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The epidemic in B2B sales prospecting

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Many B2B selling organizations hit a wall in their new customer acquisition and revenue growth rates. This is the result of a critical underlying cause they unaware of, and do not fully appreciate even when they become aware. Sales pipeline quality, volume and conversion rates are both symptom and impact of this condition. This condition is especially evident in companies that are engaged in a complex or solution sale. Sometimes this is called a system or platform sale.

The B2B Value Sale is Actually Three Distinct Sales

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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.

How Do Audiences Assess Your Marketing Content?

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What if you could assess your marketing content the same way your audiences do? How would that improve content quality, audience relevance, performance? Of course. Makes sense. But what exactly does this mean — in practice? I invite you to collaborate in this real-time case example.

Is Content Operations Your Next Focus Area?

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7 Inspiring B2B Marketing Campaigns

Must-See Examples of Marketing Success That You Can Replicate.

6 Competencies for Enterprise Content Strategy

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Continuum and Process vs. Event, Project or Campaign Thinking

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The consensus is clear. It’s past time to shift your thinking about your approach to marketing activities as an event, project or campaign, to continuum and process thinking.

How Content Operations Can Create Marketing and Selling Breakthroughs

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Marketing and selling content operations isn’t sexy. But it could be one of the most important focus areas for marketing leaders. See Is Content Operations Your Next Focus Area?

Selling into the “hidden opportunity market”

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We used to say, “sell ahead of the RFP.” ” Then, for more than a decade we’ve been telling clients, “sell ahead of your competitive herd.” ” Now we’re telling them, “sell into the ‘hidden opportunity market’ ” As a result of recent client work, I’ve re-examined CEB’s Challenger Customer for clues on how to improve B2B sales practices, especially for sales content.

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B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.

An All Too Typical Sales Prospecting Phone Message

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I attended a lead nurturing webinar recently. I’m always looking for insights, especially about how companies are thinking about content to support their many use cases. I also like to experience selling from a buyers perspective.

Unpacking Challenger Customer Insights

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The CEB book Challenger Customer, released in September 2015, will continue to garner support for its many insights. They provide important considerations for all B2B marketing and selling professionals, especially sales executives. Despite a breezy writing style, there are many dense sections.

Why Content Creation Isn’t Everyone’s Job

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I read with interest John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing blog Why Content Creation Is Everyone’s Job. The post raises good ideas with, in my opinion, the wrong conclusion. It’s a short post, I suggest you read it. I’d like to offer a different perspective and approach. This is a teachable moment. The lesson involves the difference between thinking like a marketer, and thinking like a publisher.

B2B Customer Content Operations Manifesto

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The custom content business is a difficult business. It’s a difficult business due to the economics of the underlying content operations model, as well as poor inputs from inefficient clients.

Customer Success and Marketing Alignment: The Key to Unlocking Customer Advocacy

Most B2B companies say the customer experience is a priority, but their teams are not prepared or coordinated enough to make this a reality.

Changing Your Sales Mindset

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In my view selling is 85% mindset and 15% technique. 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.

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Elevate B2B Content Strategy to Business Level Execution

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B2B Content Strategy for Messages, Conversations and Content This post speaks to why B2B organizations should elevate content strategy from siloed functions to the business level, with executive accountability.

Use Knowledge Delivered Strategy to Show Content Value

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A Different Approach to Content Marketing Justification B2B content marketers must continually defend budgets and tactics, especially content investments, by proving performance. This is part of a persistent struggle to raise marketing credibility and awareness of its impact in the business.

Shift from Repository to Content, Communication and Collaboration Ecosystem

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People responsible for sales and channel enablement, marketing and content operations, or supporting groups that use content, face many challenges. We have identified a solvable challenge that immediately improves productivity, efficiency, and, most of all, business outcomes.

7 B2B Marketing Strategies You Need to Know About

As B2B marketers, we know that our buyers' needs are ever-evolving, but it's not just our buyers that are changing.

What is Strategy?

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Lack of clarity about content strategy might have roots in a universal confusion about strategy. See Robert Rose in Content Marketing Institute.) In the business world, Michael Porter of Harvard Business School is a preeminent authority of business strategy.

How to improve content performance and operations output

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Marketing leaders, and the executive team to which they are accountable, understandably want to improve performance of customer facing content, get better outputs from content operations, and better returns on content investments.

Why You Need a B2B Sales Content Strategy

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If you sell the way you did 10 years ago, you don’t need a sales content strategy. There’s little strategy required to tell people about your company, products, features — just don’t forget those benefit statements!

Customer Facing Content as a Conversation

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The Four Cs of Content Marketing I’ve written about content as more, and different than, format. While working with clients recently, I’ve heard them wrestle with questions about what content to create, and how to make priority decisions.

5 Pillars of Marketing Automation Success

Ensure Your B2B Marketing Clients Get the Best Results

For Sales Blogging and Social Selling – Think Like a Publisher

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The practice of social selling has crossed the chasm and entered the tornado stage. Huffington Post, see Mike Kunkle’s excellent webinar) To fuel this content dependent activity, many are urging sales people to blog, and to become thought leaders. Lori Richardson, John Jantsch, ITSMA) This is a logical extension from a belief that sales people must think more like marketers. In my view, “think like marketers” means sales people must approach selling from a buyer perspective.

Understanding the True Cost of Content in B2B Organizations

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There’s a familiar expression used to describe some people. They “know the cost of everything, but the value of nothing.” ” When it customs to B2B marketing and selling content, it appears most organizations don’t know either.

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B2B Sales Conversations — By Design

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To paraphrase David Packard, sales conversations are too important to leave to sales people. B2B sales conversations for key touch points should be designed. This optimizes conversation effectiveness and simplifies selling. It provides a common baseline that makes feedback and continuous improvement possible. How have you designed the sales conversations for your key touch points? How well do each of your sales people handle conversations at key touch points, or with different stakeholders?

Are You Communicating Synchronously in an Asynchronous World?

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We live in a world that prefers to receive information asynchronously. But we tend to focus on using live, synchronous delivery methods. This is a key source of high costs and low results in every area of a business. I cannot overstate the importance of this idea and distinction, as well as the implication for individuals and organizations. First, some simple definitions. Synchronous communications happen at the same time with all participants.

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Flip My Funnel - Guide To B2B Account Based Marketing

As modern B2B marketers, we have been lucky enough to witness some of the most dramatic shifts in marketing strategies and technologies.

Create Customer Content in Multiple Languages

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The requirement to deliver customer content in multiple languages is further evidence of how new realities are introducing new requirements that demand new approaches. It’s also an example of how new requirements raise the importance of the ability to scale content operations.

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Reframing Content ROI and the Case for B2B Content

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Despite a plethora of articles recommending methods to determine content ROI, this continues to be a hot and confusing topic for many B2B marketers. Why is this? There are different purposes and uses for ROI.

Knowledge Delivered

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Our theme this year is Knowledge Delivered. We are all knowledge workers. Knowledge is actionable information. We operate inside organizations where knowledge creates value and competitive advantage. This makes knowledge and content strategic imperatives for any business.

Continuously Acquire Customer Stories, Insights, and Ideas

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If content is the fuel for inbound marketing then customer stories or insights are the active performance enhancing ingredients. Well-developed messages targeted to address key buyer questions are better understood when contextualized with customer stories.

Lead Generation Checklist

You spend a lot of time, energy, and money doing lead generation to capture leads but it's how you manage them that makes the difference between success and failure.

An Executive Summary for 6 Competencies for Enterprise Content Strategy

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Enterprise organizations face a serious challenge with the creation and management of content that impacts the success of new customer acquisition and profitable revenue growth, as well as tactical marketing and selling initiatives.

Content Management – Aggregate Don’t Upload

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As a content operations consultancy and service provider we occasionally find ourselves in the embarrassing position of the “cobbler’s children.” ” This syndrome reared its ugly head when we realized that our spreadsheet based content inventory wasn’t really working as a good way to discover and access the right content for specific sales, marketing or content requirements.

Engagement and Eloqua Experience

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For the Eloqua Experience preparation webinar sponsored by Televerde, I was asked to speak to the topic of Engagement. This is one of six topics that comprise the agenda for Eloqua Experience. As a concept, engagement means something a little different to everyone.

Beware Out-of-context Content Marketing Prescriptions

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Post Header Summary: Content marketing advice outside the context of understanding your business, goals, strategies and plans can be misleading, even dangerous. Audience: B2B content, inbound and social marketers; demand managers Topic: Content marketing practices and techniques Purpose: Educate, advice Post I regularly receive calls and emails from clients and colleagues who ask my opinion concerning advice they read about content marketing tactics.

How to Leverage Content Marketing to Power Your B2B Marketing Automation Funnel

Generate more leads. Better leads. Engage customers, increase upsells, boost revenue and save precious time -- these are the benefits of marketing automation. And content fuels it all.