New Sales Engagement Features in Dynamics 365 Sales

Caroline Mayou

Caroline Mayou

Introduction

Dynamics 365 Sales, the reigning champ of sales applications, equips any enterprise to increase sales by deeply understanding their client base and their purchasing habits, all driven by data, smart tech, and user-focused experiences. Dynamics 365 Sales disseminates the strength of corporate data everywhere a salesperson operates, integrating effortlessly with popular productivity apps like Office 365 and Teams. By homing in on the most pertinent and genuine connections, sales teams can rapidly discern the current needs of customers and augment their sales process.

The way we work globally has experienced profound shifts over the past decade, with the last few years accelerating these changes. The salesperson’s role is also in a state of flux. Today’s consumers anticipate a hybrid of digital and customized interactions throughout their purchase journey. As a result, the metamorphosis of the sales role demands several alterations to their typical processes: refining their task management, leveraging intelligent digital communication platforms, fostering improved team collaboration to bolster productivity, and dedicating more time to become reliable advisors to their clientele. To accomplish this, salespeople should not be weighed down by making sense of an avalanche of data and information; instead, they need this information to work in their favor, enriching every client interaction.

In the 2023 release wave 1, Microsoft’s ongoing commitment is to harness the power of data and artificial intelligence. This enables sellers to better manage their client interactions and personalize their strategies, thereby enhancing efficiency and effectiveness. The end result is a more streamlined process that allows sellers to dedicate more of their valuable time to selling.

New Sales Engagement Features in Dynamics 365 Sales

The sales engagement features (previously recognized as the Sales accelerator) in Dynamics 365 Sales equip your sales team to connect with their customers in the most effective manner, leveraging AI-powered insights about their client relationships and discussions, as well as tools designed to fast-track and standardize the sales cycle. These resources aid sellers in fostering robust relationships with their customers and conducting meaningful dialogues.

The upcoming release wave plans to include the following sales engagement features:

  • Initiate customer contact with a bot, ensuring that only high-quality leads reach the sellers at the right moment, thereby conserving valuable seller time.
  • During a call with a customer, obtain insights and advice based on previous interactions with the customer and communicate effectively based on these recommendations.
  • Thanks to conversation intelligence support being extended to third-party telephone service providers, receive uninterrupted insights regardless of your call service provider.
  • Automatically fill in emails with content frequently used in email drafting, such as introductions and product information, significantly reducing the time spent on preparing emails.
  • Numerous enhancements surrounding sequences, including improved visibility of sequence steps, sequence performance, custom templates, loop steps, assignments of multiple sequences, personalization, automated responses, and more.
  • Upgrades to the sales accelerator through improved worklist items, upcoming widgets, and enhanced performance, personalization, and user-friendly capabilities.
  • The ability to send and receive customer communication via SMS and receive instant notifications for incoming messages.

 

AI Based Intent Detection

Annually, sales teams are presented with millions of prospective leads. Every lead needs a salesperson’s attention for analysis, engagement, and ascertaining the prospective client’s needs. It’s essential to optimize the capacity and productivity of sellers while dealing with these leads. This fresh AI-powered functionality can discern customer intentions from emails and guarantees that high-value leads are attended to by sellers at the optimal moment, thus conserving valuable seller time. It aids sellers in initiating proactive engagement with their customers.

This feature accelerates the lead qualification procedure, enhances sales proficiency, and generates operational efficiencies within the lead management process.

As a salesperson, you’ll have the capability to:

  • Interact with the lead regarding potential subsequent actions determined by the AI model, thereby accelerating the lead assessment process.
  • Take a proactive approach in engaging with your customers, resulting in an enhanced sales process.

Release Information: 

Enabled for: Users by Admins, Makers, or Analysts

Public Preview: 2023

Early Access: TBD

General Availability: TBD

Enable Wave 1 Release

Contact our Live Services team to enable Microsoft's Wave 1 Release in your environments.

Updated Sales Accelerator Worklist Items

Salespeople can feel overwhelmed when required to switch between various screens to complete their tasks. This scattered approach can lead to inefficiencies and often cause them to lose track of their initial tasks. Ideally, they would prefer to focus their efforts on selling activities for their account and deals within a consolidated, easy-to-navigate workspace.

The latest sales accelerator worklist presents the tasks that demand the salesperson’s attention, coupled with AI-derived suggestions that could positively influence the sales results. A newly prioritized overview of the worklist items, compiled at an entity record, offers a comprehensive perspective of the tasks that sellers need to prioritize, thereby enhancing their customer engagement.

The updated worklist items will incorporate the following features:

  • Sellers will have the capacity to observe AI-informed account suggestions and activities in a unified view.
  • AI-informed recommendations are planned to be included in a future release.
  • An improved aesthetic and interface for the worklist, designed to enhance the user interface experience.

Released Information: 

Enabled for: Users, automatically

Public Preview: 2023

Early Access: February 6th, 2023

General Availability: April 1st, 2023

Focus Mode Sales Views

The sales accelerator experience offers an optimized workspace and a prioritized catalogue of clients. It presents a contemporary view that allows for effortless navigation across records associated with various activities, without the need for constant context changes.

Following this update, salespeople can transition any sales view to a focused mode, enabling efficient work across their records, irrespective of whether an activity has been scheduled. This view is perfectly suited for sellers who need to navigate through records rapidly and perform tasks such as prospecting calls, record updates, and action management.

This feature empowers sellers to select and operate in the layout that best suits their specific needs. The primary functionalities include:

  • Transitioning between the existing grid and the focused view with a single click.
  • Access to a comprehensive suite of filtering and sorting options, encompassing both grid and focused view filters, to establish a concentrated workspace.
  • Customization of the format and the fields displayed in the work list cards within the focused view.
Focus Mode Sales View in Dynamics 365 Sales
Focus Mode Sales View in Dynamics 365 Sales

Release Information: 

Enabled for: Users, automatically

Public Preview: TBD

Early Access: February 6th, 2023

General Availability: April 21st, 2023

Introducing Sequence Insights

Sequences aid sales managers in implementing optimal strategies by offering a guided series of steps for successful customer interactions. Through Sequence analytics, a manager can track the overall progress and efficiency of a sequence. They can spot steps that are time-consuming or sequence paths that aren’t delivering expected results, using these insights to fine-tune the sequence.

This feature empowers sales engagement managers to spot and rectify inefficiencies within a sequence for an enhanced impact.

This functionality assists SEMs to:

  • Keep track of the progression and regression of each step to recognize ways to enhance the steps for superior sales results and sequence performance.
  • Examine detailed data to help pinpoint modifications that can bolster efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Detect divergences from the procedure to pinpoint areas requiring attention.
Sequence Insights in Dynamics 365 Sales

Release Information: 

Enabled for: Users by Admins, Makers, Marketers or Analysts, automatically

Public Preview: TBD

Early Access: TBD

General Availability: May 5, 2023

Enable Wave 1 Release

Contact our Live Services team to enable Microsoft's Wave 1 Release in your environments.

Engage Customers With SMS

Successful customer engagement plays a significant role in cultivating and sustaining client relationships to finalize deals in today’s B2B industry. It’s vital to connect with your customers via their preferred platforms. With the global shift towards digital lifestyles, an increasing number of customers prefer SMS communication. Salespeople also find SMS a handy and efficient method for sending reminders, offering brief updates, or addressing customer inquiries. This functionality will allow your sales team to interact with primary customers and decision-makers via SMS throughout the sales process, fostering and preserving enduring relationships.

As part of this feature, your sales team will have access to the following crucial functionalities:

  • Administrators can allocate particular numbers to any user or team for SMS purposes.
  • Respond to customer replies for sent SMS to foster continuous dialogue.
  • Send and receive SMS from all pertinent Dynamics 365 Sales entity forms.
  • Receive instant notifications for incoming SMS.
SMS Capabilities in Dynamics 365 Sales

Release Information: 

Enabled for: Admins, Makers or Analysts

Public Preview: April 21, 2023

Early Access: TBD

General Availability: June 2023

Conduct A/B Testing with Sales Emails

Sellers employ sequences to track activities and execute actions. They have the ability to link an existing sequence to a record or craft their own personalized sequence. Digital selling involves a team effort where multiple members of the sales team collaborate to secure a deal. For instance, an account executive might work on proposals while a solution architect assists with implementation.

This functionality enables sellers to preview a sequence and gain an understanding of the sequence steps. Such a preview is necessary when intending to use or link a sequence to a record. It facilitates effective collaboration among team members and provides insights into the sequences followed by other team members for a jointly managed account or opportunity.

With this improved feature, you can:

  • Obtain a summary of the sequence, displaying the total count of steps, the number of days used, the time required for completion, among other details.
  • Discover which team members have completed various steps and who would handle forthcoming tasks.
  • Inspect completed or imminent steps and activities. See completion and due dates of sequence stages.

Release Information: 

Enabled for: Admins, Makers, Marketers, or Analytics, automatically

Public Preview: June 2023

Early Access: TBD

General Availability: TBD

Copilot Assistance for Your Sales Pitch

Email support can offer immense benefits to salespeople by resolving their challenges. As a language model nurtured on a substantial body of text, Copilot can create customized, superior emails designed to cater to each customer’s unique requirements. Utilizing natural language processing (NLP) algorithms, Copilot assists salespeople in creating lucid, succinct, and persuasive emails that connect with their target audience. This can result in better customer interaction, boosted sales, and an improved brand image.

With this functionality:

  • Salespeople can utilize out-of-the-box prompts to formulate responses.
  • Salespeople can establish custom prompts to generate personalized replies.
  • Copilot has the capacity to augment manually composed emails.

Release Information: 

Enabled for: Users by Admins, Makers, or Analysts

Public Preview: June 2023

Early Access: TBD

General Availability: August 2023

Manager Dashboards to Coach Sellers

By examining consolidated customer interactions and salesperson behaviors, sales managers can gauge the success of their sales tactics, adapt to market shifts, and guide their sales team in a more effective manner.

Managers can remain connected with their field staff and salespeople via the newly launched manager insights dashboard for conversation intelligence.

Beyond the current SCI dashboard features, as a sales leader, you will have the capacity to see:

  • Correlation between customer sentiment and the mention of keywords and competitors.
  • Link between conversation style and deal results.
  • Evolution of conversational KPIs over time.
  • A comprehensive view of the performance of salespeople, along with insights into conversation trends that seal deals.
  • Effectiveness of messaging in the field and customer viewpoints on the competitive scenario.
  • Sales-focused filters such as call duration and length, salesperson involved, linked record, status of linked record, campaign, among others.

Release Information: 

Enabled for: Users by Admins, Makers, or Analysts

Public Preview: July 2023

Early Access: TBD

General Availability: September 2023

Enable Wave 1 Release

Contact our Live Services team to enable Microsoft's Wave 1 Release in your environments.

Suggestions & Tips During Customer Calls

To amplify the efficacy of remote selling over in-person transactions, it’s essential to present on-the-spot advice and tips while salespeople are on a call with a client. This feature endows sellers with real-time, AI-propelled insights that provide them with the necessary information to handle difficult sales calls with ease.

This functionality allows conversation intelligence to instantly highlight relevant advice and strategies while salespeople are engaged in a phone conversation with a client.

For system administrators, they will have the ability to:

  • Activate this functionality, thereby granting salespeople access to real-time advice and strategies.

For salespeople, they will be able to:

  • Receive prompts regarding details about products and services, competitive strategy cards, brand information, pricing, and much more during a client call.
Advice and Tips on Calls Dynamics 365 Sales

Release Information: 

Enabled for: Users by Admins, Makers, or Analysts

Public Preview: July 2023

Early Access: TBD

General Availability: September 2023

Capture Important Details on Calls

Ensure that no essential details from a sales call are overlooked, like the budget, decision-making authority, requirement, and schedule (BANT). With this update, conversation intelligence points out discovery and sales-focused mentions, highlighting these insights in the call summary. This aids in ensuring crucial indications are spotted to assist in advancing the sale.

As a salesperson or supervisor, you can access data related to budget, decision-making authority, requirements, and schedule (BANT) in the following sections:

  • Classification of BANT for recognized inquiries. Notes from calls focused on BANT.
  • Categorization of mentions based on BANT, introducing a new segment for individual’s position, like manager, Vice President, accountant, and so forth.
  • Playback segmentation based on BANT topics.
Teams Calls Details in Dynamics 365 Sales
Teams Transcript in Dynamics 365 Sales

Release Information: 

Enabled for: Users by Admins, Makers, or Analysts

Public Preview: September 2023

Early Access: TBD

General Availability: TBD

Redact Sensitive Data from Customer Calls

As salespeople interact with clients during calls, customers may disclose personal information, such as credit card details, solely on the basis of trust. It’s of utmost importance to safeguard such confidential data to assist businesses in establishing credibility with their clientele and adhere to stringent privacy guidelines.

Within the framework of Microsoft’s personal data protection protocol, Microsoft’s AI system is designed to detect and obscure sensitive details, such as credit card digits and personal identifiers, during customer interactions.

As an administrator, you will have the capability to:

  • Activate this feature to ensure sensitive data will be concealed in all subsequent communications.

 

As a sales representative, you will notice:

  • Personal details associated with credit cards are concealed within call summaries, transcriptions, notes, and task assignments.

Release Information: 

Enabled for: Users by Admins, Makers, or Analysts

Public Preview: February 7th, 2023

Early Access: TBD

General Availability: September 2023

Conclusion

In conclusion, the 2023 Wave 1 Release for Dynamics 365 Sales truly brings a wealth of innovations and enhancements to the table. It is clear that the new features, from AI-driven assistance in customer engagement and lead prioritization to streamlined workflows and data privacy protection, are all geared towards maximizing sales efficiency and effectiveness. With this update, Dynamics 365 Sales has reaffirmed its commitment to empowering sellers and sales managers with cutting-edge tools and technologies to not just keep pace with, but to lead in today’s fast-evolving digital sales environment. As we look forward to the future, it will be exciting to see the impact these improvements will have on the sales process and customer relationship management landscape. Don’t hesitate to embrace these advancements – stay ahead of the curve, and transform your sales experience with Dynamics 365 Sales.

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