The success of your business depends not only on the quality of the products you sell but also on the ability of your sales team to articulate its benefits and close the deals. Sales people are your frontline warriors driving your top line revenue growth. And it is for that reason that we've spent years at Microsoft Dynamics 365 creating a sales solution that empowers your team to build closer relationships with customers, to efficiently close deals and win more revenue. In fact, we are actively releasing even more intelligent capabilities, such as Who Knows Whom and Notes Analysis, to supercharge your salespeople with the information they need to successfully reach customers & beat their quotas.

Lost in that equation, though, are the sales managers. They may not be directly on the front line, but they are just as important to the success of their sales team and of your business. These are the people who ensure that every salesperson is on-board, knows what to do, is informed, is supported and is motivated. They drive business success through their leadership.

 

But, up until now, they've not been provided with the solutions to simplify their work to allow them to focus on what they do best, track performance and coach their team. As is often the case, with lack of appropriate technologies, sales managers use the tools they already know, like Excel, that gets the job done, but that requires a lot of manual work and does not scale.

With the release of the sales manager-focused capabilities of Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, we are aiming to address that. We are releasing an experience just for sales managers that uses a combination of analytics and data science on top of Dynamics 365 and Office data to provide sales managers the information and insights they need to intelligently manage their team, proactively coach sellers and quickly answer their most important business questions.

 

Read on for a walk through of some of the features in more detail. Or, head on over to aka.ms/salesai to try it yourself. 

Note: 

1.     Five users per tenant can try the app before a CRM admin is required to log in which will enable for all users of that tenant

 

A tour of the Home page

The Home page is the first page that users will see once they log in to the service. It is meant to proactively provide useful insights and quickly allow managers to take action when needed. 

We've purposefully taken a layered approach to how we display data. Initially, the information is quick and high-level, but as users want to peel the onion, more and more context and insights are revealed as needed.

Answers to top questions


The first think you'll notice are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These KPIs were selected to allow managers to answer the following questions:

  • How many days are left in the period
  • How much have we sold
  • How many deals have we won
  • What is our win rate

Quick insights

The second thing you'll notice are the 3 visuals below the KPIs. Each of these charts provide information into an area of interest. The first chart, forecast, allows managers to quickly see if their team has hit their quota. The second chart looks at quotas from an individual salesperson angle, allowing managers to see how each seller has been performing. The bottom 2 charts, pipeline and activity, allow managers to identify abnormal deals: first by using the relationship score to track any upcoming deals where a low health score is putting a deal at risk; and second by using the time spent per revenue dollar, to identify any deal where sellers are spending a disproportionate amount of time, for little reward.

Where things really come alive is that each of these charts is enhanced by a layer of intelligence. The textual insights allow managers to quickly get useful information, taking into account the sales context. This extra layer of insights ensures managers can quickly understand the story the data visualization is trying to tell them without having to spend too much time trying to decode it.

Note: 

1.     The team hierarchy is pulled directly from Dynamics or Azure Active Directory. 

2.     To effectively track progress towards sales quotas, organizations must have set up Revenue Goal Targets in Dynamics. 

Please read our product documentation for more details.

Ask questions of your data

And sometimes the fastest way to get an answer from your data is to ask a question using natural language. Managers will have the ability to do just that directly in the app. Using the Q&A search box, users will be able to explore their data using intuitive, natural language queries and receive answers in the form of charts and graphs. For example, one might ask:

  • What are my top opportunities by revenue this quarter?
  • What is the total lost revenue by salesperson this period?
  • Etc…

Proactive assistant

Sales cycles are incredibly dynamic. Sellers are constantly reaching out to customers, setting up new meetings, successfully closing deals, and sometimes even losing some! As a manager, it's important to keep pulse on what is going on in real time, so that they can get involved as needed. The relationship assistant helps for the sales manager by proactively and intelligently surfacing the most important deals that require attention: for example, big deals that were just won or winnable deals that were lost. A sales manager is also a coach, so the assistant scans through the calendar to identify 1-on-1 meetings and intelligently surface potential discussion subjects. Finally, a sales manager must remain knowledgeable about his customers, his industry and his competitors; the assistant fetches the latest news.

In-app actions to quickly get things done

But getting all these insights is almost useless if they aren't actionable. The app provides in-context actions for all capabilities on the homepage. When looking at the charts, a manager may want to get more context into the data: by clicking on the visualization, a side panel pops open providing an extra layer of detail without losing the context. Each assistant card is also enhanced with actions to allow managers to:

  • Edit details of an opportunity in context
  • Leave a congratulatory note on a won deal
  • Send a quick email to inquire about an opportunity at risk
  • Quickly set up a meeting with a sales rep

 

Reports and visualizations for deeper analytics

If those initial layers of information are not enough, this implies that the sales manager is looking to dive deeper into the data to truly understand his business and his team's performance. The app provides a structured approach to the sales cycle. 

Business Report

In the business report section, managers can get aggregate-level information on all phases of the sales cycle.

  • The forecast report provides an overview of all sales against the intended quota for the full period.
  • The actual report provides a deeper understand of closed revenue
  • The pipeline report provides visibility into the upcoming deals to identify risks
  • The lead report helps manager predict if there are enough leads to replenish the pipeline
  • The activities report provides managers visibility into the activities that have contributed most to success

Team Report


In the team report section, managers can a more granular view of the data at a salesperson level to truly identify opportunities for coaching:

  • The leaderboard report displays individual quota achievement
  • The scorecard report allows managers to get a 360-degree view of their salespeople

Call Intelligence

Another great capability being made available to our users is call intelligence. This feature will allow organizations to intelligently parse customer phone calls, extract customer sentiments from call transcripts and provide managers the information they need to pro-actively coach their salespeople to sell better. Call insights will surface within the sales manager experience.

To learn more about the public preview of call intelligence, please read our documentation.

Learn more and join the community

A few next steps:

We're excited to see how you use the sales manager capabilities to empower your managers to drive the success of their teams and grow your business!