Dynamics 365 Sales Conversation Intelligence with Royi Ronen

Dynamics 365 Sales Conversation Intelligence with Royi Ronen

Dr. Royi Ronen


  • In this episode, we will be exploring the topic of dynamic 365 sales conversation intelligence with our guest, Royi Ronen, a Principal Data and Applied Science Manager at Microsoft. 
  • Royi shares his insights on the current state of artificial intelligence and where we are on the spectrum towards singularity. 
  • we dive into the topic of dynamic 365 sales conversation intelligence and how it is being used to enhance sales processes within organizations. 
  • Learn about Royi's career journey and how he ended up working for Microsoft. 
  • Royi provides practical examples of how his team is using AI to analyze sales conversations and provide valuable insights to sales reps. 
  • Discussions on how AI can help manage and grow business opportunities through features such as opportunity scoring and predictive opportunity scoring. 
  • the role of conversational intelligence in tracking action items, commitments, and requests made during conversations and how it can help sellers follow through and move opportunities forward. 
  • The importance of data-backed explanations and trends in understanding the success of opportunities is emphasized. 
  • The possibility of expanding conversational intelligence to include tracking commitments and requests made via email is also discussed. 
  • This episode highlights the valuable insights and actions that AI can provide to help sellers succeed in their business endeavours. 

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Thanks for listening 🚀 - Mark Smith


[mark]: in this episode we'll focus on dynamic three six five sales conversation intelligence as well as in general you know where are we on the spectrum to ultimately singular today's guest is from israel he works at microsoft as a principal data and applied science manager for you can find links to his bio show notes et cetera in the show it's for this episode welcome to show Dr. Royi

[royi]: thank you thank you mark thanks for having me

[mark]: good to have you on before we get started always like to find out from my guests a bit about you know what what's family life like what do you do when you're not working and not thinking about technology so food family fun what does that mean to you

[royi]: um i well food you know living in tea here in israel so there's amazing food um so so it means you know it could mean a lot of a lot of good restaurants a lot of mediterranean kitchen and i love you know love going out and experiencing a door so that's food as for family like a lot of people from lava live alone and then so it was food family and fun

[mark]: fun fun yeah yeah

[royi]: yeah so you know all the usual things i like reading i like learning languages you know travelling the world you know what do you probably expect

[mark]: what's what's with traveling the world what's the favorite country you've been to

[royi]: oh my favorite country is portugal i have been about four times i just love it very very much but i also you know because of work i've visited the us many times and i've also you know like like a lot like every every area is different i like so many so many things to see and do you know nature culture um fascinating country

[mark]: yeah if you had to live in portugal would you choose lisbon or would you choose porto

[royi]: lisbon of course one of my favorite cities

[mark]: interesting

[royi]: in the whole world and i really love it but

[mark]: well i love porto i love porto over the two it's my favorite porto is just i feel that's amazing city

[royi]: it is it is both of them are amazing i think lisbon is a bit larger and a bit

[mark]: totally

[royi]: more cosmopolitan yeah i do love them both you know the whole country but i would go to live in lisbon if i if i lived in portugal

[mark]: nice nice tell me about your career journey into microsoft how did you end up working for microsoph what's taking you on this journey

[royi]: um okay so i finished my h d about twelve years ago then i worked for another company and it actually closed down about a year after i started working there and i was very about that um but then there were openings just across the street with microsoph and i said okay i don't want to be in this place next year so i'm going to go to the mote to the biggest stable company that i can find and i find found microsopt and i got into an amazing incubation team which was like an internal start up within microsope so it was for me getting the best of both worlds like doing the innovation but still have the stability of big place and then you know in a blink of an eye almost eleven years went by i started as a engine like algortha engineer then continue to few management roles and for the past four year or so i've been managing the a i team for dynamic sales

[mark]: tell me you know when we look at where a i is now and you know it's been something that i feel from around twenty sixteen onwards microsophstart talking a lot about a i and and what i observed in that around this period i was living in london and i noticed coming out this concept of practical ai for a microsoph in other words yes a lot of the other big companies talk about you know about how else there is or that they're a market leader in a i and then they demonstrate it by pitching selves computers against chess champions and go champions and and o game show ho and things like this but you know it seems that microsoph has always stayed very kind of level footed and focused on how do we practically use a i in our day to day lives and in business now what's your ception on on where microsopt is in the a i journey and what does a i mean to business and people today

[royi]: yeah so definitely we've been very focused as a company on the pratcpractical so features in the satin a della col infusing into product so we're working on infusing a i and making a i infused experiences in many in many products and specifically dinamistrsixy five sales also has this agenda as well so we're using a lot of a um and when we speak about practical a i apply to i specifically for sellers we like to think about it as the flowing too um value propositions so one is to um help you be more effective and the second is to help you be more efficient so being more effective means that a is helping to make b players a players it means that people don't have to have twenty years of experience perhaps in order to make good decisions and make very good use of their time because a is going to be there to help them do that and this can happen in priortization of you know what should i what deal should i be working on or avoiding or like helping them avoid working on futile um like making futile if words so making good decisions because a i knows it has a good view of the data and can make good recommendations the second one is about busy work so we all know how to sell s are just full and loaded with busy work up dating c r m forgetting things and you know it's just like a lot of these busy work is just not very realistic in terms of like i don't know a single seller who is doing actually all the busy work that is that they're supposed to do and and we're what we're doing with the eye is we're doing the best that we can in order to reduce the load and help sellers just spend more time selling m and when we um when we say that that we're applied and practical we actually use a lot the concept of human in the loop meaning that yet we acknowledge and we realize that a i today cannot do one percent of the job it cannot replace human this is not something that we even try to do we're not trying to replace information workers trying to help them be more effective and more efficient so for example if a i can do eight or seventy percent of the monday of the work which is mondaine wore repetitive work and then the thirty percent that where the human intelligence is needed is being left for the human so this is what we call human in the loop or some people call it a in the loop so in the loop of sales you have you relegate to the machine um task that can be easily automated and they don't need like the full experts and then you spend more time selling or you make less mistakes or um you make better better decisions more inform decisions so this is this is how we look at it at the three three sixty five sales and this is some that like the trend of human in the loop or a in the loop is catching a lot of traction in the world

[mark]: so when we see it specifically in the area of let's say opportunity management you know it's funny as you talk then i think of you know i'm involved in sales and the organization i'm in i sup the sales function but you know it always frustrates me i suppose when my manager comes to me and quizzes me where's this opportunity up to where's that opportunity up to but i feel that if i was prompting me yes now there's no emotion in it it's around hey you had a conversation with this person you said these type of things and it's now you know two weeks have elapsed and you were meant to go back o them with a document or you are meant to go back to them with another meeting or and you've forgotten that and therefore the opportunity is getting cold are we going to see that a is going play a much stronger role in kind of coaching if you're like the sales person around the opportunities that they already have in the system and making sure that they're always progressing towards the close of

[royi]: yeah so we have we have some features that that help in this regard so one of them is opportunity scoring or by colman predictive opportunity scoring so that is where we take we investigate using a i you know in a notomated manner what happened to past opportunities what made them be won or what made them be lost um and then when a new opportunity comes we can predict to which like is it closer to it does it behave like we expect a winning opportunity to behave and then it gets a high score or does it behave like losing opportunity and then it gets a low score and the great thing about that um that it's all justified and based on data that the customer has in the system so if the customer has you know decent data in this then we can tell them exactly you know why one opportunity is at a better shape than another opportunity and so and managers can see you know what the trends of this course are and why it is so so for example is it because you were not in touch with with the customer for a long time and this is starting to look like opportunities that we lost in the past then it gets a lower score and also there is reason for that also in addition to this reason we also show data um you know this behaves like you know you had um let's say a hundred opportunities with this type of with his value with his field and when the value was what see now in this field then the chance is to win dropped dramatically and you can see it in the data and you can see it in the explanations and it makes everything very backed with data so the seller you know doesn't find themselves questioning the a i a lot they just look at the data and they see that the machine was actually right to pick up the pattern because it's back with with explanations and data another another place where i can really help in managing opportunities is um it's actually during conversations so in dynamic through sixty five you also have full fledged conversational intelligence offering and one of the nicest features or is that it picks up action items commitments and requests the commitments that you make to the customer and requests that the customer is asking you for and takes automatic note of them and this is first of all during the call um you don't have to worry about writing all the items or the requests or the commitments and then also you can have like you don't have to listen to the cone station you have a quick view of all of the action items everything that you have to follow up on and then it can help you you know follow up on all these commitments that you have and move the opportunity forward so these are just two examples of how i could work

[mark]: so that's incredibly powerful

[royi]: from two different two completely different angles but but both eventually you know help you as a seller to to understand better you know what the opportunity what you know where the opportunity stands and what what you can do about it well like its social both are actionable as well

[mark]: yeah so you mentioned conversation all there what about email is there you know a lot of a lot of action comes out of email still so i was backers and forwards between your potential customer a client is a i been used to kind of look inside that for like here was a list of three actions that we said we were going to take and then converting those you know those activities into part of that that a i mix and listen you said you were going to get back around this proof of concept but you have actually not communicated and it's been fifty days since you made that commitment to the customer as an example how are you touching email as part of it as well as conversation

[royi]: yeah so currently we don't have currently we don't have like an extrapolation of conversation intelligence into emails but it's act a great idea um it's actually a great idea i think one of the yeah it's definitely a means of means of communication especially in relation selling that is being used a lot and i think it's a great idea but we currently don't have it in terms the sixty five three sixty five

[mark]: do you see a future state where a i will become if you like the clippy that we had in the past from vicrosoff but actually you know something that i start my day and this bot irtual a i you know person persona comes up and says hey listen these are things that you will probably want to be top of mind and you're focus today you've got these number of appointments you've got these sales opportunities by the way you've forgotten a few things that you said you're followed up with three days ago do do you see that that that there's going to be a demand for kind of visualization of a i in the future and i'm not just talking about dynamic three six five here i'm talking about where you see a i and the kind o in that case it's a virtual assistant right but it's still been driven based on that data that is in the system and kind of making sure i don't forget what i shouldn't be forgetting as a sales person

[royi]: yeah so definitely this is this is where we are going to we're going gradually and you can see across the different venders in the market we're going to a place where um a is going to remind you things that you forget is going to give you support to make quality decisions so that's a decision support system but does not replace the seller because a it's still not at a place where it can actually replace the natural intelligence it's still artificial intelligence that can pick up patterns and crepiditive work but doesn't have the ability to do creative work still and you know nobody knows if it will ever so it's going into the general direction that it's going to affect very much efficiency not by replacing but by enhancing so probably going to be augmenting the sellers experience in a more and more pervasive manner so wherever they are in email or in conversation or when they're working on the opera unity they will be getting tips about what to do next the tips are going to be very much justified it's not just going to be you know some you know some advice that nobody knows works are not and there is going to be feetbicloup as well which is something that we call outcome based a so i will be learn ing how the organization works best so it will be able and then it will be able to learn how the organization works and make recommendations to enhance and to reinforce the winning the winning pattern the people are making so for example can pick up a pattern that customers in new zealand um you know they they like a certain deal better than others and then you can or a certain product then you could be as a seller recommended just in time without having twenty years of experience to to to give this deal to your new zealand customers for example so yeah this is where it's going and also i think the same thing about busy work as well when we talk about efficiency when you you'll be prompted to close your action on your open your pending action items we already have quite a few features like that in dynamics conversation intelligence for example where you can send an email or set a meeting directly from the conversation intelligence experience um or when we help you to make a call report so some customers spend a lot of time on just making the report and if you can help them do that that will be great now machines today are still unable to make good concise accurate quare or that is going to be of reasonable size um and this is where you know where the concept of human in the loop comes comes in and help you um just finish the same work either out of better quality or by spending less time on it

[mark]: yeah a question i have for you around a i in general end and home assistant type devices so we're talking about alexa and google home are the two kind of main ones in market i just actually turned the microphone off on my device so it didn't start up i used multiple of these i've used them now for three years and i used both ecosystems so i use google home and i use elect or as well one of the things i've noticed they have not in that three to four year period increased in intelligence at all the phrases that i use day and day out like when i come into my studio i say studio go and and the idea is that light turns all my lights on it turns my computer on it does everything gets my camera everything set up i can say studio go and i've said it for the last three years and yet every couple of days it still goes oh here's a list of all the studios in your area or here's a list of it's like it has done nothing about learning the phrase that i use over and over and over again there's no kind of pattern matching there's no recognition they look at these products from both google and and amazon in this case and it seems like they've invested in the hardware they keep selling there's a new version of the or a new version of the google home but these are just no more than rudimentary search engine tools at the end of the day they go online they search for whatever you looked for it's not it's not making my life any more intelligent it's not making it's not moving the dial on on you know a empowering me at all if anything you know end up swearing at the div it's multiple times because it gets the same thing wrong so many times why do you think there's been like no advancement in the last three or four years in this space

[royi]: so i'm by no means expert in consumer devices um and definitely i don't know and even if i knew i probably not at liberty you know speaking on competitors products but i can speak on in general so i think there there there's plenty of challenges

[mark]: that's what i'm talking about i'm using that as an example to talk about it in general

[royi]: there are many challenges in in a i and they're being they're being solved so you know gradually so every time you you know you have some advancement in in one area and then it gives like sort of it is a platform for advancement in other areas i think that the expectations that the people sometimes have for full ultimation for human purity understanding are a bit exaggerated because of movie s and because of you know how the media looks at it but in fact we've done a huge progress i mean like microscope of course and also also the companies that you mentioned also many other companies and also the academy have done a great deal of like a lot of advances in language understanding in how to make uh that is appropriate for a i because if you have a good to accompany none perfect a i then it actually unblow the i and then i can help you and you just do the rest you just do you know the smart work the creative work and you save you save the busy work just you know just rest tly there has been a lot of advancement in language models so those are models that i'm sure you've seen in the media okay this article was written by a computer it was like over the past one one or two years and you know in the future they these suffer are gonna write your email and then you'll only touch up your email they're gonna suggest answers while while you speak with a customer they'll tell you hey i think the good answer is this but it's going to be you who makes the final decision and that's what we call in the loop or in the loop um there is you know as a consumer you know you might be experiencing so i don't know you might be experiencing like a slow pat but it's actually things are things are moving and things are changing pretty quickly and i think that um already today if you look at if you look at transcription in tools like teams um and other transcriptions you can see that the improvement that happened over the past five years or so is really amazing so today you can see especially in popular languages like english and french you can see like transcription that that barely misses anything and this is this is this is real great so and and and by the way this is why sure world he's going to he's going to do this intimation with a because everybody feels that you know with language understanding and with traditional a i like the feature about scoring opportunities this is what in the science world we call traditional traditional machine learning traditionally um there is enough data and the data s concentrated in the uh and there is enough trust in a i because everything that it's doing for us in search engines and everything that it's doing for us in fraud detection and pamthetection so people are saying hey you know it might able to help me with sales as well with marketing as well um but as i said before it's not a hundred percent it's just like it's just going to do part of the work and the rest of the rest of the work is going to be done by human

[mark]: m r r this has been an interesting conversation thank you so much for taking the time to come on the show

[royi]: thanks a lot mark and i just want to mention so to all those people listening if you'd like to collaborate on an a project if you want to engage with us on something that you tried on on the product or some cool idea that you have and you wish you had it on the name through sixty five sales or on viva sales feel free to reach out we really love speaking to ustomers um and as mark said like margrisois very much on the applied side of of so applied means working with customers so we'd love to hear from you thanks again mark

Dr. Royi RonenProfile Photo

Dr. Royi Ronen

Dr. Royi Ronen manages the Video Indexer Data Science team at Microsoft ILDC. Previously, he managed the Azure Security Center Data Science team. Prior to Microsoft, he was with Adobe and with IBM Research, working on data modeling. He earned his PhD, MSc and BSc at the Technion.