MB 210: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales – Sales Insights (Part Four – Sales Insights)

As I prepare for my Dynamics 365 certification in sales (MB 210), I’m creating blog posts based on my revision. I hope that collectively these posts may prove useful to anyone also preparing for the MB 210 exam. This time I will cover the concepts around sales insights.

You will see that sales insights are mentioned in the skills measured statement within the section headed “Perform Configuration”. Additionally, I have highlighted configure relationship cards, as whilst configuring Sales Insights.

Sales Insights covers multiple features! Including;

  • Assistant (Formerly known as Relationship Assistant) – Uses AI to show contextual insights to sales people
  • Email Engagement – Follow emails, set reminders etc.
  • Auto capture – view details from your inbox in Dynamics and easily track.
  • Sales Insights – connection insights, predictive scoring, talking points and more.

Configure Sales Insights

Before you can use any of these feature you must accept the privacy statement and then configure each one. You will find the AI setup options in the “Sales Hub” app. Simply load the app and navigate to “App Settings”. Then load the “System Configuration” option you’ll find under the sales intelligence heading.

Previously this same settings option was available from the “Sales Insights” option in the advanced settings. (You may also still find the system configuration for Sales Insights there!)

Another Tip:
If Sales Insights hasn’t been installed you might need to ask your administrator to do that before you can configure it. They’ll simply need to load the Dynamics 365 admin center and use the manage solutions option on your instance. They will check that the Sales Insights solution is installed and if missing simply install it. (Screen shot below shows my install about to start!)

The Sales Insights options I will “attempt” to describe here expand on the other insights options already mentioned! In addition to The Assistant, email engagement an auto capture we have;

  • Relationship Analytics – prioritize customers using machine learning
  • Predictive lead scoring – increase conversations and win rates
  • Predictive opportunity scoring – focus on the “best” opportunities and increase win rates
  • Notes Analysis – suggested actions based on notes
  • Connection insights – find colleagues who can introduce you to contacts
  • Predictive forecasting – more accurately predict sales revenue

I said “attempt” in this introduction as some features are preview features and also some rely on having a significant amount of data! Others may also require specific licenses. For example, to make predictions about lead conversions we need a volume of past conversations for the machine learning algorithms review and identify patterns.

I found the following link useful during my revision. As Sales Insights is constantly evolving you may find it contains information I haven’t referenced here;


Relationship Analytics

Before using relationship analytics to help prioritize customer you will need to configure it. Clicking configure will take you to the tab to configure relationship analytics, shown below;

Once enabled you can select how to weight various activities and on what frequency you expect to need to communicate with your typical customer.

You will now to able to rate your opportunities based on the health of the associated custom relationships. You can see below that I now have a viw of my opportunities by relationship. It includes columns like;

  • Overall relationship state
  • Time spent on this opportunity by the team
  • And much more

You can see below one of the challenges I faced in truly testing this option. As in my test data I had actually spent very little or no time working on my test opportunities! But hopefully you appreciate the idea of relationship insights!!

The screen shot below (from Microsoft!) shows a possible more useful view of relationship data. I suggest you experiment with you data as you may get better results than I did from my poor quality data. (“Garbage in garbage out”. As true a statement as it always has been!)

Additionally, after enabling relationship insights you will have access to a new chart that will plot a relationship pipeline. Showing the health of opportunities relative to their estimates revenue and estimated close date.

Predictive Lead and opportunity scoring

These two options are ones I simply don’t have enough data to create any meaningful results. If you have in your system I recommend testing them out!

But to be able to enable these options you will need at least;

  • 100 qualified leads
  • 1000 disqualified leads
  • 40 won opportunities
  • 40 lost opportunities

But once enabled each opportunity and lead will be given a score to assist you in making decisions on which leads and opportunities are mot likely to convert. And therefore which warrant most of your valuable / limited attention.

Sales Insights

As already mentioned the Sales Insights option covers the Assistant, email engagement, auto capture and sales insights. That is quite a lot to cover in one short blog post! Therefore in this post I plan to focus on the assistant and cover other topics in future postwas

Relationship Assistant

Notes Analysis

Enabling notes analysis will trigger “intelligent” suggestions based on the notes you enter. To configure simply enable. (As shown below.)

Once enabled you may see suggestions based on notes made within the timeline on your accounts / contacts. Below you can see that I have entered two notes, on one is suggestion has been made that I fix a big issue on the other a possible next meeting date is being recommended.

Clicking on the suggestion will trigger a dialog to create an appointment etc. Below you can see that I have clicked on the suggestion about the big issue that must get fixed. In this example sending an email has been suggested;

Connection insights

Connection insights includes two main features; Talking points and who knows who.

Below you can see that I have clicked configure and enabled talking points.

Who knows whom was not available in my instance, I believe because I lacked the required licenses.

With talking points enabled a new section showed on my accounts and contacts. You can see that two emails had triggered potential talking points on my contact record. Including an email about Sue’s parents coming to visit and another about a football game.

Although I did notice that the talking points don’t always give the results I expected. For example, it spotted an email about football and suggest that be discussed. But it didn’t recognise fishing as a sport and didn’t suggest talking about my upcoming fishing trip. Maybe fishing is considered a sport!!

As part of your revision try sending some emails to your contacts to see what talking points get generated. I had some fun with mine as most of my “test” emails were from my actual email account so it was fascinating to see what came up. (Except the football email!!)

I personally found it harder to test the who knows whom feature. As you will need the Sales AI Insights addon, which I haven’t got. But the concept is something we need to be aware of for the exam. You can Freda about it from the link below;


Predictive Forecasting

I must admit, that as part of my revision I didn’t manage to test the newer predictive forecasting. This was because predictive forecasting is (or was) a preview feature. At the time of my revision the preview had suspended.

This does raise a common question about the Dynamics 365 exams ….. “Can we expect to get questions about a preview feature in the exam?“. I’d like to say a confident no. That we will only be expected to know about features on general availability. I think that will be true and you won’t be expected to know about a preview / pre-release feature. But we live in fast changing times so being aware of preview features certainly won’t be a bad thing!

Sales Insights proved to be a fascinating revision topic for my MB 210 exam. Even though I could do hands-on testing of some features I learnt loads and enjoyed experimenting with as many features as possible. That is how I encourage you to approach your revision of Sales Insights, put some effort into attempting to test as many features as possible. You might not get everything working but you will uncover some cool features that may become things you will want to use daily. Enjoy.

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