BIZMOLOGY — Remember the days of the yellow pages, the Rolodex, and rotary dial phones? Sales intelligence and customer relationship management tools have come a long way in a short time. Companies like Oracle, salesforce, and D&B/Hoover’s are working feverishly to meet the rapidly evolving market demands for reliable and actionable information that sales and marketing professionals can depend on to do their jobs.
The Modern Sales and Marketing Landscape
In today’s hypercompetitive marketplace, businesses need to know everything possible about their customers — and they need to know it now. Timely and accurate marketing and sales intelligence data is more essential than ever, and businesses rely heavily on their customer relationship management (CRM) systems to deliver it.
Companies are still trying to navigate the vast ocean of customer information being generated on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Many businesses recognize the sales and marketing potential, but distilling down all the noise on social media and harnessing it into timely, useful, and digestible insight is an immense challenge.
Competition Heats Up
Last summer Oracle and Salesforce proved the race was on to develop a more viable and reliable social CRM product when the two CRM software heavyweights bought up multiple social media-focused technology startups. Oracle purchased Vitrue for a reported $300 million in May 2012 before buying cloud-based social intelligence company Collective Intellect two weeks later for an undisclosed price.
Salesforce acquired social media marketing platform Buddy Media for about $689 million in August 2012 after paying roughly $326 million for social media monitoring platform Radian6 back in 2011. The acquisitions gave Oracle and Salesforce ownership of innovative social media monitoring technology.
The challenge for the major players in the CRM space in 2013 is to figure out how to more successfully integrate social data and customer data into increasingly user-friendly CRM systems.
Setting the New Standard
D&B is leading the way with excellent content and usability, especially with its D&B360 product offering. The company’s solutions deliver sales and marketing teams the latest social media and news integrated with data from the world’s largest commercial database.
D&B aggregates data from more than 30,000 sources including RSS feeds, legal filings, telephone interviews and other sources, and enhances that rich D&B record with social media content right within the CRM. D&B products now include alerts related to key events that trigger sales opportunities such as M&A activity, title changes, and product launches.