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Microsoft launches app for modern selling experience

By Catherine Knowles
Tue 21 Jun 2022

Microsoft has announced Microsoft Viva Sales, a new seller experience application.

It is designed to enhance CRM systems with customer engagement data from Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, and leverages AI to provide personalised recommendations and insights for sellers to be more connected with their customers, the company states.

This, in turn, helps sellers to personalise their customer engagements toward faster deal closure.

According to Microsoft, employees are demanding more from their employers in today's hybrid world from the tools they use, to the hours and locations they work. This is especially true for salespeople.

Viva Sales is focused on helping sellers to capture insights from across Microsoft 365 and Teams, eliminate manual data entry, and receive AI-driven recommendations and reminders all the while staying in the flow of work.

Viva Sales streamlines the seller experience by surfacing the insights with the right context within tools salespeople already use, saving sellers time and providing the organisation with a more complete view of the customer, Microsoft states.

Microsoft executive vice president and chief commercial officer Judson Althoff says, “The future of selling isn't a new system. It's bringing the information sellers need at the right time, with the right context, into the tools they know, so their work experience can be streamlined.

"Empowering sellers to spend more time with their customers has been our goal and we’ve done that by reimagining the selling experience with Viva Sales.”

The 56 Group founder and managing principal Paul Greenberg says, “Sellers rely on digital collaboration and productivity tools to connect with customers and close deals, but a lot of the insights they uncover with these tools don’t make it into the CRM.

"Microsoft is taking on this challenge by offering a solution that complements the CRM. Viva Sales automates the busy work, captures critical information about the customer and helps sellers get the job done.”

Reimagining the seller experience Viva Sales builds on Microsoft Viva, which was launched last year.

Viva provides an integrated employee experience platform that brings together communications, knowledge, learning, goals and insights to empower every person and team to be their best from anywhere.

Viva Sales delivers the first role-based Viva application designed specifically for sellers, the company states:

  • Viva Sales provides tools for sellers to do their jobs, while providing the insights that sales leadership needs. As sellers are working, they can tag customers in Outlook, Teams or Office applications like Excel, and Viva Sales will automatically capture it as a customer record, layered with all relevant data about the customer. Being able to automatically capture this level of customer engagement data was not available previously. This data can easily be shared with team members while collaborating in Office and Teams without retyping or looking it up in a CRM.
  • Powered by data and AI, Viva Sales recommends next steps to progress a customer through the sales funnel, prioritises work and next steps, and enables sellers to access full history and customer interaction materials. Real-time customer insights provide a deeper understanding of where each customer is in their purchase journey, and how to guide the relationship.
  • Viva Sales also provides AI-driven recommendations to enable sellers to enhance their customer engagement optimising follow-through with next best steps, actionable reminders, and recommendations to accelerate and close more sales. Viva Sales is using Context IQ, announced last fall, to ensure relevant content is connected across Microsoft apps and services like Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365 so sellers save time and stay in the flow of work.

Althoff concludes, "With Viva Sales, we are creating a new category of application addressing the selling experience. Microsoft is uniquely positioned to offer this type of application within the productivity and collaboration apps employees are already using."

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