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In a Sales 2.0 World. You Need Learning to Keep Sales Relevant

by Chris Bucholtz
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New sales hires take an average of 10 months to become fully productive, according to CSO Insights. Because they’re just starting the learning curve, that tends to be where they get the most attention from learning organization – they must be brought up to speed, after all. But the learning trend for sales is a bit troubling after that. In many cases, once a sales rep is deemed ready and trained, they’re cut loose from training and sent out on their own. The image of the baby bird being force to fly by being pushed from the nest might come [...]

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How Poor Territory Planning Banishes Leads to No (Sales) Man’s Land

by Chris Bucholtz
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Many sales managers live in a state of willful ignorance about territory management – or, rather, they live in a state of over-inflated confidence in their ability to allocate territories to their sales reps in a way that maximizes their results. After all, what is a territory but an arbitrarily-assigned segment of the market based on geographic borders, or vertical markets, or company size, or any of a myriad of criteria that permit managers to slice and dice their total available market into segments their sales reps can work effectively. The key phrase here is “arbitrarily assigned.” Even in businesses [...]

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Leads’ Labor Lost: the Gruesome Reality of Sales and Marketing Misalignment

by Chris Bucholtz
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We’re in the middle of conducting a survey about sales and marketing sentiment – what do sales people and marketers think about processes and people and technology. It’s a fairly short survey – if you’re in sales and marketing, we’d be very pleased if you’d spend a couple of minutes taking it. We’ll write a report about the findings and send it to you when the survey reaches its conclusion. Part of the idea behind the survey was to track how sales and marketing alignment is evolving and changing. The hope is that when we repeat the survey – and [...]

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In the Wake of Wave: How Technology Can Help – and Hurt – Sales and Marketing Alignment

by Chris Bucholtz
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It’s hard to leave Dreamforce and not be energized. From the concerts to the keynoters to the sessions, Salesoforce.com does a great job of pumping up its audience – not just with excitement and energy, but with information and inspiration that allows that energy to translate into action once attendees go back to their real jobs. One of the big announcements at Dreamforce was the not-so-secret arrival of Wave, the key component of Salesforce’s Analytics Cloud. Jeff Kaplan of ThinkStrategies penned a cogent analysis of Wave last week, and so Did Denis Pombriant of Beagle Research. Denis took the discussion [...]

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If Your Data is So Great, Why Doesn’t it Confirm My Opinion?

by Chris Bucholtz
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Years ago, when I was a cub reporter, I had an assignment covering the city council of Belmont, California, an upscale suburb just south of the San Francisco Airport – not far from where Dreamforce is being held today. The big debate was about the extension of BART, the regional rapid-transit rail system. On the council were the mayor, a rather officious woman who looked like she had a chronic a sore neck from looking down her nose at people, three other council members who were quite clearly afraid of her, and a young man who was a definite outsider. [...]

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Simplifying Salespeople’s Lives with CPQ

by Chris Bucholtz
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If you’ve been in sales for any amount of time, you’ve encountered the funnel-jammer, that sale that seems to be whizzing through your pipeline only to get stuck somewhere near the end of the deal. It may be because of a process in your company – an approval for a discount, for instance, or your inability to provide a key piece of content to the customer. Whatever it is, it forces your sales reps to stop, backtrack, and chase down the problem. That’s not time spent selling – it’s time spent trying to rescue a sale that’s on the rocks, [...]

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Planned Accidents: Three Tips For Connecting With the Right People at Dreamforce

by Chris Bucholtz
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Dreamforce 2014

The odds are pretty good that, if you deal with sales and marketing and software, you’re going to be rather tired by the end of this week. Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce.com bacchanalian, is in its first day, building toward a crescendo with its keynote from CEO Marc Benioff on Tuesday afternoon and cruising into a day of product keynotes on Wednesday. The speeches are an anchor, and can be very informative (or not so much, depending on Salesforce’s success in developing its vision in the previous year). The sessions are really useful, and Salesforce does a fantastic job of attracting [...]

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Should Salespeople Prospect Anymore?

by Chris Bucholtz
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Editor’s note: I met Ken Thoreson several years ago while hosting a webinar, and his down-to-earth, practical suggestions and approachable way of phrasing discussions were a real breath of fresh air. He’s not one to get caught up in the jargon of sales – not that he lacks the opportunity to indulge. The author of five books, including SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, and a widely-read blog YourSalesManagementGuru, Ken’s approach is to “operationalize” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the “fresh zone” – something that every sales organization needs every once in [...]

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An Evolved Customer Demands an Evolved Lead Management Approach

by Chris Bucholtz
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A little over a half a decade ago, the buzzword “Sales 2.0” began to bandied about, and it soon found itself the title of an influential conference for sales and marketing people. The objectives of Sales 2.0 were defined as: More predictability (knowing what is coming down the pipeline) Higher velocity (closing deals faster and with less cost of sales) Higher volume (closing more deals) Higher value (generating more revenue at lower costs) Higher customer satisfaction (creating and sustaining long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty) Those are all long-standing desires for sales. But none of these things really touches on the [...]

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Share Your Story in a Session at C3 2015

by Chris Bucholtz
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This year, I have the lucky task of recruiting the session speakers for C3, scheduled for May 11-13, 2015 at the Wynn in Las Vegas. There are over 70 slots on the list, which seems like a lot – but, having had similar experiences as sessions chair for another show, the reality is that they can fill up fast. Past experience showed that the secret was to make sure people knew about the show, and they understood how remarkable their stories really were. Successful people are typically not the ones who bellow loudest about their achievements, contrary to what the [...]

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