Editor’s note: While Michael Fauscette is a well-known expert in the software, tech, and digital space, he has a well-rounded resume that includes professional speaking, blogging, photography, and writing. He is a technology industry analyst with over 20 years of experience and is responsible for helping software and services buyers use the needed insights and data in the G2 marketplace.
Currently, Michael is the Chief Research Officer at G2, a board member of LocatorX, and an advisory board member of CxOTalk. He has also held executive roles with seven software vendors including Autodesk, Inc. and PeopleSoft, Inc.
We had a great opportunity to talk with Michael Fauscette and find out a lot of interesting facts about business developments and CRM implementation.
Trujay: Michael, you are the chief research officer at G2. What is the idea of creating this platform, what is it for, and how do business owners benefit from it?
Michael: G2 is an online platform that helps businesses find, buy, and use the best software for their specific business challenges. The platform captures real user feedback on over 100,000 B2B software products in over 1900 categories. The data is then served up in various selection tools, including over 5,000 quarterly comparison market reports. In addition to the core G2 platform, we provide a research hub that contains research provided by the G2 Research analyst team (research.g2.com) and a SaaS product called G2 Track (track.g2.com) that helps companies manage their ongoing use and spending on SaaS tools.
Trujay: In your opinion, is client interaction important for business success? Why?
Michael: Client interaction is essential for growing a healthy business. This is even more true today in our new world of social distancing, remote work, and the absence of face to face interaction. Client interaction helps build and maintain trust with the business, a key element in a healthy and successful relationship. Online trust can be more fragile than in-person trust and requires more focus and intentional action by the business.
Trujay: You spent ten years as an executive and senior analyst. Please tell our readers how important CRM solutions are to business development.
Michael: Actually I’ve spent more than 25 years as an executive in software companies and leading analyst teams at IDC and now at G2. One thing that has always been true is that the business needs to have a complete picture of the customer. This sounds simple but in practice, it isn’t. It involves creating a custom data model and solution that integrates many disparate systems. CRM solutions are the core of the systems that contain and manage customer data, which makes them an essential system for managing and growing a healthy business.
Trujay: We’ve seen companies develop marketing and sales strategies but pay less attention to customer service. Can CRM solutions improve the quality of the customer experience? How?
Michael: More and more businesses are realizing that customer service is a critical part of marketing. Customer advocacy is the key to long term business success and is created and maintained by providing an ongoing positive experience. Providing that positive experience is tied to knowing that customers (complete customer data) in every interaction and in every location, online and offline. The CRM system is the aggregator of this data and can help facilitate the positive experience as a part of an overall customer experience strategy.
Trujay: You are a published author, blogger, and speaker. Can you advise our readers on blogs and/or books worth reading and conferences worth attending?
Michael: For events, I think we have to wait a bit to see how our current situation plays out. I think we’re going to be “attending” online virtual events for the foreseeable future. There are a number of blogs that can provide good insight into CX strategy and tech in general. I’d include:
-Paul Greenberg’s ZDNet blog – https://www.zdnet.com/meet-the-team/us/paul-greenberg/ and his latest book “The Commonwealth of Self Interest” https://www.amazon.com/Commonwealth-Self-Interest-Business-Engagement-ebook/dp/B07Q2DVYPZ/ref=nodl_
-the G2 research site: research.g2.com
-for small business CRM Brent Leary on Small Business Trends: https://smallbiztrends.com/author/bleary
-Enterprise Irregulars: https://www.enterpriseirregulars.com
-A new blog I just launched thefacelesseconomy.com – it relates to a book I’m working on that discusses digital transformation in the time of the civil crisis and beyond.
-Two of my favorite general management books, “Team of Teams” https://www.amazon.com/Team-Teams-Rules-Engagement-Complex/dp/1591847486/ref=nodl_ and “The 15 Commitments of Conscience Leadership” https://www.amazon.com/15-Commitments-Conscious-Leadership-Sustainable/dp/0990976904/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0_nodl?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1519194969&sr=8-1
Trujay: What are your assumptions on the future of the CRM market and business software ecosystem as a whole?
Michael: This is somewhat oversimplified but basically I believe that our current crisis is forcing companies to adopt digital transformation in a more complete way that will create lasting change in businesses. From a customer perspective then, it means that companies must adapt to doing business online and using new digital technologies like cloud computing platforms, Internet of things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) as core components of an overall digital business strategy.
If you want to find the latest trends, information on the CRM market, you can follow Michael Fauscette on Linkedin.