(Source: microsoft)

In 2016, Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for over $26 billion. This was a strategic move – LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, and for a long time professionals across all industries were using Office 365 and LinkedIn alongside one another. Integration made perfect sense.

After Microsoft’s purchase received regulatory clearance, CEO Satya Nadella unveiled an exciting list of priorities for merging the companies’ product lines. Integrating Sales Navigator and Dynamics was on that list, alongside a number of other proposed solutions across Office 365, training and Windows.
So, what impact are these integrations having across different departments?

Sales
The Microsoft Relationship Sales solution became the first of the promised integrations last July. Bringing together LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, this product has the potential to completely transform the way in which businesses sell their products and services. Just consider LinkedIn’s massive user base, and the potential when teamed with MS Dynamics Sales and

CRM software.
This integration is redefining social selling as we know. Boasting a powerful set of search capabilities, improved visibility into extended networks, and personalised algorithms to help reach the right decision maker, Sales Navigator guarantees sales enablement at its finest and most efficient. Looking ahead, there is huge opportunity for follow-on applications to automate service, support, commerce, partner relationships, to name a few.

This is further supported by the rollout of LinkedIn desktop app for Windows 10, although very similar to the web version, this app is fully integrated into Windows 10 software, and has taken advantage of its powerful features with the intention to give users the richest, most engaging and connected LinkedIn experience. Active Linkedin users like sales teams embracing Linkedin for social selling will benefit from this seamless interface integration.

Marketing
An exciting addition to Dynamics 365 for Marketing arrived as a connector for LinkedIn Lead Gen forms. This feature allows you to monitor how people are interacting with your marketing initiatives in LinkedIn, bringing leads and lead information generated by using the LinkedIn Lead Gen tools in Dynamics 365. This looks to work seamlessly alongside their Sponsored Content offerings, which are to be extended across Microsoft products.

This offers huge long term benefits. Not only will integration make for easier social media management and automated data flows, the Lead Gen tool promises richer reporting and insights to help drive your social and content marketing and strategies.

HR
An interesting announcement for HR departments was a deeper integration of LinkedIn data with Microsoft Word. Users now have the ability to apply for jobs on LinkedIn directly through Word.
When drafting a CV, the Resume Assistant will populate the document with relevant information from other LinkedIn profiles. When a job role of interest is added, descriptions and examples of related roles on LinkedIn will appear to help shape the content and show what other roles are available. It’s then a simple matter of submitting directly through MS Word, or through LinkedIn itself, which is also integrated.

This tool has the potential to be very powerful if uptake is good; candidates benefit from a helpful, all-encompassing job application process, while employers embrace a more standardised operations procedure when recruiting.

What’s Next?
It’s safe to say that native integration of Microsoft Dynamics and the world’s largest B2B network – currently boasting over 500 million active users worldwide – can only prove fruitious.

At the moment we’re only scratching the surface of the true potential of CRM contacts and LinkedIn relationships. We’re excited to see how this marriage evolves and continues streamlining operations and data flows, driving lead generation activities and providing richer reporting. What do you think the future of this integration has in store for us?

Contact us today to find out how you can use these powerful new features to make the most of your customer