Inbound Marketing is all the rage these days, and why shouldn't it be? It works, right? At least, that's what HubSpot clients are saying (and we're clients, so I can vouch for it). Inbound Marketing's goal is to pull potential customers in by all different methods, whether it's compelling content, savvy SEO execution or community interaction via social media.
While inbound strategies are effective, augmenting them with outbound marketing strategies can add to that success. Where do you turn? Be it appointment setting, lead qualification, or email marketing, where's all the goodness at? Here are some sites that share top-notch practices:
The Bridge Group's Inside Sales Experts Blog - Trish Bertuzzi and the team over at The Bridge Group are the gold standard when it comes to advice on making your inside sales team greater than it already is. Add to that their annual Inside Sales Metrics and Compensation reports and Bridge's Inside Sales Experts LinkedIn group, and you've got yourself some really fine resources to improve your team.
NetProspex's NetProspex Blog - The verified contact list-building behometh's blog is filled with far more than information on data. It advises on building pipeline, improving messaging and better ways to market to your prospects. There's a lot of information in this blog, so make sure you take the time to peruse the several years' worth of articles.
RainToday's RainMakerBlog - The folks from RainToday have been offering some great information and ways to improve sales reps, much of which can translate to your outbound marketing teams. In particular, they've been sharing some interesting thoughts on how to improve the actual art of the "sales conversation." Definitely worth checking out.
Craig Rosenberg's Funnelholic Blog - Craig is one of the demand gen gurus from Focus.com who consistently publishes great content that ranges from marketing to sales, inbound to outbound. Great stuff.
Vorsight's Inside Sales Tips Blog - This one is special because Vorsight and Green Leads are technically competitors, but we both have mutual respect for each other's work and would call it more "co-opetition". Solid tips.
These last two are interesting additions because some people put email marketing in the category of "inbound" when in reality it is originally an "outbound" technique -- the action item is an inbound lead. That said, two great blogs:
Marketo's Modern B2B Sales Blog - Marketo, the marketing automation company, has several blogs, but its Modern B2B Sales blog hits the mark.
Constant Contact's Constant Commentary Blog - Constant Contact's blog provides some great tips and tactics on how to better use email as an outbound marketing tool, but its also dabbles in social media and list-building advice as well.
There are a lot of other great blogs and resources out there, so this list is by no means complete, and of course, bookmark or subscribe to our blog as well. Where else do you go when you're looking for great advice on how to do inbound marketing and outbound marketing more effectively? Let us know!
Photo Credit: laughlin via Flickr
As many of you would expect, Green Leads consumes prospect lists at a rate that far exceeds most outbound marketing efforts. With over 30 clients running their appointment setting programs through us, having volumes of accurate contact names is essential to our business. As a result, we've got licenses with Jigsaw, OneSource and NetProspex, and we use LinkedIn and other contact discovery services. We love them all and use them all in parallel.
NetProspex recently shined when we heard about the new addition to their service. Users can search on meta-data of specific attributes at companies such as what software system their organization is using, for instance Salesforce.com, NetSuite or Oracle.
This is such a HUGE addition to the world of data services. I asked NetProspex what the future is for additional attribute data like this.
"We've always been a big proponent of metadata. NetProspex has the most job title meta-data in the industry so that instead of only being able to target broad categories like 'Marketing,' you can get really granular and target specific job categories like 'Advertising' or 'Product Management.' We are also investing heavily in social media and our future plans have it front and center. We launched SocialStep -- the first social media prospecting and appending service earlier this year. The interest level -- from customers, the media and even the general public -- has been greater than for any product we've ever launched," shared Mark Feldman, COO of NetProspex.
General NetProspex highlights:
- User-contributed data
- In-house data verification ensures high accuracy
- Customizable list-building tools where users can manage multiple projects and list variations
- Job title search that is based on more than department and keywords -- there are 100+ functions to help you zero in on the specific function you are looking for. See the breakdown to the right just for Marketing contacts. This is much more granular than the competition.
- Pricing is similar to the other services. You can trade contacts for credit, or purchase credits, and there are corporate licenses available.
Smashmouth Rating: Thumbs Up!
What features, tips and best practices can you share?
We've recently started working closely with NetProspex as a list provider to augment the work we do. Once we started working together, the folks there realized that I always have an opinion, especially as it pertains to Demand Gen. Most of my recent discussion has been about Unified Demand Gen(sm) -- the philosophy of blending inbound marketing and outbound marketing to maximize your lead generation activity.
Join us for a webinar Thursday at 2:00 ET, 10 Tips for Improving Your B2B Demand Gen Program with Inbound & Outbound Marketing
Hope to see you there.
Even though I preach my own brand of outbound marketing Kool-Aid, for the past six months or so I've been drinking some of the inbound marketing variety (the orange kind from Hubspot). Before discovering this particular flavor, we had invested a year or so working on SEO, blogging, social media, and link building. But I didn't start formalizing some of the new marketing ideas I'd been learning until I took a deep swig and discovered the great taste.
Outbound marketers live off of lists. It's like candy to a kid. Companies like Jigsaw, Onesource, and Netprospex provide the candy; the more contacts we have and the better targeted, the greater our success.
What if you had the same size list, but it was on steroids? What if it was comprised of people already researching your offerings, thinking about the issues you solve? These are inbound leads.
Inbound leads come from whitepaper downloads, free trials, blog subscriptions, you name it. From the surface, it sounds like the best lead you'll ever get. However, they don't all show up downloading a whitepaper and then issuing a P.O. And they don't all come calling for appointments with your sales reps. You still have to work them, nurture them, and call them. You still have to get them to engage in the sales process. You can't take the outbound work totally out of the process.
Inbound Leads = Über List = Outbound Success
Outbound marketers should embrace all this and consider the leads coming from inbound marketing efforts as the Über List. Granted, some leads may just be tire kickers or even competitors. Work through them. Use lead scoring. Weed them out a bit. Then use them as the fuel for your outbound marketing efforts.
Consider inbound leads a list source, but a much warmer list than a purchased one. And don't neglect to share the credit. The inbound marketers created the lead. The outbound marketers got the prospects to engage. It's a team effort.