Category Archives: CRM News and Info

Einstein Tries Sales Forecasting

When Salesforce unveiled sales forecasting with its artificial intelligence tool, Einstein, my immediate reaction was that it should have tried something easier — like solving global warming. Really, a sales forecast that bears some resemblance to reality has been a grail quest for all of us for many years, and Salesforce is not the first software company to throw its hat in the ring.

salesforce einstein Einstein Tries Sales Forecasting

On reflection, it’s not that the company should have tackled an easier problem, but that the success of a sales forecast is inversely proportional to the amount of human involvement in producing it. Because Einstein relies on AI and historical data, I can give it a higher probability of success than many other methods.

Avoiding Forecasting Pitfalls

You know a forecast is in trouble when it gets downloaded to a spreadsheet. Once optimism gets injected in the form of a spreadsheet jockey, you can abandon all hope. Not to be cruel, but the human brain is adept at playing tricks on itself and simultaneously assuring itself that it is not. Daniel Kahneman won a Nobel Economics Prize for figuring that out on the way to initiating the study of behavioral economics.

At any rate, that is exactly what Einstein Forecasting does not do. It is automated, and it gets human optimism out of the way and analyzes real historical data. It also compares present data about a deal with the history of a sales rep’s earlier deals to derive an understanding of where a deal is in its progression.

However, my experience is that this route really, really needs to include a sales process or model of how “we sell our stuff.”

Specifically, other AI systems have made discoveries, like higher rates of closure on deals where the budget owner/decision maker is involved in a demo, just to pick an easy example. It would be great if the AI system took that kind of history into account rather than simply discovering that one rep sandbags and another is overly optimistic.

Opportunity Scoring

It seems as though Einstein does. It is fully automated and able to understand process and key factors like seasonality, according to the company, and that’s great. Perhaps more important than the forecast at the end of a sales cycle is a less well-advertised capability, called “Einstein Opportunity Scoring,” that does exactly what you’d expect from such a product.

Getting the score right on a new opportunity does some valuable things. For instance, it focuses the rep on the best deals, not necessarily the easiest, and that automatically will make for a better pipeline that is easier to forecast.

You might think that opportunity scoring is a no brainer but it’s not; sales reps can waste a lot of time and resources chasing deals that will never close.

My Conclusion

To demonstrate how important all of this is for Salesforce, the corporate investment group, Salesforce Ventures, also announced a US$ 50 million innovation fund to promote development of increasingly better AI functionality on its platform.

Salesforce has broadened its outreach beyond traditional CRM in the last few years, and it now boasts applications in multiple subspecialties and vertical markets, like media and finance.

Einstein is a broad-based tool that can be applied to benefit almost any business or process. While this has been the year of Einstein, in which all elements of the portfolio have begun receiving an AI assist, it’s good to see the company paying attention to its CRM roots.

Forecasting and opportunity scoring are two of the more difficult challenges that we’ve faced in CRM, and it’s good that they’re receiving attention.
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Denis%20Pombriant Einstein Tries Sales ForecastingDenis Pombriant is a well-known CRM industry researcher, strategist, writer and speaker. His new book, You Can’t Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It, is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solve for the Customer, is also available there. He can be reached at
denis.pombriant@beagleresearch.com.

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New Mobile App Promises Full B2B E-Commerce Experience

Insite Software on Tuesday released the InsiteCommerce Mobile App, describing it as the first fully configurable white label mobile app built for leading manufacturers and distributors.

mobile b2b New Mobile App Promises Full B2B E Commerce Experience

The app supports everyone involved in the B2B e-commerce experience, Insite said — from customers to channel partners, to field sales and support teams.

Companies purchasing the app can tailor its functions to specific roles and responsibilities by delivering customer-specific product catalog and data, pricing and product recommendations, and order and reorder capabilities.

“There’s a combination of customizations and configurations driven by a single instance of the InsiteCommerce Admin Console across Web and mobile apps,” said Karie Daudt, VP of marketing and customer experience at Insite.

“We customize the color scheme, icons and certain images in each build of a private labeled application to suit the branding standards of each customer,” she told CRM Buyer.

84817 620x680 New Mobile App Promises Full B2B E Commerce Experience

Private labeling of each application is done internally, and “doesn’t require any code customization or additional implementation effort for our customers,” Daudt said.

The app includes a biometric login capability, customizable alerts, bar code scanning, GPS capabilities, speech-to-text and enhanced security.

Among the app’s prebuilt features are product catalog search, order status check, and the ability to add items to a cart and check out.

The app is available for iOS and Android.

Integration, Integration, Integration

The InsiteCommerce Mobile App works with Insite Software’s e-commerce platform, which integrates with leading enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and Web content management systems.

It automatically builds experience based on a business’ existing InsiteCommerce instance.

“Any new customer can extend their reach with a native mobile solution when they roll out an InsiteCommerce system,” Daudt remarked.

Companies with a mobile-first implementation strategy can “focus on implementing a light version of the branded mobile application first, then execute a more complete integration of e-commerce, including integration with their ERP and other core business functions,” she said.

Insite partners with each client to manage and deploy its apps to the iOS and Google Play app stores, Daudt noted.

“This lets our customers maintain their branding standards and achieve app store presence while still complying with Apple’s rigorous approval standards.”

Use Cases

Manufacturers or distributors who want to improve their customer experience and better enable their direct and channel teams to serve the customer would benefit from the InsiteCommerce Mobile App, Daudt said.

“For B2B companies, much of their customer and team experience is in the field, out at a job site, or traveling through a sales territory,” she noted. “They need key data available to them and easy to use in their moment of relevance, across any mobile device.”

Among the possible use cases for the Insite Mobile App, according to Daudt, are the following:

  • Direct sales reps in the field needing to look up end-customer order or delivery details or other information, or place an order on a customer’s behalf;
  • Direct service technicians in the field needing to look up a detailed product tech spec or order a replacement part; and
  • Direct shipping clerks or delivery drivers taking a picture of a shipment at the outbound dock or upon delivery to the customer, and attaching it to the order as proof of delivery.

The InsiteCommerce Mobile App “may be attractive for existing Insite customers,” said Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus Research.

However, “I don’t see a broader reach than that,” she told CRM Buyer. “Unless I’m a frequent purchaser from a vendor, I’m unlikely to download their app.”
end enn New Mobile App Promises Full B2B E Commerce Experience


Richard%20Adhikari New Mobile App Promises Full B2B E Commerce ExperienceRichard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology.
Email Richard.

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Finally Oracle

Oracle showed some very good numbers in its latest earnings announcement. As it begins its second year of aggressive cloud promotion, the company overall is showing significant year-over-year improvements, thanks to its turn to cloud infrastructure, applications and platforms. Yet when read right, the numbers announce the end of the beginning of the end as much as they announce the end of the beginning.

Oracle is the last major software vendor to adopt the cloud as its primary medium, and while it will support its legacy customers as long as necessary — it has a good history of loyalty to customers in this regard — there’s no doubt about its direction. With a legacy installed base, moving to the cloud has been difficult for Oracle. Competitors Salesforce and NetSuite, on the other hand, were cloud natives from day one.

To make its pivot, Oracle has had to spin up three “as a Service” businesses: one for infrastructure, IaaS; one for software, SaaS; and one for platform, PaaS.

AI, ML, IoT – and What Else?

Infrastructure is a low-margin business, because there’s a lot of low-priced competition. Yet it’s essential to the company’s strategy, because there will be a fraction of its 425,000-plus customers that get to the cloud simply by moving the locations of their data centers. Without an IaaS business, those customers could go anywhere, and keeping them in the software fold would become more difficult.

Oracle’s transition to the cloud removes the last legitimate holdout — the last objection to cloud computing almost anywhere — and with that we can call a top to an age of computing that began with mainframes more than 50 years ago.

The logical question now is what’s next? The rest of the industry is not standing still. Along with transitioning its customers to the cloud, Oracle is continuing to invest in advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things, where it competes with most other vendors.

At the same time that Oracle is competing, it is leading in database — and some of its competitors are also customers. During last week’s earnings call with press and analysts, former CEO and founder and now CTO Larry Ellison offered a preview of Oracle OpenWorld, which will run during the first week of October in San Francisco.

Ellison announced that the next version of the Oracle database would be automated so that better than 99 percent of setup and tuning could be done by the system itself using AI and ML.

So I’m calling another top, in another part of Oracle’s business: database. Most of the competition from the early days of relational databases either has departed or been absorbed by larger entities, and Oracle may be the only fully independent vendor left (I can’t think of another).

Never-Ending Quest for Profits

The database industry, along with satellite industries in various forms of hardware, software and services, once formed the backbone of a major economic driver, the tech industry. In its heyday, the industry employed — and still employs — a huge number of people.

However, with the introduction of an automated database, coupled with an already strong cloud sector, there has been a good deal of automation. The industry has been cannibalizing itself, erasing jobs, and commoditizing products based on databases.

There’s nothing to be done about it. Business runs on information, but it also runs on efficiency. Cloud computing and automation are part of a never-ending quest to keep overhead low and profits high.

The more important question for now is, what’s next? What will be the next disruptive innovation — the thing that drives the economy and that hires lots of people and deploys new infrastructure?

Many people figure the next shift will look a lot like today, and think IoT and things derived from it might be next in line. I don’t know. Viewed in a certain light, the IoT looks more like a further commoditization and automation of traditional technology than it looks like the next big thing.

After all, the IoT is supposed to be about automation — using the Internet for communications between remote devices with sensors. The IoT is supposed to be the mothership for the purpose of dispatching services and supplies, among other things. It’s hard to see how this would lead to a great expansion in employment, though it certainly looks like a way to improve capital efficiency and profits.

For the moment, it’s enough to understand that the next major economic move will stand on the shoulders of the current paradigm and that it will be steeped in technology. Iron and stationary steam engines gave way to steel and mobile steam engines. The next decades are likely to look like the cutover from iron to steel. It will be an interesting time, as the Chinese say.
end enn Finally Oracle


Denis%20Pombriant Finally OracleDenis Pombriant is a well-known CRM industry researcher, strategist, writer and speaker. His new book, You Can’t Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It, is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solve for the Customer, is also available there. He can be reached at
denis.pombriant@beagleresearch.com.

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Nimble's Social CRM Finds Its Way Into Office 365

Social sales and marketing software provider
Nimble and cloud services consultant
NeoCloud on Thursday announced a partnership to deliver a simple, affordable contact management and CRM package for Microsoft Office 365 and GSuite users.

nimble crm Nimble's Social CRM Finds Its Way Into Office 365

NeoCloud has agreed to bundle Nimble CRM into all of its Office 365 deployments, beginning this month. Small and mid-sized business customers and workgroups in larger organizations will be able to access social business insights on any contact in Office 365 everywhere they work — across the Web, in popular Web applications, and in personal productivity applications.

Nimble CRM adds employees’ individual connections to a shared team relationship manager and enriches them with social insights and business context.


84828 500x349 small Nimble's Social CRM Finds Its Way Into Office 365

Click Image to Expand


“What I like about Nimble’s solution is that users continue to work through their usual tools such as email or social media platforms,” said Cindy Zhou, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

They “gain context and information on individuals through Nimble plug-ins to facilitate social selling, adding or augmenting CRM records, and marketing,” she told CRM Buyer.

Nimble also tracks engagement history, Zhou noted.

Insights for Everyone

Nimble integrates with first-party cloud-based solutions including Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Office 365 and Microsoft Outlook.

NeoCloud will provide sales, marketing and technical support services for the Nimble package.

Office 365 and GSuite are the two key business platforms NeoCloud sells, and virtually all of its customers need a simple relationship management platform that layers on top of those tools, said NeoCloud CEO Van Murray.

Nimble delivers relationship insights to users of the following products:

  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Edge
  • Hootsuite
  • iOS
  • Android

Nimble is available in two versions:

  • the Nimble Business Edition, which delivers access to team social sales and marketing functionalities, as well as social business insights on people and companies; and
  • a standalone freemium add-in for Microsoft Outlook Desktop and Outlook Mobile on iOS and Android, which allows profiling of email contacts.

Partnership Advantages

The partnership “will give SMBs an integrated, cost-effective way to execute on social selling,” said Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus Research.

“At a considerably lower price point than most other options, this makes social selling more accessible to firms with fewer resources,” she told CRM Buyer.

Social selling “increases sales productivity by more than 12 percent on average,” Wettemann said.

“As the number of people we work with increases, both internal and external to our organizations and across a variety of tools and channels, it becomes ever so important to provide context to the relationships and history we have with them,” Constellation Research Principal Analyst Alan Lepofsky told CRM Buyer.

How Users Will Benefit

The leading CRM challenge for companies of all sizes is the loss of engagement data, Constellation’s Zhou said.

Many solutions require users to input contact or associated emails, communications and other data manually, she noted. Tracking and inputting data “becomes a burden on sellers, marketers and services personnel.”

The integration of contact management, as well as allowing users to see social context and other features that come with layering contact management software on top of productivity applications, “helps users or companies engage with customers more efficiently and reduces the manual data entry effort,” Zhou remarked.

“Integration is key,” Nucleus Research’s Wettemann pointed out. People “aren’t optimally selling if they spend more than 8 percent of their time on entering data into a CRM.”
end enn Nimble's Social CRM Finds Its Way Into Office 365


Richard%20Adhikari Nimble's Social CRM Finds Its Way Into Office 365Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology.
Email Richard.

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Improve Sales, Marketing, SEO and more with Sales Call Analysis

blog title rethink podcast amit bendov 351x200 Improve Sales, Marketing, SEO and more with Sales Call Analysis

This transcript has been edited for length. To get the full measure, listen to the podcast.

Michelle Huff: What are people trying to learn from analyzing all these sales conversations?

Amit Bendov: Sales is a pretty complex craft. There’s a lot of things that you need to do right. Anything from being a good listener, to asking the right questions at the right time, to making sure that you uncover customer problems, that you create a differentiated value proposition in their minds, to make sure you have concrete action items. So, there’s quite a lot to learn. And then there’s also product and industry specific knowledge. For example, if you hire a news salesperson at Act-On, and first they need to be good salespeople; second, they need to understand marketing automation, they need to understand the industry, they need to understand competitive differentiation.

So, all those things are little skills that Gong identifies how are you doing and how you compare against some of the best reps in your company. And then it starts coaching either by providing you feedback or a manager feedback, and improving your reps so you can become better at all these little things, becoming a better listener, asking better questions, and becoming a better closer.

Although we sell primarily to the sales team, the product marketing and marketing teams are also big fans, because you can see if there are new messages that are being rolled out, and are customers responding to the new messages, are we telling the story right. What are customers asking about, both from a marketing and sales perspective, but also from a product, which features they like, which features they don’t like, which features they like about our competitors. So, it’s a great insight tool for marketeers and product guys.

Michelle: What do you think we could learn from unsuccessful sales calls?

Amit: I’m a believer we could learn more from successful calls. There are fewer ways to succeed than ways to fail. So, learning from what works is usually more powerful. But we all have our failures. And nobody’s perfect. Even some of the better calls have lots of areas to improve. One of the first things that people notice is the listen to talk ratio. And one of the things Gong measures is how much time you’re speaking on a call versus how much time the prospect is speaking. The optimal ratio, if you’re curious, is 46 percent. So, the salesperson is speaking for 46 percent of the time of the call and the prospect’s filling in the rest.

A lot of the sales reps – especially, the new hires – tend to speak as much as 80 percent of the time. Maybe it’s because they’re insecure, maybe they feel they need to push more. And that’s almost never a good idea.

Michelle: That’s such a good feedback loop. Forty six percent, that’s a good ratio, right? It’s not not saying anything at all, but letting them do the majority of talking. That’s interesting.

Amit: It is like a Fitbit for sales calls. Once people see that feedback, it’s pretty easy to cure: ‘Oh my God, I spoke for 85 percent.’ And then they start setting personal goals to bring it down. And because they get feedback on every call, every time, it’s pretty easy to fix this problem.

Michelle: What are certain keywords when it comes to customer timelines that you train people to look for?

Amit: One of the things we’ve analyzed, and we ran these on a very large number of calls, is what’s a reliable response to the question regarding the time of the project. If a salesperson would ask a customer, when would you like to be live? And there’s a range of options. We found the word “probably,” as in probably mid-February, is a pretty good indicator that they’re serious about it. We don’t know exactly why. But I mean we can only guess that maybe they’ve taken their response more seriously. Versus “like we need this yesterday,” or “we have to have it tomorrow,” which are not really thoughtful answers. Or obviously, “well, maybe sometime next year,” which is very loose. So, the word probably is actually a pretty good indicator that the deal, if it happens, it doesn’t mean that it will close, but if it will, it will probably happen on that timeframe.

Michelle: That is super insightful. Because it’s almost counterintuitive. You’d think that if you hear the word probably, it wouldn’t, they’re not very firm.

Amit: Here’s another interesting one. A lot of the sales managers and coaches are obsessed with filler words, things like you know, like, basically. And sometimes they would drive the salespeople nuts with trying to bring down their filler word portions. And what we’ve found, we analyzed a large number of calls, and tried to see if there’s an impact on close rates, in calls where there are a lot of filler words and calls where there are not a lot of filler words. And we found absolutely zero correlation between the words and success. So, my advice to our listener, just don’t worry about it. Just say what you like. It doesn’t make a big difference. Or at least there is no proof that it makes a difference.

And my theory that it’s more annoying when you listen to it in a recording versus in a live conversation. Because in a live conversation, both you and the customer are focused on the conversation and trying to understand what’s going on, and you don’t pay attention to those filler words. But when you listen to a recording, they’re much more prominent.

Michelle: I think at the end of the day, if there’s a connection, people are buying from people. I feel like those are all things where it’s good feedback, where you can just improve on how you up your game across the board on all your conversations.

Amit: Absolutely. You shine a light on this huge void that is sales conversation, what’s happening in conversation, just how people see clearly the data, versus just rely on opinions, or self-perception, or subjective opinions on what is actually happening.

Michelle: We talked a lot about the sales use case. What are some of the other areas we can use Gong? How about customer success?

Amit: Almost all of our customers now use it for customer success as well. Again, here’s where you want to know what the customers are thinking. Are we taking good care of them? Are we saying the right things? What is it like, which customers are unhappy with our service, what do we need to improve? So that again shines a light on how customers feel. Because without that, all you have is really some usage metrics and KPIs and surveys that are important, but don’t tell the complete story. What people actually tell you, I mean you could have customers that use the product a lot and are not very thrilled with your product. Or customers that don’t use it as much as you think that they should be, but they’re very excited. So definitely Gong is used for customer service in almost all of our customers.

Here is another interesting application. I know a lot of our audience are marketers. A lot of what we do in marketing has to do with messages. First is like how we describe the product. So, you can learn a lot about it from what your customers say, not what your salespeople are saying. But if you listen to real customer calls, I mean existing user, and you’ll hear how they describe the product, this is probably a very good language for you to use. If you listen to enough calls, you can get a theme that will help you explain your product better.

You might have heard that I’ve used ‘shine a light on your sales conversation.’ I didn’t make this up. We’ve interviewed 20 VPs of sales that use the product. And we looked at what are the common themes they use when they describe the product. And this came from them. So, it’s a great messaging research tool.

The other application you could use Gong for is SEO and SEM. Usually one of the first things people will say when they join an introductory call is, we’re looking for “X.” That “X” might not be what’s on your website, or how you describe your product. If you listen to a lot of calls and use their own words, those are the words you want to bid on or optimize for. Because that will drive a lot of traffic. And this is what people really search for and not the words you would normally use in your website. We do that, too.

Michelle: In our conversation, you’re bringing up your research and the insights you’re able to gain. Having these research reports seems to be a key part of your marketing and brand awareness. How do you leverage these research reports? What are you doing? And how is it helping?

Amit: We identify that’s the key strategic marketing capability that we’re going to be counting on. Something that people have not seen before, so it’s like the first pictures from the Hubble telescope. OK, so here’s what the universe looks like. Or the first pictures of the Titanic. This is what it really looks like and that’s where it lies. So, we’re doing the same thing for sales conversations. It’s something that people are very passionate about. There’s some 10,000 books on Amazon on how to sell. But nobody really has the facts. So, we identified this as an opportunity.

And we’re trying to do things that are interesting and useful. We try to keep it short. We take a small chunk, we investigate it, we publish the results, and try to make sure that whatever we do it’s something that people have at least some takeaway. So, it’s both interesting and immediately be applicable to what they do.

That does generate activity on social media. We get hundreds of likes per post. We get press from it. Some of it got published on Business Insider, and Forbes, and it drives a lot of traffic. Plus, it’s in line with our message, shining the light on your sales conversation. We do get a lot of people coming into sales calls, ‘Hey, I read this blog on LinkedIn, this is very fascinating about how much I should be talking, what kind of questions I want to apply to my own team, which is what we sell.’

Michelle: I enjoyed the conversation. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us.

Amit: My pleasure, Michelle. I had a lot of fun. Thank you.

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How does the CMO role look different in the US when compared to the UK?

cmo 351x200 How does the CMO role look different in the US when compared to the UK?

Analysis of CMOs from FTSE 100 companies and the Inc. 5000 list found that a typical UK CMO is male, British and 44 years old, while US research suggests the typical US CMO is an American born female having just turned 40

In the UK and US, the path to becoming the Chief Marketing Officer in a company is often seen as a long one. But what is it really that this coveted role demands? What stories can we tell from the statistics available to us? To find out, we set about analysing those who hold that title – or equivalent – across FTSE 100 companies, as well as the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing mid-size companies. Below are the results and key trends that emerged: – in short, what it takes to become CMO supreme in both the UK and America.

Here were the five biggest takeaways from our research:

  • Success is a Waiting Game. Our research showed that on average, FTSE 100 CMOs had served their companies for around 8-9 years in total – having worked at least three other companies prior, and spending around 5-6 years at each job prior to becoming CMO. In contrast, marketers in the US moved around fairly often, usually working at four or so companies for an average of 5 years, and typically serving in a company for around 5 years by the time they become CMO; a much shorter tenure than in the UK.This taught us two things: first, that a diverse resume or portfolio – proven experience across a range of titles and jobs – can go a long way in distinguishing CMO candidates, in the US especially; second, that it pays to stick around for longer in the UK, as that special promotion really could be just around the corner. It could be argued, of course, that things might move slightly faster in the job market in the US, which is why the CMO role is awarded to people earlier in their careers. In the UK, marketers will often have to wait until their 44th birthday to become CMO – whereas the big promotion will come to those around their 40th birthday in the US.However, as has been shown by Korn Ferry’s research, it is of concern to a number of US firms that the CMO position has the highest turnover in the C-suite. They stay in office for 4.1 years on average, whereas CEOs average 8 years; CFOs, 5.1 years; CHROs, 5; and CIOs, 4.3 years. On top of this, HBR found that 57% of CMOs in the US have been in their position for three years or less. It’s a disparity that raises important questions about how CMOs in the US are nurtured, enabled, and supported in their roles; if, for instance, tenure should be the thing that’s prioritized in hiring CMOs (experience with the business), or longevity generally (a record of leadership roles longer than the 5-year average).
  • The Gender Gap – or lack of it: While the majority of CMOs in the UK FTSE 100 were men (60%), 56% of the companies analysed in the Inc. 5000 were led by female CMOs. It’s a difference that suggests, at least on its face, that US companies are perhaps going farther in employing women in leadership roles; further research found that only 7% of the FTSE 100’s companies are led by a female CEO. But it’s worth remembering the historical trends that have made this possible – the number of women that have come to fill marketing and advertising roles in general (holding 60% of all positions at professional agencies) as these fields have naturally diversified.Also important to remember: per a 2016 report in Forbes, white women specifically are by and large in the majority. US firms might have further still to go. But all the same! It’s worth wondering just how long before UK companies bring down the male-female ratio to the evens, given, certainly, the very clear business benefits: diversity in the boardroom, it has been shown, usually results in “increased value for shareholders.”
  • Home Grown Talent – on both sides of the pond: In the UK 60% of the CMOs researched were British, with 16% of these from a European background. In North America, all 70 CMOs that were analysed were born in the US. This tells us that both countries are keen to invest in local talent, and that the barriers to entry for outside contenders – executives born or educated outside the UK and US – are likely higher as a result; an important consideration for international companies looking to establish and grow a presence in either country.
  • Education: Is Oxbridge Irrelevant for the UK? In the UK, only 9% of the CMOs analysed as part of our research were Oxbridge educated. In fact, more CMOs studied in Ireland (10%) or at a major university in the North of England (15%) than at the two best universities in the country – suggesting, perhaps, that the prestige of Oxbridge has worn somewhat thin in recent decades. One could argue, in fact, that universities in the South of England (41%) or overseas (34%) were more reliable incubators for CMOs.Overall, the number of CMOs with advanced degrees (master’s certifications and higher) was about the same between the two countries – 27% of CMOs in the US, 30% of CMOs in the UK. These are figures that speak in part to larger trends in education; per the most recent US Census, more young adults than ever are pursuing postgraduate studies (9.3 percent, a steady increase in the last decade). But they may also reflect the specific advantages of a master’s for the modern marketer looking to distinguish themselves and remain competitive. A 2014 report by the U.S Department of Education, for instance, found that the wide popularity of the MBA in particular could be explained by a perceived “return on investment”; a sense among potential employers that the degree translated directly to a job candidate’s success.
  • In-house is the way forward: A huge majority (86%) of UK CMOs move up in the company, rather than coming across from working in an agency – while in the US, 89% are not from an agency. Our assumption might be to expect some of those who head the marketing division at companies will have worked for ‘the dark side’, and therefore know how to work with these agencies to really get the best from them. However, it would appear that for the majority of these CMOs this is not the case.

Despite the research, we all know that everyone’s path to success is different. But our analysis into the British and American CMO has introduced some interesting facts that we’d be keen to keep an eye on in future – particularly in the UK. Will more women be introduced into the CMO role – and across the C-suite board in general? Will Brexit and EU negotiations signal a change in where the CMO is sourced? We’ll have to wait and see.

Check out our infographic for the full results and global comparisons.

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Navigation Tips in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Mobile Application

The value of a mobile app is being able to use it to find information quickly. Here are a few tips on the set up and navigation of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Mobile App that your team will appreciate.

First, download the Dynamics 365 for Phones from Playstore.

  • Enter the CRM URL. Always enter the URL preceded by a https//. Downloading the customizations would take 2-3 minutes depending on the internet speed.
  • Each time you login, the latest customizations are fetched from the server. You will not see a black screen unless any new published customizations have been made available by the server but in case of a first time login, the screen would emerge.

Navigation

The navigation of the Dynamics CRM Mobile App is simple and only those entities will be made visible which have been enabled for mobile. But be aware, they are displayed in alphabetical order and the order can NOT be changed! If you are offline, a red bar emerges across the entity list which tells that your internet connection is lost. This is also the time when you can actually see which entities are offline supported. Each entity that is available offline will have either a green (or red) bar at the side of their icon. With a red bar suggesting that the data might not be synchronized.

There are four items available

  • Top Right Corner: List of records
  • Search: To do a quick search
  • Home: Takes you to the Home screen
  • Back: Takes you to the previous screen

Search a record

  • Click on the ‘search’ button at the top and enter the text required for search.

  Mobile Themes

  • Mobile App theme and web client theme would remain in sync.

Home Page Navigation Tip

The Home screen is the place where you can find your pinned records, views and dashboards on the left side of the screen. One helpful hint is that you can pin your frequently visited records or views on the Home screen. For example, pin your ‘Key Account’, which saves you from searching for it again.

Comparison of Dynamics 365 Desktop vs Mobile App

There are times when you will want to compare what you see in the mobile app versus the Desktop version. To simulate the Dynamics 365 app in desktop, use this format in the URL -

https://orgname.crm.dynamics.com/nga/main.htm?org=orgname&server=https://orgname.crm.dynamics.com.

This becomes quite useful as you do not need to open the app and download customizations, although the process will be same.

Layout for Tabs

Dynamics 365 for tablets takes many of the Main form elements and presents them in a way that is optimized for tablets, as shown in the following diagram.

Enabling Tabs for the Mobile App

Tabs can be made available on the phone device, we just need to visit Tab Properties and enable through a checkbox in the Tab properties. Similarly, each field on the form can be made available on Phone.

Relationships

  • If an entity relationship is configured to appear in the Navigation area within the form customization, and the entity is enabled for Dynamics 365 for tablets, the entity relationship will appear in the Relationships section.
  • The Connections relationship tile is not displayed in Dynamics 365 for tablets.

 

Configuring Entities and Forms

If you need an entity to be read only on the mobile app, select ‘Read only in mobile’. If you want this entity to be available as an offline feature select ‘Enable for mobile offline’.

The Read Only mode will only allow users to view records of the entity. The settings can be turned on or off per your requirements.

Mobile Forms

  • Forms in Dynamics 365 for Phones are based on the development principle of “Design once and deploy across clients.” Entity behavior and business processes in Dynamics 365 for Phones forms function similarly to forms in the web application, but with a flow tailored for a tablet.
  • In Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online & on-premises) or later, you can preview how forms look on tablets and phones when you customize them in the web app.
  • Forms in Dynamics 365 for phones use the Main form type.
  • Entity behavior and business processes in Dynamics 365 for phones forms function similarly to forms in the web application, but with a flow tailored for a phone.

For more on this topic read our post: 10 Techy Tips Your Team Will Want to Know About Dynamics 365 Mobile Application for Phones & Tablets

If you are interested in evaluating Microsoft Dynamics 365 or need support or training for Dynamics 365 Mobile Applications contact us at 877-600-2253 or [email protected]

By Ryan Plourde, Crowe Horwath, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Gold Partner www.CroweCRM.com

Follow us on Twitter: @CroweCRM

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 Business Edition Canceled Before it Ever Saw the Light of Day

CRM Blog Dynamics 365 Business Edition Canceled Before it Ever Saw the Light of Day

If you are waiting for the Business Edition of Dynamics 365… On Monday at the Directions Conference in Orlando, Marko Perisic gave a keynote that set Microsoft partners on their heels. He announced that the product formerly known as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Dynamics 365 for Financials and Operations Business Edition, formerly known as Dynamics 365 Financials, formerly known as Project Madeira, formerly known as Navision (NAV) is now to be known as “Tenerife”.

“Business Edition is no more”. Tenerife which is commonly known as the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, off West Africa is now the code name for the new partner platform for vertical solutions. Tenerife that would be available exclusively from Partners, and that all deployments would be white-labeled.

Also gone is segmentation by customer size (SMB, Enterprise, Etc.) The new model in Tenerife will be feature based, buy the features you need. A 1000 user customer can license this app and pay the same as a 15 user company. Apparently there was growing concern at Microsoft about enterprise accounts trying to leverage the now canned Business Edition. To combat this Microsoft placed limitations on the Business Edition (number of custom entities, workflows, etc.) With Tenerife when a customer needs more features they will simply pay for what they need. Many think this is what the Dynamics 365 model should have been from the get-go, we could have avoided all the confusion in the market about Enterprise vs. Business Edition.

The forthcoming marketing app. will follow this same path.

Tenerife will be the platform for app development for Navision (NAV). All existing ISV solutions for NAV will need to be ported over to this new platform. NAV will also be discontinued in favor of Tenerife and will be white labeled by partners.

The Common Data Service will be backbone that ties all apps together. Think SalesForce.com’s Force.com but with in-built ERP functionality.

For now the good news is the SMB Promo pricing for Sales and Sales/Service will remain, at least until Spring 2018 so if you are interested in getting the full Dynamics 365 solution at a great price contact us. More information visit our website www.stravatechgroup.com

More information is expected today and we will post a follow up blog. In the meantime think about an island in Spain off West Africa called Tenerife.

About the Author: David Buggy is a veteran of the CRM industry with 18 years of experience helping businesses transform by leveraging Customer Relationship Management technology. He has over 14 years experience with Microsoft CRM and has helped hundreds of businesses plan, implement and support CRM initiatives. David spent 20 years as VP/Partner for a leading Microsoft CRM partner where he founded the Microsoft CRM practice. In 2017 he founded Strava Technology Group, a firm that is focused on helping businesses achieve success with Microsoft CRM and Dynamics 365.

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

47 ERP/CRM Blog Members Exhibiting at User Group Summit 2017 Events in Nashville

CRM Blog 47 ERP/CRM Blog Members Exhibiting at User Group Summit 2017 Events in Nashville

There will be so many people to meet at the User Group Summit events in Nashville!

One of the best parts about attending a User Group Summit event is exploring the Expo Hall and meeting the exhibitors. This year the GPUG, D365/AXUG, NAVUG and D365/CRMUG events are all taking place together in Nashville from October 10-13, 2017.

There will be literally hundreds of exhibitors but we hope that you pay attention to these 47 companies that are active members of the CRM Software Blog and ERP Software Blog. Their blog posts help educate you all year, but you can meet them in person in October.

CRMUG:

Socius (NAVUG) (AXUG) (GPUG) (CRMUG)

Broadpoint Technologies (GPUG, CRMUG)

ClickDimensions (CRMUG)

JourneyTEAM (CRMUG)

HITACHI Asia Pacific (AXUG) (CRMUG)

LedgeView Partners (CRMUG)

Logan Consulting (GPUG) (AXUG) (CRMUG)

GPUG/NAVUG/AXUG:

Ariett (GPUG)

AvidXchange (GPUG)

Binary Stream (GPUG)

Clients First Business Solutions LLC (AXUG, NAVUG)

Columbus Global (AXUG) (NAVUG)

Concerto Cloud Services (GPUG)

Crowe Horwath (CRMUG)

Data Masons Software (GPUG) (AXUG) (NAVUG)

Data Resolution (GPUG)

deFacto Global (AXUG) (GPUG)

enVista (AXUG)

Fastpath (GPUG) (AXUG) (NAVUG)

i95Dev (GPUG)

Implementation Specialists (GPUG)

Integrity Data (GPUG)

Interdyn BMI (NAVUG) (AXUG) (GPUG)

Journyx (GPUG)

k-eCommerce (GPUG) (NAVUG) (AXUG)

KTL Solutions (GPUG)

Metafile (GPUG) (AXUG)

MineralTree (GPUG)

Njevity, Inc.  (PowerGP Online) (GPUG)

Panatrack (GPUG)

PaperSave (GPUG)

Rockton Software (GPUG)

RoseASP  (GPUG)

RSM  (AXUG) (CRMUG)

Sana Commerce (GPUG) NAVUG) (AXUG)

SBS Group (GPUG) (AXUG)

Sierra Workforce Solutions (GPUG)

Solver, Inc (GPUG) (AXUG) (NAVUG)

SPS Commerce (NAVUG) (AXUG) (GPUG)

Stoneridge Software (NAVUG) (AXUG)

Sunrise Technologies (AXUG)

T3 Information Systems (Full Circle Budget) (NAVUG)

Tridea Partners (GPUG) (AXUG)

V-Technologies, LLC (StarShip) (GPUG)

WatServ (GPUG) (AXUG) (NAVUG)

Western Computer (GPUG) (NAVUG) (AXUG)

WithoutWire (GPUG) (NAVUG) (AXUG)

You can see the full list of exhibitors for each event here:

We hope to see you in Nashville in the Expo Hall.

By CRM Software Blog Writer, www.crmsoftwareblog.com

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Six Steps to a Successful Lead-Management Strategy

six steps lead management 351x200 Six Steps to a Successful Lead Management Strategy

3. Create buyer personas for leads

Demographics tell only part of the story. Look beyond the flat statistics and build a better understanding of your prospects – and your own value proposition – by designing buyer personas and mapping existing leads to them. The persona is a detailed sketch of the characteristics, triggers, motivations, desires, needs, and preferences of a customer.

An effective persona is one which has the customer’s goals at its core. Rather than focusing on data and probabilities, the individual represented by a persona should have clearly defined needs, wants, and aims.

Identifying how your products or services satisfy a persona’s objectives and soothe their pain points can tell you far more about how to communicate with your leads than even the most detailed market research.

Personas are not static. Always keep in mind that these representative customers will be investigating other ways to solve their problems. This will help you understand how to spread out (or compress) your communications with a lead, and also assist you refining the persona as the marketplace changes around you.

In the B2B and considered-purchase world, develop personas for champions, buyers, decision-makers, and users. Each has their own requirements and agendas.

A lead may not fit neatly into a single persona. That’s okay. Ranking the persona fit by score will give you more flexibility and a wider range of tools to attract and retain their interest.

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