Follow The Lead

The Sweet Spot: Sandblasting the sales pipeline

Chris Boorman

We recently caught up with Chris Boorman, CMO of Informatica Corp., an enterprise data integration company. We got Boorman’s take on how sales and marketing executives can enhance the sales pipeline, the problems plaguing data management (and the less-than-shocking solution) and the two main benefits that social media holds in store for b-to-b brands. 

ZoomInfo: In light of market conditions, what do you think should be the top priorities for sales and marketing executives to work together more effectively?  

Boorman: The number one priority for organization is to drive revenue and to drive revenue you need to differentiate your value from your competitors and need to be able to drive pipeline-generating activities that deliver pipeline for the sales organization that they can process and close. Ultimately, it’s about sales and marketing aligning behind clear, focused messages that differentiate the company’s capabilities and deliver pipeline. I’m a firm believer that the number one priority is to drive the pipeline and number two would be brand awareness. 

ZoomInfo: Why does data hygiene, or lack thereof, seem to plague sales and marketing departments? I recently read what I’m guessing is a typical lament among sales execs when it comes to the problems associated with keeping data clean: ‘We will flog our marketing teams to generate more leads and beat our sales teams to make more calls but we won’t set aside the budget necessary to make sure our data is clean.’ Do companies have to simply bite the bullet and pay for this stuff? 

Boorman: The hygiene of your database has a significant effect on the programs that are you are running. Therefore, it is absolutely critical that you are spending budget on your database and the hygiene of your database in order to ensure that you accurately know who you are trying to market and sell to – and doing it with the most value in terms of cost-per-lead. For far too long, marketers have, basically, sat in their offices looking at leaving the hygiene of their database to another time. I’ve been in marketing for 20 years and have seen many people put off the budget that is necessary for the database – what I have seen is that organizations that focus on their database becomes more effective in terms of their marketing execution. 

ZoomInfo: What are the most crucial changes in lead gen in a digital age? 

Boorman: It’s a combination of inbound and outbound. What I mean by that is that everybody will go on the Web and search and find information, so you have to be able to generate leads through influencing search – that is critical in this day and age. But you also have to be able to drive leads by reaching out and qualifying prospects. Today, lead generation is about understanding what accounts are doing with your Web site and understanding how to process contacts and nurture them.  It’s utilizing electronic means of nurturing contacts before we then pass them into the actual sales channel, per se. 

ZoomInfo: Do you think social media is going to play an increasingly fundamental role in b-to-b sales and marketing? 

Boorman: Absolutely. [But] you don’t participate in social media for the sake of participating in social media. That’s a waste of time. You must participate with a purpose and the two purposes I see are thought leadership or lead generation. Either I will get somebody interested in what I have to offer, causing them to come to my Web site, where I will capture their details and put them into my sales funnel, or to drive thought leadership as an expert in a particular subject.  The most important thing from a b-to-b point of view is there is a value in social media. But you have to be very clear in what you are using social media for and be very focused in ensuring you are targeting the right social communities for the right social purpose. Because if you don’t, you’ll drown in the vastness of what’s out there. 

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April 29, 2010 - Posted by | Lead Generation | , ,


  1. […] The Sweet Spot: Sandblasting the sales pipeline « Follow The Lead […]

    Pingback by Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions | May 17, 2010 | Reply

  2. It’s true, Social Media is playing an increasingly greater role in b2b sales and marketing. While proper use in a business setting is centered around creating thought leadership one should not forget that in a business sales and marketing setting the challenge is to transform thought leadership into a trusted relationship between company/salesperson and customer/prospect. Therefore, making one’s staff easily accessible for one-on-one meetings is critical. Within the context of a well designed social media oriented sales system it’s in everyone’s interest to keep the data accurate. For example, does my crm system capture a prospect’s Linkedin profile and then update the CRM record when the prospect’s LinkedIn profile changes.

    Comment by Joseph Karwat | May 19, 2010 | Reply

  3. Joseph:
    Thanks very much for commenting and in particular for pointing out the importance of embedding LinkedIn profile changes in CRM, which is really changing the mindset.
    Best, Matthew

    Comment by matthew schwartz | May 19, 2010 | Reply

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