Ahmed Mahmood - Product Marketing Manager
2021 has been an interesting year as we embrace the new hybrid world while bringing back the best practices from our old life and work style. With all these changes, the need for products and services to adapt to our new norm has become more important than ever. Sales organizations need solutions that are fluid, dynamic, and cloud-based. During our recent LinkedIn Live session (The Evolution of the Modern CRM), we had the honor to hear from industry sales leader, Santina Franchi, Microsoft’s VP of Business Applications, and Amanda Holmes, CEO of The Ultimate Sales Machine, as they provided us with gems to help up-level digital sellers.
1. Dream 100 strategy
Amanda mentioned the Dream 100 strategy referencing from her father’s book, The Ultimate Sales Machine, and how this strategy focuses heavily on a small group of clients who purchase your product the most. Implementing sales efforts to narrow down your best clients and focusing your resources on a select group will help yield higher sales. This strategy is much more effective than cold calling 2,000 clients with the slight hope of future leads. It is “the fastest and least expensive way to double sales.” To implement this strategy, you need data from your customer, which can be very complex with the amount of data we receive on a day-to-day basis.
For many sales teams, implementing the technology and human skills to keep up with the evolving demands of digitally savvy customers may seem like a stretch, even by 2025. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales accelerator helps sellers work faster and smarter with a prioritized work list of the next best lead or opportunity, allowing them to engage through their customers’ preferred channel with integrated email, phone dialer, and a Microsoft Teams channel. Sellers are equipped with timely, AI-driven insights and recommendations based on customer events and needs, so sales teams know when to offer customer guidance.
Sellers now have the information and insights to have more meaningful conversations. It is ultimately still your decision on how to proceed with your sale strategy, but these tools can give you a better view of your decision.
2. Educating not selling
As a seller, you are constantly reaching out via email to potential clients, but out of your pool, how many are ready to buy? Amanda mentioned that about 3 percent of clients are in the buying now category, 7 percent are open to your product, and 90 percent are not interested in you, your product, or service. As sellers, we send out emails to that 90 percent of potential customers, explaining our product, while the consumers have no interest in the product or service in the first place. It can be advantageous to educate the consumer on why this product can be of interest instead of explaining the features of the product itself. Being able to educate your customer about the current landscape of their business and the challenges they might face will put you in a better position to market your product to them.
In the era of digital selling, even now more than before, email is one of the most used avenues of contacting new customers. To run an educational marketing strategy, your CRM must be able to integrate with your communication platform, so that all aspects can work together. Not having to rely heavily on manual labor to ingest, respond, and avoid mistakes when communicating with your customers will in return free up time for sellers to further their personal and intimate relations with their customers. Microsoft Dynamics 365 allows you to integrate your communication platform and add applications that can ingest, send, and alert sellers of high-value customers. Collaborative apps from Dynamics 365, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft 365 bring together the right people, both inside and outside the company—with new ways to see who is available to chat, call, and collaborate—all right from within Dynamics 365 or Teams. Sellers can also bring in resources from across the organization and across the globe in real-time to ensure they have the most up-to-date context.
3. Relationship selling reduces rejection
“On average three out of four salespeople are ineffective at their job….0.08 percent of universities offer sales as a major or minor” as mentioned by Amanda. Without a proper educational background, it is understandable why leads are being missed, follow-up is lacking, and referrals have missteps; it usually all boils down to the human reaction to rejection. After hours, days, and weeks of customer interaction, the last thing you want to hear is, “I am not interested.” With social platforms being such a powerful player in this arena, we must look towards social selling and bring back the element of human empathy. Having the strength to let go of the fear of rejection and instead use tools to help enable social engagement.
With the pandemic, social selling has been an important pillar for sellers around the world and with LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365, the ability to socially interact with customers has been made easier. Being able to comment on a post with something engaging or clever brings back the empathy sellers have been struggling with. Actual human interaction, and showing you care, will go a long way when creating relationships with new customers. With conversation intelligence in Dynamics 365 Sales, sales leaders—and the sellers themselves—receive real-time insights about the customer’s priorities, sentiments, and emotions during the actual conversation. Also, customer mentions of competitors are flagged for instant follow-up. This helps the seller take action during the call, and it allows the sales leader to help through guided selling. Having the proper tools helps get rid of the fear of rejection.
Watch the recap of our LinkedIn live session: The Evolution of the Modern CRM
As the market evolves, we as sellers must level up as well. In this day and age, having the correct strategy is only half the battle. It is imperative to have the tools and the platform that can help integrate all avenues into one. Santina and Amanda deep dive into this subject. Be sure to check out the recap of the LinkedIn session to gain further insights and learn more about Dynamics 365 Sales.