|By Laura Lilyquist||
|February 18, 2014 10:00 AM EST||
It has never been more important or difficult than it is today for sales people to make sure their messages are reaching their target audience. This is because potential customers are bombarded with a deluge of information everyday. They filter a growing amount of phone calls, scan endless amounts of email, and are often drowned in the constant tide of social media updates, text messages, alerts and reminders. For most salespeople, the once simple task of making sure their message is reaching the right people is now a daunting, seemingly impossible endeavor. Even with the ever-expanding options of communication and analytical tools available to sales professionals, the most well-connected sales teams have difficulty understanding what is working to engage customers and what isn't.
The underlying issue is that it's impossible to know what resonates with customers when they don't provide feedback. And that's exactly the problem sales professionals are up against today. A new generation of sales analytics tools provide a solution because they are designed to give feedback to sales professionals by illustrating what shared information is actually being consumed, by who, from where and when. In short, sales analytics help figure out what works and what doesn't when it comes to engaging with potential customers.
Useful sales analytics are garnered from algorithms that track access to sales materials, interactions with those materials and even re-sharing of materials. This new technology shines a light on an otherwise blind part of the sales process. When sales professionals can access this type of information, it gives them the feedback they long for and the answers to their biggest questions:
- What information is being looked at?
- Who is looking at the information?
- Where are prospects looking at information?
- When are prospects viewing information?
Answers to the above questions help sales professionals gain invaluable insight as to which sales materials are most helpful at each phase of the sales cycle. With today's sales analytics technology, it's possible to know when a prospect viewed information, what they viewed and if they shared it with anyone else. This equips sales professionals with the data they need to pursue stage appropriate follow-up with prospects immediately after they view sales materials.
Sales analytics also help sales leaders understand how their sales teams are engaging prospects and customers throughout the sales process. According to a recent survey conducted by Forrester Research, sales leaders have poor visibility into where and how their reps and partners sell, with only six percent reporting they were very confident they had accurate visibility into their team's sales process. Over half of sales leaders surveyed reported that they were either "somewhat" or "very" unconfident in the visibility of their sales team's activity. Sales analytics make it possible to stay in the loop on sales team activity from lead follow-up all the way through to close. It's a win-win situation for all sales team members.
Sales analytics are created by a new generation of sales engagement platforms. A sales engagement platform is a selling tool for direct and channels sales professionals that focuses on creating, measuring and analyzing online engagement between sales professionals and customers or prospects. Incorporating a sales engagement solution is the first step towards a more highly integrated sales division that can eventually lead to predictive sales forecasts and insightful employee training.
In today's sales ecosystem, barriers or "silos" form within organizational departments, most typically between the marketing and sales teams. These silos prevent effective communication between the departments causing inefficiency and departmental isolation within companies. Sales engagement solutions contribute to interdepartmental collaboration through the use of communication tools, workspaces, shared materials and shared data. If the marketing team has found success through one tactic, that helpful information is shared directly to the sales team through the engagement platform. In this way, company-wide analytics show what's really working to engage customers and prospects, taking the unnecessary guesswork out of the equation and leading to a more efficient sales process.
Some useful sales engagement platforms are:
When using sales engagement analytics, teams have the ability to see which people and materials are getting the best results with prospects. With this information, organizations can analyze buyer behavior and optimize their sales processes. Sales analytics eliminate the blind spots between sales leads and the close of a sale enabling sales teams to take the feedback they've received from the engagement analytics and adjust their tactics accordingly. This process of tweaking the sales process based on feedback from analytics leads to a more efficient sales cycle and increases the bottom line.
ElasticBox, the agile application delivery manager, announced freely available public boxes for the DevOps community. ElasticBox works with enterprises to help them deploy any application to any cloud. Public boxes are curated reference boxes that represent some of the most popular applications and tools for orchestrating deployments at scale. Boxes are an adaptive way to represent reusable infrastructure as components of code. Boxes contain scripts, variables, and metadata to automate proces...
Sep. 3, 2015 04:30 AM EDT
Containers are not new, but renewed commitments to performance, flexibility, and agility have propelled them to the top of the agenda today. By working without the need for virtualization and its overhead, containers are seen as the perfect way to deploy apps and services across multiple clouds. Containers can handle anything from file types to operating systems and services, including microservices. What are microservices? Unlike what the name implies, microservices are not necessarily small,...
Sep. 3, 2015 03:15 AM EDT
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
Sep. 3, 2015 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,677
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the ...
Sep. 3, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,640
Early in my DevOps Journey, I was introduced to a book of great significance circulating within the Web Operations industry titled The Phoenix Project. (You can read our review of Gene’s book, if interested.) Written as a novel and loosely based on many of the same principles explored in The Goal, this book has been read and referenced by many who have adopted DevOps into their continuous improvement and software delivery processes around the world. As I began planning my travel schedule last...
Sep. 3, 2015 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 571
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Expo" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Sep. 2, 2015 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 641
DevOps Summit, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development...
Sep. 2, 2015 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,616
API-Driven Digital Healthcare Solution By @AkanaInc | @DevOpsSummit #API #IoT #DevOps #Microservices
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device acce...
Sep. 2, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 311
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
Sep. 2, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 428
Introducing Containers & Microservices Bootcamp at @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #Containers #Microservices
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
Sep. 2, 2015 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 401
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
Sep. 2, 2015 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 359
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises ar...
Sep. 2, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,589
DevOps has traditionally played important roles in development and IT operations, but the practice is quickly becoming core to other business functions such as customer success, business intelligence, and marketing analytics. Modern marketers today are driven by data and rely on many different analytics tools. They need DevOps engineers in general and server log data specifically to do their jobs well. Here’s why: Server log files contain the only data that is completely full and accurate in th...
Sep. 2, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 420
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Sep. 2, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 447
Several years ago, I was a developer in a travel reservation aggregator. Our mission was to pull flight and hotel data from a bunch of cryptic reservation platforms, and provide it to other companies via an API library - for a fee. That was before companies like Expedia standardized such things. We started with simple methods like getFlightLeg() or addPassengerName(), each performing a small, well-understood function. But our customers wanted bigger, more encompassing services that would "do ...
Sep. 2, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 294
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, will discuss how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a prac...
Sep. 2, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 254
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sep. 2, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 948
In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ernest Mueller, Product Manager at Idera, will explain the best practices and lessons learned for tracking and optimizing costs while delivering a cloud-hosted service. He will describe a DevOps approach where the applications and systems work together to track usage, model costs in a granular fashion, and make smart decisions at runtime to minimize costs. The trickier parts covered include triggering off the right metrics; balancing resilience and redundancy ...
Sep. 2, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 272
The pricing of tools or licenses for log aggregation can have a significant effect on organizational culture and the collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. Modern tools for log aggregation (of which Logentries is one example) can be hugely enabling for DevOps approaches to building and operating business-critical software systems. However, the pricing of an aggregated logging solution can affect the adoption of modern logging techniques, as well as organizational capabilities and cross-team ...
Sep. 2, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 426
Docker containerization is increasingly being used in production environments. How can these environments best be monitored? Monitoring Docker containers as if they are lightweight virtual machines (i.e., monitoring the host from within the container), with all the common metrics that can be captured from an operating system, is an insufficient approach. Docker containers can’t be treated as lightweight virtual machines; they must be treated as what they are: isolated processes running on hosts....
Sep. 2, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 176