Best of CRM: November 24th

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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.

Dreamforce1 – The Context of Salesforce1
By: John Taschek (@jtaschek)
In this piece, John writes about the underlying principles and ideology behind the announcement of salesforce1 at Dreamforce. At its core, salesforce1 is about engagement of all types, as John explains that salesforce1’s “most under-reported capability is the idea that engagement doesn’t just happen with people; it also must happen with systems.” The communication of people builds off of the communication of systems, and salesforce1 was designed to facilitate that machine level of communication. A second key element is the idea that data creates further engagement, and salesforce1 is Salesforce’s attempt to become something akin to the Facebook for enterprise systems. Ultimately, salesforces1 is an attempt by the company to break down data siloes within its ecosystem, allowing for open communication between systems and, as a result, people and departments.

Why the Chief Digital Officer Role Is on the Rise
By: Rich Hein (@WebDev_Rich)
With digitalization on the rise, we’ve seen the emergence of a new C-level role: the CDO. The importance of Rich’s article spans all business developments, from marketing. to sales to finance. The role of the CDO is not to make technology decisions, but to analyze existing data to understand how it relates to the business and end customers. According to Andy Gilman, president and CEO of CommCore Consulting Group, “The way to best describe the CDO is that you need to be a silo-buster connecting different disciplines and departments.” The CDO must operate as a change agent, bringing older companies into the digital world. For the CDO to succeed, Apigee found six key requirements, including earning company-wide commitment, developing a digital strategy mission statement, embracing data-based experimentation, connecting with expert, speaking multiple business languages across departments, and striving for tangible goals. While the CDO may only represent a temporary role, right now many companies are in dire need of a leader to guide them towards adopting the right technology to maintain a competitive edge.

Double Your Holiday Power with a Virtual Contact Center and CRM
By: Mike Reinhart (@MikeReinhart8x8)
With Black Friday and the holiday season just around the corner, Mike provides technology advice to SMBs hoping to take advantage of the buying frenzy. By integrating CRM with a cloud-based contact center, companies can scale up or down to handle seasonal demand in real-time. The combination also empowers customers with multiple channels to contact the business, allowing for a high volume of calls, emails and chat interactions, all of which can be routed to the appropriate agent to handle customer needs, while then using the CRM system to track those interactions. Lastly, “rapid deployment is one of the great features of cloud-based VoIP phone systems,” so SMBs deciding to implement VoIP at the last minute can take advantage immediately. Integrating Virtual contact centers with CRM allows them to work together to field customer inquiries, track interactions, and increase the sales funnel.

4 Ways CRM Software Works for Old School (Offline) Marketing
By: Ramon Ray (@ramonray)
While CRM typically helps marketers reach and manage digital consumers, offline marketing can also benefit from CRM. Carmen Sognonvi, co-founder of a martial arts studio in Brooklyn, uses CRM to engage in extensive offline marketing. Her use cases involve tracking leads generated at local and in person events, taking advantage of tracking links in distributed flyers, tracking print signage displayed in various locations in and around your store, and inputting information gathered offline into the CRM system, such as asking customers “where did you hear from us?” Ramon brings it back to the basics, writing that “CRM is just a tool; it’s up to marketers like you to ensure you use unique tracking links in all your marketing so you can know what adds value to your business. A CRM system will help you know what marketing to stop , what marketing to adjust and what do more of.” CRM won’t do the work for you, but with a little foresight, the system can drastically improve marketing results offline and online, while allowing for iterative campaign improvements over time.

Making CRM More than Software
By: Steve Sherman
Steve brings home the importance of CRM to credit unions, noting that the overall market for CRM systems grew 12 percent in the past year alone. With the increasingly intricate buyer’s journey, credit unions need to turn their member service representative in to a trusted advisor to position company staff as resources rather than product pushers. According to Steve, the primary attributes of successful CRM deployment for credit unions consist of executive sponsorship, cross-institution involvement and evaluative considerations. By using a top-down process of CRM acceptance, “key decision makers stay involved to direct and influence all CRM objectives, and those with frontline exposure understand the critical importance of what happens at the member level.” Once deployed, one of CRM’s most important roles in credit unions is to manage the first 90 days of new member acquisition, positioning them for cross-selling and long-term retention, but the use cases extend far beyond that to monitor and engage customers throughout their lifecycle.


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.

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