Market Awards -- Categories -- 201920

The 2020 CRM Market Awards Categories

Enterprise CRM Suite
As opposed to piece-part salesforce or contact management offerings, enterprise suite CRM, whether delivered on premises or via software-as-a-service, provides full-scale CRM to large companies generating more than $1 billion in revenue.

Midmarket/SMB CRM Suite
Smaller companies with revenue less than $1 billion might not have the same technology, personnel, or budgetary resources as their enterprise counterparts, but they still want the same level of functionality and value. In a push to cater to these companies' limited technology budgets, many vendors are offering on-demand, open-source, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions encompassing sales, marketing, and customer service to mimize the complexity of administering and managing complicated systems.

Sales Force Automation
Arguably the technology that started CRM, sales force automation (SFA) is a mature category that nonetheless continues to evolve. What was once little more than a phone book today includes elements of content management, business intelligence, and more, while still providing salespeople with the basics they need to perform their roles better.

Marketing Automation
Marketing automation software automates various marketing processes, including demand generation, lead generation, customer segmentation, campaign management, channel, management, and marketing analytics. Many vendors offer marketing solutions, and yet the market only sees penetration of between 20 percent and 25 percent. User interfaces have improved, but usability continues to be a challenge. Marketers prefer simplicity, and that often means having a single solution to handle everything. As they are pushed to be more accountable and metric-driven, the vendor that can deliver such a solution will come out on top.

Business Intelligence
Business intelligence (BI) has evolved from reporting, analytics, and dashboards into a wealth of complexity, with the convergence of structured and unstructured data and the incorporation of BI into other business functions. Though it's climbing to the top of company to-do lists, BI remains an immature market. New players (both on-demand and on-premises) are rapidly entering the market, with a focus on improving the business impact of business intelligence, as opposed to the technology.

Customer Data Platforms
Full-blown customer data platforms combines data storage, analysis, cleansing, matching, reporting, and monitoring capabilities to help verify data is correct, consistent, and complete.

Contact centers increasingly need to know everything that happens during contact center interactions between customers and their agents and automated systems. Speech, text, and desktop analytics and emotion detection provide that insight so they can improve customer service outcomes and ensure regulatory and policy compliance and script adherence.

Workforce Optimization Suites
Consolidation is all the rage in workforce optimization (WFO), the umbrella term that includes quality monitoring (QM), workforce management (WFM), performance management (PM), e-learning, and analytics. The idea behind putting everything into one comprehensive suite is so that all of the information contact centers need to run their business is integrated and can work together to deliver better, faster results.

Contact Center Infrastructure
Contact center infrastructure (CCI) focuses on the underlying technology package needed for a contact center to operate, including call routing and session initiation protocol (SIP). It is analogous to computer-telephony integration (CTI) but does not necessarily rely on the same set of technologies.

Interactive Voice Response
IVR is an automated telephony system that interacts with callers, gathers information, and routes calls to the appropriate recipients. IVR systems also accept a combination of voice input and touch-tone keypad selection and provide appropriate responses in forms, including voice, fax, callback, and email. An IVR application provides prerecorded voice responses for appropriate situations, access to relevant data, and the ability to record voice input for later handling. Using computer telephony integration (or contact center infrastructure), IVR apps can hand off calls to human beings who can view data related to the caller on their computer screens.

Customer Feedback Management
Enterprise Feedback Management is a system of processes and/or software that organizes all of the customer feedback an organization receives. Whether it's via survey results, customer email, or even Twitter streams, a successful feedback management system loops feedback into business processes so that customer ideas, complaints, and conversations can be acted upon. Listening to the customer is at the crux of enterprise feedback management, and part of that is letting customers know they are being heard. Feedback management is a valuable mechanism for organizations to gauge customer satisfaction and to keep in the know of what customers want.

Customer service outsourcing is about more than cost-cutting. Often when organizations face inquiry growth and too many calls for internal operations to handle, they turn to external contact representatives to field calls and respond to customer care needs. Doing so comes with some costs: Outsourcing involves hiring employees who work outside of the organization's walls, which makes it harder to instill the company's culture and mission and to keep tabs on operations. Global outsourcing sometimes brings language barriers and frustration. On the other hand, outsourcing through work-at-home-agents is an option that eliminates commuting costs and promotes "green" awareness. Finding the right balance and comfort level is key to outsourcing initiatives.