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Leading organizations are increasing their use of digital mechanisms for the business processes of buying, marketing, selling, and servicing. To do this, many organizations are turning to IBM’s Smarter Commerce and IBM Enterprise Marketing Management. Marketing automation tools like IBM Campaign and Interact, along with Silverpop, are great for defining multi touch campaigns, cross-channel marketing across digital channels, and real time personalizations for customers on electronic store fronts.

But what happens when a customer – who may have received an offer driven from IBM Campaign – calls into a customer service center? Does the customer service agent who answers the phone – let’s say it’s John -  have a history of that customer’s past interactions, and have the right information to answer that customer’s questions? Even better, can the customer service agent reinforce an offer that may have already been presented to the customer via IBM marketing automation offerings?

What happens if a sales person – let’s say it’s Sally – is about to call on that customer? Sally could be an inside sales rep, or an insurance agent, or a personal shopper in retail. Does Sally know everything about her customer including the fact that that customer might have received an offer through email that was generated by a campaign management tool? To take that a step further – if a campaign management tool generates 1000 leads, does Sally know that seven of those leads are her customers, and does she know exactly what to do with those seven leads?

We know that IBM Campaign can precisely target a specific set of customers. But imagine if Sally, upon signing in for her work day, sees seven specific new leads that are assigned to her from that campaign, along with specific actionable information for those leads. Imagine if John, our customer service agent, was able to pull up a complete view of the customer as he was helping resolve that customer’s issues; and could even upsell the customer based on a real-time offer appearing in his customer service dashboard.

SugarCRM, an IBM Global Alliance partner, can help. Sugar is an innovative CRM system designed for every individual who engages with customers: sellers, marketers, customer support agents, receptionists, and executives.

r4_smarter_commerce.jpgSugar has integrations into IBM Campaign to surface campaign information into sellers’ daily tools, whether that be Sugar itself or IBM Notes or Connections. Sugar also has integrations to IBM Interact to present real-time offers to sellers and customer service agents. Sugar is the first major CRM solution to be validated for the IBM Ready for Smarter Commerce mark. DiGi Telecommunications is one customer using IBM Campaign integrated to SugarCRM to provide consistency across digital marketing programs and human sales and service representatives.

Organizations that integrate SugarCRM and IBM experience faster campaign-to-cash times,  more efficient marketing and sales processes, and higher customer satisfaction and value.

For more information, see sugarcrm.com/ibm, or come visit us at SugarCon, April 28-May 1 in San Francisco, or the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2014 in Tampa, Florida May 12-15.

CRM_Roundup_Banner_V4
Welcome to our roundup of customer relationship management (CRM) industry news from across the web. This week’s roundup provides a plan of action and offers an understanding of what it takes to be successful in generating leads. We’re hunting the ‘net for the latest and greatest, and bringing them to you here, in one convenient weekly post.

If you reached this page, chances are you’re looking for insight on how to boost your lead generation success. In today’s day and age, the buying process has changed as marketers struggle to be heard through the noise. As they say, ‘Content is king’ and the handling of that content – both on your site and elsewhere on the web – is critical to your lead generation success.

68% of B2B businesses use landing pages to garner a new sales lead for future conversion. (MarketingSherpa)

The following articles should serve as easy first steps to help you acquire and retain higher-quality leads by meticulously adjusting semantics, understanding the purpose of lead nurturing, and thinking differently about gated content.

My Leads Have Run Dry: 3 Steps to Obtaining and Retaining Leads
Given that consumers are inundated with marketing messages all throughout the day, getting your message in front of the eyes of your target audience is becoming harder than ever. Once they’ve reached your website after being referred through a marketing channel (email, social media, webinar, etc.), there is still work to be done. This article outlines 3 steps on how to optimize your strategies to generate the quality leads you’re looking for.
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Social Media Lead Generation: Opening the Gate for Gated Content
Anqi Cong explores the pros and cons of gating and not-gating your content. She does a comparison on the effect of gating and its implication on social sharing and “virility”. It is estimated that gating content reduces downloads to 2-5% of what they could’ve been, but for a trade off of higher quality leads.
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Lead, Nurture, Or Get Out Of The Way
This article takes you through the steps of launching a successful lead nurturing campaign by first, locating and identifying your best prospects, and then by implementing the process itself.

“No matter how simple or complex the B2B environment, understanding how your product or service fits in with your prospect’s organization is the holy grail of long term success.” – Robert Minskoff
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Lead Generation: The Power of Copy
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind,” – Rudyard Kipling

The way words are received is directly correlated to the way they are spoken. John Tackett shows a simple way on how to see an increase in form conversion by tweaking one or a few words.
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We hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of our Weekly CRM Roundup. Go forth — tackle these easy lead generation actions and continue to create exceptional customer experiences. Got ideas for other great articles and topics we should include in future CRM Roundup posts? Let us know in the comments below!

CRM_Roundup_Banner_V4
Welcome to our roundup of customer relationship management (CRM) industry news from across the web. This week’s roundup will offer valuable insights to help jumpstart your customer loyalty program. We’re hunting the ‘net for the latest and greatest, and bringing them to you here, in one convenient weekly post.

Creating an amazing customer experience can create customer evangelists. Although, how can you measure the value of a satisfied customer who isn’t loyal? Shep Hyken says it best:

There is a big difference between a satisfied customer and a loyal customer.
    ~ Shep Hyken

Did I also mention that Shep will be our keynote at this year’s SugarCon? The following will be a list of articles that can be used as a guide to revitalize your overall loyalty program, or give it a little boost.

Effective Social Media in your CRM: Loyalty
Social CRM can often complete the complete 360-degree customer view that companies rely on to communicate a consistent customer experience. Knowing exactly who your customers are will allow you to help serve them timely, relevant, and engaging content through the right social channel.
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How To Use Technology, Brains, and Service To Build Customer Loyalty
It’s here that you shift your customers’ perception of your company out of the “they’re perfectly fine for now” to “they’re my one and only.”” – Micah Solomon

Technology can’t foster customer relationships alone. However, by combining well-trained employees with the tools needed in order to create an extraordinary customer experience, you’ve created an opportunity demonstrate value to your customers and drive customer loyalty.
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Finding Benefits in SMB Loyalty Programs [Infographic]
How do you view customer loyalty for your SMB? This infographic explores the benefits of a loyalty program and exposes opportunities for you to take advantage of to leverage your customer base and keep them coming back for more.
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4 Sharp Tools for Honing Reseller Loyalty
This article focuses more on managing relationship within your extended sales force: the channel. Providing support through an indirect channel is like playing a lethal game of telephone in customer service.

“It’s repeatedly been said that service is the secret to loyalty. Most of the time, that’s said in reference to direct customers — but it applies even more so to the indirect channel.” – Christopher J. Bucholtz
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And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this week’s roundup and have a newfound insight on loyalty. Got ideas for other great articles we should include in future CRM Roundup posts? Let us know in the comments below!

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!

maglassWhen talking about the CRM market, a lot of numbers are thrown around. Analyst firms like Gartner and IDC do amazing jobs of calculating the annual spend in the market, which will be more than $30bn in a few years. There are lots of huge companies selling CRM software (usually among other technology pieces), and the space gets a lot of news coverage.

But while these numbers and the continual buzz in CRM seems impressive…is it really?

SugarCRM co-founder and CTO Clint Oram and I have had an ongoing dialog for nearly a year now, about how the CRM industry has – in a lot of ways – utterly failed to live up to its potential over the past two decades.

“Failed?” You ask?

Yes, a big #Fail.

What we have been talking about internally is that the CRM industry now serves roughly 20-25m end users (you can take a composite of all research and it usually ends up around this number give or take a few million users). Now, while this seems like a big number, let’s look at some other “relationship management” tools out there and their user counts:

LinkedIn (professional relationship management): 200m+ Users

Facebook (personal relationship management): 1bn+ Users.

When we stack CRM up against similar (yet admittedly consumer oriented) concepts, CRM falls down in comparison in terms of seeding its total addressable market. Clint calls this, “The Case of the Missing Zero.” And I agree, why aren’t we asking the bigger questions about CRM, namely: Why is this a 20m user market and not a 200m market today?

I think the answer lies both in looking at the success of companies like Facebook and LinkedIn, and also in the history of business technology. In short, CRM originated in a time before such life-changing trends as: the internet, social media, cloud, mobile…pick your buzzword. Early CRM was expensive, difficult to deploy, and benefitted management and not the actual front-line users of CRM – those who deal with prospects and customers. And a lot of expensive, traditional CRM deployments are now in place, lack the modernity expected by today’s workforce, which only exacerbates the issue. And, what’s more, nearly every traditional CRM providers’ offerings were built in this pre-web/social/mobile/cloud era and are thus ill equipped to meet the needs of the individual user.

But…there is hope. If we as an industry start focusing more on the actual users of CRM, and build tools that help them do their jobs, not simply capture data, we can bridge this huge adoption gap.These tools should be simple to use, mobile friendly, and not only make sense of the mounds of structured and unstructured data about every customer – but provide fast and valuable insight around this data to every user at every turn.

And by creating pricing that actually works with companies to put the software in more users’ hands – we can start seeing the true promise of CRM. This isn’t about selling more software (well, in some ways it is), but rather empowering more people in the organization who touch the customer. It’s not about having to make hard decisions about who does and who does not get to use the tools designed to improve the lifeblood of your business – your customers – it’s about giving everyone access to the information they need to provide better service, make more informed decisions, and simply promote better customer relationships.

We are making headway in this area, and made some significant announcements this morning to that effect. While it is early in what I feel is a transformative time in CRM, I am excited. By bringing innovation back into this industry in a big way, empowering more individuals in every company we serve, and simply helping make great customer experiences happen, I hope to see this industry find that missing zero (yes, everyone not just SugarCRM) and show what a difference great CRM can really make.

We’re bringing the top Sugar highlights from the Twitterverse right here to the Sugar blog every Friday. Hear what Sugar fans tweeted this week! For more, join the conversation and follow us @sugarcrm

Kenny Ray tweeted, “@sugarcrm Looking forward to learning about your product at #tek13”
https://twitter.com/kennyray/status/331768144777588737

Jason Eggers tweeted, “I love using it. Syncs docs and more. RT @sugarcrm: Learn about Rolustech’s Gmail Plug-in…Sugar App of the Month! http://bit.ly/Zgu2wT”
https://twitter.com/eggsurplus/status/331804664104353792

Mirco Mueller tweeted, “We won again with @sugarcrm and @Share2B against http://salesforce.com and chatter :) #crm #ESN #SocialSales #SocialBiz #enterprise20”
https://twitter.com/mller_mirco/status/332396514771095554

Peter Niemeyer tweeted, “Thank you @carm_torres and the entire @IBMCCMad crew for making @sugarcrm look good! Here the winning workshop-group pic.twitter.com/vUZq0zoLlP”
https://twitter.com/NiemeyerPeter/status/332633750376689665

Have a Sweet Friday!

Best,
Anshu Agarwal
VP of Marketing

Sweet Tweets for Sugar 7

mremedios1 —  April 9, 2013 — 1 Comment

Today at SugarCon, we proudly announced the preview of Sugar 7!

Twitter was bursting with awe and excitement as Sugar CTO Clint Oram and CPO Lila Tretikov unveiled Sugar 7 live on-stage from the Grand Ballroom of The Waldorf Astoria New York. Here’s a recap of tweets from the analysts, customers, and partners that experienced it firsthand:

https://twitter.com/pgreenbe/status/321616412256915456