SPSS has introduced a new product, PredictiveCallCenter, that it says can transform inbound call hubs from cost centers to profit centers. The application integrates with call-center CRM and call management systems to determine on-the-fly the best way to market to inbound callers, noting whether they are more receptive to upsell, cross-sell or retention offers.According to SPSS, the program achieves highly accurate customer recommendations and can increase cross-sell and upsell hit rates by 50 percent or more. It does so by using predictive analytics, scanning all of the sales channels used by a customer to anticipate the customer's needs, preferences and attrition risk.The importance of predictive analytics is increasing as outside forces hamstring some outbound sales channels.Amsterdam-based Marcel Holsheimer, vice president of vertical product marketing at SPSS and founder of DataDistilleries, which was acquired by SPSS in November 2003, told CRM Buyer that with the emergence of the … [Read more...] about PRODUCT PROFILE SPSS Aims To Turn Support into Sales
Sales increase techniques
Take a look at almost any sales software on the market, and you'll find the vendor's claim that the product accelerates the sales process. It's a given. For years, we've been trying to achieve this acceleration, and we've been succeeding. The only problem with this approach is that it can't go on forever. It's a form of expecting infinite growth based on limited resources.In this case, the limited resource is the human brain. The degree to which we can realistically expect to accelerate a sales process is directly dependent on our ability to accelerate the human decision-making process -- and that is not infinite.Acceleration was easy once. The railroad and telegraph accelerated selling by reducing the time between touches when information could be exchanged. The car and the telephone did the same thing, and so did the fax machine, but with it a competing factor comes into play.Someone has to pick up and deal with a fax in order for it to outpace a phone call, and the same is true … [Read more...] about INSIGHTS Sales Forecast Dynamics
To many, sales is an art form, one that takes years or even decades to master.If you head to your local bookstore or search Google for "sales," for example, you'll find a myriad of books, training classes and podcasts teaching sales techniques "guaranteed" to help you make your quota.Some stress the need to make persuasive eye contact during a presentation, others suggest that it's all about projecting confidence. Still other experts teach salespeople how to use charm to build a massive Rolodex.While the books and Web sites may keep proliferating, it's likely that such techniques will begin to fade in importance in effective sales environments. The reason? Technology is transforming the sales process from an art to a science.The sales industry is incredibly profitable, at least for the legion of sales "gurus" offering their books, seminars and training tools to salespeople who are struggling to meet ever-increasing quotas.Because a large percentage of salespeople do not make quota (and … [Read more...] about EXPERT ADVICE Transforming Sales From Art to Science: Sign ‘Em Up
The proliferation of marketing channels represents a key challenge for every CMO seeking to optimize return on marketing investments. Today, the marketing department is tasked with maximizing return across dozens of marketing channels.Most organizations have become intimately familiar with the need to leverage multiple technologies in marketing -- search engine marketing, marketing automation, Web analytics, affiliate marketing, e-mail marketing, lead management, etc.The use of multiple technologies results in silos of valuable information that could be useful to both marketing and sales. The challenge is figuring out how to deliver actionable timely information to end users in a way that aids consumption and use.Recent research from the Aberdeen Group, "The Convergence of Sales and Marketing Technology," explores the current and planned integration between sales and marketing technologies among organizations of all shapes and sizes.Sixty percent of organizations in the December 2007 … [Read more...] about EXPERT ADVICE Is Sales and Marketing Tech Integration Worth the Trouble?
From early origins of cold-calling into purchased contact lists, to contemporary methodologies incorporating Web 2.0 enablers, companies seeking to steer highly qualified leads to their "closers" are faced today with a combination of competitive threats, information overload and hesitant buyer behavior requiring new strategies and tools to succeed. The never-ending economic pressure for sales organizations to increase productivity while "doing more with less" often results in organizational emphasis on segregating responsibilities between inside and outside sales teams.According to research conducted by Aberdeen in September 2009 for ""Sales Training: Translating Tribal Selling Knowledge Into Bottom-Line Productivity," companies with sales forces predominantly focused on outside selling out-performed inside-focused teams by an average of 10 percent across metrics such as sales forecast accuracy, bid-to-win ratio and customer retention. Because many enterprises cannot afford to deploy a … [Read more...] about ANALYSIS Inside Sales: Let Them Drink Coffee
Some things in business are very clear and binary: A company succeeds or fails. A customer buys from you or from someone else. A customer returns for additional sales or leaves for a competitor.Other things are indeed relative: Sales numbers may be double the previous quarter but still fall below expectations. A customer returns for additional sales but resists buying more because of satisfaction issues. A deal falls through, but the prospect would have been a poor fit as a customer.In all these cases, the context in which they are seen has a lot to do with whether they are good or bad things.The trend to evaluate sales reps is a little like that. The A players blast past their quotas regularly and adapt to changes -- such as new products and sales procedures -- with little trouble. B players deliver satisfactory results, but may miss their quotas at times. The C players almost always miss quota and often are marked for termination by their management.This is all relative. Ideally, you … [Read more...] about OPINION Are Your Sales Tools Turning A-Performers Into B-Performers?
It's becoming increasingly clear that the nature of the sales profession is changing.Salespeople are no longer the ones who introduce products to their customers -- in most cases, especially in business-to-business settings, customers have done a lot of research on their own and are close to a decision before they talk to a salesperson.This trend, which has been long in coming, has some people in sales panicked. Forrester earlier this year predicted that 1 million B2B salespeople in the U.S. would lose their jobs to self-service e-commerce by 2020. That amounts to one-fifth of the B2B sales force.That's a scary number.There's some reasonable thinking behind this: Salespeople who are merely "order takers" will become obsolete and easily can be replaced by technology in many cases. The arrival of the Internet of Things will enable devices to buy automatically -- think of a copier ordering its own toner replacements, or a company car that can order its own new tires and schedule a service … [Read more...] about OPINION 3 Ways CRM Can Help Sales in the IoT Era
Yahoo has notified potential buyers that it plans to auction off about 3,000 patents and will be accepting bids until mid-June, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.The intellectual property for sale includes patents for its original search technology. Yahoo has hired Black Stone IP to run the auction, according to the WSJ. The patents "cover strategic areas such as search, e-commerce and online advertising," said Andreas Scherer, managing partner at Salto Partners.It's "very much like selling the crown jewels. It's safe to assume that the days of Yahoo as a standalone business are numbered," he told the E-Commerce Times. "Naturally, companies such as Alphabet and Microsoft will take a close look at this merchandise."Following is a sampling of the patents on offer:Content-based billingA computerized advertising offer exchange A method and system for serving ads Techniques for increasing the recall and recognition rate for Internet display adsA Sell through rate evaluation framework … [Read more...] about Yahoo to Have Giant Patent Garage Sale
Four business marketing strategies can boost business-to-business sales conversion rates by up to 25 percentage points, based on results of a survey Altman Vilandrie released this week.However, only 15 percent of businesses fully take advantage of them.Even those that do use the strategies sometimes fail to maximize sales conversions because of a lack of coordination and integration.The four strategies:standardizing lead handoffs;employing lead scoring;creating detailed customer maps; andcoordinating between sales and marketing departments. Researchers polled 190 B2B marketing decision makers at U.S. companies with annual revenues of at least US$100 million. They also interviewed B2B marketers and relied on the industry experience of the firm's own consultants for the study. Standardizing lead handoffs from marketing to sales would increase marketing qualified lead (MQL) conversion rates by 13 to 17 percentage points, the study found. However, only 35 percent of B2B marketer … [Read more...] about 4 Marketing Strategies That Can Boost B2B Sales: Study
There are three key moments when salespeople can maximize the value in a customer relationship instead of allowing it to leak out, according to Corporate Visions, which announced a new sales skills program on Thursday.Those three turning points occur during deal negotiations, when securing customer renewals, and introducing strategic price increases, the company said."Traditional negotiations training programs have focused heavily on deal negotiations," said Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and research officer at Corporate Visions, "so they've covered the first of the three areas."Certain egregious sales behaviors -- including indiscriminate discounting to secure a deal -- have led both companies that bought training and those that offered it to believe focusing on negotiations was sufficient, "with documented payback in reduced discounting and increased deal profitability," Riesterer told CRM Buyer.With the sales, purchase and usage process evolving into more of a Products as a Service … [Read more...] about Changing B2B Marketplace Calls for New Sales Skills