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Microsoft 365 customer questions – Sales Productivity

I work in the business of dealing with customers questions on Microsoft 365 all the time (disclosure), either directly or indirectly. This is part of a series of posts where I share them if they can be of help to others. Where I can of course and naturally, not just the questions but the answers too. All questions and answers strive to respect both sides sensitivities (parts will have been redacted and/or anonymised) and the main topic is covered in each post title.

Question:

This is really a summary set of questions from a long, ongoing conversation with the customer so there is no easy way to capture the ongoing questions and answers as I did with the format in my original post. It also includes questions I and others at Microsoft have formulated on behalf of and to show the customer the art of the possible in the potential answers. These have all gone to building up a series of interrelated scenarios that you see in the answers.

How can we understand how our sales teams are working to achieve the performances and outcomes they achieve and what does good performance look like so we can emulate it? Also, how do we build a platform that can, from an initial baseline set of performance measures, help to drive improvements and measure their impact in an ongoing cycle of gains.

Answer:

The answer is to be found in a combination of technologies and practices, not all of them from Microsoft. For instance, this customer in question uses Salesforce as their CRM tool. The best way to explain is to describe the overarching scenario that covers the tools and the way we have proposed using them in combination.

Scenario Overview:

Start with setting up Viva Insights in order to track seller activity and set benchmarks for outcomes/performance and understanding learning/performance gaps. Viva Insights will also be used to track productivity gains throughout. Plan first intervention to drive productivity improvements. Start with the existing App for Salesforce in Teams but look to extend the functionality with Teams Meetings extensions. Users can already add connected records inline within their Teams conversations. Users can also add records in Teams Channels as a Tab to have as a permanent reference point for account teams. Extending access to Salesforce for Teams Meetings will drive further sales effectiveness by having account data on hand and visible while on customer calls as well as the ability to update records. Using Teams Phone System / Voice which customer have purchased with its standard features (voicemail, call forwarding, speed dial, contact management, etc.) should also be considered. Once baseline effectiveness and benchmarks set and intervention impact measured, Viva Learning (possibly in combination with Viva Topics) can be used to manage gaps.

Side note: this is a classic example of an employee experience scenario specifically focused on sellers and their managers. Viva technologies which is Microsoft’s employee experience platform feature heavily, with Teams as the front end of collaboration and alongside other Apps like Salesforce, in the so called collaborative apps world view that I wrote about here: Hyperconnected business and driving the next level of productivity with collaborative apps.

Technologies:

Just a few links to the technologies mentioned including the integrations with links to videos and other articles to help elaborate and demonstrate functionality. See bottom of page for more.

Why

A little about the purpose, a kind of north star for the work which is something still in progress.

  • Understanding sales performance and driving improvements and excellence through targeted interventions
    • Measure performance and productivity gains through Viva Insights
    • Drive better sales operations effectiveness and seller productivity (account hygiene).
    • Improved customer relationships, reduced churn, increased sales.
    • Help drive Salesforce adoption by making its use stickier – less context switching means sellers can work in Teams and Salesforce at same time
    • Drive improvements through learning and effective knowledge management

Timelines

As mentioned, this is a work in progress so we are tackling things in a series of inter-related workstreams. Here they are covering the next 6 months.

Click to enlarge

Other considerations and notes

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator (also purchased by customer) can be integrated with Salesforce – at some point this will be explored further
  • LinkedIn Learning Hub (also purchased by customer) will be integrated into Viva Learning and this will also be considered in the Viva Learning/Topics Scenarios
  • Examples of Teams Meetings extension with CRM tools:

This is a dream set of activities and engagements and at an early stage. I’m super excited to be working on this, not only because it is a business critical scenario for the customer (indeed for any customer) but because it is so beautifully envisioned and scoped out. At the moment we are working on metrics, those for success of the pilots as well as those that will be measured through Viva Insights. Also use cases. I’ll keep updating here as I go so if interested add a comment and select the “Notify me of new comments via email” dial. Then when I add updates, I’ll comment and you’ll be notified 💪😉

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