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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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Marketing in 2015: Personalized and Verticalized

by Giles House
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It’s frustrating to look back at predictions made in years past about marketing. They’re often right on the nose about what’s needed to better reach customers and drive more results, so accuracy isn’t the issue. It’s the fact that these ideas often take so long to be implemented and to displace older ideas and ways of doing things. Take personalization as an example. The idea has been around for years – tailor your marketing message to the individual (or, at least, your best understanding of the individual). Really making them fit the individual requires attention and a commitment to the [...]

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Why Contract Lifecycle Management is so Important in the Subscription Economy

by Chris Bucholtz
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Starting about six years ago, there was an explosion in the subscription billing industry. Almost three dozen companies sprang up to cater to the billing needs of businesses who sell to their customers through subscriptions, led by Zuora and including names like Recurly, Tract and Fusebill, each taking aim on a particular segment of the market. The existence of these vendors is a trailing indicator of something bug: the way people and businesses are paying for things is changing. No longer are customers obligated to throw all their money on the table and buy everything up front; instead, they can [...]

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Four Secrets to the Killer Sales Value Prop

by Chris Bucholtz
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Editor’s note: today’s post is guest written by TOPO’s Bryan Gonzalez. It’s a timely topic: in research that CallidusCloud has just completed (and which we’re currently creating an analysis of), we discovered that both sales and marketing people said the biggest hindrance to sales was not lead quality, lead quantity or time consumed creating proposals (although those were major hindrances). By a wide margin, the number-one hindrance to sales was hard-to-understand value propositions and buyer messaging (33 percent overall, 34.62 percent for marketing and 31.63 percent for sales). The ability to articulate what you’re selling, and to make that description [...]

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Six Signs That You’re Ready for a CPQ Solution

by Chris Bucholtz
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Adding technology to your selling process is not an exercise that should be taken lightly. We’ve all seen examples of software deployments that went awry because the timing wasn’t right, especially in the area of CRM. Responsible businesses read the signs and act when the time is right – doing otherwise can mean lost opportunities (if too late) or lost investment (if done too early). Configure Price Quote (CPQ) is a good example of this. Not every business needs CPQ – it’s found a comfortable niche among businesses of a certain size in the area of industrial equipment manufacturing – [...]

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Enterprise-Grade Security for Your Cloud Part 2: Information Security and Data Protection

by Vinod Choudhary
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In my last blog, “Enterprise-Grade Security for Your Cloud Part 1: Defense in Depth,” I discussed how CallidusCloud uses a “defense-in-depth approach” to secure your data in the cloud. Today, I’d like to continue that discussion specifically around the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model and how CallidusCloud addresses some security issues that typically arise for companies exploring the use of SaaS applications. In cloud computing solutions, information security and data protection issues are intensely debated and examined, far more critically than on-premise solutions. This is because organizations are afraid they will lose control of their data once it moves to the cloud. [...]

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