B2B Connection

Information and resources for technology buyers

2023 B2B Buying Disconnect: The Self-Serve Economy Is Prove It or Lose It by Megan Headley
Top eCommerce Strategies for 2023 by Neil Chandavarkar

Customer Engagement Software can help you improve your customer interactions and support performance. These tools enable you to leverage customer data to boost engagement. There are many things you can do with these tools. Here’s a brief summary of the capabilities you can expect:  Optimize customer interactions and campaigns with personalized messaging Improve the customer experience with content tailored to your audience  Provide resources for current and potential customers to explore your brand Track customer journeys across all your channels  Personalized communications with customers through email, chat, or video Native or third-party CRM and data ingestion Not every customer engagement tool will have all of these features and capabilities. If a product solves some of your pain points well you can always complement it with others. In this guide, we go over some important pricing aspects for customer engagement software. We’ll also explore software with free features and Top Rated products on TrustRadius that can help you improve business outcomes.         For more information on customer engagement platforms, see our definitional piece below: Customer Engagement Pricing Overview CEP pricing can vary a lot. It will depend on platform capabilities, feature set, selected billing cycle, and the number of users or logins. […]

Having an online presence is essential for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a small business or a retail giant, eCommerce can help you expand your horizons and improve business outcomes. eCommerce Platforms are best for small businesses and medium-sized companies. The tools and resources provided by vendors in this space can help you reach a wide audience with limited technical know-how. This software can also help level the playing field, allowing your online business to compete against larger players.   What is an eCommerce Platform? eCommerce Platforms enable you to market your products on the internet, even with limited resources to start. They allow you to create a website to display the products you want to sell. Aside from your online storefront, you can also process orders, manage your inventory, and receive payments.  There are 3 types of eCommerce software that business owners can use for web hosting to sell online.  On-premise Open source SaaS cloud-based platforms To build your site on-premise, you’ll need an IT department with developers or third-party contractors to design and maintain it. This option provides greater flexibility and a more unique user experience. Due to greater technical challenges, it tends to be limited to larger […]

If you are looking for a customer relationship management (CRM) solution that can bridge workflow gaps for you, then Salesforce Customer 360 has you covered. Customer 360 is a popular CRM that gives you impressive reach and visibility into the way your customers relate to your product. Salesforce Customer 360 can help you put your best foot forward with current and potential customers. What is Salesforce Customer 360? Salesforce Customer 360 is a complete and powerful CRM system that offers sales and service tools. It handles customer data, tracks leads, and streamlines workflows. It will help increase productivity, simplify workflows, and manage tasks effectively. The heart of Customer 360 is the Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud bundles. They give your team everything they need to deliver excellent service to customers. Each cloud product integrates together seamlessly, and all tools can be accessed from your dashboard or the 360 mobile app.   Salesforce goes over its major goals and core values with Customer 360 in this video. The Sales cloud specializes in streamlining the sales process. It offers sales engagement and insight tools to help grow your business. You’ll be able to detect unique leads and create segmented profiles from them. […]

Effective customer engagement is essential for any business. Large enterprises have more resources than smaller companies but need to engage their audience on a larger scale. Strong, positive engagement strategies can keep existing customers happy and help you attract new ones. We’ll explore the features and strategies your enterprise should consider for customer engagement. We’ll also review some of the most popular customer engagement tools for enterprises. The tools we cover are: Adobe Experience Manager Braze Iterable Salesforce Salesforce Experience Cloud Salesforce Service Cloud SAP Service Cloud To learn more about the importance of customer engagement for your enterprise, check out our definitional piece:  Customer Engagement Features for Enterprises In our post on Customer Engagement Software for Small Businesses, we went over the main benefits you can expect from these platforms. For a small business, features like apps, loyalty programs, contact centers, or live chat may be the icing on the cake. If you’re an enterprise, these capabilities become indispensable for engaging customers. Customer Engagement Platforms are essential when it comes to building a customer engagement strategy. Promoting Customer Loyalty Enterprises need to always look for new ways to keep their most loyal customers satisfied and maximize customer retention. In […]

The hardest part of choosing a CRM is knowing what to look for and consider. It’s surprisingly easy to go through the whole selection process and buy the wrong software (many reviewers have said as much). You need to start your search with the right questions to make the correct choice. Companies often forget about team input, review sentiment, and research the vendor’s reputation. One of the most common errors buyers make is not reading the terms of service (TOS) before buying. Below, we explore all the main factors to consider in the decision-making process. What is a CRM? Customer relationship management (CRM) software solution provides small businesses and major enterprises with services to improve workflows. CRM tools can streamline major business processes like customer support, marketing campaigns, and lead management for sales teams. CRM solutions can also provide organizational tools to stay on top of tasks, and automation functionality to expedite menial manual tasks.  Zoho is a very popular cloud-based platform that offers a variety of applications for improving real-time business needs. They also offer a software-as-a-service (SaaS) CRM provider and below we included their introduction CRM systems for beginners. What are the Benefits of Using CRM Software? CRM […]

Successful customer engagement is essential for any business that wants to survive and grow.   It doesn’t matter how big your business is. Your marketing strategy should include a roadmap to optimize your customer interactions. This applies to both existing customers and potential customers.  By developing a clear strategy for customer engagement, you can put a plan in motion to attract new customers and build brand loyalty with your current customer base. For more on the benefits of engaging with your customers and the tools that can help you do this, check out our recent blog post: Effective Customer Engagement Strategies There have never been more ways for companies to interact with their target audience. In the age of digital marketing and instant communications, customer expectations are also greater than ever. Here are some of the best customer engagement strategies for your business to put into practice today.   Get to Know Your Customers To engage customers effectively, you need to know who they are. This includes their wants, needs, preferences, and pain points. Do some market research to find out what your target audience is looking for and how you can provide this.  Marketing intelligence tools can help you stay up […]

Engagement is an indispensable step in the customer lifecycle. Businesses of all sizes need to engage customers on a wide scale to meet their business goals. Whether you’re a local business or a tech startup looking to grow, customer engagement will help you attract customers and keep them around. There are many tools on the market that can make the process easier. In this post, we’ll go over some of the best customer engagement product options for small businesses.  To learn more about what to look for in a customer engagement platform, check out our last post below:  Benefits of Customer Engagement Software for Small Businesses Customer Engagement Platforms can help you build customer loyalty and engage new customers. The tools you choose should improve your customer interactions. Buyers should get the impression that they know everything they need to make a sound buying decision, and that you’ll always be there to assist them.  Customer engagement tools can also help you target and re-target based on customer behavior. This includes preferred networks and even the time of day they tend to browse. This will help you make the most of your budget by focusing your ad spend on prospects that […]

Customer relationship management (CRM) may be the most common business software on the market. They can help you with brand awareness, boost sales, and keep customers happy. All-in-one tools like these are so popular some probably wonder if they’re overrated and it’s actually a good question. We go into the pros and cons of this powerful business software and offer up good CRM options for beginners.  What Is a CRM Software Solution? Customer relationship management software help teams with marketing, sales, and customer service. Features like lead and contact management help you keep track of clients. Integrated Marketing features help you reach more potential customers in your target audience and retain them by providing a high-quality customer experience. This software often comes with team collaboration features designed to help improve internal workflow and projects. CRM software is essentially virtual assistants that manage the most important aspects of your business by helping you stay productive. Many have automation features so you don’t have to be bogged down by manual tasks. CRM solutions sound pretty amazing, but they can make you wonder if they’re really that great. What are the general pros & cons of the software? What are the Pros of […]

Social media analytics is a series of digital marketing tools that allow you to see how users interact with your social media channels. You can use these tools to gather a wide variety of insights from your social pages. KPIs include engagement metrics, user demographics, follower growth, and much more.  These tools show you how your target audience is interacting with your brands across all social media networks where you have a presence. Analysis of social media data can be vital info used to boost your social media presence and raise brand awareness. Businesses and influencers rely on this software to track the performance of their social media accounts. Social Media Analytics is also essential when it comes to developing an effective social media strategy.   What TrustRadius Research Says: Pricing for Social Media Analytics software will depend on the following factors: Feature capabilities Add-ons Number of users Monthly or yearly payment options Number of brands or profiles you want to track Users of basic plans can expect dashboard visualization for their reach and engagement. Competitive analysis and analytics reporting are usually available on a more limited scale for fewer users.  If you’re using a social media management tool, scheduling and […]

The ability to engage with customers is at the heart of any business. Successful organizations strive to meet customer expectations and provide them with the best user experience possible.This involves offering reliable support across all your communication channels. This is essential to forming a connection with your customer base to grow your business.   Customer Engagement Platforms aim to improve the omnichannel customer journey. They help you identify your customers’ needs by simplifying real-time communications. This software builds bridges with your customers, boosting interest, customer satisfaction, and sales. Engagement leads to brand loyalty and can give you massive returns in the long run.  How Customer Engagement Platforms Work Customer engagement is an emerging concept that combines elements of many established solutions. These include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software  Marketing automation Mobile marketing,  Cross-channel campaign management,  Sales engagement Helpdesk Contact center software.  Customer Engagement Platforms are used by customer success, support, and sales teams. They connect your customer communications from one central platform. Stored sales data and contact information helps streamline personalized interactions with customers. These software can measure how, when, and even why customers are engaging with your brand. Cross-channel capabilities help your reps send out consistent messaging when communicating with […]

Social media is indispensable for enterprises looking to maintain a strong competitive advantage. According to recent research by Sprout Social, as many as 98% of consumers plan to buy on social media in 2022. The same report concluded that eCommerce on social media has a market potential surpassing $1 trillion. Social Media Analytics provides enterprises with actionable insights, metrics, and KPIs. They help businesses track how consumers engage with their social media channels. This knowledge is crucial to formulate your marketing strategy while enabling social media marketing. For more on Social Media Analytics, check out our blog post from June 2022: The Importance of Social Media Analytics for Enterprises In today’s online market, social media analytics are as important for enterprises as they are for small businesses. Enterprise employees are under constant pressure to deliver. Not only do you need to strive for positive business outcomes, these outcomes often need to surpass expectations.  To maintain and increase market share in the age of social media, you need sophisticated analytics tools that provide in-depth insights on performance and user engagement with your brand.   Social media analytics can give your business a 360-degree view of how users are engaging with your brands […]

Social media is essential to building brand awareness and increasing sales. This is especially true for smaller businesses. Social media analytics is indispensable for improving social media performance and business growth. If you’re a small business or eCommerce merchant, free social media analytics tools can boost your social marketing strategy.    Even if your company has a bit more spending power, using a free tool can help you test the waters before committing more resources. Free tools with paid versions make it easier to scale at reduced risk by allowing you to test how well they integrate with your tech stack. Social media analytics tools are designed to gather insights, metrics, and KPIs for websites and social media accounts. This helps you optimize how your product or service is positioned within your niche market.    Best Free Social Media Analytics Tools in 2022 Over the past couple of years, many of the best social media analytics tools with free features have been acquired by other companies. This was the case with Socialbakers, which is now part of the Emplifi social media management platform. Other popular products, like Cyfe, now only offer paid plans. Though mergers and price hikes have been on the […]

Social Media Analytics has become indispensable for digital marketing. Whether you’re looking to increase sales or raise brand awareness online, social media is more important than ever. Social Media Analytics refers to metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) used to track user activity. This activity can be anywhere from websites, blogs, review sites, or social media accounts.  Consumers everywhere are spending an increasing amount of their time on social media. A business that leverages analytics can improve customer outreach, brand recognition, and profits.        The Importance of Social Media Analytics Social media analysis can help you understand how social media users interact with your website and social accounts. It allows you to track website performance and reactions to social media posts, and also make campaign adjustments. This process allows you to gauge consumer sentiment around your product. You can also keep tabs on competitor activities and the impact they have on users online.  Common use cases for social media analytics include:  Audience profiling Competitive benchmarking Content optimization Building brand awareness Key metrics include conversions, demographics, impressions, click-through, engagement rate, comments, shares, or retweets.  With as many as two-thirds of consumers doing their shopping on social media, companies are now using their […]

For enterprises looking to maintain a strong competitive advantage, marketing intelligence becomes indispensable. This data is crucial for formulating business strategies or developing a marketing strategy. It provides both your sales team and your marketing teams with the insights they need to close deals and grow your business.  The software below is specifically designed to achieve growth at the scale enterprises expect. Marketing intelligence is important for many businesses but essential for enterprises.  For those looking for a quick overview of Marketing Intelligence, Check out our piece below: The Importance of Marketing Intelligence for Enterprises Large companies are always under pressure to stand out in their existing market, while also doing their best to break into a new one. For large businesses positioned in many different markets, gaining a full understanding of current market conditions is more important than ever.  Full awareness of industry trends, benchmarks, and customer demands will allow you to maintain and expand your market share, regardless of which specific market you might be in. Almost all large companies have adopted a marketing intelligence system as a result. According to Forbes, almost 3 out of 4 enterprises spend up to 20% of their tech budgets on intelligence-related […]

No matter what industry you’re in, your target customers are on social media, and they want to see you there too. People spend a lot of time on social media, including the time they spend researching and engaging with brands. You want your business to be in front of them frequently while they’re browsing social platforms.  The key to social media success is defining your social media marketing strategy. Approach your business’s social media presence with a goal in mind and a detailed plan for achieving that goal, and you’ll find social media marketing much more effective and rewarding. If you’d like a quick refresher on social media marketing before we dive into building your own strategy, you can read our blog post about it. Define Your Social Media Goals The first step to building a good social media strategy is deciding what exactly you want to get out of social media marketing. A good social media objective is both relevant to your business’s overall marketing strategy and attainable. There are endless ways to use social media to your advantage. Focusing primarily on one broad goal will distill and sharpen your efforts. Reaching a larger audience to increase brand awareness […]

Providing the best virtual customer service is its own art form. You need to achieve conversion, satisfaction, and usability wrapped into a digital experience. A consumer’s digital experience depends entirely on your ability to control and improve it.  A digital experience platform’s goal is to provide you with the tools to improve customer journeys. You can streamline your team’s workflows with analytics, customer management, and automation. This is why so many companies have opted to use the many digital experience cloud services available.  What is a DXP? Digital experience (DX) software-as-a-service (SaaS) can be used to retain and even grow your customer base. This is done by gaining insight into their experience interacting with your brand. Insights are gathered through analytics including metrics from real-time sessions on your site. With that information, you can improve the overall usability of your eCommerce site and improve conversions.  A digital experience platform (DXP) is used to optimize the satisfaction of your virtual consumers and your operations. There are three types of DXP: monolithic, composable, and hybrid. For a more in-depth view of DXP software, see our definition article here. What Are The Benefits Of A DXP? A DXP can offer your team valuable […]

If you’re a small business looking to grow at scale, expand your market share, or even stay afloat, marketing intelligence is becoming increasingly essential. This is especially true in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on small businesses. Most people associate marketing intelligence initiatives with large enterprises.  Smaller businesses that use available data sources and market insights will gain an extra edge over competitors.  What is Marketing Intelligence? Marketing intelligence is crucial to discover where your business stands against competitors. This involves gathering information on competitor activities and consumers. You’ll need to collect data on different products, including how they’re priced and how well-liked they are. Having this information enables you to identify market trends and how you can fit into them.  A better understanding of the market allows companies to identify their strengths and weaknesses. This greater self-awareness can also help you identify market opportunities and potential pitfalls. Competitor analysis can give you a good idea of how you match up against rival companies within your niche market.    Other terms encompassed by (but often confused with) marketing intelligence include: Market research: used to collect data on a target audience Business intelligence:  gathering information on the […]

Marketing automation allows for a marketing team or individual to amplify their work to thousands of people. With the right people, these tools can give well-crafted campaigns a scale otherwise impossible. With such huge ROI and use-case potential, staying up-to-date is vital. First, we cover the hottest marketing statistics in the following categories: Market Scope Marketing Automation Success Why Use Marketing Automation? Barriers to Marketing Automation Adoption What do Marketers think about Marketing Automation? How is Marketing Automation being used? And then we discuss some of the most important trends in marketing automation: Marketing Automation is Becoming Personal Marketing Automation is Getting Crowded Data-Driven Marketing Automation Top 24 Statistics for Marketing Automation Market Scope The global marketing automation market is projected to reach $14.18 billion in 2030. (Research and Markets 2021) 56% of companies are currently using marketing automation. (mailmonday 2022) 40% of B2B companies plan to adopt marketing automation tools. (mailmonday 2022) Of all those who weren’t using marketing automation, 26% said they were looking to in the next year. Marketing Automation Success 80% of marketing automation users saw an increase in the number of leads using marketing automation software. (Invesp 2021) 77% of marketing automation users saw an […]

Marketing to and connecting with consumers on social media networks is an almost mandatory practice for eCommerce platforms. Shoppers need to know you exist and social media posts are one of the cheapest ways to do so. Another equally important motivation is that customers want businesses to respond when they message them or tag them, or form a hashtag around them.  You will miss a lot about your own company if you’re not careful. Implementing a social media marketing strategy will be significantly easier if you can access free social media management platforms and free content creation tools.  We discuss some very innovative applications to streamline your workflow and personalize your brand’s communications. What is Social Media Marketing? Social Media Marketing (SMM) is where small businesses, enterprise marketing teams, or marketing agencies post branded content and ads on social networks. It requires extensive research, creativity, engaging graphics, and maintaining an active presence on social media platforms.  SMM can generate organic traffic so you don’t always have to run ads on social media platforms. Ads aren’t the only expense that can be saved, content creation, social media management of campaigns, and everyday communications can be very expensive when using agencies of […]

The ace in the hole for many small business owners could be social media marketing. You can increase your brand awareness and website traffic all while connecting with consumers. Social channels are some of the most important spaces to be because that’s where consumers spend most of their free time. How do you get started and where do you even begin? We’re going to explore some of the most asked questions about social media marketing and its costs. What is Social Media Marketing? Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a multi-step practice of communicating with consumers, posting branded content, and advertising on social networks. It requires plenty of research, creativity, content creation, and maintaining an active presence on social media platforms.  It can be an incredibly expensive endure depending on what your team plans to do. One way to save money is to create your own accounts, graphics, and run them yourself.  For a professional appearance while saving time you can use ad agencies or freelancers. Agencies or freelancers can handle managing, creating, and promoting your brand for you. Many also provide valuable social media consulting services. If you’re worried about SMM costs, we’re going to break down the different factors […]