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Sales Copilot in Outlook vs Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

In modern era where digital transformation is now a necessity, organizations are constantly seeking innovative solutions to improve their productivity and operations. Microsoft’s introduction of Sales Copilot in Outlook App, emerging from the foundational Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, represents a significant leap towards integrating AI into everyday business practices, particularly for sales teams. This article will look into the strategic playbook designed to help businesses transition to Copilot for Sales, focusing on its features, benefits, and the best approach for successful implementation.

Image shows Microsoft Outlook logo a large plus icon and Copilot for Sales logo

Evolution from Dynamics 365 App to Copilot for Sales

Launched in August 2022, Microsoft Copilot for Sales has rapidly evolved to include a wide spectrum of useful features that were previously part of the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook. This evolution shows a change from basic CRM data management to a more sophisticated, AI-powered platform that enhances seller productivity directly within their workflow. Copilot for Sales extends its functionality across multiple applications such as Outlook, Teams, and Dynamics 365, which improves user experience and worker efficiency with AI-generated content, meeting summaries, and real-time sales insights.

The Features that Copilot Provides

The most appealing feature of Copilot for Sales is its ability to integrate into the apps that sales professionals use daily. The tool enables the creation, viewing, and updating of CRM data without leaving Outlook, it provides workers with AI capabilities that automate responses and summarize interactions. This functionality not only saves time but also ensures that all customer engagement data is easily accessible, therefore, it massively improves decision-making and customer relationship management. Here is a summary of the main features Sales Copilot in Outlook provides to businesses:

  • AI-Generated Content: Automatically composes and suggests email replies based on the context of the conversation.

  • Meeting Summaries: Generates summaries of meetings, including action items, sentiment analysis, and discussed points, provides better follow-up opportunities.

  • CRM Integration: Directly create, view, and update CRM data from within Outlook, keeping customer engagement data accessible without switching applications.

  • Email Thread Summarization: Offers the ability to quickly catch up on long email threads by providing summaries.

  • Sales Insights: Provides sales tips and insights within Outlook to guide sales strategies and decisions.

  • Collaboration Spaces:  Smoother collaboration by integrating Teams and Dynamics 365 within the Outlook environment.

  • Automated Contact Creation: Captures and creates contact entries in CRM directly from email signatures encountered in communications.

You can read more about Microsoft’s Copilot newest features in this article.

Strategic Transition Playbook for Implementation Success

The full transition playbook by Microsoft outlines a complete guide to adopting Copilot for Sales and integrating it in Outlook. It begins with an assessment of the current usage of Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, identifying functionalities that are essential for users and mapping them to the new features offered by Copilot for Sales. The playbook emphasizes understanding the benefits of the new system, comparing it with the old, and preparing a strategic plan for the transition. These are the prerequisites for the implementation:

A comparison of two licenses: "M365 Outlook and Teams license" on the left and "CRM license" on the right. The M365 section details features like compatibility with Copilot for Sales and support for Outlook on desktop and web, the CRM section lists requirements like needing a CRM account for D365 Online and Salesforce, and includes additional features for certain Dynamics Sales packages. The background is split into green and purple to differentiate the two sections.

Phased Implementation Approach

One of the most important recommendations in the playbook is the adoption of a phased implementation approach.  Organizations are advised to first start with a pilot project that involves stakeholders and a select group of users. This allows IT teams to collect  feedback from the users and make necessary adjustments, then validate the overall transition strategy before a full-scale rollout.

Training and Support

To guarantee a smooth transition, Microsoft provides a full web of training resources, targeting different user groups from administrators to end-users. Training is designed to familiarize users with new features and workflows, which ensures that everyone can use the full potential of Sales Copilot in Outlook. Support mechanisms are also in place to assist users post-implementation, including detailed FAQs and community forums. If you choose a Microsoft partner for implementation you’ll get a dedicated team that configures and guides you through the process and supports your integrations afterwards.

Why Make the Move to Sales Copilot in Outlook?

The transition from traditional Dynamics 365 integration with Outlook to Microsoft Copilot for Sales is not just a technology and productiveness upgrade but a strategic move towards more refined business processes and deeper integration of AI within sales. By following the Microsoft’s extensive playbook and getting the help of implementation partners, organizations can minimize disruption and maximize the benefits of this integration. As businesses continue to reach for digital transformation, tools like Sales Copilot are very important in transforming operations and achieving long-term success.

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