So I have talked about linking Dynamics CRM and Sitecore here and here, but I just wanted to drive home a sample use case for linking these systems together.  Lets say a company(ACME Scooters for this example) makes scooters and parts for scooters.  They have a mix of customers, ranging from direct sales online to stores and suppliers that buy wholesale.  To help manage all of these various customers, their sales and marketing team employs Dynamics CRM to track orders, sales and interactions.  They are looking to update their online store as their current solution is dated and integrates with Dynamics through a daily flat file import/export model, meaning there can be a lag between when a user buys a scooter and when the site is updated to reflect that.

Using Sitecore and Dynamics CRM, they implement the Dynamics CRM Connector (located here), and map the product catalog in Dynamics CRM to relevant product catalogs in Sitecore.  From there, they can pass custom fields, including model numbers for parts, relevant or linked products, and price lists between Dynamics CRM and Sitecore, allowing the sales reps and marketing teams to manage the product catalog in one, familiar place.  This also will allow them to set various prices depending on region, sales, wholesale, or just about any custom criteria.  Further more, using the Dynamics CRM Connector, they link customers between the two systems, allowing them to tailor the user experience for single purchase customers so that it is different then their larger wholesale customers.  Setting roles on customers, they can display different catalogs, different prices, or even different pages to a wholesale customer vs a retail customer.  To help drive sales, they design a customer scooter wizard that allows users to customize what features their scooter would have.  Let’s compare two different examples of how this would play out.

Customer 1 is someone who has heard of ACME Scooters from a Facebook friend, but has never purchased one themselves.  They entered the site based on a link sent to them by a friend (an established customer with multiple purchases), and Sitecore captures that and passes that information back to Dynamics CRM (allowing sales to send a coupon to the person who sent the link for guiding sales their way).  Customer 1 is interested in a scooter, so enters the custom scooter designer wizard as directed by the link.  After customizing their scooter, reading some reviews, they decide to purchase the scooter.  An order is created in Dynamics CRM automatically using the connector, and sent to the fulfillment system.   Customer 1 later come back to the website, where they are greeted with a custom greeting as well as a list of possible add-ons for the scooter they just bought.  This list would be driven not only by the fact that they had a confirmed purchase, but also would be driven off of linked fields in the Dynamics CRM product catalog.  This would allow sales reps to link products, for instance a seat upgrades, head lights, helmets, or other custom parts that would be applicable to that customers purchase.  If they purchased Scooter A, they would only be shown products that would work with Scooter A, and not products that were exclusive to Scooter B.  The idea would be that while the customer could always navigate directly to Scooter B parts, the user experience would be driven to help make sure they purchased parts that were valid with their Scooter A purchase.

Conversely, lets say Customer 2 runs a small retail shop that sells scooters and parts and services scooters they have sold.  They maintain a fairly steady stream of orders, and while they might be interested in Scooters, they usually buy 2 or 3 of them at a time and don’t want to customize them online.  A custom scooter wizard would not be applicable to them.  However, instead of having to build out a whole separate site for this user, Dynamics CRM and Sitecore could use the User Roles to enable this customer to see a full list of products as opposed to a tailored list.  Additionally, the prices that are displayed to this user could be a field on the Dynamics Product for a wholesale price vs the retail price.  So if Customer 2 decides they need to place a bulk order for 2 scooters, 10 headlight kits, 7 plush seats, 5 large helmets, and 10 small helmets, all of these would be listed in the Sitecore Product Catalog and would have prices that were set accordingly for whole sale.  Instead of seeing a custom scooter wizard, they may instead be greeted by a list of items that they purchase often.  In addition, instead of seeing a list filtered to just one type of scooter, they are given a high powered, searchable catalog that allows them to quickly purchase parts that are needed in bulk.

These two examples highlight just a part of what makes integrating these two systems so powerful.  In addition to making maintaining an eCommerce site simple and easy, by using an existing Dynamics CRM system the ability to integrate Market Lists allows for a tailored sales experience for a whole range of customers.  Add to this the reporting capabilities of both systems and management can get a clear picture of what campaigns are driving sales, clicks, and visitors, helping increase business.