Microsoft is working to integrate LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 in an effort to make sales employees more effective by allowing them to tap into professional networks and relationships, "giving them the ability to improve their pipeline," according to a company announcement.
One of the many enhancements introduced will use artificial intelligence to allow salespeople to do things like "salvage an at-risk deal." To use the integration companies have to be customers of both Microsoft Dynamics and LinkedIn.
Microsoft is offering the integrated product for a deal it claims is about half the cost of similar solutions on the market. The integrated offering will be available in July.
When Microsoft bought LinkedIn last year for a whopping $26 billion, there was lots of speculation, as well as some concerns, about Microsoft's plans for all that data. Salesforce, in particular, was concerned that Microsoft's access to LinkedIn data could give them a competitive advantage.
Salesforce has proven there is a huge appetite for integrated sales tools, and now Microsoft is working to grab its share of the market. But Microsoft has a long way to go. As Reuters notes, in the last year Dynamics revenue grew just 4%, whereas Salesforce saw 26% growth.
Adding LinkedIn data to Microsoft Dynamics could be a game changer if it works well and proves to help salespeople in ways Salesforce does not. And Microsoft already has great penetration in the enterprise market. For its customer base, increased functionalities with Dynamics, and the promise of more insightful information, could be too much to pass up.