Woman sat at a desk wearing a headset, she is smiling because she is using the new features within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Release Wave 1 of 2023.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 2023 Release Wave 1: What’s new and improved in CRM?

April is usually a big month for users of Microsoft Dynamics 365 as the first update of the year brings with it a range of features that are either immediately available or on preview…. 2023 is no different.

Outside of Release Wave 1, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot was launched on 6 March, which is an interactive, AI-powered assistant, working across multiple lines of business. The next generation AI tools are so exciting, we’ll be bringing you a blog about them in the next couple of weeks.

But for now, it’s over to Functional Consultant Marcus, who enjoyed writing about the new features of the second Dynamics 365 update of 2022, he’s back again with his top picks across the Marketing, Sales and Service modules.


Dynamics 365 Marketing updates

In Release Wave 1 of 2023 you’ll find a B2B analytics dashboard, frequency capping, multiple email recipient activation, emails timeline and Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) tags are now automatic, so you have full visibility into your marketing contribution to web traffic, allowing for more effective traffic optimisation and conversions.


Intuitive Forms

Screen shot from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 2023 Release Wave 1 update showing the Intuative Forms functionality,

You can now create forms that match your brand and track conversions, and publish them as a standalone webpage or embed the form into an existing page. Not only that, you can do this yourself easily and not need to rely on a developer to help – the modern drag-and-drop editor guides you through the entire form creation process. It’s available in April so start creating!


Understanding how marking activities contribute to milestones

Screen shot from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 2023 Release Wave 1 update showing the functionality where you can understand how marketing activity contributes to milestones.

The second new functionality will be available as a preview from April, but I think it will be worth marketing professionals getting to grips with as they will be able to define milestones based on key customer moments in their customer or client’s journey. You will be able to track the number of people that reach milestones over time and – through AI-powered and rules-based attribution models – analyse how journeys and messages contribute to driving people to those milestones. Understanding how well or poorly parts of your marketing mix are performing becomes part of a feedback loop, allowing you to continuously improve activity.


Dynamic 365 Sales improvements

In this round of updates, Dynamics 365 Sales delivers a lot, including enhanced email templates, content suggestions and SMS capabilities, abilities to create, loop, and optimise sales sequences and actionable AI-powered suggestions within the seller workflow.


Enhanced up next widget

Screen shot from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 2023 Release Wave 1 update showing the enhanced next-up widget feature.

The enhanced up next widget, which is available in April, offers intelligent suggestions for sellers so they can focus on critical follow-up tasks for an account or deal. You will see the suggestion- for example, a product recommendation, assistance with composing an email or an automatic follow-up tasks – and can choose to to take action or dismiss it.


SMS Conversation

Screen shot from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 2023 Release Wave 1 update showing the SMS Conversation functionality.

If your clients or customers prefer to be contacted via SMS, it’s now convenient for you to send reminders, provide quick updates, or respond to customer queries via this channel to build and maintain a lasting relationship. The preview is available in April and the feature will be live in May. You can send and receive SMS from all relevant Dynamics 365 Sales entity forms and get real-time notifications for incoming SMS, while admins can assign specific numbers to any user/team for SMS.


AI-driven timely product recommendations

Screen shot from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 2023 Release Wave 1 update showing the AI-driven timely product recommendations functionality.

This functionality is unfortunately one we’ll just have to hang on for, as it’s not available in preview until August. AI-based product recommendations is an artificial intelligence feature that considers historically successful deals and proposes products with upsell and cross-sell opportunities for creating new opportunities and increasing their deal size. Sellers will be able to leverage the transactional data, view product recommendations while adding products to an opportunity and to propose the right products to their customers.


Dynamics 365 Service new features

The 2023 Release Wave 1 enhances voice features, unified routing, embedded Microsoft Teams collaboration, and elements of the agent workspace such as the case form, timeline, and conversation control within Dynamics 365 Service.


AI suggested replies for customer service agents

Screen shot from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 2023 Release Wave 1 update showing the AI suggested replies for customer service agents funtionality.

You can preview this exciting new feature in April, but Microsoft haven’t said when it will be available. Support and customer service teams often resort to keeping sticky notes or manually maintain templated responses or draft replies within conversations manually, but now they can choose from multiline prompts and response suggestions in the chat control. The model will learn from the organisation’s chat history and even adapt over time so that response suggestions are always based on the context of an ongoing conversation and relevant. However, you can also retrain the function on-demand to ensure the model is always up to date and accurate, and admins have full visibility into the discovered responses and can edit or consolidate responses.


Customise omnichannel real-time analytics dashboards and reports

Screen shot from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 2023 Release Wave 1 update showing the customise real-time analytics dashboards and reports functionality.

While out-of-the-box real-time analytics incorporate industry-standard metrics that help contact centre supervisors to get started with real-time monitoring, the nature of the business will bring unique reporting needs. From April, administrators can customise their analytics dashboards and also bookmark filtered reports to meet their organisational requirements and improve the team’s performance and the customer support experience. By leveraging the out-of-the-box real-time Power BI-embedded data model you can rearrange omnichannel real-time analytics layouts, modify the graphical rendering of data, create new visuals, save filters as bookmarks for out-of-the-box reports and select previously saved filter lists.


If you’re a customer and have any questions about the Microsoft Dynamics 365 2023 Release Wave 1, please get in touch via your preferred support channel.

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