Webinar: The 5 Keys to the Successful Modern Sales Organization

Please join us! If you want to watch live it is Thursday, September 12 at 10 A.M. PDT — otherwise, just play it in the post on-demand at your leisure. Hope to see you there


S**t the Funnelholic says: Five things I said this week

I say a bunch of things, some are quoted and others are forgotten.  I figured I would jot them down and see if we can learn anything from them…musings from Craig Rosenberg, like it or not:

1.  Content won’t solve the problem, but you probably can’t solve the problem without content — I am completely bought into the content marketing game.  However, if you need more deals/pipeline, the answer is not “more content” although content should be included as part of the plan.  I talked to a couple startup marketers who  told me the first thing they need to go do is create content.  Let me get this straight, you are just starting to figure out how to make money and you want to create content first?  Actually….

2.  Don’t be a sissy, call people — I am sorry, you want to start a business? You want to launch a new product?  The first thing you do is get on the phone. You will learn more from that than anything else.  And don’t tell them you are doing market research, just sell…it’s ok.  If you ask someone: “If I came to you and said you could do X what would you say”.  If they know it will do no harm, they will say “yes”.  If you ask someone, can i send you a proposal for X.  You will know what they really think. Then you can create content.  Buyer personas? Same thing…just make sure you know one thing:

3.  You can’t create buyer personas without talking to them — Please don’t make buyer personas without talking to these people.  I suggest you start with your theory and go test it live.  Then create content, it will be better.  By the way, have you noticed:

4.  We have a bunch of people in the workforce who have never been spanked —  I am telling you…I brought this up to a colleague and she said: “No kidding, can I ask that on a job description? Along with: Where you on a losing team and didn’t get a trophy? Do you call your parents’ friends mr. and mrs?”  I remember seeing a tweet from @damphoux: “Please keep working hard #thingsIneverhadtobetold” Funny, sometimes I have whipped this one out:

5.  There is a bus strapped with a bomb that can’t go less than 55 miles per hour or it will blow up. You are Keanu Reeves, please act accordingly — Net-net, look at the clock man and get urgent.  I don’t want you to make bad decisions by rushing, but I want you to know a bunch of people on this bus are counting on you and f-ing up and saying “my bad” isn’t going to do anyone any good.

PS If you read this as bitterness, you don’t know me.  I wrote this smiling and having fun.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

Don’t Miss Focus B2B Marketing Week, July 11-15

From Monday, July 11, through Friday, July 15, Focus.com is presenting Focus B2B Marketing Week, rolling out a bunch of webinars and roundtable panels that will bring together the top experts in their fields to discuss the state of B2B marketing today.

Couple things to note:

  • Wednesday at 10 am PT is a webinar with Ardath Albee and me. Everything else is a roundtable.
  • You can catch all the action by clicking here.
  • Ask questions before, during and after the event in the event interfaces.

For speaker details and to attend, click the event links below.

Monday July 11

1 pm PT/4 pm ET: How to Set Up an Effective Marketing Organization

Tuesday July 12

11 am PT/2 pm ET: B2B Marketing Tactics That Work (And the Ones That Don’t)

1 pm PT/4 pm ET: Modern B2B Marketing Strategies

Wednesday July 13

10 am PT/1 pm ET: The Four Types of Prospect Attention and How They Affect Demand Generation

1 pm PT/4 pm ET: B2B Lead Generation: How To Use the Phone to Drive High Quality Leads

Thursday July 14

9 am PT/12 pm ET: The Key to Sales and Marketing Alignment

1 pm PT/4 pm ET: Expert Best Practices in Content Marketing

Friday July 15

11 am PT/2 pm ET: B2B Marketing 3.0: What’s Next for B2B Marketers?

1 pm PT/4 pm ET: Tips on Generating Leads for Yourself

Sign up to attend now — it should be awesome.

54 Things to Do when Building a Lead Qualification Team

I hesitated to write this post, because Marketo’s Jon Miller has already written quite possibly the best, as-close-to-definitive guide to lead qualification.

OK, now that I have led you off my site, let’s get back to business. I decided to write this because I continue to believe in my heart of hearts that one of the single biggest levers a revenue-focused organization can pull is to have a dedicated phone qualification team. Also, I was cleaning out old paperwork and found some of my old notes from my days at SalesRamp.

First, some clarifications: I’m talking about a multichannel process that includes dedicated phone-based resources and automation designed to determine whether or not a lead fits the agreed-upon qualified lead definition and is deemed ready to speak with sales. Or CliffsNotes-style: There are people on the phones who qualify leads or inquiries before handing them to sales.

There are a number of different names for this: inside sales, sales development, lead development, telebusiness, lead qualification, and so forth. No matter what you call it, there’s a buttload of things to do when building an LQT (lead qualification team). I can think of at least 54:

  1. Establish a business plan.
  2. Create definitions; in particular, your qualified lead definition (more on this later).
  3. Determine your “value-chain,” starting from revenue the organization needs to generate then go in order from there: a) Opportunities: How many opportunities do we need to hit the revenue number?; b) Qualified leads: How many qualified leads do we need to hit our number?; c) Leads or marketing-qualified leads (MQLs): How many leads do we need to hit our qualified leads number?
  4. Draw the value chain from top of the funnel to the bottom.
  5. Create metrics for each step in the value chain.
  6. Determine your leads’ needs (demographics and so forth).
  7. Determine lead/inquiry generation flow (what are the sources, etc.).
  8. Figure out how leads will be entered into the system.
  9. Establish the merged/purged database process.
  10. Develop a list of prospects/customers not to call.
  11. Develop a definition of a qualified lead. I know I mentioned this earlier, but it is the most critical definition — what criteria must you uncover in order to pass this lead to sales?
  12. Sales has to agree to the definition, or nothing on this list will work.
  13. Get a commitment from sales to follow up on the qualified lead. Some might call it an SLA (besides Dan Waldschmidt).
  14. What is the deliverable to sales? Is it an appointment? Demo? What is the information provided?
  15. What’s the closed-loop process? Sales needs to provide feedback on the qualified leads; try to do it using your CRM.
  16. Create lead stages just like sales stages, but make them mimic the phone qualification process.
  17. Develop the quota of qualified leads (as my old boss Stu Silverman called it, “The ‘keep-your-job’ quota”).
  18. Develop a commission plan for the LQ reps. It should be a qualified lead number with a bonus for revenue generated.
  19. Develop a commission plan for the manager.
  20. Determine how to track calling statistics. Yes, sir (or madam), you need to do this. (P.S. You may or may not be able to do this in the CRM.)
  21. Tie your qualified lead flow with the overall sales forecasting process.
  22. Establish the territories for the lead qualification reps.
  23. Develop “hang-on-the-wall” materials: value propositions, call guide including voice mail, qualified lead definition, competitive comparison guide, list of customers and partners, diagram of the field organization, buyer personas.
  24. Set content-delivery strategy – what should be sent when.
  25. Create scoring (this is if you don’t have marketing doing scoring). You should score on lead source, demographic info that hits your sweet spot (title, for example), and so forth.
  26. Score will determine level of effort and time spent.
  27. Create a “connect-strategy” that includes phone and email — a series of calls and emails over time.
  28. Determine the number of voicemails you will leave (if any; some people don’t).
  29. Create a web-researching strategy. Allot a certain amount of time to research each account. Provide an application to do research such as Inside View.
  30. Create a process for inbound calls including call routing. (P.S. Here is to hoping you get inbound calls!)
  31. Get senior executive staff to buy into the LQT.
  32. Write all of this down in a strategy document. Not just to look cool, but for your own good.
  33. Develop automation strategy, customizations, reports.
  34. Choose a CRM system if there isn’t one. Figure out how to support your process if there is one.
  35. Ensure you set up CRM to make lead qualification reps’ lives easier. They need to live in it.
  36. Write an automation cheat sheet. Lead qualification reps should hang it on their walls.
  37. Establish a process for tracking qualified leads.
  38. Develop a lead source report — goodness of sources and goodness of follow-up.
  39. Make sure leads are seamlessly entered into the system. Make sure lead qualification reps are alerted when they enter the CRM system.
  40. Train, train and train: industry, buying personas, market, technology, product, company, your new lead qualification process, the automation, the message, objections.
  41. Sit with the lead qualification reps; it’s the best way to help them.
  42. Determine headcount.
  43. Create job descriptions. Copy other job descriptions of like jobs to make sure you are thorough.
  44. Advertise on craigslist, it works for this position. And send out word to your network. After you get one or two, pay for referrals. The average age will be young for this position, and the young’uns like working with their friends.
  45. Manage the group toward hitting its goals.
  46. Monitor calling. Use a splitter. It sounds invasive, but it works great.
  47. Continually communicate goals and results to management. They don’t always get it.
  48. On second thought, continually communicate to the entire company.
  49. Have a closed-loop meeting with sales. It should be weekly. Accept feedback and do something about it.
  50. Have a closed-loop meeting with marketing. It should be weekly too.
  51. Have marketing listen to calls of their leads so they can see what is working/not working live.
  52. Constantly optimize.
  53. Expect a year to 14 months of maximum output from lead qualification reps.
  54. Wake up do it again (think Groundhog Day).

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

Confession: I Am a Marketing Automation Fanboy

OK, after all that mid-life crisis talk about moving beyond marketing, here I am with a marketing automation post. Oh well. David Raab gave me a sneak peek at his new marketing automation study and subsequent tool. Initially, I was hesitant to write about what David shared with me since I don’t pimp, and I just made a big, melodramatic case for The Funnelholic to move beyond marketing. But I decided, what the hell? I am who I am, so bring the marketing automation tool on!

Truth be told, I am an unabashed fanboy of marketing automation. I am also an unabashed fanboy of the word “fanboy.” I primarily use it as an insult, so note my self-deprecating sense of humor remains intact. I love the concept of marketing automation. Marketing automation is the bomb. (For all my older readers, that is a good thing.)

We just asked a question on the benefits of marketing automation on Focus. There is great stuff there, but for me it’s pretty simple: Every part of the organization has an automated platform to run on and to optimize their business. Finance, sales, supply chain, HR – everyone but marketing. Frankly it was embarrassing. Yes, there are flaws with marketing automation, but there are flaws with ERP and CRM systems. This is about having a platform to manage, organize and measure. You may think this is backward, but failed marketing automation implementations are good for the business. It has spawned guys like Carlos Hidalgo, who is focused on helping marketing organizations lay the groundwork for a process that happens to be managed by marketing automation. That is good for the marketing department.

In my job leading the Focus Experts Network, I am meeting a lot of independent analysts. Technology guys like Michael Krigsman, Richard Stiennon, Bob Egan are go-to thought leaders for end users and vendors who need to understand their respective technology landscapes. Marketing automation doesn’t have many of these folks, but David Raab is one of them. David, along with Adam Needles and Carlos Hidalgo, wrote the awesome Focus Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation, and when we needed an Expert to talk about making the marketing automation decision in an upcoming webinar, we chose David. Most marketers I talk to know they need something if they don’t have it. The next step will be to figure out the right fit for their organization, as there are a lot of vendors. And for that, I think David’s vendor selection application is a must-have for buyers in the consideration phase, and the price makes it a no-brainer.

Because, yes, I want you to buy marketing automation. Full disclosure: It does nothing for me. Seriously, I own no stock, nor am I an analyst, nor does Focus benefit at all. I want this for you, not for me. That, my friends, is what fanboys do. Viva marketing automation!

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

Mid-Life Crisis Averted: The Funnelholic Is Here to Stay

What an amazing couple of weeks it’s been since I wrote my midlife crisis post, “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” and asked the question, “What should I do with my industry-specific blog now that I want to create different content?” on the Internet love of my life, Focus.com. Besides blog comments from friends and strangers, my angst went global (I got email from Sweden – Daniel Wood, who is a great sales and motivation blogger).  I spoke to people at length. Just yesterday, I was talking on the phone about my midlife crisis with Gary S. Hart, who is a sales blogger as well. The consensus is to keep The Funnelholic brand. Whether you delivered the message via phone or Web, thanks to everyone who gave your input.

Here is what I decided: The Funnelholic stays, and I will write about whatever floats my boat.  The entire process became a real awakening for me about why I blog. It’s because I love it. If I lose some readers, I have to live with it. If I started writing about things I don’t care about, then The Funnelholic would fail anyway.

Here’s what I’ve learned from the whole episode:

  1. If you have no passion, then your blog will suck. It was cool to discover that people really like reading The Funnelholic. I have loved creating content for this blog, and I continue to love writing on it. That may be the most important thing I learned: people can feel your passion.
  2. If you have no passion, your “social-media” presence will suck. The comment above is also true about your social media bearing. As Focus.com builds, you can see people who love what they are doing answering questions with gusto. If it pains you to write or talk about it, find a new career path. You’ve lost your passion.
  3. Writing helps you solidify your ideology. I have all this stuff in my head about business, marketing, sales and so forth. Writing about it – on The Funnelholic, as a guest blogger elsewhere, on Focus.com – helps me coalesce my thoughts and properly organize my beliefs.
  4. The personal online brand revolution is on. I built a brand, and the brand has a following. That was cool – and it’s something I shouldn’t start again from square one. Steve Woods and I talked about this idea years ago. He said: “There will be a new type of talent, an Internet free-agent superstar.  In some cases, companies may hire because they want that person associated with their brand.”  Interesting. I am not Chris Brogan, but I’ve got something.

Thanks to everyone for their kind words and thoughtful advice.

I remain (and will continue to remain) yours sincerely,

The Funnelholic

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

Enemy Mine: Why Everyone Needs a Rival

When we were starting Tippit (soon to be Focus), a gentleman named John Luongo was an observer in our board meetings. He had a storied career at Oracle and then was the CEO of Vantive. He had lots of advice for us, but one thing in particular that he said has always stuck with me: “You really need to pick an enemy.” I actually mentioned this concept in an earlier post on the marketing automation market.

Here is what John meant: Management should declare an enemy and rally everyone in the company around beating this enemy. Sales will want to outsell the enemy, product will want to produce a better product than the enemy and so forth. John described how, in his early days, Oracle obsessed about beating Informix (which Oracle did handily). Sure, you could simply say, “Pick a goal to strive for” — but that doesn’t play on primal, competitive instincts. I love this concept, and I see at least five distinctive benefits:

1.      It helps everyone focus: Having a rallying cry gives teams a reason to come to work each day. It also can help you make decisions on where to put your energy.

2.      It motivates: See above.

3.       It serves as a scoreboard: Scoreboards work.

4.       It fosters our natural mean streak: That’s always a good thing.

5.       It can provide a ‘measuring stick’: Take a reference point like a competitor’s product and say, “We will beat their functionality (or even their website).”

No, obsession is not healthy, but having an enemy makes so much sense.

There are some great examples of this, but by far my favorite is University of Colorado football. In 1982, Bill McCartney took over as head coach of the Colorado football program; at the time, the team couldn’t win a thing (in 1980 the team was 1-10; in 1981 the team was 3-8 — you get the picture). One of the first things McCartney did was name Nebraska as Colorado’s primary rival. Nebraska was a perennial powerhouse, had defeated Colorado 14 times in a row, and could care less about Colorado. Honestly, anybody following college football at the time would tell you McCartney was crazy. That’s why this is the perfect example: McCartney made the best team he could their measuring stick for success. His “enemy” was perfect for the team to aspire to, and it set a bold, “hairy” goal for his program to achieve.

Here is what happened next:

  • Four years later (1986) Colorado beat No. 3-ranked Nebraska 20-10.
  • In 1990, Colorado won the national championship.
  • In all, McCartney created a national powerhouse of a program.

You might ask me if this is the first article in the “business-aholic” stage of my life. Maybe, but the decision to declare an enemy is something even department and organizational heads can do. In other words, this concept is still very “Funnelholic.” As a marketer, I love to have an enemy. If I had to decide on my marketing plan, I would use my enemy as my measuring stick. I would want to create a better website, blog, social media presence, content, advertise where they are and so forth. All of this makes my program better and, for me at least, makes it more fun — I get to keep score and compete.

Choose an enemy, you’ll be better for it.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Is it time to close (or perhaps rename) this blog? This question has been in the back of my mind for the past few weeks. I tried to create a provocative title for this post, but the real question is: What should I do with The Funnelholic? The issue at hand is that I believe I have a lot to offer beyond just the sales and marketing funnel. Here is an example: I have learned a lot about the startup business from helping build Tippit and now Focus – I want to share these tips. Moreover, with my new role at Focus, I have been reading a ton of customer service, HR, and business-building content that I want to discuss and share. Is The Funnelholic capable of expanding beyond the funnel?

Here is another scenario I thought of: What if, for my next job, I want to be hired as a CEO (for example). Would being The Funnelholic help me or hurt me?

Just so everyone knows, I have written about how I came to the name this blog on the Annuitas Blog awhile back. In a nutshell, my CEO Scott Albro came up with the name. I had wanted “Funnelnomics,” but it was taken by my friend Suaad Sait . Scott said, “You need something that represents you, more fun and loose, it should be something like ‘The Funnelholic.’ I bought the domain name that day, started blogging, and it was on.

It was a great name: totally memorable and well-suited for my personality (irreverent, a bit edgy). Just the other night, I went to the Content Rules awards dinner, hosted by Eloqua at Foreign Cinema, and met Ann Handley for the first time. I said, “I’m Craig Rosenberg.” No reaction, no recognition. Then I said, “The Funnelholic.” “Ooooh!” she said. Like it or not, The Funnelholic is my brand.

But is it my brand, or have I typecast myself? I feel like a television star trying to break out of his medium to make it in the movies. What do I do now that I want to talk about more? I want to talk about business, not just demand generation and marketing automation. This whole “soul-searching” process has led me to these questions:

1. What should I do with The Funnelholic? Now that you know what you know, what is your recommendation? Should it stay or should it go? At the Content Rules dinner, I asked my table-mates the same question. My table had PR people (but primarily knowledgeable social media-ites) Mandy Mladenoff, Abigail Snyder, Jesse Noyes, Tyler Willis, and Lisa Loeffler. They thought I was crazy (literally). Their vote was that the brand stays and the writing can evolve. What do you think? Please submit your opinion.

2. What is the best practice for naming a blog? Should you use your name, or should you give the blog its own unique name? Could I have avoided typecasting had I gone with my name? Give me your input.

The real question is: Now what?

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

210 B2B Marketing Tips for 2010

Drumroll please …  I present the 210 B2B marketing tips for 2010. Let me tell you, this was quite an adventure, one that I will certainly do differently in the future.

Basically, the sequence of events went like this:

  1. Decide on topic: 210 tips for 2010
  2. Start writing them off the top of my head
  3. Get to 65
  4. Still determined, decide to ask for help
  5. @scottalbro, @cjablonski, @tlotl, @mschmier and @damphoux come to the rescue

Much of what you see below is attributed. Some, however, like the input from @scottalbro, were fed to me conversationally through stream of consciousness, so I didn’t attribute them. He is a great writer and would not be crazy about my translation.

So, without further ado, here they are. I hope you enjoy them.

  1. Contribute to the conversation (@tlotl)
  2. Create remarkable content (lots of it) (@tlotl)
  3. Distribute remarkable content (@tlotl)
  4. Evolve beyond managing CPL (@tlotl)
  5. Bring data to Sales management (@tlotl)
  6. Talk to in-market prospects (@tlotl)
  7. Close the buyer loop (@tlotl)
  8. Talk to people who have bought/customers (@tlotl)
  9. Talk to people who chose a competitor (@tlotl)
  10. Sit in on a sales call once a week
  11. Sit in on a prospecting call
  12. Create a lead scoring system
  13. Implement a lead scoring system
  14. BTW, if you are just starting on scoring, don’t get too extreme. Scoring means deciding which leads are better than others.
  15. Implement a lead nurturing program
  16. Judge lead nurturing progress via the conversion rate after 1 month metrics
  17. Buy a marketing automation platform
  18. Implement a marketing automation platform (no shelf-ware)
  19. Create a unified lead definition
  20. Get the unified lead definition signed off by sales
  21. Don’t agree to restrictive BANT criteria without considering all the people you won’t have sales talk to (if you think about it, they probably do)
  22. And if you are in a hyper-targeted market (e.g., are focused on managed service providers only), your unified lead definition should be only: the right person with interest. Anything more restrictive means one lead a month, and your organization in trouble
  23. Meet with sales weekly/bi-weekly for anecdotal closed loop feedback
  24. Make a decision based on metrics
  25. Make lots of decisions based on metrics
  26. Over-rule a metrics-driven decision with a decision made from the gut
  27. Basically: Balance metrics with intuition
  28. Oh, and track everything you can
  29. Oh, and yes, the numbers will never be perfect, but they should be enough to help you make decisions
  30. Follow the top marketing mavens on twitter
  31. Read content from top marketing mavens on twitter
  32. Ask a question you want answered on Focus.com (OK, you can ask it on LinkedIn, too)
  33. Create a lead management plan that starts from the top (lead generation) to a passed lead (P.S., based on your unified lead definition)
  34. Read your competitors marketing materials
  35. Fill out a lead form on your competitors site and see how they qualify, convert and nurture you
  36. Do a at least one webinar a month
  37. Make the webinar focused on business pains and issues, NOT a demo for your product
  38. Leverage experts and thought leaders in your industry to speak
  39. P.S., have those same experts create white papers, blog posts, etc. for you
  40. Think of webinars for ALL aspects: quantifiable lead generation, lead nurturing, education, thought leadership
  41. Create a lead qualification organization (dedicated phone-based team focused on following up on leads)
  42. Optimize your lead qualification organization
  43. Read scripts, emails etc.
  44. Send an email to your clients that doesn’t sell them anything but instead helps them do their job
  45. Then send these helpful emails monthly
  46. Then use the marketing automation system you bought to track efficiency
  47. Don’t forget your current customers, or to put it another way, market and foster goodwill with your customers
  48. Update your social media profiles for completeness and marketability even if you aren’t looking for a job (LinkedIn, Focus.com, Facebook)
  49. Start a blog
  50. Update your blog weekly minimum
  51. Don’t write about yourself, your company, etc. on the blog, except once in awhile
  52. Put marketing, lead generation blogs into your Google reader
  53. Allot 22 minutes a day to reading industry-related content
  54. Respect every single lead (@cjablonski)
  55. “Systems design” your programs (@cjablonski)
  56. Make calculated risks routinely (@cjablonski)
  57. Delight the most loyal (@cjablonski)
  58. Surprise your customers (@cjablonski)
  59. Be your target audience (@cjablonski)
  60. Rip and replace your strategies (@cjablonski)
  61. Manage your brand symbols (@cjablonski)
  62. Nurture as if you meant it (@cjablonski)
  63. Cleanse your sales pipeline (@cjablonski)
  64. Be authoritative
  65. Track your metrics based on opportunities created and opportunities
  66. Get everyone on CRM (seriously — Its 2010)
  67. Get a sales 2.0 tool
  68. Increasing connects increases conversion
  69. Don’t complain about what sales is doing with your leads
  70. Don’t complain about sales in general
  71. Urgency. Just be urgent
  72. Call your lead generation vendors and optimize the program with real data
  73. Post your content on third-party Web sites to capture traffic not going to your Web site
  74. Get tweetdeck, hootsuite or something to manage your twitter content
  75. Re-evaluate your Web site. Chances are it sucks
  76. Clearly define what your product is and the use case it solves for in buyer language on your Web site, in materials, etc. — how many Web sites do you go do and you can’t figure out what the f*** the vendor does?) (@mschmier)
  77. Optimize your landing pages for conversion
  78. Considering pulling fields OFF your landing pages to get more people to download
  79. Go to one of the following trade shows: Marketing Sherpa or Sirius Decisions.
  80. Stop going to industry trade shows that don’t work
  81. However, don’t think about immediate conversion, judge the show by important meetings had (could be with customers) and the “right” people. If you are looking at short-term conversion rates, you will cancel them all.
  82. Test a new lead generation source whenever you can (or you’ll never know what works)
  83. Not sure what to do about Facebook — if you can get business there, write me back for next year
  84. Read the book: eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale by Ardath Albee
  85. Read the book: Digital Body Language by Steven Woods
  86. Buying a list is not a lead generation strategy
  87. Buying leads is not a lead generation strategy
  88. Instead, figure how to convert leads, then buy leads or lists — if you know how to convert, you can buy till the cows come home
  89. Remember: white paper leads are the start of a conversation, not the end of the conversation
  90. Try new things, always (I think I already said that)
  91. Channel partners are terrible at following up on leads; if you pass them leads, run them through a lead qual team first or buy appointments
  92. Replace “always be closing” with “always be helping”
  93. Map and understand how your buyers make decisions
  94. Re-evaluate your target buyer persona.
  95. Confirm the target buyer persona and tell everyone in your organization till they tell you to shut up (it’s that important that they know)
  96. Make your written content one page. Buyers are busy
  97. Consider simplifying your message — bring back “simple as 1-2-3” messaging
  98. Buyers love lists, they just do. Lists are easy to read and set an expectation with the reader that it will only be “X” number of points in the offer
  99. Create a diverse mix of content (webinars, white papers, podcasts)
  100. When following up on leads, combine phone and email
  101. Optimize everything about the phone and email process: scripts, emails, sequencing
  102. Meet with sales leadership and get them on board. Act like a sales person. They will barf on you at first, but don’t quit — get buyoff
  103. Spend some time and money, and you WILL make more money
  104. Metrics aren’t just cool, use them to make you better (and look better!)
  105. Warning on all this: Sales will always be from Mars, and marketing will always be from Venus
  106. Consider all the touch points in a campaign not just the messaging — message, landing page, follow-up, etc.
  107. When considering, draw a process map to represent the various touch points
  108. Create metrics for each touch point
  109. But pick three overall metrics you will look at every day
  110. Did I mention social media? Have a twitter strategy, use LinkedIn too
  111. Do things on social media, but if you move money away from pure demand generation for social media, that is bad, because …
  112. Social media is not a “down the funnel” lead generation strategy, measure social media buy link-backs and traffic, not people ready to buy tomorrow
  113. Oh yeah, and if you’re judged only by finding people ready to buy tomorrow, warm up the resume
  114. Run a VITO campaign. They still work if you combine phone follow-up with the marketing portion
  115. Throw your hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care.
  116. Talk to your CEO more than the VP of Sales does
  117. Talk to your prospects using case studies
  118. Peers are the most trusted source of information for other buyers — leverage your customer network via webcasts and references to re-enforce your value proposition (@mschmier)
  119. Online vs. offline is very 2009 (@scottalbro)
  120. Online AND offline is very 2010 (@scottalbro)
  121. Create a list of 210 tips for your target buyer
  122. Do email campaigns — they still work.
  123. I know I mentioned podcasts earlier, but don’t do them. They don’t work
  124. Choose someone in your company who will be your voice online
  125. Stop advertising in trade magazines
  126. If you are fortunate to sponsor a big sporting event, make sure you get tickets as well because you should at least get personal ROI
  127. Make sure you provide a demo. The self-service buyer craves it (this falls under “down the funnel” content)
  128. Understand your competition and give sales real competitive language, not high-level outdated, irrelevant stuff (everyone considers more)
  129. Where are your users online? Figure out where your users are online and create a strategy as appropriate. Hint, most SMB buyers probably aren’t tweeting all day. (@mschmier)
  130. The phone is still the most important tool for conversion to opportunity.
  131. Go to sales training — if you can sell, you can market
  132. Read a sales book, see above
  133. Try emails using the exact opposite of best practices
  134. Oh, and send an email on Sunday morning. People will open it
  135. Social media is not a panacea (@cjablonski)
  136. Improve field-to-headquarters information flow (@cjablonski)
  137. Research your industry buying cycles (@cjablonski)
  138. Deliver on your intent, daily (@cjablonski)
  139. If you don’t believe in your value proposition, rewrite it (@cjablonski)
  140. If the average person can’t understand your value prop, rewrite it
  141. Social media is WOM on steroids (@cjablonski)
  142. Keep emerging submarkets on your radar (@cjablonski)
  143. If you pay for impressions, then you will get impressions(@cjablonski)
  144. Give away your best content for free (@cjablonski)
  145. Learn your company’s elevator pitch (@tlotl)
  146. Write your personal elevator pitch (@tlotl)
  147. Claim your area of unique expertise (@tlotl)
  148. Challenge any assumption more than 9 months old (@tlotl)
  149. Learn how to (effectively) explain social media to executive management (@tlotl)
  150. Don’t let the bastards drag you down (@tlotl)
  151. Don’t get defensive
  152. Append your house list. Why wouldn’t you?
  153. Be the first to develop a Google Wave marketing strategy (@cjablonski)
  154. Throw your hands in the air and Google Wave them like you just don’t care
  155. If you spend more money on promotional items like t-shirts and pens than you did on demand gen, then shame on you
  156. Facilitate conversations between experts (@tlotl)
  157. Create content for every buyer persona you create (business users want something different than technical)
  158. Consumer marketers are light years ahead of B2B marketers. If you want to know what’s cutting edge, it’s them.
  159. Don’t overvalue title filters with content syndication; identifying organizational interest is the goal.
  160. P.S., Directors and VPs don’t download white papers online.
  161. Keep voicemails under 30 seconds
  162. In voicemails, don’t sell the product, sell the next step (e.g., just ask them to read your email), because …
  163. You should send an email after you leave a voicemail. You will get an exponentially higher open rate.
  164. Speaking of which, in lead gen and marketing, you should sell the meeting, demo, or next step not the product
  165. If you throw a party , invite the neighborhood — don’t filter webinars
  166. Keep marketing and generating demand in December, or you’ll end up with no pipeline in January.
  167. Understand common prospect objections and help attack them in your collateral.
  168. Assess the ROI of your fixation on ROI (@cjablonski)
  169. Elevate your marketing database hygiene (@cjablonski)
  170. Shoot for viral when you have the talent (@cjablonski)
  171. Make a contingency plan for your guerilla marketing idea (@cjablonski)
  172. Don’t write off direct mail (@cjablonski)
  173. Work with “frenemies” to serve the community (@cjablonski)
  174. Don’t hire someone to write your blog (@cjablonski)
  175. Be interesting by being interested (@cjablonski)
  176. Help make sales people be trusted expert advisers(@cjablonski)
  177. Don’t begin a survey with demographic questions (@cjablonski)
  178. Have conversations not sales pitches (@cjablonski)
  179. Create versatile content: Can you use this content in a white paper, webinar, blog post, etc.?
  180. Marketing is either a critical advantage against your competitors or nothing at all (obsolete, ineffective, etc.). Think like sales when you build your marketing strategy — build it to compete
  181. When considering everything you can do in 2010, remember you will be judged by pipeline created for sales
  182. Knowing the above, when trying to figure out whether to put money into lead gen or branding and you can’t afford to do both, I think you know the answer now
  183. Repurpose old content (@damphoux)
  184. Measure CPO (Cost per Opportunity) (@damphoux)
  185. It’s not a sales process, it’s a buying process (@damphoux)
  186. Interview candidates from competition (@damphoux)
  187. Ask prospects which competitor you lost a deal to (@damphoux)
  188. Ask them why (@damphoux)
  189. Pounce on a Web lead if they abandoned their visit on the Contact Us page (@damphoux)
  190. Make the goal of the first sales call to get a second (@damphoux)
  191. Different sales reps at the same company can benefit by different leads (introductory appointments for one, qualified leads for others) (@damphoux)
  192. Not all sales people know what’s right for them — think of them as teens and give them what you think is right for them (@damphoux)
  193. Log into your webinar platform an hour early and get all presenters set up early (@damphoux)
  194. Do demand gen programs targeting your existing and past clients (@damphoux)
  195. Never pay a lead gen team by the hour, pay for results (@damphoux)
  196. Spend a day with your lead gen team or vendor (@damphoux)
  197. Teach your sales team the best practices of handling the leads you worked so hard to generate (@damphoux)
  198. Learn how to use a tweet scheduler, but still be personal most of the time (@damphoux)
  199. Your most important landing page is your home page (@damphoux)
  200. One of the highest converting forms is the Subscribe to Blog by Email form (@damphoux)
  201. Selling doesn’t start until sales is talking with a prospect. Set introductory appointments for them (@damphoux)
  202. Do AB testing with a simple 3 line email, instead of a formal email marketing piece (@damphoux)
  203. Read the Pounce, Pause, Nurture or Wait debate (@damphoux)
  204. You spend thousands, if not millions of dollars building your contact database, so invest a little bit to maintain it with dedupes and validation (@damphoux)
  205. Attend a tweetup (@damphoux)
  206. Create a simple slideshare presentation and make every marketing and sales member of your team loads it into their LinkedIn profiles. Stagger them so they continually go live (@damphoux)
  207. Favorite, Like, Retweet people promoting your offering (@damphoux)
  208. Build a twitter “List” (@damphoux)
  209. If you see business cards lying on a sales rep’s desk, get them entered into a spreadsheet/CSV for free (@damphoux)
  210. Never try to do a list over 10 by yourself (especially 210)

Thanks, @scottalbro, @cjablonski, @tlotl, @mschmier, @damphoux.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

LinkedIn Street Cred and Cover Letter Mishaps: What I Learned While Recruiting a Marketing Contractor

It’s amazing — after a couple weeks of writer’s block, I’m back to finding something to write about every day.  Right now, my company is recruiting a marketing contractor which triggered some Funnelholic-type thoughts.

1.      If you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re not trying. It’s amazing to think LinkedIn is roughly 5 years old.  Now, the first thing any self-respecting recruiter does is check candidates out on LinkedIn and vice versa — if someone has an interview with a recruiter or other company representative, he or she looks them up on LinkedIn.  So, as I’m reviewing marketing contractor résumés, I can’t believe some applicants have the nerve to not be on LinkedIn, have incomplete profiles or only have six friends.  That’s not to say I eliminated anyone because of this, but it’s pretty surprising considering the prevalence of LinkedIn, particularly in the marketing realm.

Face it: Employers almost always consider the following on LinkedIn.  Here are some observations:

  • Your connections: Sorry, it’s true.  Being wired is an ADVANTAGE.
  • Your profile: But only just a bit.  For marketing jobs, LinkedIn is a test on how you market yourself.
  • Your groups: This is a great way to gain credibility and show you are “in the know.”

2.     It’s not a very good idea to misspell, especially when you’re applying for a copywriting job. Caveat: I misspell ALL the time, but I’m the Funnelholic and I’m not trying to get a job with you.  In general, spelling errors stand out, and not in a good way.  You might not think it matters much. But, if you’re applying for a job involving copywriting, that’s a big no-no.

3.    The economy sucks. I’m seeing too many candidates with lots of experience. I’ve only put one post on craigslist.org and I already have an inbox full of résumés.

4.    Good copywriters are hard to find. Enough said.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter