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Leading for Success in a Changing World

Phoenix Rising

Leading for success requires us to be. Our markets continuously change, driven by any number of dynamic events; buyer behaviors, fickle brand preferences, or economic pressures—just to name a few. Competitors and. partners are changing as well. New competitors emerge as. older ones fade—or become stronger. Once powerful partners fall as new ones appear on our horizon.    To thrive in this ever-changing horizon, we must be dynamic as well! When we listen to our markets, evolving our plan. becomes a natural endeavor.    Think about it. Wouldn't it be. expansion.

Leading for Success in a Changing World

Phoenix Rising

Leading for success requires us to be. Our markets continuously change, driven by any number of dynamic events; buyer behaviors, fickle brand preferences, or economic pressures—just to name a few. Competitors and. partners are changing as well. New competitors emerge as. older ones fade—or become stronger. Once powerful partners fall as new ones appear on our horizon.    To thrive in this ever-changing horizon, we must be dynamic as well! When we listen to our markets, evolving our plan. becomes a natural endeavor.    Think about it. Wouldn't it be. expansion.

8 Signs of a Positive Leader

Phoenix Rising

Leaders follow Thumpers' lead.  Yesterday I added my two cents on sensationalism across so many aspects of our lives.    Today - I want to share my perspectives on the signs of a great leader. Not the sensationalism oriented gurus that seem to be popular today. Those approaches may not be the best to follow. As Dale Carnegie said, " Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain -- and most fools do." So how do we know when we're following a true leader? Well, that's something we all have to decide for ourselves. So here's my list. 1.

New Tricks

Phoenix Rising

We can't expect an exec to find their own way and reach a new level of expertise  while simultaneously leading our business forward. Let's say your business is making some pretty major changes. Do you assume you can train our favorite employees - about new markets, new skills, new roles?    Even as you are operating a changing business?    Think about that. Sometimes we can retrain skills – especially when our change in course is minor.    Employees can learn on the job without risking too much forward momentum in that case.

SMB 2

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

Smashing Pedestals

Phoenix Rising

  We can all take a lead from his words. "I'm We've all looked the other way when an admired associate or loved one told a tiny little fib. Maybe we glossed over the discrepancy when an explanation didn't jive with the facts. It's what we do - we trust those we admire. That's one of the joys of being human. We hope for the best. looked the other way for a CEO client. loved working with this guy. He was the ultimate leader - people would follow him off a cliff if he asked. He had duty, honor and integrity written all over him. So I continued to believe.

He Said, She Said

Phoenix Rising

That leads to even more opportunity for confusion or just plain mistaken perception. I'm intrigued by the difference between what people say and what we hear. Communication is such a nebulous exercise. Especially with the rise of non-verbal communication in the form of texting, email, tweeting, FB posts and more.    If communicating was challenging before our digital age, think how complex it is today. We listen based on our own perspectives and experiences. We read based on those aspects plus whatever is going on around us. Simply because of our own filters.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Phoenix Rising

Leading strategy brainstorming sessions for clients is an interesting dance. Aretha had it right about respect. We want it, we need it and we don't get enough of it. That makes for an interesting situation doesn't it? What happens in our society when one of the basic foundations of a civilized world - respect and courtesy - is a rare commodity? I'm not saying we're all disrespectful. know lots of people who are kind and courteous gentle men and women. The well-dressed woman raging at the sales clerk for not having the lipstick she wants in stock. What a crisis that is.

Buzzwords are BS!

Phoenix Rising

  Words like biggest, fastest, cheapest, newest, most reliable, most secure, most efficient, market leading, world-class, new and improved, leading edge. I’m not talking about technology or industry specific buzzwords. I’m talking about marketing buzzwords – that cross every industry and market.  Three adjectives and a noun are not a value proposition. used a Random Positioning Generator with my clients for years.    As a joke. It contained four columns of words. My schtick was to select a word from each column and create a positioning claim. 

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

distribution and lead nurturing, to more effectively communicate with prospective buyers at each stage of funnel. To get a more granular view of how B2B marketing professionals are adapting to these trends and pressures, we asked 25 leading influencers. preference, lead generation) isn't new, just more intense. its role beyond lead gen. Tom has been published on leading.

Buzzwords are BS!

Phoenix Rising

  Words like biggest, fastest, cheapest, newest, most reliable, most secure, most efficient, market leading, world-class, new and improved, leading edge. I’m not talking about technology or industry specific buzzwords. I’m talking about marketing buzzwords – that cross every industry and market.  Three adjectives and a noun are not a value proposition. used a Random Positioning Generator with my clients for years.    As a joke. It contained four columns of words. My schtick was to select a word from each column and create a positioning claim. 

But We CAN'T

Phoenix Rising

When I'm leading strategy sessions, I start counting when I hear the 'can't' word coming from an executive team.  'Can't' is a destructive little word. How many times a day do you say or hear the word 'can't' in your business? What about in your own personal life?      Try paying attention for a day and see what you find - in yourself and in those around you. You may be surprised at the power this little word is wielding over your life.   They don't know why I'm putting those marks on the whiteboard.

They Chose Lemonade!

Phoenix Rising

It surpassed both of their sales within a year to become the hottest seller and lead the market. As I've been talking about finding the opportunity in a crisis, I realized some of my friends are perfect examples of finding light in the midst of darkness. So today isn't all about business - it's about people who chose to make lemonade when they were given big fat lemons. Take my dear friend Amanda (Yes, some of the names are bogus). Did she curl up in a ball and give up?    Nope. She had the transplant and has never looked back.  They were wrong. Everything!

Accentuate the Positive!

Phoenix Rising

We can choose to follow the pack and lead with fear - follow the Shock and Awe approach and scare our customers spitless.  I decided to go looking for signs of positive sales and marketing amid the SuperFUD we discussed yesterday. hopped out to some high-tech websites, a traditional FUD bastion. have to admit I was surprised to find a positive and upbeat focus. Leaders in PC's, a tough industry, are positive.    Positive customer upside, no fear in sight. There IS hope out there! took a look at IBM. More positive and uplifting promos!    'Dolphins.

Don't SWAG Your SWOT!

Phoenix Rising

  Broad brush SWOTs can lead you into a false sense of security.  A SWOT analysis is a valuable tool for taking a hard look at ourselves, our customers and the marketplace in general. Unfortunately, most companies view SWOTs as a necessary evil. We all tend to groan when we think about a SWOT analysis – wasted time, wasted resources, hours in a room (where at least we can read and respond to email). We SWAG our SWOT to get through the exercise and back to business. Don't SWAG your SWOTs! Those SWAGs become corporate facts and drive your destiny! Case in Point. 

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

Powering Momentous Launches

Phoenix Rising

week or two before the big date, we go share our news with the leading analysts in our community, the top customers and partners.  We invited the top four analysts,two long lead press, five well known customers and a few other folks to a private Whisper Suite.  Launches are viewed as the Lighting Bolt of our corporate world, the big Ta Da! We get all our materials together in hush, hush secrecy.   Then, on the big day our Press Release  hits the wire and  we start selling our hearts out, having trained the sales force the day or week before.

The Company You Keep

Phoenix Rising

One of my clients was viewed by their industry as the leading integrator of the toughest solutions. Remember when your folks told you to choose your friends wisely?    They were trying to protect you, but they also knew that you'd be judged based on your friends. People perceive us in part based on who we hang around with, who we point to as 'friends' and associates. That's why all these sayings apply to business and life! Birds of a feather flock together. smart man surrounds himself with smart people. You are only as good as the company you keep.

Stop with the 4 Letter Words!

Phoenix Rising

Technical standards, definitions, interfaces and acronyms do not belong as the lead in creating your corporate brand, positioning or differentiation.  I brought the soapbox out to talk about both 3 and 4 letter words - those pesky acronyms that seem to permeate technical and complex B2B product marketing.    I just spent some time reviewing materials from a potential new client. It   was a deep dive into the cloud computing world.    Which is fine.    But it was ALL deep dive. Technobabble does not belong in our key positioning stories.

The Enemy is Out There

Phoenix Rising

Executives must take the lead.   First they have to cease and desist with their own cross-talk about their peers - they must lead by example. Why is it that when companies begin to struggle, heck, sometimes even when they are doing well - the internal battles are waged? I see Sales and Marketing battles, Marketing and Engineering battles, Sales and Finance battles - everyone blaming others for all the issues, taking little responsibility themselves.  And think of what we could do with those most precious resources if we only remembered one simple battle cry.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

distribution and lead nurturing, to more effectively communicate with prospective buyers at each stage of funnel. To get a more granular view of how B2B marketing professionals are adapting to these trends and pressures, we asked 25 leading influencers. preference, lead generation) isn't new, just more intense. its role beyond lead gen. Tom has been published on leading.

Stop Blaming Marketing!

Phoenix Rising

As the customer advocate, they support their customers' perspectives, share their views, follow their lead and serve their customers. My recent post Stop Blaming Sales received a few comments from sales type folks -  asserting that I was 'right on', that marketing should not be given responsibility for websites, for corporate positioning - that marketing was pretty much worthless. I was kinda surprised by those comments - they were pretty far out of context from my own thoughts as I created that post.  Stop Blaming Marketing! Yes marketing has to listen. My point? 

Less is More

Phoenix Rising

Do you lead your audience through a story that's compelling in its focus and simplicity? I'm working with a new client that's really exciting. Great solutions, great market opportunity, on-the-money strategy and they get the "So What?" approach to solution marketing and selling. As we work together to create a new positioning story, we're focusing on a single little phrase: Less is More. Repeat that to yourself again. Then review all of the customer-facing aspects that are your business. In the case of my client - they have lots of diverse value to offer.

Reading Between the Lines is for Dating

Phoenix Rising

Or worse yet, leading them to assume you're something you're not.  Looking at a friend of a friend's website. spent 30 minutes and was still scratching my head about the value the biz provides. found claims for improved performance, increased revenues and just plain super duper business results. Statistics and name dropping. Every popular buzzword right there on the Home Page for all to see. But I still didn't know what they did. I had to dive into the product pages. wonder how many other visitors would spend the effort? So why all the ambiguity? Fear of exclusion.

Revenue's Down, Let's Fire Sales

Phoenix Rising

  Which leads to my next concern. I met with a former client to discuss his company's current business. He wanted to pick my brain on how to best approach their opportunity to transform themselves, to reinvent and re-tune. In response to their flat (and somewhat declining) revenue, they've cut back their company resources across the board - but they've specifically reduced headcount in sales.    That surprised me.    Why would you cut sales when you need to drive revenue?     They also cut their new channel program and reps.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

distribution and lead nurturing, to more effectively communicate with prospective buyers at each stage of funnel. To get a more granular view of how B2B marketing professionals are adapting to these trends and pressures, we asked 25 leading influencers. preference, lead generation) isn't new, just more intense. its role beyond lead gen. Tom has been published on leading.

Free Positioning eBook: It's Not About You Anymore

Phoenix Rising

  About their unmatched experience and revolutionary products, their industry leading service and kicktail integration capability.  I was checking out a potential client's website. found everything I ever wanted to know about the company.    Their firsts  and awards, their executive team's impressive track record. It was a chest thumping extravaganza! couldn't find a customer story anywhere.    Just the obligatory logos on a page entitled 'Customer Success ' Two of the four links I clicked on were broken. Think Again

Please Don't Bet Your Business on Those Numbers

Phoenix Rising

The team argued in detail about the quantitative market data from a leading industry analyst. I just spent some time with one of my clients. The goal was to identify the best target market profiles for a new product they are launching in the fall. Which was the biggest opportunity?    I finally had to jump in and rain on their parade. happen to know that the data came straight from their competitors - who made up whatever they wanted to look good in the survey. Not exactly the best empirical fodder for your business decisions, now is it? All because of those numbers.

Which Comes First: Lead Nurturing or Inside Sales?

The Point

For a long time, “ lead nurturing ” was thought of as something you did with the leads that sales didn’t want. The theory was: leads come in, the sales team gets the hot ones, and the rest go to lead nurturing. Today, of course, a comprehensive lead nurturing strategy is much more than that. Currently we have a bunch of leads sitting in that “contacted” stage.

In Industrial Lead Generation, a Lead is a Lead, Right?

Industrial Marketing Today

Every discussion I’ve had with manufacturers and industrial companies starts with “we need more leads” or ends with “we need results.” I understand and accept the fact that the main goal of industrial marketing is to generate leads. have no issues with that but do these companies know what a qualified lead is? by Achinta Mitra appeared first on Industrial Marketing Today.

Introduction to Lead Management

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Tweet If Sales and Marketing were a manufacturing operation starting with raw materials — leads — and ending up with 5% to 20% in deliverable product — won sales — it would soon be shut down to determine what is wrong. However, companies continue to spend untold dollars on lead generation efforts ultimately doomed to fail. Lack of lead management impacts lead conversion and ROI.

Lead Generation: Balancing lead quality and lead quantity

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Tweet Lead generation is somewhat like a tightrope act. Generate too many leads, and the rope between Sales and Marketing breaks. If you don’t generate enough leads that turn into sales, your ROI plummets. As Debbie Pryer, Program Manager, Siemens Healthcare , discovered, finding the right balance between lead quantity and quality takes trust, teamwork and planning.

Lead Generation That Converts Leads into Sales Opportunities

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Tweet Ask most executives and marketers what salespeople need to sell in this economy, and they will say one thing: more leads. That’s why many marketing and lead generation programs tend to focus on quantity. Unfortunately, as little as 5 to 15%  of all marketing inquiries (aka leads) turn out to be truly sales-ready opportunities. challenge. Create a marketing funnel .

5 Ways to Expand Lead Nurturing Beyond the Inbox

The Point

Email may still be the workhorse in how B2B companies build relationships, maintain awareness, qualify leads and nudge prospects along the sales cycle, but these days, it pays to think about “lead nurturing” as more just an email campaign. The post 5 Ways to Expand Lead Nurturing Beyond the Inbox appeared first on The Point. That’s not because email is going away any time soon.

Best B2B Lead Posts in 2014: Lead generation, lead nurturing and content marketing

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Read on to find out what B2B Lead Roundtable Blog posts were shared the most as well as the three topics B2B marketers valued most in 2014. Topic #1 — Lead generation is king. Lead generation was a huge topic for 2014 and for good reason. Every lead nurturing campaign, every lead conversion, every sale depends on first generating a lead. The difference?

Measure Your Way to Lead Nurturing Success

The Point

Demand Gen Report just published “ Top B2B Marketers Measure Lead Nurturing Effectiveness to Boost Performance ,” a special report in which they address the whys, whats, and how tos of measuring lead nurturing’s true impact. That, ultimately, is what lead nurturing is designed to do – move leads towards opportunity and close. The results were dramatic.

A Simple 2-Step Technique for Improving Lead Follow Up

The Point

In an era when “demand generation” and “content marketing” are virtually synonymous, most B2B sales leads are the result of a prospect downloading or requesting content. Most B2B marketers take for granted that content marketing will, by default, generate a wide spectrum of leads – some of them qualified, perhaps, but most just conducting informal research (the proverbial “tire kickers”).

Building Your Strategic Lead Generation Portfolio

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Tweet To be successful at lead generation, marketers can’t rely on one specific tactic. while ago, I created a mind map of lead generation channels for my book Lead Generation for the Complex Sale. I’ve updated it to include more content marketing and social media channels. How do you determine which channels are the best for generating leads and finding future customers?

New Chapter for the B2B Lead Blog

B2B Lead Generation Blog

You may have noticed the B2B Lead Blog has a new look. Over the next few months, I’ll be starting a business and working on my next book, a sequel to  Lead Generation for the Complex Sale. Back when I started this blog in 2003, I couldn’t find any place where people were sharing ideas related to lead generation and the complex sale. Image credit: PhotoDune.

Lead Generation: 2 simple tips to determine cost per lead

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Tweet Getting to the heart of lead cost is not easy. In today’s B2B Lead Roundtable Blog post, I wanted to explore cost per lead by sharing a few tips and insights from the panel of industry experts that spoke on the subject at MarketingSherpa Lead Gen Summit 2013. Clearly define what a lead is for your organization. Move toward thinking of lead cost in aggregate.