Dynamics 365 Sales Accelerator with Swapnil Agarwwal

Dynamics 365 Sales Accelerator with Swapnil Agarwwal

Swapnil Agarwwal


  • An introduction about Swapnil Agarwwal and what he does when he’s not working with Microsoft. 
  • How did Swapnil end up in Microsoft and why he likes it? 
  • What is the Dynamics 365 Sales Accelerator? 
  • How does Sales Accelerator serve as an engagement and productivity tool? 
  • How Sales Accelerator helps sales managers create a sequence of activities around a particular product. 
  • What steps is Microsoft taking to ensure that the product is adaptable enough so that what works for one team also works for other stakeholders? 
  • How can a sales manager Templatized a Success? 
  • A conversation about the main sweet spot for sales accelerators. 
  • Swapnil shares his thoughts about Viva Sales and its implementation in sales. 

Swapnil’s GitHub: https://github.com/swapnilagarwwal
Sales Accelerator and Sequences: https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/it/2022/10/26/new-sales-sequences-experience-improves-seller-productivity/ 

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Thanks for listening 🚀 - Mark Smith


[mark]: in this episode will be focusing on the dynamic three six five sales accelerator and all the great things that it offers for sales people our guest today from india he works for micristofft as a senior product manager you can find links to his bio social media et cetera in the show notes for this episode welcome to show

[swapnil_agarwwal]: thank you mark thanks for having me

[mark]: good to have you on the show and this is such an interesting topic that we're going to discuss today because i've used this type of technology for a long time and i'm very interested in it really how these type of tools can empower sales people but before we get there let's just talk a bit about you and what you do you're not working for micro soft so tell us a bit about your family your food fun the part of india you live in and and what's life all about

[swapnil_agarwwal]: sure mark i live in hedraba india with my wife and kate i have two beautiful daughters of age one and seven and a half so most of my time is spent with them i do like to read no fiction books whenever i got a chance so and i'm not too big on foot but i'm a vegetarian so i don't mind like a good meal

[mark]: nice nice and you know when you travel for things like holidays and things like that which part of india do you or which part of it did you recommend to go to to travel for vacations

[swapnil_agarwwal]: yeah so i've currently i'm in a drab which is in the southern part of india but for like most of my time i was in the northern part of india which is around the daily area is capital of india so i there a lot of mountains near dell so i recommend people to sort of go in those mountains area they re very well connected dearly like i got three ndredodclumeters from daly so ye have people sort of when they come to india that there's such a diverse country they enjoy like almost in every place and city so if you have never been to india and if you're planning to come to india start with maybe the south and then come towards the north and that's where you can end your trip we'll see so many beautiful city states things to do

[mark]: nice i like it i like it sounds like a plan tell us about how you ended up in microsoft what's what's been your it career journey and then and right up to your current role in microsoft

[swapnil_agarwwal]: sure so mark i am a software engineer turn product manager after my gradution i started my career as a software engineer worked in a state for about a couple of years it was my first job and i made sure that i learned a lot from there after that i changed my job and i continued to work as a software engineer in other companies i was a good engineer but during all this time i had sort of more interest in finding out these are problems market opportunities and gaps rather than is writing an optimal piece of cord so i ultimately trans share into port management i've been working as a PM for the last several years and i joined micro last it has been fun for me now and i really like it here in working with people over here

[mark]: so you joined while a pandemic was on how is that that transition into the organization yeah

[swapnil_agarwwal]: that was little it was anxious i would say so when you were little joining the new company right you want to want to meet the people want to see where you would be working from so i joined i was not even in her bath i was in i was in mombai India so i was feeling little anxious but the team here they made it very welcoming for like new people to come and join in but i got a chance to meet with the entire team about three months ago and it was wonderful but the steonwoarding was still smooth that you individually feel like little isolated because we have never been to the company you have never met the people in person that was not easy but it was the team made it um like a beautiful journey

[mark]: i like it i like it so let's talk a bit about the product you're involved with to which is the dynamic try six five sales accelerator first of all in your words how do you describe what this grouping of tools that are designed for sales people all about

[swapnil_agarwwal]: so sales accelerator is an engagement and productivity tool and it is journally available within dynamics sixty five sales it helps improve sells productivity with a priatize pipeline automated outreach recommendations and integrated engagement channel i know that's quite a mouthful so let's take an example to understand this assume there is a company the self financial product dealing services such as insurance mortgages securities bond et cetera now they get lead from their website from their partners from their let's say physical outlets and other sources as lead come to their system those leads needs to be assigned to the appropriate seller a seller that specializes and insurance should work on insurance specifically similarly assert that specialized in mortgages should work on market specifically it now this is the first problem that is solved by sales accaledator with help of segments and assignment role using those we can create rules such as leads coming from website and interested in insurance should we routed to a specific team or like a specific group of sellers we can distribute the leads in like a round robin fashion and we can even accommodate sellers availability into consintration now von leads get into the system and once they like they're assigned to the seller these sellers are generally sales development representative and business development representative more commonly a s d and vireos um they mostly form fixed pattern for a particular scenario for example um to handle a insurance specific lead they would first maybe call the customer understand their requirement share details of services or the bar over an email and after a gap a few hours or maybe on the next day they would again call the customer see if they're really interested if they are they would move the leader to the next stage they're goldn'tor if they couldn't get a response from the customer they would make sure to follow up now that's where sequences come into the picture it's a core of sales accelerator sales managers can use secret designer can figure sequence of activities for different scenarios so we just took an example of a financial company right so you could have a sequence on how to handle leads that are interested in insurance product sequence on how to handle leads for more product and maybe like a different sequence on like how to entertain high network individuals that are interested in wealth management this is so manager can have like a different type of activities such as phone call email linked on steps task appointment et cetera and they can use those in a sequence

[mark]: so that's interesting about sequences and in the use case the example that you have given is around a lead coming through from a resource and then an outbound conversation and so round a particular products et cetera now if we look at some of the other products in industry there's a product in market called out reach s an example and a lot of time sales people are doing out bancas there general new leads and and sequences or absolutely amazing talk right because what it does allows you to forget about forgetting round what's the next step right of engagement with a particular customer and specifically when you're doing high volume sales so you're you're you're engaging with many many people so how does how does sales accelerator address that outbound story is it designed only for in bound and then taylor round particular product or are you really addressing also that outreach base scenario where often times it's around lead generation and its own right your

[swapnil_agarwwal]: you are absolutely right so sales accelerator does targeted towards the high velocity selling scenarios as he called out so for example sellers they got a work list which shows them like the next best lead to contact if the leader is already in the system if the leader is not in the system they can still reach out to a customer like they can very easily get it a new lead with maybe like a double double of clicks that's it and and then once a lead gets created it tells them we leap to reach out to as you called out because they're dealing with such a large volume of sort of contact that we don't want them to forget things so we tell them this is the best way to reach out to based on the lead score the activity which is due the value of the lead and few other parame yes and as you click on a lead opportunity or a regard we load the work space i tells them this is the invidiate activity or step they should do whether it is calling out a customer or emailing them details or maybe let's say doing some research on linkedin whatever it could be so that they can just do the activity in a single click without jumping between applications sellers is saved a lot of time while reaching out to customers using sales axcellator

[mark]: so some of the power of of a sequence comes down to the boiler plate tin plates that are created as part of an activity and if we if we if we break down activities and connect he could be an email and activity could be a phone call it could be a team's you know meeting um and it could also be a linked in outreach right you might you know there's a lot of evidence to show that you're going to get a better response

[swapnil_agarwwal]: yeah

[mark]: by contacting someone via linked in then you are necessarily going contact them vi email let alone these days by a phone okay it's funny i had a phone call the other day where somebody was as obviously a cold call to me and i've got to the point that i don't even respond i just literally hang up like the minute i know i took the and i know you know and i just made you know there's nothing you know years ago you would have said you know no thank you blahblablah and they would have you know what of notices tactic at the moment is that they will they will say a b c company or some just something company name you have never heard of and of course what's your human response i've not heard of this company what's you've just asked me a question great in a way oh the thing is is that that that doesn't you know if we look at the tin plates that people create and the tin plates that work et cetera and i say boiler plate because everything has to be tailored every thing and you know with a i nowadays the ability to taylor is so much more but to find that common ground in a conversation where a common ground would either be by email whether it be by any form of communication or contact how what is my stuff doing in that respect into making the tool flexible enough that something that's working for one team can or sorry one stakeholder if you know if i'm a sales manager and i have a team of sales people that i can quickly roll that out to other people get them using you know a similar engagement method in other words how can i bubble up the best practice from you know my my most successful sellers and then replicate and train and use that more bradley without it being done only once a year but you know i could change on week by week basis based on how the market is evolving

[swapnil_agarwwal]: yeah you're absolutely right so one of the so let me answer that in two parts first is how can a sales manager ampletizehe success if i may second like as you called out what are we doing in terms of sort of helping sellers don't have this sort of very cold way of outreaching right so let me just start with the first one the sequences enables sales managers create them plates and on board sellers for different scenarios for example you ma and a camp in and say hey customers that we did not win that were sort of lost opportunities and last summer stuff let's reach out to them again with let's for them our improvements and the new pricing no you can create sequences and now you know okay these are the things that are working well with these sellers you can temporatize that in a sequence and and then you can use that for each and every seller we are coming up with sequence analytics that would enable managers to all drill down in a sequence and understand how is it really performing which are the steps which are working well which are the steps that are very redundant or that are not required are the steps on which we see like the most common drop off right and why is it happening and untherstep so we are working on that now on the second part like what are we doing so we have a couple of very interesting tones out there when it's which are built in microsorte when it's who knows whom so if somebody from our company already has been in touch with that prospector with that customer right why not why don't we reach out to our internal sort of team member and ask them for an introduction for that company or for that contact you can we can find out he what are they're really interested in what are their needs right and get up

[mark]: so if we take that example who knows whom just help me un back where where it's sourcing that information from the connectedness is it sourcing it from the email server or is it serving sourcing it only from data that's already in the data verse who's not home

[swapnil_agarwwal]: it is so currently yeah so if you have turned on your outlook saying it will we will get those youremails within dynamics also and then we can give better recommendation if you have not turned that on you would get it from the existing data of the car of dynamic care

[mark]: okay so so i find that interesting because let's say the receptionist in the organization is buying a b m w from a b m w right directly from b m w and then i'm a seller in that organization and i want to sell to b m w as a receptionist she might have sent out an email but she wouldn't be using dynamics the six five sales because she is not in the sales base function so that date is not going to be in there now why i ask this is six years seven years ago there was a company in in ireland that created a product that analyzed the email hitters so two from c c fields right whether it was outbound and bound that type of thing so they didn't look at the content they just analyzed off exchange back then the email heaters and they had a kind of who knows whom but what it did is that if your company like mine has over three hundred thousand employes you're going to really drill in and find those connections not because they were in carm but in our case like we're using modern ways would say because there the office graph right the office graphs going to light that up so we're not using the office graph to light up who knows whom

[swapnil_agarwwal]: yeah so that's a very interesting point mark so currently in dynamics we are not but we have recently lost a broad called viva sales and we made a big announcement about that we are using that and that as integration with like outload with your teams and it can even intigratifit your sales for instance that's when we can bring you those recommendations saying hey mark because even though like as you mentioned right that email may not be in the car but it is still like you may have used out to be in the blue and when if i am trying to reach out to be in it can tell me get in touch with mark may have in touch with bmdeplue

[mark]: exactly i like it

[swapnil_agarwwal]: so that and that's a that's a very big initiative from our companies end and we are getting a lot of interest in that product because currently like one of the core problems with CM is that sellers don't find it too friendly they see it as like a necessary evil that's the problem we want to solve we want them to actually give them value without having them to spend any extra time or effort the product

[mark]: so i noticed that and i just read the latest dock on the sales accelerator and the whole area of voice teams with voice and that type of thing that's all art of it now right so i can go back and i see i can see things like cool transcripts i can see things like um uh you know a i is used to extract from the versation the actions that i need to take as a cellar and then i can assign them across and go hey here's my cool summary and the actions i need to take is that if if you because i need i know you need the premium and enterprise licenses right to use accelerator um m is that as long as you have those licensed constructs you can do the whole voice piece as long as you've of course got it set up is that all available and then does that lead into specific lighting content in sales accelerator

[swapnil_agarwwal]: yes it does so be on the licensing part on but i think six months back sales accelerate and what you mentioned we call it conversation intelligence it was just part of our premium sc premium cue now we are providing sales accelreturd conversation intelligence teams integration and are other prema features with an enterprise cue as well with certain limitations so even if you had like now an enterprise license you can just enable c i and converse sales accelerator and you can get those recommendation sing hey follow like just review this call with me and automatically susistin activities for example while talking to you if i promise to share brittles over an email or if i say hey i'll start up a call for the next week it will just remind me and i will say hey share this with mark it will show the other activity and i can just convert it into our task and it will it will remind me in your activity is due for this particular opportunity so all that is possible and with as you mentioned we're also coming up with account based insight for example i am selling you insurance right can i also sell you mortgage part with it i also sell you bonds with it so we are coming over the cones insight that will tell sellers if they can up sell cross sell other products or if there's maybe like a risk of churn and any particular account we would we're getting into all the celaris now

[mark]: right do you see the ccelertcales accelerator being fundamentally more for b c selling or equally for b to b or what do you see is the main spot

[swapnil_agarwwal]: awesome that's a very good question so we begin sales accelerator for high velocities selling and focus on sdanbitios and areas which were more which will mostly be to see as you called out but now we're seeing an increased demand from other sales rules such as account managers account executives customer success managers that want to use sales acceleater currently it is a little limited to use sell axcellator for the scenarios but we are very actively working on enabling account by selling and in three to four months we will see sales acelatarlke working very well for account by selling scenarios and team be selling and rios wish not just one seller but like a group of ares work together while they're selling to a big account and they're selling different poets and services

[mark]: yeah because i think there's a lot of white space in that it that be to be sales opportunity and like you know i'm on linked in sales navigator so you know on the premium version of that and i see constantly things like some of the data linked in gives you is like um you know let's say microsoff was my customer i just don't want to use other company names for the conversation you know let's say you're my customer and or you're my potential customer it'll tell me microsop's head count is increasing in the last three months or microsop's head count is decreasing that they cause what linkdonislok it is the number of advertised roles and are new people joining that company or are more people leaving the company you know in other words updating their linked in profiles to say they're no longer there moved to another company and that type of thing for account base sellars right give some very interesting insights because when i look at the accounts that i sell into that type of information tells me okay this company is either in a growth phase or they're in a contraction phase right they're either starting to battle or recession or they're very optimistic in their outlook right because it's going to govern the number of new hires and or the volume of people leaving that organization so those types of scenarios you know because i know that the linked navigator integrates with sales accelerator are those some of the use case particular round in the beater beast scenarios that you're looking at

[swapnil_agarwwal]: yes we are as i mentioned we are getting more noted to be to be selling currently the integration that we have with lindens navigator is restricted to sending an email sending a carectrequest asking for an introduction from somebody within your team and like doing research but this insight as you call out you can use lindon navigators digit if i may say inside sense actulator to get those insights but it is still in the process of integrating those suggestions with with our account by segetions and show it as like one story to the user we're working on that piece mark right now it's still not done it

[mark]: so i just look at the time and i realize man there's so much to disk one of the things in any marketing tool outbound outreach marketing tool and this has been around for years is the concept that within for example an outbound email you place a pickle right pickle calls back to the server and says hey someone looked at this page and it can give you a bunch of information if you had a cookie set et cetera there's information now if i look at all the outward bound high velocity sales tools out there in the market they've taken that concept and put it inside the outbound sales took so once again you kind of can get this notification i sent the email and it was opened might not have been replied to it might already responded but now i know that it was open in other words somebody did read it as opposed to it went to never never land nobody never even got in front of anybody and nobody clicked and opened it is that technology all implement it in sales accelerated now or not

[swapnil_agarwwal]: it is implemented so we have a concept of email engagement so as you called out if you turn that on you will know whether emil was the red reply down loaded and when you're creating a sequence you can add conditions that's of the very very powerful feature of sales axcelletor you can say hey if this email was replied you follow this particular sequence of steps if emil if this email was never replied or opened then you do a follow with the customer and in which you will send like a like a remendarymail saying hey mark tried reaching out to you a couple of days back did you get a chance to see my email so and so forth so that is implemented and this reminds me like this sort of advance conditioning based sequence of steps and activities we have for phone calls emails and you can add your own sales stage saying hey if this lead is like from it has a certain value you follow these steps if the lead is of higher value than then maybe you do like a more personal touch with the customer you will call more other than emailing so all of that is built in with sales actaedetor

[mark]: now feel free to say i can't say i can't give me an because of n d et cetera because what i'm going to ask you might not be able to say at this point and that's fine but you know with vive sales coming that type of functionality you know of pike embedded in mail directly inside of outlook would be pretty phenomenal for not just sales engagement but all sorts of things why am i i'm not getting response to my email are they did they see it they you know is that kind of functionality you're seeing in it go through into vive sales or is that something we can't talk about at the moment

[swapnil_agarwwal]: i would i will like to talk about that that right now so we are still in very early stages of development it's in reviews i am not at the liberty to disclose those things right now

[mark]: yeah early days early days what type of the last question i have then for you is this what type of organizations and you know without mentioning company names et cetera but kind of like what industries are you commonly seeing that have adopted sales accelerator across the microsoff the ego system

[swapnil_agarwwal]: yeah we have like a very broad spectrum of industries so i took an example of a financial company so we have a lot of financial companies that a optedas we have a lot of tec companies that are adopted sells accellator that are helping students get admissions in colleges and universities we have car manufactures that are adopting ah so we even we have few retainers that are adopting so we are saying very explosion of us cases and scenarios in which users are outing sales and bat is just amazing we even a lot of technology companies are other rocking sales accelletor and that's that's where we're getting this push off enabling more and more account sellings and areos within sales accelerator

[mark]: yeah well i look forward to seeing what you bring out in that babe space and particularly about how deep you could potentially go with the sales navigated integration because i just feel that you know a modern seller these days really needs to be unlinked in so much more than probably what they are when engaging customers it's been a pleasure having you on the show thank you for taking the time before i let you go is there any other resources that you want people to go take a look at that we can put in the show notes so people can do their research a bit more

[swapnil_agarwwal]: yes i generally recommend people to look at our over video on sales accelerator and sequences if it just search dynamics through sixty five sales accelerator on you you will get these videos i'll share those video likes with you when called out we can put those in the in the notes oh

Swapnil AgarwwalProfile Photo

Swapnil Agarwwal

Swapnil Agarwwal is a lead product manager at Microsoft. In his current role at Microsoft, he is focused on improving seller experiences, enhancing seller productivity and enabling new customer scenarios across D365 Sales. He is a seasoned product person with 11+ years of experience in managing software products that work at scale. He is passionate about solving user problems with effective yet simple solutions while delivering business value.