Cover Story: A Paradigm Shift
Implications of the ‘New World’
Two years ago, 13 percent of the leads sent to the sales team moved into sales forecasts and were expected to become a booking, according to Landucci. Now, that number has jumped to 75 percent, “… and we estimate that about 90 percent of those actually close into a real sale,” Landucci adds.
While Landucci mentions that Cisco’s lead volume has decreased, the numbers indicate lead quality has increased. “When you’re comparing 13 percent impact to 75 percent impact, we’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental pipeline globally that now, because of this, we’re impacting sales pipeline opportunities.”
Kushner sums up the significance this directional change holds for the marketing organization as a whole: “What that does for marketing is it builds a greater credibility for marketing with sales because now if 75 percent of them are really good leads, they’re not turning them down any longer because they don’t fit what sales needs to have.”
While the numbers generate optimism, the road ahead is long, and Kushner is cautious to suggest what the increased traffic and activity on the Web site may mean to Cisco’s overall business. “The biggest test that we’re having to undertake is how we can, as a marketing organization, align around this new way of doing things,” says Kushner. “So, that’s the task that we’re presently in the throes of trying to articulate to ourselves internally. Because it takes a new type of evangelist to do marketing this way versus doing marketing in the disruptive manner [we were] doing it before.”
Marissa Fabris is a freelance writer in West Chester, Pa. She last wrote for Target Marketing about online fulfillment in the November 2007 issue.