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October 2010

Major Trends Pushing Marketing Automation Software By Lauren Carlson

Major Trends Pushing Marketing Automation Software
By Lauren Carlson,
CRM Analyst, at Software Advice

 

 


Marketing automation software is arguably the hottest segment of the CRM industry. While it was a relatively quiet niche several years ago, marketers are now adopting these systems aggressively. Vendors such as Eloqua, Marketo and Pardot are reaping the benefits and growing fast. The marketing automation software industry clearly has a steady tailwind at its back.

These tailwinds are actually someone else's headwinds. The increasingly challenging B2B sales environment is forcing companies to explore new ways to market and sell their products. We've experienced these challenges first-hand through our phone calls with thousands of business software buyers. A confluence of trends is changing the way business buyers purchase, making marketing automation software essential.

Let us outline the macro trends that we see pushing buyers towards adoption of marketing automation.

Buyers want content of real value.

Traditional pamphlets and brochures filled with marketing jargon just don't cut it anymore. Buyers are looking for informative and interesting content that provides actual value and education. They expect vendors to provide them the content they need throughout the sales cycle. Increasingly, the first two-thirds of that cycle is spent researching the market and vendors, without regular contact with a sales rep. To remain top of mind with the buyer and claim the “thought leadership” position, marketers are deploying marketing automation to provide a steady stream of educational content for buyers.

Buyers are increasingly wary of the phone.

One of the biggest issues sales professionals face when engaging with prospective buyers is a declining level of sales engagement. This is often because the buyer is just getting started on research, overwhelmed with competing priorities and not ready for a sales pitch. Also, when the economy is poor and money is tight, consumers become much more skeptical of sales people making big promises. Compound that with a macro trend away from the phone and toward email and the web. As a result, sales and marketing teams are facing the challenge of selling to buyers who won't talk to their sales team. Delivering the right content over time is a great way to “warm up” buyers until they are ready to talk to sales.

Desire for marketing accountability.

Marketing has traditionally been somewhat of a “black box” expense for businesses. While development could be measured on release cycles and product quality, and sales was measured on performance against plan, It's tough to track marketing's ROI on positioning, collateral and brand building. B2B marketers have traditionally gotten off easy in terms of strict accountability, but were often the first budget to get cut and were sometimes looked down upon by more accountable departments. Marketing automation empowers marketing to define its contribution to the sales pipeline, tracking each sale back to one or more marketing campaigns.

Sales cycles are longer in a down economy.

Under adverse economic conditions, buyers are less inclined to purchase – plain and simple. Even when there is a clear business challenge and a solution with real ROI, tight budgets create hesitation on the part of the buyer. Therefore, sales professionals are faced with increasingly risk-averse prospects whose buying time frames are longer. Marketing automation tools supporting drip marketing campaigns and lead nurturing can build relationships with buyers during a longer sales process.

 Members may view the rest of the story here.   Membership is free. Not an SLMA member? Join here


Nominations close at Midnight for the 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management

Nominations for the 2010 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management will close at midnight tonight. Voting will begin next week when the nominees are posted on the SLMA site.   As a member of the SLMA please nominate those individuals in B2B and B2C, vendors or end users, that you think have contributed to the best sales lead management practices in 2010.

Nominations are still being taken by logging in and making your opinion known.   To date this year we have about 75 people nominated, many of them new.


Lead Nurturing: A Preparation Checklist

Often we hear when marketers start using marketing automation tools that they can’t wait to get lead nurturing going, which is great. What isn’t great is that they haven’t done any prep work to make their nurturing effective before they’ve engaged with the tool.  There are definitely some key things you should think through and do before deploying a nurturing program.  Below is a high-level list of some things you should consider:

1. Determine what you are trying to accomplish with each nurturing program.  Different goals will dictate different nurturing strategies.

2.Determine (based on number 1 above) if you have the content to support your nurturing program.  And does the content represent each stage of the buying cycle (assuming that your nurturing program goes through those stages).

3. Think about how targeted your messaging should be to accomplish your goals for that specific nurturing campaign.  Is the message based on previous interest they showed (by what they viewed or downloaded), is it based on their title, industry, etc. or maybe a mix of all?

4. Map out how you are going to move leads through the nurturing process. What’s the call to action at each stage that shows buying interest and what’s the cliff hanger that’s going to keep them wanting more?

5. Are there additional components to the nurturing program that you should consider that would help conversion, such as landing pages or other complementary content?

6. Do you have the tools in place to view the metrics of your nurturing programs while they are running?  If you don’t see what’s working or not, what good is setting up the nurturing in the first place?

Technology will allow you to get very detailed and complex with nurturing programs, but beware that doesn’t mean that’s what will work best for your specific scenario.  Make sure to determine what you are trying to accomplish first and then apply it to your marketing software – not the other way around.  Additionally, we always see greater success in the long run if marketers start simple, understand what’s happening and grow in sophistication instead of trying to conquer all scenarios from the start.


About the Author
Lisa Cramer is co-founder and president of LeadLife Solutions, a provider of on-demand lead management software with embedded best practices that generates, scores, and nurtures leads for B2B marketers. In 2009, Lisa was recognized as one of the top five “Most Influential People” in sales lead management. For more information on lead management or best practices call 1-800-680-6292 or email info@leadlife.com.


SLMA Radio Interviews Mike Michalowicz and John Hasbrouck 5 PM PST

Will Crist of SLMA Radio will interview John Hasbrouck, CEO of NewLeads the company that makes customizable tradeshow lead management systems.  Hasbrouck will talk about how new technology is changing the way inquiries and leads are being acquired on the trade show floor (think iPad).  He can give us hints on how to increase trade show lead count by several hundred percent!

The second interview will be with Mike Michelowicz author of the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur .  Author and business leader Mike is a a bit outside our normal CEO from a lead management company.   He published his book Toilet Paper Entrepreneur as a tell-it-like-it-is-guide to cleaning up a business even if you are the at the end of your roll (his words). 

We think you'll find both John and Mike to be outspoken, highly opinionated CEOs. 

Tune in at 5 PM PST

SLMA Talk Radio Interviews John Foley, CEO of Grow Socially and James Obermayer CEO of the Sales Lead Mgmt Assn tonight at 5 PM PST.

Grow Socially  is a company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations take advantage of the opportunities created by social media. They help companies use the right tools, sites, and applications. They work with management to define reachable goals, and increase the awareness of the brand and demand for the company’s product or service.

Questions for John Foley will focus on the value of social media, how to understand the growth potential from social media marketing and his opinion on the future of social media.  John has strong opinions on what works and what doesn’t.  It will be interesting. 

 

James Obermayer, CEO of the SLMA will discuss the reasons why the SLMA was founded three years ago, its growth and the value to the marketing and sales communities.  As Obermayer says, “It’s been a wild ride and we have grown beyond our expectations, and yet there is so much more that our members are asking for.” 

Obermayer will tell us what lies ahead for the world-wide membership of the SLMA.   
Tune in tonight , Thursday at 5 PM PST to SLMA Talk Radio

Our sponsor this evening will be SmartLead by AdTrack.


SLMA's Charity Binky Patrol's Needs Your Help to Comfort Babies and Children Who are Ill, Abused and Homeless

There is never a shortage of children who are homeless, in shelters, and living on the streets, plus all of those who are facing critical and terminal illnesses. We need your help to make more blankets to give to these children as a reminder that they are not forgotten or invisible - that someone truly cares and is sending them love.

WHO RECEIVES BINKIES?

Babies, children and teens who are ill, abused, living in foster care or group homes and living in shelters.
Teens in halfway houses
Runaways living on the streets
Mothers in battered women's shelters
Homeless families
Veterans

Anyone experiencing trauma, like Brad Hale's family ...

Here is a recent story from some recipients in Pocatello Idaho. Some of you may have read their tragic story over the summer:

There was a drowning in Pocatello, ID recently where 4 men and 5 children went fishing. One man fell in and couldn't swim - the other three - one a a time, went in after him and all drown while the children were on board witnessing this.  The eldest boy - 9 - had to make the 911 call.  Several families were deeply affected.  Binky Patrol went into action and sent ALL of them, including the wives, homemade quilts and blankets.

This came to us from one of the family members:

"My name is Brad Hale.  On Aug 8 2010 we lost my 2 brothers, one cousin and a great friend to drowning. I may never know how you heard our story or decided this would benefit our families. but we received several of your blankets. You will never know how much we appreciate the thoughts and prayers ,time ,effort and donations.

Your blankets have not left our beds. The children cuddle in to them every night, and ask me to feel how soft they are. Its' hard not to feel the love put into every one. We love our binky blankets. this is an amazing organization.  I hope everyone involved knows what great people they are and thank you again."

Brad Hale and family

What Binky Patrol does...

The "angels" who never get to go home from the hospital Binky Patrol is celebrating its 15th Bink-A-Thon. A BINK-A-THON is where each participating Binky Patrol chapter gathers as many volunteers as possible on one day and SEW like crazy. Adults and chidlren are involved. Watching the children make blankets for "kids just like them" is so beaufitul. They have a great time creating gifts of love. This year, as always, it falls on National Make a Difference Day - October 23.

At the last Portland, OR Bink-A-Thon, over 100 volunteers gathered for 5 hours to sew 250 blankets to give to local area shelters and hospitals. It was amazing.

To continue our all-volunteer effort, sometimes we need help. Binky Patrol is asking you to considering helping to sponsor the Bink-A-Thon or lend your support to a chapter near you. JoAnn Fabric gift cards for batting (the fluffy stuff in blankets that you don't see), fleece (soft, sweatshirt material) and thread are greatly appreciated.

If you would consider participating in this event, please contact Binky Patrol Founder, Susan Finch directly at: sfinch@binkypatrol.org or call her: 503-372-5671                


SLMA Radio Line-Up Tonight: Jeff Pedowitz, Lisa Cramer and Russell Kern. 5 PM PST

The top of the program tonight has a new feature, a ten minute commentary by an industry leader on a topic of his or her choice.  Tonight we have Jeff Pedowitz, of the Pedowitz Group  as our first commentator.   During the following 45 minutes radio host Will Crist interviews Lisa Cramer CEO of LeadLife Solutions and Russell Kern, president of the Kern Organization.   

Lisa Cramer, is a member of the SLMA Advisory Board.  She came in at number 5 out of 50 on the 50 Most influential List in Sales Lead Management in 2009!   LeadLife Solutions says it doesn't deliver just technology to its customers.  Its  team of Marketing Specialists help clients quickly gain value from marketing automation.

Questions to Lisa tonight include:

1. What is the biggest threat facing B2B marketing Mangers today?
2. What advice can you give these manager’s to avoid this threat and create an opportunity from it?
3. Why is scoring so crucial to the basis of a good inquiry management system/
4. In one of your Blog entries you mention that there are stepping stones to successful lead management.  What are they?
5. Your say you are metrics focused.  What are the most important metrics you recommend tracking?
6. How do marketers take the leap to improve the quality of leads which probably leads to reducing the quantity?
7. What do you mean when you say you can integrate your process with any CRM system ?

Russell Kern is President of The Kern Organization.  In addition, Russell is an original Member of the SLMA Advisory Board and he finished in the Top 15 out of 50 in the Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management in 2009.

Kern's site says it prides itself on Breakthrough ideas and Response Driven Fanaticism.   What makes Kern unique is how it uses data insight and data intelligence to drive strategy to build a clients business.  Kern has more than 100 of the country’s top direct marketing professionals who apply their collective experience in strategic marketing, direct mail marketing, database marketing, online marketing strategies, and sales lead generation to the service of its clients.

1.  What is “Shopping feed management?”
2. You say shopping feed management can add 3-5% in sales for a typical company’s sales?   Is this true?
3. What are the biggest changes in direct marketing in the last five years? 
4.  You have published a guide the 5 Biggest Hurdles in Direct Marketing.  What are they and how does an average marketing tackle them?
5.Scott Levine in your organization recently had a blog post called the Meaning of Life.    He was talking about Customer Life Time Value.  How do YOU define it?
6.  Do You have any favorite CRM or Marketing Automation companies you recommend? 
7. In choosing a Direct Marketing Company, what is the one thing that a marketing manager must ask for and get from the agency, without fail, for the engagement to be successful?

Tune in tonight at
SLMA Radio , click on Listen Live.

 


The Quick Fix: Bust Your Slump, New Book from Paul McCord

Everyone wants a quick fix.  We want problems to go away, money to flow, but most of all we want that hang-dog look from the C-Suite to disappear.    This new work by Paul McCord can help jump-start the process.

SLMAs own book reviewer, Paul McCord, has just published his new book and it is worth the read. 

$14.95 from Amazon. 


Is your sales team finding it difficult to bring in business?  If so, I suggest you take a look at Bust Your Slump, a just released book by Paul MCCord.  This book has a Dozen slump busting strategies to fill your pipeline in 30 days.  

McCord has a single purpose in Bust Your Slump which is to lay out in detail 12 proven, effective, real strategies that will generate business for you fast.  Each chapter gives you the concept, and a step by step process for implementing it, and then demonstrates what it can do by relating how one of his clients used.

Whether you sell B2B or B2C, or are involved in a one-time close process or a long sales cycle, sell a commodity or a sophisticated product or service, you’ll find strategies that will work for you.

If you buy the book at Amazon during the next couple of days, you’ll get several hundred dollars of great bonus gifts from some of the top minds in sales such as Jill Konrath, Keith Rosen, Jonathan Farrington, Dave Kurlan, Wendy Weiss, Dave Brock and many others.   (We may be late for the special offer, but try it anyway)

Head to this bonus link  to see all of the great bonuses you get for simply buying a book that will fill your pipeline.

The book is availble on Amazon  and pick up your copy then head over and grab your bonuses at http://www.bustyourslump.com/bonus.html.   I got mine with two day delivery and no shipping charges. 

Would you rather have the Kindle version?  Get it here 

I will do an indepth review of the book on the SLMA site in the book review section with a week or so. 


SLMA Opens Nominations for 2nd Annual ‘50 Most Influential Sales Lead Management Professionals’ List

The Top 50 Most Influential
campaign is sponsored by
Event Technologies:

Learn how LeadProcessing can make your trade show follow up more successful and easier.

James W. Obermayer, executive director of the Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA), announced  that the association is calling for world-wide nominations of the 50 most influential people in the field of sales lead management for 2010.  This is the 2nd year the nominations and voting will occur.

 SLMA co-founder Susan Campanale said, "This list will be created in a two-stage process: nominating and voting."

• Nominations:  SLMA members may nominate one or more professional individuals for consideration until October 23rd, 2010, a week after Sales Lead Management Week (October 11-16, 20).   Nominations are accepted from SLMA
members only.  Nonmembers, however, may nominate someone once they join SLMA, and membership is free.

• Voting:  Any member or non-member may vote for candidates listed on the SLMA site on October 28th, 2010. The ‘50 Most Influential Sales Lead Management Professionals’ List will be published on December 6th, 2010.

Mark L. Friedman, SLMA’s executive vice president, said "We encourage nominations for individuals in B2B and B2C companies, CRM, marketing automation, sales lead software, sales force automation, telemarketing, direct marketing, and database management firms, as well as lead management firms, consultants and authors.  The rules for nomination are posted at the SLMA site."   Last year’s winners are also listed on the SLMA site. 

About the Sales Lead Management Association

The mission of the Sales Lead Management Association is to help companies become successful in the critical business process of managing sales leads.  For more information about SLMA or the ‘Top 50’ list, call Sue Campanale at 714-637-6989.
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