thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
The Platform CAN Do the Work. Let it!

The Platform CAN Do the Work. Let it!

On June 15, 2021, the CRMKonvos crew had the chance to chat with Andreas Schuster, Customer Success Director for SugarCRM in Europe, about the company’s evolving vision and goals. He did not disappoint. Schuster has filled a variety of roles over the years, both in the software industry and outside of it, and has developed an appreciation of what well-administered CRM can do for a business and its customers. “I have been able to get to know CRM in the industry and in sales, and I keep getting to know it again and again,” Schuster said. “I never get bored watching companies actually supporting their sales management with software, but also just the way they work together with the customer and with the customer. And it is always exciting.” One important thing that Schuster believes, though, is that CRM is more than technology; it is behavior and culture which technology can enable to be better. “CRM is not so much a technical tool; it really is an approach,” Schuster said. “It’s a strategic sales approach, and there’s a lot that goes into it now, but it’s still the same.” The technology is an important starting point though, especially with larger and more complex businesses. Schuster added: “I keep coming back to this: the software that’s used has to work great, it has to be intuitive, it has to look good. But taking this CRM approach is first of all a strategic thing in a company. You have to want it. You have to prepare for it. And you also have to set an example for your company from the...
Why privacy is not an option

Why privacy is not an option

Data breaches, ransomware, stolen identities, collecting of data for no benefit of the customer, are only some of the things that we do see every day. There does not seem to be any privacy anymore. This makes privacy and data protection hot topics not only for customers, but also for software vendors – or at least should make it hot topics. Apple put in some privacy controls and got chided for it by Facebook and the rest of the adtech industry. Google, with FLOC, tried to establish a technology that aimed at being able to track users in a post cookie world. To adapt a quote of the Asterix books: The whole world tracks users and customers. The whole world? No, there is one brave company that doesn’t. All this is reason enough to have a #CRMKonvo with one of the most accomplished and outspoken protagonists of privacy in the enterprise software arena and we were very excited about the opportunity to have an intense and interactive discussion with Raju Vegesna of...
How to overcome the process knowledge challenge with a little AI

How to overcome the process knowledge challenge with a little AI

Many a company has a severe challenge with how their processes actually work. Documentation may or may not be there. Tribal knowledge exists. Lots of repositories, too, including file systems, collaboration tools, chat tools, email, etc. In brief, there is the need for a solution.  Startup Sevantiz has taken on this challenge with its Flockwise platform, which is reason enough for the CRMKonvos team to invite Sri Sabesan, Mani Manivannan and David Pickrell into our studio to discuss their approach and how it relates to CRM (spoiler alert: it does) and CX (it does, too).  But what is Flockwise? Flockwise brings knowledge from  the documentation, tribal knowledge and the transaction systems to answer the questions that employees in businesses have every day.  Although we utilize a chat interface, It is much more than an Chatbot.    Flockwise is designed to  discover knowledge and serving it to the user in a way that the user get the right answer to the question.  Flockwise creates the opportunity for the Enterprise Flock and their trusted advisors / consultants and outsourcers to capture knowledge and provide answers to the questions in a way that no other solution does.   Creating an efficient way for something that we have always talked about. And that is capturing expert knowledge in a way that is truly reusable for the benefit of productivity of the employees and customers and suppliers of an organization. Sounds good? Then dive deeper into this CRMKonvos...
How to avoid the looming CRM crisis

How to avoid the looming CRM crisis

A short while ago the CRMKonvos team had the opportunity to invite Frank Tjaben of SugarCRM into our living rooms or home offices for a lively discussion about whether businesses are facing a crisis of customer relationship management and if so, why. To use some slightly clichéd terminology, Frank has been both a hunter and a farmer throughout his career, putting him in a unique place to talk about exactly this topic. He has seen it from both sides—as a user and seller of CRM software. He started his career as a call center agent, and then held various sales and sales management positions, including customer advisory roles for both enterprise organisations and SMBs. He says that a sales person’s main objective is to get into an as good as possible dialogue with the customer, regardless of one’s actual role. At the end of the day it is about solving a customer’s problem. He firmly believes that those who understand the customer best are the ones who close the deal. This is where the value of CRM systems begins. These systems are good for managing to-dos and activities, which is important in sales. It is important to be reliable. “It might sound conservative, but then sales is a conservative craft,” Frank says. “If you make an appointment for next week, then this is what is meant, an appointment.” He maintains that this, although important, is only a part of it. It only looks at the basics. The business evolves. Therefore, customers need to also know that the vendor’s product vision matches their future needs. The big question is: What...
Platform play – How everybody wants to rule the world

Platform play – How everybody wants to rule the world

The CRMKonvos gang had the pleasure to host a show with R “Ray” Wang, one of the most renowned analysts of topics Digitalisation to Digital Transformation around. Ray is the CEO of Silicon Valley based Constellation Research Inc. He co-hosts DisrupTV, a weekly enterprise tech and leadership webcast that averages 50,000 views per episode and blogs at www.raywang.org. His ground-breaking best selling book on digital transformation, Disrupting Digital Business, was published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2015. Ray’s new book about Digital Giants and the future of business titled Everybody Wants to Rule The World will be released July 2021. Ray is well quoted, one of the most regarded analysts around and frequently interviewed in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, CNBC, Yahoo Finance, Cheddar, and Bloomberg. And now he participates in a CRMKonvo. With his new book about to be released, what better time is it to talk about what it takes to rule the world. Platform? Ecosystem? Guts? or just plain luck? Well, as you can expect, Ray has some very distinct answers that he presents in his usual very convincing and vivid way. The digital giants rule, unless the playing field gets changed. How does it need to get changed? Well, listen to our CRMKonvo – and later read his...
How to avoid the CRM crisis

How to avoid the CRM crisis

Customer relationships are on the cusp of a crisis, are they? And if this observation is correct, what can we do to avoid the crisis, or even get out of it in case we happen to have taken the step over the precipice? In this CRMKonvo – sponsored by SugarCRM – amongst other things, we talk about the results of the 2021 CRM and sales impact report. Core questions are what has a positive, or negative, impact on sales performance or customer loyalty. The report covers insight gained by 1,000 sales pros.  We are discussing with Frank Tjaben, who moved on to sales after having gained considerable experience in various different roles in call centers and other types of organizations. Frank now uses his experience on the other side of the force and has a lot of interesting stories to tell about how a CRM helps or does not help, depending on its implementation. This CRMKonvo is in German language (the report is available in German and English language and definitely worthwhile having a look at)....