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Bpm’online CEO And Co-Founder, Katherine Kostereva, On What It Takes To Be Top 10 CRM Provider

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* – This article has been archived and is no longer updated by our editorial team –

Every company has its own drive. Bpm’online is inspired to create the best-of-breed technologies for process-driven CRM, which has propelled the company to where it is now. More than fourteen years ago, Katherine Kostereva, CEO and managing partner at bpm’online, started the company as a small startup with only 5 people on board. Today, it’s a global software company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts with several offices around the world, over 7,000 customers and more than 7500 dedicated employees working on bringing the technology of tomorrow into today’s market. Bpm’online has been widely recognized by key industry analysts, receiving multiple awards, including being named as a ‘Leader’ in The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites For Midsize Organizations, Q4 2016 evaluation.

The report noted that “bpm’online aims to standardize omnichannel customer engagement by delivering intelligent experiences across the sales, marketing, and service journeys. Bpm’online has excellent support for role-based sales processes, solid marketing and customer service capabilities, and fair field service and eCommerce capabilities. It delivers this on a single, unified platform with engaging user experiences that customers rave about. These capabilities are infused with very strong process management to standardize guided selling and customer service workflows. Predictive decisioning optimizes product offers, next best steps for marketing campaigns, opportunity management, and customer service processes.”

We sat down with Katherine Kostereva to talk about CRM trends, what it takes to be ranked among the world’s top 10 most significant CRM solutions and how bpm’online defines their place in the ever-evolving CRM landscape.

Katerina-KosterevaQ: What is the strategy and approach that helped bpm’online to be ranked among the top 10 most significant CRM solution suites?

Kostereva: In a last couple of years we’ve seen a tremendous change at how companies regard CRM technologies. Not too long ago, industry experts were reporting that 70-75% of all CRM initiatives failed. That was yesterday. While CRM implementation results still leave a lot to be desired, it is amazing what can happen when organizations go from taking CRM as an ad hoc “because I said so” operation to treating it as a formally constructed corporate initiative. This is somewhat of a new development as vendors themselves have come to understand that CRM as a technology is not only about numbers and figures,but must promote both the overall business strategy as well assupport the corporate ITroadmap. Today, the balance between art and science is leaning greatly toward true artistry that ensures innovation centered around customer experience across all company touch points.

We, at bpm’online are creating a state of art process-driven CRM and I believe this approach helps us to stay ahead of the game. Many CRM experts predict deeper alignment between marketing, sales and customer service. Data consolidation and transparency between departments translates into better customer support through their end-to-end engagement journey. On one hand, the large growth in mobile and social platforms across industries triggers dramatic change in consumer behavior so new approaches to managing customer-facing processes are needed. On the other, while implementing CRM initiatives, companies are leveraging ROI metrics such as sales people performance, decreased sales cycle, lessened service resolutions times and so forth. We are closely monitoring both: the trends and the needs, continuously evolving our products to help our customers to manage the entire customer journey from lead generation to order, to ongoing account maintenance with the best possible CRM ROI. As a result, bpm’online offers products for marketing, sales and service automation seamlessly integrated on one platform, whichaid companies in delivering a consistent customer experience at every point of customer interaction making us both visible and appealingin the modern CRM market.

forrester wave

As part of its comprehensive research, Forrester evaluated the 11 most significant customer relationship management suite vendors across 36 criteria and rated each vendor in three major categories: Current offering, Strategy and Market presence. The evaluation in the Forrester Wave looked at the product strength of each vendor in the framework of CRM capabilities: sales force automation (SFA), marketing automation, customer service, field service, eCommerce, business intelligence, and platform and architecture. Bpm’online being named a ‘Leader’ in CRM is a great achievement and underscores our commitment to creating best-of-breed technologies for marketing, sales and service automation and validates that we are heading in the right direction.

Q: Katherine, you have lived and breathed CRM for nearly two decades, so what would you say is the most powerful trend, and which drives CRM change?

Kostereva: Historically, the main trends that have driven change in CRM were cloud, social, mobile and big data technology. Recently, a other factors have been catapulted to the top of grouping – artifical intelligence (AI), machinelearning, as well as the internet of things, where sensors connecting things to the Internet create new services previously unknown. We took a survey during our Panel discussion at ‘ACCEKERATE’, a multi-day event for business and technology professionals held in Boston in May. We asked our audience pretty much the same question and the response was split almost evenly between AI and Internet of Things as being the most powerful trends. With the large growth in AI across industries and the data exchange evolution, the voting results are hardly surprising.

bpm’online Networking Day held this April in Boston

– Katherine Kostereva on stage at ‘ACCELERATE’ in Boston, MA –

Personally, I agree with the experts who predict, that the artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things are the trends to watch because it is dramatically transforming the automotive, construction, healthcare and hospitality industries, among many others. The sales, marketing and customer service departments that promote, sell and support these new services, will be at the forefront of this shift. These trends will push us, software developers, to think harder and come up with new ideas for our products so we can accommodate the ever-changing business needs. In that respect, we are already catching the wave, enhancing functionalities like intelligent data enrichment, natural language processing, social network integrations, customer portal, intelligent knowledge management and other features to our products that help our clients serve their customers through new service and sales channels capturing new leads and intelligence data on prospects and customers.

Q: In the eyes of CEO Katherine Kostereva, how does bpm’online see its place in the ever-evolving CRM landscape?

Kostereva: In the recent years, the CRM market underwent significant changes. In the last five years alone, the market for enterprise organizations has consolidated while many new point solution vendors staked aclaimin the CRM space. In my opinion, in order to maintain market share while influencing others, vendors haveto quickly react to changes in customer behavior while staying true to their mission and values.

Innovation is part of our routine at bpm’online. We analyze each customer request and find ways to introduce positive new ideas. In fact, it’s one of our business values that we firmly stand upon. Of course, we keep a keen eye on industry’s best practices and trends, creatingtechnologies that bring maximum business value to our customers. To satisfy customers’ demands for ready-to-use solutions we are offering out-of-the-box processes for marketing, sales and service, which outlinethe best course of action to be taken across marketing campaigns, opportunity management and customer service. This helps to build excellent customer relationships at every point in the customer journey hence deliveringan outstanding omnichannel customer experience.With out-of-the-box best practice processes; a single platform for marketing,salesand service automation; and an engaging interface that allows for quick user adoption and higher usability rates, being our key values and differentiators, we have clear advantages over competition and are constantly evolving to expand our market share and serve our customers better.

Last Updated on May 19, 2018

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