“Sequences” is a feature of Dynamics 365 Sales Insights Premium. I think it’s going to be very popular. A Sequence is a series of sales activities that guide a seller through a prescribed sales process. Ideally, this series of sales activities conforms to your best sales practices and produces repeatable, predictable sales results.
Do we need sequences?
So if you’re in Sales Operations or Sales Management, the first thing you want to ask yourself is, “Do we need Sequences? Do we want to impose more structure on the lead nurture or opportunity process? Do we want to impose more structure in one area but not another?” For example, you have an experienced and well-trained senior sales staff. You’re comfortable giving them the leeway to pursue a sale in the manner they choose. A Sequence process is not needed here. But, let’s say your lead generation team is prone to turn-over, not particularly good at retaining training, and doesn’t ‘stick to the script.’ Sequences are a great solution in this scenario.
Let’s look at what Sequences look like for the system admin. Access the Sales Insights settings to create and manage Sequences.
The Sequence is built by creating a series of Steps and Conditions. Steps are comprised of sales activities and wait times. Conditions determine the next step based on user-entered or system data. In our example, we branch the Sequence, based on Conditions. For instance, the lead is open or closed. Or, the budget is greater than $100,000 or less than $100,000.
Here’s a sample Sequence I set up. Examining the Sequence from a high level, we see something that resembles a simple workflow builder.
This sample Sequence is specific to trade show leads and follow-up. We’ll walk through the Steps and Conditions that comprise this Sequence. We add a trade show attendee, Jerry Phillips, to our Sequence. Jerry receives a personalized email template via workflow. Here’s an example of the Step and the personalized template.
We wait one day and make a follow-up phone call to gauge the level of interest. After the call, the next task is to continue nurturing this lead or disqualify it.
This is where Conditions and bifurcation come into play. If the field value of lead status equals open at this point, add the lead to an email campaign, i.e., continue to nurture. That is the “Yes” path. Had we disqualified the lead, its status would no longer be open. It would head down the “No” path, which in this case means no further action.
One day later, our Lead gen specialist schedules an appointment for a Sales Rep.
We’re back to use of a Condition. After the meeting, if the confirmed budget is greater than $100,000, we qualify the lead and convert it to an Opportunity. If the budget is below $100,000, add them to a re-nurture campaign.
What does the user see?
Let’s not forget our lead-gen user. What does this Sequence look like to them? This is another thing I like about Sequences. The steps appear in order on the lead form Timeline. There’s nothing new for the user to learn. There’s nowhere new to go. So lead-gen user adoption should be a breeze. Remember, that was our goal; help users adhere to your sales best practices.
How to add Sequences
Sequences are part of the paid version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Insights. As of this blog’s publication, you can add Sales Insights to your existing Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise SKU for $50/user/month. Or, you can buy a bundle including Sales Enterprise and Sales Insights for $135/user/month.
By Mark Abes, Vice President, Dyn365Pros, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner, San Diego, Southern California