Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Modern Selling: Collaboration Is Key

Micah Swigert, SVP, Technology

It’s time to close a deal. Susan, a salesperson, has scheduled a meeting with Bob, the head of procurement for a customer she’s been trying to land for over a year. In the two side-by-side scripts below, see how the deal plays out. The one on the left is much like how organizations have historically worked to collaborate internally to support a sales pursuit. The other, on the right, illustrates the possibilities of what can be done using a combination of Dynamics CRM, Office 365, and Yammer:

Traditional Sales Pursuit

Modern Sales Pursuit

Customer (Bob): “This looks good, but I wonder if we could change the top piece from aluminum to stainless steel. How much would that affect the quote?”


Salesperson (Susan): “That’s a good idea, Bob. Let me check with our engineering team and re-work the quote”


-- Later --

Susan, on his cell phone after the meeting, calling Chuck in Engineering: “Chuck, it looks like we need to rework quote #141523442. The customer wants a stainless top, not aluminum.”


Chuck: “Ok, let me pull up the quote and rework it and send it to you”


Susan: “Thanks, Chuck.”


-- 3 days later –


Susan: “Chuck, did you get that quote done? The customer called me again.”


Chuck: “No, I forgot… I’ll get it to you tomorrow.”


Susan: “Ok, thanks. I need it tomorrow if we have any hope of closing this deal.”


-- Tomorrow –


Susan: “Ok, I finally got the update quote. Looks like it’ll cost an additional $7,500 to upgrade to stainless.”


Bob (Customer): “Sorry, Susan, I had to get another quote because our team said we needed to rush this order through. I just signed a contract that actually cost about $10,000 more than what you are bidding, but I can’t change it now. Sorry! Let’s make sure we connect next time”

Customer (Bob): “This looks good, but I wonder if we could change the top piece from aluminum to stainless steel. How much would that affect the quote”


Salesperson (Susan): “That’s a good idea, Bob. Let me check with our engineering team and re-work the quote. Can you hold on for a minute while I contact them now?”


Bob: “Sure thing.”


Susan opens up Lync on her phone and reaches out to Chuck, her contact in engineering: “Chuck, how much to update the tops from aluminum to stainless?”


Chuck, via IM: “I’ll need the quote number… hold on a sec. Let me pull up your calendar Susan… looks like you’re at ABC Corp. – I see they have an open quote number 141523442.”


Susan, via IM: “Thanks, Chuck.”


Chuck, via IM: “Pulled up the quote. It’ll be a $7,500 upcharge to upgrade to stainless. Can I update the quote now?”


Susan, via IM: “Hold on a sec.”


Susan, to Bob: “It looks like it’s a $7,500 upcharge. Will that work for you?”


Bob: “Yep. Shoot me a quote and I’m ready to sign up.”


Susan, via IM to Chuck: “Yes, please update the order.”


Chuck: “Ok, done.”


Susan opens the quote on her CRM app, loaded on her iPad and shows it to Bob, smiling, “Sign here, ok?”


Bob: “Great – done. This was easy!”


Today, the velocity by which sellers can respond to customers’ requests can be the difference between a win and a loss, especially for B2B sellers. Being responsive to inquiries from prospects often involves roping in many people in the organization to quickly address an issue or question. However many people who need to help on pursuits (e.g. product development, R&D, operations, etc.) may not have access to a CRM system, or at a minimum aren’t accustomed to working within CRM. So, organizations struggle with actually getting broader selling teams to collaborate.

When business systems aren’t integrated, people fall back on using siloed communication tools like email, meetings, and phone calls to collaborate. This leads to too many cases where the ball is dropped or some people don’t get the context of what’s needed because they don’t have access to the same information. They aren’t working on the same page as others, literally.

Yammer and SharePoint, when both are integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, enables these broad sales teams to deeply collaborate with the entire organization by focusing in five common use cases:

  1. Aligning collaboration and internal conversations with CRM opportunities
  2. Enabling broader collaboration focused within accounts
  3. Collaborating in a real-time conversation within service cases
  4. Accessing and collaborating within documents and slide decks used in opportunities
  5. Search across past proposals and other documents to identify relevant information to include in a proposal or slide deck

- from anywhere, on any device, any time.

Because of advances in Dynamics CRM Online, Office 365 / SharePoint, and Yammer, it is much easier, from a technical standpoint, to deliver on the promise of deep collaboration within these use cases.

So, why doesn’t every company take advantage of this? What keeps companies from working more like the sample on the right, above? If technology isn’t in our way, what is?

At the end of the day, it’s not about the technology, it’s the people using the technology that need to be shown “what’s in it for them” to really adopt it and advocate to others the benefits of using it.

Simply put, you need a Connected Company – a company of individuals who know how to use these tools to quickly connect with each other to get their jobs done. Implementing these systems is not just a technology project – it’s about changing people’s behaviors and their approach to using these tools.

That’s where Rightpoint comes in. Beyond implementing Dynamics CRM, Office 365/SharePoint, and Yammer, we have focused on driving adoption in these systems for our customers since we started 8 years ago, with amazing results. We’ll share a few tips and tricks about gaining adoption of collaboration features, especially within and alongside CRM systems, in future posts.

In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you. Comment below or contact us at [email protected] with your CRM adoption stories or questions.