Microsoft has unveiled its latest attempt to take on Salesforce, launching Viva Sales, “a new seller experience application.”
Microsoft has been working on challenging Salesforce’s dominance in the CRM market for years. The company’s latest effort is the Viva Sales tool, designed to with with any CRM and integrate its data with Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365.
“The future of selling isn’t a new system. It’s bringing the information sellers need at the right time, the right context, into the tools they know, so their work experience can be streamlined,” said Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Microsoft. “Empowering sellers to spend more time with their customers has been our goal — and we’ve done that by reimagining the selling experience with Viva Sales.”
Viva Sales allows sales reps to tag customers in Outlook, Teams, or Office apps, automatically capturing the data as a customer record. The software then uses AI to help move a customer through the sales process, prioritizing the next steps and providing valuable insights. The AI also helps sellers with recommendations to improve customer engagement and follow-through.
“Sellers rely on digital collaboration and productivity tools to connect with customers and close deals, but a lot of the insights they uncover with these tools don’t make it into the CRM,” said Paul Greenberg, founder and managing principal, The 56 Group. “Microsoft is taking on this challenge by offering a solution that complements the CRM. Viva Sales automates the busy work, captures critical information about the customer and helps sellers get the job done.”
Salesforce clearly sees Microsoft as a significant threat to its business, with many believing its acquisition of Slack was a way for the company to better fend off the Redmond giant.
While Viva Sales works with any CRM, the app could represent a significant foothold effort. If companies find that Viva Sales lives up to expectations, it’s one more piece of Microsoft software integrated into their workflows. Eventually, they may find a full switch to the company’s CRM is the next logical choice.