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In 2015, Microsoft introduced the Cortana Intelligence Suite. It was designed to help create the “next generation of applications.” Powered by both AI and the Azure platform, the Cortana Intelligence Suite can easily process data from multiple sources such as devices, sensors, applications, files, logs and more.

It provides actionable insights to help businesses take their decision-making to the next level of accuracy and efficiency. Its key pillars include:

  • Big Data Stores–Storage and management of big data.
  • Intelligence–Advanced speech, text, and other communication recognition systems to build smart and interactive services.
  • Information Management–Managing data sources and information processing.
  • Machine Learning and Analytics–Building predictive models, application of machine learning, and performing advanced analytics.
  • Dashboards and Visualizations–Creating intelligent reports and dashboards.


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As a result, you get solutions for churn, recommendations, and forecasting. Today, the Cortana Intelligence Suite serves as the basis for the Relationship Assistant for Dynamics 365.

The Relationship Assistant, like the Cortana Intelligence Suite, helps you track customer relationship activity and provides actionable insights and next steps via activity cards. Keep reading to learn more.


Effective relationship management is no longer an option

In a digitally-connected and global marketplace, effective customer relationship management is crucial for business success. Whether you serve a local market, a global clientele, or both–businesses large and small must implement systems to help manage and improve daily interactions with prospects and customers.

Through the power of technology, face-to-face selling is no longer a requirement, as many customers prefer digital interactions.

Therefore, there are many online avenues for reaching out to prospects and customers from your company website to mobile apps to social media. Nonetheless, every prospect and customer experiences a unique buying journey. If you have over 50 clients and prospects to keep track of, you just can’t expect to do so with email and a spreadsheet.

The modern customer expects a personalized process tailored just for them. The market is consumer-driven, and the only way to truly understand your customer’s needs are through AI-powered analytics. Not to mention, the objective of AI-powered insights is to help businesses understand market trends and to improve customer satisfaction.

This is especially true in highly competitive markets. It goes without saying that Dynamics 365’s Relationship Assistant achieves all those objectives and more.

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What is the Relationship Assistant?

Given what you are working on right now, the Dynamics 365 Relationship Assistant provides the most relevant information. It analyzes all your customer data stored in Dynamics 365. It is also part of a new suite of features called Relationship Insights.

Earlier, we mentioned the Cortana Intelligence Suite, so, think of this as an extension of that, but, hyper-focused on your relationship management activities. What are the goals? The objectives are to help you better understand your client relationships, to evaluate past activities, and give you the best next course of action. Some features included are:

  • Reminders of upcoming activities
  • Generation of action cards that provide actionable insights
  • Analyzes communications, determining the best time to reach out to inactive customers
  • Points out email messages waiting for your response
  • Sends alerts about upcoming opportunity closing dates

The Relationship Assistant is almost like a concierge for your customer relationship activities. Imagine the insights you can derive from this system. And, everything is organized on the user-friendly Marketing Social Dashboard. First, you’ll see a carousel–or pie chart–composed of different colors designating items such as:

  • Direct marketing
  • Other
  • Events
  • Co-branding
  • Advertisements

These are the buckets forming the activity cards:

  • Missed close dates
  • Post-meeting follow-up
  • Base cards
  • Upcoming opportunity close date
  • Activity due today
  • Meeting today

For the email activity cards, here’s what you’ll view:

  • Important email
  • Meeting requested
  • Customer inquiry
  • Customer mentioned
  • New opportunity
  • Upsell opportunity
  • Stakeholder recommendation

There are also productivity cards, which include:

  • Stock updates
  • Upcoming trip
  • Upcoming meeting
  • Relevant news
  • Nearby customers

Also, you’ll see the most important activity cards at the time. It is up to you to take action or not–you can also snooze or dismiss them. Each card refers to a specific activity–all you do is open the card to follow through with the suggested task.

Then, you can conveniently click on “complete.” The Relationship Assistant analyzes both your customer records and emails through Microsoft Exchange Online, so you never miss an opportunity.

Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella said this about Relationship Assistant:

“There’s one real problem, which is [that] most sales activity happens outside of a CRM system, and so the goal of intelligence is to be able to reason about your sales data model not just inside your CRM system but outside.”

Since companies are acquiring more data, Relationship Assistant helps ensure the data is filtered more thoroughly using advanced analytics, AI, and machine learning.


Eliminate the noise

There is much competition for your attention. Yet, when it comes to your prospects and clients, focus is key. The Relationship Assistant was created to help you focus on the most important activities you should take action on today.

Instead of trying to figure it all out on your own, you simply navigate to the dashboard to keep your customer relationship activities on track. Never miss an opportunity or an upsell again. Make sure you respond to all important emails. And, you simply get to drive productivity.


Want more information on what a partnership with Sherweb looks like? Check out our InfoKit.


Final thought

Relationship Assistant helps you to become more efficient by organizing specific aspects of your customer-based activities. With easy-to-understand data and actionable insights, you have both a manager and assistant rolled into one.

As a result, you can better serve and anticipate your customers’ needs. And, you can better fulfill your client’s needs keeping the sales funnel churning strategically.

Written by Alexandre Painchaud Marketing Strategist @ Sherweb

Alex is always searching for new ways to help partners crush their marketing and sales goals. Previously a marketing content specialist at Sherweb, he’s well-versed in how to engage both existing partners and their potential clients in products, tools and solutions to help them succeed. When he’s not in the office planning new initiatives to drive partner revenue, Alex enjoys playing basketball and listening to true crime podcasts.