The Point

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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.

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.

3 Problems You Need to Solve Before You Buy New Marketing Technology

The Point

Moreover, in most cases those BDRs are often chartered with only identifying sales-ready leads (those ready to engage with the account team immediately) and then discard the rest. It builds credibility and moves prospects along the sales cycle. We marketers may be many things, but few of us can be described as patient. We want results, and we want them now. Wish it were that easy.

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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. That’s not because email is going away any time soon. But direct mail doesn’t have to be a “batch” process.

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.

7 Steps to a Successful Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Strategy

The Point

Identifying target accounts either via sales input and/or predictive modeling. Predictive technology can help identify those accounts most likely to actually convert, independent of which accounts are simply on sales’ “hit list”. 2. Putting in place the appropriate sales alerts or other triggers based on campaign engagement or Web visits by target accounts. 7.

10 Ways to Generate More Leads from Your Business Blog

The Point

If you’re not generating leads – as in: a lot of leads – from your company’s blog, you’re missing out on what is perhaps not only your best opportunity to convert organic Web traffic into actionable, measurable sales inquiries, but also the best way to actually show real ROI from your social media investment. Here are 10 proven ways to generate more leads from your blog. Subscribe Now!”). 4.

ABM & the Marketing Hype Cycle

The Point

It’s a significant development in the evolution of B2B marketing, and one worth evaluating in the context of your companies’ objectives, audience, and sales model. An interesting question popped up in my LinkedIn feed this week: “Does anyone remember all those times we used ABM before it was called ABM?”. Target Account Campaigns). Which is true, sort of. Right now, it’s ABM. And … repeat.

4 Key Takeaways from the 2015 SiriusDecisions Summit

The Point

Demand Generation Marketers Need to Think Sales Enablement. More and more B2B marketers are now accountable for revenue targets, not just leads or even sales-ready prospects. There’s no sign that email won’t continue to be the workhorse that it is in helping to filter, qualify, cultivate and progress leads through the sales cycle. Outbound is the New Inbound.

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 Find People Who Are Ready to Buy Our Product?

The Point

It’s much more cost-effective in the long term to use a mix of content – early, mid and late stage – to generate leads at every stage of the buyer’s journey, then nurture those leads that aren’t yet ready to engage with sales. A prospective client asks: “What are the best demand generation strategies for finding people who are ready to buy our product?”. No it doesn’t.

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B2B Copywriting: 5 Common Terms & Phrases to Avoid

The Point

What if “for more information” actually means requesting a sales rep to call? Copywriting success may depend on finding the precise mix of language that resonates with your audience, but success or failure can just as easily rest on which words you don’t use. Here are my candidates for 5 common terms and phrases that every B2B writer should eliminate from his/her vocabulary: To Learn More.

Top 10 Marketing Automation Mistakes

The Point

Lead scoring is a core marketing automation functionality, and a key driver for one of the primary benefits of the technology, namely sales productivity. well-planned, well-designed lead scoring schema ensures that sales reps are spending time with the leads that most merit the investment. Not having a larger strategy/plan for how you plan to use the platform. Not testing enough.

9 Proven Ways to Increase Webinar Response

The Point

Try sending last-minute reminders in the form of “forwarded” emails from the assigned sales representative, including the contact’s first name and a personal note (e.g. Let’s face it: most business inboxes get flooded every day with Webinar invitations. Sell the event, not the product. Webinar invitation should sell the value of the event, period. Yes, the day of the event.) Citrix, Webex.)

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Step Away from the Email Software and No-One Gets Hurt

The Point

Marketing technology is a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands, and nowhere is this more evident than in the recent surge of interest in automating BDR campaigns and other sales communication. In both technology (see companies like InsideSales.com , ToutApp , and others) and application, sales enablement is a hot topic in martech circles. Is automation always a good thing, however?

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.

A Follow-Up Strategy for Content Syndication Leads

The Point

It’s important to recognize that content syndication leads are not like most sales leads. If you hand off content syndication leads to your sales force without setting these expectations, your program may be doomed to fail. You will immediately start to hear feedback from sales along the lines of: “They’re not interested in our product – they only wanted the white paper.”.

Why is Inside Sales So Scared of Lead Nurturing?

The Point

Recent studies tell us while the adoption of marketing automation technology continues to gain momentum, fewer than 20 percent of marketing executives say that they are fully integrating the technology into their current sales and marketing initiatives. Whatever the motivation, any “push back” from Inside Sales to marketing automation and automated lead nurturing/qualification is misplaced.

10 Tips for a Successful Trade Show Follow-up Campaign

The Point

Note: these strategies assume that hot leads – those prospects who specifically requested follow-up or were otherwise graded as “high priority” on the show floor, get prompt response directly from sales. Most trade show leads are routinely ignored by sales. Someone who’s attended a tradeshow may be ready to contact sales directly. Prompt response to show leads is critical.

Forrester thinks Content Marketing Isn’t Working – They’re Half Right

The Point

And more still, I would guess, probably feel that their content campaigns are “working” (generating response, engagement, sales leads) but perhaps aren’t yet convinced of bottom line value. This type of “let us convince you how great our product is” content is a legacy of old-school, sales-driven marketing. But though I quibble with the general sentiment, Ms. In her interview, Ms.

Is B2B Lead Generation Really This Difficult?

The Point

Marketers are judged (particularly by sales, and even more so in technology companies) on “what have you done for me lately.” Results are in from a recent survey on B2B Lead Generation by the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn ( free report download here ), and the numbers tell a disheartening story. Why is that? Here are my theories: 1. But therein lies the quandary.

Sorry, But “How Many Touches Does it Take to Make a Sale?” is No Longer a Valid Question

The Point

On a recent conference call with a prospective client, the Vice President of Sales chimed in with a question: “How many touches do you think it takes before someone becomes a lead?”. In fairness to my VP friend, he won’t be the last to ask the question (or its close cousin, “How many touches does it take to make a sale?”) They often know more than sales people.

Quit Obsessing About the Customer Journey

The Point

If Joe Prospect downloads a case study, is Joe further along in the sales cycle? And so we hear comments like the following: “We want our nurturing program to reach the right person, at the right time, with content that reflects that person’s stage in the sales cycle.”. Suddenly, we are led to believe, the customer journey is all that matters. Well, not so fast. Maybe, maybe not.

5 Key Tips for Driving Attendance at Field Events

The Point

That venue could be the Ritz, it might be your local sales office – either way, you’ll need to convince the reader that he/she wants to spend an hour or more of his/her valuable time in that place. Don’t look now, but field events – seminars, roadshows, executive breakfasts – are making something of a comeback in B2B circles. Sell the event, not the product. No-one cares. Sell the venue.

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Video Tech Company Leverages SEM to Drive Enterprise Leads

The Point

The company chose Spear for the firm’s experience with other B2B technology clients , and also for their unique, holistic approach to SEM, one that focused not just on driving clicks and click volume, but rather qualified sales leads at the lowest possible cost. The company’s flagship product, JW Player, is live on more than 2 million sites with more than 1.3 billion unique monthly views.

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More Evidence That Waiting Even 5 Seconds to Contact a New Sales Lead Can Be Disastrous

The Point

In my experience, most of the mental energy and strategic thinking around the practice of lead nurturing and lead management is usually applied to the goal of accelerating prospects through the sales process – from MQL to SQL, from SQL to Opportunity, and so on. What would you do or pay to increase by a whopping 30 percent the rate at which your inside sales team qualifies leads?

Measure Your Way to Lead Nurturing Success

The Point

But, more important is having clear, precise definitions for each stage – whatever those definitions are – that both marketing and sales buy into. If leads are being converted to MQLs, for example, without much regard to status or qualification simply because someone in Inside Sales feels that’s his/her job (i.e. You can download a free copy of the report here.

Are Agencies the Future of Marketing Automation?

The Point

It’s always been obvious that agencies were a sensible channel for marketing automation vendors to pursue, but I’m beginning to wonder whether agencies might turn out to be the primary channel for such systems, excepting only direct sales to large enterprises. The staff, the expertise, the content, the sales cycles required to sell software effectively are very different.

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How to Measure Email Success in 2015: A Call to ROI

The Point

marketing automation system runs campaigns, passes leads to sales, and will associate email metrics (and leads) to pipeline and revenue data; or, as a further step: • a combination of marketing automation and a full-function “marketing performance management” solution such as Full Circle CRM , an application that lives within Salesforce. Nothing else really matters. Opens/Open Rate.

Content Selling: How Sales Can Better Leverage Marketing Content

The Point

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Daniel Chalef, CEO of KnowledgeTree , developers of an intriguing new solution, built for both Salesforce.com and mobile (iOS), that enables sales teams to instantly find, surface, and present the ideal content in any selling situation. This makes it critical that sales teams are seen as partners that add value to the conversation.

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Is Marketing Automation Right for Every Company?

The Point

Earlier this month, I was interviewed by James Obermayer of the Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA) as we discussed how companies can decide when marketing automation is a fit for their organization, and how best to take the plunge. For those of us who work in and around the technology every day, it can seem like marketing automation is already pervasive.

29 Tips to Improve B2B Email Campaign Performance

The Point

Using email fulfillment 1) enforces valid email addresses, 2) makes it easier for the recipient to access the content at a later date, and 3) allows you to trigger sales follow-up (or increase lead score) when he/she clicks on the link. Email results not what they should be? Try these techniques to improve the performance of your next campaign: 1. Always test subject lines – no excuses.

Is Technology Making Marketing Agencies Obsolete?

The Point

In theory, today’s marketing technology enables B2B companies to move prospects seamlessly from raw inquiry to qualified opportunity to paying customer, and then attribute that sale to the associated campaign. Hint: Maybe Not)”. Specifically: • IDC reports that digital marketing spend by technology companies will surpass non-digital spend by the end of 2016. What do you think?

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What’s the Big Deal About Predictive Analytics? A Conversation with Brian Kardon

The Point

He previously held top marketing roles at Eloqua, Forrester Research, and Reed Business Information before taking the reins as CMO at Lattice Engines , a pioneer in predictive applications for marketing and sales. The use of analytics in B2B marketing and sales is actually lagging other industries. Sales and marketing teams have to answer some pretty important questions every day.

Why This Holiday Email Campaign Misses the Mark

The Point

Sure, they can be forgiven the holiday theme (gift boxes, fir trees, snowflakes and all) – their solution does ostensibly help online merchants increase sales during this busiest time of the year. It’s that time of year again, and B2B marketers everywhere are dusting off the usual holiday clichés in an attempt to weave good cheer into their demand generation campaigns.

Case Study: How One Tech Company Used Humor to Launch a New Brand

The Point

This was a critically important initiative because Sungard AS employs an extensive lead nurturing program (that Spear helps design and manage) to maintain brand awareness within that database and convert prospects to sales opportunities. One of the significant risks inherent in the split-off was that those prospects would react differently, or not at all, to the new brand.

Report: Trade Shows Generate Highest Quantity & Quality of Leads

The Point

Sure, demos attract more qualified leads, because prospects who want to view the product are inevitably further along in the sales process. Research firm Software Advice have released their 2014 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Report , a handy reference for anyone planning 2015 marketing spend. You can access the complete report on the Software Advice blog – no registration required.).

If You Write B2B Copy, You Need This Blog Post

The Point

Those of you who have been subjected to sales training at some point in your careers may remember a technique called “the assumptive close.” It goes something like this: “Would you like the car in red or blue?” ” “Can I deliver that to you this Friday?” AcmePro 1.0 is the one. It’s also horribly ineffective. To download your free copy, click here.

5 Reasons to Gate Lead Nurturing Content

The Point

When someone completes a registration form, you can serve up a confirmation page that thanks the individual for his/her interest, and provide links to additional resources, social sharing links, or secondary, “next step” offers – a Webinar, a demo, a free trial – to move the prospect further down the sales cycle. Why is that necessary when we already know who these people are? Here’s why: 1.

Failing at Paid Search? Maybe You’re Just Measuring It Wrong.

The Point

Are you trying to generate downloads, registrations, page views, sales leads, qualified leads, sales? Don’t stop tracking at leads, because you’ll have no idea how many of those leads are qualified, or which are converting into sales. Don’t stop tracking at sales, because you’ll have no idea how those sales are generating additional lifetime value. And so on.