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The Slow Revolution: Matching Human Change to the Speed of Technology

by Chris Bucholtz
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When you’re in the enterprise software business, you look at the way business works through a certain prism. That prism reduces interactions into transactions, simplifies discussions into data, and describes processes in its programming. Enterprise software creates a digital metaphor for real-world activities. By simplifying business interactions to a basic level, it allows them to be transacted, analyzed and evaluated faster. That speed allows areas for improvement to be identified rapidly and permits flexible organizations to make changes to become constantly better. Speed is great. It’s a major competitive advantage. But is your organization culturally and organizationally prepared to handle [...]

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Why Sales Should Get Excited About Marketing Automation

by Vinod Choudhary
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Sales Should Get Excited About Marketing Automation

How does your sales team respond when they hear about an investment in marketing technology? They may be cautious but hopeful – it could result in more leads. They may be skeptical – if marketing isn’t delivering the leads they’re supposed to, why are they getting new goodies? They may be utterly disinterested – if past technology has not moved the needle on leads, why will this new investment be any different? And you can’t blame them for any of those responses. After all, most marketing technology has been added in such a way that actually reinforces misalignment. Most marketing [...]

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Beyond Commission: Sales Behaviors You Can Drive Through Compensation

by Leslie Stretch
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I love motorcycles – not just riding them, but understanding how they are engineered and how they work. If you’re anything like me, that fascination has led you to do some maintenance or even repair work yourself. And if you’ve ever turned a wrench or tightened a bolt, the first time you worked on it probably included an awkward period of learning. Hopefully, you had a mentor who could help you as you fumbled through your early attempts to scale the learning curve. At some point, that mentor probably saw you using a tool for the exact wrong thing. Your [...]

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Replacing the cold call: Driving Results with Marketing Automation and event-based calling

by Doug Erb
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(Editor’s note: Doug Erb is the founder of Lanshore and an in-the-trenches marketing automation consultant. He’s seen the way marketing automation can pay off when it’s combined with a little imagination and a well though-out process. Like most sales or marketing technology it doesn’t replace humans in the selling process – it just allows them to do what humans do best better. Here’s Doug to explain a bit more.) I recently read all about how the cold call is dead and how unsolicited calling is futile. Although I believe there has never been a truer statement, we need to dissect [...]

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Four Good Reasons That Sales Should Get Excited About Marketing Automation

by Chris Bucholtz
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It used to be that the CMO perpetually had his head on the chopping block while the executive running sales had a little more confidence in his or her tenure with a company. Now, fast-forward 10 years, and the tables have turned: the average tenure of CMOs is 60 months, according to Forrester, but now the average lifespan of a sales leader is between 24 and 32 months, says SellingPower Magazine. What’s changed? In the past, sales leaders have been able to justify their existence with revenue numbers, while CMOs had to speak in broad, aspirational terms with few metrics [...]

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Sales and Marketing: the Numbers that Show How They Feel About Each

by Chris Bucholtz
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Sales and Marketing Alignment

The stereotypes about the sales and marketing relationship are so well entrenched that both sides almost embrace them, and even laugh about them. Sales is demanding, marketing is flighty; sales is intense, while marketing is creative. When it comes to working together, the two sides clash: Marketing hands leads over to sales, who can’t convert many of them and concludes that marketing is incompetent. Meanwhile, marketing sees sales closing few deals and concludes that the problem is that sales can’t sell. Both sides think the other is the problem, and the cycle continues. In reality, there’s more nuance involved; the [...]

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Marketing: are Your Leads Giving Sales a Treasure Map or Sending Them on a Goose Chase?

by Erika Alexander
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If you’re in marketing, you have certainly heard it. If you’re in sales, you may have said it yourself! “We need more leads!” But is this what sales really means? A study CallidusCloud recently conducted suggests it’s not. We polled over 200 sales and marketing professionals about a range of topics, including a question asking, “what is the biggest hindrance to your organization’s ability to sell?” Almost 40 percent cited issues with leads – but there was a split between sales and marketing. Quantity and quality were the issue. Both sides favored quantity over quality, but marketing leaned far more [...]

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Analytics are great, but they’ll never be as useful as asking customers

by Dave Jackson
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In his autobiography, Mark Twain said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” If commenting on business life today, Twain may well have said, “There are lies, damned lies, statistics and analytics!” Analytics, particularly the predictive variety, is oft presented as the new panacea: the cure-all for companies as they seek to understand their customers and improve sales. There is no doubt that 2015 will see the analytics and big data train continue to roar down the track at an increasing rate. All that investment can’t be wrong, can it? There is another camp that argues [...]

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Five Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Marketing Automation Solution

by Chris Bucholtz
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Five years ago, marketing automation was a wild, untamed market, with 70 or more vendors battling not just for customers but also for the right to define what a marketing automation application was. What did it do? Who was it for? How deeply should it integrate? On-premise or cloud? This battle produced winners and losers. The winners are the companies that survived the inevitable consolidation of the market and who remain as names in the marketing automation space. The losers are, too often, customers who made the wrong bet and wound up with a marketing automation solution that doesn’t quite [...]

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Five Technologies Your Company Will Come to Depend on in 2015

by Chris Bucholtz
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As the year comes to an end, those of us in the technology sector are bombarded with predictions. In many cases, they serve primarily to demonstrate how poorly people are able to guess what the future holds. Where’s my flying car, already? But, for those immersed in a specific market or a technology, prognostications are somewhat more precise. In many cases, the technological or strategic breakthrough has already been made. That means the prediction is not about the invention of something, but rather about the readiness of users to adopt and benefit from that invention. So, informed by our immersion [...]

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