Listen to Fred Yee as he gives advice on converting sales leads that have a long sales cycle.
Listen to Fred Yee as he gives advice on converting sales leads that have a long sales cycle.
Significant news, while posted on the SLMA Home page is also posted on our blog.
Vista Equity Partners to acquire all outstanding Marketo common stock for $35.25 per share
SAN MATEO, Calif, – May 31, 2016 – Marketo, Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTO), the leading provider of engagement marketing software and solutions, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners (“Vista”), a leading private equity firm focused on investments in software, data and technology-enabled businesses.
The terms of this all-cash deal provide substantial value to Marketo
This cartoon is one of many that appear in Stu Heinecke's new book, "How to Get a Meeting with Anyone."
I think marketing automation came about for two reasons:
Why it Matters:
In this interview with Justin Gray, CEO of LeadMD we discuss how to avoid being part of the 87% of marketing automation users who fail. The host this week is Susan Finch. Lively program, great insight.
It’s one thing to buy a marketing automation tool and install it. Its another thing to use it every day to manage and nurture, your most precious asset: sales leads. And yet some would say that this leading edge technology could be aptly named bleeding edge because of the effort it extracts from the users to make it work.
Justin Gray , CEO & Chief Marketing Evangelist
You might know Justin from the incredible amounts of quality best practices content
“I do what we generally did last year, and create as much demand as I can,” was her reply.
“We have a marketing plan,” she continued with some obvious pride. “And we list what we have to do for the year and stick with it.”
“When do you consult with the sales manager about quotas?” I asked.
“We don’t really…well kind of, because we know the forecast he has to hit,” she said with some doubt in her voice. “Why do you ask?”
“The issue is if you know the sales forecast for the whole year, you also have access to quarterly and monthly forecasts, as well as the salespeople’s individual forecasts. Armed with this information, you’ll know how many inquiries and leads you have to create per salesperson based on the average closing rate per product.”
“Umm, so what you’re implying is that I should create the number of inquiries each rep will need to make quota based on their closing ratio?”
Why its important?
“Umm, so what you’re implying is that I should create the number of inquiries each rep will need to make quota based on their closing ratio?”
“Yes, but you needn’t go all the way to the rep level on their closing ratio,” I said. “You can take the average closing rate of the
Every social media venue has it's own language and style of posts. Some are hashtag laden, some prefer warmer stories, and some are all business. You wouldn't wear the same outfit to a wedding, a business conference, a BBQ and a cocktail party - or would you? If you think one look covers it all, you may want to stop reading. If you only think you need to change shoes, stop reading.
Let's first cover the posting, not commenting styles for these venues that are often or exclusively used for business.
Include a LINK to something, unless you are sure that the inspiring quote you are posting is a standalone. But you have my attention for that VERY brief second or two - make it count.
Find the company or people you are referring to and @mention them to give them an alert that someone is talking about them.
In this short SLMA Radio interview, Lars Helgeson, CEO of GreenRope makes the case that the right marketing automation program can definitely build revenue and users can measure the ROI from the campaigns. But how it does it is not necessarily what we have been taught to think.
Certainly every marketing automation program makes this same claim, but as Lars points out, not every program can integrate all of the points of contact and properly allocate each one to understand what is contributing to sales. You get the feeling it is working but you don’t know why.
Lars says that the right program can help businesses to understand what is driving people to take action on your site. Yes, he gives us examples from GreenRope’s software product, but in doing so he easily points out the issues with so many software applications that boast and fail to perform.
Spear Marketing, a B2B demand generation agency, released this month a free report on the state of the use of marketing automation, with some surprising statistics. These statistics can serve as a guide to companies using the technology or considering purchasing the software. The ‘State of Marketing Automation Maturity’ report is based on the results of more than 100 (a minimum statistical sampling which makes it reasonably projectable) marketing automation users’ responses to an email marketing and social media request.
The agency started with a hypothesis that marketing automation is underutilized by B2B companies that have the product. The respondents were assigned a grade depending on a best practices opinion (by the agency, I assume). The primary result is that current owners are underutilizing the software, with the implied implication that this under-utilization comes at a high price in lost revenue. Spear Marketing states that the users are “achieving real business value,” but have much room for improvement. In many categories, they contend best practices in marketing automation are relatively uncommon.
The report broke out the results into the following categories (answers and pie charts):
Aside from the 32 charts and results based on the five categories, there are “17 Key Results” listed.
I am most interested in the analytics portion, which showed:
I recommend that readers of this report who have their own marketing automation system in place create a score card to measure themselves against the results, and then make the needed changes to get the most from their system. Getting the most to me means increases in revenue, or why else would you do this? There are many actions to take for users that are not immediately measurable in revenue but taken together everything counts.
For those who do not have a marketing automation system in place, the report can provide a road map of how to get the most from your system as you implement it.
When asked which marketing automation platform the respondents used, they reported:
Get report here.
Note: Spear Marketing and Act-On are both sponsors of the SLMA. Eloqua, HubSpot and Marketo have sponsored various programs in the past but are not currently sponsors.
From RAAB Associates:
Marketing automation systems for very small and very large businesses have shown the greatest innovation in the past year, according to research released today by Raab Associates. The January 2015 B2B Marketing Automation Vendor Selection Tool (VEST) added five vendors focused on serving very small companies, which form the industry’s largest pool of potential new users. But vendors serving enterprise marketers have been most aggressive at extending their systems beyond traditional marketing automation to include display advertising and other new channels.
The SLMA was invited to be an attendee at the Oracle Marketing Cloud/Heinz Marketing Operations Round-table. Our thanks to both sponsors, it was a great meeting of the minds.
Yesterday we had a group of 30 digital marketing leaders from the Seattle area attend our 2015 Marketing Operations Round-table. To have this brain trust all in one room was a wonderful experience. Brian Hansford from Heinz moderated the roundtable and we heard from everyone in the room.
Here is a summary of some of the trends and highlights that were brought up during today’s roundtable:
SLMA Radio brings you the voices of industry leaders!
You Mon Tsang, CEO of Vocus joined Jim Obermayer on the SLMA Radio program to discuss why Vocus is a serious challenger to Eloqua’s and Marketo’s positions in the marketing automation space.
When Obermayer approached Vocus about the interview, their response was that they take exception to our title as Vocus representatives feel that they, and not Eloqua and Marketo, is the leader in the marketing automation space.
This post may be "101" for many of you who have full marketing departments, large automated systems that process subscribers, send out auto-responders, and automatically create newsletters from your hashtagged posts on social media. This is for the rest of you. There are so many types of email marketing systems. Some are so complex and auto-piloted you barely know what is being sent out or who is engaging until you read the monthly reports. This is a very hands-off approach. Although it is helpful for tracking and saving time, you can lose touch with those who are actually
Friday, November 22, 2013
I spent the early part of this week at Salesforce.com’s annual Dreamforce conference. Here are my observations.
The big news was for geeks. The main theme of the conference was Salesforce1, a new set of technologies that make it vastly easier to deliver and integrate mobile versions of Salesforce-based applications. It is apparently a major technical accomplishment and at least one of my technical friends was hugely impressed. But I can’t say I personally found it all that exciting. Perhaps we’ve reached the point where we expect technology to do pretty much everything, so the line between what's already available and what's new is only visible to experts. Any way you slice it, focusing on platform technology is much less exciting than last year's vision of "social enterprise".
SLMA Radio Host Jim Obermayer will ask Daniel Perry of Sales Benchmark Index the tough questions.
Some of what they will be covering includes:
Prior to joining Sales Benchmark Index, Dan held executive sales leadership positions 'making the number' at Aramark, Corporate Express, Lavi Industries and 3 Day Blinds. In these roles, he held global responsibility for sales strategy, market segmentation, demand creation, sales process, channel design, organizational structure, sales force capacity planning, and served as a member of the executive management committees.
By Mari Anne Vanella, The Vanella Group
This statement gets back to the quantity versus quality leads. Lead generation companies making buckshot calls to countless companies hoping one will hit the target. A bit of research may reveal that not only is this company you are calling NOT a potential client, but that they may indeed be a competitor offering the same services.
This reminds me of tradeshow, webinar and other “guest” situations. Periodically, I’ll bring a customer or partner to tradeshows and other sponsored events as my guest. Their company name is usually included in the registration, yet no one vets the list so perhaps up to four years later our main line is receiving calls seeking out our “guest” as if they work for our company. Did you read this part, “FOUR YEARS LATER.” How big was that event list? Chances are a bit of research on LinkedIn would have revealed they are currently a VP at a large software company and has been since the time of the past event.
From our humor relations department, this little comment on marketing automation. Don't get me wrong, Stu Heinecke got it right. Some people think putting the marketing automation program in place without a strategy is sufficent; not so. You have to plan on how to use the new tool.
You may make use this Cartoon if all attributions remain in place. For more of our marketing and sales humor from Cartoonist and Humorist Stu Heinecke visit our Humor Relations Department.
As tools and feeds become more sophisticated, time becomes more fleeting, social media demands become daunting, the temptation to put your networking on auto-pilot is too tempting for a larger percentage of professionals and companies.
In the past, you would receive an email, view a post, and it was almost like shaking hands with that person, or at least being in the same room with them. As I make the tour around my various LinkedIn groups and Twitter news feed (I don't have time for much more than those two venues), I notice the bulk are automated posts linking to that person's "stuff" or content. There is no engagement, no conversation, no collaboration. "BUY MY STUFF!" "LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME!" LinkedIn groups have become a joke filled with avatars pushing transparent content and pitches, as well as automated posts that turn groups into another RSS reader. I spend more time moderating and deleting than reading true content.
Where are the real converstations happening? Some of us value video conferencing, teleconferncing, personal emails and in person lunches. I am bombarded with piles of automated crap every day. Not one person realizes I received it, until they check the stats from their marketing automation program and monthly reports. That is becoming the extent of their networking, growth, and relationship nurturing.
Remember when MTV had MUSIC and videos? This is seeming quite familiar. Useless waste of bandwidth, time and resources.
A wish for LinkedIn:
All automated pushes from feeds, aggregators and the like BLOCKED from all groups. Put what you want on your own profile. Google+, Twitter, Facebook - same thing. If what you have to say is really of value and you sincerely want to open a conversation rather than just shooting buckshot into the universe - or more like a good dose of AquaNet for all of us to choke and gag on - Take the time to actually WRITE IT YOURSELF - TYPE IT, tailor it for the venue, audience or group. Invite the conversation. Try it without linking to your stuff once in a while. You may be shocked at the results.
How do you feel about this topic? Are you experiencing the same clutter in all of your feeds of the same things from the same people, knowing full well they don't even visit these venues 1/10 of the time the spent automatically pushing their crap down our throats.
Susan Finch, Chief Ranter
London-based startup Spider.io, which helps publishers and advertisers identify legitimate web traffic, has discovered a ring of more than 120,000 hijacked computers that have been flooding websites with fake traffic and in turn costing advertisers more than $6 million per month, the company said in post on its blog. Called the Chameleon botnet, this cluster of computers typically generates more than nine billion illegitimate ad impressions across 202 websites monthly.
Spider.io, which said it has been tracking the Chameleon botnet since December 2012, found that 95% of the machines involved access the internet from residential IP addresses in the United States. Each bot within the network of computers resembles a group of web users concurrently visiting one the 202 implicated websites. In a typical month, the botnet accounts for at least seven million ad-exchange cookies.
You can read the full article here.
Granted, we are only talking about 202 websites, but how many ads are on those sites and who is behind those ads and their placement? Hope it isn't one of YOUR ads. That would be awful. You'd be paying for more fake results, goes with our post about fake and automated networking on LinkedIn. Feels different when you may be the victim and have to pay, doesn't it? How is it very different from automatically posting status updates without engaging? Shoe is just on the other foot. Think of your advertising dollars as minutes. Would you want to waste precious minutes every day thinking you are engaging your target audience, sincere prospects, etc.? Of coruse not.
If you run advertising campaigns, be they over mobile devices, print ads in publications, direct mail, direct email - check out the numbers. How do they arrive at the number of delivered "impressions." We receive three yellow pages each year - 3. If I get outside quick enough, before the children come home from school, I toss them right into the recycle bin. They have been delivered, the company has an automated call asking me to push 1 it was delivered and 2 if it was not. If I push 2 because I tossed it, I receive another set. If I push 1, that number is reported to the advertisers to prove value. If I don't make it out to the trash in time and my children find the books, they become sleds down the stairs due to the slick cover.
You need to understand the numbers claimed BEFORE YOU pay or commit to another season or advertising period.
Susan Finch, Chief Ranter
How many of you are over the fact that when you click on a helpful or interesting headline the first thing you need to do is fill out a form to view it? This is typical on Twitter and LinkedIn. Time to practice combatting what we rant about regularly. The SLMA.com website has had a wonderful library of articles for members to read. They were required to login and then they had access.
This doesn't help everyone who just doesn't feel like remembering one more password. Our article authors take a lot of time to write these articles. We want to share their information with everyone - member or non-member. So we have gone through and made EVERY article on SLMA.com public.
Members wll be required to login in order to nominate and vote for the 50 Most Influential in Sales Lead Management each year. Members will be required to login to nominate for the 20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management, as well. We may have one or two items like that requiring login, but information, articles and whitepapers are available to all as of this week!
There is a wealth of information sorted by topic. If you haven't logged in lately, or just never bothered, this is a great time to read some of our articles, including these topics:
|Please select a topic below to preview titles|
|Alignment: Sales & Marketing||Branding & Personal Image||Business Intelligence|
|Case Studies||Check Lists &
|Fulfillment/Fulfillment Operations||Lead Generation||Lead Management|
|Lead Nurturing||Lead Qualification||Lead Scoring|
|Leadership & Motivational||Research||ROI Reporting|
|Sales 2.0/Marketing Automation||Sales Channel Lead Management||Sales Management|
|Trade Show Lead Acquisition & Management||Video: Lead Generation and Lead Management||White Papers|
By Lisa Cramer, President, LeadLife Solutions
I speak at a number of events, on webinars and in one on one discussions with prospects. One of the latest events I spoke at was uncharacteristically full of sales execs versus marketing executives. We mostly speak to rooms full of marketers anxious to learn about marketing automation and how to apply it to their businesses. However, in more and more events we see sales and marketing executives working on the lead management process together. So after surveying the room, I anticipated a lackluster response to my topic about lead nurturing and its effect on revenue. I was dead wrong.
The audience couldn’t have been more interactive, copiously taking notes and making sure they understood exactly what I was saying. Essentially this focus seemed to be about these sales executives starting to understand why the dynamic in their world of selling has changed. They all were struggling with it but having a difficult time understanding what was happening. The reality is the buyer has the leverage, and as a matter of fact, doesn’t even have a conversation with the vendor/supplier until they’ve proceeded through 60% of their buying process (Corporate Executive Board). To a lot of these sales guys that was shocking, staggering and scary. So the question in the room then became what can sales do to get in front of people?
As parents we watch our children grow, go to college, start careers. They start learning from us and our examples. They learn from their peers, professors, internships. Sometimes they don't realize what has soaked in from our teachings and examples.
She only has a seaonal business. Each year she adds another 25% to her customer base. She reconnects with her clients and shows them new product, talks about any pricing changes, profitability and the company's mission. She's passionate and truly listens to her customers. They feel valued and are loyal to her efforts.
As most are from her local farm, or referrals, 90% of her leads are qualified. There are unforeseen wrenches that she can't always combat, but she shakes them off and makes room for the next sale.
She follows up with last year's customers, asking them if they have an referrals for her in the area, then following up immediately mentioning the original customer as the one who sent her to them.
Debra Da Costa was recently interviewed on SLMA Radio to discuss the two independent disciplines and how they are becoming interconnected. Oubound Telemarketing can stand on its own, but can Marketing Automation? Litsten to hear thoughts on this subject:
SLMA and MAI Provide New Offerings to Cross Train Sales and Marketing Leaders
Grand Rapids, Michigan and Villa Park, CA—July 25, 2012— Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA), serves 4800 sales leaders globally and The Marketing Automation Institute (MAI), the premiere certification body and collaborative community for B2B and B2C marketing automation professionals, announced a strategic partnership today to further the education of marketing automation in the market and cross train sales and marketing professionals.
“We are thrilled to partner with SLMA, one of the greatest resources for today’s marketing and sales professionals,” says Carlos Hidalgo, executive director of the Marketing Automation Institute. “The certification courses MAI offers will be a great addition to SLMA’s curriculum. Our goal of this partnership is to bring a focus on marketing automation to SLMA members to further their understanding of marketing automation and how it impacts sales.”
SLMA Radio interviewed Anderson Crosby president of Relecom, Inc. Host James Obermayer asks Anderson why he developed a reporting tool when so many are available within CRM and Marketing Automation programs.
Benjamin Franklin said this about 225 years ago and it is still fresh today. I just didn’t realize how much insight Ben had into marketing. With all of the talk we have heard about CRM for 20 plus years and the progress marketing automation has made for the last ten years, most marketing managers are still not walking the talk when it comes to measuring ROI for marketing lead generation.
James Lenskold the author of Marketing ROI certainly nailed it when he taught marketers how to stop talking about marketing ROI and start proving it. I am sure every marketer would like to hear “Well done" instead of just well said.
The "Ben Franklins" on the right are just a reminder of the payoff if marketing ROI is done right.
Does anyone care to share their own success story about proving ROI?
SLMA Note: This is one of the best articles I have read on the subject of choosing a marketing automation system. The author is Lauren Carlson of Software Advice. I have added some thoughts (encouraged by the author Lauren Carlson) and I have printed the majority of article.
The orginal appears here. In more depth.
If you want to download a Marketing Automation Softwear Buyer's Toolkit click here
by Lauren Carlson, CRM Market Analyst, Software Advice
They say hindsight is 20/20. If you’d only known A, B, C, you might have done X, Y, Z a bit differently, right?
Given that we can’t accurately see into the future, as consumers, we often seek out the advice and opinions of our peers. With the Internet and social media, it’s easier than ever to find out what Tina paid for this or why Joe chose that. Logging on to Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and other third-party review sites gives us instant access to what other like-minded consumers are saying about the products we are interested in.
We were curious about what marketing automation users would do differently with 20/20 hindsight. In other words, if they could go back and buy their software all over again, what would they have changed? So we polled some software users and asked them: “What questions do you wish you had asked your marketing automation vendor before purchasing?” We outline the questions users wished they’d asked.
The Four Categories of Questions
While we polled many users, we simplified their responses and singled out the top 10 most popular questions they wished they had asked. Then, we separated those responses into four categories: integration, support/training, road map and maintenance. Below you’ll also find several actual responses from our participants that better illustrate what they learned through the purchasing process. (Note: All individual participants and companies are anonymous.)
Clarifying Communication around Integration
Arguably one of the biggest pain points in any software implementation is integration. Most companies purchasing a new system will have one or more existing systems that the new solution must integrate with. All marketing automation systems will offer some level of integration but the depth varies and is often unclear. This lack of clarity seemed to be a big issue among respondents. Many took integration at face value without inquiring further into the level of integration offered.
Marketing automation is growing in its capabilities and its promises. We at the Sales Lead Management Association believe that the proactive nature of marketing automation can deliver sales increases in 90-120 days, virtually guaranteed. Maybe Marketing Automation can't yet give thanks via sky writing, but it probably isn't far off.
This cartoon is sponsored by CartoonLink. If you would like to sponsor a cartoon on sales lead management, CRM, marketing automation or marketing ROI contact: Ron Goodman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Unless the potential customer is willing to over-look the lack of follow-up and buy without hearing from a salesperson (usually B2C sales leads) your company has a huge sales lead leakage issue and you're failing.
Industry stats, articles, research and pundits report a 75-90% failure in sales lead follow-up by most companies. This isn't a minor leakage issue it is a massive problem because it says that the marketing failure is in direct portion to the lack of sales lead follow-up.
The stats people keep quoting are 45% of the salespeople give up after the first phone call. Here are a few things I teach sales reps:
-Nearly half of all sales leads turn into a sale for someone.
-75-90% of all inquiries and leads are not followed-up by anyone in sales.
The problem is the stump is still there. Maybe you can avoid it for a while, but sooner or later you have to figure out how to take the stump out. The biggest stump most marketing managers have is the lack of follow-up of the sales inquiries and leads by the salespeople. In most organizations it is a pretty big obstacle. Let me tell you a story.
It starts with a sales manager who isn’t a team player, except within his own team and a marketing manager who isn’t strong enough to do what’s right in the face of institutional laziness or fear of upsetting the salespeople.
No one waits around the elevator to get leads, at least we hope they don’t, but how many other actions do your salepeople take to get their own leads which are unproductive? I know salespeople aren’t literally waiting at the elevator to get leads and yet some people say cold calling by knocking on doors is dead. However, I know medical device salespeople who are successful at it and are not
Sometimes it doesn’t make any difference how much sugar you add to something it won’t change the outcome. Sprinkle a little or a lot of sugar on bull and it won’t change the taste; you can’t make it into candy. You have to start with meaningful ingredients. Let’s take sales lead management (yeah, I know it’s a stretch, but read a bit more).
C-level managers want to spend only enough on marketing to make forecast. That’s it. Anything more from their perspective and the money is wasted. CFOs and CEOs only have a hint of an idea on branding. To them branding is just another way for marketing to spend money without being held accountable.
Actually Will Rogers said, "Nothing will spoil a big man’s life like too much truth." Big or small, man or woman, the truth can cause all kinds of issues, especially when it comes to sales lead management.
To be fair, it’s only right to say that many people don’t know what the truth is when we speak of sales lead management. I don’t think there is such as thing as too much truth in sales lead management, so I guess it’s time we talked about it.
It’s said the truth will set you free; maybe it will work with you or more precisely management.
I believe there are 12 truths in B2B sales lead management (no doubt more, but I stopped at 12; you can add some):
1. There is a difference between an inquiry and a lead. Leads are qualified inquiries.
2. 45% of all inquiries turn into a sale for someone within one year. This is known as the Rule of 45.
Marketing Quitters use the words ""Can’t" "Won't" "Impossible” and other phrases such as "We’ve always done it this way" "That doesn’t work" "Done that" "Tried that" "Can’t measure that" "Can’t follow-up those leads" "Salespeople won't use the CRM system" "Salespeople won't close the loop" "Can’t measure that lead gen program."
This article in appeared in BtoB. To read it in it’s entirety, click here. The following are excerpts.
By James W. Obermayer Executive Director, Sales Lead Management Association
Story posted: January 17, 2011 - 6:01 am EDT
There comes a time in the life of every movement when its ideas and principles it represents catch fire, a point of critical mass. For sales and marketing alignment, that time has come.
This year, the rewards for those who align their sales and marketing programs and departments will be as dramatic as the failures of those who refuse…
"If CRM has been the drumbeat of business, marketing automation is the full orchestra."
With marketing automation reaching a crescendo, marketing no longer has an excuse to refrain from taking its rightful place as an equal co-creator of wealth.
"With marketing automation, where before there was timidity, there is now bravado. But marketing as a discipline has to change to make this happen…."
As our sales funnels get wider and longer, it’s even more challenging than before to keep leads within our grasp. One of the most costly sales and marketing issues is lead leakage. Lead leakage refers to leads entering the funnel as suspects and potentially moving through to leads and possibly opportunities only to be forgotten, if they are not ready to buy. But what does that mean? Are these leads are not worthy of continued attention? Could these leads buy at some point in the future? Plugging a hole in your sales funnel is critical to successful lead management. Below are some steps that can be taken to help reduce lead leakage…
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
It’s becoming significantly more obvious to all businesses – B2B or B2C that buying behavior has changed and is continuing to change. The Internet and the volume of information available at a buyer’s finger tips has changed the sales cycle to be driven by the buy cycle. It has taken the leverage of the sale away from the company and sales person and it has put that into the hands of the buyer. This change in the buy cycle is the number one justification for marketing automation. If you aren’t selling based on where a buyer is in their cycle, you won’t sell them at all. And if you can’t identify and stay in touch with the buyer, who is only interacting with your company digitally, then you won’t sell them at all either. So you ask, what other dynamics are affecting businesses today that are driving the use of marketing automation?
The second most common justification is the dwindling marketing budget. Marketing has to justify their budget. The time when large budgets were available for everything from branding to advertisement is gone. Marketing budgets continue to be scrutinized and put under constant pressure. Marketers are struggling to apply their limited budgets effectively. To help accomplish this, Marketers must be given the tools they need, and marketing automation provides for this support.
Lack of resources is the third most common justification for marketing automation. Companies should leverage the many service organizations and/or vendors that provide resource help for implementing marketing automation. Once the initial work is done, the huge leverage (and of course benefits) that companies can get from marketing automation should not be overlooked.
Is your company changing the way it measures marketing effectiveness – are you trying to really understand your impact on revenue and measure campaign ROI? The fourth justification for marketing automation is about measuring ROI. Marketing managers and departments are becoming more responsible for not just generating a volume of “leads” for sales, but now are being measured for the quality of those leads. How much of their marketing budget has impacted revenue? Marketing automation systems help companies improve the quality of leads passed to sales and enable marketers to track this effectiveness.
The fifth and probably the most costly justification for marketing automation is the cost of sales. Between the time sales spends trying to contact leads that aren’t ”sales-ready” or leads that aren’t ready to buy, they are wasting a significant amount of time. This wasted time translates into significant costs and into potential lost revenue opportunity (sales not spending their time on real opportunities).
With the change in buying behavior, lack of marketing budget and resources, it’s hard not to understand how to justify marketing automation today.
About the Author
Lisa Cramer is president and co-founder 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changes in the Channel
by Rob Brewster on September 24, 2010
As some of you may have heard, Eloqua has terminated our relationship with one of our resellers, The Pedowitz Group (TPG). This was a difficult decision, not only because TPG’s team has helped many Eloqua users succeed, but also because its founder and president, Jeff Pedowitz, is a former Eloqua employee.
Over the last year, TPG undertook a strategy to be an agency that represents multiple competing brands in our space. This approach is inconsistent with our vision for Eloqua’s channel because we are concerned about sharing our intellectual property (IP) with any company that works closely with our competitors. When you get right down to it, Eloqua is an IP company. What differentiates us is not only the technology we supply to clients, but also our vertical knowledge, best practices acumen, and our insights into the demands on marketing which change as one moves from the SMB sector up through the enterprise. Reseller exclusivity allows us to share this IP – as well as our technology roadmap – with partners, confident that the knowledge transfer will benefit only Eloqua users. If our partners know our most important ideas, they can better serve our customers. We did not want to stop sharing those ideas.
The market has changed. It’s become more crowded; consolidation has intensified; new categories, like revenue performance management, have emerged. Successful companies adapt. And that’s why we made this change. We truly thank TPG for helping Eloqua users succeed, and, as we wind down our relationship over the next 90 days, we wish the company and its good people well. We will always appreciate all they’ve done to help build the marketing automation industry.
CATEGORY: Revenue Generation
TAGS: Eloqua, Pedowitz Group
The Pedowitz Group Remains Committed to Customer Success
Leading Demand Generation Agency Changes Its Relationship With Eloqua, Freeing It to Focus 100% on Customer Success With a Wider Range of Marketing Automation Platforms
ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - September 27, 2010) - The Pedowitz Group, the world's largest and most experienced demand generation agency, today announced that it will no longer represent marketing automation vendor Eloqua as a channel distribution partner, despite a long history of success with the company.
Over the past three years, The Pedowitz Group -- one of Eloqua's largest and most celebrated partners -- has added great value to the relationship. Last year, at the 2009 Eloqua Partner Summit, TPG was recognized as Eloqua's top revenue provider and ranked highest in customer service among the company's 40+ partners.
Additionally, 15 Pedowitz Group customers were honored as finalists in Eloqua's fourth annual Markie Awards, placing in 16 of 20 award categories.
Though TPG will no longer serve as a distribution partner for Eloqua, they will continue servicing current Eloqua customers, providing full support services. Moving forward, the firm will continue working with its other leading marketing automation partners, providing customers with the highest level of demand generation and customer services.
"The Pedowitz Group is 100% focused on the customer," said Jeff Pedowitz, TPG's chief executive officer. "Eloqua is focused on ensuring that all channel partners sell their products and services exclusively. We insist on retaining the freedom to leverage all marketing automation platforms to best serve our customers -- not just the offerings of one vendor. When it comes down to it, we just have two different business models."
Sometimes marketing management would like to prove the ROI for the money they spend, but they face:
1. No CRM system. (Spreadsheet lead management is a failure).
2. Sales Management isn’t behind the CRM system. There is a CRM system, but sales management doesn’t enforce its use.
3. Salespeople don’t cooperate. No cooperation from salespeople to close out the inquiries and leads.
4.Company presidents don’t want to “upset” sales management so they remain silent on the subject of follow-up and reporting while beating marketing over the head for ROI numbers.
What’s a lamb to do?
To avoid being a lamb taken to the slaughter don’t launch a lead generation campaign without a plan to show the ROI. It’s time to educate yourself and standup and not take it anymore. You have to stop taking it from sales managers who refuse to cooperate, IT manager’s who don’t know or understand the importance of the system, CFOs who won’t back you in CRM system use or expansion, and company presidents who’d rather not get into a fuss between sales and marketing. Push the timid managers out of the way or ignore them.
Start Small and work up!
It starts with proving the ROI with the smallest campaign and expanding from there. Prove the ROI for an easy lead generation programs such as a trade show. Show the numbers and the thirst for more will grow in the C Suite. They’ll ask, “Why can’t we get these numbers more often?” To which you reply, “I can if I only had a little more cooperation.” After that statement, shut up, smile and wait for the follow-on question. It will come.
I vote for lambs that change into wolves in lead generation and ROI reporting. The moral is, if you’re silent (a lamb) you’re on the menu, if you speak up and get a backbone, you’ll set the table and be respected.
Today, August 26th at 5 PM PST, SLMA Radio host Will Crist provides news coverage on sales lead management and interviews with Eloqua’s Joseph Payne and sales lead expert Mac McIntosh. Some of the questions we will cover include:
From Joseph Payne
-What does Eloqua mean when it says it can deliver Sales Intelligently and Measure Everything?
-What is the biggest challenge facing CMO’s today?
-Why should a company president care about using a marketing automation process?
-Can Eloqua make life more predictable for a Sales Manager? How?
-Are there industry segments which have had more success with marketing automation than others?
-Who do you look up to for leadership?
From Mac McIntosh
-Who do you look up to as a leader in B2B Marketing?
-I have to ask for some advice: A CMO says the salespeople for his company are not following up on the sales inquiries she gives them. What advice can you give her to change that?
-Some more advice please: A CFO has unusual power in a company and doesn’t believe in creating sales leads. How do you change his mind?
-What is the best lead generating vehicle today for B2B companies in this down marketplace?
-What is the biggest mistake companies make in managing sales leads?
-What advice do you give CMO’s about measuring the ROI for marketing?
Tune in at 5 PM PST
Lead management can really be taken in steps – yes, for maximum return you need to implement all components and processes from website to close of sale. But we’ve found that just taking the first small step can provide some immediate ROI and immediate visibility to all that’s been missing. One example might be, if a company currently sends an electronic monthly newsletter to prospects, we’ll often suggest starting simply by moving that process to a lead management tool. The process involves importing leads into a lead management system, using the lead management system to more definitively segment and target these prospects. Set up an email template within the lead management system with dynamic content that can changed based on some basic criteria such as industry and watch the advanced behavior tracking open up your eyes.
The benefits are immediately obvious. First, lead management systems provide a very detailed way of segmenting your prospects. If segmented well (industry, title, size of company, behavior, interests, etc.), then your ability to target messages to the segmented list will be much better and much more effective. Personalization combined with relevance is one of the most important criteria for successful email conversion. You should see more clicks and better conversions over time as you provide more relevant information to your prospects. And if your lead management system is what it should be rules can easily be created to dynamically change text or images to better suite your targeted recipients.
Download our whitepaper “A Quicker, Simpler Path to Lead Management ROI” and learn a step-by-step approach to getting up and running with lead management. Discover how taking small steps can provide immediate ROI and visibility into what’s been missing.
Lisa Cramer is president and co-founder of LeadLife Solutions, a provider of on-demand lead management software that generates, scores, and nurtures leads for B2B marketers. In 2009, Lisa was recognized as one of the top 5 “Most Influential People” in sales lead management. For more information on lead management or best practices call 1-800-680-6292 or email email@example.com.