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 [email protected]".  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

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 [email protected]
  • 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

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

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

Inside Sales Blogs From AA-ISP Speakers

Posted by Michael Damphousse

Inside Sales BlogsI'm at the AA-ISP conference in Boston today (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals).  There are ideas and tips flowing faster than the coffee and ice water.

Everytime I visit a conference I like to check out the speakers' blogs.  I figured you may find value in a compilation of the speaker blogs from today (or the blog of their company):

Trish Bertuzzi, The Bridge Group, Inside Sales Experts 

Tom Scontras, Glance Networks, The Upside: Killer Sales Tips

Steve Richard, Vorsight, Inside Sales Tips

Gary Ambrosino, TimeTrade, The TimeTrade Blog

Koka Sexton, InsideView, B2B Sales Productivity

Cliff Pollan, VisibleGains, Visible Gains Blog

Dan Hughes, Broadlook Technology, The Official Broadlook Blog

Antarctic Mike, Selling at 90 Below Zero, Antarctic Mike's Blog

Lori Richardson, Score More Sales, Score More Sales

Patrick O'Mally, 617-PATRICK, Social Media Super Blog

Mark Ruthfield, Zoominfo, Zoominfo Blog

Ken Krogue, InsideSales.com, Ken Krogue

John Baker, The Asking Formula, The Asking Formula

Sam Richter, SBR Worldwide, Know More Blog

Todd McCormick, PGI, PGI Blog

Ken Jisser, ConnectAndSell, Sales Singularity Blog 

Mark Roberge, HubSpot, Inbound Internet Marketing Blog

 

  and then shameless self promotion (I am one of the speakers)...

Mike Damphousse, Green Leads, Smashmouth B2B Blog: Sales & Marketing Demand Gen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: sales, b2b, b2b sales, inside sales, cold calling, b2b events, outbound, outbound calling

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

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