Integration and openness applied to LinkedIn
Microsoft and LinkedIn have just announced in the last couple of days that they are going to start unlocking the value in the $26.2 billion investment they made in LinkedIn last year. When this was first announced, I thought this was a very interesting move by Microsoft and wondered whether it was an answer to Salesforce and Data.com’s integration, to easily put leads directly into your CRM system. Interestingly though, when you look at LinkedIn, you can see that this is just the start of integrating Sales Navigator with lots of major CRM systems including Salesforce, SugarCRM and Zoho.
Costs and billing
You can purchase it as a new combined offering which is called “Sales Navigator with Dynamics 365“, which will be available from the end of July, presumably in the UK as well as the US. Pricing will start at $135 per user per month. When compared with Dynamics 365 for Sales at $95, and Sales Navigator at $80 separately, this seems like a pretty decent deal getting them together.
Having recently had the displeasure of trying to manage our Sales Navigator account and finding how difficult it is, I hope they improve the experience and allow CSP partners like us to buy it directly from Microsoft rather than through the LinkedIn site. (I assume it is such a mess at the moment because of all the behind-the-scenes work to integrate it properly into the Microsoft systems but I guess time will tell with that).
The key features for this – I presume initial – integration are as follows:
• Displaying Sales Navigator person and company information on every Dynamics lead, contact, account and opportunity page.
• Daily updates between systems so the accounts and contacts sales reps are actively working in Dynamics 365 are automatically saved to Sales Navigator. In addition, sales reps can see in Sales Navigator what people and companies have already saved in Dynamics, and vice-versa.
• With a single click, the ability to write select Sales Navigator activities (InMails, messages, notes and call logs) to Dynamics 365.
More information can be found on a post on LinkedIn’s website.
My view at the time of the purchase was that this had great potential to deliver a tight integration and a great experience for salespeople. Having seen the initial features, I think this will really help sales teams and give them much better transparency and an improved workflow. Now to find a better way to integrate with Facebook and other social networks…