-connect-and-extend-insights-across-the-organization/