Smashmouth B2B Blog: Sales & Marketing Demand Gen

Appointment Setters Beware! Google Hangout Just Hijacked Your Meeting

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Google has figured out a neat way to take over the conference call industry.  They just added their Google Hangout invite link to EVERY Google Calendar invite that you schedule.  It's listed above the meeting notes, so if your not paying attention and you've got GoToMeeting or WebEx or Join.me bridge numbers and links in the body of your invite, expect a few people to click the Hangout link and ignore the rest.  I've done it twice in a week!  

Your cancel and reschedule rate will soar through the roof!

Appointment Setters Beware Google Hangout

There is a manual work around and an admin level work around.  The manual work around is simple, just remember to click Remove as you are creating the meeting.  The admin level fix is that they can disable this feature through the calendar settings page in the Admin console. 

Note: Hangout video calls are only added if the event creator has an active Google+ profile.

Don't get a No Show or Cancel or Reschedule if you're using Google Calendar.  Pay attention and click Remove, or switch your meetings over to Google Hangout.  Either way works for me.

Tags: b2b sales, demand gen, inside sales, appointments, appointment setting, tips, meetings, b2b appointment setting, google hangout

In The Summertime - Mungo Jerry Lead Gen Tips (tap your feet)

Posted by Michael Damphousse

I just listened to Mungo Jerry's "In The Summertime," and it made me smile, tap my feet, rock my head, especially with the banjo player huffing and puffing into the jug.  Love it!

...then BOOM! The song is over and I remembered all the times I heard inside sales reps complain that "It's summer, nobody's working."  

Folks, that's one of the biggest myths in lead gen.  In fact, it's so twisted that some hidden benefits of summer are shrowded.  Let's take a look.

Yes, most people take vacation time in the summer.  I do to.  That said, how many vacations can one take?  They can't be gone all summer.  In fact, some very important things happen because of vacations:

  • Desk time - Most people planning vacations plan some time in the office (ie: not travelling) prior to and immediately after so that they can get their ducks in a row and return hitting the ground running.  That is more time for them to be at their desks picking up calls, or paying attention to an email inbox that is organized.  Take advantage of it.  
  • Responders - "I'll be out of the office until Monday, July 21.  In an emergency you can call my cell ###-###-####, otherwise, you can contact June, my assistant at ###-###-####, or John, my senior team member at john@emailme.com".  Nuggets: The prospect's cell number, the assistant's name and number, and his trusted underling's email address.  Use them.
  • Scheduling - It can get dicy trying to pick a date, sure, but use it as an opportunity to book a meeting in close -- to set some urgency.  
  • Lighten the mood - It's always a challenge to find the common thread in a call to make the prospect feel comfortable listening to the business end of a conversation, what better common thread than "Oh, vacation, I just got back from the Cape, what are you planning?".  People buy from people.
  • Attitudes - Let's face it, we're all a bit happier.  Happier = Approachable.  

"We love everybody, but we do as we please
When the weather's fine
We go fishing or go swimming in the sea
We're always happy"

Enjoy the video, and take Mungo Jerry's tip to heart: "Go out and see what you can find"!

Tags: sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, inside sales, cold calling, lead gen, tips, life, video, b2b appointment setting

@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

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

Sales and Marketing Tips from Barack Obama in Ireland

Posted by Michael Damphousse

sales tips from irelandAs part of Green Lead's recent acquisition of Target 250, a portion of our European team is based in Ireland.  Linda and I are here this week working with the team on transition issues, and while heading out for dinner last night we walked by the Bank of Ireland in the center of Dublin, where President Barack Obama's gave a speech just a few weeks ago.  

When it comes to sales and marketing tips, the President is loaded with examples.  Here are but a few:

  • Brand - Obama has a solid understanding of Branding.  Every word, action and event is organized with a consistent brand of quality and authority.  Stay on target with all your brand messaging.
  • Opportunity - I'm not sure who planned their trip first, but the combination of the Monarchy and the US Presidency visiting within weeks of each other was a one-two punch for both.  The buzz from our colleagues in Ireland is one of progress, respect and excitement from the two visits.  Take advantage of opportunistic moments as it pertains to marketing.  
  • Disruption - Be it the President shutting down the Dublin airport and delaying my Irish team from flying to Andover, or you making a disruptive sales or marketing statement, consider your messaging and consider the impact of authority and disruption to the norm.  The market reacts to this and it allows you to stand apart from the crowd.
  • Dress to Sell - If you are not sure of the casual nature of a sales or marketing event, you'll never go wrong in an Obama class suit and tie.  I was recently at the SiriusDecisions Summit in Scottsdale and although the crowd was predominantly in business casual attire, suits and ties for men and suits for women were not uncommon--especially for the sales types.  If you opt for a blazer, just make sure you have the best looking shirt/blazer combination in the room. Keep the golf shirts on the golf course. Even the ones with logos on them.
...and a snapshot for the photo album.  Linda and I in front of the Bank of Ireland in downtown Dublin, right where Obama spoke.


sales tips from ireland

Tags: branding, appointment setting, b2b appointment setting, target 250

FAQ: What does the Green Leads acquisition of Target 250 mean to you?

Posted by Michael Damphousse

As many of you are aware, Green Leads has announced the acquisition of Target 250.  What does this mean to you?  Read on for answers:

b2b appointment setting FAQWhat was the acquisition about?  

Green Leads has grown by a factor of 2X each year for four years running.  In a bad economy, that's a feat.  We looked at 2011 and realized that one way we could grow by 2X again was to do it through acquisition -- but only with the right partner. Expanding our service in the EMEA markets as well as growing our business in North America were priorities.  To achieve this, we decided the most efficient path was to add a company to Green Leads' team that had the fundamentals needed to deliver quality demand gen services to our clients. Target 250 not only has those qualities and a dominant position in the European market, but also provides services in North America. So we got both European expansion and North American growth in one package.  On May 4th, we grew by 2X again -- in one day. 

What does a European and North American presence of Green Leads mean to me?

As demand gen professionals, you now have a one-stop shop for both sides of the Atlantic.  You can work with one program manager, and in many cases, the same Green Leads reps.  The same reporting, data management and quality standards will exist in both locations.  And in most cases you can have one contract and invoicing source, simplifying your management of two programs.

Will Target 250 stay the same?

The logo and the email addresses will change. Then, as we blend the two companies' best practices, you should see a noticeable increase in the level of service from a production, delivery and quality standpoint.  Commercially, we will novate the existing contracts over to Green Leads contracts.  This may take a few months.

Will our service level change?

In general, the only differences in service you should see are improvements.  Over time we will implement some process enhancements and share best practices; we are hoping both Green Leads clients and Target 250 clients will benefit from the marriage. In the near term you will notice that we will be launching a new Client Portal tied directly to our Salesforce back-end that will allow you to view program reporting, upload new target lists, provide meeting/lead feedback and review activity.

As a Green Leads client, what does this mean for me?

Our services will only get better and our offerings will expand, including the ability for you to work on both sides of the Atlantic with one single point of contact and 7 supported languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Swedish, Arabic).

As a Target 250 client, will I be getting Green Leads invoices now?

As the transition matures, you will definitely start getting Green Leads paperwork.  Some of this relies on our converting contracts and legal documents over to Green Leads.  This will take a bit of time but is a priority for us.  One benefit of the merger is that you will now have the option of being invoiced from the U.S. or Europe. This can be beneficial to your procurement process, budgeting and logistics.

Who is my main contact with the company?  Will my reps change?

Your current liaisons will remain the same and other than normal project resource allocation changes your reps will remain the same. Our intent is to make the transition as smooth for our clients as possible.  

Will pricing and/or pricing model change?

In the short term, no.  Over time the answer is yes.  As it pertains to appointment setting, Target 250's business model was to sell contract commitments with a volume of meetings agreed to and then invoice for meetings when they were set.  Green Leads' model eliminates the word "campaign," structures open-ended contracts and then invoices for meetings when they are attended and meet the service level agreement (SLA) criteria agreed to by both companies.  We will eventually migrate all appointment setting models to the Green Leads format.  

We currently get face-to-face meetings, yet I've heard the U.S. does a lot of conference calls, is that changing?

The U.S. is more accustomed to making the first introductory sales call by phone.  We actually studied it a couple years ago and found that 69% of respondents found a phone meeting satisfactory for the purposes of an introductory meeting.  Understanding that in the U.K. and other European locations many prospects are just a drive or train ride away, face-to-face still makes sense.  We're not going to push our clients one way or the other, but we definitely will recommend that you consider the option.  The results are typically: no change in the outcome of introductory appointments (they have the same effectiveness), and sales execs can spend less time travelling and more time selling.  Give it a shot, and measure the outcome. 

Should you have any further questions, please post them here.

Tags: sales, b2b, demand gen, Announcements, b2b appointment setting, target 250, FAQ

Green Leads Acquires Target 250 – Forms Fastest-Growing B2B Demand Gen Company in North America and Europe

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Merger Provides Global Enterprise Software and Technology Companies with Deeply Integrated, Quality Pipeline Generation Services

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (Marketwire – May 4, 2011) – Today, at the SiriusDecisions Summit, Green Leads announced the acquisition of Target 250 to form the fastest-growing pay-for-performance demand generation company in the industry. The companies are combining to provide global enterprise software and technology companies with deeply integrated quality pipeline generation programs in both North America and Europe.

"We've focused laser-like on developing robust, repeatable processes which we think are best practices in the industry. We've doubled in size three years in a row and Green Leads has been able to break the mold on integrating with our customers’ go-to-market and pipeline generation initiatives to deliver material top line results,” said Green Leads CEO, Michael Damphousse. “Our clients are demanding that we expand our delivery to the EMEA theater, which triggered the acquisition of Target 250.

b2b appointment setting“Target 250 has both the core expertise and an exceptional client roster to create an immediate value for our joint customers as well as new prospects looking for an integrated extension to their sales and marketing channels,” Damphousse said.

Green Leads and London based Target 250 focus exclusively on software and technology companies that sell strategic b2b enterprise products and services in North America and Europe. Green Leads now will be able to provide its sales and marketing clients with a single source of investment for appointment setting, lead nurturing, market research and other demand gen best practices.

DavePeterson (1)"Green Leads is an important extension to the Coverity marketing and sales channel and consistently delivers high-value meetings with the targets of our major pipeline and strategic campaigns,” said Dave Peterson, CMO of Coverity, a mutual client of both Green Leads and Target 250. "When we sourced our lead generation partner in Europe we selected Target 250 because they were very similar to Green Leads in the way they integrated with our sales and marketing campaigns. We are excited to see how this acquisition allows us to combine our best practices for sales targeting and marketing across the U.S and Europe.”

About Green Leads
Andover, MA based Green Leads delivers pay-for-performance demand generation services that drive greater revenue for enterprise-level b2b software and technology companies in North America and Europe. Clients receive the highest level of introductory or qualified b2b appointment setting, lead nurturing, market surveys and list builds. All programs are pay-for-performance and backed by guaranteed service-level agreements. www.greenleads.com +1 978 910 0261 Lisa Flagg lisa@greenleads.com

Tags: b2b, siriusdecisions, b2b marketing, Announcements, b2b appointment setting, target 250