Microsoft Viva Sales

Microsoft announced Viva Sales, “a new seller experience application that brings together any customer relationship management technology (CRM), Microsoft 365, and Teams to provide a more streamlined and AI-powered selling experience.”  The new solution is designed for the hybrid work environment where reps leverage video conferences, chats, emails, and documents to close deals.  Viva Sales will also support Salesforce at launch.

Viva Sales “represents a new way of working by breaking down silos of data and breaking down silos of experience,” explained Microsoft Corporate VP for Business Applications Emily He.  Sales reps “really want a more simplified experience.  So, Viva Sales enables a seller to use the tools they already love and use every day, including your email system like Outlook, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, as well as Teams,” she said.

Unfortunately, reps manage these disparate communications channels and their CRM to organize administrative tasks, collaborate on sales, and attend virtual sales meetings.  “Yet, all sellers really want is to spend more time with their customers,” stated Microsoft Chief Commercial Officer Judson Althoff.

Continued Althoff, “What if everything a salesperson needed to do their job was brought together in one place – where they already spend most of their day – in calls, meetings, and chats?  What if their customer records, data, and tasks were intelligently organized and accessible in the tools they use every day?  What if the collaboration environment sellers use to talk to customers automatically provides the next best action and sentiment analysis?”

Viva Sales is a “new modern way of selling” that operates as a “smart CRM companion” that simplifies the seller’s workflows and enriches the CRM.  Viva Sales captures AI-driven insights from Outlook, Teams, and Microsoft Office and feeds this information to the CRM.

“Viva Sales empowers sellers to be more connected with their customers, resulting in more personalized customer engagements and closed deals faster,” stated Althoff.  “This happens through a simple customer tagging feature, which automates the data capture, saves the seller time, and provides their organization with a more complete picture of deal and customer status.  With AI embedded throughout, Viva Sales is like a sales coach to move deals along with recommendations and reminders.  This intelligence layer provides sellers the information they need to help them be more productive.”

Viva was launched last year as an employee portal, but Sales is the first functionally-specific edition of the service.  Viva Sales will be in public preview in July and generally available this fall.  Microsoft Dynamics Sales is inclusive of Viva Sales and “addresses both sellers’ and sales leaders’ needs by automatically enriching Dynamics 365 Sales with customer engagement data captured in Office 365 and Teams.”

Once an email is tagged to an account, Viva Sales presents a sidebar with CRM intelligence. Customer interactions are then logged to the CRM.

Sales reps tag customers or prospects in a Microsoft application.  This “tag to capture” functionality alerts Viva to begin capturing account intelligence and offering insights to the sales rep.  Viva Sales employs Microsoft’s recently announced Context IQ for capturing relevant content across Microsoft apps and services.  This data can then be synced with any CRM.

“What we are focused on is removing the drudgery of manually entering the data into a CRM and then providing the AI capabilities for the sellers,” explained Product Marketing Senior Director Neha Bajwa.  “There’s a virtual personal assistant that is sitting and helping them out doing all the busywork that we would normally have to do.”

The objective is to solve the problem of manual data entry without destroying the CRM.  Viva runs alongside the CRM, capturing intelligence from other enterprise sales apps commonly deployed across sales teams.  The data capture and CRM syncing improve rep productivity while the AI suggestions improve sales effectiveness through better recommendations, reminders, and Next Best actions.

“As you work with a customer, you can not only see your own interactions, [but] you can also see across your company and find all the people that are interacting with your client as well,” said Microsoft VP for Modern Work Jared Spataro.  “We’re trying to apply AI not only to remove the boring stuff, but also to provide real value add so that you can cope with the volume and the expectations associated with you doing your job.”

The service recommends next steps, displays complete interaction histories, and pushes reminders to reps.  It is also connected to LinkedIn, providing the names of colleagues with strong connections to a contact or account, allowing sales reps to conduct research before a Teams chat.

Viva Sales recommends colleagues with pre-existing relationships for pre-meeting briefings via Teams Chat.

During a Teams call, reps can view the relevant customer information in a sidebar and access meeting prep notes.  After the call is recorded and transcribed, Viva Sales summarizes the call and captures action items.  Conversation KPIs and talk tracks are also generated.

Another feature is the generation of customer lists with recent activity, sentiment graphs, and engagement within Excel.

Customer lists within Excel are enriched by Viva Sales. A sidebar provides contact-specific insights, including colleague connections and meeting summaries.

“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 Althoff.  “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.”

One of the core issues at the heart of CRM implementations is the reliance on manual data entry, argued Paul Greenberg, Managing Principal at The 56 Group.  What is necessary is ongoing automation to remove this busy work.

“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,” Greenberg.  “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.”

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Q2 2022 Release

The new Sales Navigator search UI dynamically updates the results list as soon as a filter is added or removed.

LinkedIn began rolling out its Q2 Sales Navigator release to users earlier this month.  As with previous releases, admins receive the release first, with general users following a few weeks later.  New features include expanded data validation, a new SNAP integration with conversation intelligence leader Gong, and the continued rollout of Sales Navigator’s new Search and Lead Page experiences.

Companies have responded to the pandemic and Great Reshuffle by increasing channel noise, hoping to break through the din, but this strategy is flawed.  Top-performing reps who heavily exceed their quota are “spending less time selling in the traditional sense — smiling-and-dialing and sending out mass outreach,” explained LinkedIn VP of Global Sales Solutions Alyssa Merwin Henderson.  They aren’t increasing the volume but carefully targeting their prospecting and messaging, conducting buyer research, and focusing on skill development.

“In today’s virtual world, where there’s more noise than ever, the recipe for winning is clear – fewer things done better,” concluded Henderson.

LinkedIn Head of Product and Solutions Marketing Nicole Desjardins highlighted three problems facing sales reps that LinkedIn is working to address:

  1. More virtual selling than ever, leading to more virtual noise than ever, with buyers being overwhelmed by irrelevant and generic outreach.
  2. Job switching continues to be higher than normal, making a mess of CRM data and putting deals at risk.
  3. A plethora of new sales tools have hit the market, many of which don’t integrate with each other, making it more confusing to choose the right tech stack.

Desjardins argued that the solution to these problems comes from real-time data fed into the CRM and “meaningful sales intelligence that helps you connect with and nurture the right buyers at the right time.”

The Great Reshuffle continues to create a “mess” of CRM data, resulting in inaccurate forecasts and irrelevant messaging.  According to LinkedIn’s upcoming “State of Sales” report, 41% of sales reps said their biggest problem was inaccurate, out-of-date CRM data.  To help address this issue, Sales Navigator now flags out-of-date contact and lead records and allows reps to update the CRM from Navigator to address this problem.

Sales Navigator Data Validation displays Update CRM badges and syncs updates to Leads and Contacts.

Data Validation displays an Update CRM badge on Sales Navigator member pages who have recently changed jobs, titles, or locations.  After clicking on the badge, reps are shown the new title, account, location, contact owner, and most recent opportunity.  Updates are made to matched Lead and Contact records, with the user controlling which fields are to be updated.  Reps are also shown which open opportunities are linked to the executive, allowing them to quickly remove departed execs from live opportunities.

“Clearly, this will save you time.  Instead of having to toggle back and forth between your CRM and Sales Navigator, you can do it all in our platform,” blogged Product Marketing Manager Austin Gray.  “More importantly, because updating your CRM is now easier to do, you’ll have more accurate data within it.  LinkedIn’s real-time first-party data means that you can have confidence that your CRM will have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information available.”

Data Validation is available for Sales Navigator Advanced Plus and supports record updates in Salesforce and MS Dynamics 365.  The functionality was released to customers with fewer than 15 seats this week and will be rolled out to large customers on June 22.

The New Search and Lead Page Experiences were rolled out to accounts with fewer than fifty seats last quarter.  The largest accounts will receive the updates this quarter.

The search feature has been streamlined to improve the time to “successful results.”  In addition, the search includes a “larger collapsible, intuitive grouped view of filters” that improves search filter discovery.  New and updated filters include TeamLink Connections of, Saved Leads, Saved Accounts, Previously Viewed, Current Company, Past Company, and Company Headquarter.

The search interface updates dynamically, providing results as each filter is added or removed.

The updated Sales Navigator Leads (Contact) Page

The new Lead Page (contacts) is designed for rapid lead qualification with “the most important info front and center,” including the most recent touchpoint, current role, and description.  Other features include a sticky action bar, conversation starters, and introduction paths.

The Conversation Starter section displays recent posts for comments and commonalities.

The Get Introduced section has been redesigned and expanded.

The TeamLink section is now organized by seniority level so that reps can find “their best path in.”  In addition, the section supports a pre-populated InMail to save reps time writing messages.

Sales Navigator is also adding a new Lead Panel for researching contacts in a prospecting list without having to open multiple windows.

“Prospecting in Sales Navigator often means using our powerful search to find your target buyer,” wrote Desjardins.”  Once you’ve found that list of potential buyers, we’re betting you then open a tab for each individual, which can mean a lot of open tabs and a lot of switching back and forth.  The new Lead Panel streamlines this process and keeps you on the same page the entire time.”

The new Lead Panel streamlines qualification and messaging from lead (contact) prospect lists.

The Lead Panel displays job title, job description, and conversation starters to assist with quick qualification and messaging.

The Lead Panel will be rolling out to accounts with fewer than fifty seats this quarter and enterprise accounts next quarter.


LinkedIn also added a Gong SNAP integration for viewing LinkedIn intelligence within Gong’s conversational intelligence platform.

Salesloft Opens AsiaPac HQ in Singapore

Sales Engagement Platform Salesloft formally opened an AsiaPac headquarters based in Singapore.  The firm began internationalizing a few years ago when it opened its London EMEA office.  Salesloft is looking to replicate its EMEA success across the APAC region.  It trebled its EMEA revenue over the past two years, with European revenue growing 140% last year.

The new office provides sales and support for its “thousands of users” in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the broader Asian market.

Salesloft “recognizes that making a human connection is important to building relationships in the Asia Pacific market,” wrote the firm.  “Core to Salesloft’s mission is a hyper-focus on customer success and helping customers become more efficient and productive to achieve better sales outcomes.”

Newly appointed Asia-Pacific Vice President Vincent Ooi will manage the regional HQ.  Ooi previously managed Southeast Asian and Korean Sales for Tableau Software and was the Asia-Pacific VP for DataRobot.  Ooi will be responsible for “building and scaling” the Salesloft team in the APAC market and “lead the company’s revenue and customer growth strategy in the region,” announced Salesloft.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Salesloft team at such a pivotal moment in the company’s growth,” said Ooi.  “The company and the category are growing exceptionally fast.  I look forward to building a team that consistently delivers significant business results quarter over quarter.  More importantly, I’m excited to help bring the power of sales engagement to more customers around the world to help them exceed their sales goals.”

Salesloft’s top regional verticals include software, professional services, and education.

“We are committed to making the lives of sellers easier, not just in the U.S. but around the globe,” said Nate Remmes, Executive Vice President, Commercial Business Unit at Salesloft. “At Salesloft, we put our customers at the center of our business.  Our continued growth has allowed us to expand into the Asia-Pacific market and offer in-region support to our customers.”

Salesloft also announced that it would soon be offering native integrations with HubSpot CRM and Microsoft Dynamics.  Both vendors have large installed bases in the APAC and European markets.  Like its long-standing integration with Salesforce, the partnerships will support the syncing of Account, Contact, Lead, and Activity records.  The CRMs will act as systems of record, while Salesloft will be the system of engagement.

The HubSpot and Dynamics integrations are currently in beta, with GA later this year. “General availability of these integrations will ensure customers around the world will have maximum flexibility and benefit using Salesloft regardless of their CRM,” wrote Salesloft.

Introhive – BoardEx Partnership

Introhive and BoardEx announced a partnership that will “enable shared clients to uncover more high-quality connections and business opportunities that accelerate growth.”  The partnership will assist with discovering opportunities, deepening relationships, increasing internal collaboration, and mitigating risk.

“We are excited to offer our clients a joint solution with BoardEx,” said Diana Sapienza, Global Head of Strategic Partnerships and Alliances at Introhive. “With Introhive’s advanced AI-powered relationship mapping, automation, and enrichment capabilities and the BoardEx alerts on role and/or company changes at the executive and board level, our clients can better manage their ever-growing networks to spot opportunities sooner and grow their businesses faster.”

BoardEx, a division of Euromoney People Intelligence, employs a team of over 300 global research analysts focused on mapping relationships between more than 1.5 million business leaders and decision-makers.

“Having a resilient network is critical to the success of any business, and that resiliency relies on the ability to understand and leverage the most impactful professional relationships,” explained Jubayer Kalam, Head of Product for BoardEx. “We are excited to partner with Introhive by embedding BoardEx data and insights directly into their environment for our mutual clients.”

Introhive, which describes itself as a Relationship Acceleration Platform, released a set of enhancements last month that include a new Salesforce Sales Activity Dashboard, Business Intelligence Webhooks, MS Dynamics hygiene tools, and an Outlook Intelligence Panel Search.

Introhive Sales Activity Dashboard for Salesforce

The new Sales Activity Dashboard “cuts through the noise of activity data and delivers the signal directly to sales professionals and leaders alike,” blogged Lead Product Marketer Julie Taylor.  “At a glance, Sales Leaders can get a sense for the type and volume of activities their teams are investing their time in, and individual sellers can keep a pulse on their own activity levels to see where they stand.”

The Sales Activity Dashboard is available at both the team and individual rep levels.  The report summarizes calls, meetings, and email volumes over the past seven and thirty days.

Global View of Relationships Dashboard is one of Introhive’s new BI webhooks.

New Business Intelligence Webhooks include a Global View of Relationships, Account Relationships Dashboard, and Activities Dashboard.

Introhive’s Cleanse for Microsoft Dynamics added contact record merging and archiving stale records.  The service already supported CRM contact data entry and updates. “Understanding your data provides your team with powerful capabilities. 

Your success lies in the ability of your people to understand your data and use it to make better decisions,” explained Taylor.  “The faster you can make sense of your data by transforming it from information to insights, the further you and your team can go.”

Global Database

Global Database Build a List supports expanded growth, ownership, and industry variables.

UK-based Sales Intelligence vendor Global Database continues to expand its content and functionality.  Recent platform enhancements include expanded prospecting variables, industry coding, and list enrichment.

New screening variables include

  • Annual Growth: Turnover, Headcount, EBITDA, Net Profit, Liabilities, and Exports
  • Ownership: Parents, Number of subsidiaries, Foreign parent, Number of shareholders
  • Industry: European and North American industry codes, Industry Keywords

International SIC and NACE codes are available across the full company universe.  Global Database also implemented an NLP tool that crawls company websites and identifies keywords and business descriptions.  This descriptive content is then mapped to over 100,000 industry keywords.

“The SIC code is outdated when it comes to new industry verticals, such as Big Data or E-commerce, and if you are looking for such companies by SIC Code, they will be classified as: 63990 – Other information service activities n.e.c., explained CEO Nicolae Buldumac to GZ Consulting.

Global Database now supports company and contact list enrichment for Salesforce and MS Dynamics.  Users upload a list that is matched against its reference database and enriched with over 80 variables and match score confidence.  Matching employs registration numbers, corporate names, domains, phone, postal codes, etc. 

Global Database also provides an interactive report with match rates and segmentation.  Enrichment analytics include match rates, list averages, company status distribution, turnover distribution, top five companies, and pie charts for employment, years in business, and industry.  A location map is also displayed.

Other data tools include CRM maintenance, APIs, and web forms with auto-population.

The Global Database universe now spans 130 million companies and 118 million contacts:

Global Database Counts as of October 2021.

Most of its data is from trade registries, publicly available sources, an in-house data research team, and a few data vendor partnerships.  Direct emails are available for 17 million contacts and mobile numbers for 1.6 million.  If a contact does not have an email or phone number, Global Database integrates with two data vendors, where this information is requested via API in real-time.

Global Database continues to expand its universe of credit reports, with instant Business Credit Reports now available for 350 million companies.  If a country does not support instant reports, customers may request a new investigation from on-the-ground resources.  These reports are delivered within five to seven business days.

Credit reports are priced between £19 and £80, with the UK and Irish reports at the low end.  Most continental European credit reports are priced between £35 and £40.  North American reports are also priced at £40.

Global Database Employee tab.

SalesLoft Coach to Close

SalesLoft rolled out its winter release before Christmas.  The lead feature was their Coach to Close functionality that provides frontline managers with “visibility into the specific sales stages where their sellers need the most help.”  Coach to Close aids managers in identifying and proactively coaching reps on the deals that are critical to exceeding quarterly targets.

Coach to Close analyzes stage-to-stage conversion rates at the rep and team level, helping managers identify where deals are being lost and then “quickly drill down into each deal to proactively coach reps through those problem stages.”

“There are always a handful of deals that make or break a quarter.  Helping your sales reps progress and close those deals is your number one priority as a sales leader,” said SalesLoft CRO Steve Goldberg.

Coach to Close provides Deal Analytics (i.e., team and individual conversion rates), a Deal Activity Timeline that tracks account engagement across the buying cycle, and Deal Details that summarize communications, including email, phone, and recorded videos.  

“We are giving our customers the power to unlock and understand their sales data. With outcome-driven reporting and AI/ML-based activity prioritization, sales managers can now spend their time in the areas that will generate the most impact.”

Frank Dale, SalesLoft VP of Product

The other central element in the winter release was integrated support for Microsoft Dynamics 365.  Sales reps can log emails, calls, LinkedIn activities, and other cadence steps directly from MSD.  The Dynamics integration is now generally available.

“Dynamics customers are asking for help as they transform to a digital selling motion,” said Goldberg. “This integration allows companies to leverage all the data in their Dynamics instance to more effectively and efficiently prospect and sell to their customers.”

Other new winter release features include

  • Multi-touch cadence workflows that allow reps to communicate across multiple channels at the same time.  For example, a sales rep can send an introductory email and then Connect on LinkedIn.  Users can run the steps in any order, and emails can be scheduled for later in the day.
  • Bulk edits in workflow management to quickly update users.
  • Filter by Salesforce Opportunity Data lets users filter and sort recorded conversations by Opportunity Stage or other variables.  Users can “easily leverage Salesforce Opportunity data to identify milestone conversions, filter and save views, or access recordings directly from the Opportunity view with our new unified workflows.”

Integrations with Zoho CRM and Qotient talk tracks are coming soon.

November integrations included 6Sense (account data and insights), MonsterConnect (outsourced dialing team), and Vertify (CRM and MAP lead reply analytics).

MSD 365 Customer Insights Partnerships

Microsoft rolled out a set of enhancements to its Customer Insights CDP earlier this month, including a set of technology and data partnerships. I covered the functional enhancements yesterday.

“Organizations can automatically augment profiles with survey responses to truly uncover sentiment and drive detailed segmentation of customers, empowering agile actions that build brand loyalty and driving detailed understanding of customers,” said James Phillips, President of Microsoft Business Applications.  “Furthermore, organizations can enrich customer profiles with proprietary audience intelligence on brand affinity and user interests or by using third-party enrichments such as Experian and Leadspace.”

Leadspace supports B2B firmographic enrichment use cases, including industry codes, discrete and ranged sizing variables, geocodes, social media links, URLs, and standardized addresses.  Leadspace plans to include more advanced account-level insights such as company hierarchy and site-level details, as well as lead and intent scores, in future releases.  Firmographic updates may be processed daily or weekly with company matching performed by Leadspace.

The Leadspace data license is written on Leadspace paper and based upon the number of records under management.  Volume discounts apply.  When additional content sets are available, tiered pricing will be employed.

“We’ve been really honored to collaborate closely with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights team as their first B2B data enrichment partner and excited about the value it’ll bring our joint customers who want a single source of truth to fuel their sales and marketing efforts.  This offering goes a long way to helping them improve their ability to segment, prioritize, and personalize engagement across the customer lifecycle.”

Leadspace CTO Amnon Mishor

Experian supports consumer data enrichment spanning lifestyle segmentation, demographics, purchasing habits, brand preferences, life-event triggers, and mobile location data.  

Microsoft also rolled out a set of new Customer Insights integrations that “drive meaningful actions across the customer journey.”  Customer Insights is vendor-agnostic, “from ingesting data from any source to activating insights on multiple destinations.”  New partners include AutopilotHQ, Bing ads, dotdigital, Facebook, Google Ads, HubSpot, LiveRamp, Marketo, Mailchimp, and SendGrid (Twilio).

Phillips emphasized Microsoft’s commitment to data privacy and security “by enabling organizations to better control and secure sensitive data with data classification and permissions from Microsoft Information Protection.”  Organization can “configure policies to classify, label, and protect data based on its sensitivity.”

Customer Insights pricing begins at $1,500 per tenant per month for up to 100,000 profiles.

Sales Navigator Q3 2020: Listening to the Buyer

LinkedIn is rolling out its third-quarter Sales Navigator release.  The enhancements focus on “features that help you put your buyers first through intelligent action, simplified day-to-day activities, and consistent insight into keeping relationships warm.”  The release theme is “listening to the buyer.”

LinkedIn is dipping its toes into intent data with Buyer Interest Alerts that signal when employees or corporate leaders from a saved account have visited the company’s LinkedIn Page or company website.  Buyer Interest Alerts are available in conjunction with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions and delivered through the Sales Navigator Enterprise edition.  

Marketers install a snippet of code to their website that drive the notifications.  They can then track conversion rates, retarget visitors, and analyze visitor demographics.  The code also powers Buyer Interest Alerts within Sales Navigator.

“With Buyer Interest Alerts, you have buying intent insights that help you to decide when to engage, allowing you to provide a timelier and more customized buyer experience,” blogged Lindsey Edwards, the Senior Director of Product Management at LinkedIn Sales Solutions.  “As we strengthen our buyer intent models with the rich buyer insight that the LinkedIn network contains, we’ll continue to enhance our Interest Alerts to include more signals that will allow you to target the right buyer at the right time.”

Buyer Interest Alerts are anonymous.  LinkedIn notifies the user if there is a visitor from the company but does not disclose details beyond account name, seniority level (i.e. Leadership or Employee), and geography.  Users can then search for Linkedin Members that match these criteria.  Anonymity ensures GDPR compliance.

While many vendors are now offering visitor intelligence, Sales Navigator is the only service that combines LinkedIn company profile views with visitor intelligence.

Account-Level Buyer Interest is not yet supported but is on the product roadmap.

LinkedIn, which has often suffered from spam alerts that overwhelm users, is employing predictive AI to surface the critical notifications for “building and maintaining the relationship with your buyer.”  Users may filter alerts by Lead, Account, shared activity, and alert type with the “most urgent and timely” alerts displayed at the top of the list.

Sales Navigator is also improving its synchronization with Salesforce and MS Dynamics.  Users can now bring their book of business into Sales Navigator through the automated syncing of Leads, Contacts, Accounts, and Opportunities.  The syncing improves the delivery of people and company alerts and insights within Navigator.  CRM synchronization is available as a feature of the Team and Enterprise Editions.

To improve relationships, LinkedIn is now reporting on LinkedIn outreach activity across all Sales Navigator editions.  Lead Lists (followed members) now track LinkedIn engagement with additional columns for actions by the Sales Navigator user and subsequent responses:

  • InMail and Messages sent, responses received, and attachments clicked
  • Connection requests sent from Sales Navigator and LinkedIn and accepted requests
  • Smart Links sent and opened

Lead and Account List sizes were increased from 250 to 1,000, expanding the scope of contacts and companies tracked.  Users may also take bulk actions on up to 25 Lead or Account records at a time, making it easier to remove them from lists or move them from one list to another.

Sales Navigator is well-positioned to assist sales reps during the pandemic as its messaging tools are not location or time-specific.  Sales professionals can reach out with InMails and Connection Requests, and prospective buyers can respond asynchronously.  SDRs and AEs don’t need to obtain (or guess at emails) or place direct dials that go unanswered at empty offices.  Furthermore, Smart Links, launched earlier this year, provides a tool for sharing documents and multi-media with view tracking.

“In what continues to be a unique and challenging moment in history, buyers and sellers, alike, are adjusting to a new normal.  Just like you, they’re juggling the pressures of succeeding in their day-jobs, while also managing their personal lives — homeschooling, daycare, elder care, multiple people working from home, and/or reduced income.  The hurdles might look different from buyer to buyer, but one thing is consistent — they need to feel confident that you understand their challenges and goals.  In the end, you aren’t necessarily selling a product or service, you’re selling a trusted relationship, and the person at the center of that relationship is the buyer.”

Lindsey Edwards, Senior Director of Product Management at LinkedIn Sales Solutions

By the end of the year, the Deals functionality will be integrated directly into the Sales Navigator workflow.  This enhancement will improve relationship status and pipeline visibility.

ClickDimensions Partners with InsideView

Sales and marketing intelligence vendor InsideView partnered with ClickDimensions to improve customer pipelines and content delivery within Microsoft Dynamics.  The partnership will support enhanced Dynamics data cleansing and enrichment tools for Account, Contact, and Lead records.

ClickDimensions is creating a Data Management services offering and will resell InsideView products and DaaS solutions for Dynamics.  ClickDimensions plans to exclusively sell these services as an add-on to their current product line and as part of a premium offering.  ClickDimensions will also provide data advisory services.

ClickDimensions will be rolling out a product suite of native MS Dynamics hygiene and prospecting tools in the coming months.  The new suite will be built upon InsideView data management capabilities, including lead enrichment, data cleansing, email validation, lead-to-account mapping, family tree, and account assignment.  The suite will also support analytics and visualization tools for monitoring data health.

Admins can set the timing, frequency, and scope (i.e. fields and records) of updates.  Both batch and real-time hygiene will be supported.  There will also be a one-time enrichment as part of the ClickDimensions offering. 

The new service will deliver “the insights they need to find and engage prospects more effectively, the tools they need for targeting intelligently, and the ability to automatically clean, enrich, and manage Microsoft Dynamics 365 company and contact data.”

ClickDimensions will be deploying a private preview in August for the InsideView’s Diagnose, Data Integrity, and Target offerings.  A September GA is scheduled for these services.

“Given the state of the world today, finding new customers is now more than just a growth driver, it is a matter of survival as businesses seek to replace revenue from customers that have pulled back or gone out of business,” explained ClickDimensions CEO Mike Dickerson.  “In addition to finding new prospects, businesses need to be even more relevant.  Buyers expect the same level of personalization and relevance from B2B interactions as B2C, and that requires complete and accurate data.  Our partnership with InsideView will enable our customers to ensure their data is always fresh and always current.”

“The velocity of change in customer data is unprecedented in today’s business environment, and many companies can’t keep up.  InsideView helps companies keep data accurate, refreshed, and actionable so they can focus on customers and revenue.  Combined with their marketing automation solutions, ClickDimensions customers will have the tools and intelligence they need to manage their customer data and target and engage the right buyers.  The partnership is a great match for B2B companies using Microsoft Dynamics.”

InsideView CEO Umberto Milletti

ClickDimensions describes itself as “The Marketing Cloud for Microsoft Dynamics.”  ClickDimensions embeds multi-channel marketing automation and analytics natively within MS Dynamics, supporting full customer journey engagement.  Marketing automation services include web forms, landing pages, visitor intelligence, lead scoring, social marketing, event management, surveys, SMS messaging, email marketing, and campaign automation.  The firm also provides marketing consulting services, including campaign execution, marketing advisory, and user training.  

Because ClickDimensions is native to Dynamics, there are no integration costs or data synchronization issues.  

ClickDimensions is based in Atlanta and has 3,700 customers.  Regional offices are located in the Netherlands, Ireland, Israel, and Australia.

Sales Navigator Q1 Release: Contact Creation

LinkedIn rolled out its Q1 2020 Sales Navigator release, the first quarterly release under their new product chief Lyndsey Edwards.  Expanded features include contact creation, a redesigned PointDrive service (now called Smart Links), search enhancements, job posting growth alerts, and enhancements to the home page and mobile app.

Contact Creation is the biggest enhancement in the release.  Like the Data Validation flag last quarter, Contact Creation is a limited data sync solution that is bounded by their member data privacy agreements.  Contact Creation allows reps to create CRM contact records from within Sales Navigator.  While other Sales Intelligence vendors provide full contact records including email, direct dial, job function, job level, and social links, Sales Navigator only supports the following fields (of which only four are pre-populated):

  • Account
  • Opportunity
  • Opportunity Role
  • First Name (Pre-populated from Sales Navigator)
  • Last Name (Pre-populated from Sales Navigator)
  • Job Title (Pre-populated from Sales Navigator)
  • Country (Pre-populated from Sales Navigator)
  • Email
  • Phone Number
  • Lead Source

Edwards noted that the average CRM instance has roughly half of its records out of date.  Reducing record creation and update workflows help address this problem.  LinkedIn can be particularly helpful in identifying executive departures and title changes, hence last quarter’s data validation flag.  However, Contact Creation only pre-populates four fields.  Thus, sales reps either need to have the other details available when creating the contact record or upload a stump record, which is later populated by a different vendor (e.g. Lightning Data partners on the AppExchange).  While other vendors allows lists of Account, Contact, or Lead records to be uploaded, only a single contact record may be created at a time from Sales Navigator.

“We’re really leaning into our relationships with CRM vendors over the past couple of quarters,” said Edwards.  “It’s an age-old problem that isn’t getting better.  We think we can help in a pretty meaningful way.  When people change jobs, they update their LinkedIn profiles first.”

Record matching and duplicate checking are performed.

Contact Creation is available for Enterprise clients only.  Admins must turn on CRM Sync for Salesforce.  Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales contact creation is in beta.


Part II of my release coverage discusses Smart Links, their next-generation PointDrive service.