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E-Commerce Provides Fertile Ground for B2B Growth
November 19, 2017
Business-to-business firms view increased online activity as an effective way to boost their growth, according to a new report from CloudCraze. Eighty-nine percent of the 400-plus B2B decision makers CloudCraze surveyed in the United States and Europe expected digital commerce would help their businesses grow. E-commerce has altered the role of sales teams, the CloudCraze survey also suggests.
New Integration Improves Engagement for B2B Marketers
November 17, 2017
BrightFunnel this week announced the integration of its BrightFunnel Revenue Intelligence Suite with Microsoft Dynamics. The integration will let enterprise B2B marketing teams analyze the impact of marketing investments on their companies' business. They'll be able to accurately measure marketing attribution to pipeline and revenue across every marketing channel, campaign and initiative.
Revisiting Show Season
November 14, 2017
Show season changes the CRM market. One day you're in the vanilla application software space, and a week later you understand the need to incorporate social media or analytics or machine learning, or you see a need for enhanced integration and development through platform services. It goes on. Today, in the wake of many companies' trade shows, we're again taking a look at the available suites.
New Relationship Marketing Hub Aims to Goose Conversion Rates
November 3, 2017
Optimove has released a new version of its relationship marketing hub. Optimove 6.0 lets users automate targeted marketing campaigns for new visitors as precisely as they can for current customers, the company said. It combines Web analytics with look-alike data, machine learning, and AI from its retention ecosystem to make accurate predictions of future spend before customers make a purchase.
With Gamification, CRM Is a Brand New Ball Game
October 27, 2017
Advances in technology -- including speech analytics, metrics, a wider array of scrabble data, and perhaps even big data -- are making gamification a must-have tool in customer relationship management, call centers, collections, sales and other business areas. Technological advances have enabled the design of games that offer employees incentives to make customers happy.
AI Integrations Help Sort Out Sales Signals
October 25, 2017
Clari, which develops software focusing on the opportunity-to-close, or OTC, process, on Wednesday announced integrations with DocuSign, Clearslide and Xactly. Clari's artificial-intelligence-powered OTC platform already integrates Google and Microsoft email and calendar activity, which gives sales teams immediate knowledge of sales reps' and prospects' behavior.
OpenWorld 2017
October 10, 2017
I spent last week at Oracle's OpenWorld 2017 in San Francisco. When I wasn't drinking from an information fire hose, it was alternately fascinating and exhausting. There were major announcements in database, blockchain, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and other stuff I'm associated with only tangentially. For instance, my eyes glaze over when they start talking about bare metal servers.
New BPM, CRM Features Aim to Speed Strategy Execution
September 30, 2017
Bpm'online has introduced software update 7.11 for its intelligent CRM and BPM platform, with more than 200 improvements designed to accelerate strategy execution. Among other features, it provides new machine learning capabilities and predictive algorithms that offer users relevant information and automation within a specific context based on analysis of historical data.
Einstein Tries Sales Forecasting
September 25, 2017
When Salesforce unveiled sales forecasting with its artificial intelligence tool, Einstein, my immediate reaction was that it should have tried something easier -- like solving global warming. Really, a sales forecast that bears some resemblance to reality has been a grail quest for all of us for many years, and Salesforce is not the first software company to throw its hat in the ring.
Nimble's Social CRM Finds Its Way Into Office 365
September 21, 2017
Social sales and marketing software provider Nimble and cloud services consultant NeoCloud have partnered to deliver a simple, affordable contact management and CRM package for Microsoft Office 365. NeoCloud has agreed to bundle Nimble CRM into all of its Office 365 deployments, beginning this month. Nimble CRM adds employees' individual connections to a shared team relationship manager.
New Mobile App Promises Full B2B E-Commerce Experience
September 19, 2017
Insite Software has introduced the first fully configurable white label mobile app built for leading manufacturers and distributors, it said. The app supports everyone involved in the B2B e-commerce experience, from customers to channel partners, to field sales and support teams. Companies purchasing the app can tailor its functions to specific roles and responsibilities.
New Checklist Guides B2B Marketing Automation Platform Purchases
September 15, 2017
Four Quadrant this week released its Marketing Automation Buyer's Checklist for companies seeking to purchase a B2B marketing automation platform, or MAP. The checklist has eight major categories for evaluation and more than 35 subcategories. It lists more than 100 questions buyers should ask to make an informed assessment of MAP vendors' offerings.
The Vision Thing
September 15, 2017
Salesforce earlier this year introduced its Einstein Vision capability, an idea with a lot of promise but not a great deal of precedent. Who had applications that could see, and how would this be used? For decades, we've been content with scanning documents and analyzing them with OCR tools, or we've used bar codes and QR codes -- but it all came down to recognizing simple symbols.
AI Tool Captures and Updates Contacts Automatically
September 13, 2017
Nimble has partnered with CircleBack, which offers an AI-powered contact capture and cleaning tool that updates contacts and scans business cards automatically. The CircleBack tool captures email signatures in Gmail and G Suite in real time, automatically adding new contacts to a user's list. The tool photographs or scans business cards and adds the information to contact lists as well.
6 Reasons You Need CPQ
September 6, 2017
Many businesses still don't use configure, price, quote software in their routine sales processes. Maybe they don't need it, but for businesses that still cling to spreadsheet-based approaches to track things like price lists and product catalogs, chances are good that they're dealing with more overhead than they need to. Worse, they're wasting time and therefore money.
Ten Billion
August 29, 2017
Salesforce announced the partial attainment of one of its long-range goals in its Q2 earnings announcement last week: It eclipsed its goal of a $10 billion run rate. This will be followed by similar announcements over the next year -- first $10 billion year, etc. -- and why not? The company should celebrate. Second quarter revenue hit $2.56 billion, a 26 percent increase year over year.
Zyme CCO Ted Dimbero: Connecting the Channel Data Dots
August 24, 2017
"Channel data management is about providing high-tech companies with all the data and information they need to effectively manage their distribution channels, sales and marketing," said Zyme CCO Ted Dimbero. "Traditionally, companies have relied on managing the channel fairly blindly. They may get monthly data, but a lot of the data is incomplete or too late to make important decisions."
New Service Promises Help Winning Government Contracts
August 1, 2017
Onvia on Tuesday launched a new service for companies selling to the public sector. The service provides access to detailed materials associated with a given solicitation, including all submitted proposals, the awarded bid, the final contract, and the agency's scoring criteria. Onvia "helps clients succeed in pursuing government contracts," said Ben Vaught, director of Onvia for Government.
Changing B2B Marketplace Calls for New Sales Skills
July 27, 2017
There are three key moments when salespeople can maximize the value in a customer relationship instead of allowing it to leak out, according to Corporate Visions, which announced a new sales skills program on Thursday. Those three turning points occur during deal negotiations, when securing customer renewals, and introducing strategic price increases, the company said.
4 Marketing Strategies That Can Boost B2B Sales: Study
June 29, 2017
Four business marketing strategies can boost business-to-business sales conversion rates by up to 25 percentage points, based on results of a survey Altman Vilandrie released this week. However, only 15 percent of businesses fully take advantage of them. Even those that do use the strategies sometimes fail to maximize sales conversions because of a lack of coordination and integration.
Hootsuite Adds New Social Selling Tool
June 21, 2017
Hootsuite on Monday launched Amplify for Selling, a mobile-first solution that helps sales teams succeed on social by generating leads and fostering revenue-driving relationships. The new tool is an extension of Hootsuite's Amplify employee advocacy product, which is focused on the business-to-business market. Amplify for Selling integrates with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Swiftpage CEO John Oechsle: Better Interactions Lead to More Transactions
June 15, 2017
"There are groups within companies that don't want to interact with a full-blown CRM application," said Swiftpage CEO John Oechsle. "They want to access it based on the functions they want it to perform. These small purpose-built apps are going to continue to evolve. Also, people want to interact with software using voice ... . They don't want to sit there and type."
Firms Eager to Try New Sales Technologies, Survey Suggests
June 13, 2017
More than 80 percent of high-growth sales organizations use five or more sales technologies, suggests a recent online survey of 400 companies. Velocify and the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals partnered on the research and released their findings on Tuesday. The average number of sales technologies in use was 10, based on the participants' reports.
Managing Commissions to Boost Sales Productivity
June 5, 2017
Ask salespeople and they'll tell you: They don't have enough time in the day to sell. That's not because the laws of physics cause salespeople to move through time faster than the rest of us -- it's because salespeople are pulled in many directions over the course of a day, cutting into their selling time. Actual selling takes up just 36 percent of the average salesperson's time.
Salesforce Offers Alternative to Old-School Partner Portals
June 1, 2017
Salesforce on Wednesday announced the Sales Cloud Lightning Partner Relationship Management app as a replacement for partner portals and electronic data interchanges that lack modern features such as built-in mobile, social analytics and AI capabilities. The PRM app has an interactive Guided Setup Wizard that lets channel managers configure, customize and deploy the app in days.
Building a Sales Team by the Numbers
May 30, 2017
I don't know why more subscription vendors don't do this. Subscription companies collect mountains of data from their customers, and analyzing the aggregations can deliver profound insights virtually for free. Yet too often subscribers are reluctant to let their data be stripped of identifying characteristics and used for research. Too bad, because there's gold in that big data.
Helpshift Integrates With Salesforce
May 25, 2017
Mobile technology has delivered a lot of useful functionality that enables vendors and their customers to be on the same page more frequently. However, the screen size has an inherent drawback: It shows a very narrow slice of a reality -- typically one idea at a time. The problem is especially acute in the key areas of sales and service. A mobile "help" app should deliver help the customer values.
SugarCRM Trots Out Sugar 7.9 With Quotes
May 18, 2017
SugarCRM on Wednesday announced the general availability of Sugar 7.9 with a new quote-generation and management feature that helps users turn opportunities into closed deals. The upgrade provides next-generation reporting capabilities, plus enhanced advanced workflow, which lets users trigger a process based on fields changing to or from specific values.
E-Commerce Gets the Einstein Treatment
May 17, 2017
E-commerce brings together several themes that relate to our current fascination with artificial intelligence, machine learning, bots, mobile technology and the like. It's actually more than that, because it represents an underserved part of CRM. Until fairly recently, there were few tools that retailers could use to reach online customers for marketing and sales.
3 Ways Your Sales Organization Should Prepare for AI
May 16, 2017
AI is a trend, and it's always nice to be trendy, but as great as CPQ is, it's still only one source of data. Without sufficient data, AI is extremely limited. It's like allowing your toddler to learn only about colors: The kid might be a whiz with colors, all right, but without context -- in other words, more data -- that information won't make any sense.
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What effect is social media having on the current discussion of sexual misconduct?
It's enabling many more people to engage in serious discussions.
It's functioning mostly as an echo chamber.
It's giving everyone a voice.
It's creating much more divisiveness.
It's enabling a cultural re-education.
It's making my news feed so unpleasant I'm staying away.
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