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12 New Features in Dynamics 365 for Sales Arriving in 2019

Caroline Mayou

Caroline Mayou

The Microsoft Dynamics AX/D365 Support Team at Avantiico is focused on solving our client’s problems, from daily issues to large and more complex problems.

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In August of 2019, Microsoft announced that Dynamics 365 for Sales would be gaining a number of new features, to be released from October 2019 through March 2020. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Avantiico likes to make sure our customers stay informed about new features available and how to best capitalize on them.  *Disclosure per Microsoft Policy: Since most of these features have yet to be released, their delivery timelines and functionalities may be altered. 

Microsoft has voiced that their intention behind the 2019 release wave 2 was to invest in the stability and satisfaction of the Dynamics 365 for Sales platform. Microsoft felt that by making improvements to the platform’s ease of use, customers would receive more value.  

Why is the 2019 Release Wave 2 Important to Dynamics 365 for Sales?

Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 for Sales was created as a turn-key solution that allows sales organizations to build stronger relationships with their customers by have access to better insights and a CRM that can help them close deals faster. Today, Dynamics 365 for Sales remains the most popular application within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform (according to Microsoft). In the 2019 Release Wave 2 Plan, Microsoft made many changes across various applications to drive satisfaction in their customers.  Apart from new features, Microsoft has also announced some Licensing Changes to take effect in October 2019. 

In this post, we’ll be covering 12 new features in Dynamics 365 for Sales to be released in the 2019 Release Wave 2. I will be covering improvements that are centered around the following themes: 

  • Improved Performance: Microsoft seeks to continue providing their customers with the ability to scale and extend the functionalities of the software all while keeping their focus on building their customer relationships. 
  • Revamped Interface: By continuing to focus on creating a modern and easy-to-use interface, Dynamics 365 for Sales helped companies streamline and simplify scenarios provided through end-user feedback. Many features have been added to eliminate extra clicks and make processes more efficient.  
  • Better Relationship-Selling: Dynamics 365 for Sales customers can now extend functionality through the use of integrations that work between CRM and communications. 
  • Sales Productivity: Microsoft helps your organization turn data into actionable insights that help drive revenue, while empowering your sales organization to engage customers more profoundly.  
  • Microsoft Ecosystem: At the end of the day, Microsoft has the world’s leading ecosystem when it comes to intelligent business solutions. With D365 for Sales, sales representatives can leverage the power of this ecosystem to increase their efficiency throughout their work day.  

12 Features to Look Forward to in Dynamics 365 for Sales

1. Contextual Email Communication

Enabled for:

End Users by Admin, Makers or Analysts

Public Preview:

October 2019

General Availability:

N/A

Early Access:

No

Dynamics 365 for Sales has made composing an email a much simpler task by adding a rich text editor and a pop-up non-block window. What this means is that sales representatives can now write an email while keeping the information of the record they are addressing open. Team members can now also navigate between sales records, have multiple email drafts open at the same time, preview content before sending it, and add attachments. Dynamics 365 for Sales has also added an email template option to help push forward common tasks. All of this will be available in a non-blocking window, to give team members relevant content while they compose emails. 

Why Contextual Email Communication is Important

Many Microsoft users are using Outlook and were relying on a very lighteweight email editor for years, even with the provided  integrations of Dynamics 365 for Sales with Outlook.  Some of the top marketers today will tell you that Email is one of the most efficient and cost-effective way to engage customers (as it is very inexpensive). By equipping sales representatives with better tools, emailing leads and key stakeholders, emailing becomes a more personal interaction where clear intention can be shown. By providing their customer’s with more thoughtful emails, Microsoft feels that companies will be able to better the quality of their team’s engagement. 

2. Simplified Onboarding Experience for Sales Professional

Enabled for:

End Users by Admin, Makers or Analysts

Public Preview:

N/A

General Availability:

October 2019

Early Access:

No

Microsoft made the purchase and “trialing” experience within Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional, one that would allow Customers to access the Sales Professional app in a matter of moments to get started. The app has been revamped to appear modern, helping users discover benefits quickly. 

Why A Simplification of the Sales Professional Experience is Valuable

When a new user is granted access to Sales Professional, an organization wants to make sure that the individual can get up and running quickly with limited needed support in the process. Support represents time in an organization, and many companies don’t have any to waste. New Users will now be greeted with a welcome screen that will help them understand how the Sales Professional application can be used right away, and the value they will reap from the application. 

3. Business Card Scanner

Enabled for:

End Users, automatically

Public Preview:

N/A

General Availability:

October 2019

Early Access:

Yes

From the use of a phone, or through the web, sales representatives will be able to scan business cards. Relevant information gets picked up through the business card scan and is automatically populated into its relevant fields in Dynamics 365. Companies will also be able to create different fields to populate through an easy configuration. *Note: The Business Card Scan feature is only available in the Unified Interface.  

How Will Business Card Scan Help Sales Representatives?

New Feature in Dynamics 365 for Sales Business Card Scan

This feature is a long awaited by most Dynamics 365 fans. While a company is off at tradeshows, sales representatives are often temporarily help responsible for collecting lead information, usually exchanged in the form of a business card. But business cards are often lost or information is not put into the system quickly enough after its been collected. The Business Card Scan allows your team members to focus on the task at hand while still maintaining data protocols, saving your team members time, and your organization overhead.  

4. Revamped Microsoft Teams Integration

Enabled for:

End Users, automatically

Public Preview:

N/A

General Availability:

October 2019

Early Access:

Yes

Since the launch of Dynamics 365 integration with Teams in April 2019, many new features have continued to surprise users- in the best way possible. In October of 2019, SDK Support will become available for the Teams integration for any entity type, including custom entities. Another new feature to look forward to is the “suggested relevant members” tool. This means that when adding a Dynamics 365 record to a Microsoft Teams channel, relevant members are suggested based on the users they are associated with within the D365 record. A member will only receive suggestions if he or she is the channel “owner”. Finally, when creating a new Teams channel from the D365 record, users will be able to automatically connect the D365 record to the channel they select.  

Translating the Value of Added Features in Microsoft Teams

Enhancements within Microsoft Teams means enhancement in the overall communication happening in your organization. The features above help your team connect D365 records to Teams channels without leaving the Dynamics 365 app, for maximum efficiency. With file-sharing enabled, and team member recommendations, employees will be able to better engage customers and provide them with the information they need.  

5. Improvements to LinkedIn Sales Navigator Integration

Enabled for:

End Users, automatically

Public Preview:

N/A

General Availability:

October 2019

Early Access:

Yes

The enhancements within the LinkedIn Sales Navigator Integration aim to help sales representatives identify contacts more easily and leverage that information from within the Dynamics 365 system. Thanks to the introduction of LinkedIn InMail, a new LinkedIn widget will be introduced inside of a Dynamics 365 record to host the InMail component. This will also team members to send InMails to their contacts, opportunities, and leads while viewing the LinkedIn profile information in the same window. 

Enteprise-level companies will be excited to hear of a new feature allowing sales users to access the InMail Component while working on the Org chart feature in Dynamics 365 for Sales. Team Members will be able to click into the Org Chart node and simply select the InMail icon to send InMails directly from Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Once the sync is enabled, the sent InMails will also be featured as activities in the “Activity Timeline” of the contact, opportunity, or lead (wherever the InMail was sent). Upon syncing, profile photos from LinkedIn will also show as contact photos within Dynamics 365. For organizations that have previously uploaded photos to records, please keep in mind that this sync will replace any existing image you may have uploaded as the contact picture. *Note: The LinkedIn Sales Navigation Integration feature is only available in Unified Interface.  

What This Means for Sales Managers

The sales process today certainly isn’t what it was a decade ago. Today, a sales process can include communication over 3 different platforms in three different mediums. It is presently imperative for companies to have a unionized view of the sales process- and the details of what it took to close a deal. Microsoft Relationship Sales solutions brings together LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales to help your team drive better engagement with buyers. InMails by LinkedIn opens up another channel of opportunity for your sales representative to connect with customers. These activities are automatically documented within the record, giving Sales Managers unique transparency into their sales organization.  

6. Opportunity/Quote/Order/Invoice Adding and Editing

Enabled for:

End Users, automatically

Public Preview:

N/A

General Availability:

October 2019

Early Access:

Yes

Users were seeing a minor obstacle in productivity, by having to perform repetitive tasks when adding and editing Opportunities, Quotes, Orders and Invoices. With the creation of the new Create and Add capability, sales representatives can now shift their focus to more important tasks.

Team Members can now add an existing product to a Quote, Order, Opportunity and Invoice- with our without a price list. Admins can now choose to enforce the selection of a particular price list.

Admins can now customize the price list entity with additional options. Sales Representatives will also be able to add and edit properties for a product, even while editing Opportunity or Quote line Items. This added feature will help team members save time when searching and filtering, ultimately helping them be more efficient and avoid switching between multiple programs and/or systems.  

What Does the New Opportunity/Quote/Order/Invoice Product Experience Look Like?

By simplifying the Lead Management Experience for “End users”, your sales representatives will be able to maximize productivity across several day-to-day scenarios in your organization. This will also help sales representatives quickly move to the next stage of the sales cycle.  

Pricelist Optional Feature Dynamics 365 for Sales
Image 3: Pricelist can be enforced but showing as optional
Option to Save and Create New Dynamics 365 for Sales
Image 4: Option to Save and Create New

7. Simplified Lead Management for Users

Enabled for:

End Users, automatically

Public Preview:

N/A

General Availability:

October 2019

Early Access:

Yes

Microsoft listened to some of the top scenarios mentioned by users and introduced improvements to users maximize productivity performing tasks that are familiar to them. For example, Users can now auto-populate contact or company-related fields when they select an existing contact or account upon creating a new lead.

This will help sales representatives save time when creating new records. When promoting a lead in the Opportunity Record, you can now display notes and attachments. For example, you could display Opportunity Specific notes that the Sales Representative may have collected during the process. Another feature was added that automatically creates an account, contact, and opportunity when a user is qualifying a lead (As long as the default setting isn’t changed). This feature is completely optional and the opportunity, account, or contact record is based on your organization-level settings (these settings would be configured by the admin on your team). *Note: This feature is available in both the legacy web client and Unified Interface.  

What This Means for Dynamics 365 for Sales Users

By simplifying the Lead Management Experience for “End users”, your sales representatives will be able to maximize productivity across several day-to-day scenarios in your organization. This will also help sales representatives quickly move to the next stage of the sales cycle.  

Image 5: Optionally create opportunity, account, or contact records

8. Softphone Dialer

Enabled for:

End Users by Admin, Makers or Analysts

Public Preview:

N/A

General Availability:

October 2019

Early Access:

Yes

For businesses that wish to integrate their telephony system with Dynamics 365 for Sales, Microsoft has introduced a feature that allows you to leverage the channel integration framework to do just so. Upon making a call from Dynamics 365 for Sales, team members will immediately see the softphone dialer appear. From within the dialer window, users can mute the call, put the call on hold, and more. 

Softphone Dialer Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales
Image 6: When a user selects a phone number to call, the Softphone appears on the screen

Do Softphone Dialers Really Save Time?

The short answer is, if a softphone dialer is configured properly, it can save you a lot of money in the long run. What it comes down to is the time it takes to dial numbers rather than being able to do it at the click of a button. And In today’s world of remote selling, automating how communications are captured in D365 and integrating the calling experience into the system will help your team be more organized, more productive and more focused. 

9. Customize the Opportunity Close Dialog Box

Enabled for:

End Users by Admin, Makers or Analysts

Public Preview:

N/A

General Availability:

October 2019

Early Access:

Yes

Several features have been added around the Opportunity Close Dialog Box, but to summarize, Sales Reps can now close an opportunity via the desktop or mobile app and provide relevant details (that your organization can decide on and require) for closing the opportunity. System admins can pick between using the non-customizable modal dialog experience (which is the default) or using the customizable form experience.  

View of Non-Customizable Modal Dialog Experience

Microsoft Dynamics 365 users have long requested this feature and Microsoft made sure to prioritize it in their Wave 2 2019 Release Plan. It’s a common theme for businesses to want to understand why sales representatives in their company are losing opprtunities. It helps organizations build on past losses and improve protocols within their systems. On the same note, companies should also have insight into why they won an opportunity, in an effort to continue applying those methods and win more deals. The ability to customize the Opportunity Close Dialog Box, helps companies capture more details about their wins/losses and therefore make more informed decisions about their Sales Processes.  

Image 7: A view of Opportunity Close showing status reason, competitor and actual revenue.

10. Out-of-Box Hierarchal Relationship

Enabled for:

End Users, automatically

Public Preview:

N/A

General Availability:

October 2019

Early Access:

Yes

On the Territory entity, a new out-of-box hierarchal relationship has been added. The goal of this added feature was to allow companies to better visualize their sales territories in a hierarchal format. *Please note that there can only be one hierarchal entity per entity. If your company already has a hierarchical relationship on territory defined, it won’t be overwritten. To get Microsoft’s hierarchical relationship, your company would first need to remove the hierarchical setting for your relationship. The following weekly patches will then bring in the out-of-box hierarchical field. This feature is only available in the Unified Interface. Please visit Microsoft’s doc database to learn more about setting up sales terrritories 

11. Simplify Common Sales Workflows

Enabled for:

End Users, automatically

Public Preview:

N/A

General Availability:

October 2019

Early Access:

Yes

Simplify and revamp workflows within your organization to help improve team member productivity while offering flexibility in product management and UI-based product reparenting. Through this new feature, the “Documents “ tab can be made visible in the main form for Contact, Opportunity, Lead and Account Entities. Admins can now enhance the “Opportunity Form” user experience and introduce ease of use and access to commonly used modules.  

12. Validate Data Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Enabled for:

End Users by Admin, Makers or Analysts

Public Preview:

N/A

General Availability:

November 2019

Early Access:

No

Starting in November 2019, Microsoft Relationship Sales users with CRM sync enabled, the new Data Validation Capability can be activated from Admin Settings. Once on, users will be nofitied if any of their owned contacts change jobs or information (strictly based on what they post to LinkedIn). Any contacts with recent job changes can be indicated, allowing users to update their information within Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement. This feature will help your sales representatives keep data integrity front of mind, and will make updating contact information easier than ever. LinkedIn career details can also help refine details within your sales process or access opportunities you may otherwise have never known about. *Note: This feature is only available in the Unified Interface.  

Summary of New Features in Dynamics 365 for Sales

Microsoft has announced new features that will benefit any organization currently using Dynamics 365 for Sales. We hope that the above provides a comprehensive summary of what features you will be able to tie into your business processes. Something to keep in mind is that some features are available for users to opt-in to as part of early access on August 2, 2019. This includes all mandatory changes that impacted end users. For more information on early access and what’s available to you, please visit Microsoft’s information page.  

Book A Complimentary Consultation

As a Gold Microsoft Partner, we hope that your organization finds value in the added benefits around compliance, data protection, security, performance, supportability and communications. Don’t forget to book a consultation with us to see how your company can quickly implement these new features and benefit from them as quickly as possible. 

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