Channel technologies, Channel partner programs, Enterprise

Microsoft Preps Partners for Dynamics 365, LinkedIn Integration

Microsoft is offering training to help prepare channel partners for the upcoming integration of Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn. An on-demand readiness course is now available for existing partners, and a live virtual training for Dynamics SSPs is scheduled for May 15 at 8 a.m. Pacific Time.

Microsoft recently announced that it will integrate its Dynamics 365 CRM and ERP suite with LinkedIn tools for sales and talent recruitment. The move comes nearly five months after Microsoft closed on its $26.2 billion purchase of the social networking site.

It was assumed when the deal was announced last summer that Microsoft wanted to make use of LinkedIn data in its cloud enterprise products. But this was the first official announcement that the data would be put to use for lead generation and recruitment.

In a blog posted Wednesday on the Microsoft Partner Network, the company said it expects the next big wave of disruptive technology to come from the ability to use social media data to create new opportunities for both partners and businesses.

“With the announcement of new Dynamics 365 integrations with LinkedIn, we are raising the bar for salespeople and HR professionals everywhere to tap into their professional networks and relationships, improve their pipeline, and become more effective,” the blog post said.

Improved Sales

The first integration brings together Dynamics 365 for Sales and LinkedIn Sales Navigator, leveraging LinkedIn’s 500 million users to help sales teams generate and nurture leads.

Available July 1, the Microsoft Relationship Sales Solution is priced at $135 per seat before volume discounts. According to Microsoft, that’s about half the cost of competing products.

Microsoft says the integration will reduce the time sales teams spend jumping back and forth among different systems. More specifically, the company says it will:

  • More effectively leverage customer data across email, CRM and LinkedIn to get contextual recommendations for sales opportunities
  • Enable introductions directly through the company’s network using InMail, direct messages and customized connection requests
  • Allow sellers to engage buyers with customized content based on LinkedIn news mentions and job change notifications
  • Help users build stronger relationships with existing contacts through direct access to LinkedIn profile details, including photos, current roles and work history

The readiness training for partners focuses on this sales integration in particular, not the human resources integration.

Better Recruitment

The second integration, also available in July, merges Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn Recruiter. Microsoft said the combined product, Dynamics 365 for Talent, will “redefine the modern HR experience” by:

  • Giving hiring managers access to the best talent more quickly using LinkedIn’s candidate profiles and up-to-date information
  • Enabling employers to deliver more personalized on boarding experiences with targeted activities and learning resources, as well as access to relevant contacts
  • Helping HR departments maintain an up-to-date view of employee experiences through a consolidated HR profile spanning Office 365, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn

Microsoft has not yet announced the cost of Dynamics 365 for Talent.