IT is a constantly changing field, and it can be hard for leadership to know which new tools will best increase efficiency across their businesses and workforces. Microsoft’s release of Sales Copilot is just another example of how AI is making its debut as the solution to that challenge.
When OpenAI technology entered the technology scene, Sales Copilot was born from Microsoft’s Viva Sales, a companion tool that connected CRM with other Microsoft platforms. With the new OpenAI functionality, Microsoft seized the opportunity to create Sales Copilot, which provides simple efficiency solutions to sales leadership without requiring a giant lift or shift for the enterprise.
Sales Copilot Functionality
Sales Copilot is a critical companion tool for sales representatives, providing them the tools they need to do their jobs more efficiently and to reduce the time they spend on tedious tasks. Sales Copilot, just one of Microsoft’s Copilot platforms, leverages OpenAI technology to integrate all of the core applications that sales teams use in their day-to-day roles.
Sales reps spend over half of their day in Outlook, reading, synthesizing and responding to client and prospect-related emails. Sales Copilot automates a significant amount of these tasks with a pane that fits neatly within Outlook’s window and provides a view directly into CRM. This integration enables several time-saving features, including:
- Evaluating email drafts and providing suggested CRM data to include
- Drafting emails based on information pulled from CRM
- Summarizing long email threads into digestible, key takeaways
There are over 280 million average monthly users of Microsoft Teams. Sales Copilot uses its functionality to make sharing and collaboration much more efficient within this widely used platform. This functionality includes:
- Analyzing meetings and compiling keywords, sentiment and other important information
- Creating follow-up emails and meetings based on meeting notes
Sales Copilot’s functionality provides more efficient ways of gathering information from Dynamics 365. This functionality includes:
- Responding to queries about client and prospect information
- Putting relevant information for meetings
- Summarizing a large amount of information
Preparing Your Organization for Success
The process before and during Sales Copilot’s go-live must be done strategically and carefully to ensure your team gets the maximum value out of the platform. The following considerations will create a roadmap to success for your Sales Copilot implementation and go-live.
The main source of Sales Copilot’s information is your own organization’s CRM, Exchange and Outlook data. From customer names, leads and contact information to pricing data, all this information needs to be accessible, useable and relevant for Sales Copilot to be successful in your enterprise. Before implementing Sales Copilot, ask yourself these questions:
- Is your data in the right place to be leveraged by the platform?
- Do you have a master data plan?
- Is your data clean and is there any duplicated or missing data?
While Sales Copilot will be accessing your organization’s data for grounding the results, it does not use that data to train its AI Model. This means that it won’t be storing and remembering your data, which will keep it much safer. Copilot does leverage a user identity-based access boundary so the grounding process, which links company data to provide specific and context-driven responses to prompts, only accesses content that the current user is authorized to access. With that, there are still considerations to take to enable a robust security plan that will keep your data safe and usable for Sales Copilot.
- Assign key roles to team members and make sure everyone has the appropriate access to data that is necessary for their role.
- Ensure that team members can only run queries on data that they already have access to.
- Microsoft will use your organization’s security policy when leveraging your data, so ensure you have a robust security policy in place before implementing the system.
Before turning on the system, you need to ensure that your team members and organization have the licenses they need to access the system. Also ensure that your other platform licenses are up to date, as Sales Copilot will often act as an add-on to your other licenses to fully enact its AI capabilities. Microsoft Copilot functionality is available across multiple Microsoft business applications, so you will need to review your current licensing level to verify access to Copilot and get the full value out of the tool.
Risks are involved when any new technology platform is introduced to a business. Keep them in mind to ensure you are ready to mitigate them upon go-live. Here are some to get you started:
- Bad data. The value that your organization will receive from Sales Copilot is largely based on the value of your data. Bad data will decline the value of the platform and end up draining, rather than saving time. Avoid this risk by cleaning up your data and having a data management plan in place before going live with Sales Copilot.
- Using the tool incorrectly is another risk that teams take when leveraging Sales Copilot. This is another way to reduce the platform’s value and drain the team’s time. Avoid this by getting buy-in from the team ahead of time, training them on the platform and having an in-depth rollout process.
- Concern from associates. There is much concern that AI is going to eliminate jobs, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sales Copilot is leveraged as a companion tool, allowing sales reps to do their jobs more efficiently and aim their focus at more important tasks. Avoid poor employee reception of the platform by informing them of its true purpose and leveraging it to bolster the team, rather than eliminate it.
- Data leakage. Ensure that the security recommendations above are addressed to avoid data being seen by unwanted parties.
Training is a critical aspect to ensuring go-live success. There are several ways to implement a strategic training program that will best prepare your team for the go-live of Sales Copilot.
- Start with a smaller rollout. Choose a beta team of employees that will test the program and provide feedback on how it is working and what questions they have. This will give you an idea of what questions to answer ahead of time for the larger group and how it is likely going to be received.
- Get champions involved. Getting buy-in from the team will be very important, so rally team members and executives to get on board early and leverage them as champions of the product that others can go to with questions or concerns.
The AI revolution is not going away. In addition to learning the new tools that become available, it is important to understand how they will impact your organization and what you need to do to prepare for it. With Microsoft’s Sales Copilot, focusing on data, security, licensing, risks and training will create a robust roadmap to success.
Contact enVista to learn more about making the most out of Sales Copilot for your organization.