Highlights from online news stories.
For the rest of the March 2008 issue of CRM magazine please click here
Mismanaged Lead Management Salespeople are supposed to pay attention to the needs of their prospective customers, but they don't appear to be considering their lead management systems. Research from the Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA) shows that nearly 69 percent of companies surveyed in its second annual Sales Lead Management Study don't qualify inquiries before distributing them internally or to their channel partners. "Why is sales lead management ignored by some and championed by others," writes Mark Friedman, executive vice president of SLMA and report author, in his introduction to the study results.
Email Marketing to Reach $2.1 Billion by 2012 New York-based market research firm JupiterResearch announced that it predicts domestic spending on email marketing will have a compound annual growth rate of 11 percent during the next five years, increasing from $1.2 billion in 2007 to $2.1 billion in 2012. Email continues to be a favorite channel among marketers and will continue to play an important role in the industry, according to the report. This five-year roadmap of email's growth is based on JupiterResearch's own email forecasting model and the insights of company analysts. Judging by the projected rise in spending, email will likely remain a strong channel of communication between companies and consumers. The increase in email budgets, however, does not seem to be taking away from any other marketing channels.
7 Essential Customer Service Processes Most books on customer service nowadays state that it is neither a department in a business nor a cure-all technological solution that will make customers love the products and services they receive; it is a philosophy that must come from the top and permeate every facet of a business. According to "The Top Seven Customer Service Processes, 2008 to 2011," a new study released by Gartner, many businesses are still failing to heed the vital call to make customer service a primary goal. Customer service is evolving, and while many leading companies have thrived by rethinking their approach in the last decade, myriad others have not, says Michael Maoz, a Gartner vice president and the report's author.
SFA for the Consumer Goods Industry Comes of Age The market for sales force automation (SFA) solutions among the consumer goods industry remains steady and has matured over the past year, according to new research from Gartner. The firm cites the consolidation of vendors, introduction of interoperable components via services-oriented architecture, and investment in predictive modeling and optimization as positive trends for SFA. It also notes that SFA is primarily being used by consumables companies, and has been slower to be adopted by makers of durable and semidurable goods. Among 13 vendors surveyed in the report, "MarketScope for Sales Force Automation in the Consumer Goods Industry, 2H07," CAS leads the way as the only one to be ranked Strong Positive, with Oracle close behind as the lone Positive ranking.
Speech Self-Service a Top Priority in 2008 Speech self-service is quickly becoming an essential application for any organization interested in delivering the best customer service possible. In fact, the technology ranks as the top strategic action in 2008 for companies considered Best-in-Class, according to a new benchmark study of more than 300 companies by Aberdeen Research. (Aberdeen assigns the "Best-in-Class" label to the top 20 percent of companies in a given category.)
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