Microsoft Viva Sales

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:

  1. Delivers real-time business context from the CRM system of a seller in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Outlook, thereby reducing the amount of time utilized in the search for relevant information;
  2. Connects your sales teams easily as it facilitates efficient collaboration with knowledge sharing which carries forward the momentum of the deals as it approaches sign-off and closing;
  3. Improves customer engagement with AI-powered insights that enhances the actions and decisions of the seller; and
  4. Boosts sales productivity by eliminating the need for manual CRM updates.

Viva Sale: How and What

  1. Eliminate redundancy: the duplicity of manually entering customer information in the CRM is now a process of the past. Viva Sales allows sellers to update their CRM data from Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Outlook, and it allows capturing of new contacts from meetings and emails straight into their CRM. Additionally, sellers can save emails directly from Microsoft Outlook into their CRM and they can see key customer insights, including previous activities, emails, and meetings. Viva Sales will sync customer data to Dynamics 365 and Salesforce CRM.
  2. Collaborate and close: sellers can search, share, track, and edit inline CRM entities across Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Outlook, making it efficient and easy to collaborate with colleagues on their teams. This is accomplished by leveraging Context IQ and rich contextual cards. With opportunities, contacts, and accounts at their fingertips, sellers can keep their sales team in the current flow as deals move forward while collaborating, exploring, and making better decisions.
  3. ­Leverage AI­-Powered Insights: communicate with customers in Microsoft Teams and the Sales Conversation Intelligence (SCI) will generate the information for follow-through with customers post-meeting. SCI will not only generate meeting summaries but will also track customer sentiment and produce a list of suggested actions for customer follow-up post-meeting. SCI will record, transcribe, and provide valuable insights, including sentiment analysis which will aid sellers to track customer sentiment about a specific topic, guide the conversation, and plan the best approach for the next conversation. With SCI, notetaking during meetings is eliminated, allowing sellers to focus on their conversation with their customers and building the important sales-customer relationship.

Viva Sales: Benefits and Features

With Viva Sales, sellers in your sales force will be able to:

  1. Login to their CRM system via Outlook;
  2. Create a new contact in their CRM system. If an email signature is present, the contact information will be prefilled;
  3. View account from within Outlook;
  4. View opportunity information from within Outlook; and
  5. Save emails from their CRM from within Outlook.

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:

  1. Copy account, contact, and opportunity information from Outlook;
  2. Share this information in Teams as a link. This link will unfurl into a rich preview card;
  3. Share in Teams chat CRM information by using the messaging extension; and
  4. Update CRM record information from Teams chat by using the rich preview cards.

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:

  1. Access CRM information when scheduling a meeting from Outlook;
  2. Save meeting details from Outlook to their CRM; and
  3. Take advantage of the sales conversation intelligence which is the meeting insights including a detailed executive summary, action items to follow up on, and sentiment analysis.

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.

Microsoft Ignite 2022 – Microsoft Teams Mesh Avatar

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:

  1. The Teams Home Screen:
    a. Select the three dots located above the Store icon on the left sidebar
    b. Launch the Search Bar
    c. Type in “Mesh Avatars” in the Search Bar
    d. Select the corresponding app; and
  2. Within the Teams Meeting:
    a. Select the three dots located in the top left bar and left of the Camera icon
    b. Choose “Effects and Avatars” in the right-hand column
    c. Select “Open Avatars App” at the top of Your Avatar section.

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:

  1. Select the three dots located in the top bar to the left of the Camera icon
  2. Select “Effects and Avatars” from the drop-down menu
  3. Select “Avatars” in the right-hand column
  4. Choose the avatar that you want to use to represent you during this meeting
  5. Select “Avatar Backgrounds”
  6. Choose the avatar background that you would like to use in your 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.