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How Social Selling Changed the Buyer's Journey
February 27, 2020
Social selling has changed how online consumers are interacting with and buying from e-commerce businesses. Why? Because it's had a huge impact on the buyer's journey as a whole. Today, we live in a digital world, and this means the consumer has the upper hand, thanks to the growth in e-commerce and the Internet of Things. The modern buyer does more research up front and online.
The Architectural Imperative for AI-Powered E-Commerce
February 25, 2020
We've been promised, repeatedly, that AI would revolutionize e-commerce. Think about it for a moment. Has it lived up to expectations for you? If not, the problem may lie not in the technology you've deployed on your site, but in the architecture and data that support it. The effectiveness of AI-powered features ultimately depends on a high level of discipline about data and architecture.
2020: The Year for Custom CX and Privacy
February 24, 2020
With the introduction of the CCPA this year and GDPR in 2018, the age of data privacy has begun, bringing the opportunity for businesses to harness it to gain competitive advantage. There are both challenges and opportunities for those that aim to deliver superior CX while adhering to data privacy regulations. Data privacy protection concerns are driving new regulations around the world.
Microsoft Injects New AI Features Into Dynamics 365
February 20, 2020
Microsoft has unveiled several new AI capabilities across Dynamics 365 applications and a new solution to help project-centric services organizations transform their operations. The AI enhancements include first- and third-party data connections in Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, Microsoft's customer data platform. The company also unveiled new manual and predictive forecasting capabilities.
Customer Retention Blooms Again
February 12, 2020
Brightback recently published a report on customer churn and what more than 400 subscription companies say they're doing about it. Its findings are in line with many other sources, and the data deserves an examination. First of all, we're way past the point where subscription companies can expect to sign all of the new customers they need to replace those that decide to end their relationships.
Latest E-Commerce Trend: The Rise of Shoppable Posts
February 11, 2020
There were 4,521,480,071 Internet users as of Dec. 1, 2019. A month later it was closer to 5 billion users. A decade ago there were fewer than a billion social network users. That's worldwide. That user growth has been a leading indicator of the rise of alternative social networking platforms. Marketers -- and consumers -- are always on the lookout for the newest thing with which to engage.
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.
Retention, Retention, Retention
January 25, 2020
It's hard to say with any specificity where the CRM market will move this year, but I'm a pundit so let me try anyway. After more than two decades, CRM has landed in the business landscape and spread out in impressive ways. When CRM emerged in the late 1990s social media didn't exist, and the idea of social networking was confined to a few papers from Harvard and other places.
6 Simple Steps to Improve Your B2B Customer Retention
January 21, 2020
The business-to-business buyer's journey is often difficult and long. The typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves six to 10 decision makers, each of them bringing information they independently gathered to share with the group before making a decision. This information often opens the door for new suggestions, creating an even longer buying process.
Televerde's Michelle Cirocco: 'Invest in Disempowered Populations'
January 20, 2020
The prison workforce development program run by Televerde delivers significant economic and cultural value, concludes a study recently conducted at Arizona State University's Seidman Research Institute. Televerde trains and employs incarcerated women, and it offers many of them employment when they leave prison. Televerde CSRO Michelle Cirocco spoke about the study and about the long-term benefits of Televerde's program.
The Million Dollar Hidden Opportunity for E-Commerce SMBs
January 18, 2020
Every successful, long-term business has a common denominator in training as it relates to online sales customer contacts. Notice I said "long-term." A great product or unique marketing effort can fall short when a customer contacts an employee who is ill-equipped to respond. Some 72 percent of online shoppers will return up to 10 percent of their purchases, according to the UPS Pulse study.
4 Marketing Automation Tools for SMB Success in 2020
January 14, 2020
Marketing automation isn't a thing of the future -- it's very much a part of the here and now for small and midsized businesses across the world. However, many are unaware of a variety of marketing automation tools that can help SMBs reach customers in a timely and effective way. To compete with larger firms on customer reach, SMBs need to approach their marketing plan with a strategic mindset.
Designing a Winning E-Commerce Customer Experience
January 11, 2020
An optimized customer experience can tip the balance toward gaining a purchase instead of losing a customer. Excellent CX has transitioned firmly from something nice to have to a business requirement. No matter how good a product or service is, the e-commerce Web and mobile design surrounding it will play a key role in maintaining engagement and ensuring consumers complete their shopping journey.
4 Keys to a Winning Amazon Marketing Strategy
December 30, 2019
Research indicates that 66 percent of online shoppers start their product searches on Amazon, and Amazon shoppers behave differently than buyers on other online platforms and at brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon has set up its listings so that it is simple to "window shop" and compare competitive products. A brand must make sure to position its products in a way that shows how it is different from competitors in the marketplace.
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy That Actually Works
December 21, 2019
Today's consumers live in a digital world, which means they can retrieve all the information they desire at the touch of a button, putting them in control. Added to this, they have become immune to traditional outbound marketing methods -- such as billboards and television advertisements -- and they expect brands and businesses to tailor their messages based on customers' individual preferences.
Just Wait Till Next Year
December 18, 2019
For the last 15 years I've written year end articles on where we've been and where we're going in CRM and more broadly in tech. This year it struck me that the major topics that were important in 2019 would be equally important in 2020. In my mind there are several clusters of things that have sticking power. For starters, platform will be a bigger story than it already is.
Paving the Way for the Next Generation of CX Services
December 16, 2019
In order to deliver superior customer experience, companies should combine human talent with technology, including much-needed digital expertise, to turn their current revenue and growth strategies into customer satisfaction. The companies that truly succeed engage their customers and strengthen their brands. Technology has changed consumer and business needs and expectations.
3 Steps to a Winning Google Shopping Strategy
December 14, 2019
The world of paid digital advertising is changing fast. Over the last year alone, marketers have had to adapt to big changes on Facebook's platform. They now have to reckon with the continued growth of Amazon, which is taking an ever-larger bite out of online advertising budgets. Even Google, long the alpha dog in digital marketing, is altering its approach with the changing times.
How to Turn First-Time Holiday Shoppers Into Repeat Buyers
December 10, 2019
More shoppers. Increased sales. Larger orders. This year's five-day stretch between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday left echoing "cha-chings" ringing through the retail atmosphere. A record 190 million Americans shopped during Thanksgiving weekend, and they're not done yet. This will be the first year that every day in November and December will surpass $1 billion in online sales.
How to Take CPG Sales to the Next Level
December 10, 2019
Consumer packaged goods, or CPG, are the everyday items consumers use, such as food, beverages, clothes and household products. These products are ones that require regular replacement or replenishing. Due to the frequency of purchases and the low cost of switching brands, this market is extremely competitive. E-commerce is now a popular channel for purchasing these types of products.
The New Era of Account-Based Marketing
December 7, 2019
B2B marketing is evolving -- and it's not just the industry itself. Vendor marketing efforts with customers can and should evolve as well. When you see a vendor selected repeatedly, or it officially earns a designation as a preferred vendor, it's a sign of marketing evolution. Most B2B marketing efforts begin from a cold start. Either a vendor is new or it is entering a new market.
For Some Sellers, Black Friday Was Beige
December 6, 2019
If Black Friday is the biggest sales day of the year, is it necessarily the best? For many small merchants, it seemed Black Friday was more beige than black. Black Friday is the biggest sales day of the year, but it's often dominated by massive merchants. For smaller businesses, there are other peak sales days that might be better suited to their unique positioning.
Dreamforce Points to New Disruption
December 4, 2019
There were more than 170,000 people at Dreamforce a couple of weeks ago, and many more watching from afar. Also, there were well over 2,000 sessions. Numerous announcements sprang from the big Salesforce event. Some announcements and sessions, like the Tim Cook fireside chat, stand out. Of the top six, I reckon that five were more about integration and working across vendor boundaries than CRM.
4 Big 2020 Sales Enablement Predictions
November 23, 2019
Now is the time when growth-minded organizations and their sales leaders begin to evaluate this year while looking ahead to the next. It's a time to identify opportunities for improvement, anticipate industry changes, and solidify a sales strategy that will align with the evolving expectations of business-to-business buyers, emerging technologies, and the company's business goals.
Why a Single Source of Truth Often Isn't
November 21, 2019
This week, Salesforce used its annual Dreamforce mega-show to make a host of announcements, ranging from contact center partnership with Amazon to a smart speaker tool for sales. For the most part, the keynote featured practical applications of Salesforce technology. Some Dreamforces focus on the highly aspirational; others focus on the ways to attain those aspirations. This year is the latter.
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.
The Rise of D2C
November 18, 2019
Direct-to-consumer commerce, or D2C, is on the rise. Increasingly, consumers are expecting to interact directly with the companies that market and manufacture products. "Direct-to-consumer commerce has been enhanced by the explosion of the Internet. E-commerce provides a more convenient and frictionless buying experience," said Peter Edlund, chief solutions evangelist at DiCentral.
4 Ways Legal and Sales Can Collaborate
November 16, 2019
Sales and legal need to maintain a united front. This means being on the same page when it comes to contracting, as a significant portion of their work together is creating, negotiating and sending contracts. However, whereas legal wants to double- and triple-check that the terms are suitable, sales wants to send a contract off as soon as possible and shorten the time to closed-won.
Salesforce and Microsoft in Another Deal
November 14, 2019
With Dreamforce approaching, it's no surprise that Salesforce is making a flurry of announcements. What is surprising are two big ones involving partnering with other vendors, mostly on infrastructure -- announcements that I believe make the idea of an information utility more real with each passing day. I see evidence of an information utility forming.
Previewing Dreamforce 2019
November 13, 2019
Dreamforce is next week. Once again, the sold-out show will be headquartered at San Francisco's Moscone Center and overflowing to neighboring hotels. Over the years Dreamforce has become the Las Vegas of trade shows in one important respect. Both are famous for being bastions of excess. Vegas has excesses of the sensual kind, while Dreamforce offers a business and technology equivalent.
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Salesforce is a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant 2019 for Digital Commerce