Software as a Service Dramatically Improves CRM Success

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  • 1. Software as a Service Dramatically Improves CRM Success by Sheryl Kingstone | February 2008 Executive Summary Based on a Yankee Group survey of sales management, We call this trend the consumerization of the enterprise. This salespeople and IT practitioners at large organizations Report uncovers the voice of enterprise users so that companies conducted late fall 2007, this Yankee Group Report studies can buck the CRM failure rate with a clear understanding of how the current business environment and use of technology to new on-demand services and technologies can overcome user improve sales effectiveness. Although many traditional reluctance and ensure sales success. premises-based CRM applications implemented during the last two decades promised a significant improvement and Exhibit 1 increase in sales effectiveness, in reality their strength was in Major Factors for Business Applications empowering management with a holistic view of the sales Source: Yankee Group, 2008 process rather than actually helping end users and sales Which of the following factors are most important when teams succeed. This led many companies to reevaluate their selecting a business application? current salesforce automation (SFA) and customer relationship Flexible pricing models such as both on-demand management (CRM) implementations by replacing or and on-premises augmenting them with newer on-demand/software-as-a-service Industry/vertical-specific functionality and relevance (SaaS) applications. Although many companies are still Single integrated package to lower integration considering premises-based applications, the on-demand and number of vendors applications have moved from niche to mainstream capturing User-interface design 10% of the overall software market with phenomenal 20% Interoperability with other growth. Considering 37% of the SaaS user respondents in applications the survey said they dramatically improved sales effectiveness Integration with MS Office and Exchange, and Lotus Notes and customer satisfaction, it clearly demonstrates a Software is able to meet our noticeable improvement over traditional CRM users. needs with minimal customization Quality customer- service and support As shown in Exhibit 1, while features and functionality always Vendor’s long-term viability rise to the top, the most important feature when evaluating a Application is easily customized business application is and should be ease-of-use. Considering by line of business and/or IT to meet business needs 82% of CRM user respondents still can’t get salespeople to Feature and functionality understand the value and use the application, it is absolutely critical to improve its overall usability. The million dollar Ease-of-use question is “How to achieve usability?” For SFA and CRM to 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 be successful, organizations must ensure that users want to Percent of Respondents use the application through the combination of simplicity, Major Factor process management and value creation. Consumer Minor Factor Not a Factor applications such as Google, Facebook and MapQuest taught users that applications can be easy to use and provide value. n 166 Continued on next page This custom publication has been sponsored by Oracle. © Copyright 2008. Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved. This Yankee Group Report is published for the sole use of Yankee Group clients. It may not be duplicated, reproduced or transmitted in whole or in part without the express permission of Yankee Group, Prudential Tower, 800 Boylston Street, 27th Floor, Boston, MA 02199. For more information, contact Yankee Group:; phone: 617-598-7200. All rights reserved. All opinions and estimates herein constitute our judgment as of this date and are subject to change without notice.
  • 2. February 2008 Executive Summary (continued) Methodology In fall 2007, Yankee Group conducted a survey of 150 along with different desires of sales representatives and sales respondents targeted toward sales representatives, sales management’s use of technology to improve sales effectiveness. management and IT professionals at large organizations to The survey was written and managed by the Yankee Group examine how the on-demand salesforce automation Enterprise Research team. (SFA)/customer relationship management (CRM) has evolved Table of Contents I. Competitive Market Hinders Service and Sales Effectiveness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 II. Future CRM Applications Demand Collaboration, Process Improvements and Anywhere Information . . . . 4 Consumerization of the Enterprise Drives Future CRM Demands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 What Do Users Specifically Demand to Ensure High Rate of CRM Adoption? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 III. Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 I. Competitive Market Hinders Service and Sales Effectiveness ucceeding in a highly competitive environment where customer Delving further into the respondents profiles, sales management’s S service is a key differentiator in many industries is one of the most significant challenges facing businesses today. Companies response to competitive pressure was even more significant with a high of 97% of this segment of respondents listing it as their top realize that product and price differentiation only lead to a short-term challenge. As compared with the frontline sales representatives’ gain as compared with focusing on longer-term customer service responses, they were more concerned with growing revenue differentiation. Companies also understand that salespeople have a through increasing sales effectiveness, specifically win rates and direct effect on providing a differentiated customer experience. With contract values. 88% of respondents stating it as their top challenge over revenue growth, it is not surprising that businesses are looking for new ways The good news from Exhibit 2 (on next page) is the respondents’ to use technology to create a unique differentiated position. Sixty willingness to use technology as a strategic competitive advantage. percent of the respondents also stated their current business The concept of using applications to facilitate the selling process is applications do not enable them to react to fast-changing and not a new one, but many implementations have not empowered line unpredictable market conditions. of business with applications that have added value to the actual selling process. Sales teams have moved beyond the days when they were provided with nothing more than briefcases filled with outdated pamphlets and samples. 2 © Copyright 2008. Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 3. February 2008 Despite investments in CRM and SFA solutions, 55% of companies’ All these challenges only add to the already complex selling current SFA applications do very little to increase sales effectiveness. environment. A company must address these challenges or it will fail Sixty percent have somewhat improved sales efficiency, but the to meet sales management and sales representatives’ top objectives for sales process is unstructured and these organizations do not have the 2008 of improving win rates through targeted leads and better applications, data and process to improve effectiveness. Thirty-three messaging for products and services. However, priorities shift percent of professional services organizations have downright failed significantly for second and third objectives. to improve sales effectiveness or efficiency because CRM/SFA has • Sales representatives’ objectives focus more around the ability to been just another application that is difficult to use and does not more effectively target accounts, provide guidance on pricing provide the necessary functionality to enable productive selling. and improve forecast accuracy. • Sales management expressed significant interest in improving Other CRM challenges continue to flourish among CRM users today: customer loyalty. • 89.5 % still do not use a technology that offers a suite of applications for sales, service and marketing Process improvements rank high overall in business objectives, but • 89.5% still do not have a single view of the customer/ companies were essentially split between two groups: One that 360-degree view prioritized an end-to-end business process as a major initiative for • 78.9% can’t leverage their social network to build quality their current CRM (86.7%as a major factor), as compared with collateral, presentations and proposals 87.3% of companies that prefer to empower their employees with • 58% state their current investment in IT and business more collaborative-driven applications that are user-focused. applications are outdated and don’t provide the visibility and Essentially, the goal is to choose the right approach for the goals data necessary for business decisions and objectives of the company. A key criterion for a CRM solution is to understand the type of Exhibit 2 Top Business Challenges business interaction. For example, Exhibit 3 shows two very Source: Yankee Group, 2008 different types of businesses: one large online retailer and a major How would you rate the following businesses challenges manufacturing company. Both have customers, but one has your company is facing? hundreds of millions with customer relationships that last a couple Meeting customers’ demands of minutes. The company would prefer the customer never call the to do business online company because the margins are low and costs are essential. The Getting visibility in critical business insight in a timely primary value of CRM for this company lies in the processes. fashion to make decisions Focusing on customer- service and support to meet customer demands Exhibit 3 Growing revenue through Types of CRM Approaches improved customer loyalty Source: Yankee Group, 2008 Grow revenue through increased sales effectiveness (increased Online Retailer Manufacturer win rates, contract values) Low margin, high High margin, low volume Growing revenue through volume better marketing for customer acquisition Millions of customers Hundreds of customers Using technology fully as a strategic competitive advantage Millions of flawless Transactions are transactions collaborative, social Reacting quickly to fast- changing and unpredictable market conditions Human interaction Human interactions defines adds cost relations Succeeding in a highly competitive environment where customer- service is a key differentiator Call center efficiencies; Sales-driven process 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 web self-service Percent of Respondents Invest in end-to-end Invest in collaborative CRM CRM backbone Very Challenging Somewhat Challenging Not Very Challenging Not at All Challenging © Copyright 2008. Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved. 3
  • 4. February 2008 The large manufacturer in contrast has a very different customer • Provide more in-context content and information within business experience. The company has potentially a few hundred customers and applications a complex, collaborative selling environment. Essentially, the CRM • Replacing legacy with newer service-oriented applications that system must make the people more productive as they move the empower line of business sales cycle forward. In other words, if you have a high volume, high • Enabling mobile access to corporate applications through Wi-Fi, transactional process business like the online retailer, you go with a wireless cards or smart phones CRM implementation that empowers the end-to-end process. If the • Reducing application silos to make the organization more company’s differentiation is centered on the people, empower the process-centric strategic asset (people) with a collaboration-driven CRM solution. The good news here is that IT and CRM initiatives are finally Either way, new services and technology can improve both aligned with process improvements, collaboration and mobility. By solutions. Salespeople and management must have the capability to providing newer applications that are more process-oriented and leverage their inherent collaborative nature to help them influence empower lines of business, companies will improve the overall the sale and close more deals. usability of the CRM applications. By incorporating in-context content and information, businesses can not only improve the overall customer experience, but also increase sales effectiveness. Lastly, IT II. Future CRM Applications Demand understands the priority for mobile access. Salespeople rank mobile Collaboration, Process Improvements and access much higher on the IT priority list, second only to Anywhere Information implementing collaborative technologies. s we expected, top major priorities for CRM initiatives are to A • provide: Enhanced customer service and support applications for Consumerization of the Enterprise Drives Future CRM Demands improved customer experience • Updated sales applications for sales effectiveness and efficiency or a generation of Web 2.0 consumer application users such as • Improved customer-facing applications to make doing business with customers and prospects easier F Google, Facebook, and MySpace, improving traditional business applications such as CRM and SFA becomes paramount. The future • Mobile employees anywhere, anytime access to corporate demands businesses learn from consumer applications through easy- applications to-use web service-based applications that improve user adoption and meet corporate objectives such as sales effectiveness. However, the real issue is how businesses can meet their top priorities for their CRM initiatives to avoid end-user disillusionment With 80% of CRM users on average seeing little to no improvement and ensure success. As stated in the executive summary, it is in sales or service effectiveness, it’s a positive sign that 37% of the absolutely critical to improve the overall usability of the application SaaS CRM application users have dramatically improved sales through simplicity, process improvements and newer value-added effectiveness and customer satisfaction, a noticeable difference over applications such as mobility and analytics. results of traditional CRM users. As shown in Exhibit 4, the reason for such a high rate of success stems from: Considering a CRM solution must align with overall IT strategies, • Preferred ease-of-use of the application. Depending on the Yankee Group asked respondents, “What are the biggest priorities ISV, many SaaS CRM applications are built from the ground up that will impact your strategic business application decisions for the learning from past mistakes. The focus was ease-of-use and line- future?” Our goal was to find if the IT strategies are aligned to of-business empowerment. New features and functionality are assist with the success of a company’s CRM initiative. The top also delivered at a much faster pace than packaged applications to results garnered 60% or higher on the priority list (results in order keep in pace with user demands. of major priority): • Allow distributed employees to stay connected and be • Using newer applications for easier customization and business productive. Premises-based applications that are located behind process needs to drive IT and line-of-business collaboration the corporate firewall are more difficult to ensure distributed • Implementing more collaborative technologies to improve employees gain access to the critical customer information. employee productivity 4 © Copyright 2008. Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 5. February 2008 • Use of application without worrying about upgrades, updates delivered in context is critical to increase user adoption. It also and security patches. The dirty little secret is that premises- enables sales representatives to share content such as PowerPoint based applications have a significant hidden cost. Although most presentations and proposals help proliferate best practices. companies only conduct significant upgrades every 3 years, it is a • Collaborative applications: Collaborative applications very painful and expensive process. consistently ranked high with respondents while Web 2.0 usage ranked lower. This is an interesting dichotomy to point out Another consumerization of the enterprise lesson includes the use of considering Web 2.0 functionality is generally regarded as the next users’ content, collaboration and anywhere information. When wave of technology that will better meet the enterprises respondents were asked to rate whether they agree or disagree with collaboration needs. Vendors must do a better job explaining to statements in Exhibit 5, the issues with which they agreed strongly customers and prospects the inherent benefits of Web 2.0 and were all focused on empowering line of business with more how it helps organizations improve collaboration. consumer-like functionality such as mobility, collaborative • Pricing tools: Salespeople need more pricing guidance. These applications, content and pricing tools. Here are the reasons behind tools are designed to help salespeople by evaluating win/loss ratios, why they agreed with our statements: product differences and customer difference to present optimal • Sharing content: Salespeople refuse to use SFA because it has price recommendations based on corporate governance rules. never given them an incentive to log in besides to heed the • Mobility: Companies are striving to become Anywhere warning, “Do it or you won’t get your commission check.” Enterprises. Ubiquitous connectivity has enabled the mobile Technology needs to start giving back. Instead of static content computing revolution. However, connectivity alone is not that adds little value to daily efforts of a sales representative, enough to make users more productive. They also require access solutions need to proactively share changes in information that to applications and information. are relevant to their current accounts. Again, taking a lesson from the Web 2.0 world, interactivity meshed with fresh insight Exhibit 4 Exhibit 5 Top Reasons for Using SaaS Agreement or Disagreement of Key Industry Trends Source: Yankee Group, 2008 Source: Yankee Group, 2008 Which of the following factors prompted your organization to adopt software as a service? Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Preferred the ease-of-use We would like to incorporate of the application more Web 2.0-type features Allow distributed employees in our enterprise software to stay connected and We would like a more closed-looped be productive business process to gain insight Use of applications without and feedback on sales situations worrying about upgrades, Our customer management updates and security patches applications such as CRM and SFA are Application depth best suited for managing transactions and functionality We are looking for new ways to Less risk—can switch vendor empower mobile workers with if service not adequate anywhere, anytime access IT staff are generalists and cannot support complex Better pricing tools to help business applications salespeople with optimal prices Lower TCO because no need We would like to empower our for IT infrastructure or IT employees with more collaborative resources for SaaS applications applications that are user-focused Having private instance of the SaaS for control and privacy We need a better way Being able to move to a to share content premises-based deployment, if necessary 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 SaaS is less expensive than Percent of Respondents current application deployment and maintenance costs Strongly Agree Increased comfort with Somewhat Agree the security of my data Somewhat Disagree Increased comfort with the privacy of my data Strongly Disagree 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Percent of Respondents © Copyright 2008. Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved. 5
  • 6. February 2008 • Reduction in data entry coupled with sales guidance increases What Do Users Specifically Demand to Ensure High Rate of CRM Adoption? efficiency and effectiveness. One of the most consistent complaints with salespeople using a CRM or SFA application is the large amount of administration and data entry forced upon them. To he most important factors are directly related to improving T both sales effectiveness and sales efficiency. As shown in Exhibit 6, top ranked factors are not just about technology, but also avoid overburdening the users, newer applications must predict and assist salespeople with data entry for sales opportunities. Use mashups to pre-fill information about orders and territories from improved processes such as: internal systems, along with external information such as • Analytics and dashboards to assist end users and management financials and demographic data. The application should then put with the right information. The goal is to ensure real-time the information in context to guide the salesperson with insight with business intelligence tools that are available and recommendations on who are the most likely prospects, what easy to use for everyone in the company. Dashboards help guide products the customer is most likely to buy and even who are the users with the right information at the right time, allowing them best potential references among the customer base. to drill down into detailed data. It is essential that the analytics • Fixing the lead management gap. The process of acquiring contain historical and comparative trend analysis about emerging customers/leads, turning those leads into solid prospects and opportunities and critical issues so that a business can quickly converting the prospects into sales—all without losing track of identify and respond to changes in trends. Using analytics, potential leads—remains a major hurdle for many businesses. companies can gain insight into how efficient their sales effort is, Filling the gap between a lead and a purchase order and preventing determine how much customers are spending and how the is opportunities from falling through the cracks are a critical pipeline growing. Users also want opportunity management so that competitive requirements. Companies must use a combination of they can view account status, diagnose key issues and identify technology and processes to close the loop both within and opportunities from a single location. between their sales and marketing teams. Using Web 2.0 intelligence, the salesperson does not have to manually look up Exhibit 6 critical data to prioritize and qualify the lead. A company can Major Factors for a Future Sales Automation Solution now mash-up internal lead data with external third-party data Source: Yankee Group, 2008 from Hoover’s, Dun & Bradstreet or social networking information. What are the most important factors for future sales automation tools? • Facilitate best practices with newer gadgets. To get salespeople to actually use an application, the application has to Embed social networking to improve cold call rates not only be easy to use, but also, more importantly, help them Web 2.0 functionality for sell better. The survey revealed that 64% of salespeople ranked improved team collaboration Employ a structured tools to facilitate best practices as their top major factor when sales methodology choosing a sales automation tool. Embedding tools that allow such as Miller Heiman Provide more sales salespeople to share and integrate external data empower them to guidance from internal and external sources collaborate more effectively. Provide sales campaign tools for prospecting Easy-to-use tools to facilitate best practices for proposals, III. Conclusions Powerpoints and quotes Enable better lead management lthough deploying an SFA solution is a first step toward Improved visibility to opportunity management A improving sales administration, it doesn’t necessarily equate to improving sales effectiveness. It’s critical for companies to Reduce amount of data entry by sales people understand the difference between sales administration and sales Enhance sales management insight with better analytics effectiveness, and the role technology can play in driving revenue. and dashboards CRM, specifically, resulted in less than satisfactory results primarily 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Percent of Respondents because of application complexity, high TCO and lack of user adoption. Major Factor Minor Factor Not a Factor 6 © Copyright 2008. Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 7. February 2008 The CRM industry, especially sales automation, has been revitalized to have.” As businesses continue to transform into Anywhere with newer services that buck the failure rate. With a clear understanding Enterprises, anywhere applications become strategic priorities. of how new on-demand services and technologies are used effectively, businesses can overcome end-user disillusionment and ensure sales success. Interestingly, Web 2.0 technologies ranked lowest on users’ Recommendations priority list: Only 18% ranked Web 2.0 as a major priority for improved collaboration. Undervaluing the benefits of Web 2.0 is a • SasS might reduce TCO, but not budgets. Instead, reallocate big mistake for any company embarking on evaluating the latest dollars for improved creativity and strategic development. New CRM and sales automation solutions. tools can empower both IT and line of business. IT ensures the foundation provides enough depth, security and scalability. Line Web 2.0 directly impacts the overall success of the application by of business adds the context to the business process through easy providing: to use application development wizards. It’s truly a collaborative • Dynamic assembly of relevant processes and services: Users win-win approach. can easily customize services to meet unique process requirements • Use technology as the enabler. The differentiation is in how it is or mash up components into unique composite applications. A applied to increase sales effectiveness. To cover the last mile in small piece of functionality such as maps, data services and tools sales effectiveness, companies must enable anytime, anywhere that is loosely coupled and joined as components is essential. interactivity for sales and prospect information through a This ensures that end users can get access to the easy-to-use combination of voice and data transactions. Sales representatives services freely available on the web, which can be integrated often make and receive calls from mobile phones. At the close of a into their SFA. call, representatives could trigger an event to automatically log that • Creative empowerment of business user: Gone are the days of call into the CRM or sales system of record. With a combination of “over the wall” IT application development. Business users must alerting and preprocessing done on the platform, the end user be active participants and co-developers of the service. A spends less time reentering data. This is a simple step, but the collaborative, iterative approach to releasing functionality cross-channel benefits could improve the quality of information becomes a core competency and the end to release cycles. Sales available for all users. management and IT consistently ranked higher collaborative IT • Upgrade or replace existing sales automation applications to processes. New SaaS and Web 2.0 empower success by improve pipeline visibility and forecasting. Gain visibility into decentralizing the IT process and empowering business users the health of your business before it is too late. Management must with a platform to control their business desires. be apprised of the top opportunities the salesforce is pursuing and • Data-driven decisions: Quality data drives business insight. A be able to manage those opportunities from inception to closure. platform is nothing but an empty shell without data powering the Because many companies make key decisions based on their end-user interactivity. Disparate data sources need to be forecasts such as resource allocations, manufacturing schedules. harnessed and then transformed into a visual representation for • Companies with IT resource constraints should use an SaaS improved decision-making. solution to speed time-to-market and minimize ongoing • A shared ecosystem of intelligence: The web taught users a maintenance requirements. Many companies have already valuable lesson: The network effect is a vital element for success. spent a large amount of money on an on premises-based SFA Users add value in multiple dimensions from knowledge on content solution that sales representatives don’t use. Companies looking through RSS feeds to participation in processes and collective to replace such a system quickly—without the worry of IT networks. While overall rankings of Web 2.0 were lower than involvement—should choose an SaaS solution. expected, 53% of respondents still agreed that they would like to • Despite user adoption issues, don’t potentially throw out on- incorporate more Web 2.0-type features in their enterprise premises CRM. Instead, evaluate augmenting the existing solution software such as ratings, subscriptions and social networks. with an on-demand/SaaS application for end users that can work seamlessly with the existing premises solution. Especially if that Also clearly consistent in the survey was the overwhelming sales on-premises solution can meet the needs of an end-to-end process users’ interest in mobile applications that can be used by employees focused around management needs of process control, business anywhere, anytime. Ninety percent of the sales respondents agreed insight and intelligent forecasting. with this statement, thrusting it to the number one position. Today, mobile CRM projects have evolved from a “nice to have” to a “need © Copyright 2008. Yankee Group Research, Inc. All rights reserved. 7
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