The One Free Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Tool Your Sales Team Needs to Start Using Today

Does your sales team struggle to find current company and contact information for prospecting? And maybe you don’t have the budget to subscribe to Hoover’s or Dun & Bradstreet services. Well if you own Dynamics CRM Online, we have some great news for you. You already have access to a free tool that provides contact, revenue, size data and more.

Why aren’t more sales teams using this free tool? It’s been hidden with a title of “Insights”.  Pretty vague, hmm? Previously referred to as Social Insights, this tool is powered by InsideView, a powerful stand-alone data aggregator that has been fully integrated into Dynamics CRM.

Like it or not, when some salespeople hear “social”, they tune out. But the word “social” has taken on new meaning in the last 10 years. It has different implications and definitions depending on the context. We at xRM are frequently asked about “Social CRM”. What does it mean? And how does social integration work with the platform?

When it comes to native social integration with CRM Online, there are two primary offerings:

  1. Insights for Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  2. Microsoft Social Engagement

In this discussion, we’ll focus on Insights, the free tool, powered by InsideView.

Insights for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

What Is It?

Insights is a free solution that can that pulls company, contact, and social data into your CRM database. This data comes from a sources such as Reuters, InsideView, and Equifax. So salespeople can search for any company or person and find everything from company size, revenue, key people, recent news, and more. And, for contacts in your CRM database, Insights gives you easy access to Facebook profiles, LinkedIn profiles, and Twitter feeds. This is where we see confusion about the concept of “Social CRM”—but more on that in a bit.

How Does It Work?

Insights is free with a Pro license of CRM Online, but it doesn’t come preinstalled. Global administrators or CRM Admins manage the installation from the Office 365 portal. Microsoft TechNet provides useful installation instructions.

Once the solution is installed and configured in CRM Online, users will find an Insights area on forms of the following entities: Accounts, Contacts, Leads, and Opportunities.

The One Free Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Tool Your Sales Team Needs to Start Using Today

Insights window embedded in main Account form

The One Free Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Tool Your Sales Team Needs to Start Using Today

Insights window expanded from the form


Insights provides users with general info, financial data, employee information, and newsfeeds regarding companies where it can find a match. Much of this data, such as phone numbers, address, description, ticker symbol, and company logo, can be pulled directly into CRM Online records. As you can see in the image, you can even profile similar companies with the click of a button.

What Is It Not?

Insights is by no means a social network sales platform. By that I mean it is not a solution that integrates directly into your existing social media accounts and allows you to import your connections and contacts. It is not designed to push posts or tweets to social media platforms either. Microsoft makes no attempts to advertise Insights as true social platform.

What Does It Do Well?

Insights is a superb solution for B2B sales. Users can research accounts, research people associated with those accounts, monitor news feeds, and setup watch lists. When a user identifies an account they would like to reach out to, they can see contacts related to the account and potentially pull up their LinkedIn and Facebook profiles within Insights. This allows the user to see if they have any connections with that person, making reaching out that much easier.

The rich data Insights provides is what it does best. It is easy to sync with the Insights database to enrich your CRM Online data as well.

Learn how use Social to Track your Brand Easily in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in our next blog.

Check out our xRM blog for more tips like this and our Success Portal, a library of over 400 free educational Dynamics CRM videos.

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