Dave Kellogg
Make Sales Easier: The Blueprints of a Marketing Titan
Dave shares stories from his days in the trenches at Salesforce, the philosophies that have helped him succeed across more than 35 years in marketing, and the key skills he says every CMO must have.
Dave Kellogg offers advisory and/or corporate board membership, public speaking, CEO coaching, and project-based consulting services for enterprise software startups. His areas of focus include strategy, board relations, organization, executive team composition, financing, SaaS metrics, marketing, and communications. Learn about my approach to startups at www.kellblog.com.
Enterprise software

Guest Bio

Dave Kellogg is an advisor, director, consultant, angel investor, and blogger focused on enterprise software startups.

He brings a unique perspective to startup challenges having 10 years’ experience at each of the CEO, CMO, and independent director levels across 10+ companies ranging in size from zero to over $1B in revenues.

From 2012 to 2018, he was CEO of cloud EPM vendor Host Analytics, where we quintupled ARR while halving customer acquisition costs in a competitive market, ultimately selling the company in a private equity transaction.

Previously, Dave was SVP/GM of the $500M Service Cloud business at Salesforce; CEO of NoSQL database provider MarkLogic, which we grew from zero to $80M over 6 years; and CMO at Business Objects for nearly a decade as we grew from $30M to over $1B in revenues. He started my career in technical and product marketing positions at Ingres and Versant.

He loves disruption, startups, and Silicon Valley and has had the pleasure of working in varied capacities with companies including Bluecore, Cyral, FloQast, GainSight, MongoDB, Recorded Future, and Tableau.

Episode Summary

This episode features an interview with Dave Kellogg. Dave boasts an unparalleled career in marketing and business, with decades of experience at each of the CEO, CMO, and independent director levels and a term as SVP/GM of the $500M Service Cloud business at Salesforce. He currently serves as Principal of Dave Kellogg Consulting, and as an independent board member, angel investor, and industry-leading blogger focused on enterprise software startups.

On this episode, Dave shares stories from his days in the trenches at  Salesforce, the philosophies that have helped him succeed  across more  than 35 years in marketing, and the key skills he says every CMO must have.

Key Takeaways

  • Most boards don’t have marketing leaders, but all boards have operators (GMs, CEOs, etc.) and successful ones have an understanding of marketing.
  • If trends continue, more and more CMOs will become CEOs 
  • CMOs and CROs should be locked at the elbows


“I believe what separates the sales leaders from those who stay as CROs, to those who go on to become general managers or CEOs is actually an understanding of marketing.”
“A key skill for any CMO is the ability to say no. Just don't say it too often. I believe both parts of that. You have to be able to say no, but you don’t want to become Dr. No, that doesn't work. So, you should have yes, no, and let's do an experiment.
“The CMO should be locked at the elbow with the CRO. They should answer each other's phones on the first ring. They should have a good personal relationship. They should be aligned in meetings. One should take a bullet for the other. If one's getting shot at in the board meeting, the CMO should dive in front of the VP of sales or vice versa.” 
“Market vision while selling product. We market a vision to the customer that gets them excited about where we're going. Because when [customers] buy these apps, [they’re] not just buying what's on the truck today. We sell what's on the truck, but they buy into this broader vision.”
“My credo has been ‘make sales easier’… I’ve built my career on it. And ironically, some of the biggest arguments I've had about that little phrase have been with sales leaders. They’ll say, ‘No, that's not what marketing's about,’ and I'm like, ‘Yeah, it is. That's why we're here.’ That's my philosophy and I’ve practiced it to the extent that it even surprises people sometimes.”
“Marketing is the entire business scene from the point of view of the customer.” — Theodore Levitt, Former HBS Marketing professor


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Episode Transcript