Mobile CRM – Why it Fails, and How to Succeed
In terms of mobility, 2013 was the year vendors shipped more than 1 billion smartphones. Complementing this mobility trend, IDC forecasts that tablet sales will reach 227.4 million units in 2013, a whopping 57.7% increase from 2012. Yet for all the mobile adoption, mobile CRM remains sporadic and under-utilized for most organizations, and of the few mobile CRM adopters, most fail to achieve sustained user adoption and a positive ROI.
So what’s the disconnect?
Too many believe that mobile CRM is simply CRM software delivered on a mobile device. This simple thinking fails to recognize that typical CRM objectives such as opportunity management, creating quotes or displaying a 360 degree customer view are seldom well delivered within the form factor of smartphones.
Many mobile apps are simply impractical because the (desktop) application is simply resized to a mobile device. Other mobile apps are visually appealing, but not very smart in that they fail to take advantage of the mobile devices unique strengths. Another common problem is failing to recognize that mobility shouldn’t be applied across the spectrum of CRM business processes but instead focused on the particular mobility-driven use cases that deliver the biggest value. More mobile CRM ...
By Chuck Schaeffer 11/11/2013 Permalink Comments (0) Posted in Mobile CRM
6 Methods to Grow Revenues Using Social Marketing
Chief Marketing Officers are looking for innovative techniques to fill the top of the funnel with targeted leads, and social marketing offers a unique opportunity that many are considering within a broader integrated marketing mix. In fact, social media spending as a percentage of marketing budgets is forecast to more than double according to research from the American Marketing Association and Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. Their research report titled The CMO Survey found that companies are increasing their social media spend from 8.4% to 21.6% of the total marketing budget over the next five years.
Social marketing is one tenant of a social CRM strategy. Other tenants include social selling and social service, and social CRM should also support the overarching company social strategy – so as to not limit social goals to just the Customer Relationship Management objectives. That’s a lot of social stuff, so for this blog post I’m going to focus on sharing six social marketing techniques to acquire more leads for the sales team and earn more revenues for the company. More social marketing ...
By Chuck Schaeffer 9/23/2013 Permalink Comments (0) Posted in Marketing
7 Steps to Jump Start Your Social Selling Strategy
According to CSO Insights, and their Sales Performance Optimization research results, sales pros are responsible for generating almost half of their new leads.
|How are your sales leads generated?
|Self-generated by sales reps
|Generated by marketing
|Other sources (partners, referrals, etc.)
Source: Sales Performance Optimization, 2011-2013, CSO Insights
Unfortunately, sales reps are incurring some increasing challenges in sourcing those leads. An IBM Preference Study advises that cold calls are ineffective 97% of the time, and this figure has been increasing by 7% every year since 2010. Fortunately, savvy sales pros are turning to social selling methods to pick up the slack.
Social selling is about applying the information available in social channels to aid your sales strategies and pursuits. This information includes prospect or customer social comments of all types, including questions, frustrations, concerns and inquiries, and tends to be both candid and desirous of a response.
B2B buyers are publicly sharing their opinions about what they want and need, what they like and dislike, and what matters to them. Sales professionals that harness and act on this information can engage with these buyers before the buyers have engaged with other sales competitors—putting themselves into an early and coveted position where the sale may then be theirs to lose.
But even while sales professionals tend to be social themselves, adopting online social selling techniques in order to uncover relevant conversations and unmet needs can be difficult. Here’s 7 steps to jump start your social selling strategy. More social selling ...
By Chuck Schaeffer 9/2/2013 Permalink Comments (0) Posted in Sales
Best Practices in Sales Pipeline Management
Sales pipeline management and optimization are tasks that many managers have left unchanged for years—which is unfortunate as even small adjustments in pipeline management can yield big changes to top line revenues. Here’s some thoughts to revisit this critical business process and some best practices in sales pipeline design, operation and maintenance.
Pipeline Design. Rather than design the pipeline as a siloed storage container for sale opportunities, it’s a good idea to architect the sale pipeline within the bigger context of a revenue funnel. For most companies this means consolidating the Top of the Funnel (TOFU) managed by marketing with the Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) which is cooperatively facilitated by both marketing and sales and the Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) which is managed by sales.
Managing the bigger picture allows sales to better understand pipeline health, including inflow, outflow, movement, stagnation and velocity. Further, designing an integrated lead-to-revenue funnel permits sales and marketing leaders to measure conversions and work backwards from slated revenue targets by knowing exactly what must go into the TOFU to come out the bottom. When this revenue reverse engineering uses actual data and known conversions, and not just hypothetical win rates or wishful thinking, forecasted revenue targets become systematically achievable and sales and marketing managers know how improving any specific conversion factor in the revenue funnel will impact revenue performance. This knowledge lets sales and marketing leaders prioritize their business process improvements in a way that most impacts top line revenues.
More sales pipeline best practices ...
By Chuck Schaeffer 8/26/2013 Permalink Comments (0) Posted in Sales
How to Grow Revenues with Marketing Automation Software
It’s been my experience that when aligning technology to support revenue enhancement projects, applying both creative thinking and lessons from complimentary strategies and technologies can collectively deliver the biggest top line revenue impact.
For example, as CMOs increasingly recognize they must become co-contributors to revenue creation, and to that end become accountable for their direct contribution to the pipeline, forecast and earned revenues, they are increasingly turning to marketing automation systems such as Eloqua, Marketo, Salesforce.com and Silverpop. But do these marketing software systems grow revenues? Maybe. It depends who you ask. But beyond asking, if you look to the actual results, it becomes clear that few adopters truly achieve the slated strategic benefits and even fewer grow revenues.
To be fair, I’m an advocate of marketing automation when backed with strategy, and I’ve personally deployed these applications many times over with substantial revenue gains. But I’ve also done a lot of research, and based on that data have spoken and written about why marketing software systems fail so that these challenges can be understood and mitigated.
I Want More Revenues, Not Just Faster Conversions
The single most cited benefit of marketing automation software is to get more qualified leads into the hands of the sales force. Rather than have marketing throw unqualified leads over the fence to sales, this technology applies digital lead tracking, lead scoring and email nurture campaigns to advance leads to agreed upon qualification levels, and send only sales-ready leads to the sales team. The business impact is substantial — when sales staff allocate their scarce selling time to the best selling opportunities, sales productivity rises, sales velocity increases and sales win rates go up. All good stuff for sure, but if you reconsider the CMOs objective to grow revenues by adding more leads to the top of the funnel, you recognize that even when the technology succeeds, it’s more about accelerating the existing lead volume than adding additional leads to the top of the pipe.
Growing Top Line Revenues
To grow revenues using marketing automation software its helpful to think beyond these tools programmed features of lead tracking, lead scoring, lead nurturing and lead transfer, and instead consider how to use these features in context of other marketing strategies. Here’s 5 ways to use marketing automation software to not just accelerate the existing volume of leads through the pipe, but also grow the number of leads going into the pipe. More growing revenues with marketing software ...
By Chuck Schaeffer 7/26/2013 Permalink Comments (0) Posted in Marketing Software
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Release & Roadmap
Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference shared progress to date and a roadmap for Dynamics CRM’s future.
Dynamics CRM now counts 3.5M users and almost 40,000 customers, and show no signs of slow down. As of Q3, FY2013, the CRM solution achieved is 35th successive quarter of double digit growth, and in terms of new client adoption, 2 out of every 3 new users are opting for the cloud.
Looking forward, Microsoft plans to release the next CRM upgrade as early as October. Code named Orion, the new version will be marketed as Dynamics CRM 2013. Four of the most touted updates include guided processes, integrated social networking (using Yammer), tablet support for iPad (and of course Surface) and future integration with MarketingPilot. The user interface (UI) will also include enhancements in terms of fewer clicks and pop-ups, new navigation support for both ‘touch and gesture’ and mouse-driven operation, more contextual processes and a continued UI evolution which advances the flat (2 dimensional) metro interface.
Subsequent CRM 2013 iterations are code-named Mira and Leo. Mira is scheduled for Q1, CY2014 and will include new integration with MarketingPilot, and seemingly bring MarketingPilot into the Dynamics CRM fold for the first time. While a Dynamics CRM to MarketingPilot connector is available today, the products are disjointed from a sales and support perspective. Leo is scheduled for Q2, CY2014 and intended to deliver advanced Customer Service capabilities, including more sophisticated case management, knowledge management and support for SLA’s and entitlement compliance.
Absent from most of the discussion was how NetBreeze will integrate to Dynamics CRM, and if and how Microsoft intends to remedy weakness in mobility. NetBreeze availability is still an outstanding question, and while Microsoft did suggest enhanced mobility, including future support for Android, no tentative dates or timeframes were available. More Microsoft CRM ...
By Chuck Schaeffer 7/11/2013 Permalink Comments (10) Posted in Microsoft CRM
Marketo Ups the Ante in Marketing Automation
Marketo delivered its newest marketing software release, something the company calls the Customer Engagement release.
This marketing software release continues to address the business challenge of buyer engagement. A challenge that is both fluid and increasingly difficult. We all recognize that with online and social channels B2B buyers now complete about two-thirds of their buy cycle online in a self-education process — a process that generally ends with a vendor short-list. Only then are prospects reaching out to engage with those short-listed vendors. We also know that if you’re not found during that discovery process, or fail to nurture leads during that process, then you’re excluded from the sale opportunity. Even worse, you’re excluded and you don’t know it, so you can’t do anything about it.
The Marketo Customer Engagement engine is a more sophisticated approach to solving this problem that we’ve ever seen before. It’s an approach that compliments both inbound and content marketing strategies with automation that enables marketers to better deliver the right messages to the right prospects at the right time.
Here’s how it works. More Marketo ...
By Chuck Schaeffer 6/28/2013 Permalink Comments (17) Posted in Maketing
CRM For Life Sciences — Challenges and Benefits
My experience in designing and implementing CRM and social CRM solutions for life sciences companies leaves me with two initial take-aways other life science CRM adopters may want to consider. First, CRM for Life Sciences is best assembled as a combination of industry specific CRM strategy and enabling CRM software designed for the unique challenges and objectives of pharma, biotech, cosmetic and medical device companies. Attempting to reapply a horizontal CRM strategy to a life sciences organization will likely incur challenges and limited payback. Within a life sciences context CRM facilitates customer interactions across clinical, safety, support, sales and marketing operations—and each of these processes is unique for this industry.
Second, while there's often a tendency to group life sciences into the broader healthcare industry, I think this is an over simplification as the top business objectives and the regulatory constraints are different enough that the two industries generally take varying tactics when designing their CRM strategies. Recognizing the unique goals and constraints of the life sciences industry can save time and accelerate results when creating a customer-focused business strategy. More Life Sciences CRM...
By Chuck Schaeffer 6/22/2013 Permalink Comments (0) Posted in Industry CRM
Salesforce.com Shakes Up the CRM & Marketing Automation Industries
Salesforce.com shook up both the CRM industry and the closely affiliated marketing automation industry today. While many including myself have been predicting for some time that Salesforce.com would acquire a marketing automation software vendor, I’m not aware of anybody that predicted it would be ExactTarget. Instead, most pundits and even the marketing software vendors themselves expected it would be Marketo.
Salesforce was under increasing competitive pressure to make this acquisition, and it clearly affected their judgment (more on this later). The cloud CRM leader’s foray into the marketing space with its prior acquisitions of Radian6 and Buddy Media were interesting, and gave CEO Marc Benioff the type of messaging he likes to broadcast at events leading up to Dreamforce, but have thus far failed to deliver a reasonable financial performance. More often than not, customers find the Salesforce Marketing Cloud interesting, but not interesting enough to incur the significant investment.
In prior posts, I’ve opined that the Salesforce Marketing Cloud is really a social marketing play, and does little to satisfy the top requested marketing tasks of digital lead acquisition, lead scoring, nurturing and lead transfer to sales. With today’s acquisition, all that changes, as these key marketing processes are now satisfied.
This acquisition now puts increasing pressure on both CRM software publishers that don't offer similar marketing capabilities (SAP, Microsoft, Sage, SugarCRM and to a lesser extent NetSuite) and marketing automation software vendors that are now at increasing risk of fewer CRM publishers to partner with. More Salesforce ...
By Chuck Schaeffer 6/4/2013 Permalink Comments (2) Posted in Marketing
Why You Need Marketing Automation Software
Nearly 9 out of 10 B2B buyers now begin their purchase process online. They initiate their buy cycle journey using search to find independent product reviews, asking friends in social networks who they recommend and reading customer forums to see what existing customers have to say. Research shows that B2B buyers educate themselves with online content and complete about three-quarters of their buy cycle before they ever engage a vendor. In fact, they’ve usually reached a vendor short-list by the time they interact with those vendors. Unfortunately for vendors, if they’re not found in the online discovery process, they’re excluded from the sale opportunity.
Marketers are keenly aware that the vendor led sales cycle has been replaced with an online buyer driven buy cycle, and in response are shifting their marketing budgets toward digital marketing campaigns. Inbound marketing, content marketing, email marketing, paid marketing and social (media) marketing are increasingly becoming the favored methods for attracting and engaging online buyers. Marketing Software ...
By Chuck Schaeffer 4/29/2013 Permalink Comments (0) Posted in Marketing
The Business Mandate For Customer Experience (CX) Management
There’s a threefold challenge impacting your ability to keep your customers. Customer expectations are rising, customers are readily sharing their bad experiences publicly and customers are switching their suppliers at a dramatically increased pace.
The rise of social media and social customers now rewards those brands that engage customers through social channels and deliver a consistent and rewarding customer experience (CX). Or on the flip side, suppliers who do not deliver rewarding customer experiences are being called out publicly in forums and social networks that reach thousands or millions of potential or existing customers and have a duration of months or years. If a company’s products are chastised by existing customers, new prospects will clearly steer elsewhere and existing customers will take note, thereby increasing their likelihood of churn.
Buyers are more connected and have more knowledge and options that at any time prior. Vendors are a click away so customers can get want they want in more places. Access to more suppliers delivering more and better online information about their solutions, and verified by independent references within the buyers' social circles, has decreased barriers to switching vendors.
A 2013 Customer Experience research study released by O’Keeffe found that 49% of executives believe customers will switch brands due to a poor customer experience, while 89% of customers say they have switched brands because of a poor customer experience. Recognize these customers did not report that they may or would switch brands based on a poor CX, but they actually did. Customers are clearly beyond idle threats and demonstrating a propensity for implementing change at an increased pace.
The problem is real, the business impact is large and business leaders are taking note. A Bloomberg Businessweek research survey found that 80% of companies rate CX as a top strategic objective. The O’Keeffe CX research found that 93% of business leaders say that improving their customers' experience is one of their top three priorities for the next two years and 97% state that CX is critical to their business success. They also understand the cost of failure is large—estimated at 20% of revenues. Customer Experience ...
By Chuck Schaeffer 4/22/2013 Permalink Comments (0) Posted in CX
The CMOs Top Three Objectives
Unlike many C-level executives, Chief Marketing Officers are without commonly accepted strategies and routine measures. This may be in part why CMO’s so often don’t have a seat at the executive table and incur such high churn. So what’s a CMO to do? Here’s the three most important stakeholders and strategies for CMOs to deliver the greatest contribution to the company, and get that seat at the executive table. CMO objectives ...
By Chuck Schaeffer 4/10/2013 Permalink Comments (0) Posted in Marketing
The Business Case For An Integrated Revenue Cycle
When companies move beyond just a sales cycle and get to a complete lead to customer revenue cycle, they more effectively advance those leads through the pipe, increase sales wins, grow customer acquisitions and earn more revenues. But getting there isn't easy. Here we share the business case, along with a proven framework, to achieve an integrated revenue cycle. Revenue cycle ...
By Chuck Schaeffer 4/5/2013 Permalink Comments (14) Posted in SFA
CRM Winners and Losers
During the first quarter of 2013 we saw some changes in the continuous jockeying for CRM software market share leadership. Or more specifically, according to CRM buyers, we saw some publishers increase their presence and more importantly increase the messaging and alignment with what CRM buyers say is most important to them. Here's this quarters CRM Winners and Losers results. CRM winners and losers ...
By Chuck Schaeffer 4/1/2013 Permalink Comments (6) Posted in CRM Software