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Labor Day Tidbit: Nurture your In-House Marketing Team

Labor Day Tidbit of the Year- Nurture your Inside Sales Team

Every first Monday of September, the United States pays tribute to the hardworking men and women of the labor force. From the cubicles of Wall Street to the factories in San Antonio, the labor force has been instrumental in the success and improvement of businesses and lives.

Indeed, there is much more to grant other than brief “Thank you” notes or referrals for promotions.

Players in the B2B marketing industry should make a great deal out of this annual affair. Especially, with regards to their in-house marketing personnel, it is imperative for these companies to give their teams the best. Consequently, they could expect the best results from them. But for this to happen requires a great deal of humanizing the work force.

It can be pretty difficult for lead generation people to hunt for, converse (or put up) with prospects if they persistently starve for external motivation — that which entails environmental, interpersonal and yes, monetary stability — for them to be able to perform their jobs.

Luckily, one doesn’t need to be an expert in human resources to view the human side of labor. It only takes a few crucial tidbits for improving telemarketing campaigns and boosting sales conversions:

Provide a conducive atmosphere.

The work place, the cubicle, the production floor. These are where successes are built. And it makes all the difference when they have the facets of comfort and usability. As business leaders, your job entails providing your personnel with a healthy work environment. Give the office a new coat of paint, beautify the surroundings with plants and motivational posters, and make sure that employees have the freedom to explore outside their boxes.

Avoid micromanaging.

The film Office Space gives a clear representation of the dangers of micromanaging. The manager in the film oversees the work of individual employees. But his bullying tactics prove to be counter-efficient, with each employee enacting passive-aggressive retribution. The low budget comedy has striking parallels in the real world. Micromanagement is not something you should opt for. If you want to improve productivity, wear your employees’ shoes and not the jackboots of a Fascist dictator.

Give rewards and incentives.

Positive reinforcement helps. It is known to be an effective means of conditioning your employees to embrace work, learn to love it, and dedicate themselves to it. And what better way to achieve this than giving incentives to your employees for every extra effort. Make every minute of work count by establishing a reward system that recompenses punctuality as well as for every closed deal with a qualified lead.

And always remember that Labor Day doesn’t happen once every year. Employer-employee partnerships are enduring bonds as long as you have important goals to meet.

B2B Lead Generation: What are the most important metrics to track?

B2B Lead Generation: What are the most important metrics to track?

In business, you can’t define success if you don’t know how to measure it. Hence, metrics are important in giving marketers an idea as to how their efforts are faring. The only problem is that there are a lot of metrics that could be measured; so which ones really need attention?

Before you answer that, it’s important to know why you need to identify the right metrics to track.

You wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time and effort in computing and analyzing data which in the end wouldn’t be able to help you improve anyway. Also, too much information can sometimes only lead to confusion and can keep you from coming up with a clear assessment of how your campaigns are doing.

Although there are no standard metrics across all business types, there are those which must be tracked under any circumstance.

Below is an excerpt from a cheat sheet released by Marketo entitled 5 Lead Generation Metrics Every Marketer Should Track:

1. Number of MQLs (marketing qualified leads)

Marketers must acknowledge that not all leads are created equal. It’s important to put quality measures in place (e.g. a lead score) and only count leads that pass a certain quality threshold as MQLs. By eliminating the “bad” leads from your  calculations, you’ll get a more accurate picture, and you’ll gain the trust of the sales team that depends on you for a living.

2. Cost per MQL

All marketers have limited resources. If you’re running lead generation, make sure you are maximizing the results you generate. To achieve the greatest results with the resources you have, you’ll want to minimize the cost per MQL.

3. Cost per Sales Accepted Opportunity

Cost per MQL can be a great early indicator of the health of your lead generation initiatives, but sometimes you have to look further down the funnel. If you have a sales team and they run lengthy sales cycles (anything longer than one week) you’ll find that the Cost per Opportunity is an important metric and might not correlate exactly with the Cost per MQL trend. Take a longer term perspective, examining all spend and the resulting opportunities over a period of time. If this metric is trending the wrong way, you’ll want to dive deeper into your programs.

4. First-Touch ROI (by program)

As a lead gen marketer, your job is to determine what programs to run. MQLs and opportunities are helpful, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the financial ROI of your marketing investments. Which programs are bringing in quality leads that eventually convert to dollars for your team? How much revenue resulted from those programs? And how much did you spend to generate that revenue?

5. Multi-Touch ROI (by program)

Many programs will look great from a first-touch ROI perspective. You probably want to invest more in those over time. Other programs will look terrible from a first-touch perspective, but don’t be so quick to stop running those programs. Some programs tend to be extremely influential after a lead has been created. If you take a multi-touch ROI view of your programs, you’ll find that some of your best performing programs look like losers from a first-touch perspective.

White Paper courtesy of Marketo.com. Download the full PDF here.

B2B Lead Generation: How to make an Offer they couldn’t refuse

Rejection is not new in lead generation. Given the complexity of dealing with sales leads prospects we have to find ways to avoid or at least lessen its rate. To do this effectively, always remember the golden rule ‘Don’t give your prospects a chance to say no’.

Check out this Slideshare and see what’s lacking in your lead generation campaign. Take note that from time to time, our marketing strategy needs rejuvenation to capture the prospects interest and eventually turn them into clients.

[slideshare id=34104843&doc=b2bleadgeneration-howtomakeanoffertheycouldntrefuse-140429201244&w-phpapp02]

How Did You Fare in the First Trimester of 2014? A B2B Marketing Evaluation

How Did You Fare in the First Trimester of 2014 - A B2B Marketing Evaluation

The first 4 months of the year are over, and it’s now time to assess how your marketing efforts are doing so far. The first trimester is oftentimes very crucial in laying out the groundwork for the rest of the year, as well as in sparking a much-needed momentum in lead generation productivity.

It’s always not too late to reevaluate the efforts made by your marketing team, especially when it comes to establishing and maintaining the business reputation. This goes hand-in-hand with making sure the products and services offered to the target market can live up to expectations and will generally sustain the return on investment.

Here are some of the things you could ask to see where your efforts stand:

  • Is your online presence getting stronger? Much of the activities and event that will happen during the rest of the year will heavily depend on the kind of online presence you have right now. If the year didn’t start quite right in making a noise on social media sites, blogs and forums, you may have a hard time in carrying out future web-based plans. Build a strong presence early on.
  • Do you see your business flourishing in your chosen market space? Some industries are very competitive and it might get the better of your marketing team at this stage of the year. Building that initial thrust can be a difficult task, and at this point you need to ask your team if the goals you have set at the start of the year are still achievable. By now you should have a clear picture of the marketing challenges that may be slowing down your progress.
  • Is your marketing campaign more successful in pushing or pulling? There are campaigns that thrive on both inbound and outbound marketing, and sometimes it’s hard to determine which one to really focus on. If you plan to maintain a balance between the two, make sure the objectives of each of the approaches are well-defined, and that your personnel will not suffer from any identity crisis.
  • Do your products and services stand out? Every business claims that theirs is unique. But it’s imperative that you look at what you’re offering from an objective point of view and start asking yourself whether or not you have what it takes to get ahead. If you don’t have the neutrality to do that, perform surveys and evaluations to see how people view your business.

Enlighten, Edify, Educate: The Best B2B Marketing Message for your Business

Enlighten, Edify, Educate - The Best B2B Marketing Message for your Business

Do you notice how some B2B companies still employ traditional B2C-oriented marketing strategies in reaching out to their target audience? In spite of today’s apparent thirst for information – especially for business prospects – it’s rather surprising to think that these marketers still stick with a persistently aggressive marketing voice that says:

“Sell, sell, sell.”

Not only does this marketing message annoy people, it also gives off an impression that would not be favorable to a business both in the short and long terms. That is not the true essence of lead generation.

A business is not supposed to force a product/service down a potential customer’s throat. This may have worked 3 decades ago when universal sources such as the internet are not yet readily available to the public, but we now live in the information highway age. People crave for information, and it is almost a prerequisite before they take out their wallets.

Now if businesses could provide that convenience upfront so people won’t have to consult Google for more information, attracting leads would be much easier. But how exactly should marketers offer information to their target audience?

Enlighten – Most of the time, prospects lurk around the internet because they want to discover new things regarding their business. They want to understand how certain mechanisms work within and outside the industry, and they want to be able to apply that learning into their own environment. Now, B2B prospects appreciate this kind of content because it doesn’t ask for any commitment but rather it manifests a sincere interest in helping people out.

Edify – To “edify” means to intellectually or morally strengthen someone through sharing of insights and experiences. Now this is particularly useful for businesses that have been around for quite some time and would like to use its accumulated business wisdom to attract potential clients. This solidifies one’s reputation in a given niche and advances its marketing efforts seamlessly. But to edify is not only limited to seasoned marketers – even newcomers with significantly valuable information to share can use this marketing message to get initial attention.

Educate – Lastly, one of the most important – if not the most important – characteristic of a marketing message is its ability to impart knowledge. This already pertains to the technical, industry-specific information that prospects might not be aware of, especially in fields like IT and software. As most of these B2B buyers may not be necessarily ‘experts’ in these fields, it is vital that your business marketing message be sufficient with information for them to fully assess the benefits of acquiring your products or service.

B2B Lead Generation: DIY or Outsource? Here’s how to Decide

Nothing really compares to the fulfillment one may have in making his or her own business flourish by being hands-on with almost every operation necessary to run it. However, in a fast-growing world that involves a fusion of traditional and online marketing, more often than not business are left with no choice but to seek outside help.

In B2B lead generation, for instance, there are cases when the DIY or Do It Yourself mantra no longer applies.

This means that if one tends to insist on carrying all the weight of every sales and marketing task, he is actually putting the business in jeopardy. Face it – you’ve got to know up to what extend you can take care of a situation and when you need to delegate some of the responsibilities to an outsourced service provider.

So where exactly does one draw a line between DIY and outsourcing?

First, here are some instances when DIY is still the best strategy:

  • Your business thrives on a unique or rare kind of product/service, and there would be no lead generation services provider that can possess the level of knowledge and expertise that your employees possess.
  • Your business culture is a private one; meaning, your business heads and leaders are not accustomed to delegating tasks to other people outside the company.
  • Your business earns profit from something that cannot be sold over the phone or any other traditional or modern marketing channel.

On the contrary, you will likely need to seek expert assistance from an outside lead generation company if you can relate with the following:

  • You need more people to help you market your product or service.
  • You are planning to expand to a bigger target market or another geographical location.
  • You are interested in using fresh expert strategies in lead generation because your traditional approaches are no longer working.
  • You want to gain access to comprehensive contact lists of business prospects.
  • You want to save yourself from the hassle of complying with legal requirements and possibly encountering a violation of any of the existing business marketing laws.
  • You want to save money by paying only for services that you need.
  • You need to delegate minor and repetitive business operations so you could focus on other tasks which are more important to you.

 

The Function of B2B Lead Generation

By: Markus Lundin

The need for a company to find business to business sales (B2B sales) has grown considerably with the abundance of contact and marketing information on the Internet. B2B lead generation is the process and steps to take in which you can market your business to another business whether through blogging, social networking sites like Twitter or FaceBook, and even modified press release coverage for blogging. With the diversity of the Internet any business not taking full advantage of what it has to offer should consider them self living in the dark ages.

B2B lead generation is taking flight and many businesses are getting on the bandwagon and making the most of this incredible idea. Twitter has been the talk of the town with creating new applications that are compatible with handheld devices such as the iPhone and setting new expectations in the name of social networking. Using join us” links and following people or businesses through Twitter has become a huge leader in B2B lead generation marketing.

Getting the word out not to just potential customers, but other businesses is a great way to expand your reach of business. If you are a manufacturer of computer parts than you can go to these social networking sites and create a good business to business marketing scheme. This is what technology is opening the door for and if you are reluctant to walk through it than you are only cheating yourself. No matter what side of the door you are on opening up communication between businesses can benefit every party involved. Not only can sites like Twitter or FaceBook spread your company name but it can link to invaluable information for businesses that are interested in what you are offering.

The power of blogging has become one of the greatest marketing strategies the Web has ever seen because this puts people in touch with people all over the world. Much like forums, blogs are creating new avenues of people meeting people and is the prime function of what B2B lead generation is all about. Creating a business lead in the new generation of networking from business to business and popularity that this is getting is unfathomable.

This is a fairly new interest in the world of Internet marketing but as the Web grows and reaches new plateaus so does the way we access it and manage it. The Internet has become such a valuable resource some companies are closing the doors to their physical stores and just taking up shop on the Web because of marketing strategies like SEO, B2B lead generation, and Google AdWords. The future is here and they are using the Internet in just about all walks of life in terms of reaching out to a broader spectrum of clientele. Getting on board now is only going to benefit you in the long run and make you more prepared for where this is all going. In terms of the Internet itself it’s still just a baby in a very large world that connects it through its nature. Utilizing and maximizing the full potential it has to offer will only make your business world a more fruitful and prosperous venture.