SOURCE: CMO Council

January 15, 2008 08:29 ET

New Peer-Powered Network Invites Sales Executives to Learn, Connect and Capitalize to Optimize Performance

Oracle, The Wall Street Journal and CMO Council Partner to Launch the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE) and New Web Portal (www.closebiz.org)

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - January 15, 2008) - In an effort to stay atop-of-the-curve, sales executives are continually looking for resources and solutions that can improve technique, efficiency, productivity and outcomes in acquiring, closing and growing customer relationships.

To answer this need, the CMO Council, Oracle and The Wall Street Journal have partnered to launch the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE) -- a dynamic web destination and membership community that will engage sales executives seeking to advance their organization's competencies and competitiveness as well as their own.

The mandate of CLOSE will be to champion best practices in sales empowerment, aggregate relevant knowledge and insight, and provide a peer-powered environment for networking and interaction among sales executives and professionals. In addition, CLOSE will explore the strategic value derived from closer integration and alignment with marketing, channel and customer service groups within the enterprise.

LEARN

The CLOSE global web portal will provide registered members with relevant content, powerful solutions, expert insights, evaluation and scorecarding tools, and peer-inspired ideas to maximize performance. To do this, the channel will team with training and certification bodies, associations, online communities and notable sales commentators and bloggers to aggregate resources and first-hand knowledge from those that are "in the trenches." A monthly eJournal and ongoing series of online and offline events, as well as syndicated content and on-demand webcasts will extend the reach and appeal of the CLOSE community.

CONNECT

Sales executives from diverse companies and business sectors will connect through the CLOSE community, building a vibrant network to share critical knowledge. From pain points to over-the-moon successes, members will have an open forum to share "how I got it done" stories and ask peers for constructive advice and perspective. The CLOSE dynamic web portal will include message boards, blogs, podcasts and a web 2.0-powered social network to connect sales executives with each other and to experts, mentors and leading voices.

CAPITALIZE

CLOSE will give sales executives the opportunity to be strategic and proactive with the business requirements and deliverables of their organizations, helping them close more efficiently by capitalizing on cutting-edge productivity and performance tools, on-demand services and tried-and-true ROI strategies. It will also deliver information on incentives that are effective in motivating sales teams toward reaching sales objectives -- and exceeding them.

The CLOSE program will be focused on actively recruiting a peer-powered network of top sales producers and team leaders. Membership will be free and is also open to business development, marketing, channel and customer service professionals -- important stakeholders working with sales to optimize demand creation, close rates and customer retention.

A series of corporate sales and marketing team invention sessions will be held in the first half of 2008 at leading business schools and institutes in New York, London, Paris, Sao Paulo, Sydney and San Francisco under the auspices of CLOSE and the CMO Council. A global research initiative is already underway to determine where and how sales and marketing organizations should be deriving greater business value from tighter synergies, unified strategies, better information sharing and analytics, as well as well-defined measures and metrics.

About the CMO Council

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior marketing and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. The CMO Council's 3,000 members control more than $70 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures. Companies represented on the CMO Council have combined annual revenue of over $600 billion. Visit the CMO Council web site to find out about the initiatives geared to address executive marketers' challenges at www.cmocouncil.org.

About Oracle

Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) is the world's leader in CRM with 5,000 CRM customers, 4.6 Million CRM users and 125 million self-service users. Our customers rely on Oracle customer relationship management, business intelligence, and customer data integration solutions to deliver dramatic improvements in identifying, acquiring, retaining, and serving their customers. These solutions are the product of more than $2 billion in direct and partner investment and reflect over 11 years of CRM industry leadership. Oracle's CRM products include Siebel, Siebel CRM On Demand, Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft and Oracle Contact Center Anywhere. With an unmatched range of products, industry expertise, and deployment options, Oracle is the right choice for CRM. www.oracle.com

About the Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal, the flagship publication of Dow Jones & Company (NYSE: DJ) (www.dowjones.com), is the world's leading business publication. Founded in 1889, The Wall Street Journal has a print and online circulation of nearly 2.1 million, reaching the nation's top business and political leaders, as well as investors across the country. Holding 33 Pulitzer Prizes for outstanding journalism, The Wall Street Journal provides readers with trusted information and knowledge to make better decisions. The Wall Street Journal print franchise has more than 750 journalists world-wide, part of the Dow Jones network of nearly 1,800 business and financial news staff. Other publications that are part of The Wall Street Journal franchise, with total circulation of 2.6 million, include The Wall Street Journal Asia, The Wall Street Journal Europe and The Wall Street Journal Online at WSJ.com, the largest paid subscription news site on the Web. In 2007, the Journal was ranked No. 1 in BtoB's Media Power 50 for the eighth consecutive year. The Wall Street Journal Radio Network services news and information to more than 280 radio stations in the U.S.

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