If you are a Chief Marketing Officer, or report to one, or aspire to be one, you MUST attend dreamforce. Period. I would not normally make such a blanket statement, but I don't want anyone to miss the point of this article.
This week, I was able to speak at dreamforce for data.com, and shared in the frenzy with 130,000 other attendees. The benefits of being here are endless:
- Technology - Aisles and aisles of vendors selling everything from big data (impressed by Tableau), to sales productivity tools such as InsideSales.com, which Green Leads just implemented.
- Learn - Study new marketing techniques. Face it, event marketing is one of the largest challenges of a marketer. Come see what's working.
- Team - Nothing more rewarding than a CMO seeing their team enjoying the conference and learning new ideas and techniques.
- Network - Meeting new people, prospects and network contacts. Walking around I had a bunch of followers introduce themselves. Networking goodness!
- POV - Explore all the branding and point of view. My POV guru buddy, Dave Peterson of PlayBigger told me yesterday, was to just experience the show and absorb. Learned a ton.
- Listen - Some incredible marketers on stage. The list is too long to name, but Marissa Mayer of Yahoo was killer.
- Customers - Setting up client/partner visits. I could have filled my week with nothing but client visits. Great lunch with Steve Lilly of Ziff Davis! B2B Goodness.
- Reunions - I walked into Moscone West and five minutes after I got my badge I met someone I worked with 13 years ago.
- Demand Gen - Find new business. In my particular case, there is nothing better than meeting the VP of Marketing at a booth and them saying "The show is good, lots of tire kickers though." and then when she asks what I do, go into how "Green Leads weeds through all the tire kickers to find you active decision makers."
- Party - Green Day, Blondie, Huey Lewis and the News. Every bar and restaurant is overflowing with sales, marketers and geeks.
- Exercise - Yes, exercise, if you consider walking a few miles a day exercise. Being on your feet all day works the core. It's exercise!
- Press - They are all here. Take advantage of it.
- Vendors - Odds are that if your marketing vendors are here. Check in with them.
- Exhibit - If you target sales, marketing or developers, you have to be here!
- Inspiration - Deepak Chopra! Always some lifestyle speakers here.
Having experienced the largest cloud computing conference on earth, I have one regret. I didn't bring an umbrella. Nobody said anything about the "cloud" being a rain cloud!
Lead Gen Tip of the Day: Not sure how to find new prospects to meet with at dreamforce, Green Leads has been hired to do appointment setting for dreamforce attendees to keep their calendars full.
photo credit: @damphoux
Everyone is jumping into content marketing. The challenge is not only how to do it, but how to do it well. One of the best things a marketer can do is learn from the mistakes of others. For this post, we asked some of the participants in the upcoming Keys to Content Marketing Virtual Summit on August 14th to share the mistakes they see on the market today.
Content creation is too narrowly focused on a single buyer.
Narrowly focused content tends to be out of step and misaligned with the reality of buying in most companies today. The biggest drawback is that content then becomes non-shareable since it lacks relevancy to others. The solution: When considering the buyer personas for whom you want to develop content, content producers must consider more than just the single buyer or buyer persona. This is true when conducting buyer insight research - it is a mistake to interview only those whom you assume are direct buyers. Buying in organizations today is fluid, dynamic, flatter, and involves more participants. (Tony Zambito)
Companies create content for themselves not their buyer.
You are not your buyer – get over it bro! Before you create anything – dig in deep with your current client base and your sales staff, they will give you the insight you need to create really compelling content. This is probably the biggest mistake in content, albeit the most forewarned. So listen up! (Justin Gray)
Their content voice sounds like a corporate twit.
From our early school days we were taught that formal writing = good writing. Somewhere along the way marketers found out that this is absolute crap, however the old days of getting slapped on the hand with a ruler for "writing as you talk" are hard lessons to break. Honestly, it’s the only reason I enjoy content creation in modern sales/marketing, all of the sudden its cool to speak to people like people again. And they're buying it! I just wanted to start a sentence with "and" there to see if a huge cosmic ruler would hit me. (Justin Gray)
Content is created without any personality.
Content that is written as an instruction manual will come across as just that, instructions. There’s so much crap content out there and there'is a need for good writers with personality and opinions based on their own experience. That’s what I want to read. (Jason Miller)
Companies are jumping in the raging river of social media and content marketing without a plan or measurable goals.
Social and content marketing are not just hobbies or activities. They are business processes that should be approached with a strategic plan and metrics to measure success. (Don Perkins)
Want to learn more about content marketing? Join us for the Keys to Content Marketing Success Virtual Summit on August 14th by registering below!
Every sales organization I talk to these days is ramping their Sales 2.0 technologies. It's a fun topic for a guy like me who loves sales and loves technology. The Sales 2.0 conference is coming up and they have done some studies on buyer behavior in the market, so I took the opportunity to interview Lisa Gschwandtner, the Editorial Director of Selling Power. Selling Power is a media cosponsor of the Sales 2.0 Conference.
Mike: What made you decide to create the Sales 2.0 Impact Survey?
Lisa: From the very first Sales 2.0 Conference in 2007, it was clear that Sales 2.0 could yield explosive gains in all kinds of areas. A simple e-signature or automated outbound dialing tool, for example, could collapse certain stages of your sales cycle from weeks to hours. At that point we were seeing a real revolutionary excitement about the potential of Sales 2.0 technology. And as early as 2009, we started to see companies like Brainshark implement an entire Sales 2.0 architecture to create growth in productivity and effectiveness in a variety of areas.
At this point in the evolution of Sales 2.0, we can now point to year-over-year patterns that tie Sales 2.0 usage to revenue results. We felt it was time to poll a generation of Sales 2.0 users and let the statistics tell the story of how Sales 2.0 influences success.
Mike: What are the biggest Sales 2.0 trends for 2013?
Lisa: Content marketing is a trend to watch. B2B companies have pushed themselves to establish online selling channels, implement inbound marketing automation solutions, and integrate social selling as part of their sales process. You need high-quality content to see real gains in these areas. Businesses are realizing they need to start acting like publishers if they want to use content to attract customers.
Another trend with staying power is the growth of inside sales teams. Moving from a field sales model to an inside model (or some blend) isn’t a new thing -- what’s startling is the rate at which this is happening. Online is where buyers live now, and expensive field reps just aren’t necessary for as many business models anymore, especially with so many Sales 2.0 tools (including video conferencing and screen-sharing tools) available to help us connect and collaborate online.
Any Sales 2.0 trend you see will stem from one root cause: buyers are controlling the sales cycle. Buyers and sellers have a different relationship these days. And you can choose to respond to that shift in many ways. The leadership challenge is where to put your focus. What technology do you need to adopt today, and what do you need by year-end? What’s the plan for implementing technology and adjusting your processes? This is why high-level executives come to the Sales 2.0 Conference. They get educated on what other sales leaders are doing, and they identify which trends and technologies would be the best to bring back home and implement.
Mike: What's the biggest change in the Sales 2.0 world from the time you started the conference to now?
Lisa: I would say more than change I see expansion. Since we started in San Francisco, we saw Boston emerge as the Silicon Valley of the east. And last year we took the Sales 2.0 Conference as far as London. The demand for Sales 2.0 solutions just keeps getting broader.
The technology solutions themselves are also expanding. More specifically, lots of smaller companies that were around when we first started out, like Jigsaw, have been absorbed into larger ecosystems. That means the market now has different expectations about how technology will or should work. They expect integration of highly tactical automated tools and solutions as part of their investment in a broad-base technology solution, like a CRM system.
Mike: I saw this number: "50% of sales organizations surveyed plan to increase spending on Sales 2.0 solutions in 2013" on a couple blog posts, it sounds as though sales people are getting ready to spend on technology.
Lisa: Yes, that stat is one of the initial numbers we were excited to release from the Sales 2.0 Impact Survey. B2B companies are absolutely primed to invest in Sales 2.0 technology this year. The survey also gave us intriguing information about who’s owning implementation and purchasing decisions internally. We’ll be sharing all of that with attendees at the Sales 2.0 Conference on April 8-9 in San Francisco
Mike:. What do you prefer red, yellow or green curry?
Lisa: I like my curry the way I like my Sales 2.0 logo. Red!
On March 6, 2012, Green Leads is teaming up with HubSpot to host a fund raising event powered by New England's inside sales talent pool. Volunteers from the inside sales community are invited to raise money for NEADS. National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS), also known as Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans. Volunteer for Inside Sales for Charity now.
NEADS is a non-profit organization that was established in 1976 to provide canine assistance for people who are deaf or have a disability. Since their founding, NEADS has trained over 1,300 assistance dog teams. NEADS does not receive any government funding for the spectacular work they do. They rely on the support of individuals, foundations, corporations and service organizations to keep their incredible work going.
Inside sales is an industry in New England, and we are hoping to tap that industry and harness talent to raise funds for NEADS, harnessing our skills and community raise donations for this wonderful cause.
This charity event will be held on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at our co-sponsor HubSpot’s offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They are located at 25 First Street and are easily accessible by public transportation or by car. There is plenty of available parking nearby. The event will begin at 3:30 pm and run until 6:00 pm and will be followed by a casual reception with dinner and prizes. Volunteer for Inside Sales for Charity now.
Green Leads is pleased to announce that we will be a Gold Sponsor at the SiriusDecisions 2011 Summit--B2B Sales and Marketing: Forging a New Alliance. The event is scheduled May 4-6 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Resort. This event is considered the premiere B2B Sales and Marketing event of the year and if you are into Sales, Marketing, Demand Gen, and any discipline that surrounds it, this is the event to attend.
The Summit is a unique three-day conference where SiriusDecisions analysts and top sales and marketing leaders from companies of all sizes share how b2b organizations are solving critical issues that hinder predictable growth. Each year, the theme focuses on aspects of how sales and marketing can, and should, intersect. Green Leads' interest in the event is the continued focus SiriusDecisions has placed on the topic of demand generation as it pertains to building and converting quality pipeline.
"There will be a great deal of discussion around quality vs. quantity as it pertains to pipeline," explained analyst Jim Ninivaggi of SiriusDecisions’ Sales Optimization Strategies advisory service. "Our recent study shows that marketing/sales organizations that focused on the quality of leads — and not just quantity — out produce their peers with reduced lead waste.”
Demand gen specialists have long debated the topic of Sales Ready Leads--Quality vs. Quantity. I'm looking forward to hearing SiriusDecisions' findings and discuss them with my clients and peers how quality can impact the pipeline. If you had a choice of Quality vs. Quantity as it pertains to high value sales ready leads, which way would you lean? Come to the Summit and find out what the experts think about the topic. I hope to see you there.
I can’t be at the Sales & Marketing Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, on April 11, but I encourage you to check it out. The event features keynotes from John Grosshans of SAP Americas and Justin Shriber of Oracle (the latter will be reprising his presentation from the recent Sales 2.0 Conference, which sparked a debate a pretty good debate about the future of predictive analytics and CRM.)
There will be a big emphasis on how the many ways sales & marketing can (and should) work together to shorten sales cycles and optimize lead gen. Conference host Gerhard Gschwandtner explains:
"A recent Aberdeen survey showed that 47 percent of the sales forecasts at successful companies were generated by marketing, as compared to an average 5 percent among other companies. Yet few opportunities exist for today's sales and marketing leaders to come up with a joint definition of success. The Sales & Marketing Leadership Conference will allow both groups to collaborate under one roof and walk away with tons of ideas that will give everyone a chance to advance to best-in-class status."
I also highly recommend you check out the session with Steve Richard of Vorsight. He is an inside sales/appointment setting genius and shares his expertise on stage--sometimes doing live calls to demonstrate his tips.
Register for the event using discount code SPONL2 and save $75 off the current rate.
Today I'm attending New Marketing Lab's Inbound Marketing Summit at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro (killer spot for a conference, btw).
Highlight of the day is always Chris Brogan's down to earth, almost "stand up" quality talks. He is always insightful, practical, and spot on with his delivery.
I thought it would be useful to create a Twitter List of the #IMS10 Speakers.
Here you go: http://twitter.com/damphoux/ims10-speakers
|Alex Beauchamp, Citrix Online
|Alex Howard, O'Reilly Media
|Amber Naslund, Radian6
|Audrey McClelland, Mom Generations
|Benjamin Diggles, Webtrends
|Bernie Borges, Find & Convert
|Bettina Hein, Pixability
|Brad Blake, Office of Governor Deval Patrick
|Brian Halligan, Hubspot
|Byron White, ideaLaunch
|C.C. Chapman, Digital Dads
|Chris Brogan, New Marketing Labs
|Claire Spina-Russell, PerkettPR
|David Meerman Scott, Freshspot Marketing
|Deb Orton, SAS
|Dharmesh Shah, HubSpot
|Erica Brookes, Vitrue
|Erica McClenny, Expion
|Gail Goodman, Constant Contact
|Greg Cangialosi, Blue Sky Factory
|Jamus Driscoll, Demandware
|Jeanne Connon, Daily Grommet
|Jess Weiss, Office of Governor Deval Patrick
|John Doyle, Alure Home Improvements
|John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing
|Justin Levy, New Marketing Labs
|Kiki Mills, MITx
|Lisa Horner, Citrix Online
|Maria Pergolino, Marketo
|Mark Chaves, SAS
|Matt Cutler, Visible Measures
|Michael Damphousse, Green Leads
|Michael Pranikoff, PR Newswire
|Michael Weiss, Imagistic
|Mike Schneider, Allen & Gerritsen
|Nichole Kelly, CareOne Services
|Pamela Meek, SAS
|Patrick Attallah, 90:10 Group
|Patti Fousek, Mind Search Marketing
|Paul Gillin, Paul Gillin Communications
|Pawan Deshpande, HiveFire
|Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz
|Ric Pratte, JitterJam
|Robbie Vorhaus, Vorhaus & Company
|Robert Brosnan, Seton Hall University
|Ron West, PaperThin
|Sal Ferro, Alure Home Improvements
|Scott Stratten, Un-Marketing
|Steve Garfield, SteveGarfield.com
|Tim Hayden, Blue Clover Studios
|Tim Washer, Cisco
|Tom Webster, Edison Research
|Valeria Maltoni, Powered
|Vern Imrich, Percussion Software
|Wayne Sutton, TriOut
If I missed someone or they made a last minute change in speakers, let me know and I'll update the list.
Today at Enterprise 2.0 in Boston, Jive Software is rolling out a new agenda for social business that is worth a close look.
We all wake up on Mondays to a mountain of data, feeds, and emails. It's great to know that our best buddies "like" your latest blog article and left a comment that they miss you while they are surfing or mountain biking through your facebook fan page, or that the company we are following on LinkedIn just hired a VP of Demand Gen (nice lead for me), and that Chris Brogan just launched ManOnTheGo.com, which a colleague in sales recommends by retweeting a link from @chrisbrogan. That said, you still have hundreds of Google Reader articles to scan, a few new sales enablement presentations to review before publishing them to Slideshare, and two meetings to approve in the Appointment Setting queue...
I can go on, but you get the picture. In the enterprise, we are flooded with internal and external data -- nuggets of information that we find valuable or our colleagues find valuable and that we need to know in order to do a stellar job. Roll all these feeds, files, emails, tweets, micro-blogs, discussions, and public buzz into a cockpit-like environment and you have Jive What Matters, an enterprise class portal into this sea of social information that keeps us operating in real time.
My domain expertise is B2B Marketing and Sales, especially Demand Gen. Here are some use case scenarios I see for the b2b executive:
- Competition - Aggregate feeds from multiple buzz sources. Follow keywords and specific phrases that can point you to competitive intelligence.
- Opportunities - Work sales opportunities in a team mode. Follow everything about that opportunity. "Like" the feeds from the key account manager, feed in key words from the opportunity such as company name or project name, follow the status and feed updates from key decision makers in the social sphere.
- Sales Enablement - Monitor sales and marketing asset libraries. Know when files change, are upgraded, or need collaboration. Create/follow discussions focused on use case scenarios or sales tips.
- Reporting - Create feeds from certain reports that trigger when large opportunites change status, or when a company KPI changes.
- Follow Colleagues - That applications engineer from Calgary that you met last year with all the great opinions on how to demo software, follow that guy -- he's a wealth of knowledge.
- Data - Most data sources (Jigsaw, LinkedIn, etc.) allow you to create RSS feeds on specific searches. Set some up for your best prospect titles, when a new record is created with "demand gen" or "marketing operations", and funnel that feed to your data analyst for addition to your nurturing/lead queue.
- Industry Leaders - Stay abreast of the emerging thoughts and trends in the industry. Subscribe to the best in Lead Nurturing, Lead Generation, and B2B Marketing.
- Your Team - What better way to follow the activity of your team and key contributors. Follow their feeds and know what they are up to, or what makes them tick. Do the same for the execs above you.
- Buzz - Follow industry trends, keywords of interest. Take advantage of Jives Chatter Filter [play on words?] and Jive Genius. The two help filter and recommend only the best and relevant data for your needs.
- Social Graph - Visually see how your prospects are connected in the social network. Stunning representations. Make that first call a warm call by knowing who they know.
- What Matters - The Chatter Filter and Jive Genius look like promising tools that can reduce the amount of non-relevant noise coming in.
What other B2B Marketing and Sales Demand Gen use case thoughts can you find? I'm off to their launch event in Boston for some great Jive Talkin.
American Association of Inside Sales Professionals has their national Leadership Summit May 11-12 in Minneapolis. The speakers include fantastic cast of sales/marketing leaders, with me doing my part. Topics range from inside sales strategies, increasing performance, compensation models, hiring and managing to Sales 2.0. If it's Inside Sales related, it's a topic.
For those of you that can't be there live, you can follow the action on twitter with hashtag #ls10.
If you do attend, and are a follower of @damphoux, track me down and say "Hello".
Next week I'll be speaking at Chris Brogan's New Marketing Experience in San Francisco. In a recent post, @chrisbrogan talks about the event:
"One thing that’s different with my events than with other events: Every sponsor and exhibitor and speaker is someone we think has something to offer you .... We appreciate their voice in our experiences. Thus, time spent with them is also time spent learning new marketing the way we see it ... it’s a 1-day event. There’s no fluff. It’s packed with info. We can hang out."
My highlight of the week is the Hang Out part. That's all the discussion, debate, learning and putting faces to all the "social" B2B marketing community faces I've met online -- as well as meeting new ones.
Some recommendations to those of you attending, and even to those that aren't, on how to get the most out of a live event:
- Announce that you are attending. Post it on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and any other place your status resides.
- Live tweet or live blog from the event and include the Hashtag in all posts. Share your take-aways.
- Mingle, mix, get to know some new tweeps. Don't spend the breaks in the lobby on your cell phone.
- Collect business cards. If you get one without a Twitter address on it, ask for it and write it down. When you get home, or during quiet time at the event, send LinkedIn invites.
- Don't cluster. You already know the people you know. Unless you are using the connection to get an introduction to someone new, move on. Meet new people.
- Be there virtually. If you aren't at the event, follow it on Twitter and the live blogs (links will be on Twitter). Follow the hashtag. Or better yet, make a last minute decision and REGISTER HERE with a 50% Discount Code GREEN50.
@damphoux: So a shout out to all the attendees next week -- find my icon in the crowd and come say "hello".
Speakers List on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#/list/damphoux/ims-speakers