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Branding terminology and jargon explained

The B2B Research Blog

All of the above, if well executed, creates ‘brand equity’ – the commercial benefits of having a strong brand such as increased sales, loyalty and the ability to charge a premium.  Jargon abounds in the discipline of branding, and the plethora of terms in use coupled with the sometimes nuanced differences between them can have undesirable side effects.  Sometimes the jargon undermines the user, making them seem pretentious or detached from the hard-nosed world of commerce.  So in the interests of clarity, let’s take a look at some of key branding terminology and what it really means.

Branding is b t

The B2B Research Blog

The relationship is with me – the sales guy – not the corporate brand. “Branding is marketing b t. Only FMCG firms who need to build aspirations and desire worry about stuff like that. B2B is different. Even if it wasn’t, buyers are rational and put emotions to one side. And anyway our brand is just fine, the logo is great.”. Sound familiar? As a marketer you no doubt recognise the value of a strong brand.  77% of the 100 B2B marketing leaders we recently surveyed for the B2B Leaders Forum went so far as to describe branding as critical to their company’s future growth.

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The cost of losing a customer

The B2B Research Blog

What’s the cost of losing a customer?  ‘A lot’ is the simple answer, especially in B2B markets where the pool of prospective customers is limited and each sale tends to be high value. First, interrogate your sales data to identify customers who have broken their usual spending pattern, either by stopping spending altogether or by significantly reducing spend. Only the latter category – those who have defected to a competitor – are of interest as they represent lost sales. Lost sales (revenue drop amongst defectors / number of defectors). +. Here’s how.

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It’s official – in B2B, content is king

The B2B Research Blog

And case studies (along with reports) are best at turning leads into sales.  So it seems that marketers are adapting their approach to content as a prospect moves down the funnel.    That’s smart, but many are missing a trick.  It’s official.  Content is king. The latest B2B Marketing Benchmark report  produced in association with Circle Research reveals that 71% of B2B marketers consider content marketing to be a critical activity.  Last year less than half (43%) held this opinion. Content marketing in some shape or form now consumes 40% of the average B2B marketing department’s time. 

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

through their own research, without talking to sales—until late in the journey. Align marketing with sales: as buyers complete more of their journey online and sales pros get involved only later in the process, close. Focus marketing and sales resources within chosen vertical. normal point of sales/marketing contact. CEO, CFO, and VP of Sales/Marketing.

SME marketing channel preferences revealed

The B2B Research Blog

This channel may not grab attention, but is of value further down the sales funnel in supporting brand positioning and demonstrating expertise.  It also of course has SEO benefits. There are 1.3 million of them, they generate half of the UK’s GDP and employ 60 per cent of the private sector workforce.  Moreover, they’re big buyers of B2B products and services.  Just ask Sage who’s built a £1.4 billion business on the back of them. SMEs are a potentially significant opportunity for many B2B marketers then, but how best to open a conversation? An overview. Take blogs. 

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The seven R’s of thought leadership

The B2B Research Blog

Why should they spend valuable time listening to your sales pitch?  Likewise, be careful not to turn the outputs into an explicit sales pitch that a smart audience will see straight through. Publish reports, create video, produce infographics, develop sales tool-kits, run seminars…quite simply, milk the content dry . Thought leadership.  Everyone’s claiming it but, by very definition, only a handful ever delivers.  So how do you ensure that your content marketing strategy positions you as one of the few? . Five reasons to develop a thought leadership strategy.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) in B2B – the evidence

The B2B Research Blog

Existing sales are maintained and new sales drive growth. Net Promoter Score (NPS). It’s the one number that almost every organisation seems to include in their management metrics and it’s easy to see why. In the original Harvard Business Review paper where NPS was revealed to the world, its ‘inventor’, Frederick Reichheld, made some bold claims. It’s a focal point. It’s intuitive.

How do we align sales and marketing?

The B2B Research Blog

Maybe not, but you’ve probably glanced across your own office and felt similar feelings towards sales.  At least you will have done if you’re anything like the 100 B2B marketing leaders Circle recently surveyed as part of the B2B Marketing Leaders Forum. Two thirds (62%) of these senior marketers feel the sales function dominates in their organisation and holds a status akin to that of marketers in FMCG environments. Madness when we consider that sales and marketing share exactly the same goal – generating profitable revenue. . Eyed their big budgets with envy? 

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

through their own research, without talking to sales—until late in the journey. Align marketing with sales: as buyers complete more of their journey online and sales pros get involved only later in the process, close. Focus marketing and sales resources within chosen vertical. normal point of sales/marketing contact. CEO, CFO, and VP of Sales/Marketing.

How do we align sales and marketing?

The B2B Research Blog

Maybe not, but you’ve probably glanced across your own office and felt similar feelings towards sales.  At least you will have done if you’re anything like the 100 B2B marketing leaders Circle recently surveyed as part of the B2B Marketing Leaders Forum. Two thirds (62%) of these senior marketers feel the sales function dominates in their organisation and holds a status akin to that of marketers in FMCG environments. Madness when we consider that sales and marketing share exactly the same goal – generating profitable revenue. Any tips for aligning sales and marketing? 

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B2B marketing sector bounces back: 57% report rising budgets

The B2B Research Blog

Four out of every five client side marketers (79%) believes that their activities need to be better aligned with those of sales.  To say it’s been an eventful few years economically is an understatement.  First we had the credit crunch and a deep recession.  Now deficit reduction measures are biting and bond markets shaking. These turbulent times make the latest instalment of the bi-annual B2B Barometer interesting reading.  The majority of client side marketers have seen depressed budgets return with three fifths (57%) reporting increased spend.  And with good reason. 

Who owns your brand? B2B brand perceptions research

The B2B Research Blog

Customers and prospects top the list because their perceptions impact sales.  Your organisation doesn’t own its brand.   It can shape it, manage it, but never own it. That’s because a brand is not what an organisation says it is.  It’s what the market believes it to be.  It’s a perception developed through the sum of an individual’s experience. Through every encounter they’ve had with your organisation, your employees or products.  Through what they hear from you and about you. Most may know what they want their brand to be, but not what it actually is. So what should we measure?

B2B content marketing research

The B2B Research Blog

Almost three fifths (56%) of the 175 B2B marketers Circle Research recently surveyed for B2B Marketing Magazine’s Content Marketing Report have seen content marketing boost sales (most of the remainder simply don’t know the impact as measuring ROI is tough). Content marketing works.  Either way, the survey results provide valuable guidance. Focus on quality not quantity. Make time.

Three reasons B2B marketers should care about sustainability

The B2B Research Blog

If you’re not convinced so far, here’s the clincher: sales.  In the latest in my series of interviews with today’s leading business thinkers I spoke with Thomas Jelley, Corporate Citizenship Manager at support services giant Sodexo. But why, you may wonder, is a B2B marketing research agency like Circle talking about sustainability.  Isn’t that the preserve of a niche team within corporations and NGOs? . Well, no.  solid approach to sustainability shows that your organisation cares and is ‘one of us’.  Failure to meet these means quite simply that the bid will fail. .

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

through their own research, without talking to sales—until late in the journey. Align marketing with sales: as buyers complete more of their journey online and sales pros get involved only later in the process, close. Focus marketing and sales resources within chosen vertical. normal point of sales/marketing contact. CEO, CFO, and VP of Sales/Marketing.

47% of B2B marketers endorse using sex to sell

The B2B Research Blog

Valuable and finite sales time will be wasted in fruitless conversations. Furthermore, Ever since I was invited to join The Network of Aspiring Women (Birmingham Group), I’ve felt more in touch with my feminine side ( see post here ). Perhaps that’s why my interest was piqued by a recent discussion on the B-to-B Marketing LinkedIn Group. Kate Bishop, Marketing Co-ordinator at Custom Fluidpower, has a dilemma.   To use, or not to use, promotional girls at a trade show stand? Her boss is insistent but she has concerns.  I share them. They’re knowledgeable. They vet prospects.

B2B content marketing research

The B2B Research Blog

Almost three fifths (56%) of the 175 B2B marketers Circle Research recently surveyed for B2B Marketing Magazine’s Content Marketing Report have seen content marketing boost sales (most of the remainder simply don’t know the impact as measuring ROI is tough). Content marketing works.  So maybe you already have a content strategy, but want to know what your peers are doing.  Or perhaps you’re developing a content strategy and want some pointers.  Either way, the survey results provide valuable guidance. Focus on quality not quantity. Make time. Don’t forget the leads.

The content king is a tyrant

The B2B Research Blog

Only a minority of B2B marketers regularly re-purpose their content (43% do so) or couple it with sales enablement activity (46%).  Click to see full infographic. The latest Content Marketing Benchmark Report produced by Circle Research and B2B Marketing Magazine reveals that B2B marketers have become slaves to content. . We all know that content is king.  There’s good sense in that. 

An interview with Jaakko Alanko: MD, Alanko Consulting

The B2B Research Blog

That’s why I always say, start by going on the road with the sales guys.  But I also want to help companies service and look after their customers better with appropriate offerings, better sales people and the right behaviours.  Always keep the human being at the centre of your thinking – whether its buyers, sales people, decision-makers, influencers, top managers, middle managers – no matter what.  Every month David Willan interviews leading experts from the world of marketing and B2B.  What are the biggest? Technology enables us to do this. .

From insight to action

The B2B Research Blog

Couple research findings with other internal or external information needed to make a fully informed decision, e.g. sales trend data, macro-economic data, industry analyst opinion.  Sometimes the biggest challenge with customer insight is not doing the research, but doing something with it. You start with determination to put the customer at the centre of decisions.  You carefully design a robust survey.  You intelligently analyse the findings to get to the heart of the issue.   Then…. Well, nothing. The research becomes an academic exercise rather than a catalyst spurring action.

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Better B2B segmentation: Four steps and a case study

The B2B Research Blog

This struck me as the B2B equivalent of targeting a FMCG product at everybody under the age of 70.  It’s far too broad, essentially meaningless and does little to make the proposition more relevant or sales efforts more precisely targeted. Finally, segments need to be brought to life so those on the front line, especially sales teams, can easily grasp and apply them.  Last week I was invited to join The Network of Aspiring Woman, Birmingham Group.  I was tempted.  After all, “ it’s where networking feels like a party ”.  Contrast this with another experience. Enjoying this post?

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The Times They Are a-Changin’

The B2B Research Blog

The marketers we surveyed to form the Mind Share Café’s themes told us about the need to adopt a different mindset in challenging economic times.  A mindset where marketing is always focussed on making a clear contribution to the bottom line.  A mindset defined by an entrepreneurial approach – agility, opportunism and a closer, more integrated relationship with sales. The solution? 

Branding terminology and jargon explained

The B2B Research Blog

All of the above, if well executed, creates ‘brand equity’ – the commercial benefits of having a strong brand such as increased sales, loyalty and the ability to charge a premium.  Jargon abounds in the discipline of branding, and the plethora of terms in use coupled with the sometimes nuanced differences between them can have undesirable side effects.  Sometimes the jargon undermines the user, making them seem pretentious or detached from the hard-nosed world of commerce.  So in the interests of clarity, let’s take a look at some of key branding terminology and what it really means.

The cost of losing a customer

The B2B Research Blog

What’s the cost of losing a customer?  ‘A lot’ is the simple answer, especially in B2B markets where the pool of prospective customers is limited and each sale tends to be high value. First, interrogate your sales data to identify customers who have broken their usual spending pattern, either by stopping spending altogether or by significantly reducing spend. Only the latter category – those who have defected to a competitor – are of interest as they represent lost sales. Lost sales (revenue drop amongst defectors / number of defectors). +. Here’s how.

How to create a Customer Happiness Index

The B2B Research Blog

Replacing those who defect is expensive, future sales are further damaged through negative word-of-mouth and a transient customer base makes the business a less attractive investment proposition.  In my last post I put forward the idea that every business should measure its performance against a stakeholder ‘Happiness Index’ with a particular focus on customers.  As the customer’s voice within the organisation, responsibility for this index lies at the marketer’s door. This isn’t always true and there are two notable exceptions. . After all, no one wants to work for the bad guy. .

From insight to action

The B2B Research Blog

Couple research findings with other internal or external information needed to make a fully informed decision, e.g. sales trend data, macro-economic data, industry analyst opinion.  Sometimes the biggest challenge with customer insight is not doing the research, but doing something with it. You start with determination to put the customer at the centre of decisions.  Then…. Well, nothing.

B2B 2

Big list of B2B blogs

The B2B Research Blog

The chaps at Proteus B2B Marketing have compiled a list of B2B sales and marketing blogs.  354 of of them to be exact and well worth a browse to cherry pick the best. The list can be found here – [link]. Stuff we like B2B blogs

Air Cargo News: Interview with Circle’s Andy Booth

The B2B Research Blog

Some companies say, ‘If our sales people don’t know the customer, then they should’. But what customers say to the sales person may be what he wants to hear and what is reported back up the line to top management may be different too,” Booth points out. I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by legendary aviation journalist Peter Conway for Air Cargo News.  Who needs marketing in the air cargo sector? After all, isn’t cargo a business-to-business environment where person-to-person relationships are key? Eighty per cent of all the work we do is brand-focused”.

The Ministry of Happiness

The B2B Research Blog

Its exact composition will differ but key members might be HR as employees need to embody the brand and Sales because in B2B they often ‘own’ the customer relationship. . “[GNP] measures everything…except that which makes life worthwhile” said Robert Kennedy.  Forty years on David Cameron has picked up Kennedy’s idea and instructed government statisticians to begin measuring quality of life in psychological terms. . In a nutshell the idea is this.  Government has many roles but its core goal is to ensure the happiness of citizens.  Helping create wealth is an important part of this. 

The B2B Value Sale is Actually Three Distinct Sales

Avitage

Companies trying to execute a B2B solution or value sale must overcome selling problems that start at the prospecting stage and persist to the end. Symptoms include too few quality additions to the sales pipeline, protracted and lengthening sales cycles, and low win rates. But even with active buyers there are opportunities for B2B sales professionals to up their game.

Sales Compensation Planning for 2017

Your Sales Management Guru

Creating a Sales Compensation Plan for 2017. Some pay commission based on sales, while others only pay on margin; still others blend both with incentives and special bonus plans. Your sales management team must understand your company’s overall goals and structure compensation to align with them. What are sales goals? Need more sales management resources?

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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. It’s when a prospect first expresses interest that nurturing can help highlight hot leads, filter out the junk, and increase the rate at leads engage with sales.

Sales Management End of Year Checklist

Your Sales Management Guru

Sales Management End of Year Checklist.  . Depending upon the person and the conditions in their sales organization each article may or may not be pertinent. decided to start with a Sales Management End of Year Checklist.  If you have other ideas or suggestions please comment within the blog so that all of our readers can benefit. ?       Evaluate your sales team. 

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7 Storytelling Tips for Sales Teams

Type A Communications

October 25, 2016 by Carla Johnson The biggest beef I hear from sales teams or sales-driven organizations is that they can’t get people to pay attention, make decisions or quit. Sales Storytelling Carla Johnson sales storytelling Type A Communicationsread more.

July is Sales Leadership Month

Your Sales Management Guru

July is Sales Leadership Month. As a sales leader you must always have a vision and action plans for a rolling six months, this is why July is the perfect month for anyone that has sales management responsibility—so why not name it Sales Leadership Month !  Ok, it is not an act of government and it is only Acumen’s opinion, but let’s explore why I feel that way.

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5 Essential Elements to Include in Every Sales Pitch

Webbiquity

Effectively closing sales is the bread and butter of your business. According to researchers at the University of Florida, 20% of all salespeople make 80% of all sales (also known as the 20/80 rule or the Pareto principle ), which makes securing a spot in that top 20% crucial to running a competitive and profitable business. First and foremost, ditch the the “sales pitch.”

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Please Don’t Let Your Sales Reps Nurture Leads

The Point

Bear with me as I relate a quick story about lead nurturing: A few months back I became a sales lead. Perhaps I was an SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) at one point in the conversation, but no longer. I’m also a perfect candidate for lead nurturing. And secondly, and more critically, these kinds of “touching base” phone calls are the worst possible use of a sales rep’s time. But no.

5 Prospecting Strategies for Obtaining Sales Context

Sales Prospecting Perspectives

Sales Context is an important part of any conversation, as it directly correlates to the potential of a sale. With 54% of sales reps not making quota this year according to SiriusDecisions, it’s imperative that you teach your team to make the most of Sales Context, the information that can influence a sale. Sales Prospecting Call Strategy B2B Sales Success

Successful Sales Coaching Best Practices

DiscoverOrg

Sales is tough and ongoing sales development is a never ending process. Take it from us – our sales and sales development functions are constantly evolving as we look to accelerate our record growth rates over the past few years. Below are the interview answers provided by David Sill, an authority on B2B sales and the SVP of Customer Success at DiscoverOrg.