More evidence the traditional “white” paper is toast: The Kapost Comic Book

The other night Jill Rowley called me and said: “I read your post on the demise of the whitepaper, those examples were great.  But have you seen the Kapost comic book?”  So I went and downloaded it.  It’s awesome.  I don’t want to bore you with more rantings about old pamphlet-ware versus the remarkable content of today.  Just check it out.  There are some really original elements such as  thought leader superheroes and comic-strip styles graphics.  And of course, the content is valuable and helpful.   It sure is fun to be marketed to these days.

comic book

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

content, the funnel, and the history of the funnelholic.

I posted my contribution to the “visual content” video the other day.  Here is my full length video.  Enjoy!

 

ps thanks Jason Miller and Marketo

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdeKRHyCxQA?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

A video on visual content that may or may not include me

Ok, it this video does include me along with some awesome takes from other thought leaders.  Note to self:  I misunderstood the question and thought we were only talking about video.  I still made the cut so there you go.

PS my hair looks terrible.

PPS Thanks Marketo and Jason Miller for including me.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUuVkEccNs0?rel=0]

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

“This Week in Sales”– Video interview with Kevin Gaither

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8hG4-fATfw&w=560&h=315]

This is my interview with Kevin Gaither on This Week in Sales. It was awhile back but I haven’t had a blog in awhile. I had fun in the interview and I am just getting back into getting the Funnelholic up and running.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

14 Easy Social Selling “To-Dos” You Can Implement Right Now

July 25 through July 29 is Social Business week on Focus.com. If you’ve read my blog, you know that I’m a fan of the Social CRM movement, but I am not an expert – so I’m leaving that to the pros. I am sticking to my expertise, hosting a couple of events about social and sales and marketing. I am hosting a webinar with the master of content/inbound/social media marketing, Mike Volpe, on Friday, July 29, at 1 pm PT. Before that, I am hosting a social selling roundtable at 11 am PT with Nigel Edelshain, Miles Austin and Koka Sexton. It’s fun trading ideas for using social for a lot of things. Sales is definitely a favorite of mine.

One of the biggest complaints I hear from folks is not having enough time for social endeavors. I usually tell people I wouldn’t recommend it if it’s a time-suck. So I’ve compiled a list of easy things that salespeople can do, none of which seems too scary or daunting – and it can all be done right away. Let me know what you would add to the following list.

  1. Create a LinkedIn profile.
  2. Fill it out completely, including a picture.
  3. Upgrade your account.
  4. Watch every day from your upgraded LinkedIn account to see who clicked on your profile.
  5. Connect with as many of your business and personal contacts as you can.
  6. Move beyond business cards – get in the habit of connecting with people immediately after you meet them.
  7. Spend some time seeing if your prospects are connected to any of your contacts and ask for a referral.
  8. Join LinkedIn groups relevant to your industry. Not just so you can see the conversations happening in your space, but so you can join the same “clubs” that your prospects are in.
  9. Figure out where your prospects are on the Internet (with only a few cases, everyone is). Is it Twitter, LinkedIn, focus.com, etc.? It could even be a message board somewhere.
  10. Watch them. Remember the title of this post is “easy.” Don’t worry about doing much; you can just watch. You will gain insight into your prospects that you’ve never had before.
  11. Recognize their good works. If they write an insightful blog post or answer a question really well, send them a note.
  12. Find the top influencers in your space (they will be on Twitter or Google if they are influencers) and follow them.
  13. Create a social relationship with the influencers. This is akin to being friends with the cool kids at school.
  14. Before a sales call, look up your prospect’s or customer’s recent social “works” – posts, tweets, Q&A. Mention it to them; they will love it.

There – was that hard? Let’s just start with that. There’s more…but you gotta start somewhere.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

Don’t Miss Focus B2B Marketing Week, July 11-15

From Monday, July 11, through Friday, July 15, Focus.com is presenting Focus B2B Marketing Week, rolling out a bunch of webinars and roundtable panels that will bring together the top experts in their fields to discuss the state of B2B marketing today.

Couple things to note:

  • Wednesday at 10 am PT is a webinar with Ardath Albee and me. Everything else is a roundtable.
  • You can catch all the action by clicking here.
  • Ask questions before, during and after the event in the event interfaces.

For speaker details and to attend, click the event links below.

Monday July 11

1 pm PT/4 pm ET: How to Set Up an Effective Marketing Organization

Tuesday July 12

11 am PT/2 pm ET: B2B Marketing Tactics That Work (And the Ones That Don’t)

1 pm PT/4 pm ET: Modern B2B Marketing Strategies

Wednesday July 13

10 am PT/1 pm ET: The Four Types of Prospect Attention and How They Affect Demand Generation

1 pm PT/4 pm ET: B2B Lead Generation: How To Use the Phone to Drive High Quality Leads

Thursday July 14

9 am PT/12 pm ET: The Key to Sales and Marketing Alignment

1 pm PT/4 pm ET: Expert Best Practices in Content Marketing

Friday July 15

11 am PT/2 pm ET: B2B Marketing 3.0: What’s Next for B2B Marketers?

1 pm PT/4 pm ET: Tips on Generating Leads for Yourself

Sign up to attend now — it should be awesome.

The Current State of Marketing Automation (Infographic)

My first very important announcement is: Focus.com, my employer, created the infographic below.

My second very important announcement is: I like it and I hope you do too. Mad props to Carlos Hidalgo, who helped curate the information. For me, following the marketing automation space has been the first time I have been able to watch a market from start to finish and really understand it. Yes, I have been alive in Silicon Valley during the rise of all the other technologies du jour, but this one I know. I love being a fan.

I hope you find the infographic interesting — we’ll have to see how much it changes next year!

World’s Most Incomplete List of Social CRM Experts

Social CRM is my new hobby. When I originally heard the term, I mocked it because I didn’t understand it. Sorry about that. Now I am listening, and I am starting to get it. Here is how I got here:

1. Ignorance: I ignored social CRM and when asked, I mocked it. Again, sorry.

2. Enlightenment: Salesforce.com bought Radian6, and I moderated a roundtable with some of the top social CRM experts in the business: Mike Fauscette, Brian Vellmure, Mitch Lieberman, Steve Woods and Esteban Kolsky. I realized that these are smart guys and I needed to figure out social CRM.

3. Education: I asked some people whom I should follow then started following them on Twitter. I started to read what I could (when I could). Brian Vellmure is now one of my boys, and is a resource for me on the topic.

Here are my observations on social CRM:

  • I have stopped reading regular “social media” experts. What I like about the social CRM crowd is they don’t talk about “how to set up your Facebook” page. Instead they are focused on tying social back to the organization.
  • Warning: It can be hard trying to distinguish the thought-leaders from the wannabes. From the looks of it, there are CRM analysts who added the word “social” to the front of their expertise. There are social wonks who have tacked “CRM” onto the back of their expertise. You have to be careful in determining who’s who.
  • If you want to know the definition of social CRM, I found a good one here on Focus.com.
  • The list at the end of this post might be wrong. I have thrown this out here to get reactions and am prepared to refine the list. Here is what I did: 1) Asked my respected friends whom to follow; 2) Added some of my favorite CRM guys (shout-out to Chris Bucholtz) even though I am not sure they all claim to be on the social CRM bandwagon. If they don’t now, they will soon enough.

How about this for a big, hairy goal that should prove to you I am beginning to understand the market: I hope Esteban Kolsky reads this and rips me. Then I know I have arrived. Seriously, if I am wrong, let me know, I am cool with that. But please don’t insult anyone.

So, here it is — the 70 (OK, 71 and now 72) people I follow on the topic of social CRM (in random order):

  1. Greg Satell
  2. Lauren Vargas
  3. Frank Eliason
  4. Rachel Happe
  5. Tatyana Kanzaveli
  6. Becky Carroll
  7. Blake Landau
  8. Ray Wang
  9. John Rourke
  10. Jeremiah Owyang
  11. Michael Wu
  12. Maria Ogneva
  13. Jim Berkowitz
  14. Graham Hill
  15. Jacob Morgan
  16. Jon Ferrara
  17. Laurence Buchanan
  18. Ed Sullivan
  19. Brian Vellmure
  20. Michael Fauscette
  21. John Perez
  22. Allen Bonde
  23. Robin Carey
  24. Blake Cahill
  25. Amber Naslund
  26. Adrian Ott
  27. Barry Dalton
  28. Arie Goldshlager
  29. Leila Summa
  30. Don Peppers
  31. Gregory Yankelovich
  32. Mike Boysen
  33. Wouter Trumpie
  34. Mark Tamis
  35. Marshall Lager
  36. Mark Reuter
  37. Russ Hatfield, Jr.
  38. Bill Odell
  39. Merlyn Gordon
  40. Nitin Badjatia
  41. Mark Behrens
  42. Bob Warfield
  43. Wim Rampen
  44. Bob Thompson
  45. Janet Jozefak
  46. Martin Schneider
  47. Paul Greenberg
  48. Jill Dyche
  49. Anthony Nemelka
  50. Clara Shih
  51. Christopher Carfi
  52. Jesus Hoyos
  53. David Alston
  54. Valeria Maltoni
  55. Brent Leary
  56. Mitch Lieberman
  57. Sanjay Dholakia
  58. Prem Kumar Aparanji
  59. Josh Weinberger
  60. Esteban Kolsky
  61. Natalie Petouhoff
  62. Andreas Gotthelf
  63. Kathy Herrmann
  64. Louis Columbus
  65. Don Tapscott
  66. Anthony Lye
  67. Chris Bucholtz
  68. Umberto Milletti
  69. Jim Storer
  70. Jeff Nolan (added 5/17  1.25pm)
  71. Brian Vellmure

Interested observer:

71.  Michael Krigsman

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

Visualize the Funnel. No, Really… Visualize It.

Today The Funnelholic is pleased to introduce Jesse Noyes, the in-house journalist at Eloqua, who covers the trends, surprises, events and the movers and shakers of the marketing industry. Guest posts don’t often appear here, but Jesse came to The Funnelholic saying he was dying to spit some “funnel” game, and he thought this would be the place to do it. Now, that is my kind of opportunity. He sent over what he wanted to post and it was great — far better than what I can do. So, now The Guestpost-aholic is lucky enough to have a great post from Jesse. I hope everyone enjoys it as well.

Quick question: How many different illustrations of a funnel are floating around in your sales and marketing departments? Two? Ten? Too many to count?

Marketers will tell anyone within earshot to “visualize the funnel.” What they usually mean is to imagine the steps, content and definitions you need to move a prospect through each stage of an integrated of sales and marketing cycle — an important element of a functional lead management system. They aren’t typically referring to a literal, graphical manifestation of the funnel.

That’s too bad. Visuals matter. They give people a common, physical framework to map out thoughts. And in the case of the funnel, having too many flying around your offices can result in a lack of consistency. We sought out to address that internally at Eloqua, which is why we had our graphic designer punch up a classy version that could serve as a building block for anyone in the company. “One funnel to rule them all,” so to speak.

With that in mind, I thought I’d take you on a short tour of some of the sample funnel concepts we’ve used at various points over the years. Enjoy the evolution!

I call this one the Tron because it has about as much sophistication as an early Atari game.

As far as funnels go, it’s pretty basic: three stages and simple trajectory. In fact, it’s too basic and doesn’t convey the complexity of a modern marketing and sales process.

Here we get more detail. The stages a buyer goes through, as well as how the leads progress, are more clearly defined and explained.

Marketing Qualified Leads and Sales Qualified Leads are addressed. While it provides greater detail, it still lacks that visual “umph” quality.

Now we’re getting warmer. The stages are all there, but this time there’s even more detail.

The roles of lead scoring and lead nurturing in directing prospects progressively through the funnel have been introduced. But this looks like a figure you might see in a college textbook. Let’s move on, shall we?

This may well be the Avatar of funnels.

It’s visually appealing and gets the point across. We see how top-of-funnel prospects emerge from the shadows, revealing their digital body language, as they move deeper down the funnel. The downside is that, for all its visual splendor, you can’t play with it as easily as the previous concepts. It’s more difficult to customize with additional layers of behaviors or content that influence buyers. Sure is pretty though.

Ah, yeah…that’s the stuff. Here’s what we came up with. It’s simple, clear, and eye-catching without being flashy.

This image takes the best from previous iterations of the funnel, including the most heavily employed stages of the buying cycle, and lays it out in an immediately understandable fashion. Additionally, it provides wiggle room. Depending on your needs, you can easily adapt it based on a particular company’s business model.

It’s not going to win any artistic awards, but it delivers the perfect mix of consistency and coherence. How about your business? Are you working on one vision of the funnel or relying on many different images?

Jesse Noyes

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

Being a B2B Buyer Sucks – Let’s Change That

I am currently trying to buy a couple pieces of technology (true story). I won’t tell you what kind of technology (to protect the innocent). But I will tell you that I am learning how much it sucks to be a b2b buyer. I wrote a little about my experiences and recommendations on the Savvy b2b marketing blog.

It’s really eye-opening to go through the process of trying to buy something in a comparable industry. As I live through my pain, I will chronicle our experiences. (I am including my partner-in-crime Lori Janjigian as she helps me in the buying process and is supplying me with her observations, aka complaints, about the process.)

Here are some important points:

  • “The biggest innovation Marc Benioff made was to allow b2b buyers to buy complex software with a credit card.” (via Scott Albro) I have a couple of witty quotes from Scott on the issue of “ease of purchase.” This is so true ‑ think about how hard it was to buy enterprise software before the Salesforce.com/SaaS cloud revolution. It was big and complicated, and still is for many companies. Now, many “smart” companies make their pricing transparent; you can order without a salesperson or if you do, it’s easy. Here’s one: I just talked to my buddy who works at at a major software vendor where he sells business applications. He told me that he has to wait for legal to approve his contracts and it can take 30 to 60 days. Not exactly “easy to buy”
  • Create “buyer-helpful” content, but don’t forget people also need to be able to actually buy your product. I am the biggest advocate for content that buyers want ‑ particularly third-party content. If you have read this blog in the past, you should know this. On the other hand, the goal here is sell people stuff (sorry, it is). A tip that you can act on right now is to ask yourself one thing: “If someone wants to buy from us, what do they have to do?” I know everyone is going to say “but b2b is so complex.” Sure, but most products are going the other way. Google Apps costs something like $50 per year per user. Pretty complex? I don’t think so. Guess what, there are times when we want to talk to the sales rep and we want to know that this part of the process will not be painful.
  • “A perfect example of a complex product made simple is automobiles.” (via Scott Albro) Scott likes to say, “There is more technology in cars than a data storage box.” He’s right. Consumer marketing is so refined that it’s both marketed and packaged so you and I can understand what it is we are going to buy. Consumer sales is such that I can walk in and walk out with a car in a couple hours, even though it is a gigantic piece of technology and engineering.
  • Oh, and the “contact us” box sucks. I see that, and I just think black hole. The dropdown you provide doesn’t make me feel like I am going to go in the right direction. When you walk into a good store, someone asks, “How can I help you today?” How about taking that methodology to the “front door” of your buying process? As you consider what it’s like to buy, “How do I get started?” is a good question to answer.

Let’s call this my take-away: If someone wants to buy your product, what must they do? Remember that this is not a question about downloading content and so forth, this is about buying. Is it frictionless, easy to understand, easy to find, easy to figure out? That is the question. More on this in upcoming posts.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter