B2B Marketing tactics with high closure rates

  Want to receive more blogs like this? Subscribe to our twice weekly B2B marketing insights! In B2B marketing, Marketing tactics early in the journey have more effect on closure rates than sales tactics later in the journey (which is why search beats social, blogging beats traditional, and it doesn’t matter what tactics the sales team uses). What affect do various tactics have on closure rates at each stage of the buyer's journey? 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. 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 automation delivers scale, but not confidence

  Want to receive more blogs like this? Subscribe to our twice weekly B2B marketing insights! Get your copy of our 2014 Sales and Marketing Alignment Report Is Marketing automation really worth the effort and expense? In this week's blog, Hugh delves into findings from the 2013 Sales and Alignment report to show how marketing automation delivers scale, but not always confidence. Even firms just planning to automate marketing have improved efficiencies in marketing's contribution to revenue and customer retention. That's got to be something to consider.

B2B Sales+Marketing: you end up talking to the person you sound like

Sales training traditionally encourages B2B sales people to “call high” - in fact, it’s hard to keep track of all the articles and publications focused on selling to the C-level (a simple Google search reveals over 100 million hits). “Thought leadership” is no less fashionable amongst the B2B marketing community (over 200 million hits). But if you want to engage at the right level, and stay there as opposed to being bumped down the decision-making stack, you need to bear one simple principle in mind at all times: you’ll end up talking to the person you sound READ MORE

Why marketers are now your best salespeople

I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but the research we read from many marketing research firms such as Forrester, Gartner and IDC tells the same story over and over again. Today's buyer OWNS the buying cycle more now than ever before. Salespeople are losing control and being pushed further and further down the buying decision process. Of course it varies greatly with product complexity and market maturity, but Forrester's research confirms that today’s buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their journey before they contact the vendor. Similarly, READ MORE

How to assess the health of your Sales funnel

  Have you been to the doctor lately, The Funnel doctor? Do you go to keep your funnel healthy? Or do you wait until your funnel is really sick before you see the doctor? Your funnel has some basic indicators of health. But, we often ignore those indicators. Today I am going to show you how to assess the health of your funnel and prioritise what to fix. Let’s start with what gets in the way of us seeing what to fix and knowing what to leave alone. Well, the first problem is random acts of marketing READ MORE

Why the Cost of Inaction is so important in B2B Sales

Return on Investment (ROI) projections are often regarded as a critical element of B2B sales proposals, particular for high-value considered purchases. There’s no arguing that they have a role to play - but your sales people would be very unwise to rely on them. In fact, I’ve become convinced that over-reliance on ROI calculations is one of a number of key factors that are driving the high level of “decisions to do nothing after all” that so bedevil many long and complex sales cycles. Are you keen to find out why? 1. Most prospects distrust vendor-supplied ROI projections Most prospects have READ MORE

Why business leaders must shift budgets from Sales to Marketing

The simple answer to this question is because the way your customers are buying is changing. But here is the explanation. Multiple respected research firms such as Forrester, Gartner, The Corporate Executive Board and IDC are finding that today's buyer is 'self serving', finding the information they need to help move along their buying cycle without any intervention from the vendor at all. Research has shown that B2B buyers are completing between 60 - 90% of their buying journey before contacting any vendors. They are downloading content, joining in discussions on social media, such as LinkedIn, watching READ MORE

How much energy should you spend on branding?

  Forget about the 4 Ps you learned about at University. It's simplistic and unhelpful. It's about 30 years old and it's a consumer concept anyway. Just erase it. I've got another very simple paradigm for you. You might say simplistic. I don't think it is but you be the judge. Marketers spend their effort on basically three things: Getting the market ready, getting the channel ready, and getting the two talking in B2B, in complex B2B, which is the world that you live in and I live in. Three things marketers do: We call the first READ MORE

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