Best of CRM: August 17th


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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.

IDG Cloud Computing Survey: Security, Integration Challenge Growth
By: Louis Columbus (@louiscolumbus)
In this review of IDG’s “Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report,” Louis covers the most relevant findings, including the fact that 49% of executives see cloud computing as transformational to their business strategies, likely due to the top four drivers of cloud computing technology. These top drivers include enabling business continuity, greater flexibility to react to changing market conditions, speed of deployment and improving customer support or services. It’s also important to note that accelerating business value by providing access to critical business data and applications is currently the top cloud benefit enterprises enjoy, but with better cloud and hybrid integration, their access to critical business data would improve even more. Critical to successful cloud adoption is an understanding that “The top three challenges to implementing a successful cloud strategy in enterprise vary significantly between IT and line-of-business (LOB).” For IT these challenges include concerns regarding integration stability and reliability, while LOB leaders are more concerned than IT about measuring the ROI of cloud solutions.

Is Your Sales Force Being Sabotaged by Your CRM?
By: Lisa Earle Mcleod (@LisaEarleMcLeod)
Sales people rely on CRM systems day in and day out for critical information about their prospects. CRM powers the sales process, feeding sales professionals the information they need to close deals. But what if that information isn’t, in fact, helping close the deal? Lisa touches on an unfortunate truth behind the strategy many companies use for their CRM, which is focusing on information valuable to the company rather than the prospect. Company-oriented data include information like the estimated deal revenue, expected close date and number of calls made. This focus leaves out the all-too-critical information that can really close deals, which is data focused on the customer’s needs. Information on the customer’s environment, goals, challenges, view of success and view of failure is rarely recorded. This is the information sales reps need to connect with their prospects on an individual level to insure mutual success, rather than the cookie-cutter solution selling that happens when the salesperson’s own company’s interests come first. Comparing the former and the latter types of information, Lisa explains that customer-focused data will lead to greater success “because while Salesperson A’s company has focused him on his quota, Salesperson B has a more noble purpose: help the customer.” To successfully use CRM, companies must understand that what’s valuable to the customer is valuable to your company – not the other way around.

Scribe Spearheads Development of Cloud-based Customer Data Integration
By: Carolyn Dawson
Scribe experienced continuing momentum in Q2, leading the cloud-based customer data integration industry with a revolutionary new solution. Scribe’s growth comes as data integration and the cloud grow more important than ever, with analyst Michael Krigsman stating “in today’s data-centric business environment, the importance of cloud data integration cannot be overstated. Cloud data integration platforms are essential for scaling the integration of cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-premise applications toward a truly connected enterprise.” With a 251 percent rise in Q2 sales of the Scribe Online Platform, this growth should continue unabated, and industry-illuminating research like Scribe’s “State of Customer Data Integration 2013” report supports companies’ shift to the cloud and their plan to improve integration between business systems.

Sports, Technology, and the Aura: SEAT 2013
By: Paul Greenberg (pgreenbe)
Paul writes about his experience at the Sports Entertainment Alliance in Technology conference, which focused on two key themes for the CIO and CMO: social media and CRM. Beyond the amenities like Wi-Fi and snacks, this vertically-oriented conference covers the importance of a premium fan experience and how technology drives that experience. As Paul explains the challenge, “The real dilemma for sports is how to take this highly passionate fan base with somewhat inflated expectations and meet the expectations, and still make money when they have the resources of an organizations that is smaller than the perception of the fans and the demands of the fans really allow.” To do this, sports marketers have adopted CRM and social more fully, with marketing automation in the earlier stages. However all of this technology must play a greater role in the organizations’ underlying strategy to truly drive the fan experience.

Infographic: CIOs, CMOs and Big Data
By: Frank Reed (@frankreed)
Highlighting Teradata’s recent infographic from their 2013 marketing survey, this piece shows the proliferation of data and what CIOs and CMOs must do to prepare for the era of Big Data. With a 60% increase in marketing analytics predicted over the next three years, marketers’ top priorities include improving efficiency, integrating across channels, and proving their effectiveness with metrics-driven outcomes. However, a central barrier to this increase in data usage comes from the fact that 74% of marketers don’t think IT and marketing are strategic partners, making goal and strategy alignment much more difficult. And in line with the findings from our State of Data Integration 2013 survey, Teradata reports that only 18 percent of marketers have a single integrated view of customers. The reason, as Frank explains, is because “the largest gap that is now presenting itself to marketers exists at the C-suite level. It’s between the CIO / CTO and the CMO. Marketers have a lot of data but there is, more often than not, no way to truly capitalize on it.”

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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