The digital sales funnel, that runs from the social networks, via the company website (and marketing tools such as Hubspot and Pardot) through to the CRM (see Salesforce below) and finally into Invoicing software, is maturing.
Salesforce are moving their efforts in to web marketing. Hubspot are moving into CRM. Though the CRM's are massively bigger (Salesforce at $44Bn) than their Web marketing competitors (Hubspot at $2.2Bn) an almighty fight is on our hands!
CRM was once little more than a database of client interactions that a sales rep kept on their hard drive in various stages of decay. Full of cryptic notes and out-dated contacts, it was the epitome of the term GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). Today, CRM is at the core of a customer-centric world. Earlier this year a story emerged from within the financial press that cloud-based CRM pioneer Salesforce was on the block. The asking price, according to reports, was $US44 billion. Among the rumoured suitors: Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Google, IBM and Amazon.