Just prior to Seth Godin stepping on stage, for what was an entertaining and thought provoking keynote, HubSpot CMO, Mike Volpe, announced that "We saved the world from 2 Billion cold calls!" And they did. I personally may have benefitted by 1 or 2 a day.
Inbound marketing techniques continue to evolve, and HubSpot is the pioneer for Inbound. The tribe they've created in the past few years is amazing. Almost 6,000 attendees to this year's Inbound conference were gathered for lots of marketing goodness, not just the orange kool aid.
In the world of sales, selling doesn't start until a conversation starts with the prospect. Getting that conversation going has been revolutionized with Inbound Marketing. The prospect is typically educated more than an outbound generated lead, they are thinking about the topic that your product or service addresses, and the time is fresh to start the conversation. In short, they may be further along in the funnel (waterfall if you're a SiriusDecisions follower).
The top outbound marketers have embraced inbound marketing, not shied away from it. Compared to a purchased list or even a list of prospects warmed up with other marketing assets, an inbound list is the cream of the crop. However, unless your inbound lead comes in the form of a calendar invite, date, time and phone number booking one of your sales reps for a appointment, there is still work to do. The outbound function assigned to these leads is typically referred to as Inbound Response.
Things to remember:
- Scrub the data. Have a data team do list hygiene to correct and/or append needed data fields. Or use tools such as DemandBase to dynamically append data.
- Know your history. Use tools such as HubSpot, your CRM, or other tracking systems to know how your company has interracted with the prospect in the past.
- Intel. Research the prospect on LinkedIn, Google, Social Sites. The more you know, the warmer that lead.
- Score your inbound leads. Don't assume they are all orders ready to be had. Don't waste your time on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pounce! Once you have your ducks in a row, call them. If they don't answer, email them. The effective value of leads deteriorates every hour after they submit a form.
I just tested the above with a lead that came in through our HubSpot system within the hour. It took me 2 minutes to correct their missing title, see that her colleague talked to us at the SiriusDecisions conference in May, add her LinkedIn url to her profile, note that we're connected by 8 people, and she visited 5 blog articles today. Reviewed and scored -- 2 minutes.
Create great content. Socially surround your market. Optimize all conversion techniques. Gather these inbound leads, then follow the process above, and your ROI will go through the roof.
Let's get back to the 2 Billion cold calls saved. Inbound marketing certainly does reduce the number of cold calls an outbound marketer has to make to get the conversation started. It streamlines the process. The blended approach of Inbound and Outbound will increase the top line faster than any other methods available.
Is that lead an Innie or an Outie?
(took restraint not to post a pic of a belly button)
Turkey and B2B Lead Generation? What is the gravy that makes your demand gen programs sing?
Even companies such as Green Leads do our own lead gen. Here's a quick list of what I'm thankful for this year as it pertains to b2b lead generation in hopes that you might find an idea or two that you could implement:
- Alumni - Our largest source of leads. After 5 years of 2x plus growth year after year, the tribe is huge. Nurture your alumni, don't just let them move on. Deliver quality service and stay in touch with your clients. They will come back if you did a good job. LinkedIn is your tool.
- Expand - In one day we acquired a company that overlapped 90% with Green Leads' offerings, delivered the market a one stop shop for Americas/EMEA b2b marketing, and doubled our size again. We were able to expand many of their European clients to the US and many of our US clients to Europe. Look at your existing client base and ask "how can we expand?"
- Inbound - Yet again, our inbound leads consistently came in and our SEO was kept fresh by using HubSpot. Our blog subscriber list doubled, and our rankings improved. The two key elements we find to a successful inbound program is content and social activity. Keep the visitors interacting and coming back and SEO will follow.
- SiriusDecisions Summit - By far the best place to be if you are into b2b sales and marketing. We sponsored both Scottsdale and London and in both cases walked away with tons of valuable information and new network contacts. Always be learning.
- Technology - No inside sales/outbound lead gen team should be without VoIP, Click to Dial, and some sort of power dialing system (we use 8x8, Skype, Salesforce CTI adapter and ConnectAndSell). Selling doesn't start until a conversation starts with the prospect. Do what you can to have more conversations.
What are you thankful for? What filled your pipeline this year?
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.
Recently we conducted a poll on LinkedIn where we asked: Inbound Marketing & Outbound Marketing - What is your mix for lead gen?
- Mostly Inbound
- Mostly Outbound
- Both Equally
- Inbound Only
- Outbound Only
The target audience was Sales & Marketing job functions, from the industries of Computer Hardware & Software, Internet, IT and Tech Services, Marketing & Advertising. We used the LinkedIn Poll Application to conduct the study, as well as the free distribution of the poll to our network. It is not the results of either poll separately that are interesting, we expected the Outbound mix to lead, but the comparison of both the public (random marketing and sales execs) poll to our private network (heavily demand gen focused professionals) shows a clear trend that those of us that focus on demand gen have more of a balanced mix with “Both Equally” leading the pack at 43% in our network.
The experts balance Inbound Marketing with Outbound Marketing. So the random sales and marketing execs may want to pay attention to a few points:
- Most companies rely on a mix of Inbound and Outbound Marketing
- Outbound Marketing seems to have a larger portion of the marketing mix in general
- Demand Gen specialists balance their mix of Inbound and Outbound 30% more than generalists
- The mania of Inbound Marketing taking over the marketing mix is either just that, mania, or it is still in its infancy. Don't get caught up in the hype just yet.
- A balanced approach seems to be the mix of choice with a slight favor to Outbound activities
As a side note, a regular feature of my Smashmouth Marketing blog, which is focused on BtoB marketing and demand gen, are product reviews. So below is a mini product review of LinkedIn Polls:
The application is extremely easy to use, and the ability to promote it free to your network or paid through LinkedIn's systems provides incredible flexibility. We highly recommend using the paid LinkedIn poll feature for two reasons. First, it can be targeted to specific demographics. Second, it randomizes responses in a manner different than if you were to share the poll with your network. One feature missing though, is the ability to embed the poll on other pages (such as a blog, or corporate site). Having this widget capability would be huge.