• July 19, 2023
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Microsoft Intros Sales Copilot at Inspire Partner Event

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Microsoft yesterday during the first day of its Inspire partner and developer conference at its corporate headquarters in Redmond, Wash., introduced Sales Copilot, an artificial intelligence-based tool to help sellers increase productivity and personalize every customer interaction.

Sales Copilot can be accessed through Microsoft’s Outlook, Teams, or Dynamics 365 Sales and connects to other CRM systems, like Salesforce. It includes CRM task automation, auto-generated email or meeting summaries, and AI-powered, real-time insights, such as top opportunities and customer opportunity summaries. Sales Copilot also helps sellers with customer follow-up by generating AI-assisted content and recommendations, such as contextual emails based on Outlook and CRM data.

With Sales Copilot, sellers can do the following:

  • Get auto-generated opportunity summaries, including status, progress, and highlights of key changes, inside Dynamics 365 Sales.
  • Create contextual emails that use customer CRM data to pull in product, customer, and opportunity information, inside Dynamics 365 Sales.
  • Prepare for customer meetings with a summary view, including account information, recent notes, highlights of issues or concerns, customer news, and more in Outlook, Teams, or Dynamics 365 Sales.
  • Get real-time tips and suggested answers during Teams meetings prompted by competitor or brand mentions by customers.

Other key product introductions revealed at the Inspire event included two copilot capabilities for marketers included in the new Dynamics 365 Customer Insights. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights offers both customer data platform and customer journey orchestration capabilities as a single solution. Marketers can use it to style email, forms, and event registration pages to match brand guidelines; orchestrate contextually relevant customer journeys; and respond to customer actions, all using natural language.

And when users combine Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, Dynamics 365 Sales, and Dynamics 365 Customer Service, they can create even more seamless leads-to-sales-to-retention cycles with the following capabilities:

  • A 360-degree view of the customer profile, associated marketing interactions, and predicted customer lifetime value to guide both sellers and service agents in their customer interactions.
  • Ability to surface the next best action to the sales team or service team when a lead engages with the marketing team.

Microsoft also used the event to introduce Bing Chat Enterprise, an AI-powered chat for work application with commercial data protection. Bing Chat Enterprise is grounded in web data and provides complete, verifiable answers with citations, along with visual answers that include graphs, charts, and images.

Other new AI capabilities across Microsoft 365 that were introduced at Inspire included the following:

  • Copilot in Microsoft Teams Phone, which can generate summaries of phone conversations, capture action items, and answer questions about phone calls. When summarizing calls, Copilot will highlight key points, such as names, dates, and numbers, and can also recommend next steps based on the discussion.
  • Copilot in Teams chat, which can synthesize key information across all Teams chat threads. Using natural language, users can ask Copilot questions about chats and get a summary of key decisions.
  • Viva Glint, which will help users understand employee engagement through organization-wide surveys and connected actions.
  • Viva Pulse, which helps managers and project leads get real-time, confidential feedback in the flow of work.
  • Updates in Viva Insights, Viva Engage and Viva Goals, which will offer a deeper product experience, more admin capabilities, and new APIs.
  • An integration with BetterUp, which will deliver science-backed coaching tools to millions of Microsoft Viva users directly through the Viva Digest emails.

A central feature of all of these apps is artificial intelligence, which Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said will "greatly transform every sector of computing."

The past 70 years, Nadella said, "has been one constant pursuit to create a human-computer interface that is more intuitive and more natural."

He said that goal is close to realization, noting that companies today can access "one reasoning engine that works on top of all the data you have."

And, as AI advances continue, "every software category we know will be fundamentally changed," Nadella added. That, he said further, "translates into a huge partner opportunity."

Judson Althoff, Microsoft's executive vice president and chief commercial officer, agreed, noting that this is why Microsoft is so invested in AI and Copilot.

But it doesn't end there. Further highlighting the partner opportunity, Althoff said Microsoft is "opening its Copilot stack so [partners] can build their own Copilot apps."

And, in the next few months, Microsoft said it will be rolling out additional role-based copilots, similar to Microsoft Sales Copilot. Copilot in Virtual Power Agents, for example, will help customer service agents be more productive and better engage with customers.

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