SMBs face no shortage of business challenges.
One common bottleneck is the inability to keep growing and evolving while efficiently maintaining day-to-day operations. This is where software solutions like Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs), Professional Services Automation systems (PSAs) and other productivity tools can help you quickly unlock your full potential.
Going with a total software solution that covers all aspects of your business can have many benefits and Microsoft Dynamics for small business is one solution that deserves consideration by every SMB.
Why do small businesses and startups need CRM?
Small business CRM software has become an invaluable tool for customer-facing businesses, whether in consumer or B2B sectors, as they look to maximize Cloud solutions.
A CRM is a technology for helping your business manage interactions with both potential and existing customers. To do that, it provides some, or all, of the following capabilities:
- The ability to gather, analyze, and organize customer information to get insights into their behaviours and preferences
- A database for storing all the information from leads, customers, clients and a record of past interactions
- Tools to directly or indirectly communicate with customers through email campaigns, live chat, phone calls, etc.
- The ability to collaborate in a team, manage projects and share information with other business functions and colleagues
- Score and organize leads to prioritize marketing and outreach attempts and improve conversions
In short, properly leveraging a small business CRM should lead to the following benefits:
- Better customer support
- Higher conversions
- Lower operating costs
- Saving time and resources
- Improving products and services
- Enhancing the experience for your customers
CRMs may occasionally go deeper into other related aspects, such as sales, marketing, finances, etc. However, they generally rely on add-ons or integrations with other services to this. And all of that complexity has to be managed.
What is the difference between a traditional CRM and Dynamics 365?
The key difference between a CRM and Microsoft Dynamics 365 is that the latter covers the extended business process more thoroughly. You could say that CRM is just one aspect of the suite of products that make up Dynamics for small business.
Dynamics 365 is focused on providing capabilities across functions including finance, supply chain, manufacturing, and sales & service solutions. These different capabilities are integrated into a single software system along with CRM tools which you can also buy ongoing support for.
Although a CRM does an excellent job of helping you manage the customer-facing side of things, it’s not as good at connecting up back-office operations. And while some CRMs do try to offer these other features, it’s rare to find one that provides the depth of functionality that is as effective as Dynamics 365. Usually, you’ll have to integrate with some other software (or multiple software solutions) to provide this end-to-end business process coverage for your entire business.
Why is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central ideally suited to small businesses?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the lightweight version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 which enables SMBs to leverage the benefits of the Cloud. While Dynamics 365 is an enterprise solution geared towards larger businesses, Business Central offers most of the same core capabilities. But at a more cost-effective price point which is particularly attractive for SMBs.
But why should you consider it over a conventional CRM for your SMB?
Well, the most obvious answer is that Dynamics 365 does so much more than your average CRM. Even a small, growing business needs a wide range of software to support its various activities. If you find that spreadsheets, single-task applications or lightweight add-ons to your CRM are no longer cutting it, an upgrade to Business Central may be in order.
There are many productivity-related and other benefits to using a single, scalable, and customizable solution to support your small business. We’ll delve into these individual benefits below.
What are the business benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?
Here are the main benefits:
Better understand your business with data analysis
Business Central is excellent at generating a huge amount of data for business intelligence. Data can be pulled from all corners of your business and visually displayed in reports and charts, providing insights that can be easily understood and analyzed to better inform business decisions.
Gathering the same amount of data manually across your organization using disparate tools would take much longer. By the time you actually get to the decision-making part of that process it may well already be obsolete. But, with Dynamics 365, it is constantly gathered, updated, interpreted and made available to your team in one single place.
With one single version of the truth.
Dynamics 365 Business Central supports your entire business
From supply chain management to accounting & finance to marketing to HR to CRM – Business Central does it all. Using a single, all-in-one solution greatly simplifies how you use technology to help power your business.
If you go with separate products, you would have to worry about all of the following:
- Compatibility of the individual software and the extent to which integration is possible
- Maintaining and updating individual software
- Training, educating, upskilling and hiring employees to be familiar with different technologies
- Managing multiple, costly subscriptions
- Keeping track of separate technical support services
Dynamics 365 removes all of the above. Ensuring you are more efficient across functions, project teams and business locations.
In fact, when existing Dynamics 365 customers come to Managed IT Experts for advice, they are not typically struggling with supporting and maintaining the solution – they are looking to get more out of Dynamics 365 and unlock more of the business value.
Dynamics 365 Business Central is Scalable, Flexible, and Cost-Effective
That being said, you don’t need to buy into all features at once, or stretch your budget to breaking point. Although it’s an all-in-one suite of business tools, it’s not a monolithic product.
That means you can pick and choose the most important modules for your business. For example, the Customer Data Platform, Sales, Finance, and Product Management modules can all be purchased and used individually.
Built on the cloud, the infrastructure is also highly flexible and scalable. You can think of each business area as an app that can be added to your service. Dynamics gives discounts when purchasing multiple services, making it more scalable and cost-effective. However, the main benefit is that you only have to pay for precisely what you need and use. And you can talk to your IT support provider about creating a journey-based approach to implementing it.
And, as your needs change as your business grows or tackles different projects, the flexible plug-and-play nature of Dynamics 365 comes into its own.
Dynamics 365 Business Central has wide third-party integration support
While Dynamics 365 can be a total business solution, it seamlessly integrates with many other popular business solutions – from Sage to Salesforce. So, you’re not forced to endure making a complete switch and potentially impacting your business continuity or productivity.
Other products can be connected to Dynamics 365 using the available web APIs. For example, Microsoft provides the Customer Engagement API for integrating with third-party CRMs. Other third-party apps can also be installed or embedded in Dynamics 365.
Dynamics 365 Business Central helps SMBs focus on core disciplines
The above benefits will already make your life easier as an SMB. However, there are various other ways in which Dynamics 365 will empower your business. The software is primarily run on the Cloud, which reduces the load on your own devices or server. That also minimizes the resources used by supporting services, like maintenance.
You can always lean on the Dynamics 365 customer support team – or your experienced Dynamics 365 support partner – if you’re experiencing issues.
By adopting Microsoft Dynamics for small business today – in the shape of Business Central – you can help set your business up for the future. By removing your dependence on various software services, you’ll run a leaner, better integrated and more efficient business. And the inherent depth and quality of the features will ensure you don’t lack any capability. What’s more, it’s a highly scalable and flexible solution that can change and grow your business.
However, switching between different software solutions or models demands a certain level of expertise. And working with an expert IT provider who knows the product inside out can minimize the level of disruption to your business and ensure you get maximum business value from Business Central.
For a free, no obligation discussion about your needs talk to one of our experts today.