How Salesforce Acquiring ExactTarget Will Change the Face of CRM, Marketing and Sales
Recently, there have been significant shifts in the focus of CRM (customer relationship management) solutions. Looking at industry giants Oracle and Salesforce, there's an increasing focus on creating additional functional uses of CRM products. Traditionally, CRM was the central repository of customer information. CRM companies moved to the cloud as mobile sales forces needed access to data on the go.
CRM now supports a more cohesive operational enterprise. As CRM has grown within the infrastructure of enterprises, it's been adopted beyond sales management to other focuses, including accounting, procurement, human resources, customer service and support. But with the acquisitions of Eloqua by Oracle and ExactTarget by Salesforce, the focus is shifting to the marketing department.
Salesforce's acquisition of ExactTarget has been the hot topic of conversation lately in CRM, marketing and sales circles. Salesforce now has added the ability to support the enterprise with lead generation tools. Marketing teams can use the new tools brought forth by the acquisition of ExactTarget to create leads to funnel to the sales team. However, there's one issue many have failed to discuss until now: What will this acquisition mean for the actual sales professional who is responsible for converting leads into closed deals? The answer, unfortunately, is nothing.
The acquisition of ExactTarget by Salesforce will enhance the marketing campaign features of Salesforce, but leave significant gaps in the sales side of the equation. Lack of tools, specifically for digital selling within Salesforce, has resulted in sales professionals spending priceless hours entering data into a system instead of communicating with prospects. While Salesforce offers many unique and beneficial tools for marketing and sales management, a successful sales organization needs modern tools not found in Salesforce to effectively function in today's competitive sales environment. Marketing to prospects is an essential business function but, unless sales professionals are armed with sales tools to support them, the marketing efforts will go to waste.