Smashmouth B2B Blog: Sales & Marketing Demand Gen

Genius.com Accelerates The Close Part 2 - Smashmouth Product Review

Posted by Mike Damphousse

genius.logo

In the Smashmouth Review of Genius.com Part 1, we focused on Genius Pro. Since then, we've had the opportunity to work with and evaluate Genius Enterprise. The one liner summary: marketing automation and sales enablement with a 2.0 twist.

The product is so rich in features that this article alone will not do it justice. It’s always tempting to try to make apples to apples comparisons with other marketing automation vendors, but Genius is different. Genius eliminates the need for heavy IT support. After just a few hours of use it allows a non-guru to establish some incredibly strong functionality. It's suitable for small business, or for a larger, more sophisticated organization.

drip campaign lg

The heart of the package is the Automation Workflow Designer. This provides a the ability to create logical processes of conditions, actions, and communications that together can walk a prospect through the nurturing and selling process.

Consider this example. Sounds complex, but it was able to be configured in 30 minutes with the drag and drop editor that is both intuitive and fresh in its design.

- If the prospect is not on any other campaign, send an initial email
- Wait for 5 days, and if during those 5 days the prospect had clicked through to the site, increase their lead score, and keep watching and waiting
- If during those 5 days they visit the site multiple times, then increase their lead score again
- If during those 5 days they download a specific white paper and look at the Contact Us page, increase the lead score and send a more targeted email offer. At this point, notify the sales rep and then remove this lead from the workflow and have the rep pursue them by phone
- What sets Genius apart from the rest if at any time during the waiting process a qualifying conversion event is reached the rep will notified immediately and the prospect will be removed from the workflow

etc. (you get the picture)

Key among the features is the ability to have the Genius Tracker notify you by email, SMS or the Genius Tracker IM-like interface when a rep takes a qualifying action like visiting your site or reaches a qualified lead score. From there the rep can link to the contact's history -- what emails have they received, and what actions have they taken. There is also a TiVo-like replay of their visit available, which is a rich way for a rep to find out what the prospect was interested in chatlive and target the followup conversation. To top it off, the system also has an integrated chat/messaging system for visitors to use, as well as the ability to display an Instant Promo window that can contain custom messages.

Smashmouth recommendation: Thumbs Up



End of independent review.

As opposed to the obligatory comment from the company, I asked if I could speak with a power user. .

"Genius Enterprise is designed for Marketers with sales in mind," says Joanna Giannotti, Global Marketing Director at ClickSoftware. "It’s simple drag and drop campaign creation makes cumbersome, complicated marketing automation solutions a thing of the past while their exclusive Tracker alerts Sales with an instant notification when prospects are hot so they can offer rapid service. It all means greater Marketing success and more closed deals for Sales."

As a postscript...this whole exercise had my desktop going off every few minutes with an audible signal that someone was visiting my site. It leads me to continue the debate...when I hear that noise, do I pick up the phone and POUNCE? (more: Pounce, Pause, Nurture or Wait?).

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, inbound marketing, twitter, lead nurturing, sales2.0, reviews, marketing automation, genius.com

Appointment Setting, Blogging and Lead Nurturing - Interview on Marketo's Blog

Posted by Mike Damphousse

lead nurturing

Just a quick post to point readers to an interview of me on Marketo's blog, Demand Generation and Social Media: Thought Leadership with Mike Damphousse of Green Leads. Questions discussed:

What is B2B appointment setting? And why is it important to marketers?

When it comes to leads, quality or quantity?

You specialize in reaching CXOs and VPs. Can you give marketers three tips to connect with these hard to reach decision makers?

How does lead nurturing play a part in reaching these executive contacts?

I noticed you use Twitter frequently and have an active blog. How have these helped the success of your company, and what kind of budget and resources do you have to be so active in social media?

What metrics do you use to measure your social media success?

What are three tips that any marketer can use to increase their social media or blogging?

Hope you enjoy it and post some comments.

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b sales, demand gen, outbound marketing, inbound marketing, socialmedia, social media marketing, lead nurturing, lead gen, appointment setting, sales2.0, marketo, blogs, interviews, marketing automation

Lead Generation - Marketo's Definitive Guide To Lead Nurturing

Posted by Mike Damphousse

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I just reviewed Marketo's recently released Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing. Don't let the vendor logo fool you, this is a document that is a must read for all demand generation professionals. It's filled with useful information, starting with the basics and then working to the advanced.

Excerpt: "the process of building relationships with qualified prospects regardless of their timing to buy, with the goal of arming their business when they are ready. Building a relationship with a prospect is the same as with any long-term relationship — you can’t force someone to commit (to a purchase, in this case) — but you also cannot afford to lose individuals because their willingness to buy doesn’t match your readiness to sell."

The document is full of examples, includes several useful tools as a take away, and also is full of soundbites from industry leaders such as Tony Jaros of SiriusDecisions, Ian Michiels of Aberdeen, Marketing Sherpa, Scott Albro from Tippit, and more.

What I found most useful were the examples of calculating the ROI of Lead Nurturing. Specifically the section of the impact on opportunities won.

It's a must read. Go download it now: Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, siriusdecisions, inbound marketing, lead nurturing, marketing automation

Inbound & Outbound Marketing Mix - Poll Results

Posted by Mike Damphousse

Last week we conducted a poll on LinkedIn where we asked: Inbound Marketing & Outbound Marketing - what is your mix for lead gen?

  • Mostly Inbound
  • Mostly Outbound
  • Both Equally
  • Inbound Only
  • Outbound Only

The complete results were published today on the DemandGen Reports site. The short version excerpted from the article:

The experts balance Inbound Marketing with Outbound Marketing. So the random sales and marketing execs may want to pay attention to a few points:

• Most companies rely on a mix of Inbound and Outbound Marketing
• Outbound Marketing seems to have a larger portion of the marketing mix in general
• Demand Gen specialists balance their mix of Inbound and Outbound 30% more than generalists
• The mania of Inbound Marketing taking over the marketing mix is either just that, mania, or it is still in its infancy. Don't get caught up in the hype just yet.
• A balanced approach seems to be the mix of choice with a slight favor to Outbound activities

As a side note, a regular feature of my blog, which is focused on BtoB marketing and demand gen, are product reviews. So below is a mini product review of LinkedIn Polls:

The application is extremely easy to use, and the ability to promote it free to your network or paid through LinkedIn's systems provides incredible flexibility. We highly recommend using the paid LinkedIn poll feature for two reasons. First, it can be targeted to specific demographics. Second, it randomizes responses in a manner different than if you were to share the poll with your network. One feature missing though, is the ability to embed the poll on other pages (such as a blog, or corporate site). Having this widget capability would be huge.

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, outbound marketing, inbound marketing, inside sales, cold calling, twitter, lead nurturing, lead gen, appointment setting, sales2.0, SEM, SEO, linkedin, reviews

Inbound & Outbound Marketing - What is Your Mix?

Posted by Mike Damphousse

There have been a number of studies published about what marketing departments are spending budget on. We are looking at more of a granular study. What do people spend on Inbound Marketing and what do they spend on Outbound Marketing.

We'll followup with a blog article discussing the results.


Please spread the word. URLs to share

Copy & Paste the poll URL:

http://ow.ly/gAKK

Or Copy & Paste a Re-Tweet (or just click here to Re-Tweet):

RT @damphoux POLL What is your mix of Inbound and Outbound Marketing http://ow.ly/gAKK

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, outbound marketing, inbound marketing, inside sales, cold calling, socialmedia, twitter, lead nurturing, lead gen, appointment setting, sales2.0, SEM, SEO, linkedin

Genius.com Accelerates The Close Part 1 - Smashmouth Product Review

Posted by Mike Damphousse

We all know that accelerating a prospect through the educational/discovery phase onward to a selling cycle and then a buying event takes time. Especially today when the buyer defines the sales cycle, not the seller. The typical decision maker is bombarded with marketing contacts each day, yet they are still finding information on their own, they are educating themselves on industry sites, blogs, twitter and your website and emails.

Genius.com helps you take back some of that control that the buyers are claiming. As with other product reviews on Smashmouth, this will be an ongoing experiment. Today I'll describe what Genius brings you, and in later posts, I'll talk about some of the benefits and issues it has surfaced.

There are two levels of product, Genius Pro and Genius Enterprise. Both have the ability to do email marketing, website tracking, instant web visitor notification, visitor session replay, and have salesforce.com integration. Enterprise adds marketing automation features such as lead scoring and automated lead conversion as well as advanced process design using the workflow design tool.

Here's a working scenario of using Genius Pro that I was able to test on my own using just a trial account:

- Load a list of prospect email addresses and send an email (this can be done as individual users, or marketing can send on behalf of sales teams)
- Launch the Tracker (which is a web-based client like Yahoo Instant Messenger but instead of showing your buddies you see your prospects), and see visitors show up live after they have clicked through the email
- Replay the visitor's session in a Tivo like fashion
- Respond to prospect activity and interest with additional or next-step level emails (or phone call)
- Review integrated activities in salesforce

Remember, prospects want to sell themselves nowadays, but it's our job as marketers and sales people to accelerate that process or educate them along the way. Combined with other tools such as LeadLander, LivePerson and Salesforce, the average sales exec can be armed to the teeth with the tools to track, nurture and accelerate the close of prospects.

The next level of the product, Genius Enterprise, gets into serious marketing automation, but with the same usability and non-IT methodology of Genius Pro. As mentioned I’ll provide a high level overview here, but blog review part 2 will be coming after I get a chance to experience more of Genius Enterprise.

- Use the workflow designer to map out an automated rules-based marketing campaign
- Define steps in the lead nurturing process
- Define Conversion Events that removes a prospect from the work flow and instantly alerts team member for follow up
- React to a visitor's activity in a complex and immediate manner
- Monitor activity within Salesforce

Let me give you an example of a typical use in simple terms: if a visitor who received a trade show followup email, they visit page X and they are not already on nurturing path A or B; you can use Genius Enterprise to automatically nurture them with an email later that day referring them to a study on page Y, increase their lead score, convert them to an active lead and notify the sales exec, etc.

Does it work? My real world evaluation is still under way, but one of the inside sales reps at Genius nurtured me during each of my visits prior to my evaluation (with follow up emails, etc.) and then once I did a 15 page session, my phone rang and there he was. I’d say that’s proof positive the system works. I'll give you my thoughts and experience using Genius Enterprise in Part 2 of the Product Review of the post.

Smashmouth recommendation: Thumbs Up

End of independent review.

During my evaluation, I had a chance to speak with Matt West, Director of Marketing Programs at Genius. I asked him what separates Pro and Enterprise as a reason a company would just purchase Pro versus the full marketing automation product.

Genius Quote:

“Many companies are just getting started using email marketing in conjunction with their selling efforts, so they may want to move forward a step at a time, and getting started with an email marketing service that also provides website visit tracking (and shares those results with the sales team) is an easy way for organizations new to email marketing to see real results very quickly. We started out that way ourselves and found that sending emails on behalf of the sales team increased our open rates (because the emails were from a real person) and then let sales see how prospects responded. As we grew and gained experience with what worked and what didn’t in terms of messaging and website content, we began running enough campaigns that we wanted to automated them, and that’s where Genius Enterprise comes in. It’s a natural progression, especially for smaller companies.”

More detailed review of Genius Enterprise and some real world results in Part 2

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, inbound marketing, lead nurturing, sales2.0, reviews, marketing automation, genius.com

Web Leads - Pounce, Pause, Nurture or Wait?

Posted by Mike Damphousse

A few weeks ago I published a product review of LeadLander. Since then we've had a great experience using it. For what it touts itself to be, it does a great job. It did raise a question though, and before I put much thought into it I decided to ask 7 of my colleagues in the b2b demand gen/sales/marketing space.

My question: Within a day or two of sending an initial email to someone, leaving a phonemail or posting an interesting blog article or tweet, I see they (or someone from their company) have clicked into and visited our site.

Now, how aggressively do I go after them? Do I pounce immediately? Do I pause and call shortly thereafter? Do I just nurture them? Do I wait a couple days then call?

Results were based on their comments, not hard answers, but the end result is categorized into:

Pounce - Call immediately
Pause - Give it 15-30 minutes, then call
Nurture - Let the visitor keep educating themselves, educate them softly if you can identify them
Wait - Wait a day or two, then casually call

It was also unanimous to not tell them how you knew they were on the site (too big-brother-ish). Also unanimous was that whatever the style or timing of the followup that is made, it better be valuable for the prospect.

What do you think? (comment below)


Pounce Pause Nurture Wait
Anneke Seley




Craig Rosenberg




Jeff Ogden




Jill Konrath




Mac McIntosh




Miles Austin




Nigel Edelshain




Trish Bertuzzi




My Gut:




My gut suggests there is a combination of all the opinions, although I opt for a more immediate (non pouncing) type of followup. In fact, the typical style of me and my team is to see if we can't research the person a bit, learn a little about their company, see if we may already know them or someone that knows them, and then proceed. So the results of my informal survey were confirming our gut.

Sound Bites:

Anneke Seley: "If the volume isn’t overwhelming, I suggest calling...The nurturing option is a great one if you have too many responses to call (don’t we wish!)"

Craig Rosenberg: "Net Net - the key is to capitalize on the moment."

Jeff Ogden: "I believe the best approach is an aged and gentle follow up with a subsequent action 3 business days or more out."

Jill Konrath: "I hate being pounced upon...(but)...I know there is research that supports getting in touch with a person immediately after they visit your site. Strike when they're hot. The key to success is in the how."

Mac McIntosh: "In addition, put these prospects on a more frequent nurture track, spoon feeding them info (by email as you know they are getting it) once a week, then calling them again in 3-4 weeks if they haven’t responded."

Miles Austin: "A bit of discussion that gathers a better understanding of the urgency and motivation for their contact, their selection process and time-frame, etc. can typically move your odds of a successful sale ahead positively."

Nigel Edelshain: "My instinct so far is call or email soon with some value-add (since leads go South fast) but not make direct reference to your tracking for fear of scaring them off."

Trish Bertuzzi: "Your nurture campaign should include more frequent human touches for those that visit your site more regularly. It is not a one size fits all strategy…that is the beauty of Sales 2.0. The buyer designs the sales process."

RSS for tweets from the clan above

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, inbound marketing, lead nurturing, sales2.0, leadlander