collegiatetimes website – The 5 Sales Deals

As technology and social media put more buying information in the hands of customers, sales organizations are finding that they must transform the way they sell. A number of solutions are emerging, with Microsoft leading the way by integrating applications around a concept known as Enterprise Social.

Applications supporting this new initiative integrate five key elements of the sales function:

  1. Mobility
  2. Social
  3. Collaboration
  4. Process automation
  5. Insights

The results? Sales teams gain a greater ability to zero in on targets before the competition. They can win faster by working as a team. And they can create compelling and differentiated customer interactions, and ultimately sell more.

Today’s business-to-business buyer

Salespeople already know what doesn’t work today: cold calling. A telesales representative has a 3 percent chance of getting a prospect to answer a call. A marketing email has less than a 3 percent response rate.1Calling on prospects without knowing exactly what they need is far too likely to be unsuccessful.

On the road to purchase for a B2B buyer

Turn social insights into sales

Customers already use social networks to learn about you and your products. Shouldn’t you use these networks to gain insights about them and their buying behavior, too?

You may learn that a prospect is dissatisfied with a competitor’s product or dissatisfied with yours. You may find that your customer has recommended your services to a contact, so you can get a new lead.

Using Enterprise Social tools, your sales team can now have real-time insight into the social activity of your contacts and accounts, and they can engage with their customers on LinkedIn and Twitter without ever leaving a sales tool like Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Sell as a team

In most cases, salespeople can no longer operate individually. Buyers now expect solutions to bridge sales, operations, and services, and salespeople depend on the entire organization for their success. Sales organizations need the right collaboration and communication tools to stay connected with the rest of the business. All these tools must be mobile.

Microsoft has integrated essential capabilities into its Microsoft Dynamics CRM application, including Lync and Skype, Yammer, and SharePoint. These enable the sales professional to work with a team from within one of these CRM applications.

Trek Bicycles has improved sales processes through seamless social experiences across Yammer, Office 365, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Transform sales processes

Ideally, salespeople would have easy-to-use tools that provide content relevant to where they are in the sales cycle. A well-defined process can help. Process flows drive best practices and consistency across the organization, while allowing salespeople to remain agile and deliver a great customer experience.

However, traditional CRM business processes, such as opportunity management, often used workflows that were cumbersome and difficult to understand. Therefore, they required a lot of user training and were often not widely adopted.

What they need is an intuitive, visual process guidance using an outcome-driven user interface to help ensure rapid, widespread adoption by sales professionals. That’s what a solution like Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers. Because it tells you what to do next, the ramp-up time is fast and training costs are low.

Your sales office—wherever, whenever

CRM applications on mobile devices are now indispensable selling tools. Steve Jensen, vice president of IT at Insphere Insurance Solutions, notes, “One sales agent went so far as to say that having access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM on their mobile phone was the best application in the insurance selling space.”2

Excerpted from the white paper, “A New Age of Selling: Work Like a Network to Grow Your Business.” To view the full white paper, download it here.  

1 Microsoft, “The Dynamic Sales Team,” 2013,

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