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Dear CEO: The Era of Accountability Starts in 2017

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(Photo Courtesy of Kenny Madden). This cartoon was sent to me in response to a blog I wrote a couple of weeks ago. just love the simplicity of it; not to mention that it absolutely captures what is wrong with marketing in many if not most companies today. At some point it has to stop, doesn’t it? You would think so, but there are few signs of it stopping in the real world today. Sales is mad.

Bubble in the Funnel

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Per Healthline Media, an air embolism, also called a gas embolism­, occurs when one or more air bubbles enter a vein or artery and block it. These air bubbles can travel to your brain, heart, or lungs and cause a heart attack, stroke, or respiratory failure. We generate, qualify and nurture leads using Account-Based Marketing processes. Their “reward”? No more support in 2017. The result?

Why Cost per Lead is a Bad Way to Measure Your Return on Lead Generation Efforts

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Shifting to Outcome-based Accountability and Revenue Metrics. While cost-per-lead measurement has been the de facto favorite for evaluating marketing programs, we are seeing radical and positive shifts in how marketing is evaluating qualified leads. Marketing must align its B2B lead generation activities and resources with deeper-in-the-funnel outcomes. Cost-Per-Lead. Concluding Comments.

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How to Refine Your Sales Methodology

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Bob Apollo from Inflexion-Point Strategy Partners recently sent me three whitepapers to review and comment on. thought all three were excellent, but due to my background in, and passion about, lead qualification, that was the one topic that really stood out. Bob’s view: Traditional lead qualification, such as the over simplified BANT criteria (Budget, Authority, Need and Timeframe) are inadequate to reflect the dynamics of today’s complex buying process. recommend using ADOPTED as a highly refined methodology to guide the qualification process in today’s complex B2B sales environments. Options.

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The Rise of the Customer Marketer

Explore the changes taking place in customer marketing from the perspective of customer marketers themselves.

"Marketing is too important to be left to marketers."

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This saying always amuses me. Partly because it’s true, partly because it’s funny, but also because it’s often misunderstood. It’s funny because it sounds like marketers are too stupid to be in charge of marketing. And, as a marketer, I love laughing at myself and those who do what I do. One cannot exist without the other. focusing on continually creating new customers.

PowerOpinions: Making Lead Scoring a Success Part 1 [Expert Advice]

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Marketing Automation makes it easier than ever to deliver more poor-quality leads to sales. A key to this trend is lead scoring. According to SiriusDecisions’ Research Brief 1 , the problem with lead scoring at many organizations is as follows: Lead scoring models are based on assumptions or inadequate sales input. The schematic is overly weighted to arbitrary behavioral signals. Part 1. Pam Hege.

The Whole Truth - Why CEOs Need to Know What Makes Sales and Marketing Click

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Understanding the CEO’s role in eliminating wasted marketing spend and increasing sales results—the final of a multi-part blog series. Many challenges facing Sales and Marketing have been around since the beginning of time. The two organizations don’t understand each other, and often point fingers: Sales says marketing delivers bad leads; and marketing says sales doesn’t follow up. summary: 1.

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Is Account-Based Marketing the Holy Grail for Lead Generation Nirvana? [PowerOpinions Part 4]

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There’s no doubt that Account-Based Marketing is on the up-and-up. What are sales and marketing leaders saying about it? Is ABM the Holy Grail for lead generation or just another black box solution destined to cost a lot of money, distract marketing and end up getting more bad leads to sales faster than ever before? Today in part 4, we hear from Scott Vaughan , Chief Marketing Officer at Integrate.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.

Is Your Lead Generation Strategy Broken?

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A broken lead generation strategy could mean trouble for your sales and marketing team, but not just because of the fundamental misalignment between the two departments. More so because an improper strategy can make you miss your goals. If your organization isn’t doing these three things, then you will miss your number. 1. Additionally, avoid outdated techniques for lead qualification.

Is Account-Based Marketing the Holy Grail for Lead Generation Nirvana? [PowerOpinions Part 1]

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According to a report by SiriusDecisions, 2015 State of Account-Based Marketing (ABM), more than 60 percent of companies plan to invest in technology for ABM to better align sales and marketing over the next twelve months. recently posed this question to fellow industry experts. Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is hot right now, and the responses I received were excellent. Absolutely right, Ardath!

The Quest for Good Leads: Are You Asking the Right Questions?

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What’s a good lead rate? How much should a lead cost? These are questions stirring in the minds of executives everywhere. Just google them.) The problem is they’re not so easy to answer; few have found success; and for that matter, are they even the right questions? have been in this business since 1991 and things have not changed dramatically over the past almost twenty-five years. Bottom line?

Gold Calling vs. Cold Calling

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I've written many blog posts on the fact that cold calling isn't dead. In fact, doing the right amount of research, adding a personalized touch to your outreach attempts, and a lot of persistency will help you get in the door for more prospects than you might think. Using these gold calling techniques will help you have faith in the cold calling process. Whether you call high quality cold calling Gold Calling or Cold Calling 2.0, there are four primary differences between quality outbound touches and old-fashioned cold calling or “interruption marketing.”. Their company does not force them to.

4 Things a CMO Should Do to Build Their Marketing Dream Team (Part One)

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In a recent interview, I sat down with Matt Heinz to pick his brain. pitched him the question, “What makes a dream marketing team and how should a CMO build one?” Matt was one of SLMA’s 40 Most Inspiring Leaders in Sales Lead Management in 2015 , and his Seattle-based marketing company’s involvement with many CMOs around the country certainly qualifies him for this topic. Matt Heinz.

Six Key Steps to Successful Marketing Automation Adoption

Selecting a Marketing Automation platform can be a daunting task. With so many options out there, your success with Marketing Automation depends on selecting the platform that best fits your needs.

Are You Building a Company or Just Laying “Marketing Brick”?

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There’s a quote by Charles M. Schwab that goes like this: Three men were laying brick. The first was asked: "What are you doing?" He answered: "Laying some brick." The second man was asked: "What are you working for?" He answered: "Five dollars a day." The third man was asked: "What are you doing?" He answered: "I am helping to build a great cathedral.". My question is, which are you?

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Like Leaving Flour Out of a Cake

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Bad things happen to cake when ingredients are left out. Leave baking powder out and you end up with a flat, dense textured cake that may or may not be appetizing to your family. If you leave laws and a judicial system out of marketing and sales departments, you have a recipe for disaster. Laws include important elements such as an agreed upon lead definition, hand-off processes, metrics, and reporting. We will talk about the judicial branch below. The answer from marketing was a resounding chorus of “Yes!” How can you fix this? With what I call the judicial branch. How true.

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Three “Lies” That Plague B2B Businesses Today (Part Three of Three)

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The Three “Lies” That Plague B2B Businesses Today Are: Cold calling is dead. 57 – 90% of the buying process is complete before a sales rep needs to get involved. Marketing and sales are aligned. Do you agree these are lies? In late August I asked industry experts that same question and asked them to substantiate their response. The team of experts includes: Ardath Albee, Marketing Interactions , CEO and Business Strategist. Dave Brock, Partners in EXCELLENCE , President. Deb Calvert, People First Productivity Solutions , President. Matt Heinz, Heinz Marketing , President. Principal. link].

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4 Tips to Power Up Prospecting in 2015: #1 Believe it Works!

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Earlier this year I sat in on the 2015 Virtual Sales Kickoff hosted by my friend S. Anthony Iannarino (along with Jeb Blount). I was particularly impressed with the first speaker Mike Weinberg—sales coach, consultant, and author of the book New Sales. Simplified.: The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development. Part 2: Tip #2 Commit to It. Part 3: Tip #3 Compelling Story.

8 Ways to Create More Effective Lead Generation Programs

Explore key areas you should focus on with your content syndication strategy in order to help you get the attention of your target audience and build trust.

Three “Lies” That Plague B2B Businesses Today (Part Two of Three)

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Cold calling is dead. 57 – 90% of the buying process is complete before a sales rep needs to get involved. Marketing and sales are aligned. Do you agree these are lies? In late August I asked industry experts that same question and asked them to substantiate their answers. The team of experts includes: Ardath Albee, Marketing Interactions , CEO and Business Strategist. Dave Brock, Partners in EXCELLENCE , President. Deb Calvert, People First Productivity Solutions , President. Ginger Conlon, GingerConlon.com , Chief Editor of CustomerAlchemy.net. Matt Heinz, Heinz Marketing , President.

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Top B2B Marketing Blogs: Key Ingredients

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What makes up the perfect B2B marketing blog? First let’s establish that there are marketing blogs—and then there are B2B marketing blogs. Why make the distinction? Consider the all American apple pie. Such an iconic dessert, yet, it’s rare that you’ll ever come across two identical family recipes. B2B Marketing Guest Blogs

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Is Account-Based Marketing the Holy Grail for Lead Generation Nirvana? [PowerOpinions Part 5]

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I consider SiriusDecisions to be the gold standard when it comes to best practices in B2B marketing and sales processes. So it’s with great pleasure that I conclude this series on ABM with feedback from SiriusDecisions. The responses I received were from Megan Heuer, Vice President & Group Director, and Matt Senatore, Research Director. Click here for part 1 , part 2 , part 3 , and part 4 ).

Three “Lies” That Plague B2B Businesses Today (Part One of Three)

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Cold calling is dead. 57 – 90% of the buying process is complete before a sales rep needs to get involved. Marketing and sales are aligned. Do you agree these are lies? In late August I asked industry experts that same question and asked them to substantiate their answers. The team of experts includes: Ardath Albee, Marketing Interactions , CEO and Business Strategist. Dave Brock, Partners in EXCELLENCE , President. Deb Calvert, People First Productivity Solutions , President. Ginger Conlon, GingerConlon.com , Chief Editor of CustomerAlchemy.net. Matt Heinz, Heinz Marketing , President. link].

A Blueprint for Content Marketing Success

84% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing spend over the next 5 years but less than half have any real confidence such content investments are paying off, based on a recent CEB survey.

What Percentage of Marketing Leads Should Be Accepted by Sales?

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The biggest disconnect between marketing and sales is the hand-off of marketing qualified leads (MQL’s) to sales and the acceptance of those leads (SAL’s) by sales. Unfortunately, the baton gets dropped more frequently than it is successfully passed. My solution to this is having a lead definition agreed upon by marketing and sales, and the establishment of a judicial branch to evaluate leads that are not accepted and passed back to marketing or dead in the funnel. You can read more about the judicial branch here. closed/won deals per 1,000 inquiries. B2B Marketing B2B Sales Sales Leads

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Is Account-Based Marketing the Holy Grail for Lead Generation Nirvana? [PowerOpinions Part 2]

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As Account-Based Marketing continues to rise in popularity among B2B companies, I decided to pick the brains of fellow industry experts and get their input on the matter. Is ABM the Holy Grail for lead generation or just another black box solution destined to cost a lot of money, distract marketing and end up getting more bad leads to sales faster than ever before? Click here to read Part 1. ).

The Skinny on Lead Nurturing - 11 Experts Weigh In (part 1 of 2)

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This year I've been talking a lot about Nurturing. It's a critical component in the sales and marketing process; yet, most companies aren't implementing it effectively—that is, if they are at all. feel so strongly that nurturing needs to be a focus, I asked a panel of 11 experts to weigh in on the best lead nurturing programs (and processes) and what to expect in the coming year. The impact?

Is Account-Based Marketing the Holy Grail for Lead Generation Nirvana? [PowerOpinions Part 3]

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I recently asked fellow industry leaders to weigh in on the rising popularity of Account-Based Marketing among B2B companies. This is the question I posed: According to a report by SiriusDecisions, 2015 State of Account-Based Marketing (ABM), more than 60 percent of companies plan to invest in technology for ABM to better align sales and marketing over the next twelve months. 5,686. Number of U.S.

Why B2B Content Strategies Are Paramount for Generating Quality Leads

Generating demand and ensuring the consistent flow of high-quality, actionable leads is what makes B2B marketers successful.

PowerOpinions: Making Lead Scoring a Success Part 2 [Expert Advice]

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We recently asked top industry experts the following question: As we enter the second half of 2015, have companies made the adjustments necessary to utilize lead scoring or is the status quo killing results? Why did we ask? Because it has become clear that marketing automation is making it easier than ever to generate poor quality leads. And sales is sick of it. Here's the problem. Here's part two.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Leads - Part 1

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There will be a ton of ink (and cyber ink) dedicated to lead nurturing this year. Most of it will be about using marketing automation to nurture leads. In and of itself, marketing automation is not a bad thing. More accurately, it’s a good thing being used badly by most companies. But that’s not what this blog is about. Lead Nurturing

7 Steps to Gain the Market Share You Deserve (& Sometimes Don't!)

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Similar to De Tocqueville’s famous comment, “People get the government they deserve,” I think companies get the market share they deserve based on their ability to market. We can agree that without marketing (the ability to create demand and sell) no company succeeds, and yet so many companies fail to succeed as marketers. B2B Marketing Marketing Strategy

Building an Inside Sales Lab: 10 Essential Tips for Success

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Why build an Inside Sales Lab in your own office? Testing is an excellent way to grow sales. Most firms with significant inside sales already test alternative scripts, lists, and/or prices, but they do so casually as part of day-to-day activities. A lab concentrates this function into a small, well-disciplined group with the right tools to capture subtle improvements. Inside Sales

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The B2B Marketer's Field Guide To Customer Engagement

Leverage customer engagement and advocacy to drive brand, demand and profitable growth.

Status quo, you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in.'

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This title is a quote from Ronald Reagan. The status quo—that marketing management doesn’t understand the definition of a qualified lead—is nothing new. Here’s the problem. Salespeople consistently say that they do not get enough qualified leads. Qualified leads, according to sales, are based on criteria they understand but marketing is in the dark about. The result? Inside sales? Ask the reps.

The #1 Reason CEOs Should Care About Lead Generation

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I often say that CEO’s don’t care about leads, they only care about revenue. Unfortunately, unless you, as the CEO of your company, start caring about leads you are going to lose revenue and miss your number. The corporate landscape has drastically changed to make businesses earn their audience's attention. It is not just about increasing sales and profits.

The sales rep said, “I never got a lead yet that turned into a sale.”

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I was the marketing manager of a medical device company and we were near the end of the day’s sales meeting. Forty salespeople were in the room; I was last on the program. Everybody wanted to get out, hit the lobby bar and trade stories about high prices, the lack of new products, how their new quotas were too high and their territories too small. The room grew quiet; the other hands dropped.

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Should You Gate Your Content? Answer These Questions To Find Out.

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Lead generation today relies heavily on creating quality content aimed at addressing prospects’ pain points and questions as they go through their buyer’s journey. Fantastic! Now that you, Ms. Marketer, have created all this wonderful content, an important question looms … should you gate it? Lead Generation Content Marketing SEO Optimization

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.