How to calculate your sales CR, and why speed kills

In last week's show, we offered 10 steps for calculating sales conversion rate. We also promised to show you why lag is death. In English, why a buyer who has taken longer than normal is unlikely to buy from you at all. So does that mean there is merit in using assertive marketing and sales techniques to speed them up? We all want to speed our funnel up. In a recession like the GFC, sales cycles typically blow out, meaning buyers are taking longer than normal to buy. This could be so - they might genuinely be 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

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

Marketing Funnel isn’t dead

The marketing funnel isn't dead. Sorry Forrester, Aberdeen and HBR, it's just that you never understood it. The funnel is an old metaphor, and only a loose one: lots of buyers at the top and a few at the bottom, and our job is to move them through. The flaw in the metaphor is obvious: not all buyers move through - even if you are infinitely patient, and so it's more of a sieve than a funnel. This is the basic idea that I began with when I wrote 'The Leaky Funnel' in 2003 when I introduced two READ MORE

Crossing the Chasm and the mitigation of risk

When Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” first appeared 20 years ago it became an instant hit and an inspiration to successive generations of technology marketers. In fact, I can’t think of any single book that has had a more powerful (or, in the early days, disruptive) impact on how I think about taking technology products to market. Moore explained that the adoption curve for new technologies is marked by a profound disruption in customer behaviour between early adopters and the pragmatic buyers that represent the vast majority (and all of the profits) in most B2B markets. The READ MORE

The #1 Sales issue: inability to communicate value

For three years in a row, the highly influential benchmark and advisory firm Sirius Decisions has reported that the number one revenue inhibitor in complex B2B sales environments remains the average sales person’s inability to communicate value. You’d hope that we would have made more progress in solving this. I believe one of the reasons that we haven’t is that most of the effort has been spent focusing on the value of our solutions and not on the cost to the prospect of not dealing with the problem. Personalising our value Of course, we need to find READ MORE

Digital marketing disconnect: The vaccum facing leaders

"There is a digital disconnect in executive ranks, a leadership vacuum created by a mismatch between expertise and authority." So says Jake Scrofman in The Harvard Business Review Blog. This pithy summary hits the nail on the head. In many, many of our meetings with prospective and current clients the senior team are aware, in principle at least, of the potential of digital, inbound marketing to drive increased revenue, improve sales and marketing efficiency and a reduction in their cost of sales. But they don't know what and how to change. The result is they cling to READ MORE

How to size your funnel on the back of an envelope

  “Perfect is the enemy of good.” So said Voltaire, an 18th century French philosopher. If we cycle forward to the 21st century, our problem is we drown in detail. We get so caught up in the statistics of conversion rates and click through rates and sales conversion rates that we lose the clarity of what is actually going on in our funnel. In most businesses you can ask the sales leader what their closure rates are, and they'll know and you can ask marketing what their click through rates are and they'll know that too. However, READ MORE

How to set quotas and improve the yield from Sales

What's a normal quota per sales rep? Half a million, 1.5 million per annum? Or is that revenue or gross profit? Is it lifetime value or one time value? Or somehow a one year value? If we want to improve our yield per rep, do we decide better ones? To me, quota setting is all a bit well kind of looking over the shoulder. Isn't there some better way to do it than that? When you look at what a normal sales quota is, and for a start I want you to think about sales value not READ MORE

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