Implementing a Web Portal in Dynamics 365

Although Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a powerful tool that can solve many of your business pains, many clients are failing to get the full benefit out of the system. One common way that companies fail to maximize their benefit is by not implementing a web portal to supplement Dynamics 365.   

A portal allows you to bridge the gap between your partners, customers and your business. It extends your CRM into a public-facing setting. By appropriately gatekeeping that section of your website you can both maintain the security of your CRM data, while also allowing clients or customers to directly input information into your CRM system.  This is achieved through your website and is seamless for clients or customers. Customers will be unaware that they have entered a CRM interface, as the browsing experience remains unchanged. The portal will be designed to match your website style and branding.  

Specifically, a portal can be set-up to do a variety of different things. They can include:  Submitting and updating personal information, information sharing, searching a directory, registering for events, paying invoices, signing up for sales presentations, renewing a membership and much more.  

CRM Dynamics (CRMD) recently helped a client with the benefits of a portal in a field that may not immediately jump to mind.  

In 2018, CRMD was approached by a major player in the funeral industry – not normally a field that you think of when you consider digital transformation. No, it’s an industry that relies heavily on word-of-mouth and tradition, often with very little digital presence.  However, it’s still a business and many within the industry are looking at technology solutions to help drive them forward into the modern world.   

 It’s complicated, however. The service they sell is sensitive — potential customers do not want to feel “sold to,” but rather supported through a difficult time.  

It was in that sensitive environment that we were approached by the company.  

As stated, it is a business, and like any business, it needed to be mindful of profits. However, it also viewed its purpose as being much bigger than simply making money. It prided itself on helping people plan for the end of life. Everything that they do is designed to make the customer’s experience less stressful and reassuring.     

Prior to approaching CRM Dynamics, this company did not have a sophisticated selling process. Although they were already on Dynamics 365, they felt there was more that they could get from the system. They were largely relying on the phone and walk-ins to find potential customers and to provide quotes. They did not have much of a digital presence.  

CRM Dynamics created a booking portal that allows customers to easily book a pre-funeral planning consultation time that fits their needs. This is especially important in the funeral industry as customers are often dealing with a significantly stressful situation.  

Time is precious to these individuals, and it was felt that developing a digital booking system that was respectful was a priority for the company. Beyond the element of compassion, potential customers in the funeral industry are not interested in going through a long sales process. Often the first company to offer an appointment will get the business.   

However, the main purpose of building the portal was compassion. As long as the portal booking system made a difficult situation just a little better for families who are close to losing a loved one, the company would have considered it a success.      

The results of the implementation were dramatic, and instant.   

Company executives praised the portal, saying that it allowed them to provide reassurances to families who were going through a difficulty time.   

It also was a huge sales success story!  

In the five months that the system has been live it has generated more than 60 sales, worth more than a quarter-million dollars. The numbers have been trending up each month as the system rolls out to more locations.   

This is just one example of how CRM Dynamics created a portal that enhanced a client’s D365 experience. If you’d like one of our experts to evaluate whether you’d benefit from adding a portal to your D365 implementation, give us a shout.  


Duane Rollins

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