Smashmouth B2B Blog: Sales & Marketing Demand Gen

HubSpot Signals Product Review "She just read the email" (from #Inbound13)

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Hubspot Signals Product Review FeaturesLast week at Inbound, HubSpot announced a new product, Signals.  In simple terms, Signals is a Chrome extension that tracks and notifies you when someone has activity on emails, LinkedIn, Salesforce and HubSpot.  You get an on-screen notification, as well as a summary list of activity that you can review.  In short, Signals is an app that lets you know when and how to engage your leads--timing, intelligence, and relevance.

Sales people now have actionable intelligence from the prospect.  Knowing that they have seen your email or they clicked through a link or they are reading your website is gold.  It also tells you one other fact...the prospect may be sitting at their desk, or at least not occupied with other activites.  It's time to call them.  If no response by phone, maybe email them again with a secondary email that you would logically have sent (ie: don't just respond saying "I know you are sitting there doing emails".

If you get them and have some intel such as a new LinkedIn update, or the knowledge that they read certain pages on your website, you can now open the discussion in a relevant way that the prospect will respect and resonate with. "Hi Brian, it's Mike from Green Leads.  I was hoping to speak with you about Appointment Setting." (knowing he just read three pages on my site relating to b2b appointment setting).

Brilliant work HubSpot!  Enhancing the Inbound experience for sales people.

Screenshot from HubSpot site:

hubspot signals product review

Notification summary (as of the date of this post):

Email

  • A contact opens your email 
  • A contact clicks a link you’ve enabled tracking for

LinkedIn (after you mark a contact as a VIP)

  • When a VIP changes their position
  • When a VIP posts an update 
  • When a VIP adds a new connection

Salesforce

  • When a contact becomes a new lead
  • When a contact opens an email sent through Salesforce

HubSpot

  • When a contact visits a page on your website

Note: The email open notification only works if the prospect has "display images" enabled.  If they do not show images in their emails, email open notification will not work.  Solve this issue, and the Gold Medal gets a Gold Ribbon with it.

Tags: sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, outbound marketing, inbound marketing, b2b marketing, hubspot, product reviews, outbound calling

@HubSpot Eliminates 2 Billion Cold Calls (from #Inbound13)

Posted by Michael Damphousse

inbound marketing summary 2013 resized 600

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.  

HubSpot Orange Kool Aid

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 mickey@mouse.com
  • 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)

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, outbound marketing, inbound marketing, cold calling, b2b marketing, social media marketing, hubspot, appointment setting, tips, inbound, linkedin, outbound, lead lists, outbound calling, b2b appointment setting, demandbase

Five Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Everyone is jumping into content marketing. The challenge is not only how to do it, but how to do it well. One of the best things a marketer can do is learn from the mistakes of others. For this post, we asked some of the participants in the upcoming Keys to Content Marketing Virtual Summit on August 14th to share the mistakes they see on the market today.  

Content creation is too narrowly focused on a single buyer.

b2b marketing contentNarrowly focused content tends to be out of step and misaligned with the reality of buying in most companies today.  The biggest drawback is that content then becomes non-shareable since it lacks relevancy to others. The solution: When considering the buyer personas for whom you want to develop content, content producers must consider more than just the single buyer or buyer persona.  This is true when conducting buyer insight research - it is a mistake to interview only those whom you assume are direct buyers.  Buying in organizations today is fluid, dynamic, flatter, and involves more participants. (Tony Zambito) 

Companies create content for themselves not their buyer.

You are not your buyer – get over it bro! Before you create anything – dig in deep with your current client base and your sales staff, they will give you the insight you need to create really compelling content.  This is probably the biggest mistake in content, albeit the most forewarned.  So listen up! (Justin Gray)

Their content voice sounds like a corporate twit.

From our early school days we were taught that formal writing = good writing.  Somewhere along the way marketers found out that this is absolute crap, however the old days of getting slapped on the hand with a ruler for "writing as you talk" are hard lessons to break.  Honestly, it’s the only reason I enjoy content creation in modern sales/marketing, all of the sudden its cool to speak to people like people again. And they're buying it!  I just wanted to start a sentence with "and" there to see if a huge cosmic ruler would hit me. (Justin Gray)

Content is created without any personality. 

Content that is written as an instruction manual will come across as just that, instructions. There’s so much crap content out there and there'is a need for good writers with personality and opinions based on their own experience. That’s what I want to read. (Jason Miller)

Companies are jumping in the raging river of social media and content marketing without a plan or measurable goals.

Social and content marketing are not just hobbies or activities. They are business processes that should be approached with a strategic plan and metrics to measure success. (Don Perkins)

Want to learn more about content marketing? Join us for the Keys to Content Marketing Success Virtual Summit on August 14th by registering below!


Image: KaterBegemot

Tags: b2b, demand gen, inbound marketing, b2b marketing, b2b events, lead gen, webinars, events, content

Tele Prospecting Summer Hours, 1 Hour = 70 Minutes!

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Tele Prospecting Summer Hours"Summer, summer, summertime Time to sit back and unwind.." Fresh Prince

Not so.  Summertime means working harder it seems.  That's right, by simply moving to 7:30-5:30 shift Monday - Thursday and leaving Friday at noon, the production rate of dials and appointment setting increased.

Dials increased by 17% and appointments set increased by 11%.  One stat that's important in our business are the meetings that go into reschedule/cancel mode.  During the summer hour weeks we "saved" (ie: rescheduled or recaptured the meeting) 14% more than we did the weeks that had regular hours.

(note: we only have 3 weeks of summer data so far, not a huge sample rate, but I see a trend)

Some feedback from our team:

  • Gareth Morfill, BDR Mentor, "By starting early, people are at their desks and dialing earlier.  They're on the phones as opposed to fixing their coffees from 8-8:10."
  • Karl Granoth, Sr. BDR, "Dialing before 8:00 gets people that arrive early and their admins are not blocking."  (note: this applies to all time zones, so the reaffirming stat has caused my team to work the 7:30-8:00 window heavier in all time zones)
  • Gill Libro, Executive BDR, "It doesn't hurt that we all feel pumped to get out early on Fridays!"  (Culture and attitude are big in this business).

What do you attribute the increase to?  

Should we consider changing "Summer Hours" to "Regular Hours" all the time? Always working the summer schedule?  Or will that just be the same old grind?  Maybe use it in the off season on the weeks prior to long weekends to make them longer?

 

Out of Office Responses - Lead Gen Tip Gold Nugget

Posted by Michael Damphousse

lead gen tipsIt's summer, and just because your lead is out of the office, does not mean they should be crossed off your list.  When receiving an out of office or away on vacation email response, you get a lot more than just an email you want to delete.  You can get lead gen nuggets.  For example, you just emailed your contact to set an appointment and you get a response similar to this:

Thank you for your email. I am currently away from the office on vacation with limited access to email.  I will return on Monday, June 24. 

For immediate needs, please contact the following:
--With career opportunity questions, please email jobs@acme.com
--With questions regarding Sales Operations, please email Linda at linda@acme.com 
--With other urgent administrative issues, please email my assistant Jessica at jessica@acme.com

Tom Shannon
VP Infrastructure and Operations
978-555-1324 direct
978-555-1212 cell 

You have just received two other contacts that are relevant to your pursuit of the prospect.  You know a responsible person, albeit no title--but LinkedIn can help with that, with Linda.  You have his assistant, great for trying to reach him when he's not responding. And you have his cell number, which you didn't have before.  Contact Linda and Jessica, see if you can't work some magic and drum up a conversation.  Never know what they may share.  "Hi Linda, I've been tryhing to reach Tom and I know he's out this week.  Maybe you can help me..."

Take advantage.  Save this information.  Use it.

And don't forget, when you reach Tom next week, reference your email and ask if he was away on vacation or business.  Get a conversation going because we all know...selling doesn't start until a conversation starts with the prospect.

 

Tags: demand gen, lead gen, b2b appointment setting

BANT is Dead -- Find the Authority

Posted by Michael Damphousse

BANT Budget Authority Need Timeframe ANUMBudget, 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.  

ANUM:

<-- Lead Gen & Research
Authority
<-- Appointments & Conversations
Need

Urgency

Money

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.

Tags: marketing, sales, demand gen, lead gen, appointment setting, sales2.0, b2b appointment setting

Social Surround - Social Selling Takeaway from SiriusDecisions #SDsummit

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Social Surround Selling Techniques resized 600

I'm just coming off 19,000 miles, 3 countries, and both coasts of the US (back and forth twice) in a 5 week period.  I met lots of new people, and noticed a trend that interestingly reflected a concept Craig Rosenberg, The Funnelholic, and I presented at our case study session at SiriusDecisions Summit -- Social Surround. 

It's not new, and wasn't coined by us, but Social Surround is the technique of using every social platform available to connect to your colleagues and prospects.  Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, you name it.  The more you connect, and the more you share with them or about them, the more you build that relationship.  Let's face it, a retweet by any means is flattering.

Here's a surround scenario for you:

  • I met the director of Demand Gen for a software company a few months back, brief handshake, intro and card exchange.  There wasn't an immediate need for Green Leads work at the time...nurturable
  • That night I sent an email with the contact info of a mutual colleageue we both knew from years ago that he had fallen out of touch with
  • I then linked to him on LinkedIn
  • From LinkedIn, I found his twitter handle, and followed him. Hopefully he monitors his new followers. 
  • I also followed his company account, learned a bit there
  • Found him on Facebook, and instead of offering to connect, I simply shared Green Leads' facebook page with him.  He liked it
  • I notice his company tweets something retweetable, and give it a retweet.  Maybe he'll notice
  • He's an avid LinkedIn Update poster.  So I liked a post
  • Saw he was on the attendee list of #SDsummit, so sent a "Look forward to seeing you at the event" email

Fast forward to the SiriusDecisions Summit.  Craig and I are in the case study presenting the Social Surround concept, and who's sitting in the middle row smiling?  Yep.  He comes up to me afterwards and told me how he personally experienced Social Surround by me and had come to the conference with the intent of talking with me about a b2b appointment setting project.  Now that he knew the concept had a term and it worked, he was sold--surrounded and sold.

Benefits of Social Surround:

  • Passive branding
  • Ongoing networking
  • Rapport building the social way
  • Non-intrusive to the prospect
  • Multiple touch points
  • Warms up outbound activies
  • Can trigger inbound responses

ps.  What I like the most with Social Surround is that I'm seeing the prospects surrounding me.  That is the ultimate Inbound Lead!

Photo: Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Surrounded Islands

Tags: b2b, demand gen, outbound marketing, siriusdecisions, twitter, lead gen, tips, linkedin, facebook

Demand Generation Tactics You Actually Use

Posted by Michael Damphousse

There is a whole set of new, fun, exciting demand generation tactics happening right now. Some of the recent trends like content marketing and social are reaching new levels of sophistication. Video is the next wave and we know enough know to provide useful advice. B2B demand generation is fun again and there is a lot to learn and go test. Green Leads is sponsoring an online summit with the Funnelholic, Act-on Software, and Radius Intelligence to explore the latest and greatest things happening in b2b demand generation. We carefully chose speakers who would bring the latest techniques, talk about real results, provide tangible tips, and present at least one surprising idea, fact, or result. We want attendees to understand "how" along with the "why". Scott Albro, Matt Heinz, Koka Sexton, and Matt Childs headline the event.

Join in on the fun. Click attend on the landing page below and we will see you there!

 

Tags: b2b, demand gen, outbound marketing, inbound marketing, webinars

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

Sales 2.0 Impact: Latest Sales 2.0 Trends and Red Curry With Lisa Gschwandtner

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Every sales organization I talk to these days is ramping their Sales 2.0 technologies.  It's a fun topic for a guy like me who loves sales and loves technology.  The Sales 2.0 conference is coming up and they have done some studies on buyer behavior in the market, so I took the opportunity to interview Lisa Gschwandtner, the Editorial Director of Selling Power. Selling Power is a media cosponsor of the Sales 2.0 Conference.  

Mike: What made you decide to create the Sales 2.0 Impact Survey?LisaG 2

Lisa: From the very first Sales 2.0 Conference in 2007, it was clear that Sales 2.0 could yield explosive gains in all kinds of areas. A simple e-signature or automated outbound dialing tool, for example, could collapse certain stages of your sales cycle from weeks to hours. At that point we were seeing a real revolutionary excitement about the potential of Sales 2.0 technology. And as early as 2009, we started to see companies like Brainshark implement an entire Sales 2.0 architecture to create growth in productivity and effectiveness in a variety of areas. 

At this point in the evolution of Sales 2.0, we can now point to year-over-year patterns that tie Sales 2.0 usage to revenue results. We felt it was time to poll a generation of Sales 2.0 users and let the statistics tell the story of how Sales 2.0 influences success.

Mike: What are the biggest Sales 2.0 trends for 2013?

Lisa:  Content marketing is a trend to watch. B2B companies have pushed themselves to establish online selling channels, implement inbound marketing automation solutions, and integrate social selling as part of their sales process. You need high-quality content to see real gains in these areas. Businesses are realizing they need to start acting like publishers if they want to use content to attract customers.

Another trend with staying power is the growth of inside sales teams. Moving from a field sales model to an inside model (or some blend) isn’t a new thing -- what’s startling is the rate at which this is happening. Online is where buyers live now, and expensive field reps just aren’t necessary for as many business models anymore, especially with so many Sales 2.0 tools (including video conferencing and screen-sharing tools) available to help us connect and collaborate online.

Any Sales 2.0 trend you see will stem from one root cause: buyers are controlling the sales cycle. Buyers and sellers have a different relationship these days. And you can choose to respond to that shift in many ways. The leadership challenge is where to put your focus. What technology do you need to adopt today, and what do you need by year-end? What’s the plan for implementing technology and adjusting your processes? This is why high-level executives come to the Sales 2.0 Conference. They get educated on what other sales leaders are doing, and they identify which trends and technologies would be the best to bring back home and implement.  

Mike:  What's the biggest change in the Sales 2.0 world from the time you started the conference to now?

Lisa:  I would say more than change I see expansion. Since we started in San Francisco, we saw Boston emerge as the Silicon Valley of the east.  And last year we took the Sales 2.0 Conference as far as London. The demand for Sales 2.0 solutions just keeps getting broader.

The technology solutions themselves are also expanding. More specifically, lots of smaller companies that were around when we first started out, like Jigsaw, have been absorbed into larger ecosystems. That means the market now has different expectations about how technology will or should work. They expect integration of highly tactical automated tools and solutions as part of their investment in a broad-base technology solution, like a CRM system.

Mike:   I saw this number: "50% of sales organizations surveyed plan to increase spending on Sales 2.0 solutions in 2013" on a couple blog posts, it sounds as though sales people are getting ready to spend on technology. 

Lisa: Yes, that stat is one of the initial numbers we were excited to release from the Sales 2.0 Impact Survey. B2B companies are absolutely primed to invest in Sales 2.0 technology this year. The survey also gave us intriguing information about who’s owning implementation and purchasing decisions internally. We’ll be sharing all of that with attendees at the Sales 2.0 Conference on April 8-9 in San Francisco


Sales 2.0 ConferenceMike
:.  What do you prefer red, yellow or green curry? 

Lisa:  I like my curry the way I like my Sales 2.0 logo. Red! 


Tags: sales, b2b, b2b marketing, curry, sales2.0, events