Best of CRM: January 5


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Every week, we recount some of the best buzz around CRM and data integration. We’ll review our favorite articles and share the most pressing findings or key takeaways from each.

Three Fresh Rules for Sales and Marketing in the Age of Analytics
By: Mindy Charski (@MindyCharski)
In this interview, industry luminaries like Peter Chase of Scribe Software provide three crucial rules for sales and marketing in a world that has moved past the old MO of “marketing generates leads and hands them to sales and sales closes them and hands them to support and support manages them. End of story.” The new rules for sales and marketing employees are that some sales leads are more qualified than others, social media is for salespeople as well as marketers, and companies must dig into both traditional and new data sources. The bottom line of these changes is that as the sales funnel becomes more convoluted, salespeople and marketers need to align more closely than ever before – no longer can companies afford siloes and harmful competition between the two departments. Sales and marketing have to work together to attract the right leads, at the right time, with the right messaging.

With CRM, Every Employee Can Be an Ambassador
By: Christopher Bucholtz (@Bucholtz)
Christopher rejects the premise that CRM enables every employee to be a salesperson, writing that “the idea is a canard. It’s a sham. It’s targeted at people in sales, and not the deep thinkers in sales, either; it’s directed at the same people that the saying, ‘CRM will solve all your problems!’ worked on during the 1990s.” What CRM does do is enable every employee to be an ambassador that may generate highly qualified leads. To effectively leverage CRM companywide, first businesses must accept that every employee is an ambassador on social media, then create a process for the employees to deliver information on prospects they come across to the proper department, and after that companies need to drive the message home to employees that they’re all ambassadors. Lastly, a reward system for non-sales employees incentivizes them to take their role as brand ambassadors seriously.

2014 Forecast for Cloud Computing
By: Sharon Florentine (@MyShar0na), Thor Olavsrud (@ThorOlavsrud)
With the cloud democratizing enterprise technology, 2014 will see continued pressure put on the CIO to transform IT. John Considine, CTO of Verizon Terremark, believes that “the two roles of the CIO and IT function will be thrown into increasingly sharp relief: the CIO and IT organization as an operations arm on the one hand and the IT organization as innovator that delivers new solutions and technologies on the other.” Ten cloud predictions from Tony DiBenedetto, founder of Tribridge, include further cloud segmentation and education, HR and marketing taking control of tech innovation, the CIO undertaking the role of cloud enabler, small businesses accessing big software through the cloud, and a shift to application-centric software development. Additionally, Tony predicts that IT will increasingly decentralize in the coming year, cloud providers will deliver software on tap, providers will add gravity to the cloud, the cloud will get intelligent with data manipulation on its servers, and machine-to-machine learning will come into its own.

A Short Cautionary Tale About the Misuse of Customer Data
By: Adrian Swinscoe (@adrianswinscoe)
Adrian’s article on customer data deals with potential problems that arise when a company analyzes minimal data to extrapolate a larger trend. In the example Adrian uses, a Gartner analyst had a single particularly good call with his bank, and rated them highly for their customer service on that transaction even though he didn’t enjoy the customer experience overall. In response, “the bank started sending messages to Mike believing that he (was) now a ‘9 out of 10’ customer, happy with his bank and primed to recommend the bank to his friends, family and all people in between.” Because the analyst did not in fact love his bank, these messages hurt more than helped their cause. Customer data is crucial for successful customer relations programs, and this situation highlights the importance of relying on comprehensive data rather than a single point. Ultimately, such data requires a system like CRM to act as the hub of customer information, informing customized marketing and sales initiatives like that which the bank attempted with the analyst.

Cloud Adoption Hits C-Level Resistance
By: Glen Schrank (@EccentexCEO)
The benefits of cloud computing are now understood by employees everywhere, and the shift towards cloud solutions is gaining steam. However, cloud adoption is being hindered by cautious C-level leadership, which often prefers to continue with the on-premise software they know over the new cloud software employees seek. A recent survey by Eccentex found that although 84 percent of respondents want to work remotely, 70 percent of them lack the proper mobile tools – i.e. cloud access – to do so. While cloud usage continues to permeate the businesses, for now employees have embraced cloud technology ahead of enterprise leadership. The C-level must work to understand and implement cloud technology to keep pace with the flexibility that enhances worker productivity in our constantly moving business world.

We hope you had a great week! We’ll see you again soon with a roundup of all the movers and shakers in CRM and data integration news.

Peter Chase
Peter founded Scribe Software along with Jim Clarke in the beginning of 1996. As Executive Vice President, Business Development, Peter is responsible for establishing and growing partnerships with other leading technology companies in support of Scribe's overall market and product strategy. Prior to founding Scribe, Peter held senior positions in sales, product marketing, and finance at SNAP Software, an early pioneer in CRM software that was acquired by Dun and Bradstreet. He has published numerous articles and whitepapers and is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events.


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