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Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Community Business Development



Local governments agencies such as the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development in my hometown of Washington, DC, - work on behalf of residents to improve living conditions, create economic opportunities and jobs by attracting businesses and helping businesses thrive. A customer relationship management system is key to work in community business development.  If you are a Microsoft customer, which apps in Dynamics 365 should you use for business development?
  • Core functions - All the Dynamics 365 modules track accounts (companies) and contacts (individuals) as well as activities such as phone calls, emails, letters, and meetings. 
  • Sales - Dynamics 365 for Sales provides the ability to track opportunities to attract startup businesses or businesses that are relocating from another area. Sales includes functions for qualify opportunities and working through all the steps in your workflow through a successful win.  You can ascribe dollars to opportunities as well as other metrics such as the number of jobs created or square feet of office space.
  • Customer Service - Businesses have questions for government, and the Customer Service app let's you build a knowledge base, create and work cases, and generate referrals to other agencies as needed.  It tracks the productivity of customer service representatives and statistics on the number of cases opened during each time period.
  • Marketing - Dynamics 365 for Marketing manages email campaigns, inbound web traffic, and event planning and registration.  It ensures that all the people you interact with are in a common, shared CRM. 
  • Project Service - The Dynamics Project Service app is used to manage small and large projects, along with all the resources required for the projects. 
  • Dynamics Market Insights - Now in preview, this service harnesses artificial intelligence to provide data feeds on target businesses along with data visualization. 
  • Sales Insights - Advanced lead and opportunity scoring for Dynamics. 
  • LinkedIn integration - Microsoft's integration with LinkedIn provides tools for finding and contacting prospects. 
  • PowerApps Portal.  Create a self-service portal for businesses to search your knowledge base and create cases. 
Microsoft software subscriptions allow you to provide access for the right apps to your users on an individual basis.

What about Dynamics customizations for community development?  Here are some that you may want to consider:

  • New fields for the Opportunities entity.  You may want to track additional metrics beyond dollars which are associated with an opportunity, such as square feet of office space or number of jobs created.
  • Create a new Opportunity business process flow to reflect the steps used to attract a company to your area. Define what data is used for qualifying opportunities. 
  • Hide menu items that are not used for community development, such as orders, if applicable. 
  • Use PowerBI to create heat maps which show impact of new business.  
Community Business Development is a close fit with out-of-the-box features of Dynamics 365, so agencies can become productive quickly with the product.  It can also grow with the agency and make work more productive.  

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