At the announcement of Microsoft Viva Sales, Paul Greenberg, Founder, Managing Principal, The 56 Group, LLC, often called the “Godfather of CRM” and has written a book, CRM at the Speed of Light, and I were chatting about the state of customer relationship management (CRM) market and the innovations in the last 20 years. One area we both agreed that has been underserved is the seller experience. CRM vendors have all focused on the system of record—the CRM system but sellers continue to work in the system of productivity—Microsoft Office and Microsoft Teams with no connection between them.
In independent research conducted by Microsoft, we surveyed over 500 salespeople who live and work in North America and who use a CRM on a regular basis. The findings revealed that the tools in use today aren’t always helping, and, in some instances, they are even hindering a salesperson’s ability to do their job.1 They love the CRM, but they hate manual data entry. This is one area where Microsoft wants to focus on with Viva Sales. With Viva Sales, we take the manual work of CRM away from the sellers and put technology to work on behalf of the sellers so they can cut the forms, connect the data, and crush the sale.
Today I’m pleased to share that Microsoft Viva Sales is now in preview.
The Viva Sales preview includes surfacing customer contact information from your CRM directly in Microsoft Outlook and Teams, connecting to the CRM of your choice, capturing rich contact information in Outlook, capturing notes and action items using AI, providing AI driven recommendations, and more.
Improve the seller experience with Microsoft Viva Sales
The past two years have had a profound impact on work. Employee expectations concerning how, where, and when they work have significantly changed and continue to evolve. While these work trends are pervasive across the workforce, they have especially reshaped the expectations of sales professionals who have had to adapt to an increasingly digital workplace all while using outdated sales tools. In fact, 74 percent of sellers described sales intelligence tools as critical or extremely critical in closing deals.1 Prior to 2018, digital selling was already gaining popularity but the forced adoption of remote work, brought on by COVID-19, put a spotlight on the top pain points common across sales organizations by highlighting the gaps and limitations in the sales tools.
With Viva Sales we address these gaps to mitigate these top pain points:
- Manual data entry is time-consuming and frustrating and bogs down digital sellers.
- Inability to capture customer engagement data in productivity applications where sellers do their work. According to Futurum research, 82 percent of salespeople shared that faulty data has led to an embarrassing mistake with a customer.2
- Lack of AI-based recommendations delivered to the point of action.
- Disconnected processes and tools that slow down productivity. Sellers spend two-thirds of their time on administrative tasks that do not directly generate revenue.
Viva Sales gives sellers more time to focus on selling by eliminating the administrative burden of manual data entry to provide an improved seller experience. Combining the power of Microsoft 365 applications and Teams, this new sales experience application captures, accesses, and registers data into any CRM. With Viva Sales, sellers can cut the forms, connect the data, and crush the sale.
The power of AI combined with enriched customer engagement data from Microsoft 365 applications and Teams provides easy access to sales intelligence in the applications sellers already use every day.
In the video, The future of sales enablement, Paul states “Because Viva Sales is 100% seller focused and all the sales manager stuff is taken care of by the more traditional CRM technologies. That’s pretty awesome. You’ve managed to create it in a way that doesn’t disrupt or destroy the traditional focus but actually enhances it but at the same time makes the seller’s experience much better for that seller, which is not something that has been around much.“
Read our in-depth blog about Viva Sales to learn more and find out how to try out Viva Sales today.
1Microsoft Viva Sales: Supercharge your CRM, PDF.
2Futurum, 2022. Reimagining the Sales Process – Are You Ready?