Thursday, April 10, 2008

Highlights from IDC's Sales & Mktg. Effectiveness Summit

IDC just completed its 4th annual Sales & Mktg. Effectiveness Summit. This was a full day event in NYC that included a great line-up of executive speakers from Careerbuilder, Akamai,, ESPN, American Express and others. Although this certainly won't do the event justice, here are a couple of the "gold nuggets" that I took away from the event:
  • Sales may be the "top scorer" in your company, but marketing most likely has the most "assists". [Mary Delaney, Chief Sales Officer,] Do your sales & marketing teams appreciate the contribution of each group as well as the need to work as a team?
  • "Candor", not "Cancer". [Delaney] That is, honest feedback can either be brought to the right person/team so that something can be done about it - Candor; or it can spread to every other individual in the organization resulting in lack of action and a reduction in efficiency and moral-Cancer. (I believe Mary sourced GE/Jack Welch for this philosophy)
  •'s framework for optimizing "Campaign to Cash": 1) Demand generation; 2) Sales effectiveness; 3) Territory and fit; and 4) Retention/upsell. No doubt this framework requires a combined marketing and sales effort, with a strong focus on data quality and segmentation its markets and subsequent strategy. They are certainly "sipping their own champagne" at (better than "eating their own dog food")
  • American Express has truly leveraged marketing asset management processes and technology(SAVO) to improve their effectiveness. For example: 1) significantly reduced the 10+ hours/week that sales spent on collateral creation and research tasks; and 2) improved usage and engagement measurement by sales of marketing's content and related assets including user and asset-specific metric reporting capabilities(e.g., 3,844 total log-ins and 12,654 document requests in the first month of their MAM roll-out).
  • Akamai has taken some very tactical steps to improve marketing and sales alignment, for example: developed call scripts for inside sales and improved marketing's overall lead generation process to improve prospect qualification; created templates for more rapid response to RFPs; and developed competitive and objection guidelines for sales to help them in the sales process.

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