The Week of February 1, 2016
This Week in Inside Sales brings you this week’s news, how-tos, and trends from the world of sales technology.
The Value of Email Signature
It's hard to understate the importance of prospects' and clients' email signatures for salespeople. Not only do they contain a client's contact information; email signatures can also be an effective tool to track the changes in the positions and roles they hold. In short, having your clients' latest contact information is critical to the well-being of your sales operations. Read more
In the News
2015 was a busy year for sales technologies in terms of innovation. We also saw validation from the financial community and incumbents that the sales stack is real. InsideSales.com and Apttus officially became pure play Unicorns, and VC funding reached a record high with 65 funding rounds representing $ 1.6 billion. Between new companies, interest from VCs, and validation by existing players of high valuations, I expect 2016 to be another year of growth and innovation for the inside sales tech industry.
When Salesforce announced its $300 million acquisition of SteelBrick at the end of last year, one could almost hear the groans from those vendors who are both SteelBrick competitors and a part of the broader Salesforce ecosystem.
As market trends evolve, the demand for genuinely intuitive solutions that enable users to rapidly gather necessary customer information and incorporate it into customer-focused decisions will accelerate dramatically in 2016. At the same time, bpm'online predicts that in the upcoming year the above mentioned processes will be driven by business intelligence, the tightened connection between Internet of Things (IoT) and CRM providing a new level of customer service and a deeper personalization reinforced with big data analytics.
If you're on Twitter, you've probably noticed how frequently Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff likes to tweet. He uses it not only to promote his company, but also to share thoughts, articles, and sometimes, to drive support for social issues.
We’ve been hearing a steady drumbeat about the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2015, and as we approach the New Year, an expanding array of connected devices is poised to make an incredible impact on the technology landscape. One of the most interesting ways in which the IoT stands ready to influence the realm of business involves a technology that has been around for quite some time and is long past the hype cycle: customer relationship management (CRM).
Like carnival barkers, early merchants sold their wares by displaying their inventory and loudly proclaiming its quality to the passing public. As successful enterprises grew, they hired staff to do the barking, and "administration" shifted attention to evaluating staff performance and production quality. This administrative-overseer role has been the priority of corporate executives for eons. Today there are three main ways that data-driven trends are gradually changing the priorities of senior, or "C-Suite," executives.
For the past few years, Salesforce has engaged in an interesting balancing act. It’s been pushing its Force.com development platform for companies building one set of applications - typically those used by employees - and another, Heroku, for external applications. And then it added Lightning, a new set of tools for building modern applications, to the mix. As of today, it’s taken another step towards converging those development environments by launching its new Heroku Enterprise edition as part of App Cloud. App Cloud’s goal is to bring all those development tools together in one virtual place. It is, according to Salesforce, “a unified ecosystem of tools and services.”
Guides and How-tos
Every touch point or interaction with a customer results in the creation of data that the organization collects and stores. Unfortunately, many organizations have not yet figured out how to use those data to generate real business value. Text analytics is one method of using those data. Text analytics allows organizations to tap into data such as emails, call center interaction records, form or poll responses, and social media information to learn the why behind customer motivation.
Marketing has increasingly come to be dependent on data for actionable insights which deliver results. A user-friendly way of handling new, fresh data – the different lead scenarios and account details – can prove to be quite a transformative agent. Strong data promises to do just this, and more. Here is how you can leverage strong data to become more efficient in marketing.
Is your Content Marketing strategy suffering from tunnel vision? Content Marketing is simple in theory, but it can get very complex in practice. It's easy to get lost in the details and carried away with advanced strategies that don't really matter. Maybe it's time to consider that you aren't missing out on the latest and greatest content marketing strategy - you're overlooking the strategies that have already been proven to work. Here are some of the most effective and most ignored strategies in inbound marketing.
Your CRM system will always be a work in progress because there will always be new obstacles which arise and new adaptations required to overcome them. But that’s the beauty of it. Your CRM system will grow with your business and can be customized to ensure that you gain the best possible reward from your investment. By adhering to these CRM best practices for your business, you can ensure that you continue to get the most out of both your CRM product and your team.
Today, it is easier than ever before for customers to purchase software. With the increasing use of modern tech devices, in just a few taps or clicks, one can run the most sophisticated enterprise business applications in no time. The outcome is impressive of these quick and simple transactions. According to a recent finding by Goldman Sachs, SaaS revenue is likely to reach $106 billion by 2016, which is a sharp 21 percent increase over the projected spending in 2015.
Learn what are the key sales metrics through the entire sales process: best practices and benchmarks; what is killing your sales pipeline and how to avoid it: analyses to prevent leakage; how to drive better sales results with metric-based approach helping reps to hit their quotas along the way.
Not all CRM systems are created equal, however, and the market is crowded. If you run a Fortune 500 company, there really are only a handful of viable candidates such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. But as a small business, you have a range of choices, each looking to fill a slightly different niche in the market. While each business is different, here are five features you’ll almost certainly want on your CRM evaluation checklist.
Studies, Interviews and Industry Trends
There are 8 types of Salespeople. Only 3 are effective.
A successful CRM implementation is built on four pillars: People, strategy, processes and technology. To design your CRM program you need to consider each of these elements and give all of them the proper weight. Neglect any of them and your CRM system is unlikely to prosper.
Both B2B and B2C sales professionals rue the fact that only about a fourth of leads are qualified. Maybe this explains why almost 80 percent of prospects lead to a dead-end. Not only does this point to a deficit in proper lead nurturing, but a clear misutilization of resources. Again, the statistics are available to support this hypothesis: almost 40 percent of sales personnel waste their time on creating marketing collaterals and designing pitches. On the other hand, an astounding 70 percent of content created by B2B marketers never the see the light of day in sales departments.
The world of sales and marketing is a-changing. Of course that’s not news to anyone, but in 2016, change in our industry will accelerate thanks to the innovative new tools more and more companies are adding to their technology stack. However, powerful automation and sophisticated data science aren’t enough. It’s important to keep in mind that the roles, behaviors and processes of marketing and sales folks must adapt as well.
Anyone can utilize a CRM, but is it enough for maintaining your business’ relationships and needs? Since you’re reading a CRM software’s blog right now, you may assume that we’ll say of course! Sign up for our product and that’s the only thing you’ll ever need for your business. Well, you may have assumed a little bit wrong. We’ll explain why just using a CRM isn’t enough for the upkeep of your relationships.
Company ethics are top-of-mind for today's consumers. Whether it's the clothing they wear or Recently I had the pleasure of teaming up with media pundit and technology consultant Gene Marks on a Google Chat with Profound Cloud. In our discussion we talked about why so many business owners and managers are so unhappy with their CRM projects. I’ve talked with many business owners who find that what they thought would be CRM bliss was in fact a frustrating experience at worse, or at best they just weren’t using the software. So, how can you prevent this problem – and if you’re IN this kind of problem what can you do about it?
Statistical analysis of the variety used in machine learning is beyond the capabilities of most business people. That doesn’t mean that business people can’t use the analysis that machine learning algorithms provide, though. Machine learning can analyze many aspects of business operations, finding areas or opportunities for improvement. Sometimes, business people don’t even know where a recommendation, suggestion, or change is coming: odds are that it may well be from a machine learning process.