Smashmouth B2B Blog: Sales & Marketing Demand Gen

Sales 2.0 Conference: Interview with Kevin Hooper of HP

Posted by Mike Damphousse

Kevin Hooper of Hewlett Packard will be speaking next week at the Sales 2.0 Conference in Chicago. Kevin joined the HP team as Vice President of the U.S. Commercial Business Segment in 2007. As a member of the US Technology Solution Group's senior leadership team, Mr. Hooper has driven HP's transformational agenda to achieve the growth goals assigned to the Commercial space, which represents a $150 billion market for HP.

Kevin's insights into Sales 2.0 are unique in that they are from the user perspective.

Mike: You've been in the front lines of sales at IBM for 10 years and now HP and have led sales organizations for years. What shifts do you see recently that you can truly attribute to 2.0 thinking?

Kevin: The biggest shift I've seen is in the use of data and tools. Don't get me wrong, sales leaders have run forecast calls and pipeline calls for years, discussing deals and working on progression. The difference is now we have a lexicon, a way of describing opportunities and where they are in the progression of the sales cycle in a consistent manner. This leads to the ability to aggregate those opportunities and know how many have been qualified, how long that took, how long they sat at the qualification stage before moving forward and what actions we took to move those opportunities forward. A small change in the focus on a group of opportunities at a particular stage can make a big difference.
Mike: Has HP implemented any specific tools or strategies to improve sales effectiveness and tracking, sales enablement and in general, make your field force more productive?

Kevin: We've used a combination of training and operational process and more importantly linked the two. Let me explain. We use a specific knowledge elicitation technique for conducting conversations with customers. It's proved very effective. But more importantly, my mangers use this same technique when inspecting the sales reps pipeline and key opportunities.

We rolled the same technique out to all of our business partners as part of HP's Learning and Development function so we're ALL speaking the same language. It's really about effective communication.
Mike: If you were to be sitting on an airplane next to another VP of Sales and having a conversation, what few tips would you share with him that might lead to their exceeding their numbers in the short term?

Kevin: Focus on your pipeline and set some tough expectations about your forecast. When my team forecasts an opportunity to me, I trust them. It is then my job to open up new opportunities and remove obstacles. Its really about the "At Bats".

Mike: Agreed. A good sales person needs face-to-face time with a prospect. A C/VP level appointment kick starts the process. Where do you see demand gen programs shifting to better serve your team?

Kevin: One of the major changes I'm seeing is demand gen people taking responsibility of a revenue number. In HP our marketing team feels responsible for delivering revenue, not just sales ready leads. A lead has to be progressed and closed. If the person generating it is paid on its closure, the quality increases dramatically and that's what we're seeing.
Mike: You're speaking at the upcoming Sales 2.0 conference in Chicago, what sort of message will you be delivering?

Kevin: A short one hopefully...seriously, I'll be sharing a couple of best practices, and taking some questions. What I do isn't rocket science, but it is about execution, follow through, commitment, and accountability.

Mike: Many of us have been saying this for a while. Sales 2.0 is really just using communications, information, and technology to enhance long term sales best practices. Sounds like it will be a great session. The last question will sound odd, but every interview on my blog finishes with the B2B Marketing Thought leaders Curry Poll. Do you prefer Red, Green or Yellow curry?

Kevin: I'm English, so frankly, I don't care what color it is as long as it is very, very hot!

Tags: sales, b2b sales, b2b marketing, b2b events, thought leader interviews, curry, sales2.0

Sales 2.0 Conference - Interview with David Thompson of Genius.com

Posted by Mike Damphousse

With he upcoming Sales 2.0 conference in Chicago September 10th, it's time again to provide a few pre-show interviews.

David Thompson, CEO of Genius.com was one of the early leaders of the Sales 2.0 movement and recently co-authored Sales 2.0 For Dummies.

Mike: David, what is the hot topic of the upcoming conference? Will Social Media dominate the discussions again?

David: Social Media is taking the world by storm. There are 275 million blogs and 43 million LinkedIn users. Each day there are 1.9 million Tweets and as the New York Times recently posited, Twitter early adopters are adults and not their kids. The question is how can B2B Sales and Marketing organizations take advantage of the social media revolution to better engage with their customers and close more deals? In the Sales 2.0 Conference panel I’m moderating, “Social Networking in a Sales 2.0 World”, social media experts and practitioners will describe what’s in it for sales and how they can make the most of conversations in the clouds.

Mike: I recently interviewed Joe Galvin of SiriusDecisions on the topic of Sales and Marketing Alignment and his feeling is that it's one of the barriers companies need to overcome to succeed. What are your thoughts there?

David: Sales and Marketing Alignment continues to be a hot topic. In the current economic climate everyone is being asked to do more with less—and so there’s increased focus on getting previously silo’d departments working from the same playbook so they can be more efficient, more productive and ultimately more results focused. The panel on “Customer Engagement Strategies” will highlight how Information Builders and others are aligning their sales and marketing departments for greater revenue success.

Mike: Demand gen marketers work hard to generate sales leads, how is Sales 2.0 impacting the effectiveness of sales reps and lead management?

David: And, not surprisingly, everyone is looking for better ways to manage their pipeline. And while most want to move prospects through the funnel faster the true test is actually not velocity but surfacing sales ready leads and handing them off to sales in a timely fashion for right time engagement. Recent studies from MIT/Kellogg point out that a salesperson’s ability to connect with a prospect drops precipitously in only five after a website visit is concluded. The conference will highlight users who are using Sales 2.0 technologies to help salespeople engage in timely conversations, pursue better opportunities and eliminate time chasing after unprofitable prospects.

Mike: Last question, the B2B Marketing Thought Leaders Curry Poll: red, green or yellow curry? Which do you prefer?

David: Yellow thai curry with chicken and potato!

 

Tags: sales, b2b sales, b2b marketing, b2b events, thought leader interviews, curry, sales2.0, genius.com

B2B Marketing Thought Leaders Curry Poll ;)

Posted by Mike Damphousse

Whenever I interview B2B Marketing Thought Leaders, I ask what their favorite curry is. It's become sort of an informal survey.


It started one night with Craig Rosenberg of The Funnelholic as we ate Thai food and imbibed several hoppy beers in San Francisco. As a matter of fact, it was the night before the first Sales 2.0 conference, so maybe it was meant to be.

"So last question...what is your preference, green, red or yellow curry?"

The B2B Thought Leader Interviews & Results:
Craig Rosenberg, The Funnelholic--Green
Mike Damphousse, Green Leads--Green
Trish Bertuzzi, The Bridge Group --Red
Pam O'niel, BreakingPoint--Red
Gerhard Gschwandtner, Selling Power--Yellow
David Thompson, Genius.com--Yellow
Anneke Seley, Phoneworks --other
Joe Galvin, Sirius Decisions--other

Tags: drivel, thought leader interviews, curry, sales2.0, b2b polls

SiriusDecisions' Joe Galvin on Sales & Marketing Trends In A 2.0 World

Posted by Mike Damphousse

Galvin

Last fall at a NETSEA event, Joe Galvin, Vice President and Research Director for SiriusDecisions, was the speaker. His insight and knowledge regarding sales and marketing was deep. His speaking skills, btw, if you are ever looking for a good speaker, are phenomenal. We were talking last week and I asked him if he would put some thought to a few questions regarding sales and marketing alignment.

Mike: Joe, you just came off a whirlwind tour with the SiriusDecisions Summit two weeks ago and the Sales 2.0 Conference this week. Personally, I attended the CMO Club Summit and Sales 2.0. It was interesting that in both cases, the attendees were buzzing with discussion about the need for alignment of sales and marketing so I blogged an article about it earlier this week. I assume it was also a topic at your event. What are you seeing as the top actions sales and marketing execs can do to make this alignment happen and to make it impact their companies?

logo sirius decisions Joe: We presented at our conference some eye opening data from our benchmark database showing radical differences in both profit and revenue between companies that have embraced sales and marketing integration versus those that haven’t. We identified the critical integration points between sales and marketing in demand generation, knowledge management, sales readiness and metrics. Among the 10 lessons learned from these leaders were the importance of a combined focus by sales and marketing on sales productivity which means applying marketing resources throughout the opportunity lifecycle. The requirement for shared metrics with an integrated opportunity pipeline measuring revenue and productivity. We learned the importance of integrating sales and marketing technology in terms of the marketing automation platform, core SFA and sales productivity applications like knowledge management, automated methodology or prospect development among many other valuable takeaways.

Mike: With all the buzz and budget around inbound marketing, outbound marketing and demand gen in general, what can a quota carrying sales rep do on their own to help get that all important discussion with a real prospect?

Joe: First, they should take advantage of and capitalize on every qualified lead sent to them by marketing. Our benchmark data shows that marketing contributes between 18 and 34% of the sales pipeline depending on segment. It’s not uncommon for sales people to ignore qualified leads simply because the first couple they called didn’t work out. Sales reps need to work closely with their teleprospecting resources to help them optimize lead generation capabilities. The other consideration is once you have a lead, how do you bring value to that initial interaction? Clients and prospects are overwhelmed by public domain information. As a sales professional in 2009, you must be able to tell them something they don’t know -- or can’t find on their own -- to gain their attention and respect. Finally, another lesson learned from our conference is the importance understanding the sources of opportunities and their conversion rates.

Mike: This is a topic relevant to Green Leads, so I was taking an informal survey at the two events and thought I would ask you as well. As you know, we're in the business of setting appointments with C/VP level prospects for our clients. Years ago, it was thought that the only way to start the sales process was to shake hands and get face-to-face. Lately though, we're seeing more and more of the prospects we target requesting that the first sales meeting be by phone or a web meeting. Do you think this is due to a shift in the buying process or the way people do business? Is it a trend sales reps have to start to accommodate and/or take advantage of?

Joe: I think this reinforces the fact that buyers are now in control of how they will accept and absorb information. It’s no longer how I want to present (sell) to you, rather, how do you absorb information. So, sales people have to be more than the traditional bright smile and shiny shoes; they have to constantly adapt to the buyer processes and be able to communicate with them in a multitude of ways. There are three b2b realities that can’t be ignored, one of which is that business-to-business buyers can’t be sold. They control their buying process and the flow of information. This reality is challenging traditional sales cycle thinking.

Mike: Once that relationship starts, the selling starts. Do you think buyers are changing the way they make buying decisions now, too? Could there be a 2.0 movement in the way companies purchase and if so, should sales reps start taking that into account?

Joe: There is no question that buyers' behaviors have changed. First, there are more people involved in the decision which means sales people have to adapt their message to the audience and where they are in their buying process. This presents a huge knowledge challenge for sales people if they are to be relevant to each of the buying entities. Navigating how prospects buy is now more important than how we want to sell. This will force sales people to be more knowledgeable about their products/solutions but also more knowledge about what their buyer knows. As an example, if marketing can share with sales what documents they downloaded or events they attended, the sales rep has a huge opportunity to bring value in that interaction.

Mike: So now for the alignment. How does marketing play in Sales 2.0?

Joe: Sales 2.0 initially was a technology first approach to selling as presented at the inaugural event in November 2007 – it sounded a lot like the old SFA promises from 1997. Since then it has morphed multiple times depending on who has published the latest perspective on what is or isn’t Sales 2.0. Now it is beginning to embrace some of the broader dynamics sweeping the buyer-selling world that we spoke about today. However, what I’ve observed in the Sales 2.0 discussion to date is the lack of a focused perspective of marketing’s impact on buyers and how marketing needs to more than just demand gen. As long as sales 2.0 is a sales initiative, we will continue to focus on what has worked in sales in the past – not what is require to succeed in the go forward economy. I think we should consider thinking about sales 2.10, with the one being the inclusion of marketing and the recognition of marketing’s increasingly important role in buying.

Mike:Mike: And last, the all important B2B Marketing Thought Leaders Curry Poll. Do you prefer Red or Green curry?

Joe: Not a big Curry fan – and that includes Eddie Curry of the New York Knicks!

Mike: As a lifelong Celtics fan, I can respect that.

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, outbound marketing, siriusdecisions, b2b events, thought leader interviews, lead gen, appointment setting, sales2.0

Sales 2.0 Panelist Anneke Seley Talks about Social Media

Posted by Mike Damphousse

Anneke Seley

This Thursday is the Sales 2.0 conference in Boston, and Anneke Seley from Phoneworks and author of the book Sales 2.0 will be speaking. Anneke and I met as a result of twitter, so it's fitting that she is speaking on Social Media this week.

Mike: Anneke, I don't want to steal your thunder, but if I were a single sales rep, what two social media tips could I start implementing tomorrow that might impact my number?

Anneke: You ARE stealing my thunder, Mike! But here are two ideas: Personalize your LinkedIn profile to include information that is interesting and valuable to your prospects and customers, such as customer projects that are generating measurable results with your offering. In my talk, I will highlight one regional manager who has generated about $80,000 in qualified opportunities since beginning his use of social media four months ago.

Use Twitter to personally invite prospects to your company’s events. One of Phone Work’s (my company’s) clients is generating 10% of total registrations via Twitter for an executive-level event. Over 50% of these registrants are highly-qualified – which is a higher percentage than registrants that come from traditional media. The resulting revenue opportunity in the pipeline exceeds $1M.

Mike: I can relate to your first example. I participate heavily in the LinkedIn Answers section on Lead Gen, (a little self promotion – I’m listed as the #1 expert in the lead gen answers section), and two years ago I found a client as a result of my answering a question and today they are still a client and have invested in the six figures for appointments.

Second question. Inbound marketing is all the rage, but you and I spend a great deal of time on projects using outbound activities. What do you think smart sales and marketing execs should do to maximize both inbound and outbound activity?

Anneke: In an ideal world, marketing campaigns engage every qualified customer and sales reps just have to respond to incoming inquiries. But not all customers respond to these kinds of “direct response” marketing campaigns. Sometimes a highly-personalized phone and Web contact strategy -often called “Prospecting 2.0” or “Cold Calling 2.0” - yields the best results. As mentioned in my book, salesforce.com discovered this in 2003 when the company started a concerted effort to sell to large companies and traditional demand generation marketing wasn’t reaching target accounts. In innovative, Sales 2.0 companies, sales and marketing execs work together to design and execute different kinds of programs to reach different kinds of audiences. This is part of the Sales 2.0 philosophy to “sell in the way your customer wants to buy” (or engage).

Mike: You just mentioned that the union of selling and marketing is greater every day. What would you tell a marketing exec if they asked why they should be at Sales 2.0?

Anneke: It’s getting harder to discern where marketing ends and sales begins. In Sales 2.0, marketing’s role is no longer limited to filling the pipeline with leads; marketing is now essential in nurturing leads and keeping prospects and customers engaged even after they interact with sales. If you are a marketing exec, spend a day hanging out with us sales “guys” at the Sales 2.0 conference to learn our language and feel our pain! (This reminds me of a male colleague who reads Cosmopolitan magazine to better understand women.) By the way, it must be said that sales and marketing cooperation works best in companies in which sales and marketing execs share performance metrics, supported by incentive compensation, so CEO’s should come too!

Mike: Do you see sales people as Hunters or Gatherers in a 2.0 world?

Anneke: Both. But in Sales 2.0 companies, sales people are usually one or the other (new business reps or reps who look after customer accounts). And we usually refer to Gatherers as “Farmers”.

Mike: And for my ongoing Curry Survey: Red or Green Curry?

Anneke: Sambal. My mother was born in Indonesia.

Mike: That’s cool, adding it to my wish list. Just so you know, the results so far from sales/marketing world are Red – 6, Green – 3, Yellow – 1 (Gerhard), and now Sambal – 1.

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, social media marketing, thought leader interviews, sales2.0, SMM

Sales 2.0 Panelist Trish Bertuzzi Talks about Insourced vs. Outsourced Inside Sales

Posted by Mike Damphousse

trishbertuzzi

I've known Trish Bertuzzi for years and always find her one of the most knowledgeable experts on inside sales there is. Trish is President of The Bridge Group. She founded The Bridge Group with a mission to help technology companies build highly successful inside sales teams. She writes for the Inside Sales Experts Blog. I'm looking forward to hearing Trish speak this Thursday at the Sales 2.0 Conference in Boston. I'm sure she and Gerhard Gschwandtner will fill the room with words of wisdom.

Mike: Trish, we've known each other for a few years and I have great respect for what you bring to your clients as it pertains to building solid inside sales organizations. As you know, Green Leads provides services in an outsourced model. What are some of the things you would recommend to a client as it pertains to build vs. buy?

Trish: The first thing they have to do is take a look at what they are trying to accomplish and determine if it is something they would like to have as a core competency. For a company that has a long sales cycle with multiple touch points with the prospect, it might make more sense to build the function in house because you are building a long term relationship with the prospect and you want continuity.

On the other hand, if your sales organization is new or you are exploring a new vertical and you need to get face time with decision makers quickly, you might want to consider outsourcing. Net/net – it really depends on your objectives as well as the capacity and expertise you do or do not have in house to build and run this type of program.

Mike: I agree. Some of my best clients have solid inside sales teams that we augment. My initial thoughts are that in a pay-for-performance model where the vendor is being compensated for leads delivered, appointments completed or sales closed, there might be more acceptance of an outsourced approach. Have you seen many companies mix the two? Outsourced and Insourced?

Trish: Many of our clients mix the two. Having a great vendor as a partner gives you breathing room as it pertains to capacity. Even if you have the best team in the world in place, there are times that you need an extra hand.

Let me give you a specific example: Let’s say you have an internal team that is partnered with the field in a 3:1 ratio and 1 of those 3 field reps is new and needs to develop a pipeline quickly. What you don’t want to do is force the inside sales rep to ignore their 2 other partners just to build the new guy a pipeline. If you have a relationship with a vendor, you can give them the new territory and let them get the process going.

The key to success here is having a “relationship” with the vendor as your partner and not just treating them like second class citizens that do projects for you.

Mike: What would you recommend to a startup, as opposed to an established company, as it pertains to inside vs. outside?

Trish: For a startup, my answer is always the same – walk before you run. The beauty of inside sales is that is it a gun you can point and shoot. Build out a strategy, execute it flawlessly, monitor and measure results, and then improve and refine. Build your business model on “real” world data and not on “market assumptions” – those market assumptions will shoot you in the foot every time.

But, let me ask you this Mike, you have been around the Demand Generation track a few times, what do you see as the top 3 benefits of an outsourced model?

Mike: The first is the fact that you are hiring a team that are domain experts in what they do. In Green Leads' case, we set executive level appointments for b2b clients all day long. That's what we are paid to do and that's why we get hired. The second, it's the ability to turn the program on and off. This is a huge benefit to a company with fluctuating budget cycles. The third, and I believe the most important, is that outsourced vendors are more strictly measured by results, whereas inside teams can get bogged down in the corporate machine. That said, some of our best programs are with complementary inside sales teams. Our largest client is the inside sales department of a large software vendor. We act as the snipers getting them appointments, they focus on the next stage in the funnel and use their expertise more efficiently. It's a great combination.

Thanks Trish, see you Thursday. Last question. Green Curry or Red Curry?

Trish: Red, definitely red

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, outbound marketing, thought leader interviews, lead gen, appointment setting, sales2.0

Interview of Me: Good Data and Lead Generation - on ReadyContact's Blog

Posted by Mike Damphousse

logo

Check out the interview of me discussing how having good data impacts lead generation success on ReadyContact's Blog.

Tags: marketing, sales, b2b, b2b sales, demand gen, thought leader interviews, lead gen, sales2.0, demand gen data