Executive Overview of Dynamics 365

Julie Yack


This eBook provides an executive overview of Dynamics 365 with a specific focus on the customer Relationship Management (CRM) elements so is a perfect place to begin your D365 learning journey.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a series of products or apps for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications.

Dynamics 365 apps are business apps. It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in; Dynamics 365 will help you run your organization.

The following table shows the categories of Dynamics apps. This Ebook will focus on CRM, but before we look at that, let’s briefly examine the other uses of Dynamics 365.

ERPCRMEverything Else
Enhance your financial decision making;
Unify business processes
SalesCustomer Voice
Surveys and customer satisfaction
Supply Chain
Connected store
Fraud protection
Customer ServiceBusiness Central
Run your small business, includes right-sized DRM and ERP-type functionality
Project Operations Field Service Human Resources
Built on Microsoft Dataverse and has built-in hooks to solutions such as LinkedIn offerings
Project Operations


For Dynamics 365 pricing, please see here https://dynamics.microsoft.com/en-ie/pricing/

What is the Microsoft Power Platform?

The Microsoft Power Platform is a business application platform where you can create and deploy bespoke apps, reports, and workflows connected to Office 365, Dynamics 365, Azure, and other third-party applications.

The Power Platform has four main tools:

Power Apps

  • No code, low code or high code solutions
  • Canvas apps
  • Typically used for mobile and must be connected to a data source
  • Canvas apps allow drag-and-drop functionality, thus creating apps with little or no code but with Excel-like expressions
  • Model-driven apps
  • These start with a relational database (Dataverse) and offers a data-driven experience
  • Security roles – manage users’ access to database tables
  • Standard and custom tables (entities)
  • Customizable forms and views
  • App-builder – one or more app based on the same dataset
  • Many automation options – business rules, business process flows, and classic workflows
  • Loads of integrations options – talk to other applications transfer information back and forth
  • Portal apps
  • Expose relational data to external stakeholders via a website/portal. End users can be authenticated or anonymous

Power Automate

  • Family of automation choices that include robotic and business process automation
  • Automating from nearly any type of data source

Power BI

  • Desktop or web-based analytics tool

Power Virtual Agents

  • Build custom chatbots within your applications

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM is often referred to as first-party applications (Microsoft being the first party building the app on the platform). The apps are model-driven which become peers to our custom-built apps. Their features include:

  • Both work alongside customer engagement apps
  • Customizable – most out-of-the-box apps get you 80% of the way, and you customize the app further for your own use
  • There is an overlap – for example, field service similar to customer service
  • Several supporting apps

Dynamics 365 Sales Hub

Broadly speaking, the Dynamics 365 Sales app covers sales, Microsoft Relationship Sales, and Product Visualize.

  • Lead to opportunity
  • Opportunity to quote – can contain product line items, potential sales information, dates, stakeholder information etc.
  • Quote to order – contains information from the quote
  • Order to invoice – send an invoice

The aim is to supports product sales, individual and group goals by making sure information is captured in a process that works for the business.

The following is an example of a Dynamics 365 Sales Hub:

Sidebar: Navigation to tables/entities Top bar: apply actions to row items

The following is a screenshot of Leads tab.
Select Leads Information about specific lead Action items on record

Across the top of the screen, there is a business process flow. This can be the out-of-the-box process or a customized one that guides the user’s interaction with the platform throughout the sales cycle.

Ultimately, the aim is for a lead to progress and become an opportunity. The opportunity tab contains details such as Status, Actual Close Date, and Revenue.

There are many different ways of viewing Opportunities, all of which contain a subset of the main data. The following screenshot is ‘My Open Opportunities Scored’:

The next screenshot drills down into a specific opportunity:

Additional items to add Business Process Flow

Furthermore, depending on the security of your role, you have different access to forms.

Business Process Flow Steps

The purpose of flow steps is to help ensure that your colleagues enter the correct data each time they work on a record and also to follow the same steps. Once each step has been properly completed, you can move onto the next step.

Each step is, in essence, a form that can be customized for the end-user. The following are examples of a series of steps.

  • Step one – Qualify
  • Step two – Develop
  • Step three – Propose
  • Step four – Close

When an opportunity is closed, it has to be either closed as won or cancelled (lost).

Microsoft Relationship Sales

Microsoft and LinkedIn (owned by Microsoft) have developed a solution that allows you to view ‘LinkedIn information about leads, contacts, accounts, and opportunities directly in the Dynamics 365 apps.’

  • It combines Dynamic 365 Sales plus LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which is a separate product
  • It is integrated back to LinkedIn via a separate solution
  • It requires business and/or enterprise account on LinkedIn side
  • An additional licence is required – see per month pricing
Professional $64.99*Team $103.33*Enterprise – Contact Us
Professional features include:  

✓ 20 InMail messages per month✓ 1,500 saved leads ✓ Who’s viewed your profile

✓ Extended LinkedIn network access

✓ Advanced lead and company search

✓ Lead and account recommendations

✓ Custom Lists

✓ Territory preferences

✓ Lead and Account Alerts

✓ Outlook Web integration

✓ Notes and tags

✓ Sales Navigator Learning Center

✓ Includes LinkedIn Learning and Premium Career**

✓ Sales Navigator Mobile App

All features from Professional, plus:

✓ Unlimited Smart Links

✓ +10 additional InMail messages per month (30 total)

✓ +3,500 additional saved leads (5,000 total)

✓ Team network warm introductions with TeamLink

✓ Organic Marketing Alerts

✓ CRM integrations

✓ Sharing Custom Lists

✓ Basic license management

✓ Usage reporting

✓ Volume and multi-year discounts***

✓ Invoicing***

✓ Dedicated relationship manager***
All features from Team, plus:

✓ +20 additional InMail messages per month (50 total)

✓ +5,000 additional saved leads (10,000 total)

✓ Company network warm introductions with TeamLink Extend

✓ Contact Creation in CRM******

✓ Sponsored Marketing Alerts

✓ Single-sign-on integrations

✓ Enterprise-grade license management

✓ Data Validation for CRM****

✓ Analytics Integration for Usage Data*****

✓ LinkedIn Elevate Alerts
****Only available for customers with Salesforce or Dynamics 365 for Sales

*****Only available for customers using Tableau or Microsoft Power BI

******Salesforce only, Dynamics 365 for Sales coming soon

Sample Dynamics 365 Apps

Product Visualise

Product Visualise shows customers how a product will look in their own environment. The ability to visualize a product can help with the decision-making process.

A picture containing text, person

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Dynamics 365 Customer Service

Dynamics 365 Customer Service is very similar to the Sales app. You have a choice of using one or more of these features which integrate with one another.

  • Manage the customer support experience
  • Call in with a case
  • Turn a phone call record into a case
  • The customer service rep can follow the prescribed process
  • Case management
  • Knowledge base
  • Send out knowledge base articles
  • Build up for our agents a collection of articles
  • Data on most popular articles
  • Versioning on articles
  • Support different languages
  • Preferences
  • Make contact with customers at specific preferential times
  • Deal with specific customer agent
  • Omnichannel interactions with your customers
  • Include social media challenges in applications

Remote Assist
Remote Assist allows you to assist and collaborate with remote workers in real-time. The person on site can share what they are doing and can be assisted by a remote support agent.

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It is compatible with HoloLens, Android or iOS devices, and it uses mixed reality to make the most efficient use of time and resources.

Virtual Agent for Customer Service

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AI-powered chatbots can be developed around the area of customer service. It allows for a completely customizable experience based on drag-and-drop blocks. You don’t have to be an AI training professional or a coder; all they need to know is your business model in order to build a chatbot.

Dynamics 365 Field Service
This allows you to manage your technicians in the field. It features:

  • Smart scheduling board to manage appointments
  • Manage technicians qualifications to ensure they only get sent on appropriate jobs
  • Manage the inventory in technicians’ vans/trucks
  • Compatible with Internet of Things (IoT) devices
Graphical user interface, application, website

Description automatically generated

Dynamics 365 Marketing
This allows you to develop and execute your customers’ journey by discovering the routes or journeys that customers make when searching for products.

  • It takes advantages of insights by
  • Acting on insights that are reported
  • Bringing customers on a personalized marketing experience; and
  • Quickly design campaign assets that can be used on customer journeys

Dynamics 365 Project Operations
This is a hybrid app that can exist on both the ERP and CRM systems. It aims to improve deal management and project management by:

  • Managing time and expenses
  • Streamlining financial data
  • Keeping abreast of scheduling
  • Keep abreast of resources qualifications
Graphical user interface, application, Teams

Description automatically generated

Insights and AI
The Insights and AI apps bring AI technology to the mainstream as not every organization can afford a data scientist. The AI functionality with Dynamics 365 features Customer Insights, Sales Insights and AI Builder.

  • AI Builder is a Power Platform offering that works with Dynamics 365 and allows you to add AI value to apps such as image and form recognition.
  • Train it to recognize photos
  • Assist with inventory
  • Train on invoice processing and export data to other apps to become useful and actionable data

Sales Accelerator

In the below screenshot, you can see an example of the Sale accelerator in Sales Hub. It features a number of accelerators and insights. An accelerator helps a person to increase their sales and prioritize activities for the day through the workflows available in the Sales app.

An administrator can use the Sequence designer to create a series of activities such as email, phone calls and tasks; these sequences are connected to relevant records, which may dictate best company practices.

The sequences are then applied to leads and are automatically reported to your sales strategy.

My List (see below) is created by a manager for a sales agent to follow.

This example is an opportunity record that tracks Opportunity Score and Relationship Score along predefined steps and a timeline that contains an editable email.

In the Relational Analytics tab, we can see more information such as the amount of time dedicated to the opportunity (compared to other opportunities), customer interactions, and relationship health, among other KPIs depending on the data.

This data is compiled automatically based on the steps put in place by the administrator.

Using the apps together

Ultimately, the end goal is to use all of these apps together to enhance business opportunities and provide real-time data back to the business.

For example:

  • Field service cases may lead to new sales opportunities to sell more support tickets and upgraded maintenance package
  • A sales lead may lead to an entry in the ERP system for customer support (prospect to cash) case
  • Only expose data in individual users what they need to use
  • Use apps as a data source for field-based canvas app

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