Tuesday - November 26, 2013
OK, we survived Dreamforce and that has enabled us to limp home exhausted by all the information we accumulated and the parties we attended just in time for the holidays.
I have a lot of thoughts about the show. If I try to share most of them, the result will be a stream-of-conscious rant that will make little sense, so some discipline is in order. I'll have more to say about Dreamforce later, but for now I'll concentrate on two things that I think were monumental: Salesforce1 and Superpods.
Monday - November 25, 2013
Zoho recently deepened the functionality in its CRM suite and upgraded Zoho Support with high-end and high-capacity telephony and mobile-app features for large businesses. The moves are part of the company's strategy of migrating upstream to service a larger customer base. "Zoho started off marketing our CRM application to small businesses," said Zoho evangelist Raju Vegesna.
Friday - November 22, 2013
There's always a lot to digest after Salesforce.com's annual bacchanalia, Dreamforce, which drew 135,000 registrants this year. Some of it is about Salesforce's announcements, but a lot more of it is about the implications of those announcements, the people who attend, and what goes on around the show. Despite its peculiar name, Salesforce1 is an important step for Salesforce.
Thursday - November 21, 2013
This holiday season, everything from Nerf N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire Blasters to Doc McStuffins dolls and even diamond jewelry will be purchased via mobile devices to a greater extent than ever before. In fact, mobile shopping will surpass the growth of all other channels during the upcoming holiday season, eMarketer has predicted, as more and more consumers change they way they purchase gifts.
Wednesday - November 20, 2013
The story of this year's Dreamforce might best be told through the partner community and AppExchange, and that makes it a story about the platform. Appropriately enough, Salesforce teed up the platform topic in Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff's Tuesday keynote and the press conference immediately following it, where he announced Salesforce1.
Tuesday - November 19, 2013
GE Capital has an iPad app, based on Salesforce.com, that integrates geospatial data to let mobile sales reps know which customers need attention and where they are. It is a simple, yet impressive example of a company using tablets and CRM functionality to improve its internal productivity. While appreciating its capabilities, many companies would not put the necessary energy into developing it.
Monday - November 18, 2013
Building on the B2B targeting and personalization ad platform it launched about a year ago, Demandbase last week debuted a new ad tool called "B2B Retargeting." Like the Company-Targeted Advertising solution Demandbase launched in 2012, B2B Retargeting is a rare breed of online ad software in that it focuses specifically and solely on businesses -- not consumers -- as customers.
Friday - November 15, 2013
Ask prospective buyers of CRM software what they're most interested in, and you'll probably get a mix of variations on the following three themes: "I am not sure about the deployment model yet, although I have heard good things about the cloud"; "I know about the benefits of using an integrated suite, but frankly I would like to investigate some best-of-breed offerings too"; and "Is it salesforce automation related?"
Thursday - November 14, 2013
There's one thing in the post-industrial world that's never affected by economic slowdowns, changes in customer preferences, or technological advances. In fact, production of this commodity seems to pick up when there are disruptions, and each year an increasing quantity is produced. I'm talking about jargon. As technology has taken over our lives, it's brought a lot of this jargon with it.
Wednesday - November 13, 2013
I had an interesting conversation last week with Eric Berridge, CEO of Bluewolf, about a new report his company sponsored, "The State of Salesforce." This is the second year that Bluewolf has compiled this report. Researchers from MIT's Sloan School interviewed hundreds of Salesforce customers to learn about their attitudes, opinions and future demand.
Tuesday - November 12, 2013
The CRM case for tablets is quite clear: Workers are more mobile than ever and need to be able to access their systems on the go. Ditto customers and the workers who service them while on the go. Tablets are more robust tools than smartphones and allow for even greater functionality. Somehow overlooked in this business case, though, is the productivity factor.
Monday - November 11, 2013
Before speaking with a reporter recently about the latest upgrade to his company's CRM platform, Nimble CMO Eric Quanstrom ate his own cooking, so to speak: that is, he used Nimble to learn as much about her as possible. A few keystrokes later, he knew where she went to school, her hometown, other business affiliations and that she was an avid tweeter.
Friday - November 8, 2013
CRM technology often gets blamed for the failure of customer initiatives -- and sometimes it's deserved. In many cases, though, the technology works exactly as advertised -- as far as technology can work. Still, CRM is a discipline, not a technology -- the technology merely helps business scale up the discipline. For that reason, the people and the processes around CRM are vital to its success.