Salesforce.com embeds Skype into CRM

As part of its sustained campaign to dominate the emerging world of on-demand applications, salesforce.com has announced a version of the Skype Internet-based telephone software to work with its Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) package.

The special version of Skype, developed by the German voice-over-IP specialist PamConsult will enable salesforce.com users to incorporate phone communications in their CRM applications. The package is available free through salesforce.com’s on-demand software directory AppExchange. Continue reading “Salesforce.com embeds Skype into CRM”

RightNow Delivers New CRM Tool

Bozeman, Montana-based RightNow Technologies has announced the availability of RightNow Retail, which combines its next-generation customer relationship management (CRM) solution with its experience working with numerous retailers including Cabela’s, Drugstore.com, Hallmark.com, Sharper Image, Snapfish, The Right Start and Ulta.

The new offering is based on RightNow 8, the company’s on-demand solution for service, sales and marketing. It is available under RightNow’s software-as-a-service delivery model, which allows organizations to implement quickly, without having to make extensive investments in infrastructure. Continue reading “RightNow Delivers New CRM Tool”

CRM Trends

Trying to stay ahead of the CRM curve is difficult when you run with companies like SAP, Oracle, and Salesforce.com. Brent Estes who blogs under the name “CRM Guy” talks about how CRM has evolved over the years and the coming trends of CRM. He starts out this post with a quote from Yogi Berra which is pretty appropriate for any industry. His post starts off as follows:

Some significant trends in the small- and medium-sized business CRM market include on-demand CRM, browser-based on-premise CRM, CRM as a portal to other applications, mobility applications, and big players moving into the SMB space.

The on-demand CRM market is currently owned by salesforce.com but he claims Microsoft will be launching their version of on-demand CRM this fall codenamed “Titan”. Check out the rest of his post here.

Test Drive Review #2 – SugarCRM

I am evaluating the SugarCRM test drive called Sugar Professional On-Demand which is part of their open source product suite. This is the 2nd review of the series starting from this post –> Which CRM Vendor Provides the Best “Test Drive” Experience?

SugarCRM is very different from all other CRM software providers since it’s software is considered open source. There is also some discrepancy as to how SugarCRM can call their product “open source” when it’s not part of the open source initiative. They claim to be the leader in “commercial open source CRM” which is probably true since there aren’t really any other open source CRM providers out there. Don’t be fooled however, since other CRM software providers like Salesforce.com and Siebel On-Demand allow you to completely customize their applications.

Let’s move on to the test drive review. Here are the 5 questions SugarCRM must answer: Continue reading “Test Drive Review #2 – SugarCRM”

Don’t Forget, CRM Is Also Important For Your Customers

Most managers think CRM is a great solution for their company for selfish reasons like being able to share and manage their customer data, pipeline, leads, etc. Those are all good reasons but little do they realize CRM is also important for their customers.

Providing customer service is very important if you want to keep your customers. How many times have you called your bank and been greeted by an automated voice asking you to key in your bank account number? You’re thinking “Great, now I’ll quickly be able to speak with a customer service rep”. Wrong. Usually after the automated voice you’ll have the customer service rep ask you to repeat it. Situations like this frustrate us since the automation process is supposed to save both sides time.

Here’s another example: When I call my cell phone provider I only have to answer a simple question like “what is my mothers maiden name” and bingo, we’re ready to chat about my account. That is how CRM is meant to work — help automate manual processes, allow the rep to know who I am, and speed up the BS.

So my message to call center and sales managers is — Don’t forget, CRM is also important for your customers.

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These spots will go fast so contact us directly (info [at] crmblogger [dot] com) to secure an ad sponsorship or for more information, visit our CRM ad sponsorship page.

Ex-Salesforce.com Director Launches Sales Machine Blog

I had the pleasure of sitting down with a very talented ex-salesforce.com director yesterday and spoke to him about his experiences at salesforce and what he’s been doing since.

Aaron Ross was a four year veteran at salesforce.com and saw the company grow from 300 to over 2,000 employees. While he was there, he built a $20 million tele-prospecting sales team from the ground up and spent a year in the corporate development (acquisitions and investments) team, helping acquire and launch the AppExchange Mobile and Salesforce for Google AdWords products. Continue reading “Ex-Salesforce.com Director Launches Sales Machine Blog”

CRMBlogger Partners With TradePub.com

I’d like to officially announce that CRMblogger.com has partnered with TradePub.com to offer you complimentary one-year subscriptions to dozens of leading Sales & Marketing publications. Browse through the extensive list of free Sales & Marketing magazines, white papers, downloads and podcasts to find the titles that best match your skills and interests; topics include Customer Relationship Management (CRM), call center management, advertising and public relations. No purchase is necessary and all publications are entirely free to those who qualify!

For example, check out great industry rags such as CRM Magazine, B2B Magazine, eWeek, and more. All of them offer a free subscription for a full year! I used to subscribe to many of these and just send them directly to my work address. They are thin magazines with great information to keep you on top of industry news and technology. Perfect reading when you have to “work through lunch” at your desk.

Be sure to check back often, as new titles are continually added to the site. No coupons, credit cards, or special codes are necessary.

Connect With Old Co-Workers – CRM Alumni Groups

Ever wonder what your previous CRM co-workers are up to? With sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, it’s becoming more and more easy to keep in touch with your past co-workers. These sites are great but there’s something they don’t have — ex-employee groups which allow you to network with just your previous co-workers.

The good news is there are companies like Yahoo and Google who have created the ability for anyone to setup groups. In this case, for ex-CRM employees that have worked at places like Siebel, Oracle, Netsuite, and Salesforce.com. It’s also good source for finding new jobs or connecting with others to hire at your new company. Continue reading “Connect With Old Co-Workers – CRM Alumni Groups”

Manage Your Customer Relationships Using Heap CRM

If you own a small business, you might take a look at Heap CRM. Unlike most in this space, Heap CRM is designed for the way small businesses work — making fundamental assumptions about how you run your company (e.g. you trust your employees). This allows for a simpler & easier to use design and a more fluid experience with other members of your team. Continue reading “Manage Your Customer Relationships Using Heap CRM”