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April 2015

Surprising Research on Referral Marketing

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 11.49.26 AMPaper Title: Referral Marketing for Professional Services Firms

From: Hinge Research Institute

Length: 21-page white paper

Research database: 523 respondents.

Cost: Free


  1. Introduction
  2. Methodology
  3. Why Firms Get Ruled Out
  4. Conclusion
  5. About Hinge
  6. Additional Resources 

While this white paper was created primarily, the authors say, for professional services firms, its contents are worth reading for all business-to-business companies.  Referrals for all businesses are valuable.  These are not to be confused with testimonials, but are the one-on-one discussions that occur from one buyer or influencer to another.

Hinge found that of the 523 respondents, 72.1% said that attracting and developing new business is

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Can Marketing Automation Become Just an ERP Application? Dan Arra Hopes not!


  Dan Arra


Alto Cloud’s VP of Sales & Service Dan Arra, has an interesting viewpoint when he deliberates with the host Jim Obermayer how marketing automation could be slipping into a rigid process that resembles an ERP solution.  Dan feels this is not good for the salesperson or the customer. Arra argues that  machine learning, when added to marketing automation can push personalized communications in real time to address a customer’s immediate interest.  Real time, both agreed, is better than a salesperson getting around to answering a question a week after the person visited the website.  This also agrees with Andy Paul’s philosophy in the book Zero Time Selling which he discusses in another SLMA Radio interview


100 Sales and Marketing Stats Every Marketer and Sales Manager Must Know

This is a collection of by-the-numbers facts that every sales and marketing professional needs to know offered as a white paper by SalesStaff.

SalesStaff with 54 cited sources
Form: PDF  White Paper
Length: 14 Pages
Download Link

Ten categories covered include:

1. Email marketing, 2. Social Media, 3. Facebook, 4. Twitter , 5. LinkedIn, 6. SEO, 7. Content Marketing, 8. Blogging , 9. Lead Generation , 10. Sales

Some stats that surprised me:

  • 89 Billion emails sent daily by workers
  • 13% of all leads were generated using email marketing
  • Personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened
  • Top 5 cities for job openings with social media in the title: NYC,L.A., S.F., London, and Chicago

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Cartoon: When a company president asks my advice about growing the company, I tell him "Find a good marketer."



 When a company president asks me what can be done to grow the company, I tell him to find a good marketer who knows how to manage leads.

“Great marketers, pound for pound, create more wealth for your company,” I tell him, “than any other person in the company, and they can prove it.   Not-so-great marketers create some wealth, but they can't prove it.” 

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The Missing Piece in Sales Lead Management

Last week, the Sales Lead Management Association posted an article discussing the sales industry’s struggles with lead follow-up.

It pointed out that marketing automation and CRM are important tools, but they don’t completely solve the problem -- even when used in tandem.

That’s because there’s something missing between these two technologies. The sales funnel starts with leads (marketing automation) and ends with customers (CRM), but what about the gap in the middle? Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 10.53.58 AM

Sales acceleration technology is the missing piece. It sits between marketing automation and CRM platforms, and keeps the assembly line moving.

When it comes to lead follow-up, industry studies have taught us most reps give up before even making a second attempt. However, if they persist to six tries, chances of making contact reach about 90 percent.

Sales acceleration technology dramatically improves productivity, allowing reps to follow up on leads more quickly and persistently. And with automatic data capture to CRM, leads stop falling through the cracks.

It’s been reported that 79 percent of marketing leads never convert to sales, so it’s important for

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Bonnie Crater On the topic of gender equality in the C Space. Listen While You Work

On SLMA Radio recently, Bonnie Crater, CEO of Full Circle CRM was interviewed by me on the topic of gender equality at the C-level. The question of whether or not it is possible was the focus and steps companies can take toward this goal. But one of the byproducts of this interview is the question, "Why does it matter?"

 Here is the replay of that interview:

Or you can view the SLMA Radio interview here > 

This article just posted in USA Today 4/18: Is Meritocracy a joke for women in tech >

The current situation in the tech industry has taken the issues of women in the workplace to new levels of controversy recently. For starters, the number of women in Silicon Valley has been falling precipitously over decades' time.

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Amazon & B2B companies are not the bogeymen of online data-capture.

So much fuss is made about social media companies that capture everything about us. They sell everything about us they can learn by our behavior and that of our friends. We know this. We are also familiar with the tracking set up by Marketo, Bronto, click-just-about-anything, Constant Contact, Experian, Salesforce, SalesFUSION, Unbounce, Weblead Tracker, Zendesk, Zappos and the rest of the 380 most common beacons. This doesn't mention the 982+ common advertising trackers, 321+ common analytics trackers, 19+ for privacy and another 292+ of widgets in general. 

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Cartoon on Sales Lead Follow-up: Not so funny when you think about it


Sales Lead follow-up is always a struggle.  When salespeople failed to follow-up leads, CRM software was supposed to be the fix and it has to a degree (accountability).  Marketing automation software was supposed to solve it when CRM software fell short and it has to a degree (automated follow-up).  

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A Report on the State of Marketing Maturity: Users are getting business value but not following best practices!

Slma-recommended-187Spear 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. 

MA Maturity Survey Report Cover ImageThe 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):

  1. Analytics and Reporting – Six questions
  2. Programs – Nine questions
  3. Forms and Landing Pages –Four questions
  4. Lead Scoring – Eight questions
  5. Data – Five questions

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:

  • Do you measure and report on the pipeline contribution?
    • Answer: 77.3% said yes.
    • Do you measure and report on the revenue contribution?
      • Answer:  58.6% said yes. 
      • Have you defined the stages in your company’s sales cycle based on industry standards (MQL, SQL, etc.)?
        • Answer: 69.5 % said yes. 

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.