Smashmouth B2B Blog: Sales & Marketing Demand Gen

Mike Damphousse

Mike brings a hard-nosed, pragmatic aspect to category design, baked in from two decades as a company founder, CEO, CMO and sales executive. He understands how companies work and how to take a category plan from concept to implementation.
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TOPO Summit, Craig Rosenberg and Account Based Everything

Posted by Mike Damphousse


avtar_07.jpgThe sales and marketing industry is flooded with events, conferences, web events, you name it. You could make it your full time job just trying to attend every one of them. Last year I was invited to attend the TOPO Summit in San Francisco – the inaugural event from TOPO. I’ve known the founders, Scott Albro and Craig Rosenberg, as clients, industry partners and friends for years. These two guys know sales and marketing and I figured I’d most likely come back with something valuable. New events are hard to pull off. My expectation was a 100 or so people, with some decent speakers. What I got was a huge surprise. The attendance was way beyond expectations, the speakers were phenomenal and the content was brilliant. What did I take away? “Account Based Everything”. My interview of Craig below elaborates on the topic, and I look forward to attending the event this year, finding some more nuggets, and meeting great people.

Join me at the TOPO Summit – Pier 27 San Francisco, April 12-13th, 2017 

@damphoux: First, give us the elevator pitch of what is Account-Based Everything?

@funnelholic: Account-Based Everything is the coordination of personalized marketing, sales development, sales, and customer success efforts to drive engagement with, and conversion of, a targeted set of accounts. The principal focus is on driving the full lifecycle revenue chain from marketing through sales and into customer success/account management.  As a by-product, account-based alignment extends across the entire organization, including finance, product development, engineering, and the executive team. That is Account-Based Everything.

@damphoux:Green Leads has been doing Everything Account Based for years, why move the word "Everything" to the back end?  Is that just to make it new and different?

@funnelholic: There are a couple layers to your question, so let me tackle these one by one:

Why Account-Based Everything now?

Account-based methods are not new. Integrated marketing campaigns have been around for 30+ years and target account selling has been around since salespeople started selling to big businesses. There was a change though - in the early 2000s, the digital marketing revolution (e.g., Google AdWords, marketing automation, etc.) shifted B2B marketing focus to industrial-strength demand generation engines capable of delivering massive numbers of leads at scale. Now the pendulum is swinging back to account-based methods. There are three major drivers behind this shift:

  1. Improved Economics -Advanced sales and marketing organizations have realized that specific types of accounts drive the most compelling CAC and LTV. The most common example of this is the shift towards the enterprise.
  2. Market Dynamics - For many companies, the inbound, volume and velocity models have peaked and they must now pursue targeted, account-based models to drive growth. At a certain point, marketing just can’t increase inbound lead volume growth rates anymore.
  3. Proven Account-Based Results - The modern version of the account-based movement is still young, but early adopters are reporting that programs are yielding impressive results particularly with respect to deal-size metrics such as ACV and LTV.

@damphoux:Why Account-Based Everything?

@funnelholicLike everyone else, we started with Account-Based Marketing. The analysts began researching ABM programs and we identified a significant issue - organizations that struggled with account-based programs lacked cross-functional alignment across marketing, sales, sales dev, and customer success. There’s an organization-wide commitment to mobilize efforts against a key set of target accounts. So we decided to create a new category – Account-Based Everything (ABE). It’s not just marketing, it’s everything.

Finally, Everything Account-Based versus Account-Based Everything It’s the same thing…I was just replacing the term “marketing”. I actually like “Everything Account-Based”…I gotta find a way to use that too.

@damphoux: For years the demand gen world has had the Inbound Marketing/Outbound Marketing debate, and you know I'm a staunch Outbound Mafia member.  Where do you see Inbound/Outbound in the Account Based Everything model?

@funnelholic: There are a couple things to think about with regards to inbound/outbound:

  1. Outbound SDRs are becoming account-based SDRs – Account-Based SDRs are assigned a set of target accounts. Their primary focus is outbound but if inbound comes in from those target accounts – they will follow-up. In the old pure outbound model, they could get credit for meetings they set from outbound prospecting. That said, they will still spend 75% of their time on outbound.
  2. At the end of the day, most account-based demand will come from outbound…so you might say the “outbound mafia” is alive, well, and about to thrive.

@damphoux:There are Marketers and there are prospecting Sales Development Reps, how do you see each operating in an Account Based Everything model?

@funnelholic: That’s the beautiful thing about Account-Based Everything – they work together. Our research has found the fastest path to launching orchestrated campaigns and driving strong results from them is to focus on marketing-sales development orchestration. Typically, organizations currently executing marketing-SDR orchestrated campaigns realize a 30-50% lift in ‘meetings set’ at target accounts, with some organizations reporting a 100% increase.

Orchestration is the sequenced coordination of different activities, programs and campaigns across marketing, sales development, sales and customer success to drive engagement with multiple stakeholders in target accounts. In the case of marketing and SDR orchestration, marketing will run simultaneous campaigns (account-based ads, direct mail etc) while SDRs run their outbound cadence. It works.

Can you join Craig and I for more Account Based Everything at the TOPO Summit ?  Pier 27 San Francisco, April 12-13th, 2017 

 

TOPO Sales Summit April 7-8, Join Me

Posted by Mike Damphousse

I'll be attending the TOPO Sales Summit on April 7-8 in San Francisco.  If you are a sales, sales development, sales operations, sales enablement, or even marketing leader, you should attend. The agenda looks amazing and the attendees are basically everyone in SaaS.

Screen_Shot_2016-03-07_at_9.35.17_AM.png

 

I'll be attending the TOPO Sales Summit the first week of April and am looking forward to hearing from the sales and marketing trenches.  The information and networking that will flow at this conference, is unprecedented in our industry.  If you think about sales, marketing, demand gen, inside sales, sales development or pipeline, this is a must-attend event!

I've been friends with TOPO Co-Founder Craig Rosenberg (@funnelholic) for 10 years and thought we would have some fun leading up to the event by asking him 20 questions.  I gave him a caveat; he can only answer them in 3 sentences or less.  For the most part he complied, but in typical Craig form, he had to use sentance #4 here and there.

  1. Tell us about the Summit?

    The first annual TOPO Sales Summit will take place April 7-8 at Pier 27 in San Francisco. We will bring together over 600 sales leaders responsible for more than $50B in revenue. We've recruited an amazing lineup of speakers from companies like Google, LinkedIn, and Box.

    The website for the event is: TOPO Sales Summit

  2. Who should come to the Summit?

    Sales, sales development, sales operations, sales enablement, marketing, marketing ops leaders.

  3. Why should someone attend this event over another conference?

    I need to go a bit over the limit on this one. Four reasons:

    People - the best sales leaders in the world will be attending and speaking
    Specificity- these amazing speakers will provide real specifics of how to actually execute
    Topics that matter - Real topics on how to run your sales org. No fluff content
    Fun - I am the Funnelholic, it has to be fun

  4. There are so many conferences, why did you decide to do this?

    The modern sales machine is scalable, efficient, predictable, and innovating at hyper-speed. The time is now for a conference that focuses on these innovations and how organizations are executing them.

  5. What’s the most interesting topic?

    They are all interesting but I would say our keynote should be fun for everyone. We have Jeff Ma, who was the leader of the MIT card counting team featured in the book and movie, Bringing Down the House.

  6. The speakers are heavy on Practitioners, the people that fight in the trenches all day long, why not a bunch of industry experts?

    We believe in specificity and the best people to deliver specific details are people who are doing it every day.  Practitioners and industry experts know their stuff, but we wanted to go deep with the people on the front lines.

  7. How did you get all these amazing speakers to participate?

    We have spent two years studying high growth companies and building relationships with the leaders who run these organizations. I won’t say it was easy, but we had a pretty good idea on where to go first.

  8. What’s TOPO?

    We are a research, advisory, and consulting firm that studies the fastest growing companies on earth. We then analyze that data and help our customers grow revenue faster

  9. Why did you start TOPO?

    We were consulting to figure out what we wanted to do next. Every customer, whether they were turning to us for demand gen, sales development, or sales, wanted to know one thing: What are the best companies in the world doing? Boom. Topo was born

  10. What are you doing with the Funnelholic?

    It’s still alive. I blog on it when I want to have some fun but try to do guest posts as much as I can.

  11. What are the biggest trends in sales and marketing?

    Account Based Everything. PERIOD. 90% of our inquiries have been about moving to account based something. 

  12. What’s the biggest mistake you see marketers make?

    They buy technology ahead of defining strategy and process. This was an issue in the marketing automation craze - everyone bought software before having a clear definition of what they were trying to do. It's happening again with the Account Based Movement - people are buying applications and announcing they are now "account-based", but they aren't.

  13. What’s the biggest mistake you see sales making?

    Focusing the majority of their attention on the front of the sales cycle (demand gen) and the end (forecasting and closing). True, scalable revenue growth requires attention and optimization in the middle.

  14. What’s the best content you have ever created?

    Tough one – I would say The Proven Framework for Sales Development. We decided to write an opus and put it in the blog instead of an eBook. It helped put TOPO on the map.

  15. What’s your favorite sales or marketing slogan right now?

    People don’t buy Legos; they buy the ability to build the Millennium Falcon. Stephanie Buscemi from Salesforce told me that one and it’s so spot-on, I don’t know what to do with myself.

  16. What’s your favorite sales book?

    I read them all and find something of value in all of them. If I have to choose, my old boss Stu Silverman told me to read Ogilvy on Advertising and it changed me forever.

  17. What’s your favorite marketing book?

    Same as above – I read a lot. Ardath Albee is my favorite marketing writer of all time. But I’ll give the nod to a recent one, Carlos Hidalgo’s Driving Demand.

  18. What’s your one piece of advice for marketers?

    You've preeched it with b2b appointment setting for years -- it's all about the Account Based Marketing.  Segment your target accounts and get into them.  All of them.  The account based movement is the final piece to real alignment with sales. What is it you say? "Selling doesn't start until the conversation starts."  Open the doors and start the conversations.

  19. Famous last words?

    See you at the Summit. Anyone who mentions this blog post gets a huge hug. – Click here to learn more and sign up: TOPO Sales Summit.

  20. Ok, my favorite question when inteviewing for the blog -- the Curry question.  It started years ago for reasons unknown, but it lives on forever.  What's your favorite Curry?

    Ha! I am going green but I love them all.  Thanks everyone! See you at the TOPO Sales SummitSummit, April 7-8th in San Francisco

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, curry, events, account based marketing

The Sales Development Playbook #PeopleMatter #MustRead

Posted by Mike Damphousse

The_Sales_Development_Playbook_-_Trish_Bertuzzi.gifTrish Bertuzzi and I have known each other for quite some time now.  We've been on stage together.  We've been with clients together.  Green Leads' b2b appointment setting team has even been a client of the Bridge Group.  My opinion of Trish as a sales development expert is beyond what I could deliver in this article.  

Just last week I attended her launch party for her new book, The Sales Development Playbook (amazon link) and she fielded a few questions that pointed directly to the underlying theme of the book, that sales development is all about the people.  Recruiting, onboarding, motivating, retention, managing, and the managers. 

As I picked up the book a few weeks ago, I thought I would pick up some cool tips and tricks as well as some sage advice.  What I got was re-enforcement of something I always knew, but never formalized. As it pertains to a sales development team - your people are your only true asset.

When I called her to tell her I finished the book and that I was loving the attention on the people, she shared "In most of the books I have read about business, they focused on process and methodology. I wanted to do something different by focusing in large part on the people. To ride a current social media trend let me put it this way #PeopleMatter."

People is not the only take away though.  There is a ton of sales development goodness.  Other topics that rang my bell were around quota setting, measurements and technologies.  And the contributing industry experts tie each topic to reality.

If you've just started in the profession, or if you are a long time practitioner, it's a must read for anyone in the inside sales/sales development/lead gen industry.  

Well done Trish!  People DO Matter when it comes to sales development.

 

 

Tags: sales, books, reviews, sales managers

Demand Gen - Nature, Nurture, or Both?

Posted by Mike Damphousse



37% of prospects that were nurtured move on to further sales activity from an introductory meeting,  12% higher than those not nurtured

As you all know, Green Leads is in the b2b appointment setting business. Similar to b2b inside sales teams, we book meetings with C/VP level executives on our clients' behalf and only get paid when the meetings take place. The ROI is easy to calculate as clients only pay when the sales rep completes the meeting. So X meetings for $Y. We can deliver this service predictably because it's all about the numbers. Those of us in the business can recite stats at the drop of a hat -- what list penetration numbers are, the mix of titles based on the client or industry, the number of C/VP level referrals, the reschedule and cancel rates -- you name it.

Last year some stats started changing. During regular review meetings, two clients asked within weeks of each other why their list penetration numbers were dropping (the number of meetings booked per list). They were still getting the same amount of meetings that "Natural", but they were right, we were all working harder, and we were consuming bigger and bigger lists to achieve the same numbers. Then, a third client asked what we were doing different because their penetration numbers were increasing. It happened to be the same period.

After some discussion internally, we realized that the third client had been feeding us lists that were actively being nurtured. The lists were smaller in size than the other two clients, but each contact was receiving valuable contact through white papers, webinar invites, analyst studies, blog links, etc. Inbound leads as a result of the nurturing campaign were routed to their inside sales team. The remaining leads, after reaching a certain lead score based on the numbers of email opens, forwards, website visits, and other criteria, they were transferred to our lists for outbound appointment setting. We were converting them to meetings at astonishing rates.

Since then, five of our clients have started feeding us nurtured leads to augment traditional raw names. In two cases, they outsource the management of the nurturing process to us.

The results -- Prospects that are nurtured are 17% more likely to be accept a meeting when pitched, and of those, the appointments completed moved on to further sales discussions 37% of the time (12% higher than non-nurtured).

We are now recommending to all our clients that they implement nurturing programs in conjunction with our appointment setting. If tightly integrated, the results of the two are significant:

  • Prospects are further into the buying cycle when the sales team engages
  • Resources used to build larger lists for outbound work can be redirected to nurturing efforts
  • Quality of introductory meetings are increased, resulting in a more mature pipeline
  • Ongoing branding to prospects nurtured is significantly higher than those not nurtured
  • Outsourced vendors or inside sales teams can operate more efficiently, providing higher quality as well as additional services
  • Increased ROI of the program can contribute to increased demand gen programs

 

Tags: b2b sales, demand gen, lead nurturing, appointment setting, marketing automation

Inside Sales for Charity is TODAY - Can you support us?

Posted by Mike Damphousse

inside sales for charity resized 600Donations going to : NEADS, an organization that trains dogs for deaf and disabled Americans.

Green Leads today is partnering with HubSpot to host Inside Sales for Charity - NEADS.  Inside Sales for Charity harnesses the power of inside sales teams to raise money for great causes. We are hoping to raise over $10k today.

If you can help, please send an email to info@greenleads.com with your pledge for support and contact info for one of our reps to followup with you.

Thank you for your support!

Mike Damphousse
CEO/CMO
Green Leads, LLC 

Sales Ready Leads: Quality vs. Quantity

Posted by Mike Damphousse

apples oranges

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:

  Quantity
Vendor
Quality
Vendor
Cancel/Reject Rate 20% 12%
Conversion to Pipeline Rate 31% 36%

Typical Appointment Setting Program Stats:

  Quantity
Vendor
Quality
Vendor
Meetings Set 100 80
Canceled/Rejected 20 10
Completed/Billable 80 70
Convert to Pipeline

25 25
Cost ($750 per Completed Meeting) $60,000 $52,500
Cost per Opportunity $2,400 $2,100

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."

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, outbound marketing, siriusdecisions, inside sales, social media marketing, lead gen, appointment setting, Quality vs Quantity, SMM, b2b math, idc

Lead Gen Scripts: They Have to Go

Posted by Mike Damphousse

No bad outbound calling tips!There are a lot of great sources for telemarketing and teleprospecting calling tips out there, and just several weeks ago we brought you some great outbound calling tips from the best BDR's our management team has ever worked with.  That being said, there are some bad tips out there that need to be put to rest.  They just don't work any longer and they're not helping anybody succeed at generating quality b2b leads.  Top of the list:

Stick to the script - There was a time when it was imperative that you stick to your prospecting script.  It had everything you needed to pass a lead or book an appointment with your targeted prospecting base.  If you're dialing consumers selling widgets, maybe, but if you are dialing high level b2b audience, no way. They can read through a script all day long.  Create three guidelines for conversations. Then don't use them verbatim, use them in your own words.

  • Talking points - 4 or 5 high level statements you can work into your conversations.
  • Open ended questions - Questions that bring value to the prospect by getting them to talk and participate in the conversation.
  • Objection handling - As it states.  How to handle the most common "no thank you" statements.

Then keep it natural.  Have conversations.

What other outbound calling tips have you encountered that just need to go?

Photo Credit:  sindesignvia Flickr

Tags: lead gen, appointment setting, outbound, outbound calling

Inbound Marketing Gurus -- Where's All The Outbound Marketing Goodness?

Posted by Mike Damphousse

Outbound Marketing Advice

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

Tags: outbound marketing, inbound marketing, inside sales, appointment setting, netprospex, marketo

Don't Stop B2B Marketing During The Holidays

Posted by Mike Damphousse

As regular as Halloween and football, this time of year Green Leads usually hears the following questions from both new and existing clients. "Why should we do appointment setting during the holiday months? Plus it's Q4, who has time for introductory appointments anyway?" Here are some points to ponder and they are relevant to all marketing programs, not just to appointment setting. The general message is to maintain momentum and take advantage of the time of year, not to shy away from it. Play offense when everyone else is in the huddle.

  • We'll get to it in Q1: Why wait? Q4 is a great time to lay the groundwork for next year's sales activity, never mind the possibility that you may find a deal in the rough that wants to close before the end of the year. Should sales momentum ever be paused?
  • Prospects aren't available during the holidays: Prospects aren't traveling. They are working and planning for next year. They are thinking about new ideas. It's a great time to introduce your company. The holiday months are GREAT for cold calling. Many senior level executives are actually at their desks instead of on airplanes and at meetings.
  • My sales team is too busy in December: No sales team is ever too busy to take on more new prospects. Show me a sales guy that says no to an introduction in December and I'll show you his resume next year. Introductory appointments are a change of pace during the hectic end of year for most sales executives. Take a couple of hours for a webex or even a day out of the office to meet that elusive target executive you have been wanting to see.
  • This time of year it's all about the bottom line: The only response to that comment is that if it weren't for the Top Line, there wouldn't be a Bottom Line. Don't let the bean counters get in the way of a good marketing program. Prepare ROI studies, sell your programs internally, and get full year commitments to your budgets. Unless it is about pure survival, don't let panicky Q4 finance teams freeze your programs.

Don't let up on your demand generation activities just because it is the end of the year. Use it to your advantage. Go into offensive mode. Market with Courage!

Tags: marketing, sales, demand

Outbound Marketing Efforts Fail, Now What?

Posted by Mike Damphousse

OutboundIn a perfect world, all of our marketing efforts work exactly to plan, don't they? 

Unfortunately, our world isn't perfect, and as great as our plans may seem at the beginning, sometimes they're going to fail.  Sometimes, they're going to fail miserably.  But, much like a rising star in the boxing circuit, the victory comes not from how many times you get knocked down, but rather, how many times you can get back up.  So in that regard, what do you do when your outbound marketing efforts fall flat?

Evaluate

First of all, evaluate the current plan.  A pretty simple step, but sometimes one that gets overlooked because of the severity of a failed marketing plan.  In a race to fix the problem (especially if it's a big one) we can neglect the evaluation process: 

  • Did you target the wrong audience with the "right" message?
  • Did you target the right audience, period?
  • Did you take the time to put your buyer personas together?  
  • Did the list you marketed to contain data that, at the outset, should have been cleansed?  
  • Was the content or offer valuable to the prospects?"
  • Were the calls to action clear?  Were there calls to action at all?
  • Was the implementation team spread too thin?
  • Was it the right team for the job?

Measure and Review KPIs

There really isn't time to overlook details.  Hopefully, you'd determined the metrics that you'd hope to hit and have measured and evaluated them.  No stone is to be left unturned.  When you think you've asked all the questions, it's time to go back and ask some more.

Regroup, Replan and Share, Share Alike

The plan may not be worthy of a total re-write, but make adjustments.  Realize that you cannot do everything yourself. Mike Volpe, VP of Inbound Marketing at HubSpot, shares that, "...all of [HubSpot's] implementation and support consultants also sit among sales and marketing, so we have sales, marketing and post-sales all together, helping to build even more cross-functional communication."  HubSpot shares ideas and accepts input from others so that they can build a better all-around offering. 

Augment with Experts

Don't be afraid to look outside of your own organization.  If you have a new product launch or new sales reps being added to your team, you may need assistance.  Use these opportunities to work with good outsourced vendors.  They aren't specialists at lead gen and appointment setting just because they stumbled upon it -- they have a playbook that works and they are experts at what they do.  Take advantage of it.

Execute

Lastly, it's time to execute the modified plan.  Having spent time evaluating what went wrong with your original campaign, regrouping and replanning, now you're ready to try again.  Be confident in your new plan. If you're not, how can you expect anyone else to be!?

What do you do to ensure success in your marketing efforts?

Photo Credit:  Chris Devers via Flickr

Tags: marketing, outbound marketing, b2b marketing, hubspot