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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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Requiem for the Money You Lost by Not Having a CPQ Solution

by Chris Bucholtz
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The trends are pretty clear: deals are becoming more complex, not simpler. Blame the customer, if you must, but customers no longer have to settle for products that are not exact fits for their requirements. The demanding customer – especially in B2B selling – is a fact of life. But you can also blame business in general. In an effort to satisfy the modern customer, companies are introducing more products, more options in how they’re sold, and more opportunities for customers to buy custom-made products and specialized services. The result, for a lot of companies, especially in manufacturing, high-tech, telecommunications, [...]

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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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Enterprise-Grade Security for Your Cloud Part 1: 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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