Strategy

Zoho’s Surround Strategy

Surround strategy is the antithesis of rip and replace. Rather than replacement, a business can move parts of its workload from some workhorse system, say ERP, to Zoho -- where things like pre-built reports and Zia, an AI-based digital assistant, can help business users interrogate data stored on th...

This is not good. A new report commissioned by Replicant tells a story of customers frustrated when service fails or is way too slow. That's not new -- and Replicant is not the only vendor to ring the alarm. For many years Oracle has reminded vendors that one bad service encounter is enough to make ...

INSIGHTS

CRM’s Levels of Abstraction

There are three levels of abstraction that we can study to derive benefit, and this is abundantly clear in CRM. First there's the object, a material product or service that is the thing we trade money for. Then there's the experience, see where I'm going? Lastly there's the concept.

The term "social commerce" is the trend du jour for marketers, yet there's confusion in many circles about what that really means. Some people equate social commerce with capital-I "Influencer" marketing. Others think of social commerce as the process of marketers reaching consumers directly via soc...

A pair of recent studies highlight changing shopper attitudes as the pandemic continues its stranglehold on the supply chain for most industries. Two clear-cut consumer trends have surfaced: online shoppers want more self-service options and an overall more-efficient shopping experience.

Leaf Home built its call center operation to drive potential customers to a cheerful encounter with all the departments to which they connect. That pleasant working relationship starts with Leaf's call center staff. We spoke with the company's chief human resources officer, Sean Loboda, to discuss ...

ANALYSIS

Making Sales Safe for Process

A sales process is a set of protocols that an organization uses to conduct selling. One's process needs not be complex, many organizations settle on processes that have around seven steps. But a sales process that everyone in the organization adheres to is fundamental to that organization's success....

With the recent completion of the Slack acquisition, Salesforce can look forward to improving the quality of the customer-facing business processes that it supports with more and better collaboration. However, the presence of Slack may now highlight the reality that while vendors operate at the spee...

One of the fundamental choices that an e-commerce retailer must make is the platform they use to sell their goods and services, because it's not just a store -- it's a place to connect with customers and create a sense of the brand. We spoke with several e-commerce experts to get their take on how r...

The need for better customer journeys is a challenging goal. Overcoming operational challenges to become more agile in meeting customer needs -- and raising the maturity of the customer experience team -- will be critical to staying competitive in this ever-changing business environment, advised Blo...

With resale appealing to a growing share of consumers, chief among them Gen Z, more brands are jumping on the bandwagon. Levi's, Lululemon, and Nike all launched in-house resale programs over the last year. However, the rise of resale comes with many challenges for e-commerce brands and marketplaces...

From an initial expression of interest, to a purchase, to receiving ongoing support and ultimately buying again, customers take a variety of journeys as they interact with brands. The more a company considers and plans for the paths its customers will follow, the more likely it is that the business ...

By cutting out the middleman, brands can earn a higher margin and gain direct access to consumers and their data. For these reasons, leading brands such as Nike are aggressively making the shift to DTC, and other large retailers are following suit. However, many forget to take into account three imp...

The economic implications of Covid-19 have been devastating for many sectors and individuals. As we head into the summer of 2021 anticipating that most places in the U.S. will be fully open for business, many industries are looking at what the post-Covid recovery will mean for them. For sales profes...

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