Microsoft announced Relationship Sales, a bundled version of MS Dynamics for Sales Enterprise Edition and LinkedIn Sales Navigator Team. The new bundle will be available for sale on July 1st. The service is priced at $135, which is “about one-half the cost of competitive solutions in the market,” according to Microsoft EVP, cloud and enterprise group Scott Guthrie.
LinkedIn also announced a set of insight enhancements for its MS Dynamics connector. Insights help sales reps by
Leveraging signals across email, CRM and LinkedIn to get contextual recommendations for the next best action within Dynamics 365 for Sales, facilitating introductions directly through the company’s network and sending InMail, messages and customized connection requests.
Engaging buyers with tailored content throughout the account lifecycle and getting account and lead updates, including news mentions and job changes.
Building strong relationships with existing contacts through access to LinkedIn profile details including photos, current roles and work history.
The new service displays company and contact intelligence across Account, Contact, Lead, and Opportunity records. Insight features include icebreakers, TeamLink introductions, Lead Recommendations, and LinkedIn intelligence. Daily synchronization ensures that active accounts and contacts are shared between the services and that Sales Navigator activities (e.g. InMails, messages, notes, tags, and call logs) are uploaded to Dynamics 365.
“Sales Navigator with Dynamics 365 will dramatically increase the effectiveness of salespeople by tapping into their professional networks and relationships, giving them the ability to improve their pipeline,” said Guthrie.
“Microsoft has been focused on integrating its acquisitions and the LinkedIn to Dynamics 365 [to] Office 365 is the latest [iteration],” said Constellation Research Principal Analyst Ray Wang. “Customers already use these three products in disparate fashion spending time doing arm chair integration. What they’ve been looking for is the ability to take the data and insights in these three products and put them to work.”
Wang believes that cross-platform functionality can be quite useful. For example, “How do you find out who knows whom inside a company? Traverse your Office 365 data, your [Dynamics 365] CRM database and your LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and you realize Joe and Abdul have known each other since university days. Let’s put Abdul on the sales call.”
As LinkedIn member content is view only, Relationship Sales does not provide any member content enrichment or data maintenance. Thus, Relationship Sales would need to be used in conjunction with other services such as Insights Enterprise (InsideView OEM with MS Dynamics) or D&B Hoovers for CRM to obtain a full sales intelligence and data maintenance solution.