Microsoft continues to expand boost its sales automation tools for channel partners and end customers. The latest development involves Microsoft Viva Sales, a "seller experience application" that lets Microsoft Office 365, Outlook and Teams customers "automatically capture data into any CRM system."
Among the Viva Sales twists to keep in mind: The "seller experience" application works with any CRM (customer relationship management) system -- which means MSPs and customers can tap into the application regardless of whether they're running Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce or other popular third-party CRM options.
Microsoft Outlook, Teams and Dynamics 365: United Front
Take a closer look, and Microsoft is building strong connections between Outlook, Teams and CRM. For instance, Microsoft says:
"As sellers are working, they can tag customers in Outlook, Teams or Office applications like Excel, and Viva Sales will automatically capture it as a customer record, layered with all relevant data about the customer."
"Viva Sales enriches any CRM system with customer engagement data from Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, and leverages AI to provide personalized recommendations and insights for sellers to be more connected with their customers. This helps sellers more seamlessly personalize their customer engagements toward faster deal closure."
Microsoft Viva Sales vs. Professional Services Automation?
Among the wildcards to keep in mind:
1. Microsoft Viva Sales Pricing - Unknown: Microsoft has not disclosed pricing or exact availability for Viva Sales. A landing page indicates the software will be available sometime in Q4 of 2022.
2. Microsoft Viva Sales for Channel Partners, MSPs: Microsoft did not mention potential channel partner or MSP use cases for Viva Sales, though the application could potentially compete in some ways with PSA (professional services automation) and associated sales tools that are designed specifically for MSPs and IT consulting firms.
Companies such as ConnectWise, and Datto are well-known in the MSP PSA software market, while additional options from Atera, HaloPSA, Kaseya, SuperOps.ai and Syncro also have traction in the PSA market. In many cases, PSA software also has some sales, marketing and CRM capabilities.
Meanwhile, multiple upstarts in the MSP software market now offer sales automation tools. Names to know include Zomentum, a "revenue platform" that extends across partner relationship management (PRM), sales quotes and proposals, and billing automation.