Creating an effective digital customer journey or knowing how to use predictive lead scoring can give your sales or marketing team the competitive edge but staying on top of best practices with these tools is almost its own full-time job. In our post today we will cover some of the top tools in Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Marketing — and exactly how you could be using them to optimize operative tasks, increase efficiency, and grow your business.

Let’s look at four of the top features for D365 Sales + Marketing:

  • Market Profiling and Market Segmentation (Save time and money in marketing outreach when you find the best prospects for your company.)
  • Digital Customer Journeys (Increase sales conversions and customer retention when you create and refine the user experience and messaging touchpoints.)
  • Artificial Intelligence Marketing (Reduce human error, save time by automating certain tasks, and find business intelligence and customer insights with this bleeding edge technology.)
  • Predictive Lead Scoring (Increase sales conversions when your team is focusing their best energy on the best prospects in your sales pipeline.)

Let’s take a look at these features in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales + Marketing and see how your marketing professionals can utilize them to maximize business outreach, opportunities, and the growth of your company.

Market Profiling and Segmentation Creation in Dynamics 365 Sales + Marketing

What is Market Profiling?

Market profiling is a process used by businesses to utilize collected information of their customers to be able to identify their target customers. This is one place that customer satisfaction surveys or brand tracking surveys are especially useful, because a big portion of market profiling is categorizing the target customers into groups. Once you have identified and created those groups, then  market segmentation comes into play.

What is Market Segmentation?

A market segmentation is a type of marketing strategy where specific groups of consumers are identified so that a company can strategically market and cater its products and services to that specific group. Ideally, each market segmentation would have its own customized messaging, buyer personas, content and sales assets, etc.

For example, Cobalt is a CRM solutions company.  Since there are many kinds of organizations across hundreds of industries that need a CRM — and not everyone needs the same feature set or functionality in a CRM — we have created sophisticated market segments for the clients we partner with most often. The needs of a professional association organization are likely different than a company with a small-to-medium sized sales and marketing team, and our market segmentations reflect those different needs.

Market Profiling and Market Segmentation Example

Dynamics 365 Sales + Marketing allows users to create Segments for their Contacts (customer records) that could be based on demographics, organization relationships, behaviors, and more. Let’s keep using Cobalt as a working example to illustrate what this looks like.

If we were attending a CRM convention in Washington DC, a demographic segment could be created that will target customers who attended the event or work in the DC area. A behavioral segment could also be created that targets customers who showed interest in our services in the past and who also registered for our Cobalt Insights newsletter emails.

In both cases, we would be able to quickly group these unique customer segments and follow-up in an efficient way. It’s easy to create these segment records in Dynamics 365 and use them with customer journey implementations.

Key Benefits of Market Profiling and Market Segmentation

There are a handful of benefits from market profiling and market segmentation, but the main ones include:

  • the ability to focus on the valuable customers
  • easily creating new product and service development opportunities
  • being able to utilize marketing resources more efficiently

By profiling and segmenting your target customers, you will be able to pinpoint the most valuable  sales prospects rather than wasting precious outreach efforts in the general market.  

Our team has also seen this lead to opportunities for new product development and innovation, as profiling and segmenting your customers surfaces the needs and pain points in each market segmentation.

I also want to point out that market profiling and market segmentation have really helped our team maximize the efficiency of our marketing resources. That’s valuable no matter what the size of your marketing team or budget are. Here’s just one quick example of that efficiency and the money it saves our team.

Most of the pricing for marketing software is dependent on the number of marketing contacts or emails that get sent out. Effective market segmentation helps you spend that money where it counts the most. Dynamics 365 also allows segments to be dynamic, so it can automatically filter the best prospects in your pipeline in or out using the real-time data it collects.

Digital Customer Journeys Creation and Design

What are digital customer journeys?

Digital customer journeys are a generic way to refer to all of the interactions that a customer has with your brand from start to finish. In Dynamics 365 Sales + Marketing, digital customer journeys can be created to map out and model the interactions that your segmented customers will proceed through and engage in. These digital customer journeys can be utilized for a wide range of marketing processes, from a simple single-email campaign to a more complex and highly interactive lead generation process.

Depending on how your customers interact with each touchpoint, they will have a tailored customer experience that will ultimately lead to higher sales. Below is an example of what a simple digital customer journey looks like in Dynamics 365 Sales + Marketing. It targets Contacts who have showed interest by submitting a Newsletter form and an email has been sent out to that segment.

Digital Customer Journeys can tailor the customer experience depending on the touchpoints.

By creating and designing these digital customer journeys, you are able to visualize and automate the entire process that your customers will experience. Through these customer journeys, you will have a better understanding of every customer touchpoint. This allos you to refine and modify each of these touchpoints in future campaigns, improving the overall customer experience.

It’s the automation aspect of the digital customer journeys that really increases operational efficiencies and savings. When you take the time to refine digital customer journeys, it can lead to increased customer loyalty. Customers tend to return to businesses that provide an excellent customer experience.

The intelligent analytics and insights that Dynamics 365 Sales collects from customer journeys are strong. That information has been huge for Cobalt’s team as we keep track of how our audience is interacting with the journey paths — and discovering where we need to improve to maximize contact interactions in the future.

Artificial Intelligence Marketing Tools and Capabilities

As artificial intelligence (AI) technology grows ever more sophisticated, Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 marketing boast standout implementation of this powerful tech. That’s part of what you get when your company spends billions of dollars on research and development for the software — instead of marketing campaigns to sell a quickly designed product (I’m looking at you, brand new CRM platforms!).

Some of the AI marketing tools in Dynamics 365 include Content Ideas, Spam Checker, and Automated Scheduler. Let’s take a closer look at these AI capabilities and how they can benefit your business.

Content Ideas is an AI marketing tool that assists your marketing agents by providing new ways to express their thoughts and speed up the email concept process to completion. It works by providing key points and initial thoughts, and the artificial intelligence generates a variety of longer content suggestions that your agents can build upon. Agents can then add these suggestions to the draft, only use them as inspiration, or try a different route altogether.

The Spam Checker uses some really clever AI to analyze your email messages and generate a predictive score of how likely the email will be flagged as spam. This powerful tool allows you to revise your email messages as needed to minimize the possibility of your messages being flagged as spam. You can use this tool during or after email content creation.

And lastly, the Automated Scheduler marketing tool is powered by AI that shows which days and times have the highest possibility of your customers actively reading your email messages. The AI continues to  learn by analyzing historical data of when your customers have opened and interacted with your email messages in the past. It will then generate the ideal day and time to send future messages to increase successful communication efforts.

Automated Scheduling is an AI tool in Dynamics 365 Sales + Marketing and can be easily enabled.

Predictive Lead Scoring

What is predictive lead scoring?

Predictive lead scoring is the process of ranking the leads in your sales pipeline with a customized formula or algorithm designed to estimate each prospects likelihood of conversion into successful sales opportunities. Predictive lead scoring often leverages some amount of artificial intelligence and evolving insights gained from data collection and analysis inside an organization’s CRM.

Within Dynamics 365 Sales, the predictive lead scoring functionality is called Sales Insights and it uses historical customer behaviors and other key attributes to prioritize leads. In Dynamics 365 Marketing, you can design a lead scoring model that will calculate a score based details that include demographics, firmographics, and specific interactions.

Every lead scoring model will include a sales-ready threshold. When a lead surpasses that threshold, it can trigger new business processes allowing your sales agents to quickly pick up the sales-ready opportunities with those leads.

Both Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Marketing give you the ability to easily design these lead scoring models yourself. You will have intuitive control over customizing how the lead is measured, so you can identify the hottest leads in your pipeline according to your evolving business priorities, quarterly sales goals, and unique organizational needs.

Here is an example of a lead scoring model we built where if a Contact has attended the CRM Convention and/or registered for the Newsletter email, corresponding points are added to the lead score. Notice that I have set the sales-ready threshold score to 160.

Example of a lead scoring modeul, used for predictive lead scoring in Dynamics 365 Sales + Marketing.

What are some other ways that predictive lead scoring can help your sales team?

Predictive lead scoring in Dynamics 365 Sales + Marketing minimizes human error in the lead evaluation process, saves everyone time, and gives you a machine that is continuously learning and improving the lead predictions as more historical data is collected. Once again, the automation factor with Dynamics 365 Sales + Marketing will save time and effort for your team in the predictive lead scoring process. The time it will save your team will help them win back time for actually converting those prospects into sales.

Explore Digital Customer Journeys, Predictive Lead Scoring and More with Cobalt

I hope the glimpses of the interface and bottom-line value for your team help you see how Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Marketing are a powerful CRM solution for sales and marketing teams. Let’s take a deeper dive on what digital customer journeys and predictive lead scoring could look like for your team. Let’s explore exactly how the AI tools, market segmentation, and more could save your team time and money this year.

Schedule a product showcase with our team now and we will give you an essential tour, answer your questions, and cover our straightforward pricing packages for Dynamics 365 Sales + Marketing.