Announcing New Dynamics 365 Sales 2021 Wave 1 Release

Microsoft has recently added some exciting new features to Dynamics 365 Sales in the recent 2021 Wave 1 Release. The Wave 1 release focused on new product attributes to be release from April through September of 2021- with some features being available in preview before becoming fully available.  

Andrew Newman

Andrew Newman

New Features and Plans for Dynamics 365 Sales

In the 2021 Wave 1 release of improvements to Dynamics 365 Sales, Microsoft has added several new features and quality of life improvements that users will be eager to start using over the course of the year.

 

Dynamics 365 Sales is one of Microsoft’s most popular applications, as it streamlines sales processes and customer relationship management. The platform has been so effective in increasing sales efficiency that customers have experienced full ROI even within the first year, as was the case with C.H. Robinson when they implemented Dynamics 365 Sales side-by-side with Power Apps. However, Microsoft is not content simply resting on its laurels with their sales application. This is a competitive space, and it is necessary to continue improving user experience to remain at the front of the enterprise sales platform pack. The 2021 Wave 1 release shows Microsoft’s dedication to making sales professionals happy. This article will relay the information published by Microsoft as part of this release and inform you on the significance and impact for your business.

Dynamics 365 Sales CRM Screenshot

How the 2021 Wave 1 Release Improves Dynamics 365 Sales

Firstly, the new updates and features save users and administrators time. Through new automation and sequencing the updates reduce the number of clicks needed to reach the information you are after. By allowing more granular customization to the application sitemap users are able to choose and improve their access to their workspace. Any table from within Dataverse can be brought into the side panel featured in D365 Sales. 

New Dynamics 365 Sales site map screenshot in app

D365 Sales is also upping its game in terms of data utilization. Conversation intelligence will support users during calls by providing key insights. New out-of-box features such as stats to help understand deal pipeline and configurable visuals will also aid in communication through data.

 

Mobile capabilities have also been greatly enhanced, allowing sales professionals to do more on the go. Information available from mobile will include AI-integrated accounts and contacts, LinkedIn info on meeting participants, and easy access to necessary information. Meeting transcriptions can also be assigned to D365 records through AI. This data is then used to help the user assess deals and follow-up.

Integration With Microsoft Teams

Dynamics 365 Sales will extend on its integration with Microsoft Teams! While these features will only be available for public preview in July/August, they appear to be significant quality-of-life improvements. Perhaps the most important of all is access to Teams information through D365 Sales. Proposed improvements would allow the viewing and sharing of information between the platforms to an extent it had not been able to accommodate previously. Users will be able to engage in Teams chats through their D365 Sales CRM and share CRM data on Teams. This will make sharing of information between sales-involved personnel easier and quicker through the utilization of their preferred Microsoft communication application.

From a security perspective, these updates will allow for changes to be made more swiftly, decreasing the time it takes to fix an error. Permissions and the ability to make Teams created through D365 Sales public or private will enhance security.

Admins, makers, and analysts will have the ability to add notes or tasks to a record within the CRM through teams. Deals and details can slip through the cracks if the person or team accountable are not careful. Making it possible for Teams to hold parties accountable on deals will be a massive help in terms of organization and limiting the number of places sales must look to keep track of their tasks.

Through Unified Interface users can update records in the CRM through Teams. This could include editing or changing the state of a record for those that have permission. Forms and rules can be customized to your organization’s needs.

Improvements to Digital Selling

D365 Sales will have improved analytics capabilities as part of this wave of updates. Managers will be able to track significant stats such as lead comparisons to previous periods, lead to opportunity ratios, leads by source, and leads per seller.

 

This makes the introduction of KPI’s simpler. Tracking data and greater insight allows for more educated KPI goals. These KPI’s can then be easily tracked within the CRM in real-time. Once again, this feature will only be available through United Interface and for public preview in June 2021.

Dynamics 365 Sales On the Go

Microsoft have developed a new app that is available for iOS and Android users to vastly improve mobile selling. Through these apps, sellers can log and share information in real time, using only their mobile device.

Screenshot of Dynamics 365 Sales Mobile App

The option for a mobile CRM is a game-changer for sales. Push notifications, mobile-optimized interface, lightweight forms, and activity management that can be accessed in a lightweight form. These new features will make sales more organized when taking calls away from their computer and keep the process painless. A mobile CRM needs to be an adequate substitute for the traditional version for people to be inclined to use it. In this release, Microsoft has solidified their commitment to making their mobile CRM the strongest product it can be, and more add-ons are expected in the future, as feedback is collected. These features have all been available since April 30th.

 

D365 Sales mobile will introduce several features to make sure no information from calls can slip through the cracks. Automatic meeting transcription will allow personnel to read through their calls to make sure they don’t miss any vital information. This can be helpful for complex calls where large amounts of information are exchanged. Additionally, automatic data population is a capability that will assign information into the correct Dynamics 365 entity. This will take the burden of data entry off sales representatives, to an extent, and make data more easily available for marketing without having to track anyone down for information on a lead. These functionalities should be expected in August 2021.

Improved Simplicity of Data Entry

Along with these features, new functionality has been introduced already, as part of this release wave, that will make data logging into the CRM even simpler. The value of the system is completely dependent on that quality and quantity of the data being input. Therefore, new features have made logging data take even less effort and enhanced shareability. Form creation and modification has been made more lightweight. Native functions for record and activity creation have been added to improve ease of mobile use.

 

There are instances when a full opportunity form is unnecessary, and for these scenarios D365 Sales will be adding a new record side panel for a quick view of a form. This will only include the most relevant information and can be quickly edited without navigating away.

 

Furthermore, a commonly demanded feature has been added allowing for the creation of several styles of charts to help sellers visualize their opportunities. Bar, bubble, and funnel charts will be available that can be configured to the user’s needs. The purpose of these charts will be to give sellers insights into leads and help them identify which ones to prioritize.

Pie chart screenshot from dynamics 365 sales mobile app

Adding to their new data analysis features is a new “stats” feature that will be sourced from opportunity management metrics. There will be seven out-of-box stats intended to help the user understand their pipeline. These will be configurable to an individual’s needs and will aid in performance tracking.

 

These features will become available in July 2021.

New Quote to Cash Feature

Product hierarchies and categories will now be more easily navigated with a more intuitive product selection experience. Multiple product lines can be added. This improvement will make quote building faster.

Key Takeaways from the Dynamics 365 Sales 2021 Wave 1 Release

  1. The capacity for interaction between Dynamics 365 Sales and Microsoft Teams will be introduced later this year in preview form. The flow of information between these platforms will be simplified and make sharing easier than ever.
  2. New mobile capabilities will revolutionize selling on the go.
  3. Microsoft has automated a significant portion of the data logging process and expanded what can be done with data in the CRM. The ability to create visuals to understand and communicate opportunities is a useful new feature.

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