Awards

Topping CB Insights’ AI 100 and reframing the CRM

We are super jazzed to be included in CB Insights’ AI 100, an annual ranking of the top 100 AI startups on the planet. For context, companies that made the list were selected from a pool of 5000 startups. So yeah, NBD.

The status of AI in the 6ix

Though 65% of the list was made up of AI startups from the U.S., eight Canadian companies were represented, half of which hailed from our hometown of Toronto. All of this to say that Canada has become a global leader in artificial intelligence and the 6ix is a big part of that. So, big props to the other companies representing, with applications ranging from personalized learning to model development across a number of key industries.

CB Insights’ methodology is backed by a rigorous, data-driven selection process. They assess a startup’s R&D strength and direction, company health, partnerships and client-vendor relationships, tech demand, and news trends, among others.

The future of customer relationship management

We’re excited to be recognized in the Sales and CRM applications category, which included only two other businesses this year: Zhuiyi Technology, a Chinese company that develops a chatbot; and Cresta, a U.S. company that empowers frontline staff with recommendations to improve conversions for sales teams.

What we’re trying to do here at Integrate is a little bit different.

To get to the bottom of that, let’s take a look at what CRMs are, exactly. Salesforce lays out a simple, but comprehensive definition.

 

“Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.”

— Salesforce.com

 

In the words of Larry David, sounds prettay prettay good, right? At the end of the day, companies of every size rely on strong business relationships to succeed. While the definition above works, what we see IRL doesn’t. CRMs can be so much more than a record of your customer and the engagements you’ve shared (not to throw any shade).

The spirit of CRM is about building relationships and making them stronger at every customer touchpoint. Not only does good customer relationship management help you get more customers, it also helps you keep them. And that’s loyalty. In a world where your buyers have a wealth of options, customer loyalty is a rare commodity. But it’s also fundamental to any businesses’ long-term success. Just look at Apple.

Our vision

Which brings us to what we’re trying to do for our customers today—make sure the definition of CRM and the software people are using actually matches up. If you’re wondering what that looks like and how AI figures into the equation, read on, my friend. Read on.

Imagine your marketing function could effectively arbitrate between generating profits and satisfying your customers’ needs without making tradeoffs. Instead of time-based marketing campaigns that need to hit a certain subset of your audience and that take plenty of time to plan and execute, imagine if you could run always-on initiatives. They could constantly serve customer microsegments and free up resources for your team to bridge stronger relationships with other customers and find new ways of serving them. Now, imagine if your revenue function started operating like a human. Imagine if you could serve relevant offers without prying into your customers’ personal lives and extracting their personal information. Imagine if engagements were organic and dynamic, that you could give customers what they want, when they want it. In our mind, this is what customer relationship management is all about. And that’s where we’re headed.

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