This morning Salesforce.com announced the much-awaited Data.com brand. This announcement signals the recognition by one of the world’s most important workflow automation (SFA, CRM) vendors that, by itself, workflow automation cannot deliver the full ROI that B2B companies are expecting.
In today’s fast changing “social” world, the success of customer workflows have less to do with automation (the realm of SFA/CRM) and more to do with employee knowledge (the realm of information).
Enter data.com, an information layer on top of automation, to provide the information that customer-facing employees need to be more relevant to customers and prospects, more knowledgeable about the customer’s business and about key events, target accounts and market dynamics. InsideView has been evangelizing the information ROI for the last 5 years, and it’s great to have the validation of a market leader like Salesforce.com.
But data is not enough. It is not enough because raw data (phone numbers, email addresses, names & titles, company revenues and employee counts) doesn’t give us the insights we need to be relevant. It doesn’t help us with conversations starters, understand the key events at that company, what the key decision makers are thinking and saying, or tell us that it’s not a company we should be doing business with because they are running short of cash. That’s the type of intelligence that our users leverage every day to decide whom they should call, and more importantly what they should say. And that intelligence requires powerful analytics and relevance filtering.
The introduction of data.com is a step in the evolution of customer intelligence, and for companies that need more than data, we are excited to continue to be unique in providing the intelligence that makes customer-facing professionals truly productive, for Salesforce.com customers as well as for those who have chosen other CRM platforms.