What Works - What Doesn't

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12 Quick Content Marketing Tips and Trends

What Works - What Doesn't

The frigid cold along Route 128 the other morning didn’t keep a standing-room-only crowd from Schwartz Communications’ Breakfast Roundtable on content marketing (using information shared on the Web to drive sales.) Official call to action: My specialty is writing marketing material that gets the attention of IT buyers based on where they are in the sales cycle.

It's Official: Forrester Says B2B Buyers Hate Confusing Jargon

What Works - What Doesn't

And, as Forrester points out, you need to develop sales content geared to the needs of individual industries so buyers in each of them can understand why they should care about what you’re selling. IT marketing IT sales and marketing Tags: IT Marketing B2B marketing content marketing effectiveness of sales call Forrester Research improving the IT sales process. report.

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How We Can Help

What Works - What Doesn't

All this is in addition to white papers and newsletters that:  Are helping a middleware vendor move from the embedded to the commercial market through detailed technical white papers;  Educate the salesforce of a global IT products and services vendor about the capabilities of one of its service provider partners, in order to drive more sales for the service provider.

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About Us

What Works - What Doesn't

Bob Gallagher is head of Funnel Impact , a marketing services firm that provides content creation, sales support and marketing automation to companies that sell complex products or services, including Software, Hardware, Hosting and Cloud Computing. Bob Scheier Associates is a writing and marketing services collaborative serving the information technology industry.

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.

Maintenance Fees, a Cash Cow for Vendors, Under Attack From Users

What Works - What Doesn't

With so many software sales coming from new, emerging economies with less experience with enterprise apps, maintenance agreements aren’t going away completely anytime soon. Some customers are pushing back on software maintenance agreements, threatening vendors with the loss of their most predictable, profitable continuing revenue stream.

Selling Your Weaknesses in B2B Content Marketing

What Works - What Doesn't

The post goes on to suggest “Reach, leads and sales should be some of the tangible metrics that are measured as part of social media marketing strategies.”. I’ve long argued that admitting your product or service isn’t the right hammer for every nail is an effective way to sell. Which they are.   Did HubSpot shoot itself in the foot? The implied solution?

Using Online Games To Sell Complex B2B Software

What Works - What Doesn't

But is asking prospects to spend the time playing an online game good for all parts of the sales cycle? I have to give IBM points for even trying this: They’ve developed an online game that walks players through a (BPM) Business Process Management) exercise. OK, World of Warcraft it ain’t.   Maybe.

To Sell A Conference, Give Away Last Year’s “Takeaways”

What Works - What Doesn't

So even if you don’t get the prospect for the conference, you might have a lead for a product or service sale. What great, usable content is sitting around your organization you could be using to attract conference attendees – or sales leads? Gotten a pitch to attend a conference or trade show lately? Did you decide to spend the money, or ditch it and stay in the office?

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.

What Is Content Marketing?

What Works - What Doesn't

By focusing your expensive sales efforts on the right prospects at the right time, we boost your revenue while reducing your costs. The most critical steps, though, are getting marketing and sales to agree on how to score leads and setting up new workflows so marketing has a better idea of which leads to send to sales, and which leads it should instead keep and “nurture” with more content till they’re ready for a sales call. The more complex your “sell” and the longer the sales cycle, the more content marketing can help you. Read

Software Consultancy: Why MA Is Hot

What Works - What Doesn't

Among the main drivers she listed: Buyers’ desire for quality content; an aversion to sales calls (especially before prospects are ready for one), the need for marketing to prove its value to the business and the fact that sales cycles are longer in a down economy. Software consultancy Software Advice has a good business model: Give away a certain amount of information about software, then charge for more detailed counseling. Recent survey data indicates these are the top three hurdles to companies adopting MA software.

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Virtual Trade Shows for Mere Mortals

What Works - What Doesn't

You share (as SAP did) the information about which customers and prospects viewed which events with your sales force. That, of course, is the whole aim of content marketing (to help the sales force,) and if a trade show or customer conference isn’t an exercise in “content creation” I don’t know what is. SAP appears to have done a bang-up job with its combined physical and virtual customer conferences, according to B2B Magazine. Not only did it focus on getting customers to talk to each other, (VS. What can we in smaller companies learn from giant SAP? And that costs.

Just Say No To "Social Media Press Releases"

What Works - What Doesn't

And why not, since they focus on tweaks in management, distribution, product wins, sales or product features in terms that are more critical to competitors than customers? To succeed, the “social media press release” must focus more on content than Web bling.         Catherine Marenghi , senior PR manager at Cognizant Technology Solutions (a client of mine) read my recent post asking if it’s “Time to Kill the Press Release? because it’s too stilted and vendor-focused, and asked what I thought of the Social Media Press Release (SMPR) template. with similar links.

Looking for Good Content? Go for Brains, Not Titles

What Works - What Doesn't

The bigger and more complex the sale (and thus the more interesting for my client) the more likely it is a consultant is involved, not merely as a reseller but as a provider of critical, industry-specific expertise. Journalism isn’t like marketing, and that isn’t just because journalists supposedly seek the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Reporters and editors take an extremely pragmatic, “whatever and whoever it takes” approach to getting good stories. That means choosing and quoting good sources based on their knowledge and credibility.

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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.

Study: Top Execs DO Use Social Networks

What Works - What Doesn't

Social networks are another, complementary sales channel where the emphasis is on useful, honest information. But not to talk about the new appetizer they just tried at a trendy restaurant. A new study shows decision-makers, such as business buyers, are increasingly using social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter to make buying decisions. Trade publishers have tried, unsuccessfully, for years to build such on-line communities which they could control and mine. As it turns out, customers (C-level execs) like everyone else want to own and control their own networks. Of course not.

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.

Changing Your Sales Mindset

Avitage

Unfortunately, most sales professionals focus primarily on learning sales techniques. Adopting a better sales mindset might be what’s required. With the typical sales mindset, techniques might be even be experienced by prospects as gimmicks. With this sales mindset, you’re going to work every day with an inherently conflict oriented mindset.

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Emotional Sales Leadership

Your Sales Management Guru

Emotional Sales Leadership. I was recently interviewed on a podcast based in Europe around the topic of the importance of emotional leadership. In retrospect based upon the podcast I came away with even a stronger opinion on the topic of generating the right level of emotion-that is positive emotion into the sales team. HINT: Run an annual sales trip contest.

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New Outbound Prospecting Insights for Your Sales Development Team

Sales Prospecting Perspectives

Are you a B2B inside sales or sales development representative looking for a benchmark against which to measure your sales prospecting strategies? Are you a team lead or manager hoping to see where your team stands on the outbound sales spectrum? If so, The Outbound Index™ is a must-read for you as you prepare your B2B sales prospecting strategies for 2015.

5 Sales Messaging Mistakes That Will Haunt & Doom Your Sales Process

Sales Prospecting Perspectives

Messaging Personalized Messaging Social Selling Email Prospecting Sales Prospecting voicemail Prospecting B2B Inside Sales Sales Prospecting Tips With Halloween just around the corner, you must be prepared to be scared. However, you know what consistently scares me, year round?

New Sales Competency – Use Content to Sell

Avitage

Sales professionals have been slower to change their sales methods to adapt and align with new buying processes and the expectations of buyers. Those who are not actively and effectively using content to sell are missing an important opportunity to capture a selling advantage, lower selling time and costs, and accelerate successful sales outcomes. “Social selling” while new and popular, doesn’t yet represent a significant breakthrough in the way B2B sales people sell. The digital era has ushered in many behavior changes, especially for B2B buyers.

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31 Tips for Improving Sales and Marketing Lead Generation Alignment

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Tweet More often than not, there seems to be a disconnect between Marketing and Sales. How does your sales team perceive the leads Marketing produces? The second thing I would ask is, when was the last time you talked with your sales team? Consider having short huddles daily and weekly between the marketing and sales team members. Be honest. The say leads, what leads?

To Manage Sales You Must Manage Sales Leads

ViewPoint

“Why,” I was asked, “must you manage sales leads in order to manage sales? Sales lead management is a marketing function, isn’t it?”. It was with a slight hesitation that the sales manager added the second sentence about sales lead management being a marketing function. The responsibility for addressing prospects’ needs remains a major part of the sales job.

How Empathy Will Grow Your Sales and Marketing Pipeline

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Neuroscientist, Antonio Damasio stated, “ We are not thinking machines that feel, we are feeling machines that think. ” In our rush to obtain leads, drive opportunities and move the sales needle, it’s too easy to forget that we need to address the emotional needs (fears, hopes, wants, and aspirations) of our customers. Check out  How Empathy Will Improve Your Marketing & Sales Pipeline.

Sales Management & Discipline

Your Sales Management Guru

Sales Management and Discipline. received a call from a former client that was concerned about the status of their sales team and VP of Sales-it seems that their revenue was off more than $2M over the previous year and below their growth goal! After that conversation I next interviewed the VP of Sales.   The VP of Sales and President failed on one major tenet of sales leadership; they forgot about the need for discipline. Development of a Sales Plan for the new year with quarterly objections/goals. Need more sales management resources?

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3 Good Questions to Align Strategy, B2B Marketing, and Sales

B2B Lead Generation Blog

Have you intentionally linked your sales, b2b marketing, and strategy? . thought Frank had a practical approach to aligning sales and marketing. So, I reached out to him and interviewed him about what he’s learned through his research for his most recent book Aligning Strategy and Sales (Harvard Business Review Press). know something about sales. Frank Cespedes.

5 B2B Sales Thought Leaders Share 2014 Trends and 2015 Predictions

Sales Prospecting Perspectives

Yesterday, you were most likely scrambling to answer all those emails you missed over vacation, rushing to meetings about your sales pipeline, and scrambling to write down your new sales goals. However, did you ever just take a moment to stop and reflect on the year behind you, on the year ahead of you, and on your impact as a sales leader? It’s January 6. Matt Bertuzzi.

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How Marketing Automation Changed My (Sales) Life

Salesfusion

The post How Marketing Automation Changed My (Sales) Life appeared first on Salesfusion. Marketing Automation Sales and Marketing Sales Sales Pain Points

Steal This Technique for Your Next Sales Email

The Point

As the saying goes, he who hesitates is lost. I was reminded of this principle earlier today when a colleague forwarded an email received from a inside sales representative at a technology company looking to partner with our agency. B2B Marketing Cold Calling Copywriting Creative Demand Generation E-mail email marketing inside sales lead generation Offer Strategy Sales 2.0

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