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Lynden, 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:
Industry Predictions from Leslie Stretch, CEO of CallidusCloud (NASDAQ: CALD)
A/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.
"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
2017 CEO Predictions for SLMA from Rhoan Morgan CEO of DemandLab
2017 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
“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)”
As 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
Channel Revenue Optimization in 2017
In 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:
"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
2017: The Year Sales and Marketing Technology Leaves It's Mark On the Industrial Sectors
The 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
"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 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
Gabriel Buck’s Predictions: Adapting to Rapid Changes and Meaningful Integrations Are the Key to Success in 2017
Software-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
“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
2017: The Year of Higher Quality Sales Interactions Greg Flynn, Brainshark CEO
Today’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
I predict that 2017 will be the death of the “hack”.
Marketing 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
“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