Reap the benefits of integrating SharePoint with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

In order to stay updated about the company’s products, customer service methodologies, and a host of templates and internal documents, the customers using Microsoft Dynamics CRM currently make use of the notes, posts and knowledge-base. However, these come with limitations, namely, it is difficult to append files of large size and collaborate using the CRM. A one stop place to store and access all the relevant documents in a “self-service” manner, therefore, seems logical as customers begin to fully exploit the benefits of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

integrating sharepoint with microsoft dynamics crm

According to Microsoft, “The SharePoint integration feature enables you to store and manage documents on SharePoint in the context of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM record, and use the SharePoint document management abilities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, such as checking the document in and out, viewing version history, and changing document properties.”

Let’s explore some of the benefits of integrating SharePoint with the CRM.

A strong document management:

With the SharePoint integration, you can upload documents and also associate locations via URLs rather than annotations within the CRM. You can manage documents more effectively using tools like Storage in SharePoint, check-in/check-out capabilities, version control, set up review and approval workflows, and document sharing.

Easy access: Users are able to access documents stored on SharePoint easily and quickly without having to switch applications. Let’s take an example of the customer service section under the Accounts module of the Sales Management. The finance unit could add accounts related details to the associated document within SharePoint, and this data is easily accessible and collaborative for any user seeking such information.

Out-of-the-box customizations: Documents can be pushed from the Dynamics CRM to a public domain out of the box. This feature can be beneficial in the customer service area where you could customize a website to deliver personalized content to your customer and provide himaccess to specific product-related information, FAQs, etc.

Better customer reach and ROI: As explained in the previous point, SharePoint allows you to integrate and collaborate better and enables you to cater to your customers in a more effective manner by providing them relevant information, and this naturally results in a better ROI.

Cost-effective yet secure: SharePoint integration eliminates the need to buy additional CRM licenses for non-CRM users despite giving them access to customer information. This proves to be extremely cost-effective for businesses. At the same time, the access to account documents is secured since it requires administrative permission.

Effective team collaboration:  SharePoint acts as the repository for documents’ version history and since users can work on the documents within a single location, the task of document management and collaboration with the team is faster and efficient.

Inter-Entity linking – Documents such as a marketing campaign, opportunity or a case can be linked to other entities within CRM.Dynamics CRM Entities that can benefit from SharePoint integration are:

  • Products: While servicing a customer request, you can view or add product-related information that includes important information like licensing and kits that could help you create a new opportunity or service request based upon the customer interest.
  • Documents: Documents associated with the opportunity can be easily added by specifying the URL of an existing SharePoint folder.
  • Quotes: Third-parties can modify and append specified price lists and reference on SharePoint.
  • Sales Literature: You can provide your customers with information related to products, FAQs, send out marketing flyers.
  • Customer Service: You can provide your customers external facing documents as a first line of customer service.
  • Marketing Campaigns: SharePoint can serve as a one-stop shop for special offers, targeted products, etc.

Easy Integration: Contrary to the popular notion that looks at any new technology warily,  integrating SharePoint with Dynamics CRM is actually quite easy and simple.

Author : Uma Chellappa Date : 31 Jul 2015