This past week was the first in a series of two great conferences, the MarketingSherpa's 6th Annual B2B Marketing Summit 2009 in San Francisco. Next week, Oct. 5 and 6, will be the Boston summit. Find me there and say hello.
We published the Top 20 tweets of each day of the conference here:
MarketingSherpa Marketing Summit, Top 20 Posts from Day 1
MarketingSherpa Marketing Summit, Top 20 Posts from Day 2
One of the speakers was Kim Albee, President of Genoo, a provider of online marketing tools. Her presentation about using LinkedIn successfully to generate leads was popular with the audience. Here is the second in a series of Thought Leader Interviews for MarketingSherpa.
Mike: Kim, I've been to four conferences since May and at all four the topic du jour was Social Media, so be ready for a great session! If you just had one slide to present, what would be on it?
Kim: I agree that social media has been the hot topic. We run a microsite, B2B Online Marketing Pros, for our B2B Online Marketing group on LinkedIn. We cover a different subject matter on the microsite every few months and social media garnered one of our best click-through rates for email sent to the group. If I had just one slide to present, it would talk about where social media fits in with all the marketing channels: Websites, blogs, and microsites, to podcasts, slideshare, video, email marketing, LinkedIn, Facebook, Public Relations, direct mail, and other efforts. They can all work together. The more you're out there and making friends in the social realm, the more you're able to get the word out to a broad audience. For example, we just launched Genoo into public release. We've been in beta for a little over a year, and we just announced it. We issued a press release, and we've gotten some great blog posts as well as Tweets - to both the blog posts, as well as the press release. When we looked at the statistics, we had 10 different people tweet about our launch to a total Twitter following of 40,013 people. Of those, about 10,471 are fairly well-targeted into our niche of B2B marketing. That's generated a good amount of traffic and leads.
Mike: I still wonder about b2b Facebook Fan Pages as a medium for generating leads, but I agree with you that twitter and LinkedIn are an incredible source.
As it pertains to a b2b company with big-ticket items and long sales cycles, what areas are you seeing some immediate value with from both an online community and a social media perspective?
Kim: When you've got a long sales cycle, you've got to keep building the relationship and trust with your leads by delivering them information they value - that means information that's relevant to them and explains the issues you can help them resolve. If you do good follow-up or lead nurturing, then studies show that you can keep and close more leads. No matter what technology you utilize -- Twitter, blogs, community participation, marketing automation tools, etc - if what you're saying is not relevant for your target audience, the technology won't make a difference. The technology is only an enabler - the content is the ticket. Having said that, I'm seeing a lot of value from using a combination of very targeted emails, including subscription-based emails, Twitter, and LinkedIn Answers and the blog community. If you have great content that people want to read, you can offer it via email and also use it on those other channels.
Mike: When it comes to demand generation, do you see social media at the top of the funnel, further down, or throughout?
Kim: I think social media can make a difference at the top of the funnel, but it can also be effective throughout. It can be used along with search engine optimization strategies to drive traffic to your site. If you already have leads and you're sending them relevant content, and they also see you actively out in the community they participate in, you can get a lot of traction in the trust-building department. And that can make a big difference - especially when there are buying committees. It just helps spread your reach and visibility.
Mike: Where does the human, outbound marketing effort come in? When do you switch from tweeting to appointment setting?
Kim: I don't think you ever stop social media when you start with the other. I'd recommend that for every new lead you get, you have a relevant follow-up sequence that provides valuable content that will help them. Pair that up with lead scoring and your definition of a "qualified" lead, and you will know when it's right to call them for an appointment. Tweeting, blogging, and other social media participation will continue, and if your leads are following you on any of them, it will only add to the value you provide to your leads. You'll approach it from a holistic viewpoint if you want to do it well. Social media is not a silver bullet for lead generation. In the world today, with all of the marketing avenues available, social is just part of the picture. Your competency to leverage the available options has got to be a lot more fluid. "Test" should be the mantra, so companies can figure out what works best for them. Whatever channels you choose, measure the response and test what your prospects are responding to.
Mike: People are bombarded with so many options. If you were to help someone in a small B2B business, what should they start with?
Kim: I would recommend that they start with their website and work outward from there. They need to have a website with great content that is a lead capture and follow-up machine. Then consider using a combination of some "warm" marketing like an email subscription with something to drive more leads, like either LinkedIn Answers, Groups, Twitter - or make friends with the bloggers that influence their target market. Then when they're comfortable with one of those, add another one.
Mike: Last question, the B2B Thought Leaders Curry Poll - do you prefer Red, Green or Yellow Curry?
Kim: For me it's Yellow for sure.
This past week Joe Galvin of SiriusDecisions released a study titled "The Rapid Rise of Inside Sales." It shows that Inside Sales teams are overcoming the stigma of a support team and becoming more of a front-line, quota-bearing piece of critical sales strategies.
Although buyers are used to traditional relationships with a field rep, the study says, "Some customers initially perceived the coverage change to an inside rep as being relegated to a lesser status. However, after exposure to inside sales reps for the variety of products/solutions they use, many of these customers have come to realize the benefits of having someone readily available with access to and knowledge of all pertinent internal resources and information systems."
Operating in the world of phone prospecting and sales activity, we've seen three things in the market that support this trend:
- The experience of the average inside rep is far more than it was even 5 years ago
- Companies are investing in the line item of inside sales/telemarketing as more of a strategy than a support activity
- Accountability for performance, be it quota or deliverables, is the measure of performance; not dials or talk time (old school)
Joe says to expect more about inside sales' increasingly critical involvement in demand gen and contributions to the sales pipeline.
As buyers become savvier and inbound marketing demands increase, he said, "We see our clients' outbound demand generation initiatives augmenting the process to provide sales with intelligent leads that fully meet the criteria for direct sales involvement."
This combination of the increased activity of inbound marketing incrementally impacting outbound efforts is a growing dynamic. As we observed in our recent article on inbound marketing becoming the uber list
to be used for outbound prospecting, these leads come with a higher value and are further along in the buying process.
What are your thoughts regarding increased investment in inside sales? The impact on demand gen?
RoyHP: Collaborate with Data Analysts: 4 Strategies to Improve Relationships with IT http://ow.ly/qM0Q MarketingSherpa
mvolpe: "design your website first for search engines" use the free tool http://www.websitegrader.com/ to check how you are doing #sherpab2b09
NetSuite_Mei: Focus on providing valuable content on your website to drive traffic #sherpab2b09
mvolpe: I agree!! "you can make your website as pretty as you want, but if search engines don't list you, no one finds it" #sherpab2b09
ajdun: Jaren Green: "Not everyone searches like you do" Amen. There is no such thing as the average web surfer #sherpab2b09
MarketingSherpa: Audience poll #sherpab2b09: Majority of marketers using lead scoring can't quantify the value they're getting from it.
kimalbee: Look at the big pic 4 success - metrics: # visits > #leads - initial > #leads - more info > #sales-ready leads > Sales closed #sherpab2b09
viewstream: #sherpab2b09 Julie Wisdom, Babcock: content is KING, but expensive. SO leverage content, and find inexpensive ways to produce.
jill_rowley: Remember - even if you're doing B2B marketing, you are marketing to humans - per Julie from Babcock & Jenkins #sherpab2b09
BabcockJenkins: RT @viewstream: #sherpab2b09 @juliewisdom Top 4 Content Mediums For B2B: 1: video, 2: white papers, 3: ondemand webcasts, 4: case studies
MarketingSherpa: 97% of SMBs say email newsletters ‘important' or ‘very important...only 27% say same about Twitter. #sherpab2b09
kimalbee: SMB Newsletter Response: Look beyond the opening click to conversions when examining response and best day to deliver #sherpab2b09
viewstream: @KenricVanWyk landing page driven site fueled only by organic search. #sherpab2b09
LaBergeLLC: Acoustics By Design -Great example of using blogging to add SEO content for your web site. http://www.acousticsbydesign.com/ #sherpab2b09
Quality vs. Quantity:
damphoux: Quality v Quantity RT @MarketingSherpa Jaren Green: Work lead quality into every discussion to improve relationship w sales #sherpab2b09
For a chuckle (congrats @andrewspoeth for both of them):
andrewspoeth: Can anyone read the font size on this slide? #sherpab2b09
andrewspoeth: Picture of today's crazy, complex sales funnel according to Forrester. #sherpab2b09 http://twitpic.com/iywkj
TJMcCue: RT @MarketingSherpa The 5 levers for improving lead-gen performance: http://bit.ly/10TUGy #sherpab2b09
amberjwallace: RT @juliepower: Best viral marketing campaigns by b2b and b2c from Sherpa http://snipurl.com/s2h9i
ajdun: Great stat from Sirius Decisions via #sherpab2b09 80% of leads DQ by sales go on to buy in 24 mos
MktgExperiments: @brianjcarroll: study shows 28% of early-stage leads take 100+ days to become sales-ready. #sherpab2b09
mvolpe: Brian Carroll just quoted me when I quote @dmscott the originator: "Think like a publisher, not a marketer" #sherpab2b09
andrewspoeth: RT @damphoux: answer these questions on landing pages: where are you at? what can I do here? why should I do it? #sherpab2b09
mvolpe: Quick Landing Page Tips from #sherpab2b09 http://hub.tm/?QYdmH
alanorourke: Clarity trumps persuasion! Landing page conversion #sherpab2b09
ardath421: sell the download (content) NOT the company on your landing page (Flint) #sherpab2b09
jepc: Genoo chose not to blog, but to create microsite http://www.b2bonlinemarketingpros.com/ & promote it in their own LinkedIn Group #sherpab2b09
MarketingSherpa: Albee: Creating a LinkedIn group gives you a great list: Genoo's enewsletters to LinkedIn Group members avg. 19%-44% CTR. #sherpab2b09
mvolpe: I disagree!!! www.facebook.com/hubspot has 6,000+ fans & FB is a top 10 source of leads for HubSpot #sherpab2b09
InboundMarketer: Almost everyone at MarketingSherpa has a corporate Twitter account, though less than half of those people read Twitter daily #sherpab2b09
InboundMarketer: Less than half of those at MarketingSherpa have company Facebook pages, & less than 10 update those pages daily #sherpab2b09
And for the lighthearted chuckle...
damphoux: @repcor most interesting part of the conference is listening to the ambient conversations next to the camera during breaks ;) #sherpab2b09
repcor: Going to turn off the lifestream for a few. Back on in 15. #sherpab2b09 http://bit.ly/sherpa09
This week is MarketingSherpa's 6th Annual B2B Marketing Summit 2009 in San Francisco, to be repeated two weeks later in Boston. Both events are loaded with speakers and content, and I'm sure there will be tons of marketing goodness to share. I'll be at the Boston summit on Oct. 5 and 6, so if you are there, please introduce yourself. If not, you can follow the live tweets here.
As for other shows, Smashmouth Marketing enjoys delivering thought leader interviews with the speakers. Our first is with Emily Salus of CollabNet, a company that sells application lifecycle management software for distributed development teams. Emily is responsible for managing lead processing, lead scoring, nurture programs, and reporting metrics. She acts as the marketing operations liaison with the CollabNet sales team worldwide and contributes to messaging and content.
Mike: Emily, you're speaking at MarketingSherpa on the topic of Lead Scoring. Although there are lots of vendors out there that do automated lead scoring, what can you share with the folks that can't afford the enterprise-level solutions? What are some simple ways to do Lead Scoring?
Emily: If you don't have Lead Scoring but you've got a sales qualification team, you can implement a lot of the same ideas. First, regardless of what you're doing, you should make sure that Sales and Marketing agree on what a Sales Ready Lead is. If everyone agrees on this definition, you'll work together a lot better because you'll all be trying to get the same thing. Second, if you have a customer profile and certain activities you want them to do, your Sales qualification (or telemarketing or inside sales, depending on your organization) can still grade your leads based on profile (title, geography, industry, etc.) and activity before the leads ever go to a Sales Rep. You might have a matrix of high, medium, and low match-to-profile and high, medium, and low match-to-activity, so if someone's the right profile and the right activity level, your salespeople know they are hot leads.
Mike: As you know, Green Leads is in the business of outbound marketing. We find that our appointment setting results are far better in quality and quantity if we are doing lead scoring and lead nurturing. That said, should we be ignoring low lead scores or should we be working them at a different level?
Emily: Definitely, you need to nurture, regardless of score. If someone's at a low score now, maybe your solution isn't in their sights now. But in six months, it might be they have a new project or new role and if you're still in their minds, they could suddenly become your next opportunity. Imagine what would happen if you just let them go and your competitor didn't, and a short time later they needed a solution like yours. Do you want to be one of the companies they consider or not?
Mike: Some people believe a lead isn't a prospect until they score at a certain level. How do you measure prospects that have yet to be touched? In a pure outbound campaign we may just know their name, title, and company demographics?
Emily: As I mentioned earlier, there are both demographic and activity aspects to each lead's score. So if you have a list of leads with the perfect profile, they should be scored based on that. Then, if they respond to your emails and other offerings, they'll be scored for that. Together, those scores should give them high enough total scores to qualify to go to sales. Again, it's all about defining the Sales Ready Lead in cooperation with Sales. If you agree on a profile and you agree on the activities that a lead should participate in to qualify, then this combination should meet your "send to Sales" points threshold.
Mike: For people who won't be there to see your presentation, what will the top takeaways be?
Emily: Do what you have to do to make sure that Marketing and Sales are a single team with the same goals.
When you're going to implement lead scoring, make sure you test your proposed scoring values before you implement. You only get one chance to make a first impression with Sales when you implement.
Make sure you know how you're going to quantify and measure the value that Lead Scoring brings. Down the road this is going to be how you justify keeping the Lead Scoring service, your improvements of numbers and quality of leads sent to sales and the programs you implement to create demand. If you can show how an extra $10K investment in Q2 is going to mean the company exceeds its closed/won target in Q4 by an additional $50K, you've justified your budget and your position.
Mike: Last question, the B2B Marketing Thought Leaders Curry Poll -- do you like Red, Green or Yellow curry?
Emily: None of the above (allergies). Make mine a tandoori!
The Fearless Collaborator, Jeff Ogden and I sit down for a discussion of optimal marketing through a combination of inbound and outbound techniques.
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.
The following podcast was created by Pete Krainik of The CMO CLUB
:Insights from CMOs Roundtable: Demand Generation in a Social Networking World.
Social media is definitely impacting branding, service and support, but no CMO can ignore it's impact on demand gen. We discuss these issues and trends and suggest a few things CMOs should be thinking about today that can impact them in the near future.
On the panel were myself, Jon Miller, CMO at Marketo and Paul Dunay Global head of Marketing for Services at Avaya.
Ok, so of the top 20 posts, I've got a few myself. Well, I did do a big part of the tweeting, and darn it -- I think it was good stuff.
nedelsha: RT @annekeseley: All Sales 2.0 conference presenters on Customer Engagement are using inside sales to connect with customers #sales20
gerhard20: #sales20 Pelin says use the economy as an excuse to establish a culture of measurement
damphoux: @mvolpe you'll be glad to know that speakers at #sales20 increasing use of inbound marketing & feeding outbound campaign w leads
annekeseley: Elliott Baretz of SWC uses an inside team to drive people to meetings, book meetings, which is the "engine of success". #sales20
Saleschannels: Sales 2.0 Conference Chicago IDC suggests change VP Sales title to VP Customer Outcomes!
damphoux: @leemlevitt uses LinkedIn to search for Quality leads, not Quantity - hearing it again #sales20
PelinT: Just found out only 4-6 pct of advertisers spend more than 5K/mo on Google! #sales20
Sales20Conf: What about sales & marketing sharing compensation plans... good idea? bad idea? DM me. #sales20
gerhard20: HP is endorsing Barry Rhein's curiosity selling process #sales20
greenleads: RT @damphoux: Elliott Baretz: "to maximize @connectandsell, you MUST have good lists" #sales20
robertlesser: A new crop of photos of the #sales20 Conference http://bit.ly/2Ug0x
damphoux: @gerhard20 & @david_genius announced that the social media panel will have open bar. sounds like a tweetup! #sales20
ardath421: 2 top applications salespeople use - #1 Excel, #2 Google (4 to 5 hours per week) via Lee Levitt, IDC #sales20
Sales_Machine: I've been blogging the Sales 2.0 conference -- a big post but full of the updates on how people use the new tech. http://bit.ly/qINOb
brianjcarroll: RT @Sales20Conf: RT @gerhard20 Customers can smell your "commission breath" #sales20
nedelsha: Just learned from Kevin Popovic I don't need to present. 10k's of people will see our preso online #sales20
greenleads: just added twitter stream to Green Leads facebook fan page - become a FAN http://www.facebook.com/greenleads #sales20
darn...gotta head to the airport. Will find another 3 tweets later ;)
I'm at the Sales 2.0 Conference
in Chicago. Below is the twitter stream coming from the attendees.
Looking forward to meeting all the folks that participated in the Sales 2.0 Thought Leader Interviews
IDC has been putting out great materials recently with their Sales Advisory Service. Lee Levitt is the Program Director for the service and is speaking with sales leaders, clients, and prospects constantly. I'm looking forward to hearing a more detailed presentation this week at the Sales 2.0 Conference
Mike: You recently released some research on Sales Enablement. Tell us about how Sales 2.0 is empowering sales professionals today?
Lee: From my perspective, Sales 2.0 is not about technology. It's about improving the capabilities of the seller and the organization behind the seller. Technology is just one of the components of improved sales productivity. The primary component is improved processes. With a healthy focus on what works and what needs improving in the sales organization, executives can identify the processes that must be improved. Then and only then should technology be brought in to ensure that those processes scale.
We have identified a number of "choke points" in the selling process, mostly in the area of access to information and time spent on activities that (should) support the selling effort. Sales people spend way too much time searching for information, giving up and creating sales assets on their own (assets that typically exist elsewhere in the organization). Do we really want people who earn $150 an hour creating PowerPoint presentations from scratch or searching Hoovers for basic company information about their prospects?
Sales 2.0 empowers sales people with simple, efficient access to information about customers and prospects already in context, usable from the start. Pulling this information together, analyzing it, cleaning it, ensuring that it is relevant -- these activities should be done by a centralized group and then provided to the sales person or team at the right time -- just before a call planning session.
Mike: Another critical activity right now is demand gen. We all know that b2b demand gen
has shifted dramatically in this 2.0 world. Where do you see outbound marketing and inbound marketing impacting the top line in the next 12 months?
Lee: Marketing activities must seek to answer the questions posed by the prospect or customer: "Why are you sitting in my office now? What do you know about my business that has earned you the privilege of 30 minutes of my calendar? What experiences do you bring with you that are particularly relevant to the critical business issues faced by my company today?" All marketing activity must either directly or indirectly support the conversations that ensue from these questions.
Mike: We recently completed a study that showed that with b2b appointments, a third of C/VP execs delegated down
. Do you see the sales process becoming more of a buying process where the prospects are dictating how we sell?
Lee: I'd look at the issue the other way. Sales people have always been trained to sell up (Selling to VITO), and they've overshot their goal. A senior level executive will take a meeting with a rep who brings value to the table. If they aren't prepared to have that value discussion, they'll be pushed back down the organization, or as our research shows, thrown out. Reps must work their way up the organization, conducting research, building an understanding of the challenges of the organization, and matching their company's capabilities with the needs of the organization. In this manner, they earn the right to talk with the senior executive.
Mike: What will you be talking about at the conference? Can we have a sneak peek?
Lee: Sure. It's all about pipeline hygiene -- efficiency and effectiveness of "co-creating" value with the prospect or customer. Selling is dead. The best salespeople today don't sell, they consult. They're on the same side of the table as their prospect and they're working together to create value. This takes deep understanding of the customer's environment and challenges, and skills that many salespeople don't have today. It also takes a different set of metrics to gauge the success of the engagement - metrics that most organizations don't track.
Mike: Last question, the B2B Marketing Thought Leaders Curry Poll
. Time for the real "research"...red, green, or yellow curry?
Lee: Yellow, of course!
A while back, I read an article by Chris Brogan that discussed 19 chores we could each do daily to help us maintain an online presence. I was already doing a majority of the list, but then it got me thinking. What if I had my browser setup so when I wake up in the AM all my daily tasks for maintaining my social media prowess were just lined up waiting for me to get my coffee? Here's my Lead Generation Tip for today.
I've never been one to clutter up toolbars in a browser, but this seemed like a great reason to do it. So I bookmarked the following links and turned on the bookmarks toolbar. This allows me to wake up, sip my Greenest Bean coffee (organic, locally roasted), and make my presence known. I come back to it during the day when I need a break and hit them again.
- HootSuite - been using this since I uninstalled tweetdeck for locking up my system every day. I've got it all decked out with columns, tabs, subjects, friends, you name it
- Google Reader - still the easiest RSS reader going. Read up, schedule the best for tweets on HootSuite with Send Later. Comment on a few relevant articles
- Hubspot Dashboard - finds daily chores for me to do around blogging, keywords, search rankings, etc.
- LinkedIn Q&A - to maintain my top Lead Gen Expert status and to accept invites and other LinkedIn goodness
- Personal Facebook - post some drivel
- Company Facebook Fan Page - post some value
- Fast Company Blog - share an article
- Smashmouth Marketing Blog - write an article
- FriendFeed - check out friends thoughts
- SocialOomph - vet my new twitter followers
During the process, I usually digg or stumble a few articles as well.
ps. Look at the other top experts in the Lead Generation section of LinkedIn. I'm in good company!
What other daily tasks do you do to keep yourself in the frontlines? Leave a comment
When I first met Nigel Edelshain at the Sales 2.0 Conference
back in SFO a couple years ago, I was totally impressed with the fact that his company, Sales 2.0 LLC
and Green Leads
are competitors and yet we hit it off in just 5 minutes. No presumptions--just Sales 2.0 goodness. Since, Nigel and I have had long conversations about our businesses and the industry in general. I look forward to hearing what he has to say next week.
Mike: Having coined the phrase "Sales 2.0", and speaking at the Sales 2.0 Conference events, what changes have you seen in the past 2 years since all the "movement" started gaining momentum?
Nigel: For the first year 2006-2007 I was just talking to myself. The biggest change has come in 2009. I've noticed a lot more conversation with actual sales organizations about the impact Sales 2.0 can have for them. I have a strong feeling that we will see exponential adoption of Sales 2.0 in 2010 (and starting this fall). Despite the economic malaise (or maybe even partly because of it) Sales 2.0 has really started to show up on the Radar of real world sales and marketing executives this year.
Mike: You and I are in the high level lead generation and appointment setting business
. We talk all the time and consider ourselves co-opetition versus competition. Do you think that single nuance between vendors is "sales 2.0?"
Nigel: I don't think this is specifically Sales 2.0, but I do think such cooperation tends to come about when you are changing the world a bit. Sales 2.0 is a massive project. To me it's about changing the sales profession (period). It's about taking the way we sell to a whole new place. That's a huge undertaking. Such an undertaking is not something I could take on on my own nor could anyone else in the "sales improvement industry." Therefore most people have realized that they need to work together to make this big change happen. I think that's what you and I have figured out (plus you're a good bloke anyway).
Mike: Your ebook Don't Cold Call Social Call
is a fantastic example of how outbound marketing has shifted by using social media and working smarter, yet we still see the traditional 200 dial per day call center environments. Do you think those folks are missing the boat?
Nigel: Yes. My thought is NOT that the telephone is going away but that it's not the only communication medium now and that we need to become expert at "multimedia prospecting" as I call it. B2B buyers have already moved into an environment where they are increasingly hard to reach by phone.
Mike, you've written some great pieces recently about combining inbound and outbound marketing
(aka prospecting). I believe you're spot on with this focus. I'm a huge fan of Hubspot, David Meerman Scott, and Chris Brogan. The inbound marketing movement is "the brother of Sales 2.0" in my view. Companies that I see succeeding in the future (especially in the high-end professional selling arena) will be experts at combining lots of media, both inbound and outbound.
Yes, it will be more complex than making 200 smiles-and-dials a day but that's humans for you - we always raise the bar on each other - that's called competition.
Mike: If you were having lunch with the VP of Marketing and the VP of Sales from a high level b2b company, what three bullets would you share with them that are 2.0 oriented?
Nigel: 1) Learn about Sales 2.0 NOW. It's a competitive advantage. One or more of your competitors will use Sales 2.0 in 2010. Your call where you want to be on this - leader or follower?
2) Look at how Sales 2.0 can affect your lead generation
and prospecting. This is the MOST BROKEN part of nearly all B2B sales forces. It's a massive bottleneck. Sales 2.0 has amazing potential to help you here. You have the chance to dominate.
3) Sales 2.0 will absolutely drive marketing and sales functions closer together. The sales-marketing divide has to go. You guys should act on it NOW - not wait for it to hit you from behind.
Mike: Last question, the B2B Marketing Thought Leaders Curry Poll
. At this lunch, would you order red, green, or yellow curry?
Nigel: Lamb Madras, white rice, a naan and a Taj Mahal, please. Indian every time. So brown curry for me. Indian food is my favorite of all cuisines in the world. Can someone recommend a good Indian downtown Chicago?