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The Top 20 CRM Blogs of 2017: Countdown, Part 2
January 31, 2018
Where does the discipline of CRM begin? We have a good idea where the software fits, but where does its impact end? With a sale? With a customer saying good things about your company to other customers? With a repeat purchase? And does CRM contribute to these events alone, or is there a web of other activities that help drive these relationships -- and do we ever consider these things to be CRM?
Self-Service AI Aims to Grease the Wheels for B2B Sales Teams
January 26, 2018
SalesDirector.ai has released a self-service version of its artificial intelligence sales execution and sales forecasting platform for B2B sales teams. The system provides enterprise-grade AI to sales teams in less than five minutes, according to the company. Like the regular SalesDirector.ai platform, the self-service version is offered as a service.
Demandbase Adds Conversion Solution to ABM Platform
January 15, 2018
Demandbase has launched its Conversion Solution, adding AI-enabled intent data to its ABM platform, which already incorporates targeting and engagement solutions. It sends sales teams relevant and actionable alerts and insights across multiple channels in real time when one of their accounts is in the news, visiting their company's website, or demonstrating interest in their products.
Namogoo CEO Chemi Katz: Malware Can Ruin the Customer Journey
January 12, 2018
When all goes well, the customer journey "ends with buying a product," said Chemi Katz, CEO of Namogoo. "Hijacking interferes with the customer's journey. It can be a pop-up that the company didn't put there, or something that will lead a customer out of the website. It's any interference that doesn't come from the e-commerce business itself, but from a third party."
3 Critical Things Sales Can Learn From IT
January 9, 2018
If you're in sales, it's likely there are people you want to talk to, and others you may go out of your way to avoid. You might be excited to talk to the CMO -- or not so excited -- based on the leads you recently worked. You might avoid the people from finance, but you might enjoy conversing with your comp plan administrator. However, there's one group of people you may never even consider.
The Strange Bedfellows That Make Sales AI Work
December 11, 2017
At some point, the discussion about artificial intelligence and sales is going to mature. Too many people still think AI for sales will resemble C-3PO, a bumbling assistant that gets in the way more often than not, or the Hal 9000, subverting the sales process in ways that endanger the very existence of the sales person. As the discussions mature, the reality is becoming clearer.
B2B Tech Marketers Have Work Cut Out for Them
December 4, 2017
Product reliability and ease of use are key for B2B technology marketers, suggests a recent survey of technology product and service decision makers in the U.S. Four hundred B2B tech buyers participated in the survey, conducted for Lavidge by WestGroup Research. Overall, 68 percent cited reliability as the most critical criterion in their purchase decisions; 64 percent said ease of use was key.
CPQ's Other Life
November 30, 2017
Configure, Price, Quote systems have a name problem. When they debuted, their basic functions gave a name to the category that was self-explanatory, and it fit well. As with any good idea in technology, however, frequent use brought with it demand for more functionality that quickly outstripped the technology's charter -- a happy problem.
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."
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