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There was once a time when a good salesperson could close major deals alone.

For most sales situations, those times are gone.

To succeed today, the entire sales team must work closely with marketing and customer service to understand the buyer, their buying process, and their current and future needs.

A lone salesperson trying to service accounts and close deals doesn’t work anymore.

It’s not just sales that must change.

"I would actually state the problem even more broadly," says Tracy Eiler, CMO of InsideView. "I think us marketers often think that we're alone, and that it's our job to generate a bunch of leads for sales and throw them over a wall. That doesn't work anymore. We need to look at the entire cycle of what's working and what’s not working and really collaborate…”

To do that you need to change the way you approach the customer.

Stop trying to force buyers into your selling process. Get into the buyer’s process instead.

The customer’s buying process has become more complex, with multiple people at multiple levels in the buying organization involved in the process. You can’t have different people from different departments in your organization representing themselves (or the solution) in different ways from their own siloed point of view. Every person in your organization who reaches out to the customer must have a complete, up-to-date view of their situation or risk losing them.

Best-in-class companies are making customer information and social activity available to all teammates serving the customer.

They’re doing it using two parallel and equally important methods.

One, they’re organizing their teams and processes to facilitate collaboration. The ability to pull a subject matter expert into a meeting with a client or call in the proposal writer that won previous business from a buyer is no small feat. Best-in-class companies are doing this by breaking down barriers to access.

Two, they’re using technology that makes this easier than ever before. Customer engagement solutions, like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, put the most up-to-date information about a customer in the hands of the people who need it. Enterprise social private networks like Yammer make reaching out across the enterprise feasible. Connecting with people who have valuable insights into a buyer’s needs is also simpler with these tools.

In other words, they’re taking major steps to communicate internally as a team.

They’re using these solutions and enhancing them with powerful tools like customer intelligence suites that collect insights from social and data enrichment techniques that suggest where additional information is needed. They use networking tools that show you what the enterprise knows about the prospect and the prospect’s network. They use predictive intelligence that help your teams identify patterns that might have gone unnoticed.

Accounting firm Grant Thornton uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM to focus on close relationships and personalized service.

“We compete with four much larger firms, so we differentiate by having closer relationships to earn credibility and increase value," says Rick Stow, Head of Client Relationship Management. "We choose to be much more connected to our clients. We need to have a good presence in our local markets if we're going to compete.” (Read more about how Grant Thornton uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM to drive value, deliver superior service, and foster collaboration.)

This is all part of a collaborative process that pulls people together across teams to engage the customer at just the right moment, with just the right information. This ensures that they engage as a vital partner in the success of the buying organization’s company.

That’s what the right approach, the right tools, and the right processes can do for you.

Schedule a one-on-one demo with a Microsoft Dynamics Solutions pro now to discuss how your enterprise can connect as a team, engage the buying organization, and provide more value to your customers.

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We're always looking for feedback and would like to hear from you. Please head to the Dynamics 365 Community to start a discussion, ask questions, and tell us what you think!