The Week of January 18, 2016

This Week in Inside Sales brings you this week’s news, how-tos, and trends from the world of sales technology.

Grace Partners with Dr. Noel Capon of Columbia Business School

Our team is excited to announce a partnership with Dr. Noel Capon of Columbia Business School. Dr. Capon is an internationally recognized expert in sales management and key strategic global account management. His research has been extensively focused on transforming modern sales teams to achieve critical business goals. Dr. Capon has published more than 20 books, including Key Account Management, Corporate Strategic Planning, and Total Integrated Marketing. His book Key Account Management is reputed as "the Bible" of key account management. Dr. Capon's marketing framework, the Four Principles of Marketing and the Six Marketing Imperatives, have helped numerous Fortune 500 corporations improve their marketing performance. Read more

In the News


Umberto Milletti, Entrepreneur and Sales and Marketing Leader, Shares Three Key Themes in 2016

Companies know that their sales and marketing efforts need to be tightly aligned to achieve revenue, but how to get that alignment is a challenge. For B2B companies, sales and marketing both touch customers many times. Unfortunately, sales and marketing teams are often working from different systems with different databases. Getting a single, uniform picture of a customer’s business, demographics, and their behavior can be key to aligning sales and marketing, and to increasing revenue.

Billionaire CEO Marc Benioff is Writing a Sequel to His Best-Selling Memoir About Salesforce

Benioff is likely partnering with Carlye Adler, the coauthor of his last book, and Dan Farber, a long-time tech reporter who recently joined Salesforce as SVP of strategic communication, to write his next book. On top of that, Benioff is asking people to share their stories about Salesforce to complete the book.

FairWarning Issued Patent for Detecting Fraud and Misuse in CRM Systems

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. patent 9,202,189 to FairWarning, a provider of data protection solutions for mission-critical applications such as, electronic health records, and cloud-based applications. The patent covers the method of detecting fraud and improper access of business information in a customer relationship management (CRM) computer environment using audit logs.

Business Confidence in Cloud Security Grows

Businesses are increasingly comfortable with security measures put in place to protect cloud services and the data housed with them, new research has revealed, and most companies have formal policies for moving processes to the virtual realm. CISOs are also starting to play a critical role as the cloud takes over.

Zoho CRM Taps RingCentral for Call Management in the Cloud

With the rising popularity of alternative office space - from virtual offices to coworking to executive office suites and beyond - cloud business communication and collaboration solutions are seeing momentum. On the CRM Relevant Products/Services front, Zoho is tapping into that trend with a new RingCentral integration.

Guides and How-tos


Simplifying Sales: How Inside Sales Reps Can Shave At Least 15 Hours Off Their Work Week

Sales has become unnecessarily complicated. Besides selling, salespeople have several non-revenue generating responsibilities. Those include recording all their activities, analyzing data, producing performance reports, and creating sales collateral. To meet their quota and complete all their tasks, many sales reps arrive to the office early and stay late. Despite the longer hours, sales still suffer. Even with a busy sales force, companies have become less productive.

5 Simple Rules for Reaching Customers

When it comes to reaching customers, public relations can either be a company's best friend or its worst enemy. Building the foundation for a strong customer/business relationship comes from mutual trust and respect. The customer is the company’s lifeblood, and as such, they expect a brand’s ambassador to abide by certain rules.

9 Key Points to Keep in Mind When Embracing Data

Marketing analytics today is faced with a new challenge – with so many different data sets to sift through, it is quite difficult to determine what is actually relevant for your business, and the tools that will make the data more usable. While the main focus still remains on embracing data, here are some major considerations you should keep in mind.

10 Ways To Make Your Sales Team Love Your CRM

If you want your shiny new CRM to actually work for your business, then you have to get your employees onboard. But sales teams traditionally enjoy dealing with actual humans - not technology. The truth is that motivating employees to embrace your new CRM can be a tricky endeavor for many businesses, but it can be done. The key is to show them that the new software will make their working day easier and not harder. 

Is Your CRM User Adoption Low? Here's Why and How to Fix It.

This article lays out the reasons CRM user adoption is low, and offers tips on how to ensure your reps actually make the most out of your CRM.

How to Build A Winning CRM Strategy (In 10 Steps)

Your CRM is about more than just software; it’s about establishing a strong and trusting relationship with your customers. And yet, many companies set-up their CRM without actually implementing a CRM strategy at all. In today’s increasingly digital world, clients expect your attention 24/7. Thus, it’s essential that your business is equipped to meet these demands. To help you create a winning CRM strategy, here are ten simple steps that are designed to develop and strengthen your customer relationships for the long haul.

How to Pick a Customer Relationship Management Tool That Fits Your Business

It’s fairly straightforward to determine if you need a customer relationship management solution such as Salesforce. Maria Thomas, director of product management at Insightly, a San Francisco-based CRM software provider, says that if you communicate daily with at least 10 to 20 customers, prospects or partners, your business could benefit from a proper CRM tool. We asked her to guide us through the selection process.

Studies, Interviews and Industry Trends


4 Ways Your CRM May Be Shortchanging Your Sales Projections

Sales managers spend up to 10 percent of their work week drawing up forecasts, yet 59 percent of sales forecasts are wrong. Too often we are asked to make the data in our CRM look the way we think our management wants it to look - even when the odds aren't good that we'll reach those projections. Algorithms by themselves can't make your sales predictions more accurate. Computers can automate scheduling, provide reports and charts, but unless you have some heavy-duty sales expertise to go along with it, they provide little value.

A Game-Winning Strategy: Get Your Sales Playbook and CRM to Team Up

Every successful sales organization has a playbook - it's one of the oldest, most established practices in the industry. Another, newer tradition that every successful sales organization has come to embrace? CRM. They might seem completely tangential from one another, but sales playbooks and CRM are actually a perfect match - each makes the other exponentially more effective. You can have a sales playbook PDF and expect your reps to stop selling in order to reference it; you can have a CRM solution and expect reps to remember their playbook strategy in every situation. But it's far more effective when you have them work together.

The Future of CRM Software

The next generation of CRM software is needed for two reasons. First, businesses need new strategies and supporting technologies to proactively respond to more empowered customers. Second, CRM software is a 23 year old customer data management technology that lies somewhere between mature and commoditized. It’s time for a technology refresh. Here’s what’s needed for the future of CRM software.

Salesforce CRM vs. Microsoft Dynamics

Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics are two of the most popular CRM applications available on the market. Both have a number of similarities but also posess distinct differences as both have evolved separately from each other. For example, Salesforce is cloud-based meaning that most of the time you will be accessing the service through a browser. Dynamics, on the other hand, relies a lot on integration with Office while cloud hosting comes a very close second.

CRM: Great Sales Management, Bad Enablement

CRM systems offer much in the way of features: maintaining all your customers and prospects information in one place, tracking sales cycle interactions, and managing the forecasts for executives’ needs. Yet, you don’t see a lot of sales users singing CRM’s praises. It’s no secret that many salespeople hate CRM. That’s because even though it’s a part of the process, the administrative burden of tasks related to CRM are disruptive to the sales process. 

Good CRM Vendors Should Be Good Corporate Citizens, Too

Company ethics are top-of-mind for today's consumers. Whether it's the clothing they wear or the toothpaste they use, consumers want to know the products they buy are from businesses mindful of their impact on society and the environment. Employees are consumers, too—of the products and services their company decides to buy. For many employees, software is the most common product they use daily. CRM is one of the most purchased software types out there. In fact, according to Gartner, worldwide spend on CRM software totaled $23.2 billion in 2014. We conducted a survey to learn more about how employees using CRM software feel about the importance of evaluating vendors' CSR and whether this matches how companies actually purchase.

Let the Machines Do the Marketing: Machine Learning with CRM Data

There’s a lot of talk about analytics. One area of analytics is machine learning. The reality is that a lot of what we mean by analytics is really machine learning—essentially, a set of statistical algorithms that make predictions about the future based on past trends and behaviors. These algorithms generate a model that you can apply to new data coming in over time to make ongoing predictions and recommendations.