• Michael Intravartolo

What's New With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015


Improvements to product selling features help increase sales

Improvements to the product selling experience help sales operations managers and salespeople manage and sell your company's products more effectively:

  • Sales operations managers can easily add products to the system and bundle related products together so that salespeople can increase sales by encouraging customers to buy a group of products instead of single items. For example, you can pair a top-selling product with a less popular one, create groups of products to maximize the benefits for customers when they buy, and offer special discounts on bundled products.

  • Sales operations managers can provide tailored pricelists based on a salesperson's territory, or on the customer segment they're assigned to.

  • Sales operations managers or customizers can localize the product catalog for different regions with localization tools. Export and import field translations, and localize product attributes and metadata to make product details available to salespeople in their preferred language.

  • Salespeople can visualize all the products and product bundles your company sells by viewing products in hierarchical charts (similar to org charts). When pulling together an order, you can see all the products that are available to sell, and how they're related in a visual way. When you can see all product possibilities in one view, you're less likely to miss a potential sales opportunity.

  • Salespeople can see suggestions for cross-selling and up-selling, and get recommendations for accessories or substitutes.

Improvements to quick find make it easier to find customer records on the web app

Improved search capabilities provide a quick way for users to search across multiple record types on the web app. Now, by entering keywords in the search box on the nav bar, you can quickly find and navigate to a record from anywhere in the web app.

In previous versions, quick find across multiple record types was available only on the CRM for tablets app.

The search box supports using an asterisk (*) as a wildcard character.

To only see matches for a certain type of record, on the search results page, you can select the name of the record type from the drop-down list. Click the tile for a search result to open it.

To do more sophisticated searches, click the new Advanced Find button, which is now on the nav bar.

Microsoft Social Listening is now available for on-premises systems

With this release, you can access Microsoft Social Listening from within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, whether your organization uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online or CRM 2015 (on-premises).

New way to view accounts, products, and users helps you see how info is related

With this release, users can see how info is related or grouped by viewing accounts, products, or users in hierarchical charts. You can click a block of info to get more details and navigate to the info you're interested in.

For example, from the hierarchical view for accounts, you can:

  • See how an account is doing in overall revenue

  • Drill into tiles for sub-accounts to see where the deals are coming from

  • Find out who is working on an account and enlist help from others by sending email or sharing the account with other salespeople

  • View important details about each account, such as credit limit and latest activity posts for the account

From the hierarchical view for products, you can see all the products available to sell, and how they're related in bundles or families. Salespeople can avoid missing a potential sale, because they can see all related products in one view.

From the hierarchical view for users, you can find out who another team member's boss is, or who else is on their team, without switching to another app.

Hierarchical views are also available on mobile.

  • To see hierarchies that show the relationships between records, on the list of accounts, products, or users, click the hierarchies button. You can also click or tap the View Hierarchy command when you're viewing the screen for an individual account, product, or user.

The CRM Basics guide helps users learn common tasks even if their system is customized

In friendly, bite-sized servings that are never any longer than a single page, the new CRM Basics guide helps new users learn how to get around the system using tiles, enter customer data, search for records, keep track of interactions with customers by adding notes and tasks, stay on top of their progress with dashboards – and more. The CRM Basics guide includes sections targeted at sales and service, so new users also get the run-down on the basics tailored for their role.

Because the guide covers common tasks that apply to anyone who uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it's relevant even if the system has been customized.

The CRM Basics guide is a great resource for training new users.

You'll see the CRM Basics guide whenever you access help from any system that's not connected to the internet. Or, download the eBook: CRM basics for sales pros and service reps.

Improvements to Quick Create let you add a contact within an opportunity

Now, when a salesperson adds a new sales opportunity to the system by using the Create command on the nav bar, the salesperson can also create a new contact at the same time. In previous releases, the salesperson needed to create the contact before using the Quick Create command to add an opportunity.

New Outlook Configuration Wizard makes it easy to set up and configure CRM for Outlook

With the new OutlookConfiguration Wizard, which has been completely redesigned for 2015, configuring CRM for Outlook is as easy as copy and paste. The new Configuration Wizard also makes it easy to add and manage additional CRM organizations. If you're an administrator, you'll appreciate new security features like multi-factor authentication. More information: What's new for administrators in CRM Online 2015 Update and CRM 2015

Synchronize more types of information between CRM and Outlook

Teams that use CRM for Outlook as their centralized information hub can synchronize more types of information now, including:

  • Additional contacts and tasks fields

  • Assigned tasks

  • Appointment attachments

Users can easily view the fields that are synchronized, which provides confidence about where the data comes from and how it's shared. If you're an administrator, you can configure field synchronization direction to control exactly how data is synchronized. More information: What's new for administrators in CRM Online 2015 Update and CRM 2015

Business processes now allow you to “branch” to different steps based on rules and conditions

Now, business processes let you take a different “branch” (and handle a customer differently), based on things like the person's budget, the type of products the person buys, when the person plans to buy your products, or other conditions. For example, let's say that in the process of qualifying a lead you learn that the person plans to buy next quarter, which means that you'll need to pull together a sales proposal and get the right approvals. The business process you're following guides you through the right steps to handle this prospect, with no guesswork.

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