Artificial intelligence for your sales team
Welcome to the world of sales with the support of artificial intelligence where:
- You are able to identify and engage with all the people involved in making a buying decision for a potential client,
- Your CRM measures the health of a lead based on the number and types of interactions between your company and a potential client online, through email and on LinkedIn without you having to manually record it, and
- Your CRM could recommend the next best action to further engage with a potential client – not from a time-based rule, but from the health of the lead and the way they like to communicate!
This is the power of Microsoft Relationships Sales, the combination of LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales.
The changing B2B sales market
When Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016 for $26.2 billion, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft said “The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals. Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organisation on the planet.”
The synergies between these two organisations and their products are now becoming apparent and with Microsoft Relationship Sales, they are changing the way Business-to-business (B2B) sales teams sell.
B2B sales people have been working the same way for decades - maintaining activity and walking the fine line between engaging and annoying a new lead, albeit with the assistance of some new cloud-based CRM platforms to record activity. The market is changing now though with:
- The blurring of the line between sales and marketing with sales people creating marketing content tailored to their specific social media audience and marketing people cultivating sales through their individual profiles,
- More people (sometimes 6-8) are involved with each B2B buying decision, 20% of professionals change roles every year and it is highly likely that your best lead within an organisation will not be the key decision maker, and
- Customers are 70-80% through a buying cycle before they make contact with a provider and have already determined that you can meet their functional needs.
This has meant that traditional CRMs are not able to keep up with the new buyers’ market and the value of CRM that is just a management reporting tool is disappearing.
What are other people doing?
Microsoft Relationship Sales is the combination of LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales. It allows you to merge your data and sales activity to generate insights and intelligence from your CRM, email and LinkedIn.
With Microsoft Relationship Sales helping you to find prospects and strengthen relationships, Nucleus Research have found a 12-15% increase in sales productivity from more than 50 organisations between 2015-2017 by:
- Providing targeted leads identified through predictive modelling,
- Finding every lead that needs to be targeted for an opportunity,
- Understanding why opportunities are trending down or up, and
- Providing insights and giving recommendations for engaging.
How do we learn from this?
To unlock the potential of your sales team, Microsoft Relationship Sales is focussing on three key things:
- Use modern tools and techniques to delight your customer,
- Have a value discussion and inform the customer at every step.
- Align technology team with business team.
Eaglecrest Technologies is exploring the value of Microsoft Relationship Sales in understanding our target market (what they’re doing and what to say to them) so that we can engage (not interrupt) them. If you want to see how Microsoft Relationships Sales can supercharge your sales team, grab a coffee with us!
What does the future hold?
The ideal organisation for Microsoft Relationship Sales is currently 80+ staff due to the development time required to configure Microsoft Dynamics, although Microsoft is pursuing a more modular approach that will allow smaller organisations to receive the benefits of the machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities
You can expect to see less separate sales and/or marketing roles as organisations seek to employee sales and marketing professionals with a broad skill set that can facilitate higher engagement and sales with their target market to take full advantage of these tools.