B2B Lead Generation Blog

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5th Annual MarketingSherpa Demand Generation Summit 2008

B2B Lead Generation Blog

You're invited to join me at MarketingSherpa's Demand Generation Summit at your choice of Boston (Oct 5-7) or San Francisco (Oct 26-28.) I'll be speaking on "Playbook for Effective Lead Management." This year's the summit will have 19 new case studies, which will show how to increase lead volume, optimize webinar attendance and effectiveness as well as show you the effectiveness of multi-touch campaigns, closed loop measurement and more. hope you can make it! Register here for the event before September 5th and save $300

Can a social media strategy boost your lead generation efforts?

B2B Lead Generation Blog

started off with a this statistic that he found on compete.com: Twitter had around 3 million people visiting the site in 2008, and it grew 640% between November 2007 and November 2008. came across a blog this weekend that reinforced my thoughts. This post, written by Christian Fea , CEO of Synertegic, Inc., Ok, so how do we harness all of social media’s potential and use it to build a lead generation system? Well, I’ve started to use my Twitter account a lot more, and I’ve found some productive uses for the application: Sent mini survey question and got answers quickly.

Should lead generation ignore current customers?

B2B Lead Generation Blog

”We know more about our prospects (leads) than we know about our current customers” was a shocking statement I heard from a client and it stuck with me. In fact, it's the impetus for this post. When you have a complex sale, it can be easy to think of lead generation as only a process for acquiring new customers rather than a process that can also be applied to generating new or more business from current customers. while back I was in a meeting with a marketing leader of a Global 100 software firm. He shared a story about their new CEO at the time. So, do you have a Customer First Plan

Lead Qualification: Webinar marketing strategy boosts conversion 500%

B2B Lead Generation Blog

“When I came on in 2008, we had a webinar program and a lot of other programs running very disjointed. Tweet Providing relevant and valuable content in webinars is key to a successful strategy. But for Adobe, while the content was there, the strategy was not. Every program, every webinar all had various different promotional plans behind it, and they were really a one-off situation.

Share your marketing 'wisdom' with Sherpa readers worldwide

B2B Lead Generation Blog

I wanted to be sure to let you know that MarketingSherpa is gathering content for its seventh annual “wisdom report.” It’s a great opportunity for you to share your top 2008 story – and get back lessons learned from colleagues worldwide. What you learned about a specific tactic -How you coped with a recessionary economy and the impact it had on your 2008 marketing plan and budget. Marketing Wisdom from the Field Report” will be published in January and distributed free to all MarketingSherpa readers. Deadline for quotes for the ‘wisdom report’ is December 31.

How to Select and Optimize Outsourced Teleprospecting Redux

B2B Lead Generation Blog

If you're too busy to listen to my podcast or simply prefer to reading over listening, Sridhar Ramanathan, whom I interviewed on how to select and optimize outsourced teleprospecting partnerships, posted his the talking points on his blog. Pacifica Group: Part II: How to Select and Optimize Outsourced Teleprospecting

Podcast: A new role for sales as expert content filters

B2B Lead Generation Blog

I just had a great interview with Robin Carey, co-founder of the Customer Collective. Salespeople have become the second choice for information among buyers who'd rather just go to the Internet. This trend actually creates an opportunity for those who think and act like trusted advisors. You can listen here. In the interview, I share how I got my start and how the Internet has shifted control away from marketers and salespeople. also describe how today's sales people can add value to the buying process by becoming expert content filters for prospects. What's The Customer Collective ?

Fear not! Think like a savvy investor with lead generation

B2B Lead Generation Blog

This morning I was talking to a marketing leader about his 2008 strategy and he brought up some concerns he had about the economy and its potential impact on him and others. Can you blame him? In years past, marketing has been favorite target for cuts by CFOs and CEOs as they look to conserve cash and reinforce their balance sheets for tough times. I'm less concerned about budget cuts and more interested in opportunities for him and other B2B marketers who choose to bring focus to their marketing efforts. seldom find sales quotas are lowered to fit the news headlines.

3 Steps that Helped Skyline Exhibits Increase New Product Sales by 18%

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Tweet During the economic downturn of 2008, while most companies were scaling back and avoiding risk, Skyline Exhibits , a global trade show exhibit company, decided to go the opposite direction and invest in innovation. Increased sales from new products from 6% to 24%. Total sales in 2012 grew 6% compared to the 2.1% industry growth projected by the Center for Exhibition Research.

Is Social Media Really Living Up to Expectations?

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Our first benchmark guide was published in 2009, which analyzed the use of social media in 2008. Over the holidays, I had some time to really dive into the LinkedIn B2B LeadGen Roundtable discussions. One started by Ann Thornley-Brown , President & CEO, Executive Oasis International, Toronto, caught my attention. She started the discussion in August, yet members continue to provide feedback. Ann wanted to know how happy the group was with the lead generation results of their social media campaigns. Are your efforts on LinkedIn and Twitter paying off?” she queried. How about you?”.

Is Social Media Really Living Up to Expectations?

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Our first benchmark guide was published in 2009, which analyzed the use of social media in 2008. Over the holidays, I had some time to really dive into the LinkedIn B2B LeadGen Roundtable discussions. One started by Ann Thornley-Brown , President & CEO, Executive Oasis International, Toronto, caught my attention. She started the discussion in August, yet members continue to provide feedback. Ann wanted to know how happy the group was with the lead generation results of their social media campaigns. Are your efforts on LinkedIn and Twitter paying off?” she queried. How about you?”.

BtoB 2008 Lead Generation Guide

B2B Lead Generation Blog

B2B Marketers are increasingly emphasizing lead generation and as a result, BtoB Magazine just published their inaugural BtoB 2008 Lead Generation Guide today. highly recommend you check it out. It has a lot of studies, expert columns, market statistics and vendor lists that are worthwhile. Also, I wrote a guest column on Putting the human touch back into lead generation for the guide

The 20 Best CRM Blogs of 2008

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Read Inside CRM's complete list "The Best CRM Blogs of 2008" Inside CRM ranked the top CRM blogs based on their insights, readability and frequency of posting. I'm honored to have been included on the list. As I read over the list (which includes 20 blogs) I discovered some new ones worth reading along with bloggers already follow like Jim Berkowitz, who writes the CRM Mastery Blog ; John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing Blog and Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba who write the Church of the Customer Blog. feel honored to be included in such great company.

The 2008 Top of the Funnel List

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Others bloggers named to Craig's 2008 Top of the Funnel List include Jon Miller, the author of Modern B2B Marketing blog , and Michael Stelzner, the author of Writing White Papers Blog and many other great resources. Check out the Craig's 2008 Top of the Funnel List Craig Rosenberg recently created a list of the most influential people in B2B Demand Generation, and I'm honored to have been included. Many know Craig through his blog, Funnelholic , or through his company Tippit. feel privileged to be in such great company. Thanks Craig.

Podcast: How to Optimize Teleprospecting Vendors

B2B Lead Generation Blog

More companies than ever are using third party providers for teleprospecting and lead management operations, however there is little information on how to select, engage, and measure these vendors who will add that essential human touch. Sridhar is an industry thought leader in marketing and former HP executive that grew HP's Managed Services unit to $1B in revenue. Co-sourcing or Outsourcing?

B2B 2.0 marketing expo by MarketingProfs

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Marketing Expo is March 5, 2008 and you can register here The gang at MarketingProfs put together conference that's worth checking out. Now here's the best part. no conference travel required. The B2B 2.0

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How to use social media for lead generation

B2B Lead Generation Blog

I’ve been blogging for over five years. When I started, there wasn’t a business case on the ROI of blogging, nor was there a lot written on B2B lead generation. started blogging because I wanted to share with everyone what I thought were useful B2B lead generation ideas, tips, and resources – material that I was already freely giving to my clients. have to say, my expectations were pretty low. thought maybe I’d attract a few new clients, but I didn’t know it would generate so many leads, or develop into a book deal with a major publisher – who came to me, by the way.

B2B Marketing Testing to Optimize Lead Generation Results

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Discovering and knowing what really works and what doesn’t for lead generation is essential for every marketer. The best way to discover this is through the process of testing. Personally, I’ve met only a handful of B2B marketers who are consistently testing their offers to optimize them and generate leads more effectively. In the interview, Hunter shares best practices for increasing conversion via testing , building a universal definition of a lead, and using testing to discover what works.

Why Writing Blogs for SEO Will Inevitably Fail

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Should you write a blog exclusively for search engine visibility? Business blogs can offer little-known companies name recognition, and the chance to boost traffic and generate leads well beyond what they'd get if they were simply offering a list of goods and services for sale on their website. Now it's pretty common advice to hear: launch a blog because the content will attract links and improve your search engine rank. Lee Odden over at the Online Marketing Blog shares a helpful perspective on why blogs written solely for SEO objectives will inevitably fail.

Lead nurturing putting the human touch into action with video and email

B2B Lead Generation Blog

I had a great time doing my webinar on putting the human touch into lead generation sponsored by Citrix Online and we had almost 1600 people register. In my presentation I emphasized how lead nurturing is about timing, consistency and relevance. Today (which happens to be my 38th birthday) I got this email with a personal video from Gary Anderson, CEO of NetBriefings. wanted to share this with you because I think it is a great example of lead nurturing by combining the human touch and timing in a personal and relevant way that connected with their business value proposition. You deserve it!!

Webinar on Putting the Human Touch into Lead Generation

B2B Lead Generation Blog

There are numerous tactics for generating leads these days - everything from the traditional email or phone call to the explosively popular social media craze. However, the real challenge is not necessarily in generating leads, but more in truly connecting with them. It doesn't matter how many leads you generate if they aren't willing to listen to what you have to say next. You need to develop and then engage in memorable and relevant conversations with prospects. You need to position your company as a thought leader and solution provider that understands your prospect's needs. PST)/ 2 p.m.

Lead generation No Nos: When is a “free download� no longer free?

B2B Lead Generation Blog

What do you wish companies would stop doing when you download a free white paper? I bet I already know. I had a conversation recently with my business development executive who has become highly suspicious of "free" white paper downloads. There are some sites that he refuses to download from because not only was the prior information unhelpful, but he knows he will receive a call from a telemarketer - even after he's made it clear he's not interested. Why do we continue to force people into being "leads?" People download content often to answer questions.

Taking my five-step lead management ‘playbook’ on the road

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Why do so many companies struggle with the lead generation process? Simple. Even the very best lead generation program cannot compensate for poor teamwork and collaboration. You can actually achieve major ROI gains by optimizing a just few key aspects of your lead management process. just finished up the MarketingSherpa Demand Generation Summit in Boston where I was given the opportunity to present my ‘Playbook for Effective Lead Management.' And, we're doing it all again in San Francisco October 26-28. Check out the full agenda. hope you can make it.

5 Lead Nurturing Time Factors to Fine Tune Your Messages

B2B Lead Generation Blog

The lack of a strong lead nurturing discipline can cost your organization substantial unrealized revenue. Without lead nurturing in place to capture and cultivate early-stage leads, your marketing funnel misses out on valuable opportunities. The true value of lead nurturing comes from the technique of staying in touch with prospects while providing them with the relevant information as they move through the evaluation and buying process. But, how do you get that delicate balance just right? It's just good manners to acknowledge someone's interest in your brand promptly. 2. etc). 4.

ITSMA: Elevating Demand in a Crowded World

B2B Lead Generation Blog

You're invited to join me at ITSMA's (IT Services Marketing Association) upcoming Marketing Leadership Forum May 6-7, 2008 in La Jolla, CA. Generating demand has become a top priority for most companies in today's slower environment. The most successful programs are much more targeted than in past years and favor quality over quantity. I'll be giving a keynote on “The Playbook for Effective Lead Management” and I'm looking forward to meeting the other speakers. Please note is there is a fee for this event. Brian Bakstran, SVP, Field Marketing, North America, CA.

A five-step playbook that will optimize lead generation programs

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Companies that adopt closed-loop lead management processes report higher return on marketing investment (ROMI) than those that do not, making this a key investment for B2B marketers. The challenge that many organizations face is that their lead management process is a black hole. I'll address this proverbial black hole between your company's sales and marketing efforts during a MarketingExperiments' Web Clinic on Wednesday, September 24 at 4 p.m. EST. I'll outline ways to build an operational ‘playbook' with your sales department to better manage and nurture the leads you generate.

Coming on September 22: Email vs. Phone vs. In-Person Meeting? Four Viewpoints

B2B Lead Generation Blog

To what extent can you substitute emails for telephone calls and face-to-face meetings when maintaining and developing relationships with clients and other key market contacts? The answer to this frequently-asked-question affects how you spend your precious business development time and money. Getting it right will improve your sales effectiveness. No wonder it's so frequently asked. But what is the answer? On September 22, four bloggers will post their answers simultaneously. They are: Ford Harding , student of selling professional services. Yours Truly.

Building a Marketing Funnel and More Lead Management Tips

B2B Lead Generation Blog

I was recently interviewed for an article on lead management by Chris Koch who works for ITSMA , the Information Technology Services Marketing Association. In the article titled, " Building a Marketing Funnel and Other Lead Management Tips ," I give the following five tips on how you can make your B2B lead management more effective, which are: Create a marketing funnel. Create a universal definition of a lead. Use the phone. Ask about goals—don't sell. Define lead nurturing—and the right people to nurture. Here's a short excerpt from my interview. 1. Create a marketing funnel.

Rainmakers and Lead Generation

B2B Lead Generation Blog

In professional services organizations the people who bring in the big revenue clients are often called rainmakers. They're the one's that make it all happen and become almost mythical in the process. In today's challenging business climate, we could all use more rainmakers. like what Ford Harding, author of Rain Making, Attract New Clients No Matter What Your Field, 2nd Edition and President of Harding & Company had to say about rainmakers. Harding writes, “A rainmaker, as we define one, brings in leads and converts them into business at such levels that she leaves her colleagues in awe.

Podcast: Interview on lead generation with Dave Stein

B2B Lead Generation Blog

I was was recently interviewed by Dave Stein, CEO and Founder of ES Research Group , and author of How Winners Sell (a great book by the way). During the interview we talk about the following topics: What works to get sales and marketing alignment. How the marketing funnel impacts the sales funnel. Reengaging and optimizing past sales leads. Teleprospecting and nurturing tactics. Listen to podcast now. Also, Check out Dave Stein's Blog for Sales Leaders. Dave is an internationally recognized thought leader in the area of sales performance, sales effectiveness and especially sales training.

What causes webinar attendees to bail?

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Webinars and webcasts are a key tactic in lead generation toolkit. The challenge with webinars is that if you don't do a super job, attendees will bail on you and they may never register one of your events again. That's why I found this chart What Causes Webinar Attendees to Bail? by MarketingSherpa useful. According to their research here are the top reasons attendees say they bail on a webinar. Content was not as advertised. Presenter(s) read directly from the slides. Webinar began with company/sales information (pitches). You were familiar with the information in the first few slides.

Execution is the key to go-to-market success

B2B Lead Generation Blog

The biggest obstacle to go-to-market success (and lead generation ROI for that matter) is the lack of good execution. The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council's latest study, “ Driving the Bottom Line from the Front Line ,” assessed the go-to-market processes and capabilities of global companies. Todd Ebert over at the BAD Marketing Blog gives some additional insights on the CMO study here. agree with their findings. With that said, it requires more than just effective upper management involvement. believe that effective collaboration requires each of us to better managers ourselves.

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Optimizing webforms to generate more leads through your website

B2B Lead Generation Blog

After a talk on lead management, I spoke with several marketers from a company where one said, “We don't need to qualify our leads because our web forms do the qualifying for us. then we send them to our sales team.”. Here's the problem with that model. long and detailed web forms often cause people to lie or simply leave altogether. So what should you do instead? Start by creating a lead generation form that balances your need for information and potential buyers need for not being hassled.

The Human Touch of Lead Nurturing/Marketing Automation

B2B Lead Generation Blog

I participated in a webcast and podcast combo on the adding the human touch to marketing automation as part of the Marketing Mastery Series sponsored by Eloqua , MarketingExperiments and ON24. You can watch the webinar recording here. Because the webinar was a brief 20 minutes, we held all audience questions for a podcast interview right after. Steve Gershik VP of Marketing Innovation for Eloqua and the Innovative Marketer Blog interviewed me for his podcast on the subject of lead generation. You can listen to our Q&A interview here

Web Analytics for B2B Lead Generation

B2B Lead Generation Blog

In the complex sale, the length of the buying cycle makes the connection between on-the-web activity and the off-line decision to purchase much more difficult to trace. So the challenge is connecting our website data (analytics), with marketing data (inquiries and leads) with the sales process and revenue (closing the loop). came across Manoj Jasra post, " B2B Web Analytics: Deeper Dive - Web Analytics World " and thought it was relevant to share. Here are some posts that give more suggestions on analytics. still think there is a lot of improvement that needs to be made in this area.

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Let's stop doing random acts of lead generation

B2B Lead Generation Blog

I don't know about you but I seldom meet a B2B marketer who has time to think. And it seems that the pressure keeps building as more of us seek to do more with less. That said, it's vital for us to think before we execute. It's not about doing more campaign activity… it's about doing the right things repeatedly better. The simple act of a sales and marketing team finding time to think and collaborate together is vital to developing a solid lead generation program. Our results will improve because we're following this approach: ready, aim, aim, aim, and then fire.

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Top Lead Generation Tips for New Sellers

B2B Lead Generation Blog

The faster we can get new sales reps producing revenue the better. So what works? Jill Konrath shares 5 great tips for new sellers on her Selling to BIG Companies Blog and it's definitely worth a read. particularity liked tip number four about creating an “account entry campaign.”. One of the most difficult and consistent challenges for sales people is getting their foot in the door with the right people, at the right companies. Here's 5 more lead generation tips I'd recommend for new sellers. 1. Define your goals – Be clear on what you want. Do you want 20 more leads in your database?

Lead management software becoming a hot topic

B2B Lead Generation Blog

What do you do with leads or inquires once you generate them? This basic question is overlooked by so many and yet it's the leading cause of failure in what would otherwise be effective lead generation programs. The common-sense answer to this challenge is easier said than done: Have your best people respond to them quickly and consistently in order to qualify them into sales ready leads. The ones that aren't qualified yet (but are a fit) you put into a lead nurturing process. I'm really glad to see an analyst giving their opinion and I look forward to more insights. Database services.

Why cost-per-lead budgets fail and fewer leads are better

B2B Lead Generation Blog

A reader asked me to explain why fewer leads are better and why “cost-per-lead” budgets fail. These are two great questions that have the same fundamental answer: quality first then quantity. The truth is that sales people care very little about the cost of the leads we generate. What they really care about is how many of those leads will actually become viable sales opportunities. For this reason, I think cost-per-lead measurements are irrelevant unless we can answer another fundamental question first, “What is our rate of lead acceptance (a.k.a. Lead to opportunity.

Lead Nurturing is about Relationships, not e-mails

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Carrying on the theme of my recent post on lead nurturing as trusted advisors with the human touch , I came across Mike Volpe's post over the HubSpot Marketing Blog. thought he did a nice job of showing the human touch in action as part of the lead nurturing process. The goal of lead nurturing is to maintain a relevant and consistent dialog with viable future customers - regardless of their timing to buy. It's about relationships. Don't ever forget the human touch. Build relationships with the right people and companies regardless of their timing to buy. Think: customers for life.