Salespeople have another new tool to help them compose emails. Microsoft has unveiled an AI-based solution that it says will help sellers communicate with prospects and customers.
“Viva Sales will now generate suggested email content for a variety of scenarios — such as replying to an inquiry or creating a proposal — complete with data specifically relevant to the recipient, such as pricing, promotions, and deadlines. By auto-suggesting customizable content, sellers can spend less time composing emails and searching for sales data from colleagues and databases,” writes Lori Lamkin, corporate vice president, Dynamics 365 Customer Experience Platform.
Lamkin continues: “Why is this important? According to new research commissioned by Microsoft, managing email consumes over 66 percent of a seller’s day. This new AI-powered capability helps sellers recapture this valuable time, empowering them to focus time on what matters most.”
This is not the only service of its type. Last week,, Outreach unveiled an AI-driven tool that it says will enable B2B salespeople to send emails and improve overall efficiency.
That new tool, Smart Email Assist, auto-generates relevant email copy based on the prior context of conversations between buyers and sellers. It has been integrated into the firm’s sales-execution platform.
That said, Microsoft’s sheer size and standing, may give its announcement special import as firms race to implement generative AI.
The new AI solutions assist in many ways. “Viva Sales can remind sellers when it’s time to follow up with a prospect or customer and then auto-generate a preformatted email response with personalized text and next best actions, along with details such as product descriptions, proposals, and deadlines,” Lamkin writes.
In addition, “When responding to an email, Viva Sales provides sellers in-the-moment suggested responses based upon categories such as “make a proposal”, “reply to an inquiry,” or “suggest your own,” Lamkin says. “The seller simply selects the option to suit their needs and a reply is generated for the seller to review, edit to their liking, and send.”
Lamkin adds that the reply is “enriched with the combined data from Microsoft Graph — which provides access to people-centric data and insights in the Microsoft Cloud," and that "this allows sellers to improve their overall communication and deliver a superior customer experience — all in the flow of work.
Microsoft appears to be sensitive to social concerns with regard to AI. The firm is “advancing a framework for the safe deployment of our own AI technologies that are aimed to help guide the industry toward more responsible outcomes,” Lamkin notes.
Historically, one of the main skills expected of salespeople was the ability to write a good sales letter. Is this no longer the case?