How To Succeed In Sales With Social Technology

Written by: Neil Halloway

Uniting the worlds of IT and business.

I’ve just spent the past 2 days at our annual Dynamics community event: Convergence. It has been a whirlwind of positive activity, from the pre-event community outreach here in New Orleans, to the Expo, roundtables, and training sessions. But it’s particularly refreshing to listen to business leaders across all industries, to find out what is top-of-mind for them right now.

To me—and to those I’ve been listening to—it’s an incredible time to be in business. It’s certainly different—and challenging. People are uniting in ways they never could before.  And it’s primarily driven by the extraordinary technology innovation that we see today.  For example, in the area of social technologies, businesses like mine are realizing that it’s not just about having a social presence or numerous followers. The main value to our businesses resides on how insights obtained through social technologies are integrated in our core business processes and are executed at scale. Social technologies only really make sense in our business if they help us unite ideas, obtain sentiments real time, or prioritize our investments.

In my opinion, this is an amazing opportunity for sales teams in particular. It’s clear that sales executives are meeting customers at very different points in the sales conversation. Today’s customer in general is proactive in searching for information before speaking with a sales executive directly, which provides more opportunities to get the message out and to interact with customers and prospects in different ways. At the same time, we have the challenge to quickly recognize where the customer is in the buying process and respond appropriately. We look to gaining insight into our customers, but we also need to effectively collaborate as a team to find ways to respond quickly. To me, it makes sense to respond to customers via the same social channels that everyone uses to connect and collaborate. The same goes with respect to your internal sales organization.

As a sales leader myself, I see how the unification of my technology infrastructure and my business processes can make all the difference. But of course you do it in a thoughtful and strategic manner. You can’t just click a button and become collaborative overnight. You have to build on the investments you have already made. Many organizations are sitting on a gold mine of functionality in terms of IT assets—from SQL Server to BizTalk Server to Exchange Server—that can be liberated through the use of solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics.

It’s what we call a Dynamic Business: connected, forward-looking organizations that thrive by empowering their people to reach their full potential. Dynamic Businesses have the right infrastructure in place, united with best-in-class business applications. A united company is in the best position to take advantage of the new work world of tomorrow.

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