Smashmouth B2B Blog: Sales & Marketing Demand Gen

Fantasy Football Builds Stronger Inside Sales Teams

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Fantasy Football and Inside SalesMy good buddy and best man, Dave, has been commissioner of the same Fantasy Football league for over 12 years and a few years ago asked if I was interested in taking one of the empty slots.  My obsessive-compulsive, statistically driven, multi-scenario-challenged gaming mind was intrigued.  Could I possibly put together a team that could beat other experienced teams week in and week out?  Even if the matchup is one-sided on paper?

Sounds simple, but here's the deal.  I'm more of an owner and less of a coach, so I did what I do best. I hired Lenny, a co-worker at the time and a kick-ass coach, and learned from someone who knows more about Fantasy Football than I do and still enjoy the results.  Now three seasons later, Lenny is gone and I won last year's season.  This year opened with a tight match against Dave, and it came down to the last two players--he crushed me.  But I'm a coach.

Tips to learn from Fantasy Football when building awesome inside sales teams:

  • Be a coach. Understand your team and their challenges, week in and week out.
  • Understand the rules. If you know what scores you points you'll make better decisions.  Ask the commissioner (your boss) if it's unclear.
  • Learn from the pros.  We read Fantasy blogs; we also read B2B sales and marketing blogs.
  • Look for raw talent that requires the least maintenance.
  • Find the studs that, head to head, will overperform every week.
  • Think about your deficiencies and hire accordingly.
  • If your team needs adjusting, make the shifts.  It might mean cutting a player, or drafting a new one, or moving someone up from the bench. Think big picture.
  • Don't fall in love with a lineup.  If you need to let a player go, cut your losses.
  • Track the stats.  Every stat -- even the ones you aren't sure are valuable. They will be someday.
  • Think Superbowl.  Don't forget the long-term play is to win.
  • Lastly, have fun.  Every day.  Have fun.  If you and your team are enjoying your jobs, you'll always make the playoffs and be in a position to win!

ps.  I do have Tom Brady in both my leagues this year.  Maybe I should take some lessons from Belichick?

Tags: sales, b2b, inside sales, b2b marketing, appointments, appointment setting, tips, tv

SiriusDecisions Summit London Notable Quotes #sdsummit

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Having just kicked off, the SiriusDecisions Summit in London will be spanning two days with tons of marketing and sales goodness.  I'll be adding notable thoughts, quotes, and tweets to this article during the two days, so come back!  

SiriusDecisions Summit London resized 600

@RichardEldh: The relationship with our clients and our prospects is as much digital as it is face to face, if not more.

@maxsangiovanni: The rule of 1: 1 user 1 campaign, 1 campaign many languages, 1 touch once a month, 1 guardian of the send, 1 message all platforms

@jblock: One consistent message across all delivery channels. Do this first then pick the tech to do it. @maxsangiovanni

@izjay: Data buys time and time buys understanding via @maxsangiovanni

@maxsangiovanni: click to chat is very successful channel to capture inbound activity

@Marisa_Kopec: My content is on content, so I have a lot of content to share today ;) 60-70% of content goes unused

@Marisa_Kopec The evolved marketing factory must be engineered to produce content to fuel inbound & outbound marketing

@damphoux: Cocktail party is at 4:30, so see you there. via @Marisa_Kopec #MeaningfulQuotes

@Floriane_Ma_FR: Min 10/12 attempts to get a decision maker on the line in complex sales, builds case for teleprospecting to do the job instead of sales reps

@damphoux: Again @tjaros hits it w/ Demand Types. Read up. It will change the way u present your message md.gl/1b95FpW

@akslipper: Germany leads in budget spent on tradeshows. UK leads in email campaigns

@izjay: Most #SDSummit delegates say their next technology purchase will be in the category of business intelligence/analytics. Nice!

@jblock: When it comes to live events, you're judged by the quality of the coffee. via @akslipper 

@siriusdecisions: @Marisa_Kopec "Understanding buyer personas is where b-to-b meets b-to-c" http://t.co/9LyNGOZx0W

@GBalarin: "There is no rest for the technology-weary in marketing. IT is changing dramatically" and alignment is key. @jneeson

@JarmilaHYu: John Neeson at #SDSummit "the sales rep is changing: by leveraging marketing data, tools & tech cold sales calls should no longer exist".

RT @BabcockJenkins: Portrait of the modern marketer and sales person. via @jneeson #SDSummit http://t.co/gSC5ztKDJo

More to come...

photo credit: me

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, siriusdecisions, b2b marketing

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

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

3 Must-Have Sales Tools for 2013

Posted by Jessica Enaire

 

gal land busy executive 420x0 resized 600Ladies and gentlemen, the sales automation revolution is upon us. SFA/CRM? Old School, table stakes. The highly optimized sales organizations of today has a collection of sales automation application that work on top of their CRM. As I declared in a previous blog post: The Seller has Changed Forever. It's exciting times for sales people -- marketing is becoming more sophisticated in their lead generation efforts (more leads is always great) and sales organizations are making the lives of their sales people better with automation.

On December 13 at 11AM Pacific, I will be joined by Matt Heinz, Brian Vellmure, Nancy Nardin, Koka Sexton, and Miles Austin in a free webinar: 31 Must-have sales tools for 2013. I have had a lot of fun learning about the tools everyone is going to discuss. In today's post, I present three tools to you. Join us for the 28 others.... I had a lot to choose from so I decided to keep it simple and highlight the three sponsors. Keep in mind, that we chose sponsors based on technology we wanted represented. We didn't find sponsors and then decide whether they should make the list.

1. DocuSign -- I just started using DocuSign last year. DocuSign is one of the vendors in the fast-growing e-signature space. In layman's terms: Get contracts, paperwork, etc signed electronically instead of printing paper and faxing. It's a god-send. There is nothing sales and everybody else for that matter hates worse than paperwork. It holds up the sales process and is the most painful part of one of the best parts of the sales process: the last mile. Let me give you an example: Last year, I decided for some reason to do a face-to-face sales call at the end of the quarter. (Don't ask). My rep calls me: "I can get this deal if you can sign off on the SOW". My reply:"Can't I'm in my car and won't be back in the office for an hour". Rep: "Dude, pull over to a Starbucks and 'Docusign' it on your Ipad". Boom. Signed, deal closed. E-signatures are a "why wouldn't you?" product.

2. InsideView (client) -- Sales intelligence, use it to sell better. How's that slogan? If I told a sales person 20 years ago that in 2012 prospects would use the internet and especially social media to update you on what they care about, what they do, and what they are doing, they would say "I want some of that". The best sales people are always researching, preparing, and seeking opportunities. The internet has changed the research game forever. Information about your prospects has never been more available yet finding and tracking that data can be cumbersome. Sales people want it easy and in front of their face. InsideView gives sales people a single interface to view your the accounts and their latest news. You can also set up triggers to be kept abreast on the latest happenings at your target accounts.

3. Kred for CRM -- One feature I love with Kred for CRM is the one that allows you to figure out "who" in your organization is connected to and interacting with your key influencers or prospects on a particular deal. Here is an example: You are selling to an account and you go in and find out that one of the key influencers is connected to someone in your organization. Not only that, they have tweeted to each other in the last 60 days. You are able to leverage that internal relationship to further solidify your relationship with the prospect. I just talked to a buddy who did this with Linkedin a few weeks ago. He was going into a scary client meeting and realized that a product marketing guy was a business connection of his contact. His friend reached out before the meeting and they walked in knowing each other. Meeting went great. Now imagine doing that with Twitter. Also, you can measure the social influence of your customers and prospects. You can use this data to decide how to handle them in the selling process. All great data to have in this brave new world.

Talking about sales automation is fun. I think its because selling has been so hard and so lonely all these years. Now people are making technology just for us and our lives are better for it. Join us to learn about all 31 must-have sales tools.

 

Craig Rosenberg

phone 650.630.3321

 

My latest post: Content Reflections: A personal and intimate journey into the mind of Craig Rosenberg 

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, b2b marketing

5 Things To Be Thankful For In B2B Lead Generation - Demand Gen Gravy

Posted by Michael Damphousse

b2b lead generation gravyTurkey and B2B Lead Generation?  What is the gravy that makes your demand gen programs sing?

Even companies such as Green Leads do our own lead gen.  Here's a quick list of what I'm thankful for this year as it pertains to b2b lead generation in hopes that you might find an idea or two that you could implement:

  1. Alumni - Our largest source of leads.  After 5 years of 2x plus growth year after year, the tribe is huge.  Nurture your alumni, don't just let them move on. Deliver quality service and stay in touch with your clients.  They will come back if you did a good job. LinkedIn is your tool. 
  2. Expand - In one day we acquired a company that overlapped 90% with Green Leads' offerings, delivered the market a one stop shop for Americas/EMEA b2b marketing, and doubled our size again.  We were able to expand many of their European clients to the US and many of our US clients to Europe. Look at your existing client base and ask "how can we expand?"
  3. Inbound - Yet again, our inbound leads consistently came in and our SEO was kept fresh by using HubSpot.  Our blog subscriber list doubled, and our rankings improved. The two key elements we find to a successful inbound program is content and social activity. Keep the visitors interacting and coming back and SEO will follow.  
  4. SiriusDecisions Summit - By far the best place to be if you are into b2b sales and marketing.  We sponsored both Scottsdale and London and in both cases walked away with tons of valuable information and new network contacts. Always be learning.
  5. Technology - No inside sales/outbound lead gen team should be without VoIP, Click to Dial, and some sort of power dialing system (we use 8x8, Skype, Salesforce CTI adapter and ConnectAndSell). Selling doesn't start until a conversation starts with the prospect. Do what you can to have more conversations.
What are you thankful for?  What filled your pipeline this year?

Tags: b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, outbound marketing, inbound marketing, b2b marketing, hubspot, SEO, inbound, linkedin, outbound, content

SiriusDecisions Bring Sales & Marketing Gurus to London

Posted by Michael Damphousse

describe the imageThis past week I attended SiriusDecisions' Boston Executive Roundtable with a focus on Sales & Marketing Planning for 2012. The discussions that were triggered by the fantastic content were the highlight of the event.  Throughout the morning the attendees were sharing ideas openly, to the point where the last agenda item had to be cut short.

Notable points:

  • Social Sign On is bringing high submission rates to websites, but how do we manage missing information and is a Social Sign On considered an opt in?
  • Establishing solid SLAs between Sales and Marketing is critical to any successful demand generation strategy
  • Pipeline efficiencies are greatly improved with Quality leads vs. Quantity of leads
I expect the upcoming SiriusDecisions Summit 2011 Europe in London on October 5 at the Park Plaza Victoria London will encourage even more discussion.  

SiriusDecisions Summit Europe London"The discussion of best practice demand generation will be an active discussion at European Summit. You will hear some from industry peers, our thought leaders at SiriusDecsions, and most of all from those you interact with." John Neeson, Co-Founder, Managing Director of SiriusDecisions.
During the course of the day, the agenda is packed with great topics and also provides for networking time of over 3 hours.  

To see what others thought of this year's Scottsdale event, Jonathan Block posted a great list of SiriusDecisions 2011 recap articles.  

Tags: marketing, b2b, demand gen, siriusdecisions, b2b marketing, b2b events

LinkedIn Lead Gen Tips: Profiles Have URLs, Use Them

Posted by Michael Damphousse

We all know LinkedIn is the hidden gem of all sales people, and we're all looking for better LinkedIn Lead Gen Tips.  At Green Leads we have a custom button that can query a person's LinkedIn profile with the click of one button.  It doesn't hit 100% of the time, but I would say 85% isn't bad for an automated task.  We train our reps to not just review the profile, but use it for better selling--especially the public URL.  This allows you to find the record again or share the record with others.  

LinkedIn lead gen tips 2

Save it.  You could bookmark it in a folder called Prospects.  But why not go a step further and save the prospect's public URL in your CRM system.  It's simple enough to do.  We have a field called LinkedIn URL, and we copy and paste it from LinkedIn to the field.  This allows our sales reps never research again, it's one click away.  It also stores it so that the URL is shared with other reps that may be looking at the same prospect.  

Linkedin tips 1

Got any other LinkedIn Lead Gen Tips?  Send em on.

Tags: sales, b2b, b2b marketing, tips, linkedin