The 2012 CRM Rising Stars

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Lattice Engines
Making Data Sail

While the buzzphrase this year has been "big data," B2B sales intelligence software provider Lattice Engines carved out a name for itself by actually taking that big data and applying it to the sales process through predictive analytics. The company has, on average, boosted customer sales performance rates by 15 percent or more.

This year, Lattice introduced salesPRISM 6.0, which draws essential insights from internal, external, and proprietary data sources to help sales reps make more informed and relevant connections and expedite the buying process. Christine Crandell, president of global marketing consultancy New Business Strategies, wrote in a column in Forbes magazine this March that "by analyzing patterns embedded in the sequence of events leading up to past sales opportunities, then comparing these patterns to current market behavior, Lattice Engines can highlight how sales professionals should prioritize their time across different opportunities."

The salesPRISM 6.0 solution's Groupodex module leverages an organization's social networks to help identify potential buyers and delivers sales insights and triggers right to an inbox, CRM system, or mobile device for multichannel response capabilities. "Big data gives sales the ability to answer the golden questions: How do I find the customers who are most receptive to my product or service at a given time? What do I say to them? How do I make sure that I am following the best practices of the top reps?" said Shashi Upadhyay, chairman and CEO of Lattice Engines, in a statement.

This year, Lattice Engines closed a Series B round of funding with Sequoia Capital (they're in good company—Sequoia has backed everybody from LinkedIn to Google), grew its revenue by 100 percent, and counted ADP, Staples, VMware, and Dell among its clients (Dell was able to calculate a 38:1 ROI by prioritizing cross-sell leads and personalizing customer messaging and pinpoints through Lattice Engines).

The company has garnered several industry nods. It earned a Stevie Award for Business Innovation of the Year this year in the American Business Awards, judged by more than 200 executives nationwide. It was also named an OnDemand Top 100 Private Company by AlwaysOn, which ranks emerging Internet companies each year that are disrupting the established enterprise, reinventing legacy data systems, and pioneering cloud computing and SaaS.

A Personal Connection

Personalize or perish—at least that's LivePerson's stance, as publishing generic content to the Web is not enough. LivePerson, a provider of real-time chat, voice, and content solutions for the contact center, in December launched LP Marketer, a real-time data-driven targeting solution that delivers relevant, personalized content to Web site visitors.

LP Marketer offers a combination of visitor intelligence, real-time traffic segmentation, and campaign-building tools. Business users can design and deploy highly targeted campaigns based on customer behavior, history, brand loyalty, expected purchase value, language, or geographic location. This enables them to create a customized online experience for each visitor that can increase satisfaction, loyalty, conversion rates, and transaction values. Other tools ensure that site messaging is consistent with email and advertising content, present complementary products and services to visitors based on dozens of parameters, hide or highlight features or sections of a site based on online behavior, and present cross-sell and upsell opportunities when relevant.

The company late last summer also introduced LP Insights, a business intelligence tool to monitor, measure, and make sense of both structured and unstructured data, and LP Analytics-Driven Engagement, which leverages Web site analytics data to control where and when proactive chat invitations are likely to be the most effective.

With these three products, LivePerson is branching out to marketing and sales functions. "Our goal is to be a leading solutions provider, to help you augment or tweak your online marketing campaigns with data collected about your site," says Erin Kang, head of corporate communications at LivePerson.

Newark/element14, an electronics distributor, was one of the first businesses to implement the technology, and has already reported a 16 percent lift in conversions and a 7 percent jump in average order values. "To say that we have been both shocked and amazed at the value LP Marketer has driven would be an extreme understatement," said Will Anfeldt, e-commerce project lead at Newark/element14, in a statement.

An SMB Beginning

Yahoo! had only lightly dipped its toes in the CRM waters before, but in early May, when its Yahoo! Small Business unit launched the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard, a free tool to help entrepreneurs discover new marketing opportunities and get a clear picture of their marketing results, online reputations, and Web site performance all in one place, it officially dove right in.

Designed specifically for the small business owner, the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard lets small businesses analyze Web site metrics and maintain accurate and comprehensive listings on more than 100 sites across the Web. Its online reputation management tool pulls information from up to 8,000 sources, including Facebook and Twitter, and its site traffic analysis enables users to understand key Web site performance metrics, including Google Analytics. Other premium and subscriber services in the offering include campaign tracking, to provide email marketing and search engine optimization, combined with marketing services from featured, best-in-class third-party marketing vendors like Constant Contact and OrangeSoda. With the Pro Edition of Reputation Management, users get more comprehensive data, plus the ability to track their competitors, receive email alerts, and share positive customer comments via social channels or email.

“We created the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard to help small business owners who feel overwhelmed by online marketing options and monitoring a wide range of sites and social networks to keep up with customer feedback,” said Shannon Parker Hane, director of product marketing at Yahoo! Small Business, in a statement. “Now, within a single tool, customers can conveniently evaluate their marketing options, campaign results, and online reputation without having to search across the Web for information.”

Brent Leary, cofounder and partner at CRM Essentials, considers this new product to be “very significant.”

“It’s another reason why 2012 is the year small business CRM is hitting the masses,” he says. “By integrating tools from Constant Contact, OrangeSoda, and Google Analytics to feed into a dashboard, [Yahoo! is] making it easier for small businesses to understand which activities drive interactions and engagement with customers and prospects and how marketing initiatives impact the company's online reputation. And they do it at a price point small businesses can afford.”

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