Giles House, CMO, CallidusCloud: Tips for marketing tech buyers
In the latest in our series of articles where IT leaders provide their take on the purchasing process, CallidusCloud CMO Giles House shares his tips for those looking to buy marketing tools.
MyC. What do practitioners need to consider before they start looking for sales/marketing solutions, to determine their requirements?
GH. Most of the time, they’re motivated by a pain point – and solving that pain point is clearly an initial consideration. But they also need to think bigger than today’s problems and envision what they would like to see in their sales and marketing software environment. It’s important that they do some research in to what’s possible and then consider how the new capabilities technology provides for sales and marketing can benefit their organisations.
Buyers need to think bigger than today’s problems.
MyC. What kinds of questions should they ask themselves?
GH. How big a company are they? What is the nature of sales and marketing’s relationship within the company? Does sales have visibility into the lead generation and management process, and does marketing have visibility into the sales process? Are there sales and marketing behaviors they want to change to meet emerging needs, such as those being created by the subscription economy? Can they afford to continue forecasting sales by guesses or gut feelings rather than apply some analytical power to the process?
MyC. How can buyers convince the CFO that investment in this kind of technology is a wise decision?
GH. The advent of predictive analytics applied to historical sales data to create accurate, data-driven forecasts ought to convince many CFOs of technology’s value. There’s also a plethora of data that shows how much sales and marketing misalignment costs businesses. For example, according to IDC, poor sales-marketing alignment at B2B companies costs $100 million a year at “the typical” $1 billion firm. The numbers support the decision to invest in sales and marketing technology that makes sales and marketing more effective and at the same time drives greater alignment.
MyC. Are there any particular challenges in the sales/marketing software market that buyers need to be aware of?
GH. Be cautious when someone tries to sell you a point solution and asserts it’ll solve all your problems. In most cases, it may make one part of your sales or marketing process more efficient but expose deficiencies elsewhere in the organisation. For example, if you bring in marketing automation that starts delivering a bumper crop of leads, you may find that sales lacks the tools to evaluate and work them all. The point solution approach also puts a burden on IT to integrate disparate systems and keep up with updates that may break those integrations.
Be cautious when someone tries to sell you a point solution and asserts it’ll solve all your problems.
MyC. Once practitioners are at the solution selection stage, what advice can you share to help buyers find the most appropriate vendor for their needs?
GH. Find a vendor who has a realistic view of sales and marketing technology. That means the vendor recognises the interrelated nature of every stage of the sales and marketing process, and approaches the technology with a realisation that sales and marketing are ultimately a very human set of processes, and so technology must be flexible and able to accommodate changes in sales processes. And look for technology that can be analysed to provide data and intelligence into sales, not just provide tactical solutions to today’s problems.
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Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 15 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined Sift Media in 2007.