A lot of B2B companies are seeking the Holy Grail for sales and marketing. They want to know what is the most efficient way for customers to learn about and buy their product. In this search for lots of revenue at the lowest cost possible, I’ve sat in many executive staff meetings at small, medium and large companies where the conversation goes like this:
The CEO says, “congratulations everyone, we just closed the biggest deal in our company’s history. Now, if we could just get a few more like this one! Let’s try to duplicate this deal! Who can tell me how we met this customer or what sales and marketing programs they participated in? What did sales do to get this deal closed?”
At this point, everyone around the table looks blank. Then the VP of Sales pipes up, “I met them at a trade show.” “Was this the first time we met them?,” the CEO asks. “Sorry, dunno.” Then someone else says, “I think they downloaded our white paper.” And the conversation goes silent from there.
Clearly, there’s no coherent data in the company to support this discussion and start a process for creating a repeatable scenario.
When I talked to our investors Peter Chau and Derrick Hsiang at WI Harper about this scenario late last spring, they thought that a lot of his emerging companies could use this information. As a matter of fact, Peter had just sat in a board meeting where he had just participated in this exact conversation.
Every CEO and VC wants to build a sales and marketing machine for their companies, but the current systems today simply don’t give a full picture – not the CRM systems, not the marketing automation systems.
Our new Halloween feature, the Deal Explorer, does exactly this. If you have deal and you want to dissect what happened, you simply click on the Deal Explorer button on the opportunity in salesforce.com and voila – all the information is there – every marketing activity, every sales activity, the date, and the sales stage.
We use this feature in our own company to learn about our own deals. We like to study the Deal Explorer because then you can use this information to penetrate new markets, drive larger deals, and make fewer mistakes along the way. It’s all right there.