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
Having just kicked off, the SiriusDecisions Summit in London will be spanning two days with tons of marketing and sales goodness. I'll be adding notable thoughts, quotes, and tweets to this article during the two days, so come back!
@RichardEldh: The relationship with our clients and our prospects is as much digital as it is face to face, if not more.
@maxsangiovanni: The rule of 1: 1 user 1 campaign, 1 campaign many languages, 1 touch once a month, 1 guardian of the send, 1 message all platforms
@jblock: One consistent message across all delivery channels. Do this first then pick the tech to do it. @maxsangiovanni
@izjay: Data buys time and time buys understanding via @maxsangiovanni
@maxsangiovanni: click to chat is very successful channel to capture inbound activity
@Marisa_Kopec: My content is on content, so I have a lot of content to share today ;) 60-70% of content goes unused
@Marisa_Kopec The evolved marketing factory must be engineered to produce content to fuel inbound & outbound marketing
@damphoux: Cocktail party is at 4:30, so see you there. via @Marisa_Kopec #MeaningfulQuotes
@Floriane_Ma_FR: Min 10/12 attempts to get a decision maker on the line in complex sales, builds case for teleprospecting to do the job instead of sales reps
@damphoux: Again @tjaros hits it w/ Demand Types. Read up. It will change the way u present your message md.gl/1b95FpW
@akslipper: Germany leads in budget spent on tradeshows. UK leads in email campaigns
@izjay: Most #SDSummit delegates say their next technology purchase will be in the category of business intelligence/analytics. Nice!
@jblock: When it comes to live events, you're judged by the quality of the coffee. via @akslipper
@siriusdecisions: @Marisa_Kopec "Understanding buyer personas is where b-to-b meets b-to-c" http://t.co/9LyNGOZx0W
@GBalarin: "There is no rest for the technology-weary in marketing. IT is changing dramatically" and alignment is key. @jneeson
@JarmilaHYu: John Neeson at #SDSummit "the sales rep is changing: by leveraging marketing data, tools & tech cold sales calls should no longer exist".
RT @BabcockJenkins: Portrait of the modern marketer and sales person. via @jneeson #SDSummit http://t.co/gSC5ztKDJo
More to come...
photo credit: me
As a business owner, I manage my tasks, take care of clients, look at my numbers, work hard, attend to quality, work with my team...you name it. Does that sound much different than a sales or marketing professional? Tasks, Clients, Quotas, Energy, Perfection, Peers.
You all own your own businesses! Congrats.
So now that you own your own business, where can you go for some advice and inspiration?
This week is the innagural issue of Owner Magazine. Owner is the brainchild of Chris Brogan, a leading speaker, author and blogger focused on digital business.
Chris and I were sitting down last week talking about the first issue of Owner. His passion for ALL things makes you walk away from any interaction with a "can do" feeling and a smile on your face. His passion for his new online magazine launch is one I share and hope you will too.
"The concept of an Owner is simple," says Chris. "It is for someone who seeks to improve worth by growing capabilities and connections. You can be the CEO of your cubicle as long as you’re accepting responsibility for your intentions to grow your abilities and your network. But more so, you’re likely an entrepreneurial spirit, either helming your own organization, or just about to leap out into the fray and make your own path. That’s who we’ve created Owner magazine to serve."
I'm honored to be asked to contribute to Owner. It's great to be surrounded by some fantastic-smart people (Chris, S. Anthony Iannarino, Marsha Collier, John Morgan and others).
Subscribe to Owner Mag here and be the best owner you can be.
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)
Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe (BANT) qualification is scrambled and outdated. Having budget was important in the days of "Our contract is up for renewal next year, we need budget". But with so many new products and technologies flooding us, from evangelical to emerging to faster and better, Budget not only doesn't exist, many times those with Authority don't even know they have a Need or that they need it now.
Granted, as the sales process advances, you would hope Budget is being allocated so that the decision maker with Authority can solve their Need in a Timely manner. But read the beginning of that sentence..."as the sales process advances". There is no place for BANT in a lead gen scenario, it is for later in the sales cycle. BANT is dead as it pertains to Lead Gen. I'm singing the praise of Ken Krogue and company at Insidesales.com with ANUM -- it all starts with Authority!
I've been known to say "The sales process doesn't start until a conversation with a prospect does". And in Lead Gen, especially b2b appointment setting, the goal is to get the conversation started. Finding the decision makers and influencers are half the battle, then getting the conversation started is the other half. Just make sure to identify the proper prospect, one with Authority, and then have a valuable conversation that brings value to that prospect and helps them see the Need you want to fill. If they have the Need, a real Need, they will feel the Urgency to then justify the decision and get the Money for the project.
<-- Lead Gen & Research
<-- Appointments & Conversations
Thank you Ken!
ps. Check out the Inside Sales Virtual Summit on June 20. Never before have I seen so much Inside Sales knowledge flowing for one day.
Have you seen the latest viral craze on YouTube -- the Harlem Shake? It's been around a while, but there is a new resurgence of interest in it. Our Green Leads London office decided to fire up the video yesterday and make a contribution to the Harlem Shake movement.
Have you created a video that contributes to your demand gen, social media and branding programs? Do one today!
ps. Can you say "Elaine from Seinfeld"?
Ladies and gentlemen, the sales automation revolution is upon us. SFA/CRM? Old School, table stakes. The highly optimized sales organizations of today has a collection of sales automation application that work on top of their CRM. As I declared in a previous blog post: The Seller has Changed Forever. It's exciting times for sales people -- marketing is becoming more sophisticated in their lead generation efforts (more leads is always great) and sales organizations are making the lives of their sales people better with automation.
On December 13 at 11AM Pacific, I will be joined by Matt Heinz, Brian Vellmure, Nancy Nardin, Koka Sexton, and Miles Austin in a free webinar: 31 Must-have sales tools for 2013. I have had a lot of fun learning about the tools everyone is going to discuss. In today's post, I present three tools to you. Join us for the 28 others.... I had a lot to choose from so I decided to keep it simple and highlight the three sponsors. Keep in mind, that we chose sponsors based on technology we wanted represented. We didn't find sponsors and then decide whether they should make the list.
1. DocuSign -- I just started using DocuSign last year. DocuSign is one of the vendors in the fast-growing e-signature space. In layman's terms: Get contracts, paperwork, etc signed electronically instead of printing paper and faxing. It's a god-send. There is nothing sales and everybody else for that matter hates worse than paperwork. It holds up the sales process and is the most painful part of one of the best parts of the sales process: the last mile. Let me give you an example: Last year, I decided for some reason to do a face-to-face sales call at the end of the quarter. (Don't ask). My rep calls me: "I can get this deal if you can sign off on the SOW". My reply:"Can't I'm in my car and won't be back in the office for an hour". Rep: "Dude, pull over to a Starbucks and 'Docusign' it on your Ipad". Boom. Signed, deal closed. E-signatures are a "why wouldn't you?" product.
2. InsideView (client) -- Sales intelligence, use it to sell better. How's that slogan? If I told a sales person 20 years ago that in 2012 prospects would use the internet and especially social media to update you on what they care about, what they do, and what they are doing, they would say "I want some of that". The best sales people are always researching, preparing, and seeking opportunities. The internet has changed the research game forever. Information about your prospects has never been more available yet finding and tracking that data can be cumbersome. Sales people want it easy and in front of their face. InsideView gives sales people a single interface to view your the accounts and their latest news. You can also set up triggers to be kept abreast on the latest happenings at your target accounts.
3. Kred for CRM -- One feature I love with Kred for CRM is the one that allows you to figure out "who" in your organization is connected to and interacting with your key influencers or prospects on a particular deal. Here is an example: You are selling to an account and you go in and find out that one of the key influencers is connected to someone in your organization. Not only that, they have tweeted to each other in the last 60 days. You are able to leverage that internal relationship to further solidify your relationship with the prospect. I just talked to a buddy who did this with Linkedin a few weeks ago. He was going into a scary client meeting and realized that a product marketing guy was a business connection of his contact. His friend reached out before the meeting and they walked in knowing each other. Meeting went great. Now imagine doing that with Twitter. Also, you can measure the social influence of your customers and prospects. You can use this data to decide how to handle them in the selling process. All great data to have in this brave new world.
Talking about sales automation is fun. I think its because selling has been so hard and so lonely all these years. Now people are making technology just for us and our lives are better for it. Join us to learn about all 31 must-have sales tools.
My latest post: Content Reflections: A personal and intimate journey into the mind of Craig Rosenberg
This past week I attended SiriusDecisions' Boston Executive Roundtable with a focus on Sales & Marketing Planning for 2012. The discussions that were triggered by the fantastic content were the highlight of the event. Throughout the morning the attendees were sharing ideas openly, to the point where the last agenda item had to be cut short.
- Social Sign On is bringing high submission rates to websites, but how do we manage missing information and is a Social Sign On considered an opt in?
- Establishing solid SLAs between Sales and Marketing is critical to any successful demand generation strategy
- Pipeline efficiencies are greatly improved with Quality leads vs. Quantity of leads
"The discussion of best practice demand generation will be an active discussion at European Summit. You will hear some from industry peers, our thought leaders at SiriusDecsions, and most of all from those you interact with." John Neeson, Co-Founder, Managing Director of SiriusDecisions.
During the course of the day, the agenda
is packed with great topics and also provides for networking time of over 3 hours.
The topic of Quality vs. Quantity in demand gen has been a constant debate. Whether it's inbound marketing or outbound marketing there are costs associated with a lead, there are costs associated with the time and effort needed to convert that lead to an opportunity, and there are costs tied to the quality of those leads and how that impacts conversion rates.
As David Greenberg, Sr. Director of Marketing at Jive Software shares with us, "With the focus we all have right now on building pipeline that will convert to revenue, quality leads are called for. We just don't have the time to waste managing anything but."
In this example, with b2b appointment setting and pay-for-performance vendors, it is a very straight forward study as the costs per appointment are fairly standard and as SiriusDecisions and IDC have discussed, the rates of production and conversion are uniform over time.
Executive Summary: Lead gen programs that manage to Quality metrics provide sales ready leads that result in an overall higher ROI. Whether an internal team or a third party vendor, if the reps are incentivized to produce Quality appointments, the cost per pipeline opportunity can be as high as 14% more effective. In an appointment setting program, this is due primarily to cancel rates, rejection rates, and the overall quality of the meeting. Other costs to consider are the costs to manage the vendor relationship, and the cost to the sales team for attending low quality meetings.
The Numbers: In order to remain somewhat statistic-neutral, we have asked our clients to provide stats based on their experience with other appointment setting vendors and ourselves (ok, so a bit self-promoting, but stick with it). The percentages used were calculated by evaluating 5 clients' stats comprised of 1100 meetings set by Green Leads and over 2000 set by 3 other appointment setting firms. The numbers showed a significant difference in cancel/reject rates as well as pipeline conversion. The percentages used for calculation were:
|Conversion to Pipeline Rate
Typical Appointment Setting Program Stats:
|Convert to Pipeline
|Cost ($750 per Completed Meeting)
|Cost per Opportunity
The Quality Vendor resulted in a 13% better investment per opportunity.
Your Checklist: Your vendor choice is obviously the most important factor in determining how your program is going to play out, so below are some things you can do to screen your vendors and aid in making a good decision. It's not a litmus test, so look for trends and patterns:
- If they keep talking about LOTS of meetings and production - beware
- If they won't let you interview their reps - beware
- If they pay their reps to SET meetings as opposed to COMPLETE meetings - beware
- If they are squeamish about discussing detailed stats, or if they don't track detailed stats - beware
- If during a reference check you ask the client about stats and they don't match what the vendor told you, or the client doesn't know - beware
- If they over-promote their call counts, talk time, or other non-results oriented stats - beware
- If when you ask them what their confirmation and scheduling procedures are they don't have convincing answers - beware
- If their rejection policy is too loose or has gray area you don't like, ask for and document specific examples. If they won't do that and you're still not understanding the policy - beware
- If they have a short period of time by which you have to notify them of a rejection, cancel or reschedule (or the meeting is automatically billed) - beware
Also look at reputation. When asked formerly for a reference, they will probably send you to their friends. So listen when they mention client names off the cuff during conversations. Then you check them out with your network. It's a small world--find out who you or your colleagues know at those companies (use LinkedIn). Then make some of your own inquiries.
Trish Bertuzzi of The Bridge Group shared, "Mike, what a great checklist for vendor selection. There are literally dozens of vendors in this space both domestically as well as off shore. People need to understand that picking a vendor is picking a PARTNER. We wrote a blog post Third Party Vendors for Lead Qualification on this very topic. Here are some questions your readers may want to add to their list:
- How many years have you been in business?
- What is your attrition rate?
- Who are your 4 largest clients? What is their size? and How many employees do you have dedicated to their project?
- Do you provide web based reporting?
This is just a sample but you get where I am going...you have to ask the vendor as many questions about their business as they should ask you about yours."
Ever wonder if your enterprise sales team should be on the road heading to an introductory first meeting with a prospect? I was recently in the UK for business and saw sales reps investing a half day or more traveling for 30-60 minute meetings. Do the results differ if they were to have taken those introductory meetings by phone? Many would say yes, but the data begs to differ.
Green Leads measures the sales outcome of our client's b2b appointment setting programs. We do this to gain an immediate measure of the program as opposed to waiting out long sales cycles to show true ROI. By measuring this immediate outcome, it brings short term metrics to the program.
We measure sales outcome of the meetings in three ways:
A) Immediate Sales Activity: the meeting results in immediate sales activity (proposal, trial, second meeting, addition of other decision makers to the process, etc.)
B) Nurturable Activity: the meeting was with a prospect that had the right decision maker profile, and it has potential, but needs nurturing over time. A portion of these will convert to sales activity over time.
C) Not a Fit: the meeting was with a prospect that had the right decision maker profile, but one or both parties decided there was not a fit, the lead is closed out.
With 5 years of data, the overall distribution of meetings is roughly a third, a third and a third:
It's marginal, but the resulting outcome between phone meetings and face to face shows that phone actually has a higher percentage of immediate sales activity.
Don't get me wrong, the value of face time is huge, but isn't the value of having an active sales process more important? Things to consider:
- Sales reps can conduct more meetings if using phone, and more meetings converting at an similar rate to face to face means more efficiency.
- Reduced travel costs impacts the budget with phone meetings.
- With the advent of technology, web meeting capabilities, and trends in time management, more prospects are inclined to take introductory meetings by phone (poll results). This may result in sales reps being able to have more conversations with prospects they might otherwise not have been able to.
One drawback to phone meetings, they are more likely to blow you off. It's easy to miss a phone call, it's harder to say no to someone sitting in your lobby. Our data shows that phone meetings reschedule/cancel 20% more than face to face.
Me? I would much rather have a sales rep prove to me in a 20 minute phone call why he should come visit and use my face time. You?