The Four C’s of Sales Excellence: CRM Cloud Communication Collaboration


Any sales director knows that the core of sales excellence is, without a doubt, a great sales team – however, that team must be supported by a network of powerful resources and tools to organize sales efforts and drive productivity and effectiveness. This post explores one of the most widely used CRM solutions, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and how the most valuable improvements from its 2015 Spring Release support sales excellence with the four C’s: CRM, cloud, communication and collaboration.

1. CRM – Exploring the Best of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Spring Release

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online continues to revolutionize the engagement between businesses and their customers. It is not only a tool to generate, nurture, and convert leads but also serves to guide every customer-facing activity. Tracking customer interactions in CRM Online gives organizations the ability to maintain close relationships and create unified, personal customer experiences.

The most important new features in the CRM update involve automating and consolidating customer information in the cloud to enable communication and collaboration. This post explores the most valuable improvements of the Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Spring Release update that significantly impact sales and operations: Pipeline management in Excel, integration and collaboration with non-CRM users and folder email tracking on any device.

2. Cloud – The End of the Stale Sales Pipeline

Automated Pipeline Management in Excel

Sales directors know that one of the most common challenges is getting sales reps to update their CRM pipelines, because of the often tedious effort involved. With the 2015 Spring Release update, CRM Online is streamlining and transforming this task by providing an immersive Excel experience. This makes it easy for salespeople to update their pipelines within simplicity and familiarity of Excel and seamlessly push those edits back into CRM. Here are few reasons why using Excel in conjunction with CRM Online is now easier than ever:

  • Seamless, one click export to Excel: Exporting to Excel is even easier with one click downloads, eliminating the need to follow an export wizard. Also, for consistency, the CRM Online view is completely preserved during export – the same look and feel is retained to ensure that numbers and text remain in their native formats, Excel tabs reflect the CRM Online view name, and column widths are scaled for a consistent display.

  • Open exports in Excel Online: Integration between CRM Online and Office 365 is even more seamless. You can now export CRM data in .xlsx format so that it can be read by Office 365 users in Microsoft Excel Online.

  • Immersive Excel experience with bulk edit capabilities: The new bulk editing capabilities make updating sales pipelines effortless. CRM Online data can now be exported as an Excel table with all the fields and formatting preserved; sales reps can then edit the data in Excel, and those changes are automatically written directly back to CRM Online as an asynchronous workflow. Salespeople can analyze and bulk edit data and simultaneously manage their pipelines in CRM – without ever leaving Excel.


3. Communication – The End of Trapped Data

Integration and Collaboration with Non-CRM Users

Another challenge of managing sales information is that data is “trapped” on the salesperson’s computer. A 360-degree view of a customer is fragmented when sales, marketing, or operations teams don’t have visibility over the complete client engagement or aren’t able to collaborate.  When crucial customer information falls through the cracks, organizations often experience high turnover rates and lowered revenues. CRM Online meets these needs by providing three additional features to ensure collaboration among internal teams and a seamless experience for prospects and customers.

  • OneNote integration: The updated version of CRM Online includes a OneNote tab that is part of the activity on the Social Pane, which is available both through web browser, phone and tablet. The integration allows users to quickly take notes and photos, record voice memos, manage to-do lists and more. Also, instead of just being able to locate titles, full note content is now searchable.

  • SharePoint integration: With SharePoint integration enabled, each record in CRM Online has a dedicated notebook stored in SharePoint with the same name that is automatically synced. All users share the same notebook, and can add and edit notes.

  • Office Groups collaboration: Office Groups allow collaboration between teams; enabling Office 365 users to share content from Outlook, OneNote, or OneDrive. Now an Office Group can be automatically created for each record in CRM Online. This provides the ability to collaborate with non-CRM Office 365 users, allowing those users to see conversations and products related to each record.

4. Collaboration – The End of the Wall Between Sales and Everyone Else

Email Tracking by Folder On Any Device

Customer-facing interactions in the legacy version of CRM may not be tracked because users forget or use the web version of Outlook. The Spring Release update resolves this issue by providing the ability to track emails by moving them to customer folders regardless of device, as long as it supports Exchange. Now, even without the CRM Outlook Client installed, users can set up folder tracking in two main scenarios:

  • Quick track: Equivalent to clicking the “Track” button in the current CRM Outlook Client, users – using virtually any device – can move emails to a specific folder, and all emails in that folder will be tracked in CRM automatically.

  • Set regarding: Available on any device, emails can also be tracked in CRM regarding a specific record, the same as the “Set Regarding” button in the current CRM Outlook Client.

Learn about CRM-C3

SADA Systems is a Microsoft National Solutions Provider and the winner of multiple 2015 Microsoft Partner of the Year awards. Email us at with any questions about how to set up the above features. Want to learn more about CRM? Click below to view or download a PDF flyer.

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