OpManager: A single console to manage your complete IT infrastructure. Click here for a 30-day free trial.
Welcome Guest | Sign In
LinuxInsider.com
Teach Your Channel Partners Well
December 20, 2013
Companies that sell direct have it easy. They have control over hiring their salespeople, control over marketing messages, and control over service and support. There's only one entity to blame if the buyer's unhappy, and that's the seller. When you mix in an indirect channel, however, things get a little more difficult. Now a third party has an impact on the buyer's satisfaction as well.
CRM's Frayed Ends
December 06, 2013
The buyer-seller relationship we most often think of is one in which all the responsibility is loaded on the seller. The seller convinces the customer to buy, then provides support and further marketing to keep the customer loyal. Not every selling relationship works this way, however. When both ends of the sale have a responsibility, things get a little cloudier and more complex.
Top of the Funnel
December 04, 2013
The new customer era accepts that the direct contact between a vendor and customer or potential customer is being augmented by non-human intermediaries like websites, software robots that triage customer issues, e-commerce systems, social media, and who knows what else. The good news is that customers leave data trails like ants leave trails of pheromones to a candy bar on a sidewalk.
TreeHouse Brings Content Marketing Into Its CRM Fold
December 02, 2013
TreeHouse Interactive recently updated the core functionality in its Marketing View marketing automation platform by adding a new tool called "Content Marketing Manager." Marketing automation -- along with TreeHouse's other play in the CRM space, partner relationship management -- is one of the company's raisons d'Ítre. "We shipped our first marketing automation platform in 1997," said CEO Erich Flynn.
Dreamforce Debriefing
November 26, 2013
OK, we survived Dreamforce and that has enabled us to limp home exhausted by all the information we accumulated and the parties we attended just in time for the holidays. I have a lot of thoughts about the show. If I try to share most of them, the result will be a stream-of-conscious rant that will make little sense, so some discipline is in order.
Zoho Sets Its Sights on Large Businesses
November 25, 2013
Zoho recently deepened the functionality in its CRM suite and upgraded Zoho Support with high-end and high-capacity telephony and mobile-app features for large businesses. The moves are part of the company's strategy of migrating upstream to service a larger customer base. "Zoho started off marketing our CRM application to small businesses," said Zoho evangelist Raju Vegesna.
Dreamforce 2013 Notebook
November 22, 2013
There's always a lot to digest after Salesforce.com's annual bacchanalia, Dreamforce, which drew 135,000 registrants this year. Some of it is about Salesforce's announcements, but a lot more of it is about the implications of those announcements, the people who attend, and what goes on around the show. Despite its peculiar name, Salesforce1 is an important step for Salesforce.
Keep Holiday Shoppers Happy, in 3 Easy Steps
November 21, 2013
This holiday season, everything from Nerf N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire Blasters to Doc McStuffins dolls and even diamond jewelry will be purchased via mobile devices to a greater extent than ever before. In fact, mobile shopping will surpass the growth of all other channels during the upcoming holiday season, eMarketer has predicted, as more and more consumers change they way they purchase gifts.
The Class of '14
November 20, 2013
The story of this year's Dreamforce might best be told through the partner community and AppExchange, and that makes it a story about the platform. Appropriately enough, Salesforce teed up the platform topic in Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff's Tuesday keynote and the press conference immediately following it, where he announced Salesforce1.
Tablets and CRM, Part 2: Revolution in the Making
November 19, 2013
GE Capital has an iPad app, based on Salesforce.com, that integrates geospatial data to let mobile sales reps know which customers need attention and where they are. It is a simple, yet impressive example of a company using tablets and CRM functionality to improve its internal productivity. While appreciating its capabilities, many companies would not put the necessary energy into developing it.
Demandbase Puts a B2B Spin on Retargeting
November 18, 2013
Building on the B2B targeting and personalization ad platform it launched about a year ago, Demandbase last week debuted a new ad tool called "B2B Retargeting." Like the Company-Targeted Advertising solution Demandbase launched in 2012, B2B Retargeting is a rare breed of online ad software in that it focuses specifically and solely on businesses -- not consumers -- as customers.
Salesforce Automation Tops CRM Buyers' Software Wish Lists
November 15, 2013
Ask prospective buyers of CRM software what they're most interested in, and you'll probably get a mix of variations on the following three themes: "I am not sure about the deployment model yet, although I have heard good things about the cloud"; "I know about the benefits of using an integrated suite, but frankly I would like to investigate some best-of-breed offerings too"; and "Is it salesforce automation related?"
Community Action
November 13, 2013
I had an interesting conversation last week with Eric Berridge, CEO of Bluewolf, about a new report his company sponsored, "The State of Salesforce." This is the second year that Bluewolf has compiled this report. Researchers from MIT's Sloan School interviewed hundreds of Salesforce customers to learn about their attitudes, opinions and future demand.
3 Ways Corporate Culture can Crush CRM
November 08, 2013
CRM technology often gets blamed for the failure of customer initiatives -- and sometimes it's deserved. In many cases, though, the technology works exactly as advertised -- as far as technology can work. Still, CRM is a discipline, not a technology -- the technology merely helps business scale up the discipline. For that reason, the people and the processes around CRM are vital to its success.
ZipRealty Brings CRM to Real Estate Agents on the Go
November 04, 2013
ZipRealty recently released a mobile CRM app that complements its custom-built Zap online CRM system. While the mobile version, dubbed "mobile Zap," has the same functionality as its online desktop counterpart, it was designed with an eye to accommodating real estate agents' on-the-go schedules, said Jamie Wilson, the company's senior vice president of technology.
Hidden in Plain Sight: 3 CRM Analytics Pearls
October 25, 2013
CRM technology is all about collecting data -- which means it should go hand-in-hand with the trend toward analytics. Often, though, what is analyzed is not what's important. In CRM, many of the most compelling data are hiding in plain sight, but businesses are looking elsewhere. These hidden metrics can be accessed without expensive analytics tools in most cases, but they're overlooked.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Sharpens Social Skills
October 21, 2013
Microsoft on Monday announced the availability of its latest version of Dynamics CRM along with a new partnership with InsideView that adds social intelligence capabilities to the CRM system. Available for purchase starting Oct. 31, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 offers a number of new features and capabilities, including new templates for certain workflows and work processes.
Make Every Employee an Ambassador - Not a Salesperson
October 18, 2013
One of the phrases CRM vendors love to toss around these days is this saw: "CRM makes every employee a salesperson." I'm sure the VP of sales loves this vision, in which he suddenly is served by a quadrupled or quintupled number of salespeople, many of whom he doesn't have to manage and to whom he doesn't have to pay commission. The idea is a canard. It's a sham.
Study: Topnotch Customer Service Yields Strong Returns
October 11, 2013
There is a significant performance gap between companies that fully apply best customer service practices and those that are inconsistent in their approach, according to a new report from the Miller Heiman Research Institute. There was a gap of 13 percent between the two groups of companies in performance metrics such as account acquisition, customer retention, account billing and revenue growth.
Groupon Adds a Dash of CRM to Its Breadcrumb POS App
October 10, 2013
On Wednesday Groupon announced that it has added new CRM features to its Breadcrumb point-of-sale app with the potential to drive traffic and improve customer relations for Groupon merchants. Customer tracking, for instance, is one of the new features now included in Breadcrumb. The software tracks customers, stores their contact information, analyzes purchase behaviors and records notes on their preferences.

See More Articles in Sales Section >>
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ RSS