The Week of January 4, 2016
This Week in Inside Sales brings you this week’s news, how-tos, and trends from the world of sales technology.
Capturing Historic Communication for New CRM Contacts
One of the common problems with capturing historic sales communications is caused by the time gap, occurring between the first interaction between a prospect and a sales rep taking place and the contact (lead) for that prospect getting created inside the CRM. The longer the gap, the more prospect interactions a company is running the risk of missing on. Unless a sales rep goes back and manually saves all prior communications after the appropriate CRM entity has been created, all these interactions will be forever lost in mailboxes of individual sales reps. Read more
In the News
As we look ahead to a new year, it’s natural to wonder what to expect, especially in the fast-changing sales business. Will it be “business as usual” or will some unexpected technology, trend or twist come along and disrupt everything you thought you knew about B2B sales? Here’s a look at what we see coming, and some suggestions for how you can prepare to make 2016 your best year yet.
For the year ahead, marketers are now making demands of their own to increase the results and recognition they know is possible. I think of 2016 as the year of the “revenge of the demand marketer.” Fed up with the status quo and armed with a data renaissance, new tools and solid experience under their belt, demand generators are creating their 2016 list of expectations as they advance their position and capitalize on what’s possible.
That the martech space has been growing exponentially is an understatement. 2016 is poised to be a year of reckoning for this pulsating-with-energy ever-burgeoning field. Industry biggies share their thoughts on 2016 martech expectations, predictions and more.
There is no true budget season anymore is there? You may have spent the past few weeks putting together 2016’s “official” budget for your sales and/or marketing needs, but we all know that best-laid plans rarely survive first contact with the battlefield. With that said, as best as we could estimate, we worked recently with the fine folks at Dun & Bradstreet Netprospex to identify the top five B2B budgeting priorities heading into 2016.
Leading Customer Relationship Management cloud software vendor Salesforce.com recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire quote-to-cash vendor Steelbrick for $360 million, including $60 million in cash.
Guides and How-tos
Sales teams in large organizations rely heavily on CRM to manage their prospect and customer activities. But can you increase the value of the CRM for your salespeople even more?
In today’s world, the only source of competitive advantage is one that can survive technology-fueled disruption – It’s the obsession with understanding, connecting with, serving, and delighting customers. Forrester reports that customer experience is the top strategic initiative for companies of all sizes; and that companies use CRM as a foundational building block of their customer experience strategy.
Your customer data is some of the most valuable information in your organization, but many companies fail to create proper backups. Some companies mistakenly believe SaaS systems don't need backups, while other companies fail to set up appropriate backups for on-premise systems. Following best practices for backing up your CRM tools avoids the monetary and productivity loss associated with CRM disaster recovery.
SEO professionals traditionally use keyword tools like Google Analytics to identify the best search term combinations to target in their Web marketing endeavors. However, if your company isn't using the information contained in its CRM to inform its SEO marketing strategy, you could be missing out on some extremely valuable data - data that could exponentially increase your sales revenue.
If your organization includes both inside sales and field sales people, building a seamless coordination and hand-off process between the two teams is essential. With collaboration between inside sales reps and field reps, the two teams can work together more efficiently, contribute more to each other’s success, and increase overall company performance.
Ask any CFO or sales executive about the value of spending millions on CRM solutions and you will probably hear plenty of skepticism, due largely to the fact that many CRM efforts over the past 25 years have failed to deliver on the lofty business goals outlined in funding requests. Given these realities, it's easy to question why CRM solutions are still viable in today's marketplace. But there are three major drivers that point squarely to the need, and value, of deploying CRM solutions in today's increasingly digital world.
Studies, Interviews and Industry Trends
Latest B2B marketing and sales trends to provide ideas you can start using immediately to grow your business.
Internet and E-commerce have indeed enabled consumers to buy by themselves. However, for more sophisticated purchases as in a B2B environment, the role of a salesperson has actually become more important, assisting prospective buyers at the critical moments of their exploration and closing sales.
In our data driven economy, the importance of CRM for the modern business continues to rise. Companies that want to maximize their CRM ROI should pay attention to some of the emerging trends as we move into 2016. Three of the biggest CRM trends are detailed below, along with some best practices for those who want to leverage these trends for a competitive advantage.
While keeping up with the breakneck pace of the modern business landscape requires on-demand intelligence, IT departments are hesitant to let go of the strong governance structures that legacy BI platforms boast. Today's CIOs stand at a crossroads. Should they keep investing in legacy BI solutions that have strong governance but slow businesses down, or should they embrace a next-generation BI platform that helps them stay ahead of the curve?
CRM databases are shining examples of our tendency to keep everything. We migrate old CRM databases to new systems regularly but retain access to the old system’s raw database. This practice gives everyone - the IT department and sales management alike - a sense of security that they can look up any information about a customer at any time.
Amid all the hype about Big Data and how companies can tap into it to better connect with their customers, it has been easy to overlook the necessity of ensuring that the data itself is actually valid and up to par.