2017 CEO Predictions Feed

13 CEO Predictions for 2017

IStock_000038306980LargeLynden, WA - - Feb 14, 2017 - - The Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA) has issued a white paper compiling 13 high-tech CEO business predictions for 2017.  SLMA CEO James Obermayer said, “What is so thought-provoking about these predictions is that when they’re read sequentially, very interesting insights and market movements are revealed. Important quotes are highlighted, revealing the thinking of the CEOs, their companies and their industries.” 

The CEO predictions are a response to a request from the Sales Lead Management Association, and were published individually on the Sales Lead Management Today blog under 2017 CEO Predictions.   The complete white paper may be accessed as a PDF here.

The CEOs who participated, in alphabetical order, are:

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2017 Predictions from CallidusCloud CEO Leslie Stretch

Industry Predictions from Leslie Stretch, CEO of CallidusCloud (NASDAQ: CALD)


IStock_000038306980LargeA/I:
Efforts to create a machine learning-based tool to help sales people will speed ahead, but will be met with mixed results because the emphasis will be on the A/I platform rather than the data. Without a rich set of data from a variety of sources, these platforms will offer limited insights of limited effectiveness and will force salespeople to switch back and forth from the A/I platform to traditional computer-based data sources. Until these A/I tools provide context, they may be more trouble than they are worth to the average salesperson.

What Matters

Leslie-Strech-circle"Sales and marketing believe they’re operating efficiently even as the technologies they use – which are often disconnected – continue to re-build data silos and reinforce misalignment. 2017 will be the year when more leading CROs and CMOs start acting more like CIOs by recognizing this trend and taking steps to combat it through greater investment in integration or through the use of better integrated technology stacks."

Leslie Stretch, CEO of CallidusCloud

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2017 Predictions from DemandLab's CEO Rhoan Morgan

2017 CEO Predictions for SLMA from Rhoan Morgan CEO of DemandLab

6a0147e05adc32970b01bb096d0fc1970d-320wi2017 will be the year of customer journey and engagement. But not by the means or teams we traditionally think of. This will be driven by new capabilities born out of our age of digital transformation and it is no longer an aspirational goal for companies – it’s a must do. It’s key to advancing business goals, driving revenue and remaining competitive.

The goal of this initiative is to bring marketing, sales and service together through joint interests in increasing revenue, expanding customer lifetime value and deepening the customer relationship.

Why 2017 will be Different

Rhoan_Morgan“The goal is to bring marketing, sales and service together through joint interests in increasing revenue, expanding customer lifetime value and deepening the customer relationship… companies must break down business team silos to design superior customer journeys and better manage customer experience by restructuring teams (or introducing new teams)”

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2017 Predictions from Fusion Marketing Partners' CEO Chris Ryan

IStock_000038306980LargeAs our 2017 B2B Marketing and Lead-to-Revenue Survey Report shows, many CEOs don’t believe that marketing has made a significant contribution to revenue and therefore, the marketing function is both under-funded and under-valued. 

In the coming year, I recommend that forward-thinking sales and marketing teams seek knowledge from industry experts, challenge existing business models and use lead-to-revenue (L2R) strategies to attain optimum revenue performance.

Why It's Important:

"Many CEOs don’t believe that marketing has made a significant contribution to revenue and therefore, the marketing function is both under-funded and under-valued."

Chris Ryan, CEO Fusion Marketing Partners

L2R is a marketing and sales framework that optimizes people, processes and technology in a synchronized manner to

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2017 Predictions from LeadMethod CEO Justin Johnson

 Channel Revenue Optimization in 2017

IStock_000038306980LargeIn 2017 suppliers that start to leverage data and metrics to optimize their channel partner relationships will see huge gains. Strong results will come when suppliers start to proactively manage and communicate with their channel partners in order to drive more revenue.

Understanding channel partner engagement with leads and opportunities is critical. For example, research conducted by LeadMethod shows that more than 70% of channel partners do not regularly follow up on leads and opportunities that are shared with them. That amounts to a significant number of missed sales.

Why it Matters:

Justin Johnson - LeadMethod photo"Suppliers that embrace process change and software investments to better engage their channel partners will see significant growth in 2017. We recommend three core strategies: Understanding Channel Engagement, Creating a Process for Channel Feedback, and Providing Training and Sales Coaching"

Justin Johnson CEO LeadMethod

 

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2017 Predictions by ActiveConversion's CEO Fred Yee

2017: The Year Sales and Marketing Technology Leaves It's Mark On the Industrial Sectors

IStock_000038306980LargeThe political changes taking place in the United States in 2017, controversial or otherwise, will usher in a new era of domestic manufacturing. The result will be increased optimism in the North American industrial sectors, but also increased competition for business. Sales and marketing practices are continually evolving, but new conditions will lead industrial companies to embrace sales and marketing technologies at a rapid rate.

Why it's Important

Fred"Small and medium sized industrial businesses will begin to recognize and embrace the role of technology and cloud-based solutions.  The result will be more industrial companies selling directly, due to the ease and accessibility of online sales and marketing tools."

Fred Yee

As the competition begins to adopt new technologies, old school notions of selling only to ‘customers I know’ will begin to feel outdated. Small and medium sized industrial businesses will begin to recognize and embrace the role of technology and cloud-based solutions.  The result will be more industrial companies selling directly, due to the ease and accessibility of online sales and marketing tools. As well, an increased number of industrial businesses will expand their boundaries, realizing that it is possible to reach a larger market with improved sales and marketing capabilities.

With increased competition, and an impressive amount of sales and marketing technology available, 2017 is sure to leave a lasting impression on sales and marketing practices in the industrial sectors.

 Mr. Yee was interviewed on June 20th on SLMA Radio

How to use Marketing Automation to Follow a Longer B2B Sales Cycle

 


2017 Predictions from Clickpoint CEO Gabriel Buck

Gabriel Buck’s Predictions: Adapting to Rapid Changes and Meaningful Integrations Are the Key to Success in 2017

IStock_000038306980LargeSoftware-as-a-Service providers, especially in the sales category face mounting pressure and stiff competition.  What will software and service companies do to overcome these obstacles in 2017 and set themselves apart in a crowded market?  More importantly, what will a company that relies on sales lead management or sales solutions be looking for in 2017 to give them a competitive edge?  What does this all mean for salespeople who use these applications?        

Why its Important

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAkvAAAAJDM1YTY1MzU3LTNiNWYtNDhiYS1iMzllLTgwMmFjMGQwYzI4MA “I think you will find more software companies creating alliances and partnerships to offer best of breed applications that are fully integrated.   You have already seen this happen with major CRM players that have deeper integrations with marketing automation platforms, communication, and lead management systems.  I know of telephony providers that have integrated with customer communication platforms, anticipating the increased demand of lightning fast communication in non-traditional channels.”     

-Gabriel Buck CEO ClickPoint Software

 

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2017 Predictions from Brainshark CEO Greg Flynn

2017: The Year of Higher Quality Sales Interactions Greg Flynn, Brainshark CEO

IStock_000038306980LargeToday’s executive buyers feel that 80% of the sales meetings they take are a waste of time, even though sellers have more information and technology at their disposal than ever before. Senior sales leaders say their biggest problem is reps struggling to have “business conversations.” With those key issues in mind, it should come as no surprise that 45% of sales reps don’t hit their quota.


Why it Matters

Flynn"Research shows that firms providing optimal
coaching to salespeople realize rates of annual revenue growth 16.7% greater than firms that do not provide any coaching to their salespeople."

Greg Flynn

 

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2017 Predictions from LeadMD CEO Justin Gray

I predict that 2017 will be the death of the “hack”.  

IStock_000038306980LargeMarketing over the last decade has relied on the first mover advantage. A new channel arises starting with email and then Twitter and Facebook and then Instagram and Snapchat – it’s been all about being first to a greenfield space.

 As a replacement for personalization there’s been a focus on finding less competition for headspace. Those channel fads are getting shorter and shorter until ultimately the game of whack-a-mole has gotten old to the point where buyers are no longer willing to give their attention up so readily.

 Why it's important

Gray“Good enough” is no longer good enough as 2017 ushers in the quality focus we’ve all been touting for too long but not producing, and the organization as a whole must be prepared to accept that more effort, more highly skilled employees and more investment are all critical ingredients when producing quality."

Justin Gray - CEO of LeadMD

We’re already seeing the trend emerge with ABM, and it will continue – 2017 is no longer about shortcuts. The profession of marketing arises in the coming year as we see a focus on craft and expertise. “Good enough” is no longer good enough as 2017 ushers in the quality focus we’ve all been touting for too long but not producing, and the organization as a whole must be prepared to accept that more effort, more highly skilled employees and more investment are all critical ingredients when producing quality.

 Justin Gray was interviewed on SLMA Radio

Why Only 13% of Marketing Automation Programs are Successful

 


2017 Predictions from Ipswitch CEO Joe Krivickas

 Securing the Hybrid Cloud Takes Center Stage in 2017 By Joe Krivickas, Ipswitch CEO

IStock_000038306980LargeToday’s business environment requires agility – which in turn means implementing a cloud infrastructure to enable that very agility. This is not surprising for the modern enterprise, as a recent Gartner report even outlines why IT organizations must adopt and master the use of cloud services across the enterprise to be successful in 2017.

But the idea of transferring workloads to the cloud isn’t entirely new for organizations that have been grappling with increased IT complexity in recent years. The appeal of a fast and flexible elastic cloud environment has been drawing in IT teams who want to free up or discard costly on-premise resources in order to get their jobs done quickly and efficiently. 

While cloud infrastructure offers these key incentives, many enterprises have been hesitant to entirely replace their legacy systems. This is for the simple reason that they believe on-premise IT infrastructure ensures greater compliance, availability and security that some of the most data-sensitive industries must uphold (e.g., HIPAA, PCI and SOX). That is why in 2017, we will see the rise of the safe and secure hybrid cloud, an approach that gives enterprises with sensitive data the best of both worlds – confidential information stored on-premise securely and compliantly along with the ability to store encrypted or less sensitive data in the cloud with no concerns about scalability, deployment and maintenance.

What’s Happening:

6a0147e05adc32970b01b8d245b50c970c-320wi“In 2017, we will see the rise of the safe and secure hybrid cloud, an approach that gives enterprises with sensitive data the best of both worlds – confidential information stored on-premise securely and compliantly along with the ability to store encrypted or less sensitive data in the cloud with no concerns about scalability, deployment and maintenance.”

Joe Krivickas, CEO of Ipswitch 

 

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2017 Predictions from Workbooks CEO John Cheney

Predictions 2017 from Workbooks CEO John Cheney:  CRM at the heart of Customer Experience (CX).

IStock_000038306980LargeIncreasingly consumers and businesses alike are assigning real value to exceptional Customer Experience.  If you have a great experience with a supplier, you develop trust and brand loyalty; if not, you don’t buy more and you’re likely to tell friends and colleagues.  

By 2020, it is predicted that Customer Experience will be the leading brand differentiator when it comes to a buying decision, leaving behind criteria such as product and price. Customer Experience is not the latest hype, it drives revenue growth and is slowly taking centre stage.

 What's Important

John Cheney"CRM is moving towards a true suite of capabilities that can support the ‘Customer Experience’ and bring sales, marketing, service and customer support together. Vendors will need to evolve and if they don’t, their value will diminish and they will soon become irrelevant. CRM must evolve to ‘Customer Experience’ or become a mere back-end database."

 John Cheney, Workbooks CRM CEO

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2017 Predictions from PointClear CEO Dan McDade

IStock_000038306980LargeDan McDade’s 2017 Predictions 

Predictions for 2017? This year will mark the beginning of the era of accountability.

Sales and marketing can no longer operate in the status quo environment where leaders and team members are unaccountable for their actions. Competitive organizations can’t tolerate the current reality where (according to CSO Insights):

  • Just 42% of marketing generated leads are accepted and worked by sales
  • Less than 60% of sales reps make quota
  • The #1 sales execution challenge is the lack of qualified leads

To thrive in the coming year and beyond, marketing and sales must account for their activity, accept responsibility for revenue results and disclose results in a transparent way.

Why it's Important

McDade"To thrive in the coming year and beyond, marketing and sales must account for their activity, accept responsibility for revenue results and disclose results in a transparent way."

Dan McDade

 

 

 

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2017 Predictions from Commence Corporations CEO Larry Caretsky

Larry Caretsky's Predictions

IStock_000038306980LargeIn 2017, we will continue to see significant growth in the utilization of technology to improve business performance.  Businesses of all sizes will utilize software solutions like CRM to automate the front office business processes that impact sales execution and customer service. 

There are three areas that I believe will experience accelerated growth in the next 6-12 months.  

About Customer Service

Caretsky"Companies must make customer service easy for potential buyers by using automated programs that provide answers to frequently asked questions and on-line knowledge base and on-line chat if the purchaser requires human intervention."

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2017 Predictions from Velocify CEO Nick Hedges

IStock_000038306980LargeNick Hedges' Predictions

"The biggest changes for sales tech in the coming year will follow those that we’ve already seen in consumer tech and media. Not too long ago, people had only a few options for communicating: phone calls, emails and face-to-face conversations. However, the mobile revolution and an explosion of social media channels has created a new breed of short-form, staccato communications – texts, tweets, Snapchat messages, etc. – that have superseded many of the conversations that used to happen by phone or email.

  What Matters

Nick"...New developments in artificial intelligence will lead to the automation of short-form communication (text, chat and social channels), in which machines can adequately respond to simple inquiries from customers. However, the human touch will remain incredibly valuable for sales, especially at an enterprise level..."

Nick Hedges

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