Tackling the Sales Management Challenge by Virtual Collaboration

CSOInsightsSalesMark_2.v3 A 2014 study on Sales Management Optimization by CSO Insights revealed that sales managers reported their forecasted deals at a win rate of only 45.9%. In the same survey, managers overwhelmingly responded that they felt they “needed improvement” on industry best practices, across the board. So while sales teams are struggling, sales leaders are recognizing that there is work to be done at their levels to better enable their teams. The environment is ripe and ready for improvement, and virtual collaboration tools are rising to the top as a multifaceted solution. In Sales Management 2.0: Optimizing Virtual Sales Team Collaboration, CSO Insights and join.me by LogMeIn examine the various ways that virtual collaborative sales tools can be used to empower sales managers, and better enable and prepare their teams. This whitepaper explores in detail the following sales practices that can be improved by the use of of virtual collaboration tools:

  • Sales Training and Coaching
  • Optimized Virtual Sales Calls
  • Recording and Sharing Voice-Of-Customer
  • Forecast Management

In implementing just some of these solutions presented, companies can increase the effectiveness of sales around account planning, sales execution, forecasting, and ultimately improve the win rate of their deals. For the full analysis, download the whitepaper here.

         

Make Providing a Superior Customer Experience Your New Year’s Resolution

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Customers want immediate, thorough, and successful omni-channel customer care, and for a growing range of products and services.  So why not make it your 2015 resolution to provide this excellent Customer Experience?  Chances are you’ll be rewarded with greater customer loyalty, social media referrals, lowered costs, and greater profits.

Customers today use Web self-service, mobile apps, and social media before contacting customer service.  When customers do reach out to companies, they expect agents to have anticipated their needs, preferences, and issue from self-service, and from previous interactions, and to resolve them without escalations or repeated contacts.

Customers are also turning to online channels.  A 2014 Frost & Sullivan survey reports that chat, mobile app, social, video, and Web channel usage will increase, while IVR, live agent, and email demand will decline; for good reason – online channels provide immediate, visual, shareable, and easily referenced communications.  They also allow agents to send links, images, clips, and documents inline.

At the same time, more products and services are becoming connected to each other, to customers, and to employees.  Appliances, equipment, furnaces, dimmers, thermostats, machinery, medical devices, earbuds, watches, and vehicles, to name just a few, transmit and receive important information and instructions in real-time over the Internet.  Frost & Sullivan forecasts there will be 50 billion connected devices globally by 2020.

But every new technology creates challenges, and connected devices/IoT is no exception.  On a broader industry level Frost & Sullivan has identified interoperability, adequate bandwidth, and security as difficult but surmountable hurdles to their widespread adoption and use.  Equally critical for IoT success is the Customer Experience with these solutions.  Not only must the connected products work reliably, without dangers like hacking, but they also have to be simple to use, affordable, and easily and effectively supported.

But successfully providing online channels and supporting IoT are not without challenges.  Each application has to connect seamlessly and securely and with associated solutions, such as analytics, CRM systems, knowledge bases, and multichannel routing.  Applications also must be intuitive to use and easy to deploy.  Social support requires carefully crafted responses by highly trained agents who are aware of their responsibilities as brand spokespeople.

Fortunately, many of the solutions on the market meet those requirements.  Additionally, remote support enables online channels to become more effective by enabling agents and customers to interact with each other, while agents are solving problems on their computers, smart devices, and through IoT.  Conferencing and collaboration tools can help resolve very difficult problems by engaging subject matter experts (SMEs).  And companies’ corporate communications staffs can be engaged to help set up social media responses, including agent selection and training and establishing alerting and escalation procedures.

Frost & Sullivan and LogMeIn recently held a well-attended webinar, “The Future of Customer Engagement:  Keeping Pace with the Connected Consumer,” that dove into factors that enable a successful Customer Experience.  Review the recording, and make providing a superior Customer Experience in 2015 your top priority.

         

Better Collaboration Equals Better Performance.

Successful collaboration in the workplace can be the difference between success and failure. According to Dr. Jaclyn Kostner, leadership effectiveness expert and CEO of virtual training organization Bridge the Distance, workforce teams that collaborate the most often are 36% more productive than teams with less collaboration. Companies that make increased and improved collaboration a top priority can see improvements across a number of departments or functional areas, including customer service, profitability, and employee engagement. The key, and the crossroads at which many organizations find themselves today, is determining which tools to use and implement across the entire organization.

According to our recent research with Forbes Insights, the key factor in a virtual meeting tool that drives successful collaboration is simplicity. Kostner agrees – she says: “the best tools for collaboration have to be easy to get into, so that it’s fast and spontaneous. The strategy for successful collaboration begins at the top level. We want to make sure that we’re combining great tools and great technology along with great meeting practices that pull everyone in, to get the richest meeting experience.” View more of Jaclyn’s comments in this video below, which also highlights more key insights from our recent Forbes report:

         

Meldium App Trends, Top Apps of 2014

 

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Everyday thousands of apps are developed hoping to make their way to the masses and seamlessly into the workflow of individuals, teams, departments and enterprises.  Each month our team analyzes our own usage data to give you a look behind the curtain and identify the most popular and trending web apps and services.

In this special edition, we rounded up the Top Apps of the Year by category to give you an inside look into the top tools in Analytics, Communication, Collaboration, Development, Sales and Marketing, and Social Media.  As always, we gathered this data from an anonymized version of our comprehensive audit logs and score apps on a 100-point scale based on the unique number of people who used it.

Click here to view the full results, along with an infographic, on the Meldium blog.

         

New From Forbes Insights: Tooling Up for Collaboration

Collaboration is a significant driver of success for businesses. The number of meetings is on the rise, bringing the challenges of coordinating across a globally dispersed and mobile workforce. Virtual meetings are essential, yet many companies are running into roadblocks including late-starts, connection problems, sub-standard audio quality, draining productivity. With these challenges, it is not surprising that our research shows that two-thirds of executives report that fewer than half the meetings they attend are worth the time.

So, how can companies meet better, collaborate better, and thus BE better? In this new report “Tooling Up for Collaboration”, Forbes Insights has combined the opinions of top executives and consultants with our findings to advise on collaboration needs, considerations, and best practices. They’ve identified the following insights for companies to consider:

  • Complexity is on the rise.
  • The need to manage complexity drives the value of collaboration.
  • Properly deployed, today’s technologies deliver exponential improvements in the ability to collaborate.
  • Advancements in the ability to collaborate are driving extraordinary improvements in overall business performance.
  • Collaboration drives business results. Simplicity in tools drives collaboration. 

This fifth and final insight we find most striking. While companies must play in the virtual meeting space and accept that meetings are no longer limited to a boardroom, they also need to beware of investing in complex solutions requiring extensive integration. In most cases, the simplest, most intuitive, easiest-to-implement and use solutions are by far the most effective in fostering collaboration

In the end, a collaboration tool is most useful if it is easy to implement, and then embraced by the organization.

Download a copy of the new Forbes Insights report and check out the infographic below for some quick highlights.

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LogMeIn Names Edward K. Herdiech Chief Financial Officer

BOSTON, December 15, 2014LogMeIn, Inc. (NASDAQ: LOGM) today announced the promotion of Edward (Ed) K. Herdiech to chief financial officer (CFO) and treasurer, effective January 15th, 2015. Having joined LogMeIn in 2006, Herdiech currently serves as the company’s senior vice president of finance and principal accounting officer.

“Ed has played an important role in LogMeIn’s expansion and growth, including the company’s IPO, and has long been a highly valued member of our leadership team,” said Michael Simon, LogMeIn co-founder and CEO.  “A proven leader of our finance organization, Ed brings unique experience to our company, as well as our Board of Directors. It’s a well-earned promotion, and we look forward to adding Ed’s leadership and complementary expertise to our executive team.”

“LogMeIn continues to be one of Massachusetts’ great technology success stories, and we believe we’re still early in this journey,” said Herdiech. “It has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and I look forward to helping our strong leadership team usher the company into its next chapter of growth and success.”

Current LogMeIn CFO Jim Kelliher has resigned from his position to pursue an executive role at a Boston-area technology startup. Kelliher, who has served as CFO since May 2006, will assist Herdiech during the transition.

“Jim played an instrumental role in LogMeIn’s early growth from a startup with $15 million in revenue to a publicly traded market leader with more than $200 million in revenue. He was a key driver behind our IPO, as well as our recent move to Boston,” added Simon. “We sincerely thank him for his leadership and foundational contributions to our continued success.”

About LogMeIn, Inc.

LogMeIn (NASDAQ:LOGM) transforms the way people work and live through secure connections to the computers, devices, data, and people that make up their digital world.  The company’s cloud services free millions of people to work from anywhere, empower IT professionals to securely embrace the modern cloud-centric workplace, give companies new ways to reach and support today’s connected customer, and help businesses bring the next generation of connected products to market.

LogMeIn is headquartered in Boston’s Innovation District with offices in Australia, Hungary, India, Ireland, and the UK.

         

BoldChat’s New Release Improves Integration Capabilities

We’re excited to announce a new release of BoldChat (v7.9) that includes features designed to maximize agent productivity and increase customer satisfaction. Increased connectivity and accessibility to information made possible with our new integration capabilities enables companies to provide efficient and streamlined support, tailored to each customer’s unique needs.

Partnering with Lionbridge to provide real-time chat translation technology, BoldChat now allows agents to seamlessly engage with customers in multiple languages and provide consistent, cost-effective support across the world.

With this release, we are also launching the Integration API, which enables companies to leverage external systems’ data (e.g. CRM, ticketing, etc.) within the context of their chat interactions, increasing agent efficiency, effectiveness and overall customer satisfaction.

In addition to integration enhancements, our latest release also includes:

  • Automatic Chat Distribution Invitation Throttling helps optimize proactive invitations and chat wait times
  • My Canned Messages Shorthand to boost operator productivity
  • Credit Card Number Obfuscation offers enhanced data privacy controls
  • After-Chat NPS Survey & Report gathers NPS data to measure customer loyalty and happiness

BoldChat Geofluent Integration

Contact us to schedule a demo today!

         

New Year, New Central

In early January, we’ll be taking the wraps off new versions of LogMeIn Central designed to deliver new value to our IT customers, while making it far easier for each and every Central customer to get the right product – and the right capabilities – to meet their specific needs.

So what will this new Central look like and what’s in it for you?

We’ll be revealing the full details of the new offering early in the New Year, but at a high level, the new Central will be delivered in three simple versions, making it far easier for customers to get the right fit for their needs. The foundation of this simplified and improved offering will start with faster, more elegant remote access capabilities, raising the high bar on what you’ve come to expect from LogMeIn. From there, we’ve designed each distinct edition based on your feedback.  Just need to remotely access PCs and Macs without all the other bells and whistles? We’ve got you covered. Looking to extend remote access to your employees and customers so they can remain productive when outside the office?  We’ve got the perfect mix for you. Rely on Central for business-critical IT management and automation?  We’ve got the professional grade innovation ready to go in a nice simple package.

We’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks. So stay tuned.

         

[INFOGRAPHIC] MOBILE IS TRANSFORMING CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT

CMobile Engagement Infographicustomers are engaging with businesses in more ways and on more devices than ever before, and businesses require robust customer engagement solutions to support those interactions. We conducted a global study of nearly 6,000 mobile device owners across ten countries to examine the current state of mobile engagement, customer expectations and preferences, and the differences between those shopping and those seeking support on their mobile device. We believe it is the most comprehensive piece of research ever done on the subject of effective mobile engagement.

Among the findings:  72% of consumers use mobile devices to shop or research products and services; ½ of them engage with companies in some way on their mobile device (i.e. email, chat, etc.); and, unfortunately, they are unsatisfied with their mobile experience more than 40% of the time.

You can get a full copy of the Effective Mobile Engagement research report, or get some quick highlights from the infographic.

         

Managing the Customer Shift to Online Channels

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Customers are taking control of their relationships with companies, and that is having a profound impact on the Customer Experience.  Customers want immediate, thorough, and successful omni-channel customer care.  They use Web self-service, mobile apps, and social media before contacting customer service.  When customers do reach out to companies, they expect agents to know their needs, preferences, and problems from the self-service, and from previous interactions, and to resolve them without escalations or repeated contacts.

Naturally enough, many customers insist on being connected to the “best agents”:  those proficient at solving similar problems, or with whom they had previously interacted, rather than the “next available agents.”  Customers also will go to web sites or on social media while conversing with agents.

At the same time, the smartphone is becoming customers’ preferred interaction device.  Frost & Sullivan forecasts that the number of smartphones shipped in North America will nearly double over the next few years, from 213 million in 2013 to 410 million in 2018.

In this environment customers are turning to online channels.  A 2014 Frost & Sullivan survey reports that chat, mobile app, social, video, and Web channel usage will increase, while IVR, live agent, and email demand will decline; for good reason: online channels provide immediate, visual, shareable, and easily referenced communications.  They also allow agents to send links, images, clips, and documents inline.  When combined with remote support, online channels become more effective by enabling agents and customers to interact with each other while agents are solving technical problems on their computers or smart devices.

It is not outrageous to predict that online and Web-based channels will eventually become the standard means of customer interaction.  The online-savvy, next generation consumer is becoming the mainstream decision-maker.  Meanwhile, voice and video are being supported online through browser-based WebRTC:  which eschews separate traditional telephony and its attendant infrastructure.

But successfully providing online channels is not without challenges.  Each application has to connect seamlessly and securely and with associated solutions, such as analytics, CRM systems, knowledge bases, and multichannel routing.  Applications must also be intuitive to use and easy to deploy.  New solutions like WebRTC are still in their infancy.  WebRTC agents must be carefully selected and trained for online channels, particularly with social channels, as these are public conversations where agents act as spokespeople and have brand responsibility.

A new Frost & Sullivan webinar with LogMeIn, “The Future of Customer Engagement:  Keeping Pace with the Connected Consumer,” on Wednesday Dec.3 at 1pm ET will dive into the factors that enable a successful Customer Experience through online channels.  We invite you to join and also to participate in the session’s interactive Q&A.  The webinar will look at the related issues of supporting connected devices, also known as “the Internet of Things,” the role of demographics and the rise of new channels, and the growing importance of Customer Effort (CE). Please register here to learn from and to take part in this important dialog.