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2014 B2B Marketing Trends That Work

Posted by Larry Alton Jul 22, 2014 12:05:24 PM

As a B2B company, it’s paramount that you stay on top of trends so you know which to adopt and which to nix. This is a standout year for B2B marketing. The Content Marketing Institute recently released the annual North American report titled B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—and the findings are impressive.

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Tags: B2B Marketing

5 Keys to Becoming a Sales First Company

Posted by Chris Tratar Jul 15, 2014 9:30:00 AM

By Chris Tratar, vice president of product marketing, SAVO

I know what you are thinking. We don’t want to become a sales first company, we are a customer first company. Being a customer first company is absolutely the right goal; however, in order to truly be a customer first company, you must initially become a sales first company. Becoming a sales first company is all about aligning everyone in your organization to support your sales team because they are the face of your brand and the person your customers turn to first to understand how your products and services can help them solve their toughest business challenges.

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Tags: Sales Process, Sales & Marketing Management

Marketing and Old Cameras: An Exercise in Composition

Posted by Christopher Hosford Jul 8, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Recently I bought an antique camera on eBay. I don’t know why, maybe just a desire to recapture something from my youth. Or perhaps to find craft in a world largely absent of it. Anyway, when it came in the mail I wanted to quickly load it with film and shoot something. Anything.

Given the camera’s age and limitations, I opted for a roll of slow (100-ISO) black-and-white film and waited for a sunny day. That took a while, given our balky Northeast spring. And I was paranoid about selecting subjects. What should I shoot … landscapes, buildings, flowers, elderly blues singers from Mississippi? The film offers eight exposures per roll, and it’s cheap to buy, develop, and print. But it isn’t “free.” My digital Canon “costs” me exactly nothing per shot.

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Tags: B2B Marketing, Marketing Strategy

Half of all sales inquiries are good. The challenge is finding which half.

Posted by James Obermayer Jun 24, 2014 9:00:00 AM

In the distant past (30 years ago)
We figured out through research that 45%f of all inquiries turn into a sale for someone.

In the not too distant past (15 years ago)
We realized that salespeople cannot or will not follow-up on 100% of their inquiries. Marketing can assume that responsibility through nurturing, and increased sales are the result—not by just a few percent—but 200-300% more sales are the result of successful nurturing programs. 

In the recent past (5-6 years ago) we started using programs that grade people who visit your website, score them by what they click on and how long they view it, and present the not-too anonymous visitors to salespeople as sales leads. This happens without filling in the “Contact Us” form.

Now,

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Tags: B2B Sales, Sales & Marketing Management

Book Review: Hooked on Customers

Posted by Dan McDade Jun 12, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Driving customer advocacy is hard work. If you're looking for some magic metric or a quick and easy fix to guaranteed success, Bob Thompson’s latest book, Hooked on Customers, is not for you. In his concise and reader-friendly book, Bob outlines five tangible habits that, if applied effectively, can transform customer service from mere “lip service” to genuine “Customer Centricity.”

Bob sets the stage by providing a brief history of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Experience Management (CEM). While CRM and CEM have traditionally focused efforts on efficiency and cost, Bob highlights companies that chose instead to take the customer-centric route.

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Tags: B2B Growth Strategy

How Speech Analytics Can Improve the Contact Center Experience

Posted by Bob Thompson Jun 10, 2014 9:00:00 AM

If you’ve ever called a customer service department for help, you’ve probably heard the message: “Your call may be recorded for quality assurance.” Perhaps you’ve wondered, what happens to those call recordings?

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania wanted to learn why its customers were calling. Sure, agents can note in their records that customers were calling about a benefit, claim, or other issue, but according to customer service director Bob McDonald, those notes didn’t give him “actionable items to work on.” Using speech analytics, McDonald was able to validate that excessive calls were the result of a recent system change. The data gave him “ammunition that the problem really needed fixing.”

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Tags: Marketing Strategy

SiriusDecisions Summit 2014

Posted by Dan McDade May 30, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Last week I attended the SiriusDecisions Summit in Orlando. This was my third summit and I have enjoyed them all.

Author Malcolm Gladwell opened the session with a witty and insightful presentation on the concept of transformation. His point was that before a business can transform, it needs to reframe. To illustrate his point, he used the example of the invention of intermodal shipping, which allows for the shipping of a container full of goods on multiple modes of transport (truck, ship) without having to load, unload and re-load ... . While the US Government experimented with this concept as early as the 1910s, it was not until 1955

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Tags: B2B Marketing, B2B Sales

AGILE SELLING by Jill Konrath

Posted by Dan McDade May 29, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Jill is the author of “SNAP SELLING” and her latest novel “AGILE SELLING” is out today. “AGILE SELLING” is not a book with a new sales methodology; it is a philosophy of living for highly skilled sales executives.

The dust cover on the hardback book promises that the book will: 

  • PinPoint “must know now” information and skills.
  • Home in on the business case for making a change.
  • Ferret out the most effective sales approaches.
  • Find fresh solutions to problems you are facing.
  • Maximize your productivity.
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Tags: B2B Sales

ITSMA Professional Services and Solutions 2013 Brand Tracking Study

Posted by Dan McDade May 28, 2014 10:41:49 AM

According to ITSMA’s research, while there are professional services and solution providers with unaided awareness in the market (IBM – 52% of respondents, Accenture – 25%, HP – 22%) there were literally scores of other vendors mentioned when 466 business and IT executives were interviewed about services providers in September – November, 2013. A key takeaway from this report is that there is a lot of room for services and solution providers to gain share in this highly fragmented market.

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Tags: B2B Marketing, B2B Sales, B2B Growth Strategy

Content Marketing is Doomed! (Or, why Las Vegas cookery isn’t all that good anyway)

Posted by Christopher Hosford May 27, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Today's guest post is by Christopher Hosford, editor-in-chief and head writer at HosfordGroup LLC, a New York City-based content marketing agency. He is former East Coast Bureau Chief of Crain's "BtoB" magazine, and former editor-in-chief of Nielsen's "Sales & Marketing Management" magazine. He is a regular contributor to ViewPoint and can be reached at chris@hosfordgroup.com.

Thanks to a LinkedIn post by Howie Sholkin, former IDG communications guru, I was directed to a sprightly Mediapost essay titled, “Why content marketing probably won’t work for you.” Authored by Tom Goodwin, founder of the U.K. agency Tomorrow, the post asserts that content marketing is “a totally doomed area.”

“Content marketing is like setting up a small food stand in the middle of a Las Vegas eat-as-much-as-you-can buffet, to an audience that's just eaten. And one that happens to have the world’s finest chefs serving their best dishes for free, while the top fast-food joints do the same,” Goodwin asserts.

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Tags: B2B Marketing, Content Marketing