Microsoft has announced the launch of Viva Sales, a new sales tool that marks the first job-specific module of the company’s Viva Insights recommendation tool.
Launched last year, Viva Insights publishes personalized news, analysis and knowledge for employees. So far, every module available on Viva is widely applicable to every employee of the company, says Jared Spataro, corporate vice president of modern work at Microsoft. “Viva Sales is the first module to take a different dimension. It focuses on helping people, especially salespeople, get their work done. “
Described as a “smart CRM companion”, Viva Sales pulls customer engagement data from Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams and uses machine learning to turn that information into personalized recommendations and insights for salespeople.
Spataro says the tool will act as a bridge between customer relationship management (CRM) software and communication tools, acting as an “intelligence level” that connects dots across systems.
For example, a salesperson can tag customers in office applications such as Outlook, Team or Excel, which allows Viva Sales to automatically capture it as a customer record and attach it to any relevant CRM data. Viva Sales can then recommend the next steps to move a customer through the sales funnel, prioritize work, and give sellers access to a complete history of any customer interactions.
“When you work with a customer, you can not only see your own interactions, you can look across your company and find all the people who are communicating with your client,” said Spataro.
Microsoft says Viva Sales can be used in conjunction with any CRM platform from Microsoft’s own Dynamics to Salesforce, Oracle Netsuite, SAP and Zoho.
The platform also provides AI-powered recommendations and uses contextual IQ to ensure that relevant content is integrated across Microsoft apps and services such as Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365.
Spataro says as business continues to grow, there are areas of work where people are increasingly struggling to keep up, especially when it comes to the number of daily messages, emails and inputs that most employees are now taking and anticipating action.
“We’re trying to implement AI not only to remove annoying things, but also to add real value so that you can adapt to the volume and expectations associated with your work,” he said.
Microsoft is not alone in this mission either, as Salesforce has its own AI-powered referral tool, Einstein, and other vendors are using their tools to automate various admin tasks for employees.
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