Lori Lamkin - Vice President, Dynamics 365 Marketing
Where and how we work has changed. The hybrid work environment is here to stay, and with it, comes a new set of demands on our sales organizations. The tools that sellers are currently using are not helping meet these new demands.
Yesterday’s tools don’t serve our modern objectives. Sellers can’t afford to work in siloed systems and manually enter data at the end of the day. Manual tracking contributes to poor data quality and prevents sellers from connecting well with customers.
To help our customers thrive in this new normal—we have to break down the silos that not only exist between applications but also those that exist between people across the department, the company, and externally with customers and partners. We need to blur the lines between business applications, productivity tools, and collaboration capabilities so we can help our customers drive efficient and effective customer engagements. Sellers demand this, and their customers expect it.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 represents the new era of business apps that start from data, use AI, and are built for collaboration.
Given all of this, how does that change what’s top of mind for us as we build and refine our Dynamics 365 Sales app? Our approach is to deliver data first, intelligent, and collaborative business applications. The Dynamics 365 Sales 2021 release wave 2 enhancements can be broken down into three focus areas:
- Conversational intelligence to be more effective in closing deals—Ensuring we support users with valuable, productive experiences that ultimately delight the customer.
- Collaborate anywhere and everywhere to bring deal teams together—Get better connected across the team with interactions that surface context, and enable easy action and history capture wherever they work.
- Personal productivity to be more efficient and effective—Save time with prioritization, preparation, and tracking, taken care of for you whether in the office or on the go.
Conversational intelligence to be more effective in closing deals
With the enhancements made with conversational intelligence, sellers can now focus on effectively responding to buying signals to maximize that customer moment. No more selling regrets post-call by missing a trigger. For instance, as sellers prepare for calls, they can quickly review a summary of the previous call, action items, and scan highlights. Using Microsoft Teams within Dynamics 365, sellers can easily make their calls while having access to business data and take notes while the call is being transcribed automatically. Any business-critical insight mentioned during the call is captured and highlighted and suggested actions are surfaced. With all these tips, this approach is so much more effective than having this conversation over Teams alone—even more effective than doing it face to face. Sellers can now focus on responding to buying signals to maximize that customer moment. No more missing a follow-up or forgetting a customer promise.
Call summaries with suggested actions
See this demo in action: KEY05 Microsoft Ignite Into Focus: Business Applications [approx. min 15:00]
Collaborate anywhere and everywhere to bring deal teams together
With our hybrid work styles, the lines between business productivity and general productivity are forever erased. Business users are using Microsoft Office, Teams, mobile applications, and customer relationship management (CRM) applications. Selling is messy. As much as we’d like it to, it doesn’t follow a linear process. Many different people need to be involved and it’s a changing environment as new requirements are surfaced or people change roles, or new questions come up. At Microsoft Ignite 2021, we announced “Context IQ” a new set of capabilities for Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365 that enable better collaboration by surfacing information and people in the moment, in context with the task at hand. We will vastly improve the ability for a seller to get a job done with others, retain context before, during, and afterward, no matter what application you are in.
Collaborating with team members from within Dynamics 365
Personal productivity to be more efficient and effective
The more data-driven sellers are, the more opportunities they have to work on the right priority deals to close. And who wouldn’t want to remove time spent on data entry and instead focus that time on being more effective in customer interactions? In Dynamics 365 Sales, work items are prioritized based on AI so sellers know what action to take and when. Contact information captured through emails and meetings in Outlook is directly brought into Dynamics 365 Sales, helping sellers to instantly discover new contacts and expand their networks. And so you don’t skip a beat when you’re on the go, you can keep track of everything using the built-in Outlook and Teams integration in the intuitive mobile-friendly UI that allows you to follow up on action items and to update records while being away from your computer. All of this is rolled into seller KPI and manager dashboards that help your sales teams be more data-driven with their decision-making to drive better outcomes.
We have been on an incredible journey with our customers—helping them evolve their business applications from systems of record capturing data, to intelligent applications that use data and collaboration to drive action. I am incredibly excited to continue this journey as we blur the lines between business application, collaboration, and productivity tools so that we can empower each user with what they need and where they need it so they can achieve better business outcomes.