Still at the SiriusDecisions Summit (up about $150 in the casino due to some dumb luck at the blackjack table).
Jim Steele, president of Salesforce.com is the keynote speaker talking about their sales and marketing process. SFDC is heavily dashboard centric, using their own application to track in real time the results of their marketing campaigns. He says the two areas are heavily collaborative, where marketing can see in real time the effects their campaigns are having on company growth, at least in the SMB market. Inbound leads to the company are routed to telesales reps in a number of locations, internationally, who then call prospects to qualify them. Apparently, Salesforce converts about 30% of leads into opportunities.
A great question came from a woman at Cognos who asked what happens to the 70% of leads that are not converted into opportunities. We've been chatting both formally and informally at the conference about the need to nurture leads, to track where prospects are in the buy cycle so that you don't a) try to close business too quickly; or b) wait for them to over ripen when they are finally ready to buy. It's interesting that Salesforce doesn't have a formal lead nurturing/cultivating process in place.