Microsoft recently revealed its plans for its core Business Applications, as well as for Dynamics 365. The latest plans will cover the next major cloud update launched between October 2018 and March 2019. This aligns with the changes Microsoft announced in the way Dynamics 365 updates are to be delivered which we covered in a previous blog.
Given the wealth of information Microsoft has put into its latest plans (all 245 pages of them), we thought we’d provide a helping hand and give you a ‘what you need to know’ quick guide. In this blog post, we will look at the new and improved features that will be coming to the Dynamics 365 for Sales app.
NB: It is important to note that these points are subject to change and as mentioned below some of the new functions highlighted will initially be released as a public preview.
One of the new capabilities being introduced for Dynamics 365 for Sales is Playbooks, allowing sales teams to trigger sales activities and actions in the event of a defined scenario occurring.
One of the examples used in the preview guide showcases a customised Playbook that would cover the actions required if a key decision maker leaves a business before a deal has been completed.
The Playbooks will be easily configurable to provide backup planning and advice in the case of different sales situations. After these have been triggered, it will provide users with a number of defined steps to follow. In the case of the example above, the aim would be to keep the deal going until it has been completed by identifying and reaching out to the new contact, and the Playbook would cover all the steps required to make this happen.
Another capability coming to the table in October will be additional LinkedIn Sales Navigator controls. In this release, the controls will be customisable and can be added within the context of guided process flows using the Unified Interface.
An example of this is at the early stages of an opportunity which could highlight potential icebreakers and conversation starters for connection requests by showing shared interests or shared groups.
At each stage within the Dynamics 365 guided processes, the controls can be adjusted to incorporate more information from LinkedIn such as individual contacts (name, company, position, years of experience) or companies (size, industry and location) as well as providing opportunities to target other people similar to those individuals.
Also, included in this is TeamLink, which will delve into your organisation’s network to see if it can identify a colleague who could provide you with an introduction to a relevant contact.
Relationship Analytics with LinkedIn InMail (Public Preview)
Relationship Analytics is designed to make it even easier than before for sales teams to manage their opportunities through a health check that can help them to identify deals in their pipeline that require immediate attention.
At the moment this only uses engagement data from Dynamics 365 & Exchange Online to assess a relationship’s health. During the public preview, this data set will also include LinkedIn InMail.
Microsoft Teams Integration (Public Preview)
With more and more organisations using Microsoft Teams to communicate with their colleagues on projects, the new functionality will allow any Dynamics 365 record to be connected to a Teams Channel.
Through this connection, the sales team will be able to communicate much easier through chat sessions between Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 records, helping to ensure that no individual misses the conversations.
Furthermore, users will be able to share, co-author sales collateral and collaborate with their entire team easily from either Dynamics 365 or Microsoft Teams through one centralised and secure location.
Talking Points (Public Preview)
The Talking Points icebreaker function will provide sales teams with prompts on how to start a new conversation with a contact who they haven’t been in contact with recently or not met before.
Microsoft has stated that this function will use embedded AI to scan all documents/emails/other correspondents to identify potential topics for conversation such as if they are into tennis or hiking.
Quick Actions (Public Preview)
AI will also be used in the new Quick Actions feature to provide real time suggested actions whilst notes for customers are being entered, as well as being able to analyse your interactions with them.
An example of a suggested action could be something as simple as creating an appointment or following up with them the next day.
Dynamics 365 Predictive Lead Scoring (Public Preview)
Dynamics 365 Predictive Lead Scoring is a machine learning model-based predictive scoring mechanism that will be a public preview in October to help score leads on a scale of 1 to 100 in terms of their chances of becoming an opportunity.
Out-of-the-box, this learning model takes into account entities such as contacts and accounts, as well as unique lead attributes, to provide you with a predictive score.
To make the score more accurate, sales teams will be able to customise and fine tune this model further by selecting or disabling signals that are used to calculate the lead score.
New AI for Sales App (Public Preview)
As well as some of the embedded AI capabilities already described above, Microsoft will also be launching an AI app for Sales Managers which will pull in data from Dynamics 365 to allow them to evaluate and improve the performance of their sales teams and take action where required.
With a pre-built home page, Microsoft says is purposefully designed to answer the most common sales questions as well as highlighting important events and next actions.
Furthermore, the app will also include the new predictive lead scoring and relationship health scoring.
Who Knows Whom (Public Preview)
Last by not least, this preview feature makes it easier for sales teams to gain introductions to new contacts through their company network.
In contrast to the embedded LinkedIn TeamLink feature, Who Knows Whom makes use of Microsoft Exchange to identify people within the user’s organisation who’ve previous communicated with a contact based on old email messages.
This will help to identify any colleagues who can help with an introduction and also provides details on how strong the relationship is.
If you are a business that is looking to implement Dynamics 365 for Sales or looking for additional Dynamics 365 Support for your existing solution or additional Dynamics 365 training, then get in touch with Advantage today.
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