LinkedIn recently updated its selling tool, Sales Manager, allowing organizations to embed its functionality directly into Microsoft's CRM offering, Dynamics CRM.
Emblematic of Microsoft's new approach to breaking down barriers between software platforms—often including those of major rivals—in the name of improved productivity, the new integrations help employees streamline their workflows and maintain focus as they go about completing their tasks. "This new upgrade will help open up new market opportunities for Microsoft customers that are interested in connecting their social selling activities to their pipeline and workflow efforts to improve performance and productivity," Steven Kaplan, LinkedIn senior product manager, said in a statement.
Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Dynamics CRM, Bob Stutz, said in a June 11 blog post that LinkedIn is "building deeper integration between LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, enabling companies to easily connect their social selling activities to their customer engagement efforts." LinkedIn Sales Navigator works with Dynamics CRM Online as well as the 2011, 2013 and 2015 on-premises editions.
Mirroring Microsoft's attempts at making app-switching a thing of the past, at least within the context of getting work done, LinkedIn Sales Manager enables users to access the software's capabilities without leaving the Dynamics CRM interface.
"With LinkedIn information embedded right into Dynamics CRM, sellers can better identify and build relationships with new and existing customers," Kaplan said. "With the LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration, sellers can send connection requests, view the latest lead and account updates, discover similar decision makers, and send InMail messages directly from Microsoft Dynamics CRM."
Citing a study from Accenture, Kaplan noted that integrating CRM in to the sales process can save 30 minutes a day and increase productivity by 17 percent. In terms of the new integrations, workers can reclaim that half hour by using InMail and sending customized LinkedIn connection request and messages without leaving Dynamics CRM.
The update also has the potential to help Microsoft Dynamics CRM users drum up more business. "When you view Account, Lead, Opportunity, and Contact Profiles within Dynamics CRM, we'll show you others with similar decision-maker profiles, who could become your next big lead," Kaplan said.
Aiding those efforts are the ability to view a lead's information and discover unexpected connections.
"When you view a prospect's profile inside Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sales Navigator will display people at your company who are connected to your prospect with a TeamLink logo directly next to their profile," Kaplan said. "TeamLink helps you find the best path into your prospect's door by using your own company network to help you secure warm introductions."