Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog

The New Year is nearly upon us, and from where we’re sitting 2015 is already shaping up to be a big one. The sales landscape is evolving. Opportunities once hidden are about to be unearthed by a whole suite of new tools. Strangely enough, the need for businesses to adapt to these shifting sales sands reminds us of that other harbinger of the New Year: Downton Abbey.

Gracing our TVs in the very beginning of the year, this hit BBC show is as much a warning to anyone unwilling to adapt as it is a good excuse to indulge in the drama and opulence of days gone by. Saddled with the aftermath of the First World War and with newly self-aware lower and middle classes yearning for equal rights, the greatest constant facing Downton Abbey’s aristocracy is change.

Nearly a century later, that same sense of sweeping change is being felt all across the sales landscape. Who better to look to for guidance then, than the family capable of sustaining their way of life in a world that has swallowed up many of their competitors and peers—the Granthams.

When it comes to your personal assistant, trust only the best. Many of Downton Abbey’s trials have hinged not on Lord Grantham’s shoulders but on those of his staff. Thankfully, personal assistants have evolved quite a bit since the days of the nosy footman. By enhancing its integration with Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 gives you complete access to Cortana, a personal assistant that would impress even the exacting Mr. Carson. Your calendar, contacts, customer information, and even your social networking data will always be there when you need it. All you need to do is ask.

Know your customers and greet them with a familiar face. When Downton Abbey needed to diversify, it wasn’t Lord Grantham who schmoozed with the farmers, but rather the much more salt-of-the-earth Tom Branson. Branson’s humble roots and his foreknowledge of farming practices make him the ideal broker, for both the Granthams and the farmers. Next year, by knowing the likes and desires of both your customers and the members of your team, you’ll be able to maximize effectiveness like never before. Social insights and collaborative selling will allow you to greet every client with a familiar, friendly face.

Know what’s working and what isn’t. Not all of the landed gentry fare as well as Downton Abbey, and on a visit to the much larger Duneagle Castle, Lord Grantham sees a once-thriving business that has been brought to its knees by bad choices. In much the same way Lord Grantham evades a similar fate, you can use social listening to glean which of your campaigns are doing well and which are falling on deaf ears. By listening to conversations all around the world in their native languages, you’ll never miss a social nuance—something the high society of years gone by would raise a glass to you for, indeed.

Everything runs more smoothly when you work as a team. Back in the days before dishwashers and microwaves, it took a lot of hands to keep a household running. The same is true for the businesses of today, but thankfully our lines of communication have evolved. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, you’ll see team synergy hit all-new highs. From sales analytics to insights on the competition to real-time collaboration, you’ll have the sales tools keep your business healthy well into the future.

Nobody can predict the future, and just as the Second World War is only a few years away for Downton Abbey and its inhabitants, there might be a storm brewing beyond our own horizon. Still, having the ability to act fast in any scenario ensures that your business has what it takes to make whatever tomorrow holds into a win for you and yours. Take a peek at what Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 has to offer here.

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