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-

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.