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Salesforce Is No Longer Just a CRM Company
September 20, 2021
Dreamforce happens this week, emanating from San Francisco and reaching out to the world via the global cloud computing network Salesforce helped to create. With that, this may be the last time to say with all sincerity that Salesforce is a CRM company. Truth be told, the transition has been ongoing, and the call could have been made at any time in the last few years, so now is as good a time as any to make it.
Intuit's $12B Mailchimp Purchase Breathes New Life Into Email Marketing
September 16, 2021
Intuit on Monday announced an agreement to acquire Mailchimp, a global customer engagement and marketing platform for small and mid-market businesses, for $12 billion in cash and stock advances. The purchase could be the linchpin that thrusts the mostly financial software company into solving more fertile mid-market business challenges for its customers.
Logical CX Now Vital to Retail Brand Building
September 14, 2021
A pair of recent studies highlight changing shopper attitudes as the pandemic continues its stranglehold on the supply chain for most industries. Two clear-cut consumer trends have surfaced: online shoppers want more self-service options and an overall more-efficient shopping experience.
Call Center Culture Can Make or Break Your Customer Experience
September 7, 2021
Leaf Home built its call center operation to drive potential customers to a cheerful encounter with all the departments to which they connect. That pleasant working relationship starts with Leaf's call center staff. We spoke with the company's chief human resources officer, Sean Loboda, to discuss the benefits of creating a positive call center environment.
Making Sales Safe for Process
September 2, 2021
A sales process is a set of protocols that an organization uses to conduct selling. One's process needs not be complex, many organizations settle on processes that have around seven steps. But a sales process that everyone in the organization adheres to is fundamental to that organization's success. The reasons are not complicated.
This Digital CX Tool Drives Repeat Customers, No Website Required
August 25, 2021
Cultivating repeat customers is a critical necessity in the continuing customer shift to mobile-first interactions for a potential product or service purchase. Digital CX tools help level the playing field by providing SMBs the same advantages put to use by their larger counterparts to solidify the customer experience and create repeat business.
Next Normal, Too Soon?
August 18, 2021
It isn't just the pandemic that's shifting society; other macro events add an important dimension and all of it influences the direction of CRM for the foreseeable future. But a key question looms: Are we still too close to these events to be able to make sensible predictions about how and where we will work, buy, and sell in the years ahead?
Sales Cycles and the Slacking of Salesforce
August 10, 2021
With the recent completion of the Slack acquisition, Salesforce can look forward to improving the quality of the customer-facing business processes that it supports with more and better collaboration. However, the presence of Slack may now highlight the reality that while vendors operate at the speed of technology, buyers conduct more staid and contemplative buying processes.
How Natural Language Understanding Smartens Customer Interactions
August 3, 2021
Tapping into natural language understanding technology as part of an overall approach to managing customer relations improves the experience that businesses provide to their customers. Brands already implement a variety of solutions to gain data and insights from customer interactions. Still, many companies struggle to catch trends or potential problems due to disparate data.
Supercharging Customer Retention
July 26, 2021
AfterShip Cofounder and CPO Andrew Chan is an advocate of post-purchase engagement to boost customer retention. He advises that ensuring a convenient experience after purchase -- from shipping, tracking, returns, and reviews -- helps retailers sell more to happy, repeat consumers. We spoke with Chan to hear more about his strategies for supercharging customer retention.
Key Factors When Selecting and Setting Up an E-Commerce Platform
July 23, 2021
One of the fundamental choices that an e-commerce retailer must make is the platform they use to sell their goods and services, because it's not just a store -- it's a place to connect with customers and create a sense of the brand. We spoke with several e-commerce experts to get their take on how retailers can choose and customize platforms to get the right fit between product, culture, and customer.
Better CX Through Customer Journey Management
July 15, 2021
The need for better customer journeys is a challenging goal. Overcoming operational challenges to become more agile in meeting customer needs -- and raising the maturity of the customer experience team -- will be critical to staying competitive in this ever-changing business environment, advised Bloomfire CEO Mark Hammer.
Resale Marketplace Advice: 7 Challenges and Solutions To Overcome Them
July 14, 2021
With resale appealing to a growing share of consumers, chief among them Gen Z, more brands are jumping on the bandwagon. Levi's, Lululemon, and Nike all launched in-house resale programs over the last year. However, the rise of resale comes with many challenges for e-commerce brands and marketplaces. Let's look at the most pressing obstacles for resellers and solutions for how to overcome them.
Creating Paths of Engagement for Effective E-Commerce Journeys
July 6, 2021
From an initial expression of interest, to a purchase, to receiving ongoing support and ultimately buying again, customers take a variety of journeys as they interact with brands. The more a company considers and plans for the paths its customers will follow, the more likely it is that the business will be able to design effective journeys for those customers.
CRM's Virtuous Circle
July 6, 2021
First, cloud-based CRM democratized business information, then it erased the distance between customers and vendors. Now it is poised to expand into other areas with similar democratizing opportunities. I am speaking about how we work -- at least those of us in the knowledge economy -- but there's a good chance that CRM's reach will also influence the economy of essential workers too.
3 Key Considerations Before Moving to a Direct-to-Consumer Model
June 29, 2021
By cutting out the middleman, brands can earn a higher margin and gain direct access to consumers and their data. For these reasons, leading brands such as Nike are aggressively making the shift to DTC, and other large retailers are following suit. However, many forget to take into account three important factors.
Salesforce Season
June 28, 2021
There may be two Salesforce seasons in a year -- the one we're finishing and one that happens just before Dreamforce. Roughly speaking, these seasons happen when the company disgorges a raft of new technologies both to update existing products and to bring forth new ones. This season covers a lot of ground; everything from sustainability to workforce management and vertical industry CRM solutions.
What Post-Pandemic Recovery Means to Sales Pros
June 9, 2021
The economic implications of Covid-19 have been devastating for many sectors and individuals. As we head into the summer of 2021 anticipating that most places in the U.S. will be fully open for business, many industries are looking at what the post-Covid recovery will mean for them. For sales professionals, the comeback might certainly bring a windfall but also presents challenges.
Grinding Data Into Information
June 8, 2021
A lot of time and treasure has already been spent on "going digital" with no clear understanding of what that should mean. But going digital should, at least in part, mean taking full responsibility for turning a business' mountain of customer data into usable information that advances the company mission.
It Pays to Nurture Your Existing Customers
May 20, 2021
Important as it is to continually acquire new customers, it's every bit as vital for businesses to nurture existing clientele. The E-Commerce Times talked with several experts in customer engagement to get their thoughts about why it's critical to cultivate current customers -- and how to encourage them to stick around.
A Raft of New Information Muddles CRM's Future
May 10, 2021
The big questions about reopening the global economy and what new moves portend are coming in for analysis. It's not yet clear what the new normal is -- and there are more than a few straws in the wind that suggest that fixing one problem might cause another. This entire discussion before us isn't really about the new normal. Instead, it's about trying to ask the right questions that will get us there.
Three-Part Evolution
April 30, 2021
I've been writing about the importance of platform as a tool and as a strategy for a while -- and not only with regard to Salesforce. I'd say most CRM vendors have a platform story; others like Oracle and Zoho come up as examples all the time. The difference with Salesforce is that it's looking beyond the platform to what it does, not only for its customers but also for the company's own positioning.
This New Online Marketplace Caters to Creators
April 28, 2021
TrovaPage helps creators and other entrepreneurs focus on marketing without detracting from their creativity. The internet marketplace provides a complete e-commerce platform that allows entrepreneurs to build, market, and bill for services. Users' businesses range from yoga instruction and guitar lessons, to small restaurants, personalized astrology, and nonprofits.
How to Avoid the Cost of Churn With Better Customer Experiences
April 27, 2021
Customer churn is costing mid-market companies an average of $5.5 million per year. Retailers need to avoid the expensive mistakes that result in such disastrous churn. This presents a clamorous alarm to marketers. One solution to this costly predicament is to get sales teams to work effectively, and consistently, in CRM platforms.
Need More From Your Digital Ad Spend? Adopt Contextual Alignment
April 21, 2021
Many digital marketers spend too much on targeting an already loyal customer base rather than tapping into new streams. Dr. Jorge Barraza, professor of applied psychology at the University of Southern California, has a plan to help advertisers reach consumers that would not normally buy their products, by using the principle of contextual alignment.
Newslettering vs. Blogging
April 16, 2021
Newsletters have become popular over the last few years; and especially over the past year during you-know-what when in-person meetings were taboo. Many companies are trying to figure out how to best leverage them, and new software platforms make it increasingly easy to produce one or more. What interests me about the newsletter format is how blog-like it is.
Transitioning to Hybrid Commerce
April 9, 2021
Certainly, the pandemic has caused some upheavals in American business -- and it's true that the record of progress in economics is littered with creative destruction. But the absolutist prognostications about the future of digital commerce taking over the world made me think "here we go again." Trees don't grow to the moon, retrenchment is common.
How to Ride the 'Consumer Wave' to Better Customer Experiences
April 5, 2021
Even the most customer-centric businesses can overestimate their performance or miss the broad trends in customer behavior. That is why NICE inContact conducts annual surveys that track the customer experience from the perspective of businesses and consumers. CRM Buyer discussed the recent findings and related issues in more detail with the company's CEO Paul Jarman.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning? Ask These Questions
April 2, 2021
Engaging in disaster recovery requires a company to think about many things, but despite the long checklists that are created to accomplish DR, there are some areas that frequently get overlooked in business continuity and disaster recovery planning. With this in mind, it is imperative to address all areas of concern before a disaster strikes, not during or after the event.
CRM's New Normal: It's Complicated
March 29, 2021
As we slowly climb out of the Covid anis horribilis, advocates of the new normal (whatever that is) may wish to temper their prognostications about working from home or working from anywhere. While those are good ideas, and the new crop of CRM apps that support such hybrid work lives are genuinely cool, they might only demonstrate the deep functionality of CRM companies' platforms and not a social movement.
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