Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (June 2013) Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Found in a recent Gartner survey, 77% of American consumers go online looking for incentives relating to a purchase, and nearly one in two of them go online searching for effective problem solving. Meanwhile, as many as four times the number of people see a negative tweet as see a positive one. Wouldn’t it be better to see these people quickly and help them solve their problems, creating a positive brand awareness on social media rather than leave a negative perception of the brand?

By gaining visibility to customers’ social profiles, companies can discover who acts as brand advocates and influencers: who on Twitter posts positive messages (or negative ones) about customer service, who shares a particular buying experience by photographing a shirt or tie they recently bought on Instagram, or even who is connected to whom on LinkedIn to develop better in-roads into winning that all-important contract. The choices are endless.

Both B2B and B2C companies are relying on CRM to organise these insights about what customers are doing and buying, and to help establish predictive ability to know what and where to target next.

CRM gives this complete customer view by providing a single context of what the customer is doing — such as total wallet spend, or spending patterns — with a single entry point to not only analyse it, but to react to the information. Business rules and marketing drip campaigns can be driven off this data, but companies also gain the ability to see which individuals are brand ambassadors and who would be key to any successful loyalty programme integration.

Loyalty is a key theme at the moment, with many businesses seeking to not only maximize what they know about their customers, but to then enhance it with predictive behaviours and analysis that reward loyal customers and evangelists for the brand, and drive customers with similar behaviours to become stellar and vocal brand advocates.

At SugarCon 2014, I’ll be presenting on “Effective Social Media in your CRM” – we’ll be continuing this discussion on the use of social CRM to power effective loyalty programmes, as well as its application in targeted marketing campaigns and real-time customer support. Demonstrations of these systems in action will be showcased, along with customer stories of successful social CRM programmes for both B2B and B2C companies. I encourage you to attend this session to jumpstart your own consideration and integration of social CRM into your business!

CRM_Roundup_Banner_V4
Welcome to our roundup of customer relationship management (CRM) industry news from across the web. This week’s roundup will contain some tips and tricks worth learning when it comes to social selling. We’re hunting the ‘net for the latest and greatest, and bringing them to you here, in one convenient weekly post.

Recent studies show that social marketing has far greater rates of return than that of traditional outbound marketing.

Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. (State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)

Here are a few tips and tricks to help get your organization on the path to being a social selling machine.

7 Ways Your Sales Team Can Get Results with B2B Social Media
“Are your salespeople actively engaged in social media as part of their lead generation efforts? If not, they (and your business) are missing out on great opportunities for researching potential B2B clients, building new networks and uncovering prospects by investigating their social media profiles.” – Jeremy Durant

Jeremy offers a play-by-play list of ways to encourage your sales team to embrace social media.
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Social Selling Dos & Don’ts
Lauren Barack offers her insight when considering the dos and don’ts of social selling. She highlights the importance of the quality over quantity of your prospects and shares relevant scenarios of making social selling work for you.
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How to Generate More Leads and Referrals on LinkedIn
Do you have 20 minutes to spend in the day? Follow these 10 steps to make the most of LinkedIn and prospect more effectively.
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Got ideas for other great articles we should include in future CRM Roundup posts? Let us know in the comments below!

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Welcome to our roundup of customer relationship management (CRM) industry news from across the web. This week’s roundup will focus on mobile and its impact on the customer experience. We’re hunting the ‘net for the latest and greatest, and bringing them to you here, in one convenient weekly post.

Leveraging Mobile to Increase Customer Engagement
“Even when well-planned email campaigns are structured around richly sourced CRM intelligence, they can only achieve limited customer engagement if they’re carried out as conventional one-way interactions.” – Jose Santa Ana

Jose puts into perspective the current state of CRM and highlights how many CRM systems in place today were created for the customer of 10 years ago. He offers some food for thought when considering mobile and fostering two-way conversations when interacting with your customers.
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Mobile: The New Heart Of Digital Customer Experience
Michael Hinshaw introduces the four initial and critical steps to follow when considering the mobile customer journey.

“The question isn’t whether or not mobile is important; it’s how ready you are to deliver the mobile experiences your customers demand.” – Michael Hinshaw
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Digital Ad Spend Quickly Shifting To Mobile: Are You Ready
By 2014, mobile internet usage should overtake desktop internet usage (source). eMarketer reports the opportunity of advertising to the global smartphone audience as its surpassed the 1.75 billion user mark in 2014. “The opportunity for tapping into this vast, highly-engaged consumer base is so huge it’s impossible to ignore.” – Lionel White
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Got ideas for other great articles we should include in future CRM Roundup posts? Let us know in the comments below!

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Welcome to our roundup of customer relationship management (CRM) industry news from across the web. This week, we’ll be showing you the ins-and-outs of customer experience! We’re hunting the ‘net for the latest and greatest, and bringing them to you here, in one convenient weekly post.

What is Customer Experience? [Infographic]
The people over at CustVox, now owned by SandSIV, take you through a comprehensive infographic to help you leverage the Voice of Customer (VoC) and demonstrate Customer Experience Management (CEM) best practices. Customer Experience is for everyone, according to Flavio Martins: he explains the top reasons to invest in CEM with statistics to prove his point.
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The Customer Experience Jury Is In
Chris Bucholtz draws lessons from his latest experience attending what most people see as a burden: jury duty. Understanding the value of customer experience, Bucholtz highlights the importance of empathy, courtesy, and simplifying processes for the customer.
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Is Your Customer Focused Language Important?
Bill Hogg delves into the importance of semantics when interacting with customers. Paying attention to detail in the dialogue spoken during any customer interaction can make or break how they may perceive you and your brand.
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Got ideas for other great articles we should include in future CRM Roundup posts? Let us know in the comments below!

SugarCRM is the first CRM provider to be named “Ready for IBM Smarter Commerce,” which means the Sugar platform r4_smarter_commerce.jpgsupports and inter-operates seamlessly with core IBM Smarter Commerce components, including IBM Campaign and Interact, IBM Websphere Commerce, and IBM Sterling Commerce. As the current state of business, fueled by advancements in social, mobile and cloud technologies changes the way companies market and sell, IBM’s Smarter Commerce portfolio combined with Sugar can help enterprises of all sizes better meet these current and future challenges.

IBM Smarter Commerce turns customer insight into action, enabling new business processes that help companies buy, market, sell and service their products and services to today’s modern customer. With deep integrations into key Smart Commerce offerings, SugarCRM puts the “i” in Smarter Commerce.

What does it mean to put the “i” in Smarter Commerce? It means that SugarCRM extends IBM Smarter Commerce to customer-facing individuals such as sales and service representatives. For example, with IBM and SugarCRM, campaign management programs can be driven down to specific, actionable, in-context leads placed in the daily activity stream of individual sellers. Or, individual customer care agents can view the entire history of a given customer’s interactions, and can see targeted real-time recommendations right from within their call center application.

The result: faster campaign-to-cash, more efficient marketing and sales processes, and higher customer satisfaction and value.

For more information on how SugarCRM complements IBM Smarter Commerce and other IBM products and services, see sugarcrm.com/ibm

CRM_Roundup_Banner_V4
Welcome to our roundup of customer relationship management (CRM) industry news from across the web. This week’s roundup is dedicated to all things data related! We’ll be hunting the ‘net for the latest and greatest, and bringing them to you here, in one convenient weekly post.

Does Your Company Need a Chief Data Officer?
In the era of big data, the one-title-fits-all technology roles are slowly diminishing. The need for a Chief Data Officer (CDO) is a quickly emerging topic being discussed particularly within the enterprise. A CDO would not own the data in and of itself, although they would be responsible for governing enterprise data and leveraging customer data as an asset. Does your company need a CDO? The answer may be, yes.
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Turn Big Data into Smart Data: You’ll Have Happier Customers
Big data has no value. At least according to predictive analytics expert Ingo Mierswa, “To extract value from it, you have to employ advanced analytics. You can only unlock the true power of big data when you learn how to transform it into smart data, data that helps you understand why the world works as we know it.”
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Completeness Is the New Black
How complete is your data, and are you collecting enough? Perhaps, the correct question to ask is: Are you collecting the right data? Denis Pombriant, managing principal of the Beagle Research Group explains, “We should all be aware that the bar is being raised for this next level of data collection, and we must understand the importance of completeness and relevance. It’s a competitive world, and getting to completeness before your competition might be the new black.”
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Got ideas for other great articles we should include in future CRM Roundup posts? Let us know in the comments below!

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Welcome to our weekly roundup of customer relationship management (CRM) industry news from across the web. This week, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve brought together articles that get to the “heart” of CRM in one convenient post.

Gartner Says CRM Will Be at the Heart of Digital Initiatives for Years to Come
Analysts at Gartner summarize how organizations are leveraging CRM technologies as a major part of their digital initiatives to enhance the customer experience. They delve into what they believe are the main drivers behind the hot topics of CRM including the Internet of Things, where sensors connecting things to the Internet create new services previously not thought of.
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Looking for Customer Love in All the Right Places
Christopher J. Bucholtz iterates the importance of service in its correlation to customer loyalty. Bucholtz believes, “even with CRM providing the so-called 360-degree view of the customer, businesses continue to operate with significant blind spots.” He offers five broad categories to consider when developing metrics around your customer-facing operations.
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Avoiding a Brand Breakup This Valentine’s Day
“73% of consumers want to have a long-term relationship with brands that reward them for being a loyal customer.” according to Responsys, a marketing cloud and services provider that commissioned a nationwide survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, to take a look at how brand-customer relationships are built, and why they “break up.”
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Got ideas for other great articles we should include in future CRM Roundup posts? Let us know in the comments below!