My last two blogs, first covered enabling insights for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online: Getting the most out of your CRM investment and then five ways Microsoft Dynamics CRM Insights can help you improve relationship.  Today, I will continue the discussion with a look at the features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Insights.

First, we’ll navigate to accounts and create a new account. To test Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality, we’ll create a new account appropriately called, “Microsoft.” Then we’ll save the account, as seen below.

Enabling Insights1

Second, we’ll scroll down to the ‘Insights” pane and hover over the Sync tab as shown below.

Enabling Insights2

Next, we’ll click this form to bring up a pop up window and select what to sync. In this case, it seems that Microsoft Corporation is actually their proper name, so we’ll select all, but note that you have options on what to update:

Enabling Insights3

The account has now been updated:

Enabling Insights4

Insights now allows us to gain a better perspective of this organization.

Enabling Insights5

We can search for employees (People) latest news (Buzz), look at Microsoft’s family and acquisitions (Family Tree), identify similar organizations (Similar Accounts) and then even access news specifically related to their financials and review their industry profile, all while staying within the constructs of Dynamics CRM.

Relatively new to Dynamics CRM is the social pane, located in the center of the user interface (UI). If we scroll down to the Insights pane, we see that the Follow capability has been extended to something called WatchLists.

If we navigate to the More Tab, we can set up this feature:

Enabling Insights7

You’ll be taken to a new window that will allow you to configure your settings for this feature:

Enabling Insights8 Enabling Insights9

If you look over to the “WATCHLIST” tab, you will see:

Enabling Insights10

The end result of this work is further enabling your organization with emails delivered daily or weekly, summarizing the latest happenings with you potential customers:

Enabling Insights11

In 2014, leveraging social media is an important part of any externally facing organization. Notably, Facebook and LinkedIn are all integrated into Insights. We can add import own social media information into Dynamics CRM to paint a more complete picture of contacts. To demonstrate this functionality, now we will add connections:

Enabling Insights12

Note that we can sync from LinkedIn, Facebook and even outlook:

Enabling Insights13a

The ability to choose different sources of contacts is extremely important from a sales perspective because “Insights” gives Dynamics CRM the ability to aggregate contacts from each of these sources, from different Dynamics CRM users. Enabling this feature and identifying connections might in fact lead your sales team to new introductions and more importantly, opportunities.

Insights is also available at the contact level. Let’s add a new contact, Satya Nadella for Microsoft. You can see that when you go to associate him with a company, we can now select Microsoft Corporation.

Enabling Insights13

If we scroll down, we can now utilize the Sync functionality to create a more complete profile:

Enabling Insights14

In the above screenshot, notice the social media pane to the far right. Now, let’s say we would now like to get connected to someone with Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM Sales organization. We can scroll to the People link within Insights, select the Sales business unit and select someone we’d like.

Enabling Insights15

A pop up window will appear where you can take the information and convert it to a new lead or a new contact by clicking “EXPORT”

Enabling Insights16

Enabling Insights20

We can choose to have Cathy come into CRM as a lead or a contact.

Enabling Insights17

As you can see, if we’d like, Dynamics CRM will create a lead based off of one’s contact information in Insights. (A contact has also been created due to Dynamics CRM’s functionality).

Finally, Insights allows us to find connections to an organization. Through an opt-in process, users licensed users with a Dynamics CRM instance can allow Insights to aggregate their social media profiles to help you utilize your acquaintances and reach out to potential customers.

Enabling Insights18

Hopefully this blog gave you a glimpse of the power Insights for Dynamics CRM tool is for sales, service and marketing organizations.  You can also learn more about social CRM topics via our Dynamics CRM Pros blog.  If you found this information helpful or have any questions, please let me know in comments.

If you are looking for a Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner, RSM has achieved its Gold Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Competency in the Microsoft Partner Network. Learn how a top ranking national Microsoft Dynamics partner can help your organization.

By: Charles Webb – Colorado Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner