“I Have No Idea What Marketing is Doing” said the Rest of the Organization

sales and marketing alignmentYears ago I was in charge of marketing and demand generation for an online media company. We were publishers whose main product was leads. We would generate leads on our clients’ behalf via content syndication, webinars, etc. We had one client that bought as many leads as they could from us. They had metrics and conversion rates that they would present to us each quarter, a team of marketers working on demand generation and an agency, and an inside sales team dedicating to qualifying leads for sales. Their game was tight. We revered them. [Read more…]

Mo Money Mo Problems: New Age Impediments to Sales and Marketing Alignment

Before you read further or prepare to leave a comment below that I have missed the core elements of sales-marketing alignment, please read my previous work here:

I am a proponent, consultant, advocate for the core elements that have to be in place for sales and marketing alignment and those posts should help you see my point of view. In other words, yes I understand that things like shared expectations and responsibility are critical, but this post is focused on what I consider recent developments in the sales-marketing cold war.

First of all, let me say that a lot of companies are really trying. The relentless blogo-sphere rantings on aligning sales-and-marketing have brought more organizations to the table. Many companies have a qualified lead definition, have shifted real revenue-generation responsibility to marketing, track their efforts, and have generally attempted to become modern revenue machines. I love it. Marketing is at the big boy table. A giant first step has been taken.

Let’s explore some of the new issues hampering alignment but before we do — please take note: I will talk further about these issues with Jason Miller from Linkedin and Justin Gray from LeadMD on an amazing webinar on February 25th at 11am. This going to be a really cool format: We are hosting a debate. I will represent sales and Justin will represent marketing. Jason will attempt to moderate us. Both sides will be represented. Be there for the fight of the century.

sales, marketing, marketing automation

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Lead Qualification: Defining your Qualified Lead (infographic)

Editor’s note: I get asked all the time to post infographics. As a general rule, I don’t like to post them. However, if I am a mentioned in the infographic and there is a cartoon image of me????  Don’t judge me, but I gotta do it. Please send any complaints to our complaints department (which we have still yet to hire). Net-net, this is a great infographic so enjoy:

How to Define the Lead of Your Companys Dreams Infographic

Brought to you by Lead Generation Software by Marketo

Top 50 Content Marketing Posts of 2013 from @sharebloc

I was not as good as others at wrapping up the year BEFORE the end of the year. We are working so hard at TOPO that I needed time to sleep and be with my family. With that in mind, today’s post was supposed to go out last week but since everyone was out of the office anyway, I figured I was safe.

This post contains the results of the ShareBloc Top 50 Content Marketing Posts of 2013. ShareBloc ran the contest from December 3 to December 17, 2013. The contest received 7,678 votes and narrowed 175 nominations to the top 50.  The content was a mix of sales and marketing and without a doubt showcased some of the best work created in 2013. Here is a link for the official page of the ShareBloc content winners. See the list below…

content marketing, marketing, sales

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Best Practices for Following Up on Inbound Leads

Today’s guest post is from Derek Singleton of Software Advice. A great writer who recently published research on converting inbound leads. Enjoy his post!

As an online business, Software Advice thrives off connecting with business-to-business (B2B) software buyers on the Web and the phone. Since our company was founded in 2006, we’ve learned a lot about B2B buyer behavior on the Web—and we wanted to share what we’ve learned with the B2B sales and marketing community.

Toward that end, I recently analyzed data Software Advice collected from more than 6,000,000 unique visitors between January 1, 2008 and August 31, 2013. What I found offers insights into when B2B buyers research on the Web, when they convert on a website and when you can get them on the phone. As inbound marketing (and inbound leads) become a larger part of the overall B2B marketing mix, I believe it’s important to understand these behaviors.

Here are a few of the my most interesting findings, along with additional insights provided by Craig.

A Lightning Fast Lead Response Time Significantly Improves Qualification Rates

A few years ago, InsideSales.com published The Lead Response Response Management Study, reporting that calling a buyer within 5 minutes of converting on your site leads to dramatically improves your changes of qualifying that buyer. I wanted to know what happens if you call in 5 within seconds of converting, which our phone system allows us to do.

While I expected to find that calling this quickly would improve our qualification rate, it was pretty stunning to see that when we call a buyer within 5 seconds of converting on our site, we qualify that buyer at a rate 30 percent higher than our average qualification rate.

Qualification Rates at Second IntervalsLead generation, inside sales, sales development [Read more…]