Interview with CallidusCloud           5/8/2016

Let’s Get Real.

In this series, we interview sales tool providers and get real about the problems they’re solving and why you should care (or not).

This week I interview Giles House, CMO of CallidusCloud.

Nancy: I ask guests to answer the first question using what I call the “You know how…” format. Tell us, what does your solution do?

Giles: You know how companies always talk about getting maximum productivity from sales and marketing? And you know how they try to use point solutions to fix their most pressing problems, but end up with an odd assortment of disconnected systems that cause even more frustration?

That approach not only fails to deliver productivity gains, but it creates new data silos that actually reinforce sales/marketing misalignment. It hides important lead origin data from sales, it conceals the sales process from marketing, and it makes it very hard to deliver great customer experiences. And, ultimately, it costs more to administer while hurting sales results

Nancy: That sounds like a problem worth solving (and a worthy solution). But let’s get real, sales and marketing organizations have a lot of challenges and they have to make choices about which to solve first. Why shouldn’t they continue with things the way they are if they’re getting by? What are the ramifications of not solving the problems you outlined?

Giles: Customers’ expectations are evolving rapidly, and they no longer tolerate selling experiences where any part of the process breaks down. That means they want sales to know about them even before the first meeting and to bring value to their discussions.

It means they don’t want to wait for content and they don’t want to get proposals and quotes in two or three days and they will not tolerate errors in quotes. They don’t want sales contracts to take weeks to deliver, even if they’re tailored to the customer. And you can’t address these issues by using a different solution for each one – that creates delays and blind spots that, again, customers simply will not tolerate.

Nancy: What types of questions should Marketers ask to decide whether solving this problem should be a high priority?

Giles: Marketers should ask themselves several questions; “Do our solutions enable us to partner with sales and allow sales to move as quickly as possible to engage with leads? When sales works those leads, do they have full visibility into those leads’ experiences with the company even before the first call? And are we able to deliver content that is highly personalized and verticalized so that every contact provides value to customers or prospective customers?”

Nancy: What types of questions should sales leaders ask to decide whether solving this problem should be a high priority?

Giles: There are several key questions sellers should ask; “Are there parts of the sales process that slow us down – locating the right content, generating quotes and proposals, creating and completing contracts – because we’re jumping from a software solution to a manual process and then back again? Are salespeople wasting time keeping their own accounting of their commissions because our process involves spreadsheets and manual administration and has resulted in errors in the past?”

They should also ask; “Are our salespeople losing out on revenue because they have no way to hold our product mix in their head, let alone all the up-sell and cross-sell possibilities for each of those products? Are we able to use marketing’s tools to reach out to customers, and are we able to monitor the effects of those contacts on the customer experience? And do we have full visibility into leads, starting with the very first time they contacted our company or were identified as a potential customer?”

Nancy: This question is your choice. What do you want to answer that I didn’t ask?

Giles: “This sounds like an approach that spans multiple stakeholders – sales, marketing and IT, for starters. Doesn’t that introduce some complexity and expense?”

As for expense, no. A suite approach ends up being much less costly than multiple contracts with multiple vendors and multiple integrations, and it’s also more robust once it’s up and running.

As for the human aspect of winning over multiple stakeholders, we’re seeing these leaders coming to similar conclusions independently; they’re all looking for ways to improve visibility, productivity and return on investment, and they’re realizing that can’t happen purely within their narrow areas of operation.

When the conversation is framed around the idea of what we call the Lead to Money Suite – a set of solutions that are connected and deliver visibility and productivity – people understand it immediately, and we’ve seen the number of customers buying multiple products start to spike.

Nancy: What should people do next?

Giles: If these challenges resonate with you, we’d love to help you identify the right solution to improve efficiency and streamline your sales process. Give us a ring at (866) 812-5244 or request a meeting here.

See CallidusCloud solutions in action at Dreamforce 2016. We’ll be in booth 1215. You can even enter to win a Porshe 911.