Cloudely, Inc
Cloud, data and customer behavior – The world of selling is changing
We came across 3 articles recently, each completely disconnected from the other and none directly on the theme of our headline. But all 3 are tied together on one theme – the changes in how customers are buying. And why you need constant data to know your customer, their needs and buying patterns. (Links to all 3 articles, with links to the originating source article are provided in this post.) Lets look at the data element. Your CRM system can be the single source of truth about a customer. By itself it captures relevant data when you begin your first interactions. By being connected with other systems, it keeps you updated on your customer's history with you – what they bought, where its located, their servicing needs and their payment history. You also get to know of demographic changes – addition/relocation of offices, people changes in your contacts. But to get there you have to invest in the right technology solutions, train your teams and connect the different systems. When done, your technology investments provide you with the intel to make better strategies and decisions.

Knowing your customer and personalizing your interactions with them requires better knowledge about the customers. Analytics are beginning to play a large role in this, which requires an efficient way of capturing data at source and making sure that data is complete. This takes us to the area of process and technology. A complete and collaborative business process supported by the right tools in the process execution ensures this. CRM, salesforce automation and ERP systems play a big role in supporting process delivery.

However the caution is, systems cannot solve your problems – they can help you with managing the solution. Defining a clear set of objectives, expectations from your technology vendor and implementing the technology to your needs will be the keys to a successful deployment of business automation tools. More so today in the context of a diverse set of applications supporting salesforce automation. The right solution, implemented right will provide the intelligence needed to run your business.

"How the Internet changed our lives?" – Google this and you get myriad perspectives on how the web had altered our lives. Well over a 3rd of the world's population is connected to the web. Now comes Cloud. Cloud-based As-A-Service offerings are one of the fastest growing economy in the technology world. Ranging from platforms, infrastructure, business solutions, transactional and analytics systems, companies can simply choose to rent solutions than buy.

With this disruptive change comes a new way of customer behavior. Use and throw or Use and renew. Cloud services of any form are disposable from a customer view point. The Internet has changed our lives in more ways and one among them is the easy access to information. Specialized and social reviews of products and services are available at a click. Customers are increasingly doing their research before even connecting with their vendors. Chances are some of them already know what they want and the price they will pay for it. And with lower budget requirements for "using" the service as opposed to an investment for buying a product, customers are more than willing to try and move on if the service doesn't fit.

These factors force sellers (in technology, cloud, services and other spaces) to step-up their sales plays. Two areas of focus are getting to know the customer better and increasing sales effectiveness through tools and training. Behavior changes, education and training, better tools to capture customer data, improve customer transactional experience and constant touch with the customer are a must to survive, compete and get ahead.