What velocity do you need? And what does your current velocity tell you about what you should change?

The key to better response rates? It’s all about speed

  In a study published in the Harvard Business Review, two researchers reported on how quickly businesses responded to online leads. (It was an American study specifically looking at online leads, but I believe it holds true for most countries.) Drawing on work across over 1,000 businesses, they found is that 37% of companies responded within an hour. That's pretty good. At the other end of the spectrum, 23% of businesses didn't respond at all. That's possibly not a good idea. The researcher's conclusion was that businesses are not responding fast enough. Because whilst 37% is good, READ MORE

Hurry up and wait! How to reduce sales cycle length

  In B2B marketing, we often fret over the length of the sales cycle - it's always too long. If the economy gets nervous the funnel slows even further. So we're asked something like "how do you make your funnel flow faster?", "how do you reduce the sales cycle?" and "how do you make buyers act faster?" - all variations on a theme. To answer this, we need to understand why and where the funnel is slow. And that means today we need to expore the mind of the buyer, the efficacy of tactics, buying roadblocks, and READ MORE

Basic sales calculator tells a misleading story

How many leads do we need? A basic sales calculator will help you work out how may proposals and leads you need to meet your sales target. And it will be wrong. Adding just a small degree of sophistication to your sales calculator will deliver you a very different conclusion, resulting in a very different plan. In this week's show, we'll build a basic back-of-the-envelope sales calculator, and share a great free tool that will give you a result that will astound you. You need a lot less market than you think. All right, so bear with READ MORE

Don’t measure Sales or B2B Marketing on revenue

  Revenue targets have nothing to do with the targets you want to set for Sales and Marketing. So, how do you figure out your Sales and Marketing targets? Firstly, you need to know the value of new business that you need Sales and Maketing to generate for you, you also need to know the average size of each deal. Secondly, you need to figure out how many sales need to occur over a specfic time period in order to determine how much revenue you actually need Sales and Marketing to generate. In this video blog, Hugh helps to READ MORE

How we produce our weekly video B2B Marketing blog

  If you are committed to a regular schedule of blogging, you'll know that the production needs to be efficient or the process can quickly become unaffordable. Video is a super engaging medium for blogging, but might appear unaffordable at first glance. Great corporate videos on your web site deserve a high quality production, but frequent video blogs need 'good enough' production only. At align.me, we're a long way from the efficiency we think we can achieve, but have mastered the art of good-enough quality video blog production and are pleased to let you under the covers READ MORE

Discover your sales CR in 10 steps, and why lag is death

  Ask any Sales Manager, and she will tell you that her team closes 1 in 4 (or 3 or 10, whatever it is, they usually know the number). Ask a marketer what his click through rates on emails are, and again, he will know (maybe 4-5% of successful sends). But ask them how many names they need to add to their 'engine' next month, and how many deals need to close that month, and you'll probably get a "good question" response. Ask them to give you conversion rate by stage in funnel, and they'll blink and READ MORE

Demand beats Brand (but only to a point)

  Get your copy of our 2014 Sales and Marketing Alignment Report In B2B marketing, demand is more important than brand, but only to a point. So, can you have too much demand? If you have listened to some of my recent blogs, you know that in 2005 we published the first of our landmark reports into alignment. What we learned then has shaped much of the debate on the topic of alignment ever since. In 2014 we published the 2013 refresh of the landmark alignment research. What we learned about training, process, automation, structure, tactics, demand generation, READ MORE

5 B2B sales funnel statistics you need to master

We need data to drive our businesses. But more statistics won't necessarily deliver a better business. There are five sales funnel statistics that you simply must know (and manage).   In earlier blogs I have argued you need only four statistics to build a back of the envelope model of your funnel. In this brief blog, I'll shift to measurement, and detail the five sales funnel statistics that you need to know, sweat, and improve.   In 'How to size your funnel on the back of an envelope' I argued that you need to know just four statistics from your current READ MORE

B2B marketing strategies and our loose use of common terms

In last week's blog on a B2B marketing definition, I defined B2B marketing as "the planning, execution and measurement of the strategy and the tactics needed to sell a product or service to a business". So the clear point here - apart from the B2B-ness of the definition - is that planning, execution and measurement are separate, and that strategy and tactics are also separate. If you work at McKinsey and like little boxes you could draw this as a 3 x 2 grid. In this blog I'll get into the actual B2B marketing strategies a little, READ MORE

Measure B2B Marketing on closures

  Want to receive more content like this? Subscribe to our monthly B2B marketing blog! You should expect, what you inspect, and it seems that measurement of Marketing still has a great impact on effectiveness. "You should expect, what you inspect" is one of many quotes attributed to W. Edwards Deming, the American Engineer who contributed so much to the regrowth of post-war Japan. Working with the industrial leaders of Japan he instilled many of the strong management principles that Japan is now famous for and lifted Japan from poverty in the 1950s to being the second largest global economy in the READ MORE

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