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EPAM Reimagines Sales with Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Copilot for Sales 

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EPAM Reimagines Sales with Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Copilot for Sales 

Optimizing Sales Processes for Growth

EPAM’s growth and global expansion have been impressive. The Company has achieved a 5-year revenue CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 21% (FY2018-2023), and $4.691 billion dollars of annual revenue (As of Q4 2023), while earning many prestigious industry and technology recognitions.

To sustain its momentum and adapt to changing market conditions, EPAM decided to take a page out of its playbook, assessing its internal sales processes to identify areas for improvement and investment in the next phase of growth. As a partner of leading technology companies, such as Microsoft, Google, AWS, SAP, Adobe, and others, EPAM had access to the best software and cloud solutions in the market. It also had the expertise to design and implement its own approach, using the most suitable tools for its needs.

Championing Change to Connect a Global Sales Team

For years, EPAM’s Sales teams used an on-premises version of Dynamics CRM. The company had customized it to focus on delivery and engineering, but the solution also had many enterprise resource planning (ERP) features. While it was initially convenient to combine these operations, it had some drawbacks. Only 70% of the teams used it, while the rest relied on multiple "shadow CRM" tools, such as Jira, HubSpot, SharePoint, and Salesforce that weren’t integrated. This made it hard to see the whole sales funnel, especially early deal stages, which the system was not configured to capture. With so much recent expansion, it also struggled to handle the growing load of data and transactions. Moreover, EPAM’s highly customized solution lacked recent innovations, including popular AI productivity features.

“We realized that our solution was running behind on capabilities because we limited ourselves to the older, on-premises version of Dynamics,” says Vladimir Agres, VP of Cloud Business at EPAM. “We were looking for a solution that could integrate with all the tools our team uses, like Outlook, Teams, and third-party apps.”

Leadership determined the global sales group would be better served by a dedicated, robust, cloud-based CRM solution as the company’s sales management approach shifted from process-focused to data-driven strategies. 

The primary goal of the project was to create a “single pane of glass” for leadership to view all sales stages and workflows across the globe, ultimately building a one-stop shop for account planning. Leadership also wanted to expand the user roles of this new “OneCRM” solution by building a value-creation network. It would include everyone involved in sales and marketing at EPAM, from lead generation through to technical sales, and then to account management. This would improve collaboration and efficiency and make it easier to recognize individual sellers' contributions. Part of this strategy included integration with Adobe’s Marketo platform, the Company’s marketing automation and event management system, to evaluate the quality of incoming leads from all channels. Finally, since salespeople would rather focus on connecting with prospects than entering data, the ideal tool would automate administrative tasks, helping them work more effectively and driving business growth and success.

A Shift in Thinking Opens Up the Power of a Platform

EPAM’s legacy CRM system was highly customized, so a new implementation would be necessary regardless of which solution was chosen. EPAM evaluated and piloted multiple cloud-based solutions. Each had its advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, leadership preferred to stay with Microsoft products and services. They liked the powerful common data model of its technology stack and the robust out-of-the-box features in Dynamics 365 Sales.

“Dynamics 365 had other advantages. It rolls out new features and security updates six times per year and is part of a comprehensive, interconnected ecosystem of products, including Power BI, Power Apps, Azure, Azure DevOps, Teams, and Microsoft 365, that make it both flexible and extensible. These were significant benefits for the leadership team,” says Vitali Markevich, OneCRM Delivery Manager, EPAM.

EPAM engaged with Microsoft FastTrack for migration support and to collaborate on new features and share product feedback. The first phase of the project started late 2022.

Boosting Productivity and Performance with Microsoft Copilot for Sales

EPAM paid special attention to architecting personas, communicating changes, upskilling employees, and training new users. The company went live on Dynamics 365 Sales in June 2023. By late 2023, more than 600 users were trained and onboarded. The implementation team chose to keep certain highly customized CRM functions in place on the legacy system rather than delay go-live. This meant some users would still access both systems, and all late-stage deals would be handled in Dynamics 365 Sales, with a plan to fully “sunset” Dynamics CRM by mid-2024.

EPAM was quick to take advantage of Dynamics 365 Sales integrations with Outlook and Teams. And when Microsoft Copilot for Sales preview became available, the team was eager to engage and provide feedback. After experiencing the time-saving actions and productivity gains, such as auto-capturing contact information, auto-generating email responses, showing customer history context, summarizing meetings, recommending sales task prioritizations, and joining meetings directly from the dashboard, it was clear that Dynamics 365 Sales along with Copilot had the capabilities, flexibility, cutting-edge features, and best-of-breed security EPAM needed to improve sales processes and support current business strategies. As Polina Zvonkova, Senior Dynamics 365 Consultant at EPAM, explains, “Copilot for Sales enabled reduced administrative tasks, faster customer responses, and valuable insights for better decision-making.”  

Some highlights include:
The right people at the right time: By including more contributors at a time in the sales nurture process when they can add the most value, the team reported better overall sales results for the past quarter. As they gain insights and collaborate further, results are expected to improve even more.

Immediate value leads to high adoption rates: Salespeople are taking full advantage of the time-saving support available using Microsoft Copilot for Sales and Teams integration.  

Insights and recommendations when they’re needed: Salespeople are enthusiastic about Copilot’s guidance regarding potential churn, missed opportunities, and next-best steps so they can better prioritize and plan their busy days.

More time to nurture leads and learn their business: Users report that recorded meeting recaps are providing them with higher-quality notes and next steps and allowing them to focus more on discussions with customers and prospects. 

Keeping up-to-date while on the go: Salespeople save steps by adding post-meeting notes in the mobile app directly from a company-approved phone or tablet.

Tracking KPIs will begin in 2024 but overall, the sales team reports feeling they have more time for personal interactions with customers and prospects now that administrative tasks take less of their time. And the more salespeople interact with Copilot, the better these tools get at serving up the support they need. When new features roll out, the EPAM team is eager to turn them on and start evaluating how they can support each stage of their sales cycles.

Mapping the Next Chapter

In 2024, the team at EPAM will continue deployment of Dynamics 365 Sales and Copilot for Sales, putting even more capabilities to work for thousands of users across EPAM globally. As Agres puts it, “We plan to continue leveraging artificial intelligence throughout the customer journey. Using data insights, we will accelerate the creation of more effective marketing and sales materials that enhance customer engagement and improve conversion rates.” EPAM also plans to evaluate its marketing tools and focus on lead outreach using event management and targeted email campaigns.

Although the Company’s path to “OneCRM” is still in progress, Vladimir Agres, VP of Cloud Business at EPAM, shared how the shift to Dynamics 365 is helping improve outcomes so far: “One of our key goals is to make a cultural shift to data-driven business development methods that enable all selling parties at EPAM to work together efficiently and share the same benefits. It’s part of our strategy to grow from a five-billion-dollar revenue company to ten billion. Dynamics 365 is helping us do that and much more.”

“I am thrilled to integrate Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Copilot for Sales into EPAM's IT services model, promoting data centralization and business enablement. This collaboration is a significant stride in our AI-enabled transformation, equipping our global sales and marketing teams with the power of cloud and Gen AI. Through this, we will amplify our productivity, increase our speed-to-market, and leverage data insights more efficiently—optimizing our business processes, enriching client engagement, and driving future growth,” said Yuriy Goliyad, CIO and Head of Operations at EPAM.

Article originally published by Microsoft here.

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