When Microsoft launched Dynamics 365 in November 2016, the cloud-based intelligent business solution sought to eliminate the silos within customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) in organizations. The idea was to have all parts work together, systematically, towards the same goal.  

Microsoft recently introduced artificial intelligence (AI) to the mix – with AI for Sales, AI for Market Insights and AI for Customer Service. While each of these offers exciting business potential, it’s the prospect of AI in driving sales that has us most curious.

Why sales?

An interesting study by the Capgemini Research Institute found that 28 per cent of retailers are deploying AI today, registering a seven-fold increase from 2016 (4% only). AI’s biggest impact, the study says, was lower customer complaints and higher sales.

Given the large volumes of diverse customer data available with businesses, AI effortlessly fits into the sales process. It not only integrates and analyzes the structured and unstructured data with internal data sources, but also identifies data patterns to deliver valuable business insights.  

As frontline warriors driving a company’s top line revenue growth, salespeople need to be equipped with the latest tools in their arsenal. AI for Sales builds on the intelligent capabilities already incorporated in Microsoft’s core Dynamics 365 for Sales application, bringing together data from diverse sources – such as Dynamics 365, Office 365, LinkedIn – to arm the sales team with meaningful insights. What’s more, these insights are easily extensible through Microsoft Power BI, Azure and the Common Data Service to help enterprises address complex business scenarios.

Let’s look at four ways in which Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI for Sales will revolutionize the sector in 2019:

#Personalized engagement

It all starts with better conversations. AI enables sales personnel to have meaningful interactions based on embedded insights that recommend talking points and subsequent actions to take with each customer. And Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps execute personalized engagement on a large scale.

Right from relationship analytics and predictive lead to opportunity scoring and notes analysis, AI for Sales is armed with seller-focused capabilities that aids personalization in customer engagement. For instance, while connecting with prospects, the new Dynamics 365 suite increases response rates through introductions from colleagues who already have active relationships with the prospective client (as indicated by Office 365 activities). Similarly, it’s easy to focus on high priority customers with signals from Dynamics 365, LinkedIn, and Office 365 that reveal relationship health and risks.

#Proactive decision-making 

Without the right tools, making data-driven business decisions can be a huge challenge. How can enterprises unify data and infuse it with advanced intelligence to guide decisions and take informed actions?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI for Sales provides prebuilt and embedded insights that are quick to deploy and easy to act upon. With interactive reports that include key performance indicators (KPIs) for pipeline and deals, AI helps analyze data in real-time to deliver actionable insights that empower businesses to take proactive decisions. Because gut instincts are not always the best indicators.

#Smart selling 

What if you could predict what buyers need, even before they themselves know? What if you could suggest the best strategy to close any deal? What if you could unravel the secret to boost conversion and win rates?

From prioritizing leads with the highest likelihood to buy, based on advanced scoring models, and automating sales execution to increase productivity with contextual prompts, AI makes selling a lot smarter. For instance, recording and analyzing sales calls helps generate intelligence to derive conversation insights and increase sales rep output. Similarly, analyzing traffic patterns of emails, together with information from LinkedIn, can help enterprises understand where they should focus sales efforts.

#Empowered salespeople

AI has the power not just to transform the sales function, but also to enhance the lives of salespeople. Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, experts believe, will empower sales reps and managers to win more revenue and delight more customers.

The idea is to help sales personnel prioritize their time, offer timely information about sales performances, and provide analysis of the sales pipeline. Also, it enables sales managers to effectively coach their teams based on seller engagement and productivity metrics. This, in turn, can aid businesses to be agile, and to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way.

Read more: Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI suite takes shape at UG Summit 2018

Crystal gazing

2018 saw Microsoft make a powerful statement with a new model for selling – Dynamics 365 AI for Sales. It’s just a matter of time before AI-driven insights become a standard part of the sales business tools. As companies look to make sense of the deluge of data at their fingertips, the relevance of AI in sales will only continue to grow. In order to remain relevant, enterprises will need to equip their sales force with dynamic tools to leverage the power of AI.

2019 is the year to reimagine your processes – to embrace new solutions that engage customers as well as make workforces more productive. Are you all set?

01 Jan 2019
Author : Jisha Krishnan