Three sales and marketing predictions that probably won’t come true

I didn’t do a predictions post this year. (actually I am not sure I ever have)…The goal of this post was to get a couple things I have been thinking about out on the table. (which would not have been a very catchy title).  I also am currently writing blog posts about all four

1.  In 2 years desk phones will no longer have the inbound call feature — That’s right, they will just turn it off.  I am not even sure why you need it now.  Cell phones, email, social will all be the tools of the outbound marketer. Inbound marketing will be the absolute “must” overall.  We will have to buyers raise their hands to get to them quickly and in a meaningful way.

2.  I met recently with a CEO who told me all his company’s buyers are sending in orders with what they want to buy, how much, etc without talking to sales.  As a matter of fact, they have ZERO record of these prospects. He realized these buyers are completely anonymous until the very end.  So, picture this: These buyers are 95% done with the sales cycle when they come b2b marketing in the futureknocking.  How about these predictions:

  • We realize “nurturing” was a narrow look at the world..– Not sure what we will call it. In the consumer world it’s called Customer Priming. At the end of the day, we will be in a constant state of moving buyers down the funnel without having any idea who they are or where they are aka many will be untrackable.  Your skills must become more and more effective in front of the gate…speaking of which:
  • Reg Forms will be used 65% less than today — Good marketers will prime prospects on the open internet and only hit them with reg forms at the end of the buying process because buyers will demand it.  Letting content fly is not a new phenomenon, I am seeing 85 page ebooks out there without reg forms.

3.  Scoring will extend beyond the “lead” — I am working on a big blog post on this right now. Today we are so confined with our scoring (from first reg to close with scoring based on trackable activity after the first reg)…but with big data, we will be able to score of data we never thought of before.  For example, Lattice Engines scores prospects based on ERP and CRM data.  They can tell you who will be more likely to buy…not just what the buyer downloaded.  Add that to all the applications providing social data and you start to see the possibilities.  We will laugh at today’s scoring models a couple years from now.

5. Our LinkedIN message boxes will be 30X more filled with messages — I wonder what Linkedin will do when marketers and sales guys really start abusing the messaging function.  Right now, I am getting 50% conversion of Inmail or messaging…but I am seeing the number of messages rising. As more people catch on,  the message box will overflow and Linkedin, which has provided a pretty user-friendly experience, may have some decisions to make.



Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic and a co-founder of Topo. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

  • Justin Gray

    1. Completely agree on the inbound call point.

    2. If you aren’t scoring beyond the “lead” right now, on Friday May 24th 2013, you are already behind the times.

    3. Completely disagree on LinkedIN – InMail is from the devil. Buyer preferences rule all and if you don’t have my email you are both the least resourceful person in the world (its on my website) and its also because I don’t know you. As in I don’t trust you yet. Don’t make our first interaction one where I have to reject you. Tweet me some content – that’s really effective for my buyer persona.

    • craigrosenberg

      1. Glad i got one right!

      2. Sure, but you have to agree that the vast majority of folks are just catching up on marketing automation-driven lead scoring.

      3. First of all, LinkedIn mail is working great for me first..but more importantly, are you saying buyers prefer email and phone to LinkedIn mail?

      • Justin Gray

        1. One.

        2. Absolutely agree.

        3. Some do. That’s the point of persona based marketing. However it’s a rare persona that prefers an unsolicited communication – which is what my comments were in relation to.

        • craigrosenberg

          Good point then on #3..

    • “tweet me some content” … that is such an obvious statement and approach I hadn’t even thought about. I am trying to do a major overhaul of my marketing and product line and… well it is overwhelming to say the least!

      All this to say thanks.

    • Agree on InMail but would rather have that than all of the unsolicited ‘Connect’ requests I get these days – getting a few a day, every day.

  • Trish Bertuzzi

    I completely agree with Justin. I think InMail is the new spam. I hate when someone communicates with me via LinkedIn as it is yet another communication vehicle I have to check and, correct me on this if I am wrong, but there is no way to save and/or search the conversation at a later date.

    One final point on your predictions. If inbound only becomes the only available methodology then how does one sell a disruptive technology or service? If the problem is not immediately identified but there is a better way to do business buyers are not searching for an answer.

    I stick to my guns on this point for non-commodity products…no sale starts until there is a conversation and I do mean a real conversation and not just being someone’s pen pal. 🙂

    • I have been weighing the wisdom of paying for linkedin’s more advanced features like InMail and I really worry about whether their is a business case or not for my unique customer. So thanks Trish and Justin. More research is needed.