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Tuesday - October 16, 2018
engaged employees deliver the best customer experiences
"Customer experience" is the great watchword of 2018 -- and it was a great watchword in 2017 and 2016, too. Eighty-five percent of executives said that CX was important to their companies' strategic priorities, in an Accenture survey. Sixty-two percent of companies viewed CX delivered by contact centers as a competitive differentiator, Deloitte found. [More...]

Thursday - October 4, 2018
crm industry evolving to oligopoly including microsoft oracle sap salesforce sugar zoho
As markets mature, they trend toward oligopoly or even outright monopoly. There isn't much difference, because an oligopoly has several members instead of just one. Examples include electric power generation, an oligopoly made up of vertically integrated monopolies in most areas, and the airline industry -- an oligopoly made up of many airlines that may have monopolies in regional hubs. [More...]

Monday - October 1, 2018
Salesforce has been very good at skating to where the puck will be, to paraphrase the great Wayne Gretzky. As a result, the company has a long line of firsts, beginning with its initial disruption and continuing through its early adoption of social media and analytics. So it's no surprise that it is pursuing some very different issues now than it did almost 20 years ago -- or even five. [More...]

Friday - September 28, 2018
segmenting sales professionals into a-b-c categories doesn't work in a saas world
Sales talent for a long time has been broken up into three groups: A-players, B-players and C-players. Everyone loves the A-players -- they're the ones who bring home the bacon, after all. The B-players show promise and, with the right training and motivation, could become A-players. The C-players? Well the less said, the better. This simplistic method of segmenting a sales force has worked for decades, but it dates to a simpler era. [More...]

Tuesday - September 25, 2018
salesforce customer 360 pulls data out of silos into a unified customer record
I have never been a big fan of the term "360-degree view of the customer," mostly because you never can have a complete view of your customers. It's simply impossible. Things happen that you don't capture in the data, as CRM guru Paul Greenberg has pointed out. They get divorced, their dog dies, they get a really nice birthday gift. Those things can affect customers' buying behavior. [More...]

INSIGHTS
A Good Storm
Thursday - September 20, 2018
dreamforce is a showcase for salesforce's approach to market innovation
Dreamforce continues to bear down on the world like a hurricane slowly approaching from across the ocean -- in a good way, if that makes any sense. Salesforce has pumped new products into the market that will serve as the focus of at least part of the discussion. The company recently introduced improvements or whole new products for the SMB market, philanthropy and financial services. [More...]

Wednesday - September 19, 2018
the job of the sales professional has changed but the goal is still to get buyers to think differently and ai can help
If there's one thing that can be said with certainty about AI in the field of sales, it's this: It's coming. Solutions for sales leaders, account executives and business development reps tout various AI-enabled features and the benefits they offer to sales. Writers breathlessly forecast the loss of millions of jobs due to AI, including the decimation of most professions, sales included. [More...]

Thursday - September 13, 2018
salesforce plans to advance it philanthropy cloud initiative at dreamforce
At the last Dreamforce, Salesforce introduced a new cloud dedicated to philanthropy, and the company began delivering on a three-part strategy this year. The Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud is a product of what used to be called the "Salesforce Foundation" but now is referred to as "Salesforce.org." The idea is not rocket science. The new cloud is designed to be a meeting place that facilitates interactions between nonprofits and funding sources. [More...]

Wednesday - September 12, 2018
7-eleven convenience stores now accept apple and google mobile payment options
7-Eleven has begun accepting Apple Pay, and Google Pay at participating U.S. stores. The stores will add support for the services throughout this month. The convenience store chain has more than 66,000 stores in 17 countries worldwide; 11,800 are in the United States. "A 7-Eleven is a 'hit-and-get' kind of experience," noted Michael Jude, program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan. [More...]

Tuesday - September 11, 2018
Well, here's one Dreamforce idea I never heard of. A group of groups opposed to the Trump administration's immigrant detention and separation policies has announced that it will picket Dreamforce. It already has called on speakers attending the event to pull out. A long time ago, a very underfunded Salesforce marketing team tried a similar stunt, disrupting Siebel user group meetings. [More...]

Thursday - September 6, 2018
nimble ceo jon ferrara discusses importance of social, mobile crm
"The reality of relationships is that people buy from people they like, know and trust," said Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara. "In the old days, before we ever engaged in selling, we made a connection by looking at books, things on the shelves, that kind of thing. Today, we're doing that more and more electronically. Social is the perfect way to know more about somebody, and that's actually your job." [More...]

Tuesday - September 4, 2018
ai tools can help level the field for brick-and-mortar retail employees
Nowhere is the customer experience more vital to the long-term success of a business than in retail. This is particularly evident as retailers work to ensure that brick-and-mortar shopping experiences are as seamless and personalized as those offered by their digital counterparts. Nearly 80 percent of Americans are now online shoppers, according to Pew Research Center findings. [More...]

Wednesday - August 29, 2018
improving data integrity will boost crm effectiveness
American companies spend an enormous amount of money on training. Spending reached more than $90 billion in 2017, an increase of over 32 percent from 2016. It's unlikely that even a small share of the billions spent on training last year were devoted to educating and motivating employees to regularly and accurately input data into a company's CRM. Maybe it should have been. [More...]

Tuesday - August 28, 2018
The Salesforce people whom I speak with are all heads down and breathing hard in the big push to Dreamforce. In other words, things are normal for this part of the cycle. The big questions for each show are, "What will the vendor emphasize this time?" and "Will that be a tone set for the industry for the year ahead?" Sometimes the announcements set a tone but not always. [More...]

Saturday - August 25, 2018
new analytics tools may help sales people identify prospects earlier in the selling cycle
There's an emerging theme in sales and marketing that I expect could influence some of the messaging associated with upcoming events like Salesforce's Dreamforce and Oracle's OpenWorld. Each company will have lots to say about security, analytics and machine learning, the IoT, and blockchain, but what's under the radar is the practical application of much of this to marketing and sales. [More...]

Friday - August 24, 2018
adtheorent's relationship targeting tool leverages real-world connections to influence buying decisions
AdTheorent, which offers a machine learning platform for advertisers, has announced AdTheorent Relationship Targeting. This new product allows advertisers to harness the power of relationships with family members, cohabitants or friends to influence a consumer to take desired actions. Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20-50 percent of all purchasing decisions, AdTheorent noted. [More...]

Wednesday - August 22, 2018
atlatl software's bcommerce visual configurator could be a b2b sales game-changer
Atlatl Software has unveiled its bCommerce Visual Configurator, which gives manufacturers access to the company's 3D Visual Configurator via Web browsers. B2B buyers can use it on manufacturers' websites to make selections and pass them on to the manufacturers' sales reps in real time. Customer and configuration information in bCommerce is captured in Atlatl's QuoteBooks Cloud. [More...]

Tuesday - August 21, 2018
optymyze svp arturo bentin exclusive interview sales performance
If you want to boost sales performance, "there are a few things to think about," said Optymyze SVP Arturo Bentin. "One is, what behaviors are you trying to drive? When you're talking about sales performance, you're talking about a lot of things. You need to think about the metrics and the tools you can use to drive those specific behaviors in your salesforce." [More...]

Thursday - August 16, 2018
SugarCRM has agreed to acquisition by Accel-KKR, a leading technology-focused private equity firm. Although the announcement calls the deal "a significant investment," what typically happens when private equity moves in is that venture capital moves out. Private equity likes to own everything and thus have greater control. In basketball terms, Sugar just got a big rebound and a new shot clock. [More...]

Wednesday - August 15, 2018
cloud service vendors will be well advised to develop interoperability standards to compete for government contracts
During the same week it was sued by irate investors over progress moving its customer base to the cloud, Oracle protested a procurement process for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure. The lawsuit will take a long time to resolve, and it's difficult to see how the plaintiffs can prove their case -- but in comparison, the Department of Defense's procurement will run at light speed. [More...]

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Does it matter to you if products you purchase are manufactured in another country?
Yes, and I will pay more for a domestically produced product.
Yes, but my shopping decisions won't change anything, so I do what's best for me.
I care, but it's impossible to keep track of where everything is made.
I want the best quality and price, regardless of country of origin.
It depends on the country. Some are OK, some aren't.
It depends on the company. I'll buy from a reputable non-domestic brand.