2016

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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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7 Truths About Sales and Marketing (That CEOs Need to Know - Part 1)

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Understanding the CEO’s role in eliminating wasted marketing spend and increasing sales results—the first of a 9 part blog series. One of my favorite authors and speakers, Mike Weinberg, says the following about the CEO’s role in companies: “As goes the leader, so goes the organization. The level of the team rarely, if ever, exceeds the level of its leader.”. In his book New Sales. Simplified.

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.

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 Additionally, avoid outdated techniques for lead qualification.

The Rise of the Customer Marketer

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

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.

Does Your Sales Team Know How to Follow-Up on a Lead?

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Nurture leads until they’re ready to turn over to sales is the sixth of 7 Truths about Sales and Marketing that CEOs need to know. This post is part of a series about the CEO’s role in eliminating wasted marketing spend and increasing sales results. Set sales straight—it’s a win win. Many sales reps lack insights on the best way to follow up on a lead. Rapid identification of problems.

What Do You Sell, Who Do You Sell It To and Why Everyone Has to Have The Same Answer

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How to define a lead and gain agreement is the first of 7 Truths about Sales and Marketing that CEOs need to know. This post is part of a series about the CEO’s role in eliminating wasted marketing spend and increasing sales results. Today you’ll learn why lead definition is important and why you, as the CEO, need to be involved in building your own universal lead definition: Shortly after I started PointClear I worked with a company that blew through $100 million because marketing was selling to one audience and sales was selling to another. For whatever reason (was it beneath him?)

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4 Revenue Sources Most ROI Calculators Miss (Part 2 of 2)

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This is Part Two of a two-part blog (read part 1 here) about how to improve accuracy in lead/revenue projections in organizations with a complex sales process: To recap part one, simple lead generation calculators miss these four things: They don’t take critical metrics (like last year’s revenue) into account. They have too much confidence in inbound-only strategies. The Lead/Revenue Assumptions.

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.

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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Seven Ideas to Increase Sales (Reading time: Five minutes or Less)

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There isn't a senior executive at any company across the globe that doesn't want more sales. The trouble is, not every company truly understands what it takes to generate that additional revenue. Here are some best practices involved with increasing sales: Lead generation, lead qualification, lead nurturing: For every dollar you have closed, you have left two dollars on the table. Go to this blog to see why this is happening and what to do about it. Validation and calibration of lead scoring : Your scoring needs calibration. Avoid the missed potential that traditional database clean-ups miss.

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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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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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].

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.

How the CEO Can Enhance Sales, Marketing, and the Executive Branch

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Someone once told me that CEOs don’t care about leads. They only care about revenue. Unfortunately, as a result of this thinking, marketing spends a ton of money generating leads for sales that are never followed-up. They go into a black hole (sometimes called CRM). It doesn’t have to be that way. Is 60-70% of the buying process over before prospects want to engage with a salesperson? But it isn’t.

4 Revenue Sources Most ROI Calculators Miss (Part 1 of 2)

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This is Part One of a two-part blog about how organizations with a complex sales process can improve accuracy in lead/revenue projections. Most ROI calculators I see published are flawed. Many of the tools are designed to determine how much revenue an organization needs and where that revenue came from. However, that is overly simplistic and lacks critically important metrics.

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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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Q&A With Dave Stein and Steve Andersen

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A remarkable new book is changing the way that B2B sales professionals think about, approach, and serve their customers. Co-authored by sales luminaries Steve Andersen and Dave Stein, Beyond the Sales Process: 12 Proven Strategies for a Customer Driven-World upends traditional sales training conventions and provides a clear, logical roadmap for establishing productive long-term customer relationships and for creating real value in a business environment that has undergone unprecedented change. How did the two of you decide to collaborate on this book? A. Relationships matter.

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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.

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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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.

Questions to Ask Before Investing in Lead Generation

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About this time of the year we start to receive calls from prospects wishing to start new lead generation projects ASAP. It happens every year. Our ramp up time for a new program is about four weeks. When prospects hear this their response is always, “That’s just too long. need leads NOW!” The fact is they needed leads before now. Desperation is a bottom feeder’s dream. How many were generated?

How Much Do Your Leads Cost?

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Understand the price you are paying for your leads and then optimize. Document the cost per lead is the fourth of 7 Truths about Sales and Marketing that CEOs need to know. This post is part of a series about the CEO’s role in eliminating wasted marketing spend and increasing sales results. Does this lead meet your industry, organization size and additional criteria required? Has the deal closed?

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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.

Marketing is More than Automation

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There is a back story to the development of the process called Account Based Marketing and that story was published in this blog by LeanData, Inc.: “In 2003, Bev Burgess , SVP ITSMA Europe, was the host of a get-together in London. As she sat between two senior-level marketing executives for global companies Accenture and Unisys, the conversation took a fateful turn. They discussed an intriguing idea – creating campaigns specifically tailored toward individual accounts. The rest, as they say, is history. Fast forward to 2016. Account Based Marketing (ABM) is all the rage. Disturbing Trend.

Long-Term Leads Demand Attention Now

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Near-Term Opportunities are Important, But So is Keeping the Pipeline Full. Your sales team likes nothing better than getting leads with a high probability of closing soon. So much so that many reps often ignore every lead they don’t consider hot. In reality, long-term leads often prove to be more valuable than those slated for a short-term decision. It may seem counter intuitive, but there are three key reasons why B2B companies need to pay more—not less—attention to opportunities not yet ready to close: 1. In many cases hot opportunities are already baked. Weigh the cost, weigh the benefit.

What Does “Full Funnel Marketing” Really Mean?

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The core idea behind this book is that marketers need to embrace and take responsibility for the entire sales funnel, not just the top half. It’s the new B2B imperative that marketers take full responsibility for the revenue impact of their efforts, that they work closely with their sales counterparts to make them more efficient and help them convert more opportunities into closed deals. The book covers a wide range of “full funnel marketing” areas, including technology, sales enablement, productivity best practices and more. So how do Full Funnel Marketers measure their work? Absolutely.

The Key to Filling in Your Revenue Gap

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Everywhere you look, inbound marketing is identified as the ultimate lead generation tool. While its popularity isn’t without merit, this marketing strategy is not the end-all for lead generation. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why some head executives don’t hit their revenue goals. Don’t let your bottom line fall victim to overpromising and under-delivering inbound programs.

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.

Lead Nurturing: Triple Your Marketing Return

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Nurture leads until they’re ready to turn over to sales is the sixth of 7 Truths about Sales and Marketing that CEOs need to know. This post is part of a series about the CEO’s role in eliminating wasted marketing spend and increasing sales results. In the last blog in this series we discussed how to keep leads from being ignored and going into a black hole by using something I call the judicial branch. Today we will discuss how lead nurturing can triple the return on most marketing campaigns: Nurturing is essential for successful lead generation—both inbound and outbound. No Response.

Marketing Needs to Put Skin in the Game

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Make marketing accountable for sourcing revenue is the third of 7 Truths about Sales and Marketing that CEOs need to know. This post is part of a series about the CEO’s role in eliminating wasted marketing spend and increasing sales results. In the last blog we discussed the importance of driving revenue from all sources (inbound, nurture, outbound). Today we will discuss what percent of revenue should be driven by marketing and what percent should be driven from sales. Measuring marketing’s contribution to revenue. Tier 2: Inside Commercial Accounts. Tier 3: SMB/Channel Accounts.

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How to Turn Sales Leads into Revenue, Not Just Work

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Even the most ambitious and efficient companies with highly competitive offerings, like GE or Boeing, don’t close 100% of their deals. These companies have a very high demand for their products and services, but they still need strong lead generation and qualification processes. It is unrealistic, even for the aforementioned companies, to think that sales can close every opportunity they receive.

Is Anyone Leading Lead Management?

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Sales Lead Management is a complicated process. It needs a leader to pull all of the competing interests and people together to work as a team. Sales lead management is a tough subject to truly get your arms around. There are dozens of outside vendors who say they manage some portion of the sales lead process and more than two dozen internal departments that contribute to the process and the decision making. My point is this—you need a Sales Lead Manager to pull all of the competing departments and managers together to obtain the best revenue per lead for your company. Direct Marketing Agency.

The B2B Marketer's Field Guide To Customer Engagement

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

What is the Minimum Acceptable Close Rate on Leads?

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I posted a question on LinkedIn's Sales and Marketing VP's Group and the results have been fascinating. First, here is the question as posted: "What is the minimum acceptable close rate for leads provided to sales in a complex selling situation (long sales cycle and multiple decision-makers)?". One thing I like about LinkedIn is that there are lots of people who genuinely want to help! Here is a distillation of the scores of responses I received: "To what extent are the leads qualified to begin with?". All you can do is look at the statistics over time. Over time you will raise the gene pool.".

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Marketing and Sales: Done Well (2015) Do Better (2016) - Part 3 of 3

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This is the third in a series of three blogs about what experts feel companies did well in 2015 and what they would do better in 2016. The panelists include: Ardath Albee – Marketing Interactions. Miles Austin – Fill the Funnel, Inc. Jeffrey Hayzlett – The C-Suite Network. Dave Kurlan – Objective Management Group. Matt Heinz – Heinz Marketing. Mike Weinberg – New Sales Coach.

Is Your Funnel Full of Fool's Gold?

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The sales reps at most B2B organizations have two choices: 1) Spend their time culling through leads that experience has shown are overwhelmingly raw, unfiltered, and unqualified. 2) Or, dismiss them outright. In this take-it-or-leave-it scenario, nobody wins. Sales is not as productive as they need to be to meet quota, marketing is wasting its budget generating leads that don’t get followed up, and the company as a whole is not likely to meet revenue goals. So, what’s the best way to rid the funnel of fool’s gold (leads that may look good at first blush, but are actually not worth much)?

A Multi-Touch, Multi-Media, Multi-Cycle Strategy Multiplies Results

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I field a lot of questions about what I call our multi-touch, multi-media, and multi-cycle strategy. Many of the questions I field have to do with number of touches and the types of touches we recommend to effectively nurture a prospect. Nurturing Prospects is Not Easy, Otherwise Everyone Would Do It. touches to engage with a prospect. What Is a Multi-Touch Cycle? You are my conscience.

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.