Category: Featured news

4 Things You Didn’t Know About Salesforce Users

10Featured news, Latest news November, 17

What makes a Salesforce user different from someone who uses, say, Pipedrive or Nimble? Just like an iPhone user tends to be different than an Android user, it’s common knowledge that someone who uses Salesforce tends to work at a larger or more mature organization than those that don’t. In fact, they’re 5 times more likely to have a marketing team and 10 times more likely to have a customer support team. But did you know that they also tend to check their CRM more frequently and have a more confident outlook on their future?

New data paints a distinct picture of Salesforce users. Cien’s Global Study on the Future of Sales controls for factors such as company size, industry, and role, and reveals stark differences between Salesforce users and Microsoft Dynamics or Hubspot CRM users. Here are four that stood out.

#1: Salesforce users are more bullish on AI

Sales professionals that use Salesforce tend to be more relaxed about their future than those who don’t, particularly in regards to the impact of artificial intelligence on their jobs. From the respondents of Cien’s global study, Salesforce users were half as likely to believe AI will put them out of work within the next ten years.

Salesforce’s launch of Einstein last year may have contributed to this perception among its user base, however, this only partially explains why they appear more bullish about AI since other CRM vendors such Base or Zoho also offer artificial intelligence capabilities.

Impact of AI

#2: Salesforce users enjoy greater visibility

Few sales professionals would dispute that CRM can be a double-edged sword, making their jobs easier or more difficult depending on how it is used. An overwhelming majority of sales professionals surveyed said what they enjoyed the most about their CRM is its ability to give their manager or fellow team members greater visibility on their activity and pipeline. However, once you take into account other factors such as team size or rank, Salesforce users are clearly more satisfied with the quantity and quality of visibility their CRM provides them than those who don’t use Salesforce.

#3: Salesforce users are more confident in their CRM skills

In terms of describing their CRM expertise, Salesforce users don’t appear to be of the most modest kind. 85% of the respondents who used Salesforce saw themselves as having an intermediate or advanced level of CRM mastery. This is 16 percentage points more than users of other CRM systems. In fact, only 15% of Salesforce users considered themselves beginners or unfamiliar with CRM systems, while the number jumped to 28% for non Salesforce users.

#4: Salesforce users are obsessed with real time data and productivity

Although CRM usage varies greatly depending on your job function or your organization’s sales model, Salesforce users typically check their CRMs more frequently than others. Of the B2B sales professionals surveyed, more than 54% of Salesforce users checked their CRM every couple of hours or more, an 18% difference compared to non Salesforce users. In addition, a whopping 71% of Salesforce users said improving productivity was their biggest concern for 2017.

The take away – the tools you use say a lot about you

It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: sales professionals have access to more data than ever before. While some may struggle to cope with the sheer volume of data generated by their CRM system, it appears clear that whether your team uses Salesforce or not has a direct impact on how you work and ultimately how you perform as a sales professional.

About the Study – This study was conducted by Cien, makers of the AI-powered sales productivity app. Respondents were polled between June 1st, 2017 and July 1st, 2017. The full version of the study is available at: Global Study

Introducing the Cien Value Chain

00Featured news, Latest news, Press Releases November, 17

New Approach to AI Helps B2B Teams Address Sales Productivity Traps

Miami, FL & Barcelona, Spain, November 15th, 2017

Cien, the artificial intelligence company that helps sales teams improve their productivity, announces the general availability of the Cien Value Chain and the accompanying publication of its Guide to Solving Sales Productivity Traps.

The Cien Value Chain is a new approach to sales productivity that combines artificial intelligence with a unique methodology focused on measuring the quality of a firm’s pipeline and people factors.Cien Value Chain
For example, the Cien Value Chain allows sales teams to see the underlying value of their leads and opportunities and ensure the right deals get assigned to the sales professionals with the most appropriate skills to close them.

Using AI, Cien’s app distinguishes the incremental value created by a firm’s marketing, prospecting and selling teams. The information is vital for sales leaders seeking to align their team’s activities with the distinctive characteristics of the deals in their pipeline.

In addition, Cien’s AI technology controls for other factors that influence sales and productivity, such as team mood, seasonality, buying cycles and external market forces.

Cien's Guide to Solving Sales Productivity Traps offers a step-by-step approach to improving sales effectiveness.

Cien’s Guide to Solving Sales Productivity Traps offers a step-by-step approach to improving sales effectiveness.

Accompanying the launch is the publication of Cien’s Guide to Solving Sales Productivity Traps, a step-by-step approach for unlocking immediate value and B2B sales productivity.

“The early adopters of the Cien Value Chain have been quick to address the sales productivity traps that were weighing down on their performance,” explains Rob Käll, Cien’s CEO.

By allocating their resources based on the quality of their pipeline and the effectiveness of their sales professionals, firms can now identify new pockets of growth that were previously invisible to the human eye.

Studies show that by simply increasing a sales team’s productivity by two to five percentage points, companies who adopt Cien’s AI-powered app generate an average return on investment of more than 1000%.

For a copy of the guide and more information on the the Cien Value Chain, visit:

About Cien

Cien gives sales leaders the power of artificial intelligence and prescriptive analytics to increase the productivity of their teams. The app takes into account human and behavioral elements to detect problems and predict outcomes. Cien’s app is currently available for customers. To request an invitation, visit

Cien Co-Founder Margot Carter to Speak at EY Strategic Growth Forum®

00Featured news, Latest news, Press Releases November, 17

Cien co-founder and business builder Margot Carter will present at EY’s annual Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, California on Friday, November 17, as part of a session entitled “What’s next for boards,” where she and other seasoned directors will cover the way corporate boards identify,  prioritize and address disruptive market forces.

EY Strategic Growth Forum is an annual invitation-only conference that brings together more than 2,000 of the nation’s top CEOs, entrepreneurs and investors to discuss strategies for accelerating and sustaining growth. This year’s theme is “How do you get to next before next gets to you?”

The event also celebrates the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Program, which recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

Since 1986, EY has celebrated entrepreneurial excellence by honoring those whose ingenuity, spirit of innovation, and discipline have propelled their companies’ success, invigorated their industries, and benefited their communities. These men and women have created the products, services and jobs that help our economy and communities grow, while also encouraging others to follow their lead. In 2017, the 261 regional winners employed more than 230,000 people and had job growth of 20 percent. They also generated revenue of more than $52 billion this year, with revenue growth increasing more than 33 percent.

Notable speakers at the EY Strategic Growth Forum include Robert F. Smith, Founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners; Robert K. Kraft, Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group; and 15-time NBA All Star Player, Shaquille O’Neal.

Visit EY’s Strategic Growth Forum for more information.

About Margot Carter

Margot Carter to discuss how corporate boards address disruptive market forces on Friday, November 17.

Margot Carter to discuss how corporate boards address disruptive market forces on Friday, November 17.

Margot Carter is a business builder. Whether in the field of technology, construction or real estate, Margot leads boards and teams from Dallas to Barcelona and places in between. She has served as an award winning C-Suite Executive & Chief Legal Officer for global public companies, acquired and sold hundreds of businesses and taken numerous companies public, most recently RealPage, Inc. (Nasdaq:RP), a leading provider of software and data analytics to the real estate industry. She currently serves on Boards, including Installed Building Products (NYSE:IBP), Eagle Materials  (NYSE:EXP) and Freeman Company, the world’s largest brand experience business.  Margot received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and her B.A. from Binghamton University. She studied finance at the Cox Business School at Southern Methodist University and attended the Directors College at Stanford University.  Margot serves on the executive committee of NACD North Texas. She loves speaking around the country and spending time with her family in Dallas, TX and New York, NY.  View LinkedIn profile

About Cien

Cien gives sales leaders an edge by using the power of artificial intelligence to increase the productivity of their teams. The app takes into account human and behavioral elements to detect problems and predict outcomes, giving sales leaders the visibility and control they need to measure the real added value of their teams. Cien’s app is currently available for preview to select customers. To request an invitation, visit

About EY’s Growth Markets Network

EY’s worldwide Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of high-growth companies. For more than 30 years, we’ve helped many of the world’s most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early stage, venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business succeed. For more information, please visit us at or follow news on Twitter @EY_Growth.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit

Cien Featured on Sales Hacker

70Featured news, Latest news September, 17

What B2B Sales Professionals Really Think About Artificial Intelligence

b2b sales artificial intelligence survey

It’s no secret that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to change the way we sales professionals work. Sales, as both a function and a profession, is no exception to the AI sea change. The real question isn’t whether sales teams will adopt AI, but how and to what extent.

As a sales professional, it was easy to realize that AI was the future, which led to me joining Cien, a Barcelona based company at the confluence of AI and Sales.

This summer, the team at Cien surveyed B2B sales professionals around the world and compiled their views in a study on the future of sales and AI.

TL;DR: Artificial Intelligence in Sales is an Opportunity, Not a Threat

prepare future sales artificial intelligence

The study’s main conclusion is that, regardless of whether you’re a team leader or not, sales professionals overwhelming see Artificial Intelligence as an opportunity, not a threat.

The introduction of AI is expected to trigger greater levels of automation for sales reps and improve visibility for sales leaders.

In this post I’ll be sharing how B2B sales professionals’ perceptions of AI are vastly different depending on the size of the company they work for, the type of technology they use, or the position they hold on the team.

AI Will Make Sales Easier

sales prospecting automation

We’ve all heard doomsday predictions explaining how AI powered chatbots meant the end of many customer facing professions, and there are plenty of reasons to believe so.

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, nearly half a sales person’s time is spent on activities that can be automated with technology.

However, Cien’s study suggests that sales professionals do not see AI as a threat to their jobs.

88% of sales professionals we surveyed believe AI will make their jobs easier, while only 6% felt that AI will make their jobs harder or put them out of work altogether.

Interestingly, sales professionals surveyed seem to share the same confident attitude towards AI regardless of rank, gender, or age.

The Bigger Your Employer, The More Threatened You Feel By AI

close sales deal when prospects go dark

While an overwhelming majority of B2B sales professionals seem to welcome introducing AIbased technology into their workplace, we noted big differences in their perception when taking into account their rank and the technologies they use.

For instance, sales professionals who work at companies with more than 250 sales people are three times more likely to think that AI will put them out of work in ten years’ time.

To me, it’s unclear whether this is because sales professionals in large companies perform more repetitive tasks or whether they expect larger companies to use AI differently than smaller ones.

Cien Sales Professionals' views on AI.png

The Future is Bright for Salesforce Users

Another interesting data point that emerged from the survey is that sales professionals that use Salesforce tend to be more relaxed about their future with regards to AI. When controlling for factors such as company size, age, and rank, Salesforce users are half as likely to think that AI will put them out of work.

Cien Salesforce Users' views on AI.png

Sales leaders are more likely to see AI as a source of added complexity.

While both leaders and reps actually believe AI will make their jobs easier, the leaders tend to have a different view on AI. 

31% of sales leaders see AI as a source of added complexity – a significantly higher rate than sales reps.  

Cien Sales Leaders' and Sales Reps' views on AI.png

It’s All About Maximizing Productivity

Whether AI is seen as a time saver, personal coach, or crystal ball, AI is expected to have a positive impact on team productivity and effectiveness. 

66% of respondents identified sales productivity as offering the biggest upside for improving the quality of their jobsamong Salesforce users, this number jumped to 71%.

Key Takeaways

In summary, the B2B Sales community’s attitude towards AI appears to be shifting towards one of greater acceptance. More than a threat, an overwhelming majority of sales professionals see AI as an opportunity for improved effectiveness and higher productivity.

88% of sales professionals believe AI will make their jobs easier within the next 10 years.

Sales teams that don’t run on Salesforce are twice as likely to believe AI will put them out of work.

Sales leaders are more likely than sales reps to view AI as a source of added complexity.

About the study

This study was conducted by Cien, makers of the AI-powered sales productivity app.

Respondents were polled between June 1st, 2017 and July 1st, 2017. The full version of the study is available at:

About the author


Ethan Muñoz is a Sales Executive at Cien, a new Artificial Intelligence startup focused on helping teams increase their sales productivity. Based out of Barcelona, Spain, he advocates a personalized, creative and data-driven approach to sales development. Connect with Ethan on LinkedIn and Twitter.



You can find the original version of this article on Sales Hacker’s B2B Sales Blog.


Cien Publishes Study on AI and B2B Sales

70Featured news, Latest news, Press ReleasesTags: , , , , September, 17

Global responses suggest a significant shift in sales leaders’ priorities for 2017-2018

global study

Miami, FL & Barcelona, Spain, September 5th, 2017 // General Distribution //

Cien, the artificial intelligence company that helps sales teams improve their productivity, announces the publication of its Global Study on the Future of Sales, an analysis of B2B sales professionals and their attitudes towards artificial intelligence.

The study, based on an extensive survey of B2B sales professionals between June 1st 2017 and July 1st 2017, provides new insight on how AI is set to impact the sales profession.  While leaders are 31% more likely than reps to view AI as an added source of complexity, millennials and® users tend to be more relaxed about how AI will impact their future.

Cien’s global study also suggests a shift in sales leaders’ priorities, from accurate reporting and CRM adoption to measuring productivity and sales effectiveness.  66% of respondents identified sales productivity improvements as their biggest concern for 2017-2018, ahead of better forecasting or greater automation.

“AI is poised to help B2B Sales Team find the low hanging fruit which can drastically improve their Sales Productivity.” says Rob Käll, Cien’s CEO.

Participants of the study also highlighted empathy and product knowledge as the two most important skills required for a successful sales career in an AI powered world.

“Our research suggests that sales leaders are actively looking at implementing AI to outsmart their competitors,” says Damien Acheson, Cien’s Head of Marketing.  “With the rise of AI based platforms like Salesforce Einstein® and IBM Watson®, an increasing number of data-driven companies are applying deep learning techniques across their customer touch points to improve their customer acquisition metrics.”

For free access to the complete results of the study, visit


About Cien
Cien gives sales leaders an edge by using the power of artificial intelligence to increase the productivity of their teams. The app takes into account human and behavioral elements to detect problems and predict outcomes. Cien’s app is currently available for preview to select customers.

To request an invitation, visit Names Cien Customer Hero

60Featured news, Latest news, Press ReleasesTags: May, 17

Cien launches study on artificial intelligence and the future of sales.

Miami, FL & Barcelona, Spain, May 25th, 2017 // General Distribution //

Cien, the artificial intelligence startup that helps companies predict and improve their sales productivity, has been named “Customer Hero” by Every year recognizes customers whose innovative technology and implementations have made them heroes to the people with whom they work.

Cien was showcased at Salesforce’s Essentials event in Madrid, Spain. Rob Käll, Cien’s CEO, addressed an audience comprised of sales, marketing, and customer success professionals on the way artificial intelligence was set to disrupt their sales organizations.

Cien’s sales productivity app leverages a number of functionalities from the Salesforce platform. Ben Strum, Cien’s CTO, says, “We partner with all types of technology companies. In Salesforce we see a great collaborator for long term growth. The depth and breadth of Salesforce’s offering is truly impressive, particularly for AI-first companies like Cien.”

Cien is working with early adopters of its technology in Spain and the US to incorporate their thinking in the design and development of its sales productivity app. The company has launched a global study on artificial intelligence and the future of B2B sales to validate its initial product choices. “We are engaging sales leaders around the world to quantify their level of confidence in their CRM data and their willingness to trust recommendations from an AI-powered decision engine,” explains Damien Acheson, Cien’s Head of Marketing. For early access to the results, interested sales leaders and sales enablement professionals are invited to participate in a short survey:

About Cien
Cien gives sales leaders an edge by using the power of artificial intelligence to increase the productivity of their teams. The app takes into account human and behavioral elements to detect problems and predict outcomes, giving sales leaders the visibility and control they need to measure the real added value of their teams. Cien’s app is currently available for preview to select customers. To request an invitation, visit

3 Ways Sales Managers Can Use AI to Increase Sales Effectiveness – Huffington Post

00Featured news, Latest news May, 17

increase sales effectiveness cien

Computers are rising.

That’s not a doomsday prediction, by the way. In 2011, Gartner predicted that by 2020, 85 percent of all customer interactions with the enterprise won’t involve another human. Employees are following suit. Today’s artificial intelligence software is capable of helping employees from both a people standpoint and a hard data standpoint, marrying culture with productivity. Challenges, like absorbing data points and navigating cognitive bias, give way before AI, allowing you to get more done and increase sales effectiveness.

Rob Käll believes that AI can also solve one of the greatest challenges to sales: motivation. “Productivity goes down as you grow your sales team,” Käll says. “As you grow, it’s hard to keep the passion.” Transforming observation into action, Käll created Cien, an app that helps sales teams use AI to fix productivity, improve motivation, and increase sales effectiveness. I had the chance to speak with Käll and get his take on what creates a successful sales team. Here are three factors.

Factor #1: Leads

It would be great if quantity equaled quality, but five minutes looking through leads will remind you otherwise. According to Gleanster Research, only 25 percent of all leads are legitimate and deserve further attention. That means you first have to slog through 75 percent (the haystack) to find the valuables (the needle) if you want any kind of sales effectiveness. Only horses should spend so much time sifting through hay; your employees have better things to do.

With Cien, one of Käll’s goals was to make sorting leads quick and painless. There are some indicators of a good lead that AI can look out for. For example, if a lead has all the traits and behaviors of a successful customer, mark that lead as hot. You can see how valuable is it to you and how much work would be involved in closing it into an actual customer. “AI bots and other AI solutions will better prequalify inbound leads and assist with customer retention,” says Forbes Agency Council member Loren Baker. “Chatbots and messenger bots can lead the lead or concerned user down a path that lets the sales team know exactly what they need from a lead [qualification] perspective.”

Factor #2: People

AI does not remove people from the process; it empowers them to use the process better. A good AI system should tell the employee which leads and opportunities are worth chasing. It can also offer personalized advice (based on research and group experience) on how to improve performance by focusing on specific trouble areas, such as timeliness and follow-up. The employee can also use the AI for daily reminders and lead prioritization, then measure their own performance against team members in the same system.

 With AI, you can get to know your employees in ways that a company party just doesn’t facilitate. That’s because AI is primarily useful for monitoring and evaluating. Use AI to measure your team’s success and sales effectiveness, then compare that with logged actions and behaviors that will need to be enforced or corrected (e.g. marketing, inside sales, outside sales, team mood, pricing, etc.). Käll has used his AI to understand those employee character traits that are harder to quantify, like “experience in the industry, product knowledge and industry knowledge, work ethic, and ability to close deals.”

Factor #3: Macro

When you go for a jog, you can’t just dress or plan according to the temperature of your home. As soon as you leave your front door, the conditions change—if it’s raining outside and you haven’t planned accordingly, your jog will be a disaster. Sales work the same way: you can’t plan them based solely on conditions within your company. You need to keep the macro factors in mind. Investopedia defines a macro factor as one that is “pertinent to a broad economy at the regional or national level and affects a large population rather than a few select individuals.” That can mean economic growth, competition, sports results, seasonality, etc.—basically anything outside of your control.

Käll designed Cien to work like a Fitbit for your business: his app gauges a business’s health daily and helps clients plan according to their economic environments. You need to keep the big, macro factors in mind when closing your sales, and AI makes it possible to plan for these factors by recording the macro factors that either help or hurt your business and proposing the actions that have succeeded in the past.

Combining these factors with AI, you’ll find that you can start predicting and calculating things you never could before. Your sales effectiveness can’t help but improve. “How do you incorporate human behavior into a quantitative model?” Käll asks. “There are plenty of learning algorithms out there, but very few take human behavior into account. That’s what sales professionals like about Cien. We give them the ability to see and understand how and why they achieve their goals.”

Read original article in The Huffington Post. This article first appeared on the Blog.

Cien to Present at Event

40Featured news, Latest news, Press ReleasesTags: May, 17

Cien an AI powered mobile app can deliver as much as 1,000% ROI by improving Sales Productivity

Miami, FL & Barcelona, Spain, Jan. 30th, 2017 // General Distribution // 

Cien, Inc. a company based in Miami, Florida just announced a $1 Million Seed financing round, from seasoned accredited investors and the founding team. “We are thrilled by the reception our AI enabled mobile Sales Productivity app has received from both the business and investor communities.” said Rob Käll, CEO and Co-founder.

The current boom in Artificial Intelligence (AI) has captured a lot of attention, but it is not all about self-driving cars, and flying robot drones. There is a tremendous upside for businesses to use AI to further automate and improve their operations. Research firm Tractica estimates that the market for AI enabled systems will be over $36 billion by 2025. Cien, Inc. is part of this new revolution. “The old saying was that ‘Software is eating the world.’ Now we are saying that AI is eating traditional software.” according to the Cien team.

Co-founder Margot Carter who also sits on multiple public and private company boards added, “Virtually all forward-thinking companies are discussing how to use AI to gain a competitive edge. Cien offers an easy solution where it matters the most; in improving Sales Productivity.”

Optimizing Sales Productivity is the easiest way to make any company grow faster and more profitably. However, until now, many things that affect productivity; like team mood, macro factors such as competition and the quality of leads have been intangible and impossible to measure.

Jerome Rose, VP of Sales at a multinational IT services firm said, “The revolutionary tools that Cien offers executives, helps them identify areas of improvement within their sales team and helps them report meaningful metrics to their executive leadership team and investors.  Cien’s mantra: ‘Measure what Matters’ means that things that previously were just gut feelings can now be incorporated into our management strategies.”

“People are talking a lot about Predictive Analytics, the ability for AI enabled tools to see into the future, but to be truly useful you also want Prescriptive Analytics, i.e. what you should do next with this information. Ben Strum, CTO and Co-founder said. “That’s what our new ‘Cien Mentor’ feature delivers. When you act on these insights you can get ROI of over 1,000%”, Rob Käll added.

The company which was founded in mid-2016, plans to use the fundraising proceeds to expand their sales and marketing efforts, and set up a product development and operations center in Barcelona, Spain. “We chose Barcelona because of the excellent balance of quality of life and cost of living, which attracts world-class talent from all over the world. The current strong US dollar also makes this a very attractive economic proposition,” Rob Käll said. The round closed in late 2016 and Stanley ‘Stash’ Jacobs of Greenberg Traurig represented the company. For more information, go to

Rob Käll
+1 305 496 4404

Cien is hiring!

50Featured newsTags: , January, 17

cien is hiringCien, Inc. is a Silicon Valley style startup in the heart of sunny Barcelona! We are well-funded and work with one of the most exciting technologies available today: Artificial Intelligence! Our product, the Cien App, makes sales people much more productive by “Measuring What Matters”. We use the concepts of Predictive & Prescriptive Analytics to produce real ROI!

We are looking for A-players to our fast-growing team. Watch the video and find out more: