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4 Things You Need to Know for Successful Enterprise CRM Integration
April 27, 2020
The enterprise IT environment is complex. Many systems, technologies and practices developed at various times coexist in the same world. With expectations for technological advancements at their peak, we're tasked with enabling these systems to work together harmoniously to support the continuous sharing of information. Systems and data must connect as if all information were native to each.
Trying Times for Employee Engagement
March 28, 2020
These days are either the most trying time for encouraging employee engagement or the best we could expect. With so many people working remotely, many businesses need extra ways to communicate with the rank and file, and this might present a prime opportunity to try new things. We make a big deal of engaging the customer, and in most CRM circles engagement outranks simple customer experience.
4 Ways Intelligent CRM Can Help You Reach Tech-Savvy Millennials
March 18, 2020
Does your customer relationship management strategy have what it takes to reach Generation Y? It's estimated that by 2021, an additional $394 billion in revenue could be gained from artificial intelligence adoption in CRM activities in the U.S. As companies grow and technology evolves at a faster-than-ever pace, collecting, storing and providing data is becoming a bigger and bigger task.
6 Signs You May Be Ready for a CRM Switch
March 14, 2020
In today's evolving business environment, every operational decision is critical -- and that includes best practices for managing the customer journey. The CRM platform is an integral part of the process. In fact, 91 percent of companies with more than 11 employees use a CRM system. Because of the time it saves and the structure CRM delivers, it can seem daunting for businesses to make a switch.
The Virus and Podcasting
March 7, 2020
The coronavirus scare is working its way through the economy -- even affecting CRM. At this point some vendors are canceling events rather than taking the risk of having thousands of customers, press and analysts descend on a city, swap microbes through the air for a few days, then go home and likely further spread the microbes, some of which could be the virus.
Building the Salesforce Franchise
March 5, 2020
Franchising is a tried-and-true business model with numerous permutations that benefit all participating parties. For the vendor it's a great model for expanding without all of the downside risk associated with building a business, like finding all the financing and hiring people. The franchisor generally sells licenses to willing partners who agree to uphold the standards of the brand.
The New App Dev CRM Model
February 5, 2020
CRM is an industry that's been full of turning points, and I think it is at another. There have been many smaller turns, like the additions of analytics, social media and process flows. However, to get a sense of this point in time, I think you have to go all the way back to the turn of the century and the rise of cloud computing. The cloud was important as an economic marker in some unique ways.
3 Ways to Build Positive Relationships with B2B Customers
February 4, 2020
For most businesses, meeting target sales goals and key revenue metrics are top priorities. While building positive relationships with customers is important, it isn't the easiest metric to quantify. For this reason, many companies end up ignoring the work it takes to build relationships with customers, and begin to focus on other, more easily-tracked metrics like deals closed and upsells.
Keeping the 'Service' in SaaS
November 20, 2019
In today's highly competitive B2B software industry, it's not enough to staff a call center and sit back and wait for customers to reach out when they need you -- it's imperative that you take the initiative. When customers have so many solution vendors to choose from, service becomes a strategic differentiator to set your company apart from the crowd.
How Committed Is Your CEO to a Great Customer Experience?
September 30, 2019
Consumers have been adopting disruptive digital technologies in their daily lives at a rapid pace. Customers went from being limited to brick-and-mortar stores to researching, comparing and buying a company's products and services online. Along with those shifts came a change in how customers communicate with companies, and the need for positive, consistent and engaging customer experiences.
Salesforce Q2 Earnings: No Worries
August 24, 2019
Salesforce continues to grow, albeit a little slower than in prior quarters. At least that's my reading of a $4.0 billion quarter that's 22 percent better than the same quarter a year ago. I am used to seeing growth percentages in the high 20s but I am not concerned about a slowdown. I don't know if the spending spree on Tableau and ClickSoftware had anything to do with the numbers.
Taking the Leap With B2B Customer Experience Tech
August 20, 2019
The business-to-consumer shopper experience has undergone a seismic shift in the past few years, thanks in large part to new technology. Improved personalization enables consumers faced with a vast field of purchase options to select the brand that best meets their needs and desires. Business-to-business buyers rarely enjoy the same rich buying experiences.
How to Check the Pulse of Your Voice of the Customer Program
August 6, 2019
These days, what business isn't pushing to become more customer-centric? And for good reason --88 percent of businesses view customer experience as a competitive differentiator. A customer-centric culture is a source of long-term strategic competitive advantage. Culture is the one aspect of a business that cannot be replicated easily by the competition.
Turning Research Into Product
July 31, 2019
Oracle just published some commissioned research that gives us insights into both CRM generally and the times we live in. A study of more than 1,100 people across several generations found the following: Almost half of consumers have blacklisted a brand as the result of a bad experience; more than one-third of consumers said they would never shop with a company again after just one bad experience.
Boost Your CRM With IaaS
July 24, 2019
CRM systems are the lifeblood of many businesses, and the volume of customer data within them keeps growing as companies digitize more processes. That data often is not being used to its full potential, beyond basic reporting on sales metrics and marketing campaigns. With the advent of mainstream machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, this is all changing, and quickly.
Back to the Old School With Zoho
April 13, 2019
Customer relationship management keeps expanding, and some people might wonder why we never seem to get all the way to some mythical goal of perfection. One of the chief reasons is that the goal posts are moving away from us and always will be. This isn't some plot by the software companies to drive demand. From what I've seen, most companies simply try to keep up with demand with increasingly diverse products that meet real market needs.
Stocks and Flows, in Brexit and CRM
April 4, 2019
In one way or another, CRM is the heart of the digital disruption, or the modernization of business. CRM was the first front office system to help organize significant staff doing important but far from routinized things for the business. You could rely on back office apps to organize various aspects of production, but the front office was the Wild West before CRM.
Extreme Customer Experience
April 2, 2019
CRM guru Samson Lee has a new idea about customer experience. I don't know that I agree with it, but Lee has a way of making you question your assumptions and possibly change your viewpoint. Lee describes extreme experience as the inevitable pain you have to go through to reach nirvana -- that is, get the product or service you want from the vendor you want.
Millennial CRM
March 13, 2019
Trying to do business without also having a modern CRM system is like walking around naked. You can do it, at least for a little while, but people will begin to think you're weird -- and the trouble is, those people are all potential customers. CRM is essential today because, despite our reverence for the free market, it's really more like free markets -- plural.
Modern Selling
March 7, 2019
Looking at the current assortment of CRM functionality, including AI, machine learning, voice recognition and chatbots, you might conclude that the tools are evolving to remove salespeople and others from direct customer contact -- and you wouldn't be wrong. What's surprising to me, though, is the amount of sales angst among senior people about the division of salespeople's time.
Salesforce Reflections
February 26, 2019
Salesforce will be celebrating its 20th birthday on March 8. Where did those decades go? "Time flies like an arrow," said Groucho. "Fruit flies like a banana." There it is. A respectable chunk of the analyst community that follows Salesforce converged last week in San Francisco inside the company's cavernous new headquarters to hear about its plans for the year ahead.
Top CRM Blogs of 2018: Countdown, Part 2
January 18, 2019
The Top 10 blogs on our top 20 list are written by people well known to CRM professionals. There's a reason for that: In order to understand and appreciate the discipline of CRM, you must be a person who values other people, and part of valuing people is being able to communicate with them. As a result, these bloggers bring a unique combination of insight and personality to their posts.
Top CRM Blogs of 2018: Countdown, Part 1
January 10, 2019
After several years of instability on this list, 2018 saw things settle down a bit. In past years, blogs would make the list for a flurry of great posts one year, then fizzle the next. Sometimes, bloggers would change careers and their CRM content would dry up. Once in a while, a great blogger would get hired by a major vendor and see his or her output bent to fit the corporate line.
2019 CRM Wish List
January 3, 2019
I've been writing a forecast column every year at least since W was president. Nothing's wrong with that, lots of people do. However, I often find that my forecast is more of a wish list than a true prognostication, so this time I'll dispense with the fiction of analytical rigor and just say what I think needs to happen. First, the industry is consolidating. The big and successful companies are competing on a different plane than the smaller ones.
Oracle's Customer Transition Challenge
December 19, 2018
Oracle narrowly missed its number last quarter, so it was good to see the company come roaring back -- it made a lot of money. More importantly, many analysts have conceded that Oracle has reached a point in its infrastructure deployment where it can mount a serious challenge to other providers and supply the needed cloud services for its ERP and cloud database businesses.
Sales Chatbots Tell a Story
December 11, 2018
You can roughly chart a product's lifecycle based on how it is sold, and this may be having a profound effect on CRM. In general, product categories start with disruptions but commoditize over time, and because of this, the economy needs to be refreshed with new disruptions to drive it. Disruption dominates the early phases of category growth, and the best use case is not always apparent.
Salesforce IoT Insights Could Turbocharge Field Service
December 6, 2018
Salesforce has announced the addition of IoT Insights to Field Service Lightning. The new tool permits signals from IoT devices to show up directly on Salesforce Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning mobile app consoles, alongside CRM data. Service organizations can draw on those IoT signals to anticipate and diagnose issues remotely, determine the source of the problem.
One-of-a-Kind CRM
December 5, 2018
The hoopla over vertical market or industry CRM might be eclipsing a similar move that does the same kind of thing but with less fanfare. In the end, we might be discussing two iterations and just a difference of degree. The proliferation of CRM development platforms by companies like Microsoft, Oracle, and especially Salesforce, is changing how we regard core functionality.
Governance: An Overlooked but Critical CX Solution
November 20, 2018
Today's customer feedback world is extremely complex with data coming from a variety of sources. With the growing number of cross-functional teams and silos within an organization, leaders have been finding it increasingly difficult to capture the full 360-degree view of the customer to drive true change within an organization. While it's clear that problems exist, what's less straightforward is why.
Digital Disruption Pathways
November 5, 2018
Digital transformation means a lot of things to different people, but if you do it right it should be virtually unique to your circumstance. The other day I caught up with Rip Gerber, CMO at Vlocity, the Salesforce partner that specializes in vertical industries like telecommunications and insurance. Of digital disruption, Gerber told me, "Nobody changes anything without a strong business case."
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Which technology has the strongest positive or negative impact on race relations?
Smartphone cameras, by holding people accountable.
Twitter, by reporting news as it happens.
Facebook, by providing a platform for discussing the issues.
YouTube, by exposing viewers to other cultures.
Twitter, by fueling antagonisms.
Facebook, by spreading fake news.
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