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Oracle Launches Version 21c
January 14, 2021
Oracle learned a lot from its customers and plowed its findings back into its core product just as others were getting restless and seeking alternatives. Oracle is now calling its product a "converged database" to help with differentiation by highlighting that many businesses don't often only focus on OLTP or AI, but that their businesses require a bit of everything.
Revving Up for CRM in 2021
January 11, 2021
This might be a big year for CRM. I say might because I am not clairvoyant, and humility is on the resolutions list. CRM has gone through five 5-year cycles during the past few decades. That trend feels as old as SaaS at this point, and I think we're going to embark on a new cycle that will take roughly five years to reach fulfillment. The big question now is: "What will it be?"
Acquiring and Retaining Customers in an Era Without Brand Loyalty
January 7, 2021
E-commerce is now at an all-time high, with global sales figures projected to reach $4.1 trillion in 2020, almost doubling since 2015. While the spectrum of global customers has broadened, so has the scope of competition. As the need for customer support grows, there is a golden opportunity for brands to capitalize on the changes fueled by the pandemic and emerge from the crisis with a newfound customer base.
Who Values Value Pricing?
January 4, 2021
The idea that CRM products should be priced according to the utility they deliver sounds good, but it raises a lot of questions too. With value pricing, you might expect the cost of CRM to rise and fall as a business gets more or less use and value from its investment, but who gets to determine the value received and, while we're at it, what is the right measure of value?
Where to in 2021?
December 10, 2020
The front office is moving out the front door and into the world. Actually, it's exiting via the Internet, the windows and side doors, to form the basis of what will be the 'next normal' or whatever future historians want to call it. For a while, when we were just dabbling with mobility and social media, we could ignore all that -- but no more.
Salesforce Riffs on New Work Styles
November 30, 2020
Back in Q1 Salesforce threw out its annual plan and did a pretty good imitation of a startup or a jazz band. They developed products like Work.com and Salesforce Anywhere as solutions to the evolving need for systems that would help their customers cope with the pandemic. The products supported both working remotely and safeguarding the premises when people returned.
The Great CRM Shift of 2020
November 19, 2020
It is often said that only a poor workman blames his tools and only an inferior vendor blames the customer for their troubles with a product. But too many user organizations just don't seem to be adopting CRM to the degree that it takes to be successful -- even after more than two decades of trying.
Consumers of All Ages Still Struggle on E-Commerce Sites
November 12, 2020
Online shoppers face myriad basic obstacles, including not being able to complete a purchase transaction. Research by customer engagement firm goMoxie shows that consumers across all ages, genders, and regions in the U.S. struggle to complete basic tasks on retail websites. Most are more likely to abandon the experience or switch to a competitor rather than seek assistance.
Why Digital Transformation Is Essential to Improve Business Outcomes
November 11, 2020
High-performing businesses reach peak commercial performance by reducing friction in customer interactions in the face of a market with increasing complexity. If you look at who's winning, it's the companies that not only embraced digital transformation early, but also made it a core building block of their foundation moving forward. So, what does it take to win today?
How to Continue Winning Business During a Pandemic
November 9, 2020
Today, change feels more common than stability. On top of all the uncertainty, sales professionals face increased demands while rebuilding the pipeline. Yet it's clear that there is still business to be won. But first we must assess the new realities this pandemic has brought on. Here are five ways the sales world has changed and what teams can do to adapt and prosper.
AvidXchange SVP Heather Caudill on the Quest to Ensure Customer Loyalty
October 26, 2020
To survive in this new business reality, it is imperative that remote employees have the skills to succeed while away from their physical offices. How to do that effectively is a multifaceted process. CRM Buyer discussed that journey with Heather Caudill, senior vice president of relationship management at AvidXchange.
I Might Differ
October 15, 2020
Last week my good friends Brent Leary and Paul Greenberg opened up their online show, CRM Playaz, to an executive roundtable discussion with some of the movers and shakers in our CRM world. Unfailingly, each speaker espoused the centrality of the customer and visibility through 360 degrees of customer interaction. It's hard to disagree with that -- though I will.
Why Hasn't CRM Taken Over the World?
October 8, 2020
Many businesses have bought into CRM, of course. It isn't an 80-billion-dollar industry for nothing. Still, there's a disconnect between the wonderful features and functions of new technologies and the realities of how companies use them -- or not. Only about a quarter of organizations use CRM appropriately. Others use it for simple record keeping, or barely use it at all.
CRM's COVID Opportunity
September 30, 2020
Many of the workarounds that have kept old systems running have reached the end of the line. If people are already working in their cars, the gym or the bathroom, it's hard to see how things get any better without replacing systems. That requires a different approach for the customer. The old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," doesn't really apply any more.
What's Old Is New Again
September 24, 2020
A raft of new technologies that impact CRM are about to be announced, but even without the latest announcements due now through October, there's a realization that we're coming full circle. Oracle is making hardware sexy again, using it to drive new business models and to push its CX version of CRM; and Salesforce is tackling a kind of mass customization of its CRM product line.
7 Steps to Restoring Trust in Business Telephone Calls
September 18, 2020
Robocalls, spam and call spoofing have all but destroyed Americans' trust in telephone calls -- to the point that many individuals have essentially stopped answering the phone. Here are seven steps that organizations can take to combat erroneous call blocking and increase answer rates. These measures will help businesses optimize contact operations, increase call performance, and protect and promote their brands by restoring trust in calls.
Fall Ramp-Up
September 15, 2020
Technology's fall selling season is gearing up for year-end as it always does, coronavirus or not, and the CRM industry follows suit with some mods. The majors like Salesforce and Oracle, as well as fast followers like Zoho, are in hot pursuit of what's new -- and they're betting new in this context means a process orientation, not simply delivering new products, features, or functions.
How Customer Conversations Can Create Personalization in E-Commerce
September 8, 2020
Ask anyone in the e-commerce space and they'll tell you: it's a numbers game. The numbers we rely on every day offer insights into every aspect of our competitive industry, from the click-through success of advertising campaigns to the conversion rates of specifically placed "Buy Now" buttons. Yet in this world of quantitative analytics, we're losing something: the human element.
CRM is Failing: It's Time to Transition to CXM
September 1, 2020
Centralizing all tools and customer-effecting services into one system delivers great efficiencies for businesses. However, enabling customers to have the same experience in real time is the difference between a CRM and CXM. CRM Buyer pursued the potential transition process -- and the impact of both CRM and CXM products -- in a conversation with Thryv VP Ryan Cantor.
Holiday Shopping Forecast: Less Spending, More Empathy
August 24, 2020
The 2020 holiday shopping forecast and consumer spending patterns well into next year will be marked by a pullback in spending, an increase in consumer expectations for brand behavior, and a focus on supporting small businesses. Marketers are advised to focus on brand values and trustworthiness to combat the continuing challenges retailers face in courting consumers across all generations.
It's Still a Young CRM Market
August 20, 2020
The IDC CRM market share numbers are in for 2019. For the seventh consecutive year Salesforce leads the pack, this time with 18.4 percent of the market. Other big vendors trailing the leader include, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and Adobe. After 25 years of competition, the runners-up have a combined share that is still less than that of Salesforce.
Retailers to Consumers: Let's Get 'Phygital'
August 20, 2020
The pandemic has exposed one fundamental, seemingly contradictory reality: people like to shop online, but they also crave in-person experiences. This era has also made clear that there's an answer to this conundrum: to provide shopping experiences that combine both physical and digital elements. Also known as "phygital" experiences, these strive to give customers the best of both the online and in-person worlds.
Never Complain, Never Explain
August 19, 2020
Oracle continues to be the big software vendor we love to hate. There are any number of reasons for this, starting with the brash prognostications of founding CEO and current CTO Larry Ellison. Last week, another in a long line of incidents cropped up that will likely provide hours of conversations among my fellow analysts at trade conference watering holes, just as soon as such things are again common.
Consumers Expect More From Brands to Earn Loyalty
August 18, 2020
Customer loyalty has increased drastically in the last five years, though it has not reached boom status for many brands. Winning repeat business is increasingly difficult, especially with the economic uncertainty brought on by COVID-19. New studies reveal how solidly personalization in marketing drives brand loyalty, however consumers still feel that brands fail to do enough to recognize them as individuals.
Automated CX Strategies to Revitalize Customer Relations
August 11, 2020
If the ongoing struggles amid the pandemic have taught retailers anything, it is the need to automate their customer service experience. Customer experience automation is making the difference between hanging on until closing down and ensuring more returning customers.
Oracle Marketing
August 10, 2020
The emergency caused by the novel coronavirus is causing deep structural changes to how we do business. We don't sell or market the way we did before the virus, and it may be some time before we return to that model -- if indeed we ever do. Oracle's strategy centers around the CX Unity Customer Intelligence Platform, a data management platform that's central to marketers' activities.
Salesforce Sustainability Cloud
August 7, 2020
Salesforce continues to offer new products in an expanding demonstration of its platform's relevance to business and society at large. Sustainability Cloud is best understood as a carbon accounting solution that enables organizations to more quickly audit their carbon emissions and take action in that area. This covers a lot.
Refocus Your Sales Strategy on the Phone Call
July 20, 2020
Getting a prospect on the line and talking to them directly matters. It's the ability to deliver the pitch with the right content, cadence, and care for your future clients' needs that makes a voice call so effective. It's not just salespeople who prefer a call -- 92 percent of all customer interactions happen over the phone. Simply put, that direct human connection creates the right environment to establish trust.
How to Win at E-Commerce on the New Walmart.com
July 16, 2020
Walmart is embracing new strategies, partnerships, and infrastructure that have modernized its e-commerce platform and made it a more formidable rival to Amazon. In particular, three big factors are at play: enhanced content opportunities, the introduction of new fulfillment capabilities, and the introduction of self-service marketing tools.
Improving Company Performance
July 13, 2020
A recent study found that businesses across North America are led well and staffed with people who are engaged in what they're doing. But technology is barely adequate -- and because of this, managers should devote their attention to improving systems whenever they think about how to improve overall company performance.
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Which of these tech skills will provide the best career opportunities during the next five years?
Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality
Blockchain
Cloud Computing
Cybersecurity
Data Analytics / Data Science
Digital Marketing
Edge Computing / Internet of Things
IT Support
Mobile or Web Application Development