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Stories by David Taber

Dreamforce 2010: Eight cloud lessons

I've been taking in as much of Dreamforce as I can, looking at the attendees, the sessions, and the lessons learned. Here are some flash impressions:

Written by David Taber09 Dec. 10 06:39

CRM: Four dirty little secrets of marketing automation

In the heat of a sales cycle, marketing automation vendors tell you all the great news about how their systems will increase conversion rates, improve sales effectiveness, and save time. When used properly, marketing automation systems do all that. What the sales reps don't tell you is...

Written by David Taber02 Dec. 10 06:37

The CRM reality distortion field

Full disclosure: I was a card-carrying marketing guy for 20 years. So when I see the effects of reality distortion in my clients' purchase decisions, I know whereof I speak.

Written by David Taber23 Nov. 10 06:44

Use CRM to crowd-source your product strategy

Product strategy needs to be a mix of engineering/operations plan and market survey, but most market survey techniques are quite vulnerable to big procedural and statistical problems.

Written by David Taber09 Nov. 10 04:38

Stupid data corruption tricks: Take our CRM quiz

In the spirit of David Letterman's occasional feature "Stupid People Tricks," I thought it was time to summarise common errors that can lead to corrupted CRM records, or worse. How much worse? Read on.

Written by David Taber03 Nov. 10 01:38

Why CRM data trumps CRM systems

At last month's CIO Forum in San Francisco, I lead a round-table discussion about the strategic way to think about CRM applications and their evolution in the enterprise. While everyone agreed that the most comprehensive CRM systems were built (actually, assembled), not bought, one CIO took it a step further. What really matters in a CRM system isn't the system at all. It's the data.

Written by David Taber27 Oct. 10 06:06

CRM: Playing the percentages correctly

The Opportunities object (OK, table) is where CRM and SFA systems hold the data about prospective deals. And nearly every system uses some sort of stage pick-list that's an indicator of the deal's current status in the sales cycle. Each stage typically has a percentage assigned to it, and a forecast category (such as "pipeline" or "upside") that is used to drive the opportunity pipeline report and bookings forecast. Simple. Rational. Wrong.

Written by David Taber21 Sept. 10 02:32

Salesforce.com Chatter teaches lessons about social networks

Earlier this month, at the CIO Perspectives event in San Francisco, I got an ear-full from attendees about social networking systems. How should they be harnessed? Should they be allowed in the Enterprise? How do you make them more than just a waste of time?

Written by David Taber05 Oct. 10 05:04

CRM records: Dummy tricks for smarter searches

Earlier this month, I wrote about using a few Dummy records in tables to make CRM systems smarter. This time, we're looking at a different situation: Dummy fields that may be needed in all of a table's records.

Written by David Taber29 Sept. 10 03:38

The Two Most Meaningful CRM Reports

CRM systems are where the richest data about customer relationships is supposed to live, and most CRM systems provide a report-writing system as well as dozens of canned reports.

Written by David Taber28 Aug. 10 01:36

The Two Most Dangerous CRM Reports

CRM systems are where the data about customer relationships are supposed to live, and they typically provide a report-writing system as well as dozens of canned reports. But reports are incredibly vulnerable to GIGO, and they immediately expose data quality problems. Let's look at issues that limit the validity and credibility of any reports in your CRM system.

Written by David Taber25 Aug. 10 02:56

How to improve your CRM lead tracking

In almost any CRM system, there's a field in the leads object that indicates the source of the lead. In most systems, that lead source field is carried along as the lead is converted to a contact and an opportunity. Clean — simple — and wrong.

Written by David Taber04 Aug. 10 02:35

How to Set CRM Priorities: Two Proven Methods

Priorities are so clearly part of rational project management. But they also fall victim to emotional and political pressures, so priorities jump around all too often. This is particularly true with CRM projects, thanks to the right-brained types in sales and marketing, and the frequent reorgs and marketplace shifts that really do change what's important. While the rapid, incremental deliveries from Agile's scrum teams certainly help accommodate rapid change, it's a good idea to have some tools to make the priority list more stable in the first place. Given that the No. 1 cause of scope creep is a weak or erratic prioritization mechanism, getting this process right will pay dividends throughout all phases of your CRM implementation.

Written by David Taber27 July 10 06:48

Expand your CRM system: 3 paths to more power

Somebody brilliant once said that CRM systems are frameworks disguised as applications. Many an analyst has said that the best CRM systems are built, not bought.

Written by David Taber21 July 10 04:52

CRM Vendor Proposals: 10 Items You Need Most

If a significant CRM system project is on your agenda in this new fiscal year, here are checklist items that you need to look out for in vendor proposals.

Written by David Taber13 July 10 04:28