The B2B Research Blog

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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.

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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. 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.

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.

The cost of losing a customer

The B2B Research Blog

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. What’s the cost of losing a customer? ‘A

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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.

It’s all about the lead

The B2B Research Blog

Marketing still plays second fiddle to sales in B2B organisations. . Around one quarter (28%) of B2B marketers are able to put a figure on how much it costs them to acquire a sales ready lead. Only one third of these leads (33%) then convert to a sale. . Past readings of the B2B Barometer survey reveal that up to 60% of B2B marketers agree with this statement and the latest survey published in June 2012 confirms it. .

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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.

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. 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.

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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.

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.

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. 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. . Marketing leaders are setting shared goals with their opposite number in sales (67%).

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. 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. Marketing leaders are setting shared goals with their opposite number in sales (67%).

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

47% of B2B marketers endorse using sex to sell

The B2B Research Blog

Valuable and finite sales time will be wasted in fruitless conversations. 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?

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.

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.

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.

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….

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Better B2B segmentation: Four steps and a case study

The B2B Research Blog

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 ”. However, I declined for two reasons. I live in London.

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The Times They Are a-Changin’

The B2B Research Blog

A mindset defined by an entrepreneurial approach – agility, opportunism and a closer, more integrated relationship with sales. They need to interact with prospective buyers earlier in the sales cycle when preferences are unconsciously being formed.

Map of the B2B buying process

The B2B Research Blog

That means that in around 8 out of 10 cases, the winner has already been preordained and the sale is theirs to lose. Establishing high levels of brand awareness is critical to this and when we asked B2B buyers to reveal how suppliers come to their attention during the buying process, they suggest using three complementary activities to build brand awareness: 68% advise reaching out through face-to-face channels – sales visits, trade shows and other events.

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.

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.

The cost of losing a customer

The B2B Research Blog

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. What’s the cost of losing a customer? ‘A

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.

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.

SMS 2

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.

More Sales Less Time

Your Sales Management Guru

More Sales/Less Time. -A If want to exceed your sales goals this year-read this book…. Jill Konrath has written three other sales related books and now she hits the mark again with More Sales/Less Time published by Penguin books. In this book, Jill shares a highly personal story, sharing a lot of research that ends up providing every executive, sales manager and certainly all salespeople a formula to increase productivity. Accelerate Sales.

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[VIDEO] How to Structure a Successful Sales Team

DiscoverOrg

We’ve built required fields and automation of data transfer in SFDC (ie surveys that auto populate the key data, call sheets that tie data to opportunity & account, sales handoff that ties data to account for CSM, etc). Want to Build a Sales Engine? Does this problem sound familiar?

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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.

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 !

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Desperate and Fearful: Need Pipeline – Want Sales Lead Generation

ViewPoint

Last week I published a blog that provided five ways to avoid getting burned by outsourced B2B sales lead generation, qualification and nurturing. So, they settle for a cheap solution—which is how mediocre sales lead generation firms survive. The need for sales pressures the CMO to deliver leads fast. Trouble is, that CMO is also under budget pressures, so corners are cut in the pursuit of needed sales leads.

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. I decided to start with a Sales Management End of Year Checklist. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!

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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 Communications