In this article, we talk about the Dynamics Customer Engagement Sales Module and our straightforward tips to implement features and functions for users to improve their experience with the tool.
Deploying Dynamics 365 for Sales is a significant step towards transforming your sales processes and empowering your sales team with powerful tools for success. Dynamics 365 for Sales is a complex and evolving CRM software with a plethora of well and not-so-well-known features.
Getting the most out of every feature D365 Sales has to offer is crucial to optimizing D365 Sales deployments. We will outline and describe what D365 sales can do, lesser-known features, and important deployment tips in this blog. By following these tips, you can optimize your deployment and drive improved sales performance.
What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales is a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed to help businesses manage their sales processes effectively and enhance customer engagement. It is part of the larger Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite, which integrates various business applications such as marketing, customer service, field service, and more.
Companies can customize and scale Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales to meet their specific needs across various industries and sizes. It aims to empower sales teams with the tools and insights needed to build stronger customer relationships, increase sales productivity, and drive business growth.
Let’s look at some of the core features and capabilities of the Dynamics 365 Sales Application.
- Lead and Opportunity Management — D365 Sales provides comprehensive lead and opportunity management capabilities. Users can efficiently capture and track down leads, as well as change them into potential opportunities. D365 Sales provides lead qualification, assigning, and tracking throughout the entire sales cycle.
- Account and Contact Management — D365 Sales provides multiple tools for managing accounts and contacts. Users can store customer information, interactions and historical data automatically. This helps minimize user errors while maximizing customer relationships.
- Sales Collaboration — Integration with Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, and other Microsoft suites allows for seamless real-time communication between teams, document sharing, and enhanced collaboration for all D365 users.
- Sales Process Automation — D365 Sales excels in sales process automation, streamlining repetitive tasks and reducing manual efforts. Key features include workflow automation and sales playbooks. Workflow automation allows users to automate and track repetitive tasks. Playbooks offer predefined sales strategies and cycles that ensure consistent and effective selling across the company.
- Mobile Sales App — D365 Sales has a mobile sales app that empowers sales professionals to access essential information and manage outgoing tasks on the fly. This app ensures sales reps remain on-task and informed even while away from their computers.
- Sales Forecasting — D365 Sales has many robust sales forecasting tools that use historical data, trends and opportunity pipelines to predict future sales performance, recommend actions when interacting with customers, and identify potential opportunities.
Lesser-Known Features of Dynamics 365 Sales
While Dynamics 365 Sales’ core capabilities make it a robust sales automation tool, some of the lesser-known features are what really set the application apart as a powerhouse system in the sales automation space.
Microsoft Dynamics Sales Copilot
In today’s hybrid world, it is important to connect with each customer and provide a personalized experience. Microsoft Dynamics is using AI to aid Dynamics Sales users in creating these experiences. Microsoft Sales Copilot is a role-based copilot or seller companion. Microsoft designed it to empower D365 Sales users to reach maximum productivity while offering personalized customer interactions. Users can access it in Outlook, Teams, Dynamics for Sales, and other CRMs such as Salesforce or Monday.com.
Some ways that Sales Copilot will help save time and foster a personalized customer experience include task automation, email and meeting summaries; AI-powered real-time insights on top of opportunities; and AI-assisted follow-up recommendations.
Microsoft Viva Sales launched in June 2022 and, as of July 2023, rebranded to D365 Sales Copilot. Viva Sales jump-started the seller experience transformation by using data from Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 while leveraging AI. Viva Sales could recommend the next steps for the customer journey, prioritize the seller work, analyze meetings, recommend follow-ups, and much more.
Since rebranding Viva Sales to D365 Sales Copilot, Microsoft made an announcement about additional capabilities in July 2023. You can do the following with these capabilities:
- Generate contextual emails using CRM data, including opportunity, product, and customer information.
- Aid users with real-time tips and answers during Teams calls prompted by mentions.
- Autogenerate opportunity summaries to quickly see the status and highlights of recent changes.
- Prepare users for meetings by synthesizing account information, highlighting customer news or issues, and sharing notes.
Sales Copilot is a powerful tool that can foster productivity, customized experiences, and organization. Sales Copilot can aid in delivering the elevated experiences customers expect in today’s hybrid world.
Sales Accelerator and Sequence Builder
Sales accelerator uses AI to create an intelligent work list, which automatically prioritizes and sorts all outstanding customer-related sales tasks and future tasks in the pipeline. Sales accelerator also displays a high-priority customer list and overdue actions per customer, so sales representatives never miss a beat.
Using the power of Microsoft Sales Insights, you can create a dynamic opportunity and lead pipeline based on sales data provided in CE. If you want a more personalized view, sales accelerator allows the user to use sequence designer to create and manage user-specific sales cycle sequences.
Using the lead score display box, sales accelerator automatically rates the lead and assigns a grade based on real-time key performance indicators (KPIs) to let the sales rep know what the chance of winning the sale is.
Finally, sales accelerator is seamlessly connected to Microsoft Teams. This functionality allows sales representatives to draft personalized emails based on the context of a lead, call the lead directly from the lead page, or automatically record all key follow-up activities or points of interest based on natural-language processing.
Forecasting and Pipeline Intelligence
To maintain competitive and optimal sales strategies, it is important to gain insight into the sales pipeline and dynamically allow users to track their results over time. To this end, Microsoft Sales employs a real-time customer data view that allows for accurate decision making at a moment’s notice. Users can customize this opportunity view and sort the opportunities however they want.
Additionally, users can configure sales forecasts separately for multiple business units at a time, which allows the overall sales team to watch the progress of their sales unit. Comparing unit forecasts to individual forecasts can shed light on individual performance. You can make these into long-term annual and short-term weekly forecasts.
Deployment Tips for a Successful Dynamics 365 Sales Implementation
Now that we have explored the capabilities of D365 Sales let’s dive into some of our top deployment tips to consider to guarantee a successful implementation.
1. Less is More
When deploying Microsoft Dynamics for Sales, you will want to use out-of-the-box (OOTB) features when possible. This means using what is already available in the model-driven app. One thing to keep in mind is that the OOTB app includes hundreds of fields, forms, views, entities, and a site map. Note that your organization may not need all of these functions. In that case, less is more. It is better to remove (not delete) unneeded fields, forms, and views and clean up the site map to avoid distracting or confusing your users.
Additionally, there is no limit to the number of features D365 Sales offers, but you likely won’t need most of them for the initial implementation. One of the key principles to keep in mind when implementing D365 Sales is to start with only what you need. After you establish the essentials, let the end users get comfortable and create habits in the system. These habits allow users to see their different processes and what works for them or what does not.
Finally, start planning which additional features you want to turn on, which will naturally add complexity and automation to the D365 Sales instance. You can read more about how to establish a roadmap and vision in your initial assessment activities prior to your system implementation as part of our D365 Never Stops Evolving series, here.
2. Determine the Source of Truth Early
The “system of record” is often not Dynamics 365 Sales. It may be an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system such as Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. The type of data you need to store and the systems available will determine this. It is important to start the conversation early regarding which system will hold the “master data” to aid in design and security requirements.
3. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Change Management
Getting end-user buy-in early and often naturally leads to better user adoption of the system. User adoption and training are often an integral piece of a D365 Sales implementation, and failure to get user acceptance results in adoption issues post-deployment.
It is a good practice to invite end users to meetings where it makes sense, solicit feedback on a regular basis, and even have them involved in user acceptance test (UAT) activities. Doing so makes them feel like they have some ownership in the system well in advance of the go-live date.
4. Consider Mock Go Live or Cutover
The final tip for a successful D365 Sales implementation is to execute a mock go live about a month before your production go-live date. This mock cutover will allow the team to identify and address issues and risks in the system and processes before the official launch.
If you can identify these migration roadblocks ahead of schedule, developers will have more time to address them. It can also make the users feel more comfortable going into the production go-live period since they have already been through a similar experience.
You need a strategic approach to deploy Dynamics 365 for Sales. It also requires paying careful attention to specific deployment tips. By engaging sales representatives, mapping out sales processes, cleansing and preparing data, leveraging out-of-the-box features, customizing the system only when needed, providing comprehensive training and support, and continuously monitoring and improving, you can ensure a successful deployment.
Dynamics 365 for Sales, when implemented effectively, will become a powerful asset for your sales team, driving productivity, fostering customer relationships, and propelling your organization toward greater sales success.