Overview of Dynamics 365 for Sales — October 2018 Release
In our previous blog post , we outlined the best picks from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 October 2018 release. Adding up to the previous post, we are going to be looking at the updates of specific Dynamics 365 apps the upcoming blog articles, and Dynamics for Sales in this blog.
This blog article, meanwhile, will focus on the new capabilities for Dynamics 365 for Sales. The new features Microsoft have outlined is set to roll out between October 2018 and March 2019 with initial public preview. However, the new functionalities are subject to change or may not ship at all.
The following are list of the important updates sales teams can look forward to:
- LinkedIn Updates
- Microsoft Teams Integration
- Who knows who
- Talking Points
- Quick Actions
- Predictive lead Scoring
- Relationship analytics now with LinkedIn InMail
- AI for Sales App
Playbooks is a new feature introduced to Dynamics 365 for Sales to help sales team members to automate repetitive activities and tasks when a particular scenario occurs.
For example, if a decision maker of an organisation leaves the business whilst you have an open opportunity with them thus putting the opportunity at risk. With Playbooks, automation can trigger a series carefully orchestrated tasks and activities for the sales representative to carry out to find out the new decision maker and salvage the opportunity. Playbook is set to release under general availability in October 2018.
LinkedIn Insights enhances the LinkedIn Sales Navigator controls by combining it with the power and flexibility of the Dynamics 365 business process flow. Combining LinkedIn Insights to stages of a business process flow allows data driven users to gather information quickly and accurately to drive the process forward.
For example, in the initial stage of a sales process, LinkedIn Sales Insights can gather essential information about companies including size, industry and location as well as information about people; this includes name, company, position, and years of experience. Icebreakers and conversation starter insights can also be leveraged to start a warm engagement.
Like Playbook, LinkedIn Updates is also set to release under general availability in October 2018.
Microsoft Teams Integration
With more and more organisations leveraging Microsoft Teams as part of their collaboration tool, users will now be able to connect any Dynamics 365 record to a Microsoft Teams channel.
The Microsoft Teams integration with Dynamics 365 brings together the capabilities that salespeople need to collaborate more effectively.
The key benefits of Microsoft Teams integration include:
- Users can share and co-author sales collateral seamlessly from Microsoft Teams or Dynamics 365.
- Users can communicate more effectively through persistent chat sessions across the Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 records
- Files get stored in one central location, ensuring the entire team has easy, consistent, and secure access to the latest documents
- Users can make updates to the connected Dynamics 365 record from within Microsoft Teams
Who knows who:
This new feature allows staff to identify which one of their colleagues within their organization can facilitate an introduction to their prospect leads or contacts.
Like LinkedIn TeamLink, the feature uses Microsoft Exchange to identify which staff members within the organisation has had previous engagement with a contact or lead and who can provide you with that warm introduction.
These warm introductions increase sales performance to improve lead-to-opportunity conversion rates, extending later to closing the deal.
Like the LinkedIn Icebreaker functionality, using built in AI, Talking Points captures the past communications Sales professionals have had with customers and extract key details about them on topics such as sports, health, family, and entertainment.
These topics help sales professionals with conversation starters or even build relationships with the contact.
Quick Actions (Public Preview)
Quick Actions works off enhanced AI capabilities by analysing past customer interactions and provide contextual suggested next best actions. Also, Microsoft, for the first time, are planning to enable users to speak notes directly into Dynamics from their phone.
Examples of Quick Actions include creating a follow up task, making a phone call or booking in an appointment.
Predictive lead Scoring (Public Preview)
Microsoft is introducing a machine learning model that scores leads on a scale of 1-100 based on likelihood of becoming an opportunity. It allows sales professionals to priorities their efforts on the deals more likely to close.
The key benefits of Predictive Lead Scoring include:
- Out-of-the-box machine learning model that considers attributes from related entities such as Contact and Account
- Ability to select/de-select signals for the model enabling model customization and tuning.
- Predictive score backed by top reasons influencing the score.
- Lead score along with score trend and top reasons available on out-of-box-forms and views.
Relationship analytics now with LinkedIn InMail (Public Preview)
The current feature of Relationship analytics helps sales professionals manage the opportunities pipeline by analysing the engagement data from Dynamics 365 and Exchange Online to track trends in a relationship such as positive or negative sentiment. The upcoming LinkedIn InMail integration will make Relationship analytics much smarter in providing the health of a sales deal.
AI for Sales App (Public Preview)
With all the built in AI capabilities Dynamics 365 provides, Microsoft have created a new AI app for sales management to help them managers evaluate and improve the performance of their sales teams.
The new AI app has a home page that provides managers with answers to the most common questions regarding their team’s performance and provides useful insights to quickly allow them to focus on the right deals and activities.
- Below are some of the features of AI for Sales App:
- A natural language processing-based Q&A that allows managers to conversationally ask questions and receive reports from the sales data.
- Lead prioritization leveraging predictive lead scoring.
- Opportunity pipeline analysis using the relationship health score powered by exchange data.
- Sales team performance analysis and individual scorecards.
- Richer sales activity reports using relationship analytics, bringing valuable data from Exchange and Dynamics 365 graphs.
The aforementioned points are some of the major functional updates Microsoft are bringing to Dynamics for Sales coming this October. Stay tuned for more blog articles that will highlight the updates in other important Dynamics 365 apps.
If you would like to find out how you can take advantage of the latest Dynamics for Sales updates within your organisation, contact us today for a no obligation consultation on 01296 328 689.
Microsoft Inspire Day Three Highlights
Microsoft Inspire Day Three – Read the latest highlights here!
Day three round-up:
The sessions on day three focused heavily on global issues such as the forthcoming GDPR and environmental sustainability. It was interesting to note a developing dynamic between large corporations and governments. Is there a space for corporations to fill in the moral ambiguity left behind by some governments? It’s clear that corporations like Microsoft will become increasing global champions and will endeavour to ensure technology is developed to help solve ‘human’ issues. It was a very thought provoking day and certainly made for interesting discussions at network opportunities.
Brad Smith, President, Chief Legal Officer talking data protection
Top 5 takeaways:
All companies need to be aware of GDPR since any personal data held on record must be processed in accordance with that individual’s national rules. The digital business may well have customers from across the globe including EU nationals. For instance, there are many data centres set up in Ireland, within EU governance. Microsoft will release a range of support material for GDPR, please continue to follow us for our digest of material. You can read part one of our GDPR series here
Microsoft is making the biggest change to it’s go-to-market strategy in a decade
Microsoft is supporting business growth by making the transition from Business Edition to Enterprise just one simple click
Microsoft will not support any government going after any client but will support every client from any threat
Financials module just gets better and better… now no longer a cut down product but a full module of Finance and Operations for the same low cost.
Overall theme of the day?
“Day 3 and there is not shortage of buzz especially when the new sales strategy was announced and how it will present a better go to market strategy for companies to work on a more global scale”
“Political interview explaining how organisations are leading the way for driving change around the globe and not countries. Especially now USA has taken a step back from trying to lead the way globally. Could Mark Zuckerberg be the next US president ?”
Overheard at Inspire Day Three?
Eddie Harford was confused with a rockstar by a member of the LinkedIn photography team. Not sure which one mind… Any guesses are welcome!
SeeLogic MD Eddie Harford or British rockstar? Answers on a postcard…
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Microsoft Inspire Day Two Highlights
Microsoft Inspire Day Two – Read the highlights here!
Second Day Keynote
After a very informative first day we were excited to get stuck into the Microsoft Inspire Day Two vision keynote, today we heard from many inspiring speakers, one of which was Easton LaChapelle who designed an affordable ground-breaking 3D printed robotic limb at 14 years of age, subsequently founding Unlimited Tomorrow. This inspiring story led into information from Microsoft around Digital transformation, and how this can influence and inspire people’s day to day lives.
Microsoft discussed how technology can be used to save lives. Dr Ola Olagoyinbo (From USAID) explained how through monitoring the detection, treatment and management of HIV in South Africa they aim to achieve their 90-90-90 goal. This is that 90% of all people living with HIV in SA should know their status, 90% are engaged in care for their HIV and that 90% will have effective therapy. Their CRM solution utilises Azure, PowerBI and machine learning to spot trends and offer solutions, in turn they estimate over 500,000 lives have been saved so far.
Microsoft is bringing more focus to the education sector, their acquisition of LinkedIn and Mojang – which offers a code only version of Minecraft to education organisations to help teach children how to program. This really highlighted the commitment and importance Microsoft dedicates to the education sector. Microsoft is changing how it will engage with partners to ensure a more effective and seamless process. We are looking forward to these positive changes in partner management. You can now convert your own voice into subtitles in real-time using PowerPoint. These subtitles can also be translated into 20 different languages in real-time. The subtitles are not only for display, they can also be used to index slides for fast searching. Microsoft Stream converts video audio into text and then indexes the video, enabling you to search for what you have said, this can then be found in the video along with the associated time slice.
Microsoft’s Frontline worker solution provides workers with the right tools and solutions to manage their time effectively, improve their skills through training and share knowledge and ideas. Offering a great solution for hotel and cleaning companies, as well as a wide range of other industries.
Microsoft Inspire Day Two – Overall Theme
Day 2 was a positive day; showing how digital transformation impacts people’s lives.
Favourite presentation of the day and why?
“Using Skype for collaborative working sessions helped surgeons provide real-time support for surgeons in remote parts of the world. Surgery in countries like the US and UK are common place but in places like Armenia the experience does not exist. Now the doctors from around the globe can assist with operations and provide support in making potentially life and death choices in the operating theatre.”
Top quips overheard at Microsoft Inspire day two?
“LinkedIn integration with Dynamics 365 is going to get better and better.”
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Microsoft Inspire Day One Highlights
Microsoft Inspire Day One – Read the highlights here!
The opening keynote from Satya Nadella (Microsoft CEO) showcased the sheer scale of Microsoft’s partner network. There were people from 140 countries attending the event. Microsoft works with 64,000 partners who employ over 17 million staff worldwide. Microsoft announced a massive financial investment to further support partners.
Satya discussed the shift to a new paradigm called the Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge. These systems will no longer be bound by one device. User experience is set to become multi-device, multi-sense and infused with Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Satya further explained how Microsoft will divide solutions into four key areas: Modern Workplace, Business Applications & Infrastructure, Data & AI.
The modern workplace is too often dominated by routine tasks, individual productivity, disparate system & tools and individual threats. Satya believes that the future workplace will move towards:
Creative & critical thinking will replace routine tasks
Dynamic & agile teamwork will replace individual productivity
Coherent & integrate solutions will replace disparate systems & tools
Increasingly sophisticated organisational breaches could replace individual threats
He predicted their will be a shift in business applications of the future. Current business applications can be impaired through monolithic suites, disconnected data silos and custom logic & extensibility. The future of business applications is:
Modular, modern business applications will replace the monolithic suites
Connected data graphs & artificial intelligence will replace disconnected data silos
Common data model & composite apps will replace custom logic & extensibility
The sheer scale of Microsoft Inspire event revealed!
Key take-aways from day one:
Finance is now available as a cut down version with a fully extended version available later in the year (possibly November 2017)
Power Apps migration from tenants available 21st July
AI is key to everything!
Favourite presentation of the day and why?
“Power Apps”. It was great to see so many female technical leaders present at this year’s event. The Power Apps presenter in particular was very tech-smart and helpful with all the audience questions.
Top quips overheard at Microsoft Inspire day one?
“Business Edition of Marketing is actually a new Microsoft acquisition. Watch this space for the full product details…”
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Microsoft Inspire: Preview
Microsoft Inspire Preview: Follow the event with SeeLogic
Microsoft Inspire is at Microsoft’s largest partner event, attended by Microsoft partners from all across the globe. The event runs 9 – 13 July and is held in Washington D. C.
The event is on a colossal scale and features a total of 716 sessions and 572 hours of planned content. While we can’t possibly cover it all, we will provide as much as possible in our daily round-up of highlights plus provide an overview following the event. With so many releases and developments of Microsoft solutions and applications, this is a great opportunity to keep up-to-date.
An info-graphic to highlight the scale of the event from Microsoft.com
Microsoft Inspire Preview
Saturday and Sunday were event check-in and registration days with a chance to take a look at the expo and attend a welcome reception. There was also an orientation session for those attending the conference for the first time.
Monday sees the opening vision keynote and kick-off of the event in earnest. Follow us here to read our daily highlights. If you are interested in upgrading to Dynamics 365 and would like a free demonstration or trial, please contact us on 01296 328 689 or email email@example.com