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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.
The New App Dev CRM Model
February 5, 2020
CRM is an industry that's been full of turning points, and I think it is at another. There have been many smaller turns, like the additions of analytics, social media and process flows. However, to get a sense of this point in time, I think you have to go all the way back to the turn of the century and the rise of cloud computing. The cloud was important as an economic marker in some unique ways.
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.
Adobe Offers Experience Manager as Cloud Service
January 15, 2020
Adobe has announced the availability of Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service for B2B and B2C companies of all sizes. The service provides "a globally scalable, agile and secure digital foundation that optimizes marketer and developer workflows across the entire content lifecycle," said Haresh Kumar, director of product marketing for Adobe Experience Manager.
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.
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.
Zoho's Catalyst to Growth
October 21, 2019
Now would be a good time to put Zoho on your radar if for some reason it isn't there already. The Austin-based company just announced Catalyst, a developer environment that helps programmers and others to speed development of apps and microservices with capabilities inherited from Zoho's apps portfolio. Catalyst is based on the company's internal development tools.
A New Business Model With Help From CRM
October 17, 2019
I have been writing about Salesforce for 20 years. That's incredible for me because aside from marriage, there's nothing in my life I've done so consistently for so long. Perhaps like a marriage, the thing that's been attractive about Salesforce is its constantly changing nature. The company went through a typical adolescence for a startup but it always had a sense that it was changing the world.
How Committed Is Your CEO to a Great Customer Experience?
September 30, 2019
Consumers have been adopting disruptive digital technologies in their daily lives at a rapid pace. Customers went from being limited to brick-and-mortar stores to researching, comparing and buying a company's products and services online. Along with those shifts came a change in how customers communicate with companies, and the need for positive, consistent and engaging customer experiences.
5 Tips for Making the Secret Sauce of a Sales Rockstar
September 14, 2019
Too often, sales teams and successful reps are shrouded in an air of mystery. Many can't tell you exactly how they do what they do. Nowadays, they do it behind a screen, which limits the potential for apprenticeship, immersive learning and modeling. It offers little data beyond outcomes for managers attempting to dissect what's really working. So, what is the secret sauce of a sales rockstar?
Zoho Is Starting to Look Like a Utility
September 12, 2019
It has been my belief for several years that our industry is trending toward the formation of an information utility. I draw this conclusion carefully based on my understanding of how markets develop and commoditize. I consider the beginning of the modern IT era as the early 1970s. You can graph a rising line of performance and a declining one for price -- essentially Moore's Law.
New Insightly Marketing Platform Modernizes Legacy CRM
September 10, 2019
Insightly has announced the availability of Insightly Marketing, which integrates marketing, sales and project management into a single platform to support dynamic customer journeys. The company also released the results of the Insightly Marketing Study it conducted last month probing trends and challenges in customer relationship management marketing.
Salesforce Q2 Earnings: No Worries
August 24, 2019
Salesforce continues to grow, albeit a little slower than in prior quarters. At least that's my reading of a $4.0 billion quarter that's 22 percent better than the same quarter a year ago. I am used to seeing growth percentages in the high 20s but I am not concerned about a slowdown. I don't know if the spending spree on Tableau and ClickSoftware had anything to do with the numbers.
Platform Power
August 21, 2019
For decades a database application was what we called an "app" that collected and regurgitated data in preset formats on paper reports and screens. That's becoming passť, but it once was a major advance because it gave a worker the necessary information to take decisive action. Today that's rarely enough. Downward cost pressures have been replacing some of the rote human effort with algorithms.
Taking the Leap With B2B Customer Experience Tech
August 20, 2019
The business-to-consumer shopper experience has undergone a seismic shift in the past few years, thanks in large part to new technology. Improved personalization enables consumers faced with a vast field of purchase options to select the brand that best meets their needs and desires. Business-to-business buyers rarely enjoy the same rich buying experiences.
G2's Revelations
August 17, 2019
In a world where information is expected to be free, G2 just made its research reports available to the public gratis. Sure, you have to be a registered user, but how hard is that? From what I know so far, these are interesting reports, but they may not be the last word because they're primarily high-level overviews and indices based on G2's crowdsourcing research approach.
How to Check the Pulse of Your Voice of the Customer Program
August 6, 2019
These days, what business isn't pushing to become more customer-centric? And for good reason --88 percent of businesses view customer experience as a competitive differentiator. A customer-centric culture is a source of long-term strategic competitive advantage. Culture is the one aspect of a business that cannot be replicated easily by the competition.
Turning Research Into Product
July 31, 2019
Oracle just published some commissioned research that gives us insights into both CRM generally and the times we live in. A study of more than 1,100 people across several generations found the following: Almost half of consumers have blacklisted a brand as the result of a bad experience; more than one-third of consumers said they would never shop with a company again after just one bad experience.
Boost Your CRM With IaaS
July 24, 2019
CRM systems are the lifeblood of many businesses, and the volume of customer data within them keeps growing as companies digitize more processes. That data often is not being used to its full potential, beyond basic reporting on sales metrics and marketing campaigns. With the advent of mainstream machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, this is all changing, and quickly.
Thinking Different at Salesforce Connections
June 18, 2019
Salesforce has a genius way of putting people at ease and opening their minds before any of the company's representatives say a word about product. People who study neuropsychology point to the importance of ensuring that the audience's prefrontal cortexes are wide open and ready to transact ideas. Over the years Salesforce has opened minds by discussing philanthropy and it has worked brilliantly.
Trailhead, Salesforce's Not-So-Secret Weapon
June 4, 2019
Salesforce has used its Trailhead learning system to teach developers how to program on its Lightning platform for more than five years. The company last week completed its fourth highly successful TrailheaDX conference, which attracted 14,000 people to the Moscone Center in San Francisco. There are plenty of good reasons for Salesforce to be in the software-coding-education game.
Trailblazing a Path for Blockchain
May 30, 2019
Many of us think of blockchain as the technology that prevents counterfeiting digital currencies like bitcoin. However, the so-called cryptocurrencies have hit the rocks recently, losing value or at least fluctuating wildly, making them look more like the stocks of startups than stores of value. Still, as an independent technology the value of blockchain is only growing.
AppExchange Partners Get a Lift
May 23, 2019
For many years, one of the big concerns of the cloud software industry has been ensuring that the user experience was as good for enterprise software users as it was for consumers on big websites like Amazon. That has been a good motivator, because today's apps on both desktops and mobile devices have seen major improvements. That applies to today's partner ecosystem as well.
Einstein Analytics for Financial Services
May 7, 2019
It's not that Salesforce has introduced more artificial intelligence apps for its Einstein analytics tool set -- this time for financial services -- that's important. It's that the clear trend now emerging is that you can't really have an industry market solution-set without analytics tuned to the vertical. There are at least two ways to do analytics.
New CRM Research Shows Awareness Gap
May 1, 2019
CRM guru Esteban Kolsky and I did some primary research earlier this year, paid for by Zoho. We wanted to improve our understanding of what buyers of CRM systems were most interested in, and to discover their highest priorities. Our survey population was comprised of more than 200 highly qualified executives and managers in companies with workforces that ranged from 500 to several thousand.
New Apriva Partnerships Promise Mobile Shopping Innovations
April 24, 2019
Apriva has announced partnerships with AveriGo and Vagabond to offer innovative mobile shopping and payment solutions. Apriva offers an adaptive platform for secure mobile communications and omnichannel payments. Both its new partners are in the vending and F&B service industries. AveriGo offers the Averiware business platform. Vagabond offers technologies for the convenience services industry.
NICE InContact Packs CXone With Tons of AI Features
April 19, 2019
NICE inContact has released the Spring 2019 version of its CXone cloud-based contact center software, with multiple AI-powered updates for smarter customer and agent engagement, plus enhanced CRM integrations. NICE inContact CXone "is the most complete, unified, and intelligent cloud contact center platform available in the market," said company spokesperson Cheryl Andrus.
Back to the Old School With Zoho
April 13, 2019
Customer relationship management keeps expanding, and some people might wonder why we never seem to get all the way to some mythical goal of perfection. One of the chief reasons is that the goal posts are moving away from us and always will be. This isn't some plot by the software companies to drive demand. From what I've seen, most companies simply try to keep up with demand with increasingly diverse products that meet real market needs.
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Amazon Advertising: Strategies to Drive Success
How do you feel about your use of the Internet?
I spend a lot of time online and it's mostly high value.
I spend a lot of time online and much of it is wasted.
I'd like to experience more immersive online activities, like VR.
I'd like to spend more time in the real world.
I'd like to be always connected, perhaps with eyewear.
It's important to disconnect from the Web at regular intervals.
I go online as little as possible and I intend to keep it that way.