The Problem: Transforming from Product to Value Sales
How can sellers be an ally to their customers?
The complexity of today’s business problems, render one-way, product-centric, sales presentations, outdated—and Microsoft knows this. The “One Microsoft” initiative is committed to co-creating a holistic solution in line with a customer’s vision, rather than sell point solutions. The tech giant had been using its own Microsoft Whiteboard application to facilitate more engaging face-to-face sales meetings, however, sales adoption wasn’t consistent.
In order to make the shift to more effective remote selling in the wake of the pandemic, Microsoft needed to retool, and develop a new way to facilitate business value, co-creative customer conversations.
Connecting with Somersault
Ashley Duran, Microsoft Power Platform’s field marketing lead, connected with Somersault Innovation. “We had heard a lot about how great Somersault is at design thinking and innovative selling strategies. It was a perfect opportunity to explore with them how we could build a program at Microsoft using their expertise,” she recalls. Seeking more than just a simple training or incentive-based quick-fix, Ashley reached out to Somersault to develop a custom digital selling framework for the 900-member Business Application sales team.
A Purpose-Built Sales Solution
Somersault interviewed over 40 Microsoft end-users—including account executives and technical specialists—to find out what a “day in the life” was like. After hearing what tools they like to use and which they don’t, details of their current sales process, and the challenges associated with accounts the sellers were targeting, Somersault created 12 industry-specific, whiteboard templates that allow sellers to conduct a collaborative discovery process with their customers.
These were Klaxoon (digital whiteboard) templates that Microsoft sellers could use to host virtual collaboration sessions with clients and prospects. With these customized, interactive tools, Microsoft sales teams were able to transform from problem-solvers into problem finders that can maximize how Microsoft helps each customer—no matter where they are.
At the end of this engagement, Somersault achieved:
- Creation of 12 Industry-specific, whiteboard templates
- 1800 unique downloads by Microsoft sellers
- Uptake of new tool across 900 sellers
The best part? This approach is catching on across Microsoft with other teams:
“Design thinking has really had a ripple effect across Microsoft. We not only see it happening in our sales organization, but we see this sort of design thinking energy, taking place across everything that we do. I actually just ran a workshop yesterday where my entire marketing team was on a whiteboard with me and we were co-creating together around a set of new assets.
We’ve seen this huge impact across the business on how we collaborate, how we brainstorm and how we build new things together.” — Ashley Duran, Power Platform Lead
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