The Microsoft Viva suite not only provides employees with personalized, inclusive, encompassing, and engaging experiences, but it brings individuals, teams, leaders, managers, and customers together through streamlined processes, data-driven insights, alignment between outcomes and goals, and clear, focused communications. Microsoft Teams Viva Sales provides sellers with a new experience for customer relationship management (CRM) by reducing time spent on administrative duties thereby freeing up time that can be spent connecting and engaging with their customers.
Microsoft Viva Sales is the first Viva application that is designed for a specific role in a company — the sellers. To be successful as a seller, CRM tools are essential; however, these tools currently are standalone software packages that are independent of team-driven software, such as Microsoft Teams, that corporations utilize to bring their teams together for collaboration and updating of current news and events. Having to manually input information into both the CRM and collaborative software is not only time-consuming, but it also takes valuable time away from seller-customer relationship building, number of sales, and most importantly, delays closing of deals. Driven by AI, Viva Sales works seamlessly with Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, and Dynamics 365. Microsoft Viva Sales is the bridge between business and collaboration systems.
As with all businesses during the pandemic, sales forces have had to adapt to a digital workspace, marketing, pitching, and closing sales online. There has been a leap in adaptation for sales organizations and in this leap, the gaps and limitations in the tools that are provided to support sellers became very apparent. Microsoft has stepped up, once again, to address these limitations with Microsoft Viva Sales.
The greatest impact on sellers has been the increase in virtual meetings, chats, emails, and video conferences to not only close deals but to present and pitch their solutions. With the increase in time spent in virtual spaces, sellers globally identified that there is a great disconnect between manual data entry, processes, tools, and the ability to capture customer engagement data in productivity applications plus, alternating between different applications several times daily is ineffective and redundant.
Viva Sales: How the Sales Landscape is Changing
Currently, sellers must manually enter customer data into their CRM tool, a tedious and timely process, from one application to another. In line with the Microsoft Viva Suite of applications, Viva Sales brings all customer insights and data into one, centralized location. By pulling these details and insights (many of which would not be entered into the CRM) from Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and Office applications including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and centralizing it, the amount of time spent manually entering data can now be spent on creating, building, and fostering relationships with customers to achieve successful sales.
Viva Sales brings contextually correct, timely, and accurate information to the seller at the right time into everyday tools that they are already familiar with. Viva Sales optimizes and streamlines the selling process for your sales force, providing an improved sales experience for your teams. Viva Sales can be integrated with Salesforce CRM and Dynamics 365, and in the future, it will be integrable with any CRM system.
Viva Sales was designed for seller productivity and it:
Viva Sale: How and What
Viva Sales: Benefits and Features
With Viva Sales, sellers in your sales force will be able to:
Within Teams and Outlook, sellers in your sales force will be able to collaborate with their colleagues on customer data. By utilizing the collaboration features, sellers will be able to:
Using intelligent Teams meeting insights, your sellers in your salesforce will be able to connect better with customers. Sellers will be able to focus on the sales cycle as meeting notetaking will become obsolete with the implementation of automated action items for customer follow-ups. Sellers can, with these insights, be able to:
When Viva Sales is integrated with Microsoft Teams, your sellers will be able to search a word or phrase to find parts of a conversation that they had with a customer during a Teams sales meeting. This is a powerful tool as this type of information can be critical with the closing of a deal. If a Microsoft Teams meeting is recorded and transcribed, then sellers can scan the recorded transcript to find key parts of a conversation.
As we continue with the Microsoft Teams Announcements from Ignite 2022, we can see from Microsoft Teams Announcements Part 1 the many new features affecting, which I term loosely, physical spaces. The reason why I term it this way is that we saw how new features and enhancements affected Meetings, Rooms and Devices, Microsoft Places, and the new offering of Microsoft Teams Premium. This article focuses on the new features and enhancements surrounding audio connections.
The very heart of Microsoft Teams is Chat and Collaboration, which are seeing many new features and enhancements, including:
New features, enhancements, and additions surrounding the Phone and Contact Centre provide Microsoft Teams another method of communication for collaboration and these include:
Collaboration in Microsoft Teams is being further enhanced with Collaborative Apps, including:
And finally, Microsoft Teams for Frontline Workers is seeing many new features and rollouts including:
With the many new corporate and industry collaborations, features, enhancements, and premium offerings, Microsoft Teams strives purposefully forward with the goals of inclusivity, flexibility, and collaborative teamwork. Acknowledging the hybrid work environment and external customer bases, data and content are kept secure with sensitivity labels, watermarking, and automatic notifications when content is flagged as sensitive. Managing time, organizing daily tasks, and knowing when one is on shift is made easier for frontline workers with the updated Viva Connections Dashboard. Overall, Microsoft Teams is evolving to not only support Teams members with collaboration, but it is also providing the tools to be organized, secure, and efficient with daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.
If you thought Microsoft Teams has been an amazing app for team collaboration, then hang onto your seat because the announcements at Ignite 2022 for Microsoft Teams will blow your socks off! There are many new and exciting features coming with upgrades to many current ones that were announced for Meetings, Microsoft Teams Premium, Rooms and Devices, Microsoft Places, Chat and Collaboration, Phone and Contact Centre, Collaborative Apps, and Frontline Workers.
One of the most exciting new features for Microsoft Teams are mesh avatars. What are they? To enhance connection in our hybrid work environment, supporting collaboration in a virtual world, and making it feel like it is in person, mesh avatars provide users a metaverse experience with the ability to attend Microsoft Teams meetings without turning on the camera. Sound exciting? It definitely is! And, we will go into more detail in our article Microsoft Teams Mesh Avatars.
Mesh avatars are only one of the many features focused on the Meetings aspect of Microsoft Teams. Other enhancements and new features for Microsoft Teams meetings include:
A new SKU add-on is Microsoft Teams Premium, and greater detail is provided in our article Microsoft Ignite 2022 Microsoft Teams: Teams Premium, which provides better and enhanced meetings through:
To enhance the feeling of togetherness and provide lifelike engagement for remote participants, Microsoft Teams announced new devices and features related to Room and Devices. These include:
With the majority of corporations implementing a hybrid work environment, the use of space within a building and how it is used requires effective, productive, and intuitive planning. With Microsoft Places, coordinating who is in-room or remote, or both become more easily organized. Microsoft Places provides the technology and tools to maximize time, whether it is meeting colleagues in person by knowing when they will be on-site, booking a common space to work, or improving conference room usage. With Microsoft Places, maximizing space utilization, occupancy, and fluidity is simplified and provides managers with insights to help optimize the usage of these spaces.
So far, in this article, we have seen the many new features and upgrades to features in Microsoft Teams that surround how and where Teams members interact, whether remotely or in person. From Meetings, Rooms and Devices, and Microsoft Places, along with the new Microsoft Teams Premium, we proceed to Chat and Collaboration, Phone and Contact Centre, Collaborative Apps, and Frontline Workers in our next installment, Microsoft Teams Announcements Part 2.
This year at Microsoft Ignite 2022, Microsoft announced its offering of a new SKU add-on for Microsoft Teams that rolls all the add-ons and costly multiple-point products into one package. The Microsoft Teams Premium package provides a better way to meet in our various work environments. Teams Premium redefines how meetings are organized and conducted, how meetings are presented with specialized devices, where teams members can meet whether in-person, virtual, or in a hybrid environment, how team members can chat and collaborate, how team members can easily access the contact information through the contact center while using a Teams mobile phone, how collaboration is improved with collaborative apps, and how frontline workers benefit from F-SKUs.
Microsoft Teams Premium: Meetings
With Meeting Guides, organizers can easily create, schedule, and track meetings with preset options, thereby saving time by negating the need to drill down through menus of options to customize for each meeting. Examples of preset meeting options, which can be customized and itemized by IT, include brainstorming meetings, client calls, and help desk calls. With preset meeting guides, leaders and managers have confidence that company policies and best practices are being followed.
Custom Meeting Branding
Company branding has now reached across and is available in Teams Premium. Customized branding includes company logos and colours that can be infused into the Teams lobby and the background of the meeting. These custom backgrounds are managed by IT at the organizational level, ensuring that corporate branding policies are adhered to. Custom scenes can be created for the Together mode with Teams Premium.
Advanced Meeting Protection
For presenters and attendees in meetings, it is not unusual to share content and knowledge, but many times the content, data, and knowledge may contain business-sensitive information which should not be freely shared during the conversation or screen-shared. With Teams Premium, there are new meeting options to help secure the data and screen grabs with watermarks as well as the capability to limit who can record the meeting.
For customers who require the most advanced security requirements, Microsoft Purview Information Protection sensitivity labels will automatically apply to relevant meeting options. By choosing the sensitivity label, protection is automatically applied across M365. Existing labels can be edited by compliance admins in the Security and Compliance Centre to enforce the meeting options that need to be applied to sensitivity labels when they are used for a meeting.
With limited hours in a day, attending every meeting we are invited to is next to impossible. What do we do then? With Teams Premium, we can focus on what matters with AI-powered meetings. With the power of AI, intelligent recap acts like a virtual assistant who has attended the meetings on your behalf and will suggest relevant action items. With AI-generated tasks that are suggested during and after the meeting, action items will not be missed.
After a meeting, Intelligent Recap will automatically generate chapters for you to navigate with ease through recordings and help you understand the meeting content that was discussed. These automatically generated chapters will include insights (personalized timeline markers) such as when you left a meeting early, when your name was mentioned, or when there was a screen share.
Searching through transcripts is much more fluid and easier with AI assistance as speakers from the transcript are suggested, and these names are based on who you work most closely with.
Live Translation for Captions
In Microsoft Teams, captioning is available for meetings conducted in English, but with Teams Premium, not only are English captions available, but live translation captioning driven by AI overcomes the language barrier. With the ability to translate 40 spoken languages, live translation for captions provides your audience with immediate translation from English to their native language so they can participate and engage in real-time with other team members.
Advanced Virtual Appointments
Advanced Virtual Appointments in Teams Premium provides you the ability to manage the end-to-end experience for your customer’s appointment. Geared towards business-to-customer (B2C) engagement, Advanced Virtual Appointments help organizations drive operational excellence by providing a customized customer experience with:
Microsoft Teams Premium: Advanced Webinars
Microsoft Teams Premium: Advanced Webinars
Taking the basic webinar functionalities in Microsoft Teams to a new level, Advanced Webinars will entice, engage, and communicate with your internal and external audience of up to 1,000 attendees.
With Teams Premium, the capabilities of Microsoft Teams are elevated to a level of collaboration, communication, workflow, and streamlined process that have not been dreamt of before. Teams Premium brings many new ways to collaborate, share knowledge, and engage the audience in a world of virtual, in-person, internal, and external team members.
At this year’s Ignite 2022, Microsoft announced an exciting new feature to Microsoft Teams, launching it fully into the metaverse world. Microsoft Teams Mesh Avatar will provide team members the ability to join team meetings as their avatars without turning on their cameras, create multiple versions of their avatars that reflect the different types of meetings they are attending, and express themselves with ease through a wide range of gestures and reactions.
Create Your Mesh Avatar
Microsoft Teams Mesh Avatars can be accessed and created in two different ways. These two ways are from:
This is how simple and quick a Mesh Avatar can be created. Once created, the Mesh Avatar can be customized as one or several versions of the user.
Customizing Your Mesh Avatar
With the hybrid work environment, and the projection of generations to come working in a metaverse, inclusivity and social connection are requirements to encourage, develop, build, and sustain community, collaboration, and team relationships.
Customizing a Mesh Avatar is just as simple as creating one. Simply choose “Customize” from within the Mesh Avatar builder to begin the process. With hundreds of options to choose from under the categories of Figure, Hair, Makeup, and Wardrobe as indicated on the tabs, a team member can customize their avatar to represent themselves while reflecting their personality and personal statements.
Joining a Teams Meeting as Your Mesh Avatar
Sometimes, we just don’t want to turn the camera on when we join a Teams meeting. Currently, we can upload a selfie or it remains as a blank outline of a portrait but either way, both are static versions of ourselves.
Now, with Mesh Avatar, team members can join a meeting without having to turn on their cameras by attending as their Mesh Avatar. To join a Teams meeting with your Mesh Avatar from within a meeting:
The Mesh Avatar that you have chosen will now appear in the meeting with the chosen avatar background without you having to turn on your camera.
React with Your Mesh Avatar
Just like you would react as if you were in person during a Teams Meeting, your Mesh Avatar can engage with team members through reactions, displaying a mood, and changing the camera angle to provide a different perspective. Microsoft Teams meetings can be fun, engaging, and personal with Mesh Avatars.
Another step towards working in a hybrid metaverse that engages team members, customizable Microsoft Teams Mesh Avatars provide team members the opportunity to present themselves sans camera while reflecting their personalities, uniqueness, attitudes, and individualities. Engaging, collaborating, discussing, and problem-solving in the metaverse world has never been more futuristic, entertaining, and convivial than it is with Teams Mesh Avatar.