Why use CRM in conjunction with Business Central?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (or NAV) has CRM functionality, which is perfectly suitable for some companies. The power of using the Business Central CRM module is that it is automatically connected with the G/L, and as a result, you have an already set-up CRM module when you put in the contact details for your supplier and customers. You can see contact activity as part of the CRM module, and you also have the benefit of understanding the supplier or customer’s current payment status, history, outstanding debt owed or due. This provides a 360 degree view of your business.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
However, CRM in Business Central (BC) is not highly sophisticated. Whilst you can still use the standard CRM functions such as campaigns, lead and opportunity management and account management, it does not have the modern ‘look and feel’ and dynamic dashboards that dedicated, stand-alone CRM systems do. Also, the CRM functionality in BC can be limited for the more integrated processes that many companies have such as linking to social media, website enquiries, SEO, etc.
This is where using a separate CRM system starts to generate real benefits for companies, but you may find a gap in the financial history knowledge if the systems to not integrate well together. Therefore you may want to consider a CRM solution which understands the terminology of Business Central and sits on the same platform so that integration is more standardised.
Customer Engagement is the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM
The Microsoft Dynamics Customer Engagement (CE) suite is our recommendation for when a customer requires a CRM solution that integrates with Business Central. Sitting on the same Dynamics platform with its common data service, Business Central and Customer Engagement will provide the holistic view of the companies that you engage with. It can therefore automatically feed information between the two systems so that marketing, sales, operations, and finance all have the same information about the company (be it supplier, customer, channel partner, distributor, etc.).
Business Central + CRM = Single source of data truth
The main benefit is being confident that the information is always up-to-date and accurate across both systems. Users will see the same data regardless of which system is being accessed – and this is not true of disparate systems where you have to remember to update one and then the other/s. So there is no duplication or different version, and therefore there is a single version of the truth.
Departments and business functions can stop operating in silos by holding on to precious data which can benefit other departments, and therefore the whole company. The more informed a company can be about a supplier/prospect/client when they call their business, the better the experience for both parties and this ultimately provides great interactions and customer service.
We work with Microsoft Dynamics Customer Engagement partners as we believe that our customers’ processes do not start and end with just Business Central. We have an active interest in helping to connect BC with CRM so that the information flow is streamlined right from initial prospect interest through to client or supplier invoicing and analysis.
Please contact us if you are interest in learning more about CRM and its integration with Business Central.
Author: Karen Moore – Account Manager