How much time do your salespeople spend writing quotes? How many working days are spent preparing sales forecasts, or pulling together pitch decks? Writing emails, or updating your CRM?
The answer, for most salespeople, is: a lot. Hours that could be spent building new relationships, developing new business, and closing more deals are spent undertaking laborious and often repetitive work that could be completed for you or at least made easier with AI.
This is the premise behind Microsoft Copilot, an impressive AI assistant that sits within the Microsoft ecosystem and can work with and draw from your existing applications and documents. In November 2023, Copilot was rolled out to organisations as part of Microsoft 365. It’s already being used by the likes of Pfizer, PwC, Visa, and more. From February, it will be available to all organisations, with no minimum headcount.
So what’s the big deal about Copilot?
It’s hard to overstate just how much potential Copilot holds. It’s a game-changer, not just in terms of productivity – because it carries out those routine repetitive tasks in seconds, not hours – but also in terms of diligence, accuracy, and efficiency. However, Cameron Male from Infinigate Cloud recently joined us on a webinar and made the point that Copilot can’t do everything. “It’s called Copilot for a reason. It’s not auto pilot; it’s not lead pilot. It’s not here to replace people. It’s here to strap a rocket onto what we’re already doing.”
Cameron compares Copilot to the equivalent of having an intern for everyone in the business. You can talk to it in natural language – asking questions or giving instructions in the same way you can with a person, pointing towards relevant resources, requesting document summaries, etc. But, just like an intern, you can’t assume everything it produces is ready to go. You need to work with the material, shape it, and add to it until you’re happy with it. Even so, you’re still saving significant time compared to doing the full task by yourself.
Copilot for Dynamics 365
For salespeople, the easiest way to understand the benefits of Copilot is with examples.
Makes email easier
When your inbox is piling up, it’s difficult to keep track of conversations. Copilot summarises email threads, saving you time trailing back through your emails. It also helps draft new emails, drawing on your CRM and existing resources to gather relevant information such as product prices, timelines, etc.
Enables more productive meetings
Copilot helps you prepare for meetings by bringing up notes from previous discussions, email threads, proposals, etc. It can provide sales tips, competitor insights and even propose answers to questions raised during the meeting. After the meeting, it can provide a summary and create tasks from action points raised during the meeting.
Continuously updates CRM
Copilot syncs with Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce, making it easy to share and save relevant conversations, update contacts, and record progress with just a few clicks.
Generates reports and presentations
One source can generate any number of documents. For example, a single product might require a customer proposal, web page, product brochure, pitch deck, instruction manual, and more. A lot of these documents have considerable overlap. As a generative AI tool, Copilot can save you the effort of reproducing the same information in different formats – easily drafting PowerPoint presentations from brochures, for example, or creating sales forecasts from Excel spreadsheets.
What are the biggest benefits of Copilot for salespeople?
By far the biggest benefit of Copilot for Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the time saved on repetitive, routine tasks. This enables sellers to get on with the business of selling, without neglecting any of those important ‘background’ tasks that facilitate and support sales conversations. By adding AI into the mix, you’re effectively increasing the capacity of your salespeople.
Workflows aren’t just speeded up – they’re also more productive and more efficient because they’re backed by data. Decisions can be made based on evidence and known connections, rather than assumptions and fallible human memory. Effectively, we’re moving towards a workplace where we use the human brain for the things it does best – creating relationships, navigating personalities, understanding emotional context – and use AI where it makes sense to do so.
Want to learn more about Copilot?
We’ve recorded a couple of videos about Copilot, where we discuss how this tool can be used across departments within an organisation. You can find those here. Alternatively, email email@example.com and we can set up a time to talk through how Copilot might benefit your business.