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The Case for a Lead-Qualification Team

by Chris Bucholtz
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Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the blog of LeadFormix, part of the family of CallidusCloud’s companies. It was penned by Tim Duranleau with considerable help from Poornima Mohandas, and everything they argued earlier this year is true today – perhaps even more so. As businesses struggle to wring productivity from their sales teams, two objectives make a lead qualification team ever more important. First, sales needs to spend more time selling – engaging in the work they’re best at doing and which puts more revenue in the company’s account (and in their pockets). Second, it’s critical that sales [...]

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The Best Security for Your Cloud Part 1: Unique Multi-tenancy and Defense in Depth

by Vinod Choudhary
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Businesses large and small can now reap the benefits of cloud computing, including the availability of core business applications via the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. But while the benefits of such a model are great, so is the perception of risks. Security concerns for the application delivery environment in a SaaS model are the same as many of the concerns for other application delivery models. Where we really start to see a difference in the SaaS model in terms of security practices is around multi-tenancy, identity management, data storage and location, and data transmission and flow controls. If you work with [...]

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Blockbuster C3 Shows there’s a Hunger to Understand the B2B Customer Experience

by Giles House
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We’ve been talking a lot about the customer experience and how it’s evolving in B2B buying and selling. Apparently, we’re not the only ones thinking about it. At Monday’s C3 event in London, an enormous audience (three times the size of last year’s C3 Europe event) came out to hear CallidusCloud’s take on how customer experience fit into the Lead to Money process – and they also came with plenty of questions and some strong points of view. For too long, businesses confined their view of the customer experience in B2B as something that support handled – the customer had [...]

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Speed is of the Essence: Why a Frictionless Selling Process Means More Channel Revenue

by Chris Bucholtz
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Here’s an amazing statistic: nearly 70 percent of all sales are made through an indirect channel – a reseller, VAR, distributor, consultant or some other permutation of seller that is not the original vendor. That number is increasing, too – for example, the rate of indirect sales in technology increased from 53 percent in 1997 to 67 percent in 2007, according to Accenture. There are many reasons for this: a need to match selling skills to local markets, a desire to expand sales reach without inflating head count, and the realization that solutions often require multiple products from multiple vendors. [...]

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Does Your Sales Team Understand How Your Lead Scoring Works?

by Chris Bucholtz
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Lead scoring is a mercilessly logical way of evaluating leads. By assigning point values to activities and timelines, it allows marketing departments to evaluate the readiness of every lead in its system to buy automatically –cold-bloodedly, even. Every company uses a different point scale and values different events and behaviors differently, but lead scoring systems have one thing in common: they all seek to use technology and mathematics to automate the very human process of evaluating the needs and desires of customers. And the technology and math works. According to Marketing Sherpa, on average, organizations that currently use lead scoring [...]

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Churn and Customer Experience: Keeping Customers – and Employees – Loyal

by Chris Bucholtz
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You’re probably well aware of the concept of the customer experience, at least in the context of its value in generating revenue for your company. If the buyer’s experience with your company is good, he’s more likely to become a customer; if the customer’s experience is good, he’s more likely to be a customer for a longer time and spend more money with you. Investing in a good customer experience – and the tools to understand that experience and how the customer feels about it – is money well spent. But it’s not only well spent because it’s adding to [...]

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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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