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Revolutionizing the future for sellers in Dynamics 365 Sales

Where and how we work has changed. The hybrid work environment is here to stay, and with it, comes a new set of demands on our sales organizations. The tools that sellers are currently using are not helping meet these new demands. Yesterday’s tools don’t serve our modern objectives. Sellers can’t afford to work in…

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Where and how we work has changed. The hybrid work environment is here to stay, and with it, comes a new set of demands on our sales organizations. The tools that sellers are currently using are not helping meet these new demands.

Yesterday’s tools don’t serve our modern objectives. Sellers can’t afford to work in siloed systems and manually enter data at the end of the day. Manual tracking contributes to poor data quality and prevents sellers from connecting well with customers.

To help our customers thrive in this new normal—we have to break down the silos that not only exist between applications but also those that exist between people across the department, the company, and externally with customers and partners. We need to blur the lines between business applications, productivity tools, and collaboration capabilities so we can help our customers drive efficient and effective customer engagements. Sellers demand this, and their customers expect it.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 represents the new era of business apps that start from data, use AI, and are built for collaboration.

Given all of this, how does that change what’s top of mind for us as we build and refine our Dynamics 365 Sales app? Our approach is to deliver data first, intelligent, and collaborative business applications. The Dynamics 365 Sales 2021 release wave 2 enhancements can be broken down into three focus areas:

  • Conversational intelligence to be more effective in closing deals—Ensuring we support users with valuable, productive experiences that ultimately delight the customer.
  • Collaborate anywhere and everywhere to bring deal teams together—Get better connected across the team with interactions that surface context, and enable easy action and history capture wherever they work.
  • Personal productivity to be more efficient and effective—Save time with prioritization, preparation, and tracking, taken care of for you whether in the office or on the go.

Conversational intelligence to be more effective in closing deals

With the enhancements made with conversational intelligence, sellers can now focus on effectively responding to buying signals to maximize that customer moment. No more selling regrets post-call by missing a trigger. For instance, as sellers prepare for calls, they can quickly review a summary of the previous call, action items, and scan highlights. Using Microsoft Teams within Dynamics 365, sellers can easily make their calls while having access to business data and take notes while the call is being transcribed automatically. Any business-critical insight mentioned during the call is captured and highlighted and suggested actions are surfaced. With all these tips, this approach is so much more effective than having this conversation over Teams alone—even more effective than doing it face to face. Sellers can now focus on responding to buying signals to maximize that customer moment. No more missing a follow-up or forgetting a customer promise.

Call summaries with suggested actions

See this demo in action: KEY05 Microsoft Ignite Into Focus: Business Applications [approx. min 15:00]

Collaborate anywhere and everywhere to bring deal teams together

With our hybrid work styles, the lines between business productivity and general productivity are forever erased. Business users are using Microsoft Office, Teams, mobile applications, and customer relationship management (CRM) applications. Selling is messy. As much as we’d like it to, it doesn’t follow a linear process. Many different people need to be involved and it’s a changing environment as new requirements are surfaced or people change roles, or new questions come up. At Microsoft Ignite 2021, we announced “Context IQ” a new set of capabilities for Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365 that enable better collaboration by surfacing information and people in the moment, in context with the task at hand. We will vastly improve the ability for a seller to get a job done with others, retain context before, during, and afterward, no matter what application you are in.

Collaborating with team members from within Dynamics 365

Learn more: BRK203 – Accelerate cross-organization collaboration with Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365

Personal productivity to be more efficient and effective

The more data-driven sellers are, the more opportunities they have to work on the right priority deals to close. And who wouldn’t want to remove time spent on data entry and instead focus that time on being more effective in customer interactions? In Dynamics 365 Sales, work items are prioritized based on AI so sellers know what action to take and when. Contact information captured through emails and meetings in Outlook is directly brought into Dynamics 365 Sales, helping sellers to instantly discover new contacts and expand their networks. And so you don’t skip a beat when you’re on the go, you can keep track of everything using the built-in Outlook and Teams integration in the intuitive mobile-friendly UI that allows you to follow up on action items and to update records while being away from your computer. All of this is rolled into seller KPI and manager dashboards that help your sales teams be more data-driven with their decision-making to drive better outcomes.

We have been on an incredible journey with our customers—helping them evolve their business applications from systems of record capturing data, to intelligent applications that use data and collaboration to drive action. I am incredibly excited to continue this journey as we blur the lines between business application, collaboration, and productivity tools so that we can empower each user with what they need and where they need it so they can achieve better business outcomes.

Resources and links

Learn more about what’s included in Dynamics 365 2021 release wave 2 for Dynamics 365 Sales.

Missed a session at Microsoft Ignite? Watch it on-demand. Dynamics 365 Sales is highlighted in the following sessions:

To learn more about how your organization can supercharge your digital sellers, visit the Dynamics 365 Sales webpage and sign up for a free trial.

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Business

Facebook: Recognizing Global Accessibility Awareness Day

As an avid outdoor enthusiast and firefighter, Carly P. has always loved being active. After a life-changing injury paralyzed her from the waist down, she felt lost. Carly recaptured her passion for being outside and found a community of people like her through the nonprofit organization Catalyst Sports. Now, she uses Catalyst Sports’ Facebook page…

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As an avid outdoor enthusiast and firefighter, Carly P. has always loved being active. After a life-changing injury paralyzed her from the waist down, she felt lost. Carly recaptured her passion for being outside and found a community of people like her through the nonprofit organization Catalyst Sports. Now, she uses Catalyst Sports’ Facebook page to spread awareness and share local recreational opportunities for people with physical disabilities.

In addition to providing community to people with disabilities, we’re also working to make the digital world more accessible. 

We will demonstrate our latest accessibility features today at our annual Accessibility Summit. Join us at 10:00AM PT for this livestream on the Meta Accessibility Facebook Page. In addition to product demos and updates, we will host an interview with Molly Burke, a digital creator and blind advocate.

Through a video series on the Meta Accessibility Facebook Page, we’re highlighting how people with disabilities connect and build communities through our technologies, much like Carly. We’ve created both the captioned and audio described versions of these stories.

Today, we’re recapping advances we’ve made over the past year to make our technologies more inclusive. 

Meta Quest

  • Audio Accessibility
    • Audio balance: This option enables you to adjust the balance of the left and right audio channels for comfort, and to better match your ability to hear in each ear. 
    • Mono Audio enables you to hear the same audio from both the left and right speakers on your headset. 
    • You’ll find both features under the Accessibility tab in your headset’s Settings menu.

Product mock of audio accessibility on Meta Quest

  • Adjust Height  
    • This feature allows you to experience VR from a “standing” vantage point even while reclining or seated. This can improve the VR experience for people who use wheelchairs, have limited mobility or are unable to use the Quest headset while standing. 
    • We first introduced this as an experimental feature (called Raise View) last June and have now made it permanent after receiving positive feedback from the disability community. 
    • You can find this feature in the Accessibility tab in Quest’s Settings menu.

Portal

  • Video relay service (VRS)
    • In December, we began supporting video relay service (VRS) applications on Portal  for people who use American Sign Language (ASL), through a collaboration with ZP Better Together.
    • Through the ZP apps on Portal and human interpreters, people who use American Sign Language can now easily communicate in both English and Spanish. 
    • Portal’s unique AI-powered camera always keeps you in frame and in focus, even when you’re moving, so your face and hands can always be seen.
  • Captions
    • We’ve also added customizable closed captions for streamed content on TV and Touch, as well as added support for live captions into integrated work productivity apps Zoom and Workplace Live.

Instagram

  • Auto-generated captions for Feed videos
    • In March, we introduced auto-generated captions for Feed videos on iOS and Android in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, German, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Tagalog, Urdu, Malay, Hindi and Japanese to start. 
    • More importantly, captions are automatically turned on by default when a creator uploads a video to their Feed. Over 140 million videos were created with auto-generated captions in the last 30 days.
    • Creators retain the ability to turn captions off when they choose and viewers can turn captions on or off using on-screen controls.

Product mock of Instagram auto-generated captions

Stickers on Facebook and Messenger

  • We added alt text descriptions to the more than 10,000 stickers available on Facebook and Messenger, making it possible for people who are blind and visually impaired to understand and use them. 

Avatars

  • Earlier this year, we introduced the ability to have your same avatar across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Quest. 
  • There are also new avatar options, including over-the-ear hearing aids and cochlear implants in addition to more face shapes, skin tones, expressions, and stickers. 
  • Wheelchairs are now available as stickers on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger so your avatar can better represent who you are or who you want to be.

Product mock of accessibility features of Avatars

Open Source

  • Lexical is a JavaScript framework built to improve text editing on Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Workplace, with accessibility as a priority. 
  • In April, Lexical was released into open source to allow the rest of the world to benefit from these improvements. 
  • With this new framework, people can express their ideas in text via dictation, and readers can experience character-by-character navigation — a feature previously unavailable in similar editors.

Reality Labs Research

  • We’re exploring how improvements in audio quality can enable more realistic presence and perceptual superpowers in augmented and virtual reality— technological advancements that can also help us hear better in noisy environments. 
  • Our team of hearing scientists is also exploring how to reencode sound and present it through closed captioning.
  • While this is still early research, we are excited to learn more about how emerging audio technologies can improve the lives of people with hearing loss. 

Image showing audio research

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Facebook: Announcing New Products to Make Business Messaging Easier

The way people and businesses communicate is changing. One billion people message with a business each week on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct — whether it’s DMing brands, browsing product catalogs, asking for support, or interacting with stories. This consumer behavior is accelerating and it’s changing how business gets done. Today at Conversations, our inaugural…

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The way people and businesses communicate is changing. One billion people message with a business each week on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct — whether it’s DMing brands, browsing product catalogs, asking for support, or interacting with stories. This consumer behavior is accelerating and it’s changing how business gets done. Today at Conversations, our inaugural business messaging event, we discussed how messaging is transforming interactions between people and businesses, and announced new products to make conversations easier.

Introducing Cloud-based API on the WhatsApp Business Platform

Today, Mark Zuckerberg announced we’re opening up the new, cloud-based version of the WhatsApp Business Platform, hosted by Meta, to any business across the world. With this new API, we’re offering free, secure cloud hosting services so businesses and developers can easily access our service within minutes, build directly on top of WhatsApp to customize their experience and increase their response time for their customers. So now, whether a business wants to work with one of our 100+ partners or access our service directly, it will be much faster to get up and running on WhatsApp.

When growing a business, you need smart, robust and easy-to-use conversation tools. For smaller businesses using the WhatsApp Business app, we’re building tools so it’s easier to handle an influx of chats as they grow their customer base. 

Launching Recurring Notifications on Messenger

Today we’re announcing a new way for businesses to keep the conversation going with Recurring Notifications. As businesses acquire new customers and begin to scale operations, there’s incredible opportunity to build loyalty and trust — and we believe this is where the value of messaging really shines. This new capability makes it easy to re-engage people right in the messaging thread and deliver tailored messaging at the best time for customers, whether to hear about special promotions, new product drops or tips and tricks.

You can choose the topics you’d like to let people opt-in to, how often customers can hear from you and shape your content, so your messages are always on-brand and relevant. Recurring notifications will also be available for businesses on Instagram this fall.

We also highlighted our click-to-message ads to help customers immediately start conversations with businesses, our CRM platform Kustomer and Meta Business Suite for higher volumes of messages across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. Read more about our product investments in business messaging on our Meta for Developers blog.

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Facebook: Introducing New Members of the Oversight Board

Today, Meta welcomes the newest members of the Oversight Board who have just been appointed — Paolo Carozza, Khaled Mansour, and Pamela San Martin. Per the Oversight Board Bylaws, we worked together with the board to identify and select these members over the last few months. Over the next few months we will continue to…

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Today, Meta welcomes the newest members of the Oversight Board who have just been appointed — Paolo Carozza, Khaled Mansour, and Pamela San Martin.

Per the Oversight Board Bylaws, we worked together with the board to identify and select these members over the last few months. Over the next few months we will continue to support and work with the board to select additional members. The new members reflect a wide range of views and experiences, and will bring a variety of perspectives to the board’s existing expertise.

The Oversight Board represents a unique model for social media governance. From its inception, we knew its impact would come not just from its decisions on individual cases, but also from broader recommendations on how we can improve our policies and processes. In the time since they began hearing cases and issuing decisions and recommendations, they’ve been playing a bigger role in setting precedent and direction for our content policies and how we enforce them.  We look forward to welcoming the new board members into this process.

We will update this Newsroom Post as additional members are appointed. We are grateful to all board members for lending their expertise to our content moderation efforts.

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