Last year, Microsoft implemented a plan to update Dynamics 365 twice per year –April and October. With the recent April update, you’ll find hundreds of new capabilities that will be rolling out over the next six months. These updates are expected to bring a number of transformative new capabilities, as well as your standard incremental improvements. We’re especially excited to see a handful of new AI capabilities, sales automation, and, not surprisingly, further investment in Teams integration.
In this post, I’ll dive into some of the more exciting new features coming to Dynamics 365. You can review the full list of new features in Microsoft’s April ’19 Release Notes.
As companies put a bigger focus on team performance, Microsoft Teams has become the hub for teamwork and a vital tool for collaboration. Thus, it is not surprising that Microsoft is making deep investments in the Teams integration with Dynamics 365. The latest update enables sales teams to easily work with Dynamics 365 customer information and share files directly from Microsoft Teams. This helps them to be more productive and get the deal done more effectively.
The Oct 18 release added a powerful playbook capability that enabled a sales organization to capture knowledge and best practices and convert them to scripted lists of activities (including phone calls, tasks, and appointments). Playbook is manually triggered or pre-configured to run based on entity record events (for example, a new opportunity or lead creation). The latest update in Playbooks now includes Content Recommendations, which allows sales managers to provide their teams with the sales materials, product training content, and information needed to close any deal.
Microsoft Relationship Sales brings together capabilities from Dynamics 365 for Sales and LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It gives sales reps easy access to up-to-date customer insights from LinkedIn. Installing and configuring the integration with LinkedIn Sales Navigator will now be easier thanks to two new capabilities:
- The two existing packages will be merged into one, and the integration will be made available out-of-the-box.
- Just a simple toggle in the administration settings is all that's needed to start leveraging Sales Navigator together with Dynamics 365 for Sales.
Manual Sales Forecasting
Sales managers want to create a forecast of their team members so they can accurately predict revenue for a given period and make informed business decisions and predict short-term and long-term performance of their teams. Salespeople want to create a forecast for themselves to know whether they will reach their quota, quickly spot pipeline risks, and prevent deals from slipping away by identifying cautionary factors before it's too late.
With sales forecasting, sales teams will be able to specify forecast categories for each opportunity and further leverage the information to create or update forecasts manually within the application. They will be able to view, adjust, and submit rollup forecasting values for individuals and their teams.
D365 AI for Sales and Sales Insights
AI for Sales provides interactive reports that include key performance indicators (KPIs) for pipeline and deals. On top of KPIs and reports, AI for Sales gives sales managers AI-driven insights and actions to take. In July 2019, Microsoft plans to open the Sales Insights application capability to sellers to ensure transparency of information to both parties who are involved in “smart coaching.” As they tie together Dynamics 365 sales outcomes and process data with Office 365 activity data and sales call data, a sales assistant will surface out-of-the-box coaching insights to managers and sellers directly in the app. Reviewing conversations will get even better with emotion detection and automatic detection of brands.