Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Marketbright Launches Agile Marketing Webinar Series

Marketbright, a leading on-demand marketing automation platform, today announced the Agile Marketing Webinar Series, which will detail the top issues and game changing trends facing B2B marketing organizations. The series also will outline how companies can take an Agile approach, now commonly used as a best-practice in software development, to improve the nimbleness of their marketing organizations and efforts.

The revolutionary series will be launching in January, 2010.

Sign up for the webinar series today


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Marketbright Achieves Record Growth During Difficult Economic Environment

I'm proud to announce our recent success at Marketbright as we have achieved record growth over the past year.

" Marketbright, a leading on-demand marketing automation platform, today announced it has achieved over 320% customer growth in the last 12 months, making it the fastest growing enterprise marketing automation solution on the market today."

Read the press release

Monday, November 30, 2009

Marketbright at Dreamforce with DreamSimplicity

At Marketbright we had a great Dreamforce 2009 conference. Check out this video - including a brief interview with me at the conference with the team from DreamSimplicity:

DreamSimplicity at Dreamforce 2009 from DreamSimplicity on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Marketbright Excited to Sponsor Boston Marketing Sherpa Event

Marketbright, a leading enterprise marketing automation platform, is excited to sponsor the upcoming MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Summit in Boston.

"The Boston area is the next great frontier beyond Silicon Valley, and Marketbright is excited to meet and learn from some of the top B2B marketers", says Erik Bower, Co-Founder of Marketbright.

Marketbright is looking forward to expand the reputation as being an enterprise marketing automation B2B leader, catering to the needs of global organizations and marketing departments.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Marketbright Donates Services to DAMMAD

Marketbright has donated it's marketing automation platform to DAMMAD (Dad's and Mad Mom's Against Drug Dealers), a non-profit organization. Marketbright hopes it's powerful platform will help DAMMAD raise bettere drug awareness throughout the country.

Dammad is a grassroots anti-drug organization committed to helping in the fight against the drug problem in our communities, our workplaces and our schools.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Marketbright GUI Delivers Advanced New Features with Added Ease of Use

Marketbright, a leading Marketing Automation SaaS provider, has just released a new GUI which now is in BETA. The new GUI will increase the user experience by delivering an easier to navigate platform. Marketbright has taken user experiences and feedback from top enterprise marketing customers in combination with indusrty leading analysts. The new GUI release will be complimented by new enterprise level reporting capabilities (over 200 canned reports), email deliverability features and advanced web-editing capabilities.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Truly" sophisticated marketing automation

You hear a lot in the marketing automation industry around sophisticated marketing. I guess the question is "what really is sophisticated marketing"? Marketbright's new campaign flow designer is a perfect example of sophistication. As marketing and sales guru Mike Pilcher says: "making the complicated simple". Yet even by simplifying the infrastructure for building campaigns with an easy drag and drop tool, you still have to put some thought power into marketing strategy and nurture flow layouts. Sophisticated marketing requires a comprehensive marketing solution that was designed by marketers for marketers. Some vendors claim to be sophisticated, yet at the same time they make claims such as “get up and running in less than one day”. This may only seem obvious to the truly sophisticated marketers, but getting up and running in one day is not sophistication. Let’s get that straight. I would consider sophistication the following:

a. Global approach to ensure message consistency, branding and empower local teams to run programs for specific vertical, geographic and target markets.
b. Consistent data ensuring a 360 degree view of the prospect and drive accurately targeted messages.
c.Common processes from a template-based system driving common processes across all marketing groups, increasing marketing velocity and consistency.
d. Accurate measurement of all marketing metrics providing insight into the prospect lifecycle providing the platform for better decision-making, optimal targeting and improved response rates.
e. Ease of use and powerfully rich functionality from drawing lists to creating and managing campaigns.
f. Simple CRM integration for example, Salesforce.com.

In order to deliver a truly sophisticated solution it requires careful assessment and guidance on best practices. Training and implementation are keys to success, and in order to truly reach sophistication... one day roll-outs are going to end up in disaster.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Reaching Top Executives with Marketing Automation

Most enterprise selling reps are familiar with "Selling to Vito". The concept of reaching top executives and decision makers by delivering tailored information that matches a companies business objectives. This is not a new concept, and it has been proven successful over and over again by sales reps. Yet it requires spending many hours of research and development in messaging. Instead, wouldn't you rather that your sales reps focus on qualified opportunities with decision makers?

With marketing automation eveything changes. Bringing the budget holders into the conversation and developing an ongoing relationship with them is no longer the role of Sales, it is the role of Marketing through effective nurturing. Marketers are faced with the challenge of capturing the attention of the busiest executives and keeping their interest until they are ready to buy so that Sales can move faster through the selling process.

Marketbright is hosting a best practice webinar to discuss the topic of nurturing to C-Level executives. In this session we will raise discussion on the following:

- How to get the attention of a C-Level executive and keep it.
- How to automate the nurturing process to reduce time and resources.
- How to align Sales and Marketing to quicken the selling process to convert contacts to customers.

Join us on Thursday, July 16th 2009 9:00am (PT). Sign up here

Monday, June 15, 2009

Social Media helping the sales process in online conversation. Great article by Mike Pilcher on CustomerThink.

What exactly is social selling? There are a variety of worthy descriptions and explanations, but I think this one describes it best: Social selling is the promotion of your products and services using social tools to converse and collaborate with people.

Read the rest of the article at CustomerThink

Monday, June 8, 2009

Contact Marketing

Special Blog Guest, Mike Pilcher. Author of ProSultative Selling, and VP WW of Sales at Marketbright.

Contact Marketing is the phase in which a person continues the nurturing of a prospect. The Contact Marketing person guides the prospect toward the most probable contact point that would move them to engage in an interactive dialogue. This phase is characterized by a high volume of contacts, usually requiring multiple contacts to move the conversation forward. Using qualification criteria to target a prospect, the Contact Marketing team’s role is to make outbound contact to a prospect who has no expectation of agreed next steps. When the prospect agrees to active next steps with the prospect expected to expend resources, the interaction moves from Passive Contact to Active Contact.

Metrics must drive the process rules defining the frequency and content of these contacts, constantly monitoring the optimal blend of low-cost Passive Contacts, e.g. press and mail, with higher-cost touches such as advertising and Contact Marketing. Use tools to refine accurately the messaging presented to these prospects and thereby enhance the results of this activity. Tools designed to initiate contact include LinkedIn, InsideView, Jigsaw, etc. Ensure the message is pertinent and specific to the target prospect.

I once asked a customer, the CIO at Barings, to monitor the number of in-bound calls he received a day. After monitoring his voice mail for a month, the CIO found he was receiving an average of 18 unsolicited vendor calls each day. This did not include emails, direct mail, or other messaging. With this level of incoming static, the best way to break through the noise and gain sufficient interest is to make the message pertinent to the individual buyer.

Intelligent Contact Marketing is targeted at the right prospect at the right time with the right message and further nurtures the relationship. As with the consultative nature of the sales process, it is important to demonstrate an understanding of the prospect even in the Passive Contact phase. As there is no Active Contact interaction during this phase, Contact Marketing offers an initial perception of listening to the prospect by demonstrating an understanding of information about the prospect’s business, the prospect’s individual needs and the functionality of the product. Nurturing involves feeding a prospect with information to increase their awareness of a product and enhance this knowledge to the point where it meets a prospect requirement. Once the prospect understands this match and is ready to engage, they are ready to move to the Active Contact phase.

The Contact Marketing team must be available to make initial contact, take in-bound telephone contact, and follow-up on contacts made through other methods until the prospect becomes a qualified lead, agrees to next steps and passes to Internal or External Sales.

For clarity, and to ensure clean metrics are gathered, delineate between Contact Marketing’s Passive Contact and Internal/External Sales’ Active Contact. When the Contact Marketing team tries to interact and close business, the metrics will no longer be clean data. Clean data is at the core of the success or failure of ProSultative sales. The increased volume of interactions is only supportable with automation and constant refinement of the interaction. It is essential to connect the interactions and form patterns, understanding where proactive sales can replace consultative sales and where automation can replace manual intervention.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

ROI of Nurture Marketing

Every marketer struggles to make the most of their lead generation and marketing budget. Several factors go into how your return on investment will be determined: potential prospects are often lost or have gone stale during the sales process, man power was wasted on campaign execution and inaccurate reporting can lower your ROI.

Nurture Marketing is a proven process to help maximize your investment in lead generation. Nurturing the leads you already have will establish an ongoing relationship with your prospects and increase the chance of converting them to customers.

Join Mike Pilcher, the author of ProSultative Selling and the VP of Sales at Marketbright as he breaks down ways to maximize ROI through Nurture Marketing.


• How to improve your ROI by 25% - 35% through Nurture Marketing
• How Nurture Marketing helps align Sales and Marketing
• How to automate the nurture marketing process to reduce man power
• How to trace your leads from the first point of contact for accurate reporting

Sign up here for free: ROI for Nurture Marketing

Friday, April 24, 2009

Come visit me at the Cloudforce Tour in Chicago and Minneapolis

Marketbright will be sponsoring the upcoming salesforce.com Cloudforce events in Chicago on May 4th and Minneapolis on May 6th. Stop by Marketbright's booth to get a demo of our solution.

Marketbright is the leading On-Demand marketing solution, providing a platform to easily move all of your demand generation activities onto one solution. With Marketbright, you get a highly automated system that will help your company increase sales. Learn why over 50,000 users and companies like VMware, SAP, Seagate and AVID Technology utilize Marketbright.

Recent Marketbright and salesforce.com news:

Marketbright Expands Capabilities for Salesforce CRM




Monday, April 6, 2009

Marketbright Partners with Cloudweaver

Marketbright partnered with CLOUDWEAVER to Serve Oracle On-Demand CRM Customers. This is great step to focusing on fulfilling the on-demand CRM marketplace. Marketbright has the ability to integrate with multiple CRM systems out-of-the-box; including salesforce.com, Oracle On-Demand, MS Dynamics, NetSuite and SalesLogix.

Marketbright Enterprise gives marketers a powerful system at their fingertips. Marketers need a system to measure results consistently, and at the same time quickly roll out campains efficiently. The system allows marketers and sales to measure top marketing campaign influences on top sales opportunities. It also allows marketers to score and nurture those leads not yet ready to be converted to top opportunities. Marketbright's integration with on-demand CRM systems allows marketers to execute and analyze real-time results.

CLOUDWEAVER is looking forward to connecting valuable prospects to a mission-critical marketing automation system like Marketbright.

Contact Jerry Leto at CLOUDWEAVER for more information on the partnership (phone 408-556-9706, email jerry.leto@cloudweaver.net).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Boston Cloudforce Tour a Success for Marketbright

Marketbright was one of twelve premium sponsors of the salesforce.com Cloudforce Tour event today. Marketbright is the marketing automation leader in the cloud, allowing companies to easily leverage their website as a camapaign.

I had a chance to speak to many people in the Boston area about their experiences on salesforce.com, and their needs around marketing and sales. The one thing I concluded from today was that Marketbright's ability to deliver easy inegration of marketing campaigns directly to companies website solves a huge pain point for many marketers. The ability to rapidly update content with NO IT expertise is essential in marketing. A difficult to use web content management systems makes IT a gatekeeper for changes and updates. With their already limited resources, web sites often become a low priority, content gets out of data and the customer experience deteriorates. Marketbright's on-demand Website Content Manager provides self-service content management, so the actual content owners can collaborate on and publish content from any desktop or web browser, and gain the independence from IT necessary to keep web sites up to date. Marketbright delivers easy to use website management tools. Create and manage your website integrated with every marketing touch point.

Marketbright CEO recently wrote an article detailing best practices around utilizing your website as a campaign in CRM BUYER.

As a leading AppExchange vendor, Marketbright streamlines lead generation efforts for marketing departments with a full suite of integrated applications including campaign management, email marketing, event management, landing page creation, lead scoring, lead nurturing and membership management.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lead Nurturing 101 = Discover Demand

Working in the Marketing Automation technology landscape at Marketbright I have steadily grown to understand the basic philosophy that is hidden behind so many complex and confusing words. Discover Demand is a crossroads between marketing and sales that for so long has been broken. Providing the sales team with only legitimate, highly qualified leads has long been the Achilles heel of marketing campaigns and a constant source of conflict between Sales and Marketing. With Demand Discovery; only fully qualified leads are passed to your sales team.

Lead Nurturing = Discover Demand

You nurture your leads by trying to discover the quickest and most effective way to drive leads to sales. Marketing Automation tools like Marketbright, gives B2B marketers the solution they need to deliver sophisticated Demand Discovery. Giving marketers the ability to:

* Deliver highly qualified leads faster with real-time lead scoring based on profile and behavioral data

* Pass leads directly to leading CRM systems

* Nurture leads through automated multi-touch campaigns

Download a free guide to evaluate Marketing Automation solutions

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dom Lindars is an innovative leader in B2B marketing

Dom Lindars, CEO of Marketbright, has revolutionized the B2B buyer/seller experience. With innovative and thought leading development, he stands in a class of his own. His simple and straight forward approach has helped marketers grasp complex marketing strategies that not so long ago were primarily only encompassed in B2C marketing campaigns.

He recently wrote an article for E-Commerce Times that discusses some of these revolutionary B2B marketing tactics, including the importance of incorporating your website as a campaign run by marketing.

"Your Web site is a campaign -- treat it like one, and you'll get the results you need to jump ahead of the competition."

Read his recent article

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Marketbright and Google Partner for Joint Webinar

Marketbright and Google have teamed up for a joint webinar " Google Adwords 101: Jump Start Your B2B Pay-per-click (PPC) Campaigns". This will be a best practice webinar focused around B2B PPC Lead Generation. Attendees will learn:

* Tips and tricks on optimizing your Adwords campaigns right from the source: Google
* Tips and tricks on landing page optimization and lead nurture strategies to maximize your PPC campaigns
* How to increase your campaign performance by 300-400%

CLICK HERE to register.

Monday, March 2, 2009

B2B Selling relies on providing an information conversation

Marketing Automation has solved a really complicated problem.

The problem of delivering the right content to the right prospect at the right time across the right medium.

Delivering this information to the prospect should ideally take them along a sophisticated conversation trail. Marketing Automation provides an information conversation by automatically setting up lead nurturing to be delivered to a prospect based on what will give them the greatest propensity to become a customer.

Each piece of marketing content needs to be easily pushed out across marketing channels from a single campaign source. This gives marketing managers the ability to set-up multi-channel testing to optimize the prospect conversation experience. Increasing conversion rates and rapidly deploying and delivering information automatically from a single campaign source gives marketing managers complete transparency into what used to be a really complicated problem.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

David Raab praises Marketbright

David Raab, renowned industry analyst and author of “The Raab Guide to Demand Generation Systems,” had this to say of our momentum news: “Marketbright offers a unique combination of sophisticated demand generation features with tools to support sales teams and channel partners throughout the purchase cycle. Its continued growth is a testament to the value companies gain from continuous cooperation between marketing and sales teams.”


Link to Raab Guide- http://www.raabguide.com/

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Making Quality Leads is a Top Priority in 2009

Garnering high quality leads is of the utmost importance in 2009. A current LinkedIn poll proved this to me, and was actually somewhat of a surprise. In the past you have heard me talk a lot about marketing consolidation and optimization. This is important, but it's not as important as delivering the highest quality leads to sales. The LinkedIn poll compared some compelling B2B lead generation priorities for 2009; including the importance of generating more leads, measuring results, working with less budget and reaching decisions makers. I can assure you all of these are important, but I can also assure you lead quality should be your number ONE priority.

You may be thinking how am I going to make higher quality leads? Should I spend more on lists? Should I bid on more expensive keywords? Should I hire more outside sales reps?

All of these things will help, but won't be the answer. You still need to nurture your leads from quality lists and you still need to qualify PPC leads. Hiring more outside reps is great, but only if you can keep their pipeline fresh with quality leads.

The answer is Lead Scoring.

As a matter of fact, I am not the only one who thinks this. CSO Insights' 2008 Lead Life Cycle Optimization study found that technology is playing a larger role: 51 percent of marketing organizations are using lead management systems and 60 percent are using some form of lead scoring before passing leads to sales.

With lead scoring you will transform the relationship between sales and marketing to work seamlessly together by opening up the passive touch marketing activities that are driving forces into qualifying leads for sales to follow-up on in a more active matter. The key features that will excite B2B marketers includes:

* Highly customizable rules to generate more accurate lead scores.

* Intelligent monitoring of customer activity, including web pages visited, time spent on the site, and visits from multiple people from the same company.

* Validation of data entered onto lead forms helps weed out inauthentic leads by scoring them lower.

If you are interested in learning more about lead scoring and marketing automation, please download this informative brochure giving you a checklist of things to consider when evaluating vendors.

Marketing Automation Checklist

Monday, February 23, 2009

ProSultative Selling LinkedIn Group

I am co-managing a new LinkedIn group detailing Mike Pilcher's new book ProSulative Selling. This is an excellent opportunity for B2B Sales and Marketing professionals to collaborate around new trends, best practices and business strategy.

Here is a glimpse into some recent discussions:

Solving vs Explaining

To what degree can explaining your product or service undermine a high-level consultative selling approach? Does the 'How' take the bloom off the 'What'? And what positioning rules of thumb can be applied to avoid this problem?

Answer from Mike Pilcher:
I think you can achieve both. Consultative selling requires the application of those aspects of your product that solve a customer's problem and defocusing those features that are not solving the problem. Understanding to whom they are important, articulating the technical aspects in business terms is the consultative nature. You are typically selling at multiple levels in any sales process, the greater the complexity and typically the higher the value, the more requirement to break elements of your product down and identify who in the customer values which features.

As far as how to position against them. Use technical white papers that fully describe the architecture, features and technical benefits of your solution. Aggregate these into Product Marketing pieces which focus on problems people understand and articulate them in ways the customer understands. The final element is the sales team collating these in the most focused and highest value, targeted fashion. Great question.

Answer # 2 from Mike Pilcher (I love how thought leaders never stop thinking!)

Been thinking on this some more, it was a great question. A move away from consultative selling and demand creation results in a move to demand identification. Sales' role in this process is to take a qualified lead and move it rapidly through the sales process. Marketing's is to create enough information, and distribute that information over a wide net. Marketing is trying to leave a trail of breadcrumbs that based upon the medium for acquiring information of the prospect they are sufficiently interested to pick up that piece of information. What makes this more than scatter and pray is marketing carefully crafting messaging and offers that draw the prospect toward a point where they are an informed and qualified prospect.

Join the LinkedIn Group ProSultative Selling

Pilcher has over 20 years of business and enterprise sales experience. Before joining Marketbright, he served as vice president of worldwide sales at HyperRoll, general manager of worldwide financial services at TradeBeam, and executive vice president of worldwide sales at Velosant, which was acquired by Harbor Payments.

Prior to Velosant, Pilcher served as vice president of sales at Epiphany, acquired by Infor, and senior vice president of worldwide sales at Tenfold Technology, acquired by Versata. Prior to Tenfold, he was the divisional manager for U.K. financial services at Sybase, and before that ran the Oracle U.K. insurance team.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Remembering the great voice of Martin Luther King Jr.

In an era where unprecedented change has taken place on local, national and global levels I think it is important to take a moment to appreciate those who made this road possible to be traveled upon.

Martin Luther King Jr. is an American Hero who we should all look upon his actions to inspire us with his great wisdom. Here are some selected quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. that will last with us forever:

"Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better."

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."

"At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love."

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."

"I am not interested in power for power's sake, but I'm interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good."

"I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land."

"If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Marketing Consolidation is focusing on what works

If you follow my blog then this is not a news flash. Focusing on what works is more important as ever. You must optimize the best way to take your contacts to customers, and map this into a practical plan.

This process needs to be defined as a work flow that allows marketing and sales to work together as one unified team. Better communication, insightful reporting, and rapid delivery of highly qualified leads is a direct result of setting up a process to consolidate your marketing and sales efforts.

I like to think of interactions with prospects in two distinct ways: passive touches and active touches. It is marketing's job to nurture qualified leads to sales through a series of sophisticated passive touches. It is then the salespeople's job to become actively involved, continuing the conversation marketing has set-forth.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sales and Marketing in 2009 - Hugging the New Austerity

As we kick-start the new year, it is evident that politically 2009 is the year of change, and commercially this is the case too. This is the year of pocket change. Trying to find a way to sell more with less, stretching less of last year’s marketing dollars to meet more of this year’s sales. Welcome in the New Austerity. We can try to run from this, or we can choose to embrace it. I suggest as we have no option, rush up and give the New Austerity a big hug. You don’t need to do lunch on a diet of curried squirrels cheeks, deep fried in ginger aspic and tricolore organic wild mushroom risotto washed down with California’s finest. There’s nothing wrong with hamburgers, or simply McDonald’s for that matter. Dunkin Donuts makes perfectly good coffee, begone no-fat, half-caffe, semi-tepid, sugar-free, vanilla substitutes, no foam, soy lattes. Begone I say.

The Siberian Winter has arrived and is here to say. At least for the next couple of Quarters anyway. So let’s make the most of it. We cannot enjoy unfettered budgets if we don’t at first accept and enjoy fettered, ham-strung, tiny budgets. Think TinyURL but for budgets. We must hunker down and find new ways to sell to people. We must get creative and find ways to sell more with less.

Here are some ideas for working within today’s new market.

1. Requirement. Spend less yet make more leads. This always sounds great, especially on a slide set for Senior Management. It is an interesting dilemma, embrace it in which case we may as well run the halls stating we were wasting money historically, or we can reject the idea which will quickly result in someone else sitting at our desk with the aforementioned PowerPoint.

a) Option A. Sit in the basement of your building with an alchemist’s wand and a large cauldron of boiling, mystical goo. Stay here until you have converted lead to gold, water into wine, and Contacts into Sales Qualified Leads.

b) Option B. The challenge with many businesses today is they seek a silver bullet, one thing that will solve everything. In this case, focus in on the lead generation activity you delivered in the past that directly produced the greatest return. It would be great if you had a system like Marketbright and could press a button to find this data. More companies do not have Marketbright than do (hurry up and fix that, it saves time later on), anyway chances are you can’t press the Marketbright Easy button. Sit down with sales, track it back, trust your instinct. Spend on those programs that generated the majority of business last year. (Seems obvious? Do any of your budgets show trimming of activities you know should in your heart should be stopped altogether?)

2. Requirement. More better (thank you GW we will miss you in 2009), qualified leads passed to sales people. The problem with this is we usually allow Marketing to define what they see as qualified. Then we allow Sales to decide whether it was qualified or not dependant on whether the lead closed, sales’ mood, whether the Sun was in Uranus, or if Punxsutawney Phil sees his own reflection (or something like that. I am British after all. At least I can spell Punxsu……..once is enough).

a) Option A. Let only Sales define what is and what is not a Qualified Lead after the close. That way we can declare victory and the sales team can go to the local bar, drink beer, eat meat and start fires.

b) Option B. Sales and Marketing sit down together and jointly decide what the end of the funnel should look like. Work their way back toward and initial contact both acknowledging and accepting some prospects will qualify out, some will be lost and there will not be a 1:1 close ratio. (Seems obvious? Please forward to me the document that Sales and Marketing both signed up to detailing the lead pipeline metrics and the expected conversion rates. I will issue a prize for the best one. N.B. both means Sales AND Marketing, not just sales declaring Independence and calling it done.)

3. Requirement. Accelerate the pipeline. (Blame Marketing for Lead Quality if any sales cycle goes beyond 31 days). Every sales cycles takes too long, in fact every business cycle takes too darn long. How long did it take you to interview your last hire? Then how long did it take you to get the offer letter out? Too darn long. We simply to have to move faster.

a) Option A. Prove the New Improved Sales Cycle has a 48 hour pipeline close time (as in, you have 48 hours and then it’s your badge). This can easily be achieved by taking the time from when the sales person starts working on the final order form, adding two weeks, then adding a week for safety, then adding a Quarter just in case. Start counting from there. You will not be far off and Senior Management will be amazed at the truncated pipeline. (You can also try putting buckets of oil over the door to the sales office. I have found this doesn’t do much to grease the pipeline but it sure is funny.)

b) Option B. Work with sales to identify those accounts that have the greatest propensity to move through the pipeline. Get ProSultative. (For those whose Christmas was a void due to the artful book ProSultative Selling being sold out on Amazon, this is when you are proactive with the delivery of information during a consultative sales process). Find out what is the minimum amount of information you need to give to a prospect to make them a customer and give it to them proactively. (Seems obvious? When did you last sit down with your counterpart in Sales or Marketing and really understand what was the least you had to do to covert a prospect to a customer?)

There is no point in anyone pretending 2009 is not the year of the New Austerity, therefore we may as well make the best of it. This does not mean buying all your work clothes at the local good will (though I have seen some start-ups where apparently this is a requirement), it does mean accepting the situation and applying your best judgment as to how to become more agile, more creative, and above all not to ignore the data that is sitting in our businesses. Find out what worked, do more of it. Accept what didn’t. Don’t do so much of that.