Showing posts from February, 2011

Boost Sales 10% with an Investment in Sales Enablement? IDC Says Absolutely!

As the economy recovers, many organizations are turning their strategic focus from cutting costs towards growing revenue, however, most organizations continue to struggle to hit growth targets.

A recent IDC Sales Advisory Practice article indicates that a part of the growth issue is B2B companies' inability to get sales enablement "in gear", costing typical companies upwards of 10% or more of revenue per year. For example, this 10% sales enablement challenge is a $100 M incremental revenue opportunity for a $1B company.

Cost drivers of this continued misstep in strategy include:

1) More Leads to Make Same Sales: a poorly performing lead pipeline requiring 2,000 to 5,000+ contacts at the front of the pipeline to yield 1 closed deal over a 17 month average buying cycle. (i.e., for BtoB, large revenue deals, from marketing through to sales);

2) Lack of Value: An inability for sales reps to engage their clients in a strongly desired dialogue by buyers to solve their greate…

Updated Alinean Social Media ROI Calculator - New Graphics and Refined Research

We've just updated the Alinean Social Media ROI Calculator with some hot new graphics, and refined value quantification research and analytics.
The Social Media Value Map (below) clearly shows the way value can be derived from social media engagements through to ROI.

The new analytics include refinements to investment requirements and benefits as a result of pilot feedback (thanks for all your input!).
The Social Media ROI Calculator and related ROI research / articles and best practices can be found at:

Gartner CIO Study Highlights Need for Outcome-Based Technology Sales & Marketing Strategies

Gartner's latest CIO study, "Reimagining IT: The 2011 CIO Agenda" highlights several important trends that will have significant impact on technology marketing and sales enablement into 2011 and beyond.

The results are based on survey responses from 2,014 CIOs worldwide, supported by interviews by Gartner analysts with leading CIOs, highlighting the following important trends:

Busted Budgets - IT budgets are expected to increase by just 1% in 2011 over 2010 spending levels, with IT budgets not achieve their 2008 highs for 3 years, until 2014.

Growth Gains Priority – the business strategy for CIOs is migrating from streamlining business processes and reducing enterprise costs to increasing enterprise growth and retaining new customers.

Value Focused – As CIOs seek to meet business goals, one of two issues standing in their way is benefits realization, the ability to achieve planned business benefits from each IT project, and the ability to measure and prove this achievement…

Estimate the Benefits of Windows 7 Professional

The Windows 7 marketing team created the Windows 7 Professional for Small Business micro-site to help guide decision makers on the process, costs and business case for upgrading to Windows 7.

For this campaign, Alinean developed an ROI Calculator to Estimate the Benefits of Windows 7 Professional. With only a few inputs the tool uses extensive case study and proprietary research to estimate benefits, investments and calculate potential ROI. The tool is used by hundreds of prospects each month to raise priority and justify the upgrade to frugal executives.

The campaign can be found at:
Click on the Estimate ROI in middle of page for access to the Alinean tool.

Social Media ROI a Requirement for 2011

With social media spending continuing to increase this year, CMOs are being tasked to justify the investment. This is indicated vividly in a new report from Bazaarvoice, a poll of 175 B2C and B2B CMOs across various industries, with 74% of CMOs predicting they will finally tie social efforts to hard ROI in 2011.

Although CMOs will continue to track soft metrics such as popularity and engagement levels, tangible measures are rising dramatically to enable the calculation of realized ROI from social media. Rising dramatically for 2011 is the quantification of conversion and revenue as a result of social media efforts.

The majority of CMOs still don’t know what the ROI is of their social media efforts, with the majority of respondents indicating that they were not getting an ROI or did not know the ROI from various campaigns and channels.

Facebook seems to have the most favorable ROI ratings so far, with 35% indicating superior or average ROI, but with so many not knowing for sure, it’s …

Alinean Research Reveals Best Practices to Fight Frugalnomics

Sales Enablement Investments Required to Engage and Sell to Today's Economic-Buyer

Alinean, presenting at Forrester's Technology Sales Enablement Forum 2011, revealed several important best practices to effectively fight Frugalnomics, improve sales success and reduce sales cycles

These were revealed at the San Fransisco event in the workshop presentation Fighting Frugalnomics – Engaging and Selling to Economic-Focused Buyers presented by CEO Jefre Futch and Alinean customer, ShoreTel’s Mark Arman, Vice President of Business Development.

With two recessions over the past 10 years, research reveals that B2B buyers have become focused on quantifiable bottom-line proof points. And this trend is expected to continue even as the recovery takes hold. The reign of the economic-buyer is called Frugalnomics, where buyers require significant ROI, fast payback and superior value from each purchase.

In the face of frugal buyer sentiment, a majority of B2B vendors are now requiring more le…

Alinean Powers Diagnostic Assessment Tool: the Sage Pacer Survey

In the current climate of cost management and strategic spending (Frugalnomics), organizations need to get some idea of where they stand compared to others in their industry. Knowing where business processes rank can enable organizations to locate and leverage areas of strength and remediate weak processes.

The Sage Pacer Survey can help businesses asses their current state of the business, how the existing business processes impacts the ability to meet changing business conditions, and what the business sees on the near horizon. Responses to these questions are then compared against the average responses of a similar industry, revenue and employee-sized peer groups. These benchmark comparisons provide insight into how other organizations see their processes in light of current economic conditions, and how this compares to the businesses' responses.

This tool is used in demand-generation campaigns to help engage executives, diagnose opportunities and drive further engagements by s…

CFOs Take More Control: Frugalnomics in Full Effect

According to a new Accenture study of 1,054 senior finance executives, in the wake of the recession, more chief financial officers (CFOs) are expanding their role beyond finance.

This includes more CFO involvement in key decision making, including helping to set business strategy, deciding where to invest capital and even looking at product mix and go-to-market strategies.

Over the past 18 months, the survey results indicate that CFOs have assumed significant additional responsibilities for several key groups, including: information technology (43%), human resources (39%), production (38%), customer service (37%), and even marketing / sales (33%).

According to the Wall Street Journal report on the study, Finance Chiefs Expand Role, several CFOs confirm the trend, and highlight how proving the ROI on proposals is more important than ever, for example:
Terry Lillis, chief financial officer at Principal Financial Group Inc. says there's more back and forth with different departments …