Microsoft Ignite – The Tour 2020 kicked off in London on Thursday 16th January, presenting everything on show at Microsoft’s Ignite 2019 in Orlando to an even wider audience over two days in each chosen city.
I and two other members of the VooServers team attended the event on Friday 17th January eager to find out what Microsoft has to offer over the coming year. A huge portion of the day focused on Dynamics 365 and all the features it provides to businesses concerning their sales and marketing.
Microsoft have invested heavily into developing new tools within Dynamics 365 so that you can build richer, more complete views of customers, create emails, landing pages and web portals that display content personalised to specific customers, as well as track and prioritise leads across all touchpoints with multiple lead scoring and grading models. All of this is designed to help you build the most effective marketing strategy possible and ultimately increase your sales figures.
Creating personalised marketing for different types of customers can be a tricky task, especially if your business has a wide range of customers with different spending budgets. Buyers can often become frustrated with the lack of consistency in their experience across channels, which is where personalised marketing can benefit you and keep your customers interested.
Customer Insights gives you the ability to integrate your entire sales and marketing tools into Dynamics 365 to create a 360-degree view of each customer individually. Having a full rundown on your customer’s engagements with your business and their behaviour on your website will allow you to pinpoint the right time to target a specific piece of marketing to them or target a sale.
Dynamics 365 email marketing tools provides an intuitive experience that allows users to create and send bulk emails with all click, open and bounce data reported. Users are also given the ability to build custom templates so you can quickly set up new email campaigns without having to start from scratch again.
Creating an email campaign has a lot of flexibility in itself where users can edit in HTML as well as a drag and drop interface for users without coding skills.
Once an email campaign is underway, you then have the ability to set up automated actions depending on the result of each individual email. For example, for recipients that did not engage with the first email, Dynamics 365 allows you to trigger a second email automatically. The same applies for customers that did engage with the original email, who can automatically be sent down a different path where your next email may prompt the customer to contact you directly.
Dynamics 365 Sales Insights can be a huge advantage for your sales team with a host of features that allow you to make strategic decisions.
Some of the most noteworthy features include:
- Predictive scoring: This tool generates scores to identify and prioritise leads, provides a list of different parameters including lead score, lead grade and lead score trend. The whole point of predictive scoring is that your sales team can focus their efforts on leads that are more likely to convert into sales.
- Conversation Intelligence that analyses conversations across multiple channels to give you insights on how to improve, and with the advancement in AI and natural language processing we are now able to collect and exploit data that in the past has thought to be redundant.
- The Who Knows Whom feature aims to help you increase sales performance and improve lead-to-opportunity conversion rates. It also calculates relationships from a customer’s previous communications within your Microsoft Exchange environment so that whoever is communicating with the customer is fully aware of their previous enquiries and communications.
Chat for Dynamics 365
In today’s world, having a live chat system integrated onto your company’s website can make a huge difference to your sales figures. Having a live chat system allows potential customers to gain more information about the product or service they are interested in or make a quick enquiry before purchasing a service and helps client build rapport with staff within your company, which in turn can go a long way to making potential clients more comfortable with your overall offering.
Microsoft have developed a live chat tool within Dynamics 365 that can be integrated into any website, identify and load customer and case details automatically and along with supporting customers across multiple channels including SMS and Facebook Messenger.
Chat bots are useful for getting some initial information about a customer’s enquiry and in some cases can deal fully with the customer’s request without the need to escalate to a real human. Microsoft’s virtual agent bot can be integrated seamlessly with Live Chat and SMS and acts intelligently to escalate to human agents when rich context is sent through. Once a chat is escalated to a human agent they will receive all previously provided information allowing them to get a full understanding of the customer’s request, thus reducing redundant questions. This in turn allows the virtual agent to acquire initial, important information and allow the human agent to focus on providing the service and not gathering information.
In summary, it was clear to see that Microsoft look equipped to stay competitive providers in sales and marketing technology. Their substantial investment in Dynamics 365 not only provides a richer experience for both the user and customer, but also utilises AI to gain detailed insights as well as providing solutions that allow the user to better facilitate a more personalised experience without the need for additional work on their part.
By Jordan Bradley-Stopps on January 22nd, 2020