3 secrets to optimize your sales strategy

3 secrets to optimize your sales strategy

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

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 Franci, Microsoft’s VP of Business Applications, and Amanda Homes, 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 365bring together the right people, both inside and outside the companywith new ways to see who is available to chat, call, and collaborateall 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 leadersand the sellers themselvesreceive 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.

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Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.

3 secrets to optimize your sales strategy

Microsoft partners with Shopify to expand Dynamics 365 Business Central ecosystem

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is teaming up with Shopify to help our customers create a better shopping experience. While Shopify provides merchants with an easy-to-use e-commerce solution, Dynamics 365 Business Central offers comprehensive business management across finance, sales, service, and operations teams within a single application. Seamless connection between the two systems will synchronize orders, stock, and customer information to ensure merchants can fulfill orders faster and better serve customers. The joint effort furthers the commitment of Dynamics 365 Business Central to connect data to help businesses adapt faster, work smarter, and perform better.

Adapt faster

Connecting Dynamics 365 Business Central with Shopify will help merchants all over the world implement more agile online business processes, while keeping people focused on selling. With connected data from across your online stores and business operations, you can rapidly respond to consumer demands to adjust product pricing and merchandising. With support for multi-tier pricing structures and multiple currencies, companies, and entities, Dynamics 365 Business Central will support multiple Shopify store scenarios with ease.

Work smarter

Eliminating manual processes will not only improve accuracy, but also keep your people focused on taking care of customers. By connecting Shopify and Dynamics 365 Business Central, you will improve visibility into stock, pricing, existing customers and order history, order status, billing, and payments. Better visibility means faster customer inquiry responses, timely returns and refunds, and more accurate order processing.

Perform better

Enhanced operational efficiency not only saves you time and reduces costs but can also translate into better results and faster decision-making. So, you have the confidence to expand your online presence while minimizing overhead with automatic synchronization between systems for price changes, product updates, and customers. At the end of accounting periods, Dynamics 365 Business Central will help merchants handle their financial reporting and tax reporting as required by local legislation.

Microsoft is committed to creating an open ecosystem to help our customers with finding the right solution to accelerate their digital transformation journey. Joining the Shopify Global ERP Program helps our Dynamics 365 Business Central customers accelerate growth with the ability to sell, ship, and process payments online using a native connector available in early 2022.

Innovation begins with data-fueled insights and more connected operations will allow merchants that use Dynamics 365 Business Central to meet consumer demands. Along with this, our corporate and enterprise customers continue to rely on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce to deliver unified, personalized, and seamless buying experiences across online and offline channels. Now businesses of all sizes can deliver commerce anywhere to offer consumers more choices and better experiences.

The post Microsoft partners with Shopify to expand Dynamics 365 Business Central ecosystem appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.

3 secrets to optimize your sales strategy

Create a sense of purpose with hyper-personalized experiences

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

Volunteers and donors are the lifeblood of the non-profit world. Their contribution is often immeasurable, with life-changing impact to the individuals and communities they help. Although they should be treated the same way as a valued customer, in reality, they encounter less than inspiring experiences. The moment they opt-in, or donate time or money, they are bombarded with endless communications and requests. It gives new meaning to the expression, “no good deed goes unpunished.”

While every organization needs to understand their customers, when to approach them, andjust as importantlywhen not to approach them, the stakes are even higher for non-profits. For example, the value of volunteerism is estimated to be $28.54 an hour and continues to rise.1 Plus, 85 percent of volunteers donate to those non-profits in which they volunteer.2 Clearly, they are highly valuable “customers.”

That’s why non-profits are turning to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing to deliver hyper-personalized, end-to-end experiences for high-impact volunteers and donorsat scale. When non-profits pivot to deliver experiences centered around the customerin this case, the volunteer or donorinstead of the organization, the results are significantincreasing lifetime engagement and commitment from individuals who are increasingly hard to find and retain.

Timely, cost-effective volunteer coordination critical to disaster response

One non-profit that understands the vital importance of devoted volunteers is Team Rubicon. The disaster-response organization mobilizes volunteers comprising of military veterans and first responders to help vulnerable and at-risk communities around the world. In addition to responding to natural disasterslike hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes,Team Rubicon has beenleading vaccination efforts to help combat COVID-19.

Lives are at stake if Team Rubicon, with its more than nearly 150,000 volunteers, can’t adequately respond in the most critical moments. Dynamics 365 solutions are helping mobilize volunteers for life-changing operations, enabling Team Rubicon to support, scale, and drive their missions. Specifically, customer journey orchestration in Dynamics 365 Marketing has enriched the volunteer experience with real-time communication based on data changes and volunteer activity. Delivering individualized, volunteer-led experiences not only boosts relationships and increases agility and speed but also reduces the resources and costs needed to coordinate and communicate with volunteers. In addition, the hyper-personalized experiences inspire and create a sense of purpose essential for attracting and retaining volunteers.

Personalized donor engagement builds loyalty to mission

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works to save the lives, defend the rights, and fulfill the potential of children in more than 190 countries and regions. The organization relies heavily on donors and volunteers who contribute their resources, effort, and influence to support the UNICEF mission. UNICEF Netherlands is turning to Dynamics 365 to better engage donors and build lifetime loyalty by delivering real-time, meaningful, personalized messages across the right touchpoints at the right time.

UNICEF, like many non-profits, must compete for donors. But the old fundraising models are not working as well as they used to,” says Suzanne Laszlo, Executive Director, UNICEF Netherlands. “Our donors are changing. We have to stay in touch. We have to tell our stories. We have to explain where the money went, how it’s spent, and what the results were,” she explains.

UNICEF kicked off customer experience transformation by gaining a 360-degree view of donors. With Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, a customer data platform (CDP), the non-profit brought together millions and millions of previously siloed datakey details on donors, such as contact information, philanthropic interests, and donation history. With an AI-powered CDP, UNICEF can quickly and easily combine data from multiple sources, analyze the data to derive insights, and activate the insights via marketing and communication channels. For example, the UNICEF team uses the built-in AI models to predict customer lifetime value, which helps them identify, and optimize engagement with, high-impact donors.

The platform’s out-the-box interoperability with Dynamics 365 Marketing enables UNICEF to instantly connect the profiles and insights generated from the CDP to the myriad customer engagement channels in order to orchestrate individualized journeys, at scale. This creates a closed feedback loop in which past interactions, customer preferences, and real-time behaviors drive ongoing experiences that build a sense of purpose.

For two would-be donors, the engagement approach may play out very differently. For Lars, who is a long-term donor, the organization might send an email the day after he attends an exclusive event to invite him to a field visit, to show him in person the impact he is making. For Nina, someone who has never donated before but has opted in, the first communication might be a survey that helps UNICEF understand what she cares about most. The next touchpoint might be a personalized email highlighting specific programs that resonate with her, based on the survey results and real-time engagement signals. As each individual moves along the journey, the organization uses data and AI to determine the unique, optimal path.

Learn more

In the non-profit or for-profit world, marketing leaders can no longer count on traditional methods of broad, segment-based approaches to break through the noise. Instead, organizations need to attract and retain customers with inspiring, relatable, and personalized experiences.

Find out how the new customer journey orchestration capabilities in Dynamics 365 Marketing ensures you stay in step with your customer’s evolving needs.

1 Value of Volunteer Time, Independent Sector, April 2021

2 Global Trends in Giving Report, Funraise.org

The post Create a sense of purpose with hyper-personalized experiences appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.

Automatically route deals to the right sellers by using segments in assignment rules

Automatically route deals to the right sellers by using segments in assignment rules

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

Dynamics 365 Sales helps teams better understand business relationships, take actions based on insights, and close opportunities faster. One of the many ways the app helps sales teams succeed is enabling them to build segments for use in assignment rules to ensure leads and opportunities are routed to the right sellers.

What is a segment?

A segment is a collection of leads and opportunities that are grouped together based on certain conditions, such as location, deal value, language, and product. You can create segments for both lead and opportunity entities. For details, see this article: Create and activate a segment.

You can use segments in assignment rules and sequences. With segments, you can choose the set of characteristics a lead or opportunity should have in order to get assigned to relevant sellers or to connect to a certain sequence, without the need to create the same conditions repeatedly.

When a new lead or opportunity is created in Dynamics 365 Sales and matches the conditions of a specified segment, it will automatically become a member of that segment, and will assign to sellers and connect to a sequence based on how you build your organization’s process automation.

Let’s take an example to understand how it works.

Define segment conditions

The following segment is defined with simple conditions, to catch all leads coming from the company’s website and that have an email address.

Using an assignment rule in Dynamics 365 Sales to capture leads with an email address.

A segment can also include more complex parameters, using groups of AND/OR conditions or a link to a related entity. For example, you can create a segment that will capture all opportunities that are interested in printers or monitors, and that are related to one of two relevant accounts.

Simulate segment members

You can simulate the results based on existing data in your system, to make sure the segment will catch the lead or opportunity with the desired characteristics. The simulation results are not actual members of that segment and are just an example of the types of leads the segment will capture when it is activated.

Important highlights and limitations

  • A lead or opportunity will be evaluated for a segment when it is created, and again when it is being updated. For example, a lead can enter the system without a populated email address, but after going through a nurturing process, an email address will be added, and the lead will become a member of the “Nurtured leads from website” segment in the above example.
  • Your segment must be activated to catch new leads or opportunities.
  • A lead or opportunity can become a member of only one segment. If a lead matches the conditions of more than one segment, it will randomly become a member of one of them.
  • When a lead is added to a segment and assigned to a seller or connected to a sequence, it can’t be added to a different segment, seller, or sequence.

How to use a segment in assignment rules

When creating assignment rules for a lead or opportunity, you can use a segment to define the type of record that will be assigned to sellers via each rule. You can create multiple rules based on the same segment and add specific conditions to each rule to match your business process.

In the following example, we can select the “Nurtured leads from website” segment. This means that all leads that will become members of that segment will be assigned to sellers by this rule’s conditions.

Create rule for adding leads to a segment in Dynamics 365 Sales.

We can add another condition to that segment that will route the hot leads from the segment to the most experienced sellers.

For this scenario, we can create two rules: one rule to capture hot leads from the segment, and another rule to catch all remaining leads from the segment.

By placing the rule for assigning hot leads above the default rule, hot leads will be evaluated first and will be assigned to experienced sellers. The rest of the leads will be assigned by the default rule.

Next steps

For more information about segments, read the documentation:

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Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.