Category: Latest 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: https://www.cien.ai/solving-sales-productivity-traps

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 Salesforce.com customers. To request an invitation, visit www.cien.ai

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 Salesforce.com customers. To request an invitation, visit www.cien.ai.

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 ey.com/sgm 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 ey.com.

Martech Interview Series – A Q&A with Rob Käll

70Latest newsTags: , October, 17

An interview with Rob Käll, CEO and Co-Founder, Cien as part of the Martech Interview Series.

On Marketing Technology

MTS: Tell us a little bit about Cien.ai. What inspired you to start a sales productivity platform?
I am the CEO and co-founder of Cien Inc. We came up with the idea for Cien after scaling several previous startups. We would quickly grow sales teams from 1 to 100 reps and noticed that sales productivity would decline as you added more sales executives. It didn’t matter what caliber of sales rep you hired, or how you onboarded them or what tools they’d use: it’s as if sales teams were governed by an invisible law of diseconomies of scale. We wanted to figure out if the problem of declining sales productivity was a People, Lead, or Macro issue. It turns out that it is all three. Artificial Intelligence can help you pinpoint the low hanging fruit in your sales processes and address them. My business partner Ben Strum had a background in Machine Learning and we were keen on creating an “AI-first” company. Our 3rd cofounder Margot Carter has taken several companies public and sits on multiple corporate boards. She validated that these problems are frequent topics in the boardroom, since sales productivity is directly correlated to cost-effective growth and profitability.

MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
AI of course! Just like the PC, the Web and Mobile, Artificial Intelligence is a massive technology wave. I’m convinced that in 5 years all business software will have AI components and people will use AI to make better decisions. This will have a massive impact on productivity, but will also cause some rapid changes in the work force. The people who will be most successful are the ones that work well with AI and offer complimentary skills such as creativity, EQ, and quantitative thinking.

martech interview series with Rob Kall CEO of CienMTS: What’s the biggest challenge for startups to integrate AI/ML into their marketing/sales stack?
Specifically for startups, the challenge may be a lack of prior data. This is what’s called the “cold start” problem. At its core, AI is a pattern recognition technology. If you don’t have a lot of historical data, some patterns may be harder to detect. Cien is solving that problem, since in our models, we can match your current situation to similar situations experienced by similar companies and give you the benefit of their experience. Anonymously! of course!

MTS: Salesforce recently named Cien as a customer hero. Could you tell us how this came about and what this means for Cien as a company?
I have used Salesforce.com in several of my previous startups and we made a decision early on to focus our product and go-to-market strategy on Salesforce users. We have been fortunate to get a lot of support from Salesforce and we hope to return the favor by showcasing how fast-growing startups like Cien can run a big part of their businesses on Salesforce.

MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
When I am in the early stages of a new startup I have found that your best move is to be “heads down” and work on your product and how it solves your customers’ problems. That said, I really like the online survey company Typeform.com here in Barcelona. They are doing something really cool and useful that we use almost every day at Cien.

MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
We are running most of our business on Salesforce, so we use Pardot for marketing automation. The sales team uses Sales Cloud and we also use Service Cloud to manage onboarding and support of our customers. We use a number of customer intelligence and data enrichment tools that make it easier for us to build relationships with other companies. Of course, we use the Cien App to guide our marketing and sales efforts to determine our playbooks and guide our activities.

MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)
I can’t tell you all the details but suffice it to say that at Cien we’re always on the lookout for leads with great fit. We figured out a way to automatically detect who those were, what was top of mind for them and how to engage them in a way that helped us break through the martech noise using the Cien App and various marketing automation tools.

MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a sales and marketing leader?
Start with the end in mind. What is it that really matters to win in your market. What is it that your customers look for in you? What does your team need to succeed? And then ask yourself: is data my company’s core competency? If it isn’t, then work with your legal team to figure out what your data policy is. Then develop your hypothesis around how you think your sales and marketing environment works. Now you can start testing those hypotheses. Some of them will be right and some may be wrong. What you need to figure out at any given time is where your changes have the most impact. An app like Cien can help you with that.

This Is How I Work

MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
Passion.

MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Boring alert: I use Outlook, Word and Excel all day. And I use Salesforce and Cien to make sure our sales & marketing team are performing at an optimal level.

MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
I read the book  “Losing my Virginity” by Richard Branson where he talks about always making lists of what you want to get done, and adopted that habit many years ago. It has served me well. Thanks Richard!

Cien CEO Rob Kall with cofounders Ben Strum and Margot Carter

Cien CEO Rob Käll with cofounders Ben Strum and Margot Carter

MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
I have always loved reading, but after running startups for the last 15 years and raising a family, I found that I was unable to sit down and read books at home. Five years ago I started developing the habit of listening to audiobooks when I commute or exercise. I am able to read around 30 non-fiction books a year as a consequence. Three of my recent favorites are: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Juval Harari, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Learning by Robert Pool & Anders Ericsson and Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard Thaler.

MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t always follow other people’s advice… Advice is only useful if the person giving it truly understands the details of your situation and have relevant experience from a very similar scenario. Learning from people’s experiences through reading and conversation can be super helpful though.

MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I set my mind on something and stick to it… Also because I have had a lot of different roles in tech companies I can often see things from multiple angles. That has helped me a lot while doing deals.

MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Marc Benioff

MTS: Thank you Rob! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

About Rob Käll

Rob is an accomplished entrepreneur with 3 Successful MM exits in 10 Years. He is a versatile leader that has served as Startup CEO, Corporate Exec and Technical Founder, who is able to solve Technical, Business & Operational Problems at both Macro and Micro Level.

About Cien

Cien gives sales leaders an immediate edge by using the power of artificial intelligence to increase the productivity of their teams. The mobile app automatically detects problems, predicts outcomes and recommends the shortest path to success. Contact us if you are interested in joining an A+ team, want to improve your current sales productivity, or partner with a next generation enterprise software company.

You can find the original version of this article on The Martech Interview Series Blog.

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: www.cien.ai/study-future-of-sales-and-ai/

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 Salesforce.com® 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 https://www.cien.ai/study-future-of-sales-and-ai/

 

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 Salesforce.com customers.

To request an invitation, visit www.cien.ai/preview.

 

Cien Receives Sales Software Awards for its Sales Productivity App

00Latest news August, 17

Cien has recently been acknowledged by FinancesOnline.com, a B2B software directory, with two sales software awards for 2017: the 2017 Rising Star Award and the 2017 Great User Experience Award for top sales software.

Cien a sales productivity app for high performing sales teams – goes beyond automating the capture of activity data or lead scoring. The app, which looks and behaves more like a fitness tracker for sales teams rather than a traditional business analytics tool, can calculate the optimal balance between inside and outside sales reps or measure the intangible, human factors that impact sales, feeding sales teams with personalized suggestions on the actions that help a team reach its goals.   

sales software awards

The reviewers, impressed by Cien’s ability to analyze sales data to uncover trends and patterns with incredible precision, also included the app in their list of most popular sales tools for 2017.

 

Salesforce.com 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 Salesforce.com. Every year Salesforce.com 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: www.cien.ai/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 Salesforce.com customers. To request an invitation, visit www.cien.ai/preview.