2 Key Speakers from the Bpm'online Conference

2 Key Speakers from the Bpm'online Conference

Part Two of Bpm’online Conference Recap

 Bpm’online’s global conference title, “Accelerate Time-to-Strategy Execution,” refers to the importance of respecting customers’ time and closing gaps in their business processes. It consists of two days of sessions and workshops from various bpm’online executives, guest speakers from companies like Forrester Research and ISM Inc., and bpm’online customers and partners. Topics ranged from customer relationships to new technologies to customer case studies. Today, we’re going to hit the highlights from two of our favorite speakers: Kate Leggett and Barton Goldenberg.

Kate Leggett: How Modern CRM Drives Engagement, Relationships And Revenue

Kate Leggett, VP and Principal Analyst of Forrester Research, presented a lecture titled, “How Modern CRM Drives Engagement, Relationships And Revenue.” After establishing that good customer experiences drive business, Leggett dove into the ways CRMs can engage customers and ways people are struggling to use CRMs to this end. Customers are willing to pay a premium for a good customer experience, and companies are clearly very serious about implementing these new technologies, with CRM expenditures growing from around $24B in 2015 to a projected $32B in 2017.

Leggett argued that CRM systems are often purchased for the wrong reasons. According to Leggett, CRMs provide:

  • Better customer visibility
  • Better pipeline management
  • More efficient service
  • Better campaign targeting
  • Better management reporting

Yet, CRMs are sold:

  • As a list of features and functions
  • To better support an organization silo

In reality, CRMs are meant to enhance your business processes and customer relationships—the key word being “enhance.” You can’t expect to purchase a CRM and have all your issues disappear. You still need to provide the strategy that makes the most of the CRM’s tools.

To build an effective strategy, Leggett focused on three aspects of the customer experience: ease, effectiveness, and emotion. Below, we’ll hit a few highlights in each category.


Now, more than ever, people are relying on quick and easy self-service to get what they want. Leggett provided three eye-opening stats that emphasize the way B2B buyers value an efficient online experience:

Show consumers that you value their time by perfecting their online experiences.


Effectiveness relies on your ability to personalize interactions based upon your understanding of your customer’s profile, situation, and future needs. Think about the big picture of your customer’s situation, so you can anticipate all of their needs—perhaps even ones you can’t remedy yourself.

In this vain, Leggett gave the example of Uber and United Airlines teaming up to fulfill their customers’ needs. United recognized its passengers’ needs in getting to and from their airports, which is where Uber comes in. Inside their mobile app, United offers Uber transportation services. This not only helps Uber attract more customers, but keeps travelers in the United app for more of their trip.


People often rely on their emotional reactions more than anything else when making important decisions. With today’s superior marketing automation tools, not only can marketers create personalized purchasing journeys for customers, but customers expect it. Customers care about the quality of the buying journey they experience, and there are plenty of tools out there to help you achieve it.

Technology exists to help you engage better by giving real-time feedback on the customer’s state-of-mind and how they are feeling emotionally about their interaction with you. Proactively and personally addressing their needs, perhaps even before they know they exist, is the future of customer interaction. And you can’t do any of that without a highly capable and fully implemented CRM system.

The bottom line is that good customer experiences are good for business.

Barton Goldenberg: Accelerating Digital Transformation

Barton Goldenberg’s talk on “Accelerating Digital Transformation” focused on leveraging CRM tools to better understand your customers. He defined “CRM” as “a business approach that integrates people, process, and technology to maximize relationships with all customers.” He went on to say that CRMs are increasingly leveraging digital tools like the Internet and social media to provide a seamless collaboration between all customer-facing functions. Goldenberg has done a lot of work in this arena, focusing much of his time on the “social CRM.”

The Social CRM

The emerging social CRM presents a more holistic view of customers by including social media data in customer profiles. This also includes private social media communities. Unlike public ones (e.g. Facebook, Twitter), private social media communities invite targeted customer groups to the space to communicate about common interests or pose questions/concerns to the company.

For example, a camera company may have a private social media community for photographers to discuss topics like which products they trust with peers who share their interests. This way, the industry discussions are occurring in the space the company created, and the company can listen to their customers likes and dislikes to discern need.

If you’re interested in diving deeper into the strategy behind social CRM, Goldenberg wrote a book on it, aptly titled, “The Definitive Guide to Social CRM.”

While the social CRM and other new technologies excite marketers, Goldenberg stressed the importance of considering the user and the process over technology.

People and Process Over Technology

A main point of Goldenberg’s talk at the bpm’online conference was to ensure you consider people and process before diving into the latest technologies.

By this, he means to say that though we like to pin our success on having the latest technologies, ultimate success or failure is determined by user adoption. Ensuring your users are prepared to encounter a new technology and understand how to use it is far more important than the new technology itself. No matter how efficient a new technology may be, if users don’t understand how to use it and why they should, it’s not going to help your company. I can’t think of a better way to explain it than this Parks and Recreation clip:


When the people of Pawnee, Indiana took to a nonsensical dislike of Fluoride in their water, the brilliant Leslie Knope introduced it as “T-Dazzle” to keep the people on her side.

Basically, people hate change and they love to complain, so make things as simple and easy-to-understand as possible.

That concludes our recap of bpm’online’s global conference. What do you think of Leggett’s and Goldenberg’s ideas? Let us know in the comments section!

If you missed Part One of our conference recap, where we discussed exactly who bpm'online is and why we love them, check it out, here.

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