Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

The Business of Sales Research Agenda for 2012

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 6, 2012 10:28:24 PM

Investing wisely in sales-related people and processes is a key to business success. In 2012, helping sales staff perform at their highest levels should be a top priority for management. That may take some effort, according to our benchmark research, which indicates that only 14 percent of sales organizations operate at the highest level of innovation and competitiveness. In recent years, most organizations merely discussed moving beyond using only their sales force automation application and Microsoft Office for improving sales efficiency. Now sales organizations can move beyond systems that were designed decades ago, thanks to the availability of a broad range of applications to support sales activities and processes. In fact dozens of new types of sales applications are available to help sales focus on selling, which creates another issue. Where should sales organizations focus their limited resources and budgets?

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Topics: Planning, Sales, Sales Performance, Social Media, assets, forecasting, leads, Learning, Mobile Business, objectives, Performance, pipeline, Reporting, rewards, Sales Compensation, Sales Force Automation, sales force automation and territory, social enterprise, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, channel, coaching, commission, CRM, incentives, pricing, promotion, proposal, quota, quoting, Sales Performance Management, SFA

Salesforce Presents New Social Enterprise with Chatter, Mobility and Data

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 3, 2011 10:13:06 AM

At the Dreamforce conference, Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) CEO Marc Benioff unveiled the latest evolution of the company’s strategy and supporting technology for cloud computing and mobile technologies. Its aim is to enable businesses to engage with customers and prospects via social media channels – what Salesforce calls the “social enterprise” – and empower employee and customer social networks to operate individually and together. Note I did not mention CRM, which doesn’t have a role in this platform for basic interactions with prospects and customers and is accompanied by a large ecosystem of partners that provide dedicated marketing and contact center applications. As summarized in its announcement, Salesforce’s strategy is clearly different from that of others in the applications market, including Oracle and SAP, which have products for the cloud computing environment and have made strides into integrating collaboration and social media capabilities into their applications.

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Topics: Sales, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, Social Media, Marketing, Mobile Business, Sales Cloud, Sales Force Automation, social enterprise, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Chatter, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, CMO, CRM, DF11, Sales Performance Management, Service Cloud, SFA

Salesforce.com and the Big Picture from Dreamforce

Posted by Richard Snow on Sep 3, 2011 9:36:48 AM

Even here in the U.K., we are well aware that Salesforce.com’s annual event Dreamforce is happening this week in San Francisco. Unfortunately I couldn’t be there, but a contingent of the Ventana Research team is there, and from what they are telling me it is quite a show. I have written before that Salesforce has the best marketing machine in the world, let alone the software industry, and it seems to have topped previous events. The company undoubtedly has changed the way many companies think about software, forced many vendors to change their delivery models and is impacting the way consumers think about communicating and running their lives. But let me make a few long-range observations.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Salesforce.com, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience Management, Customer Feedback Management, Social CRM, social enterprise, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Operational Performance, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Workforce Performance, 360-degree view of the Customer, Agent Performance Management, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management