Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

Varicent Improves Sales Operations Efficiency

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 31, 2011 10:01:16 AM

Sales organizations strive to maximize the performance of their staffs to meet quotas and revenue targets in an efficient manner. This focus is part of my agenda to help organizations innovate and maximize revenue in sales. To achieve this requires automation of various sales activities including compensation, incentives, quota development, territory optimization, channel management, analytics and planning. Varicent is focused on these aspects of sales, offering software deployable in three ways: rented in the cloud, hosted for easier management or purchased for use inside the organization. My last analysis of the company and its products was part of our 2011 Value Index for Sales Performance Management; in it we rated Varicent a Hot Vendor overall across our seven evaluation categories applied to its application suite. That analysis included our analysis of Varicent SPM version 7 that made significant advances in the use and process of managing compensation and incentives but also the rest of their application portfolio from territory management, sales quota management and channel management. 

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Topics: Sales, Social Media, Marketing, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Revenue Performance, Sales Force Automation, Sales Operations, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Varicent, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Get the Most from Dreamforce for Your Sales Force

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 30, 2011 12:31:04 PM

Salesforce.com’s 2011 Dreamforce conference is under way. If you’re in sales and you use the company’s application, here’s how to gain the most value from your time at the conference. 

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Topics: Sales, Salesforce.com, Social Media, Marketing, Marketo, Merced Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Qvidian, Revenue Performance, Sales Force Automation, Sales Operations, Zilliant, Zyme Solutions, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Callidus Software, Camelon Software, CFO, ChannelInsight, Cloud9 Analytics, CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Varicent, Vendavo, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Xactly

Xactly What Sales Needs To Improve

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 30, 2011 9:48:29 AM

In addressing the needs of their sales and operations teams to automate and improve performance, many organizations turn to providers of sales applications designed for specific activities. Many of these activities, including sales compensation, incentives, commissions, quotas, territories and others, Xactly has been delivering for years. This company is no newcomer to the market, with significant experience in meeting the needs of small to midsize sales organizations, and more recently addressing the needs of larger ones. 

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Topics: Sales, Social Media, Marketing, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Revenue Performance, Sales Force Automation, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Xactly

Gaining Sales Traction with Merced Systems

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 30, 2011 9:23:37 AM

Looking to make your sales force more effective by automating its operations? Merced Systems can provide the traction your sales team needs. The company has been providing applications for more than a decade to customer service and more recently sales organizations, helping both measure and manage performance. Several years ago Merced Systems made a substantial investment to expand to the sales organization with new applications and now offers analytics and reporting, compensation and incentives, and coaching and talent development.  

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Topics: Sales, Social Media, Marketing, Merced Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Revenue Performance, Sales Compensation, Sales Force Automation, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Cloud9 Delivers Sales Forecasting

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 29, 2011 10:45:59 AM

If you want to hit the booking and revenue targets required to operate a business, you have to manage your sales forecast and pipeline. Optimally you should be able to monitor and act upon them any day of the week and make adjustments whenever you need to. Unfortunately, most organizations have to wait until they finish their manual efforts at the end of the month or quarter, or they miss critical changes in deals and behavior because they rely only on reporting from their sales force automation (SFA) software.  

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Topics: Sales, Salesforce.com, Social Media, Marketing, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Revenue Performance, Sales Force Automation, Sales Forecasting, Sales Operations, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, Cloud9 Analytics, CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Here’s What Marketers Should Do at Dreamforce

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 29, 2011 10:03:25 AM

The largest cloud computing conference, Dreamforce 2011, operated by Salesforce.com, is now upon us. This year attendance is estimated to be over 40,000, and there will be more technology- and developer-focused attendees and dialogue than marketing material. Unlike past years, I expect marketing professionals to be a small percentage of attendees, so I thought I would offer them a guide through the circus of activities at the conference.

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Topics: Salesforce.com, Social Media, ExactTarget, HubSpot, Manticore Technology, Marketing, Marketing Automation, Marketing Planning, Marketo, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Pardot, Revenue Performance, Sales Force Automation, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, IBM, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Demand Generation, Eloqua, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Unica, digital technology

Qvidian: A New Player in Sales Efficiency and Effectiveness

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 26, 2011 9:24:28 AM

Qvidian entered the market for applications in sales performance management in 2011. The company, formed from the merger of The Sant Corp. and Kadient, has introduced a new suite of applications for proposals and playbooks that sales departments should examine if they’re looking to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. These applications are part of what we at Ventana Research call a sales performance management blueprint that helps optimize sales related activities and processes. 

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Topics: Sales, Social Media, Marketing, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Revenue Performance, Sales Force Automation, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

ADP’s Provides Tools to Simplify Workforce Mobility

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 25, 2011 9:35:22 AM

I recently got an update on mobile applications and strategy for smartphones from ADP, the $9 billion provider of applications and services in human resources, payroll and benefits. By acquiring and partnering with organizations, ADP has become the largest provider in this segment while focusing on providing added value and new offerings to its customers. For some companies, being such a large business  human capital management and talent management software could inhibit its agility, but ADP has quickly made progress in bringing its first generation of applications to the Apple iOS platform for iPhone.  

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Topics: Big Data, Performance Management, Human Capital Management, Mobile Applications, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Talent Management, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), digital technology

Can We Trust Hewlett-Packard?

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 19, 2011 1:53:22 PM

Just when it seemed that Hewlett-Packard’s new management team led by CEO Leo Apotheker had a growing and solidifying technology agenda that included mobile computing, yesterday it all changed.

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Topics: Social Media, Sustainability, Google, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, CIO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), HP, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), HP Touchpad, Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM), digital technology

eThority 5 Brings Analytics to Life

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 17, 2011 11:48:29 AM

It is evident that business analytics is now a core business process in most organizations, but as our benchmark research on the topic shows, many have a lot of room to improve in how they use it. A dedicated provider of analytics tools, eThority continues to advance its technology to supply flexibility for the needs of a range of professionals from business management to analysts. 

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Topics: Big Data, Performance Management, Social Media, Human Capital Management, Metrics, Mobile Applications, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Compensation, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Talent Management, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)