Break down the silos between Marketing and Sales

Microsoft Corporation

Nov, 2014

Summary

This article explains how you can empower your sales team to be more effective by providing visibility into the activities of and collaborating with their counterparts in your marketing team.

Applies To

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update or higher

Introduction

The Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Seller Portal Solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM uses the data shared between Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Microsoft Dynamics CRM (both on-premises and Online) through the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM to provide contextual information created by a marketer on Microsoft Dynamics Marketing for a sales user on Dynamics CRM.

The sales user can now view and control which marketing campaigns and campaign activities reach specific contacts or accounts. They can also subscribe to be notified when their contacts interact with marketing activities. The following sections provide a quick overview of how this can be achieved.

When to use Seller Portal

The Seller Portal delivers maximum value when your sales team, working on Dynamics CRM, wants to know how its contacts and accounts have been impacted in the past or will be impacted in the future by campaigns orchestrated by your marketing team working on Dynamics Marketing. The Seller Portal helps answer questions like:

  • What are the campaigns and campaign activities targeting my contacts / accounts?

  • How have my contacts responded to past marketing communications?

Install and configure the Seller Portal

Use the following sequence of steps to install and configure the Seller Portal on Dynamics Marketing:

  1. Install the Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution (Online and on-premises)

  2. Configure Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM for CRM Online and On-premises

  3. Install the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Seller Portal solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

  4. Grant permissions for required roles/users on Microsoft Dynamics CRM to access the Dynamics Marketing Configuration custom entity. More information: View and manage marketing communications with the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Seller Portal

  5. Enable and configure the Seller Portal feature on Dynamics Marketing. More information: Install the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Seller Portal solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Best practices for configuring the Seller Portal

Enable the Seller Portal after the Seller Portal solution for Dynamics CRM has been installed

Make sure that the Seller Portal is enabled on the Site Settings page of Dynamics Marketing after the Seller Portal solution for Dynamics CRM has been installed. If you reinstall the CRM Connector solution or the Seller Portal solution on the connected CRM instance, disable the Seller Portal feature and enable it again immediately.

Align the Past Campaigns Date Range with your sales cycle

The administrator needs to specify the ‘Past Campaigns Date Range’ in the Site Settings page of Dynamics Marketing. This parameter will determine how much into the past Dynamics Marketing will remember the interaction of contacts and accounts with different campaign communications. For best results, align the Past Campaign Date Range with the average sales cycle of your organization. For example, if you organization usually takes six months to start nurturing a contact and converting it into an order (the time period for which the contact is in touch with your sales or marketing team), then set the Past Campaign Date Range as 180. This will ensure that the Seller Portal gives a complete picture of the interactions of the contacts / accounts with different campaign activities.

Note

The larger the Past Campaign Date range, the larger the amount of data that Dynamics Marketing will store. If you disable the Seller Portal and enable it again after some time, data corresponding to the period for which the feature was disabled will be lost and the information displayed in the Seller Portal page will be incomplete. 

Accessing the Seller Portal 

The Seller Portal resides in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Seller Portal Solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides a quick window to the portal from Microsoft Dynamics CRM. In addition to setting up the Seller Portal, the sales user on CRM needs to have licenses to access the Dynamics Marketing instance that is connected to the CRM instance.

View and control marketing activities 

When a sales user on CRM wants to know what campaigns and campaign activities created by the marketing team will reach specific contacts or accounts, the sales user can select the required contacts or accounts on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and navigate to the Seller Portal on Dynamics Marketing using the ‘View Marketing Portal’ option available in the toolbar. This will open the Seller Portal in a new tab. The Seller Portal shows the different marketing communications targeting each contact or account on an intuitive timeline Gantt view. The sales user can choose any of the campaigns or campaign activities to know more details about the activity. From the Contact Seller Portal, the sales user can also choose any of the contact names to open the marketing engagement view for the contact in a fly out. The marketing engagement view will provide information of how contacts have responded to campaign communications.

The sales user can use the Block/Unblock buttons on the Contacts Seller Portal and the Edit Blocked List button on the Accounts Seller Portal to block specific contacts from receiving communications relating to one or more campaigns. When a sales user blocks a contact from receiving communications relating to a campaign, a Seller Portal Blocked List is created in the campaign. This list can be viewed by the marketer on the campaign automation canvas on Dynamics Marketing.

Get the timing right with Instant Alerts

Sales is a lot about timing. One more opportunity that sales people wish existed, is to be notified about customer behavior, so that he/she can make the most informed decision about what products to show, how to position, and most importantly, when to reach out to a prospect – to increase the probability of closing a deal. The Alerts capabilities of Dynamics Marketing allow the sales person to get notified in near real-time when a contact interacts with a website, email message, or landing page. For example, using the Seller Portal and the Alert capabilities together, the sales person can figure out that the contact is scheduled to receive an email message tomorrow and subscribe to an Email Message Opened alert. If the contact opens the email message after a couple of days, the sales person who gets notified can quickly get in touch with the contact to further the sales process. The sales user can access the Alerts capabilities on Dynamics Marketing using the Alerts Settings link available in the Settings menu on the navigation bar.

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