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3 secrets to optimize your sales strategy

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,…

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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 Franchi, Microsoft’s VP of Business Applications, and Amanda Holmes, 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 365 bring together the right people, both inside and outside the company—with new ways to see who is available to chat, call, and collaborate—all 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 leaders—and the sellers themselves—receive 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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Facebook: Recognizing Global Accessibility Awareness Day

As an avid outdoor enthusiast and firefighter, Carly P. has always loved being active. After a life-changing injury paralyzed her from the waist down, she felt lost. Carly recaptured her passion for being outside and found a community of people like her through the nonprofit organization Catalyst Sports. Now, she uses Catalyst Sports’ Facebook page…

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As an avid outdoor enthusiast and firefighter, Carly P. has always loved being active. After a life-changing injury paralyzed her from the waist down, she felt lost. Carly recaptured her passion for being outside and found a community of people like her through the nonprofit organization Catalyst Sports. Now, she uses Catalyst Sports’ Facebook page to spread awareness and share local recreational opportunities for people with physical disabilities.

In addition to providing community to people with disabilities, we’re also working to make the digital world more accessible. 

We will demonstrate our latest accessibility features today at our annual Accessibility Summit. Join us at 10:00AM PT for this livestream on the Meta Accessibility Facebook Page. In addition to product demos and updates, we will host an interview with Molly Burke, a digital creator and blind advocate.

Through a video series on the Meta Accessibility Facebook Page, we’re highlighting how people with disabilities connect and build communities through our technologies, much like Carly. We’ve created both the captioned and audio described versions of these stories.

Today, we’re recapping advances we’ve made over the past year to make our technologies more inclusive. 

Meta Quest

  • Audio Accessibility
    • Audio balance: This option enables you to adjust the balance of the left and right audio channels for comfort, and to better match your ability to hear in each ear. 
    • Mono Audio enables you to hear the same audio from both the left and right speakers on your headset. 
    • You’ll find both features under the Accessibility tab in your headset’s Settings menu.

Product mock of audio accessibility on Meta Quest

  • Adjust Height  
    • This feature allows you to experience VR from a “standing” vantage point even while reclining or seated. This can improve the VR experience for people who use wheelchairs, have limited mobility or are unable to use the Quest headset while standing. 
    • We first introduced this as an experimental feature (called Raise View) last June and have now made it permanent after receiving positive feedback from the disability community. 
    • You can find this feature in the Accessibility tab in Quest’s Settings menu.

Portal

  • Video relay service (VRS)
    • In December, we began supporting video relay service (VRS) applications on Portal  for people who use American Sign Language (ASL), through a collaboration with ZP Better Together.
    • Through the ZP apps on Portal and human interpreters, people who use American Sign Language can now easily communicate in both English and Spanish. 
    • Portal’s unique AI-powered camera always keeps you in frame and in focus, even when you’re moving, so your face and hands can always be seen.
  • Captions
    • We’ve also added customizable closed captions for streamed content on TV and Touch, as well as added support for live captions into integrated work productivity apps Zoom and Workplace Live.

Instagram

  • Auto-generated captions for Feed videos
    • In March, we introduced auto-generated captions for Feed videos on iOS and Android in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, German, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Tagalog, Urdu, Malay, Hindi and Japanese to start. 
    • More importantly, captions are automatically turned on by default when a creator uploads a video to their Feed. Over 140 million videos were created with auto-generated captions in the last 30 days.
    • Creators retain the ability to turn captions off when they choose and viewers can turn captions on or off using on-screen controls.

Product mock of Instagram auto-generated captions

Stickers on Facebook and Messenger

  • We added alt text descriptions to the more than 10,000 stickers available on Facebook and Messenger, making it possible for people who are blind and visually impaired to understand and use them. 

Avatars

  • Earlier this year, we introduced the ability to have your same avatar across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Quest. 
  • There are also new avatar options, including over-the-ear hearing aids and cochlear implants in addition to more face shapes, skin tones, expressions, and stickers. 
  • Wheelchairs are now available as stickers on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger so your avatar can better represent who you are or who you want to be.

Product mock of accessibility features of Avatars

Open Source

  • Lexical is a JavaScript framework built to improve text editing on Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Workplace, with accessibility as a priority. 
  • In April, Lexical was released into open source to allow the rest of the world to benefit from these improvements. 
  • With this new framework, people can express their ideas in text via dictation, and readers can experience character-by-character navigation — a feature previously unavailable in similar editors.

Reality Labs Research

  • We’re exploring how improvements in audio quality can enable more realistic presence and perceptual superpowers in augmented and virtual reality— technological advancements that can also help us hear better in noisy environments. 
  • Our team of hearing scientists is also exploring how to reencode sound and present it through closed captioning.
  • While this is still early research, we are excited to learn more about how emerging audio technologies can improve the lives of people with hearing loss. 

Image showing audio research

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Facebook: Announcing New Products to Make Business Messaging Easier

The way people and businesses communicate is changing. One billion people message with a business each week on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct — whether it’s DMing brands, browsing product catalogs, asking for support, or interacting with stories. This consumer behavior is accelerating and it’s changing how business gets done. Today at Conversations, our inaugural…

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The way people and businesses communicate is changing. One billion people message with a business each week on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct — whether it’s DMing brands, browsing product catalogs, asking for support, or interacting with stories. This consumer behavior is accelerating and it’s changing how business gets done. Today at Conversations, our inaugural business messaging event, we discussed how messaging is transforming interactions between people and businesses, and announced new products to make conversations easier.

Introducing Cloud-based API on the WhatsApp Business Platform

Today, Mark Zuckerberg announced we’re opening up the new, cloud-based version of the WhatsApp Business Platform, hosted by Meta, to any business across the world. With this new API, we’re offering free, secure cloud hosting services so businesses and developers can easily access our service within minutes, build directly on top of WhatsApp to customize their experience and increase their response time for their customers. So now, whether a business wants to work with one of our 100+ partners or access our service directly, it will be much faster to get up and running on WhatsApp.

When growing a business, you need smart, robust and easy-to-use conversation tools. For smaller businesses using the WhatsApp Business app, we’re building tools so it’s easier to handle an influx of chats as they grow their customer base. 

Launching Recurring Notifications on Messenger

Today we’re announcing a new way for businesses to keep the conversation going with Recurring Notifications. As businesses acquire new customers and begin to scale operations, there’s incredible opportunity to build loyalty and trust — and we believe this is where the value of messaging really shines. This new capability makes it easy to re-engage people right in the messaging thread and deliver tailored messaging at the best time for customers, whether to hear about special promotions, new product drops or tips and tricks.

You can choose the topics you’d like to let people opt-in to, how often customers can hear from you and shape your content, so your messages are always on-brand and relevant. Recurring notifications will also be available for businesses on Instagram this fall.

We also highlighted our click-to-message ads to help customers immediately start conversations with businesses, our CRM platform Kustomer and Meta Business Suite for higher volumes of messages across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. Read more about our product investments in business messaging on our Meta for Developers blog.

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Facebook: Introducing New Members of the Oversight Board

Today, Meta welcomes the newest members of the Oversight Board who have just been appointed — Paolo Carozza, Khaled Mansour, and Pamela San Martin. Per the Oversight Board Bylaws, we worked together with the board to identify and select these members over the last few months. Over the next few months we will continue to…

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Today, Meta welcomes the newest members of the Oversight Board who have just been appointed — Paolo Carozza, Khaled Mansour, and Pamela San Martin.

Per the Oversight Board Bylaws, we worked together with the board to identify and select these members over the last few months. Over the next few months we will continue to support and work with the board to select additional members. The new members reflect a wide range of views and experiences, and will bring a variety of perspectives to the board’s existing expertise.

The Oversight Board represents a unique model for social media governance. From its inception, we knew its impact would come not just from its decisions on individual cases, but also from broader recommendations on how we can improve our policies and processes. In the time since they began hearing cases and issuing decisions and recommendations, they’ve been playing a bigger role in setting precedent and direction for our content policies and how we enforce them.  We look forward to welcoming the new board members into this process.

We will update this Newsroom Post as additional members are appointed. We are grateful to all board members for lending their expertise to our content moderation efforts.

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