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Results 81-100 of 177 for Louis Columbus
OPINION

Customers Are Redefining What Intimacy Means

It's good to question assumptions about your customer base from time to time and test them just to make sure they are still accurate. One of the strongest lessons learned from the Internet is just how much many manufacturers don't know about our own channels, customers, pricing, and products. The Internet's immediate ability to deliver feedback is showing many assumptions about nearly every customer-facing aspect of a business to be incomplete at best...

OPINION

Beating Blog Envy

There's an undercurrent running through many conversations these days with professional colleagues: To blog or not to blog? That is the question ...

OPINION

How CRM Can Create Sales Warriors

Extroverted, loud and direct, your sales force is a living case study about whether CRM drives sales excellence or not. The highest achieving sales people -- I like to think of them as sales warriors because the really do fight to win business every day -- are the lifeblood of any company. They bring the voice of the customer into any company ...

OPINION

Outsourcing’s Double-Edged Sword: Trust

The lack of trust in the accuracy, frequency and depth of financial reporting processes in companies has spawned a sizeable industry that has trust at its cornerstone. Sarbanes-Oxley's pain is the outsourcer's gain, and in this strengthening reciprocal relationship between the need for U.S. publicly held corporations to comply with SOX on the one hand versus fixing antiquated and broken processes that drain profits on the other, many companies are coming down in the middle, doing them both at the same time and outsourcing it...

OPINION

Lessons Learned in Las Vegas: Loyalty Programs Pay

In a town renowned for big bets and high rollers -- called "whales" by casino management -- Harrah's laid down the biggest bet of all on June 13th when it concluded its merger with Caesars Entertainment. Harrah's paid US$1.87 billion in cash and US$3.27 billion in stock, also assuming $3.86 billion in Caesar's debt. With the merger, Harrah's has over 40 properties in 12 states...

OPINION

Making Partnerships Pay

Partnerships are increasingly under attack as less than credible in enterprise software, no more so than in CRM. Starting with classic logo and press release swaps between vendors desperate to fuel each other's sales pipelines, partnerships are met with increasing scrutiny in the world of enterprise software in general and CRM specifically. A prime reason: CRM vendors see consolidation coming in specific sectors, and it is much easier to partner with someone you cannot afford to acquire or don't have a chance of being acquired by. The scope of this article includes partnerships between vendors not including system integrators -- which is a completely separate topic...

OPINION

Revenge of the Nerds: How Chip Vendors Are Changing Software Pricing

The big four processor vendors -- AMD, IBM, Intel and Sun Microsystems -- rely heavily on continual innovation and speed increases to fuel their businesses. At the heart of their strategies is Moore's Law ...

Lessons Learned About Saturated Markets

About this time of the year, many manufacturers start believing their markets are saturated. Sales cycles are too quiet in July and August, and everyone from the CFO to the custodial staff get nervous. Too often manufacturers mistake a larger-than-normal dip in a sales cycle for market saturation. On the other hand, there are those companies faced with real market saturation -- and their plummeting prices every day just underscore how impervious their markets are to price as their lone remaining differentiator...

OPINION

BlackBerry: CRM’s Paradox

Watching an otherwise relaxed executive from a CRM vendor nearly jump out of his chair this week over lunch when his BlackBerry went off instantly reminded me of one of my neighbor's boys bouncing with excitement after unwrapping a Sony Personal PlayStation (PSP) for his birthday. Then it dawned on me: BlackBerries are a baby boomer's PSP with business justification and reimbursable charges. Perfect!...

EXPERT ADVICE

Measuring Customer Satisfaction Like You Mean It

When it comes to measuring their customers' satisfaction, too many companies have settled into a comfortable rut of changing their approaches to get the results they want. It's like buying a treadmill with the mile counter sped up; if we all could perform at such accelerated levels, we'd all be Olympic-class sprinters and milers. Ironically the more critical renewal business is in a company, the greater the emphasis on inflating customer satisfaction metrics, and the greater the tendency to design research programs that deliver results expected. This doesn't happen overnight; it is a gradual slide into the bad habit of designing research to get the results you want...

Discovering Real Influencers

There's a burning question on the minds of many marketing, sales and support execs these days and it is: "How do I reach the influencers that really matter to my business?" A common question that comes up often in marketing planning meetings, these execs are realizing that the influencers most visible today, while important, aren't necessarily the ones with the most weight...

INDUSTRY ANALYSIS

Valuing Homegrown Systems

There's a growing ground-swell of interest in many companies today around the valuation of their homegrown ERP, CRM, order capture and service applications. This issue has come to the forefront for several reasons, the two most dominant ones being many companies are looking seriously at the marketability of these applications in the open market, and second, the need to value intellectual property in their companies as manufacturing is moved offshore...

INDUSTRY ANALYSIS

Blog Mining Gets Real

The torrent of facts, data, figures and insights that blogs deliver daily are random and chaotic, yet immensely valuable in the right context. For companies committed to getting to the truth of where they stand with their prospects, customers, suppliers and many other stakeholders, blogs are becoming the medium of choice ...

OPINION

Demystifying ROI by Measuring Marketing

In good times marketing and sales get all the credit for increases in sales and profits, but in bad times, IT gets the brunt of the cost-cutting pressure. What have been missing are truer measures of return on investment (ROI) for companies adopting customer-facing strategies. What's really needed is a more focused approach to quantifying the contribution of marketing, while at the same time questioning some long-held beliefs about ROI...

EXPERT ADVICE

Rx for CRM: Build for Trust

The bottom line is that despite promising a 360 degree view of the customer, and all the benefits of that level of visibility into customer relationships, CRM systems continue to suffer from lack of the one essential element that would make all these applications come together: trust ...

OPINION

Fuel for CRM Mergers & Acquisitions: Maintenance Revenues

During the last downturn nearly every enterprise software vendor stayed alive for a quarter or more due to their support and maintenance revenue streams. Today, support and maintenance comprises the majority of revenue for many CRM vendors, both public and private ...

OPINION

Why Analytics Could Save CRM

The bottom line is that today the analytics used in many small manufacturing companies starts and ends with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. There are entire manufacturing operations run off Excel, fulfilling the roles of demand planner, manufacturing scheduling, and the continual maintenance of bills of materials, in addition to many other tasks ...

OPINION

Mendocino: The Reason Microsoft Should Buy Siebel

Prospects, customers and investors must have a lingering question in their minds with the announcement of a new CEO at Siebel: "Since George Shaheen was already on the board and capable of major influence, why haven't things changed already?" Putting a board member into the CEO slot seems like window dressing and let's be honest -- just perpetuates the inward-centric view this company has of itself...

EXPERT ADVICE

Selling into India: Lessons From Silvio Napoli

For the last four years I've been teaching an international business course occasionally for a local MBA Program. My students are all working professionals who come to class for discussion and debate, not sermons. Case studies are the perfect teaching tool for this audience; there is plenty of room for debate and analysis. Layer in expansion into high-growth economies, and class attendance soars...

INDUSTRY ANALYSIS

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant May Need New Pixie Dust

The Gartner Group's Magic Quadrant is one of the most referenced research tools in the IT industry. During the boom years of the late 1990s nearly every company that received funding or even hoped to get an IPO completed had to get a Gartner subscription to populate their S1s (S1 is a document you file with the Securities and Exchange Commission to register your intentions to go public) with market statistics to substantiate their market direction and position...

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