2009

B2B Conversations Now

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Social Media T-Shirts Finalized

B2B Conversations Now

Thanks to everyone who gave us feedback on the design of our Social Media T-shirts that we will be giving away at the MarketingSherpa and Inbound Marketing Summit(s) in October (Boston only). After several honest (sometimes too honest!) opinions we are going to press with the following: “Convert the Conversations&#. hope you like it! … see you in Boston.

Social Media T-Shirt Design Feedback

B2B Conversations Now

We’re in the process of designing T-shirts for the upcoming Boston Demand Generation Summit (MarketingSherpa) and Inbound Marketing Summit (New Marketing Labs). Our theme for the conferences is “Convert the Conversations&# meaning we want to talk with folks that want to turn their Social Media efforts into Sales Funnel opportunities. But we have a problem.

Inbound Sales … at a Tradeshow

B2B Conversations Now

Have you ever stood in a booth at a tradeshow peddling your wares? Did you know you can apply inbound sales techniques easily at a tradeshow and come away with lots of new opportunities? First, some background… Trish Bertuzzi and I had a quick discussion at The Customer Collective around Cold Calling 2.0 where we sparred a bit about the effectiveness of inbound versus outbound sales.

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Handling “the” question about Social Media - ROI

B2B Conversations Now

I just read yet another blog post about how hard it is to justify efforts spent on social media. The post was, of course, followed by many others comforting the poster that they knew how he felt. “There’s just no way to make the C-suite understand the value of the influence social media creates&# one responder said. must have heard a dozen prominent speakers at a recent Social Media Summit chime in with the same “poor us, we can’t quantify social media ROI…if only our bosses were smarter and could see how valuable it is.&#. Don’t believe me? Happy Holidays!

150 Content Marketing Tips

Drive traffic—and leads—with these tips for SEO, social media, content optimization, email marketing, and more.

Embrace Trigger Event Selling to Win More B2B Deals

B2B Conversations Now

I’ve been reading and hearing a lot recently about using sales triggers to find new customers. Until I really took the time to dig into Trigger Event Selling , I thought it was just a new sales fad that would lead to yet another sales training book. I was wrong. What is Trigger Event Selling? The best description of trigger event selling I’ve seen is from Craig Elias at Shift Selling. Craig states that trigger selling is “getting in front of the right person at EXACTLY THE RIGHT TIME&#. Triggers for Outbound Selling. to start building an action plan.

Inline deduplication a reality with GreenBytes

B2B Conversations Now

I’ve spent 20 years in the data storage/data backup industry. It’s not the most exciting business, but every now and then a new, disruptive player enters the space and catches the competition flat footed. GreenBytes, Inc. Ashaway, RI) has hit the ground running in what experts say is the next big wave in data deduplication technology - primary data de-duplication. Unlike DataDomain , Quantum and Exagrid that focus on deduplication for backup processes, GreenBytes has optimized its turnkey appliances to handle primary data.

Before Nurturing a New B2B Lead, Send the Golden Document (part 2)

B2B Conversations Now

In my last post Before Nurturing a New B2B Lead, Ask the Golden Question we talked about asking a compelling question for new B2B leads before you send the lead down the nurturing path. Our intent is to try to filter high-quality prospects and get them to the sales team for direct interaction. For those who have not read the post, here was where we left off: The Golden Question. “Mr./Ms., Ms., My name is YYY and I approved your request for ZZZ. This is a courtesy follow-up to make sure you received it. If you have not received it, please check your spam filter. May I ask you one question?

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Before Nurturing a New B2B Lead, Ask the Golden Question

B2B Conversations Now

This is a follow-up post to Converting [social media] Conversations and addresses what to do when in fact you get that new lead. Having attended the recent Marketing Sherpa conference in Boston, my first thought is “push the new lead into the lead management system for nurturing&#. The process makes sense but what should the FIRST interaction with this new lead look like? Should it be a courtesy “thank you and here’s more about our products&# or should it be more hard hitting and response provoking. As a B2B sales person for 15 years, I prefer the response provoking approach.

Converting [social media] Conversations

B2B Conversations Now

The early word from MarketingSherpa West (San Fran) is that B2B lead conversion was a hot topic. As sponsors this year at both the MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Summit and Inbound Marketing Summit, we thought we’d get a head start on the conversion discussion. Below is a slideshare deck outlining a process to “ Convert the Conversations “ With Social Media becoming an increasingly potent generator of inbound web traffic, B2B marketers must find ways to filter the stream and motivate high-quality visitors to engage. First, how do you define a “strong offer&# ?

Defining The Perfect Lead Generation System

B2B Conversations Now

Jim Logan at B2BRainmaker just posted Here’s how I define the perfect lead generation system and I think he nailed it. What’s interesting is that Jim, like myself, spent years selling high-end technology so he offers a the sales person’s perspective. B2B marketers that want to help their sales teams can learn a lot from Jim. Per Jim: “I define the perfect lead generation system as a system that passively brings prospects to me that have a need and interest in my products or services. Short, sweet, and powerful. That’s Jim’s style.

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Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

We surveyed 2016's content marketing leaders on their biggest issues, hurdles, and goals.

Define Your Funnel Type To Improve Marketing Efforts

B2B Conversations Now

Sales and Marketing people that work in a complex sale environment could learn a thing or two over at the Funnelholic. Chris Jablonski (one of Craig Rosenberg’s co-workers at Tippit and an accomplished writer/analyst in his own right) has just written a concise whitepaper called “What’s the Shape of Your Funnel&#. It only took me 3 minutes to read it, the first time (I read it twice more…slowly). Although neither Funnel type, Macro or Micro, is necessarily tied to a particular industry or market, I do think B2B marketing would fall into the Micro Funnel type more often.

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Trust Agents and Multiple Birds

B2B Conversations Now

Chris Brogan and Julien Smith are looking for a viral way to kill 2 birds with one stone; they want to sell more copies of their new book “ Trust Agents &# while at the same time do some good for society. Chris even posted How Do We Kill Birds? to ask for recommendations. Having read Trust Agents, I took their advice and instead of responding to Chris’ post directly, I decided to create my own post here in the hope that others with great books may benefit. Why not make a BIG difference? Those groups are professional associations. The Statistics. The Business Case. hope it helps.

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Effective B2B Lead Generation Means Selling the Conversation

B2B Conversations Now

Are you looking to generate more sales ready leads on your B2B website? As B2B Marketers, we are all feeling the pressure to do something, anything , to generate more B2B leads. But have you ever stopped to think about what marketing’s role really is? Hint, it’s not selling products or services. Before the explosion of internet based marketing tools, marketing’s job was to generate customer interest and channel those prospects to the sales team. Tasks that were handled by sales (presentations, customer references, etc.) Take a look at your B2B website. Just give me a holler.

How B2B Marketing Became Responsible For EVERYTHING (and how to reverse it)

B2B Conversations Now

I just finished a short paper on how B2B marketing has put itself in the position of being responsible for just about everything marketing and sales related. Here is an excerpt from: “How B2B Marketing Became Responsible for EVERYTHING (and how to reverse it)&#. “B2B Marketers are killing themselves trying to make everyone happy. The CEO needs revenue. The sales team needs qualified leads. The customers need information. Everyone is looking at marketing to make it happen. So, how did B2B Marketing become responsible for EVERYTHING? Was it self-inflicted or driven by outside forces?

Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

745 marketers told us how effective their content marketing is. Here's what we learned.

FOSE’s Gone Virtual? So Much For a Half-Day Boondoggle!

B2B Conversations Now

(It’s humor Friday - FOSE is a DC area local phenom and this may not be appreciated by all). The official blurb : “For over 30 years, the Federal Office Systems Exposition (FOSE) in DC has been the one IT event known government-wide as the annual meeting place for the industry. The event draws over 10,000 senior level IT decision makers from federal, state, local, and international government converging to learn, network, share experiences, and evaluate products, services, and solutions from over 400 industry partners.&#. That’s nice. FOSE is great. “Sure, for $10.&#

[Get In The] B2B Marketing Zone

B2B Conversations Now

The mother ship of B2B Marketing blogs just may be the B2B Marketing Zone. With all the great thought out there, it’s hard to pick and choose where to spend time. Why not start in the middle and fan out to wherever your mind takes you? That’s the concept behind Tony Karrer and Tom Pick’s new site, B2B Marketing Zone , launched July 1, 2009. After much groveling I was able to convince the guys to let a beady-eyed sales guy throw his hat in the ring. My goal is to represent all things B2B sales related and you know that may lead to some heated discussions. See you there!

Publish B2B Pricing? Test the traction without actually doing it.

B2B Conversations Now

In a previous post Sales 101 Myth Can Hurt Your Marketing Efforts I discussed how the old rules of holding back budgetary pricing has put companies at a disadvantage with self-service oriented prospects doing research for solutions. At the end of that post I posed a way to test the effect of offering budgetary pricing, not publishing it. It struck a chord with several readers saying they might try it and it gave me the idea to expand on how to test it…safely. That is a SERIOUS incentive statement! Copy it directly from your standard Contact Us page.

Sample Content Rewrite; From Bland to Bold

B2B Conversations Now

Wow. I am completely blown away. I’m no slouch when it comes to writing compelling content but the latest installment from Jim Logan at B2BRainmaker has really impressed me. thought I would share the before and after versions so you could see the difference. The task was simple: Take my existing “How EchoQuote Works&# copy and make it compelling. I had reworked and rewritten it several times and thought it was pretty tight. ———- Here’s the OLD (BEFORE) version ———-. They need your products and services. Think about it. What did you do?

Advocate Marketing Creates B2B Relationships That Lasts A Lifetime

Read this report to learn how B2B marketing professionals are developing strategies and programs to engage buyers in shaping opinion and sentiment about offerings. And learn how advocate marketing builds longstanding relationships that persist even when individuals move from one career opportunity to the next.

The Complex Sale Starts With A Conversation

B2B Conversations Now

The Jim Logan RevenueNow! program is in full swing and I must say that so far I like what I see. Without giving away too many specifics, let’s just say that within a couple of days I feel like we finally got our message right and are now building on it. We originally built EchoQuote™ to directly help the sales team engage more prospects but somewhere along the line we lost sight of that goal. We drifted toward a message that EchoQuote™ was for Marketers only because our process depends on the marketing team in an organization to add EchoQuote™ to the corporate website.

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Sales 101 Myth Can Hurt Your Marketing Efforts

B2B Conversations Now

Have you ever heard this from a B2B Sales or Marketing Manager? Never, ever, ever give the customer pricing until you’ve CREATED VALUE ! have and it’s wrong. What if I told you I can prove it? We’ll get to the proof in a minute but let’s examine the myth first. began my IT sales career in the early 90s and we were involved in the “complex&# sales process I keep hearing so much about. At that time, marketing did things like trade shows and advertising to generate inbound interest for our products. The world was in order. The internet changed all that. Wonderful.

B2B Rainmaking is a Journey

B2B Conversations Now

I am about to begin Jim Logan’s ( B2B Rainmaker ) 6 week RevenueNow! program to flush out our marketing and sales strategy for the near future. Our B2B Lead Generation service is getting good results for our clients but we are having a difficult time finding the “right&# person in target organizations to engage. We’re looking to Jim for help and will report back on our results. Stay tuned.

Is Social Media a Water Cooler or Lemonade Stand?

B2B Conversations Now

I’ve been kicking around this concept while preparing for an upcoming Social Media presentation. often hear Social Media described as an “office water cooler&# where the free exchange of information benefits all those involved. As a frequent participant I have personally gained from lively exchanges with others and am a big supporter of Social Media outlets. Those whose make their living on the success of Social Media tout its ability, if not necessity, to reach new B2B customers, but does it? Somebody has to pay for the refreshments.

Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report

If you're concerned that your organization's content marketing isn't as effective as it could be, this report is for you.

Give Your Customers New Tools, Not Your Sales Team

B2B Conversations Now

Want to find and close more business customers? Of course, but how? More outbound emails? More Cold Calling? The key may lie in empowering your customers to engage you instead of the other way around. In this current selling climate it seems that a new selling tool is announced almost daily that will revolutionize how sales people find new customers. Unfortunately, the vast number of them are inward facing toward the sales team and completely ignore the customer that is searching for your products or services. Think about how you research and purchase new business services. Probably not.

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Please Keep Cold Calling Me…Not

B2B Conversations Now

Geoffrey James has a new blog post Do You Like Cold Calling? over on BNET’s Sales Machine. like Geoffrey’s work because many times he includes a poll with his provocative posts…this one included. voted “NO, I truly and thoroughly dislike cold calling&#. No one voted for “YES, I like cold calling&#. Biiiiig surprise. Can we finally put a nail in the cold calling coffin? We’ve had a good 15 years to propagate information on the internet and you can basically find any information you want whenever you want. Referrals - good, interruptions - bad.

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B2B Website Conversion Strategies

B2B Conversations Now

I’ve always really liked the team over at FindandConvert, which offers first-class internet marketing services like SEO, PPC and Social Media development. The CEO, Bernie Borges publishes an excellent blog, “Web Marketing Strategies, SEO, Social Media Marketing and Podcasting&#. Bernie just published a podcast with me discussing B2B conversion strategies. This is especially prominent in B2B websites. Buyers have many options when they do their research on the web and therefore, they are harder to engage. Many marketers struggle with how to engage a website visitor.

Sales Ready Leads: Quality vs. Quantity

Smashmouth Marketing

The topic of Quality vs. Quantity in demand gen has been a constant debate. Whether it's inbound marketing or outbound marketing there are costs associated with a lead, there are costs associated with the time and effort needed to convert that lead to an opportunity, and there are costs tied to the quality of those leads and how that impacts conversion rates. As David Greenberg, Sr. Quality Vendor.

Staffing and Launching Your Content Marketing Program

Brand voice? Editorial calendar? Approval workflow? Learn how to craft the crucial parts of a content marketing program. In the third installment of our five-part playbook series, discover the necessary steps to execute a content marketing program.

What Exactly IS Digital Body Language?

Digital Body Language

I've been using the term "Digital Body Language" on this blog quite a lot for obvious reasons. However, I have not really taken a moment to define the term, as I realized recently after a presentation on the topic. So what is it? What we are referring to when we talk about Digital Body Language is the aggregate of all the digital activity you see from an individual.

Fire your Director of Social Media!

Buzz Marketing for Technology

At a recent ANA conference I was interviewing Brian Wallace VP of Digital Marketing and Media for RIM when I heard him say “2 years from now- if I still have a Director of Social Media – I should be fired!&# and after thinking about that I can’t help but agree with him. Said differently how do we make social part of the very DNA of the firm? What’s your view? Tweet This! Digg this!

6 steps to writing a better Request for Proposals, a primer

Confluent Forms

We believe strongly in Requests for Proposals (RFPs) as a tool for companies to find the best products and services at competitive prices, but also as an evaluation method for finding that elusive "best fit". However, too often the RFP process is run by people who have never experienced the process before, either from the issuer or vendor side, and essentially don't know what to say or what to ask.

5 Secrets of Creating Successful Marketing One-Sheets

B2B Marketing Traction

Tweet. One of the networks I belong to, ProVisors , advocates the use of one-sheets or one-pagers that describe each member’s differentiators and the benefits of the service(s) they provide. See samples at the end of this post.) These one-sheets are important, because in each ProVisors meeting there are about thirty different service providers giving their elevator pitch to the group. The Grabber.

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Marketing Optimization Toolkit: The Science behind Marketing Analytics

Marketers are well-versed in the art and science of optimization.

TriComB2B: Smart. Strategic. Technical. - Technically Focused B2B Marketing Agency - formerly TriCom Marketing & Communications

delicious b2bmarketing

We get it. From writing technical bulletins for your sales force to composing a speech for your CEO, our technically oriented staff of engineers, account managers and marketers will produce deliverables that make sense for your business with results you can measure. We are distinctive due to our technical aptitude , industry knowledge and business acumen. Combined with a comprehensive portfolio of marketing tools and top-notch creative, these attributes enable us to develop innovative strategies and compelling concepts that accurately and effectively position your products and services.

Why Are Marketing Automation Managers So Hard to Find?

LeadSloth

Even though some vendors have been around for almost 10 years, Marketing Automation is still relatively new. According to Forrester, only  2-5% of B2B firms have invested in full-featured Marketing Automation. But that percentage is rapidly growing. Increasingly, B2B companies realize that Marketing Automation software requires skilled operators. But – if you decide to hire a Marketing Automation manager – what should you look for, and where do you find them? New technology requires people with a new set of skills, nothing new about that. But that’s for web analysts.

5 quick tips to writing better proposals (RFP responses)

Confluent Forms

We're frequently asked for any tips we might have for people writing proposal responses to Requests for Proposals (RFP) that they've received. After finding us through the RFP Database , seeing the abundance of RFPs that it contains, and knowing that all of those RFPs are open competitions, the natural question is "if I'm going to spend time writing a proposal it has got to be a winner". Faced with the situation of having to read 300+ pages of different vendors' proposals many people read the first page and then start skimming, and if they're not skimming, their minds are probably going numb.

Lead Generation Tips - Take 3 Hour Lunches

Smashmouth Marketing

There were days in my lead gen life where I could have easily left for lunch and not come back for four hours. MIT data shows that that might have been a good idea! Gerhard Gschwandtner of Selling Power just highlighted last year's MIT / InsideSales.com study of outbound prospecting lead conversion. It got me thinking. Layer the times together and stagger them for time zone.

Content Marketing Playbook: Strategy and Roadmap

Every brand’s content roadmap is different; each path to success is unique to that brand’s story, perspective, assets, and goals. But there is an overarching approach that’s proven to work—one we’ve refined after helping hundreds of brands reach their content marketing goals and after speaking with some of the brightest minds in the industry.

5 Things My Father Taught Me About Selling

Smashmouth Marketing

Today is fathers day, and my kids lived up to the holiday tradition by surprising me with a baked french toast casserole and bacon. The joke was (for the big guy that has one stent in place already) that they were out to kill me. We're heading up to my sister's house today to visit with my dad, Roger Damphousse ("Pepere" as the kids call him), and eat again. Dad, here's to you.(see,

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