Mo Money Mo Problems: New Age Impediments to Sales and Marketing Alignment

Before you read further or prepare to leave a comment below that I have missed the core elements of sales-marketing alignment, please read my previous work here:

I am a proponent, consultant, advocate for the core elements that have to be in place for sales and marketing alignment and those posts should help you see my point of view. In other words, yes I understand that things like shared expectations and responsibility are critical, but this post is focused on what I consider recent developments in the sales-marketing cold war.

First of all, let me say that a lot of companies are really trying. The relentless blogo-sphere rantings on aligning sales-and-marketing have brought more organizations to the table. Many companies have a qualified lead definition, have shifted real revenue-generation responsibility to marketing, track their efforts, and have generally attempted to become modern revenue machines. I love it. Marketing is at the big boy table. A giant first step has been taken.

Let’s explore some of the new issues hampering alignment but before we do — please take note: I will talk further about these issues with Jason Miller from Linkedin and Justin Gray from LeadMD on an amazing webinar on February 25th at 11am. This going to be a really cool format: We are hosting a debate. I will represent sales and Justin will represent marketing. Jason will attempt to moderate us. Both sides will be represented. Be there for the fight of the century.

sales, marketing, marketing automation

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How to Use Full Circle CRM to Build Powerful Demand Generation Funnels in Salesforce

Editor’s note: Today’s post is from Bonnie Crater, President and CEO of Full Circle CRM. As you might imagine, posts on funnels are a favorite of mine…Enjoy!

Funnels are great tools for understanding exactly how sales and marketing functions are working – both on their own and together.  At Full Circle CRM we believe that leveraging CRM systems (like Salesforce) is the best way to get the most accurate and complete funnel metrics across your entire demand generation organization. Salesforce tracks a ton of response information from both your sales and marketing efforts and provides some great insight into your overall demand generation health. With Full Circle CRM’s native Salesforce Marketing Performance Management application added on top of your Salesforce instance you are able to get a more complete picture of the key metrics your funnels are tracking to truly understand how your overall demand generation efforts are performing.

Let’s take dive a little deeper into how to leverage Full Circle CRM to get the most out of your demand generation funnels in Salesforce.

Step 1: Define Your KPIs

The first step of building out any report is determining what exactly you are trying to measure.  The same is true with your demand generation funnels.  KPIs can be anything from generating a particular number of MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) to having a specific amount of days it takes responses to move all the way through funnel (aka velocity) to having sales accept 50% of the leads that marketing sends over (conversion rates). These are going to be different for each company but with Full Circle CRM enhancing Salesforce’s ability to track critical performance metrics at a granular level you can easily set up reports in the standard salesforce.com reporting UI to track these across any category that is relevant to your business.

Step 2: Assess Baseline Metrics

The key metrics that we find are the most helpful to track are the volume, conversion rates, and velocity of your funnels. Volume tracks the sheer amount of responses that are being generated and is a critical metric helping you determine if you are generating enough raw leads to hit your revenue goals. Conversion rates show the quality of the responses and how effective your organization is at transitioning responses between different funnel stages or departments.  Velocity shows how quickly responses move through the funnel and is an important metrics for finding and eliminating bottlenecks in your processes.

conversion rates, demand generation

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CMO + Technology = True Love

According to Gartner, CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs by 2017. Yes, I know many of you have heard this prediction over and over again but keep listening, because this prediction is so bold that it is hard to fathom. At least in B2B, marketers were the weak link on the executive team. They sat at the kid’s table at the party while the “adults” ate steak and patted each other on the back. Begging for money internally was about pitching a bunch of people on the executive team who had no idea what they were trying to do and hearing “no”. One of my favorites from years back was when my buddy who is a demand generation rockstar VP of Marketing was telling me that his CEO wouldn’t give him budget for anything but did feel like he should be spending his time trying to get him on Oprah. (Seriously). Boy, that has changed. The marketer has been given a checkbook.

CMO

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What is REVTalks?

The Funnelholic is a media sponsor for a new, upcoming event for marketers: REVTalks in San Francisco on January 27th, 2014.  36 great speakers. (Yes, 36). What we liked was the number of practitioners that are speaking. For me personally, practitioners means great content. (If you have ever heard Meagan Eisenberg you will know what I am talking about. She is always doing some forward-looking marketing) These are the people that have to do it not just talk about it. I asked Debbie Qaqish from Pedowitz Group 7 questions about the event which we present to you in this post. Enjoy!revenue marketing

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A Post About Lead Nurturing That I Enjoyed Writing

Have I mentioned that we are hosting a lead nurturing webinar on December 4 at 10AM pacific with Mary Firme from Reachforce and Justin Gray from LeadMD? With lead nurturing, we are well past the “why” and are all ready for the “how”…join us to learn: 7 Steps to Put your Lead Nurturing on Steroids.

No, but really. I love when I go bonkers on a topic for a couple weeks. It lets my sink my teeth into it. We have recently had a couple great posts on the topic:

I have been dwelling on the topic and I need a break from other content so I am live streaming the things in my head. But first an image. I wanted something related to point #5 below, and found this image from Tom Henrich.

Sales nurturing, lead management

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Re-start your Engines: My Man @Jchernov to @Hubspot

I have written in the past how the marketing automation now marketing software market has changed and that I longed for the days of big news, public spats, and gossip. One of my most visited posts was Ridiculous Ramblings about the Marketing Automation Market. (Twitter counter is broken so don’t be deceived by the number of tweets)

It got boring….but maybe the fun is back: Hubspot announced that Joe Chernov will be joining their team as the VP of Content. To start the fun, they did a really creative announcement ala a baseball free agent signing. (Love that)

Joe and I had a great time when he was with Eloqua. His tenure marked my favorite times in the marketing automation now marketing software space. He is such a passionate guy who just isn’t afraid to fight for what he thinks is right. He is so Boston. (compliment). I was going to say he is a fighter. (Marketo may agree) But to describe Joe as a fighter doesn’t paint the right picture. Yes, he had public spats but it wasn’t for show. It was because he believed he was right. It was fun and uncomfortable at the same time. I certainly didn’t agree with him on everything but I loved DM’ing back and forth with him. I missed him from the marketing space. But he is back and he joins Hubspot which means we will see and hear him again.

Welcome back dude. Or as Denzel Washington might say: “My man…”

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Lead Nurturing Lessons from the Street: What @jillkonrath taught me and didn’t even know it

Backstory: A couple months ago, we ran a sales summit. We got a ton of registrations. Our main source was none other than Jill Konrath. When my brother went through the traffic numbers, I was floored by how well Jill’s email did for the event. Great people, insane conversion rates on click through and form conversion. So I looked into it and there are some very simple lessons you can take from her.

Backstory II: I was trading emails with her recently and asked from permission to talk about her email campaign. She was shocked that I wanted to write about it. Of course, she wanted a preview but I told her she couldn’t have one. (Truth is, I hadn’t written it yet). The moral of the story is she is just doing her thing and cranking away. And it works. Lesson #1: If you just keep it real and try to do right by your community, you will be successful.

Backstory  III: I am big into lead nurturing right now. We are hosting a lead nurturing webinar on December 4 at 10AM pacific with Mary Firme from Reachforce and Justin Gray from LeadMD: 7 Steps to Put your Lead Nurturing on Steroids. Join us to hear more stories.

Okay, lets talk about the lessons learned. First, check out her site. Look at some of the content. Then read below. Four lessons learned about lead nurturing from Jill Konrath:

1. She has built a loyal, dedicated following — More on this in a moment, but her newsletter list is incredibly engaged with her. How do I know? How about 40-50% click through rate. Ridiculously amazing. Go to number 2 below to understand why:

2. She provides an endless supply of free content — Her content is made up of useful, helpful tips fed to her community on a consistent basis. That IS content marketing. . Go look at the content, it’s information sales people can go use right now. In nearly every piece of content she creates, she adds value for her target market: sales leaders and individual contributors.. Books, ebooks, video, blog posts. Everything is for them. The end result is she has become a trusted, reliable source of information for the sales community. Thus, the loyal following.

3. She keeps them consistently engaged via email — Ok, lots of people do email and many people nurture well. But, a lot of emailers only send offers and send them once in awhile. Jill sends some valuable piece of information every three-four days. If you are in sales, you want to open her email. Part of success in lead nurturing means staying engaged with your buyer  over a sustained period of time until they are ready to buy. Her audience is being nurtured…AND THEY LIKE IT! She has made her email a must-read for her audience. That is a big win. [Read more…]

How to Create a Lead Nurturing Campaign Guaranteed NOT to Deliver Results

Backstory: I asked Matt Heinz to write a post on lead nurturing. He told me to look at some posts on the Heinz Marketing blog and I found 10 steps to a terrible lead nurture campaign. I enjoyed it, it was funnelholic-esque but I didn’t want Matt or the author Nichole McIntyre to do any work. So, instead, I took my favorites from the post and added some commentary.

I am about to go on a content rush on lead nurturing. We are hosting a webinar on the topic on December 4 at 10AM pacific with Mary Firme from Reachforce and Justin Gray from LeadMD: 7 Steps to Put your Lead Nurturing on Steroids. Overall, I am glad we get to talk about lead nurturing again. When marketing automation first came to market, it was all any was talking about. Now, the amount of content created on the topic has dimmed a bit. That’s a mistake. Now is the best time to talk about the lead nurturing process. We have learned a ton over the last couple years about what works and doesn’t work, but more importantly, we have learned that when done right, it is a game-changer for demand generation ROI.

Before we move on to the content, please enjoy this picture from grahamc99 — I chose it in honor of Nichole’s original title: “10 steps to a terrible lead nurture campaign.” Whenever, I think terrible, I think of Terrible’s casino for some reason. Whatever.

Lead nurturing, lead management

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How to Get Started with Content Marketing

Craig asked me to give him a post about ‘Getting Started with Content Marketing’ so immediately, I set about thinking about all of the steps necessary to begin creating great content: aligning it to the buyers needs, establishing trust through operationalized nurture and measuring those results.  Then I trashed it.  People don’t have a problem ‘starting’ anything – they have a problem finishing it – and content marketing is no different.

So then, what’s the key to actually hitting the ground with some good targeted content and diving into the deep end of this process that we call content marketing?  Starting, and finishing, one thing at a time.  That’s it.  I prescribe heavily to a methodology that many, many people are familiar with, but few execute well – it’s called “Getting Things Done” or GTD.  It started as a theory, resulting in a book and has materialized in hundreds of enablement tools from coaches to software to cheat sheets and, well, I guess this blog post.  The book, Getting Things Done®by David Allen really did change my life – and I’m not even particularly good at it.  I try to be.  Let’s say it’s a work in progress – but so is Content Marketing and that’s the key here. [Read more…]

Customer Obsessed Marketing: Madlibs w/ Nick Bell from @Eloqua

I went to Eloqua Experience last week (but missed Robin Thicke). I wanted to get Eloqua represented on Madlibs leading up the event but managed to send them the information two days before the event. (Nice one Craig!) But here they are! Today’s Madlibs contributor is Nick Bell who is Senior Director of Corporate Marketing and Modern Marketing Expert at Oracle Eloqua. His madlibs after this pretty cool drawing from Laura Dineen

Customer journey, marketing [Read more…]