January 31, 2014 at 7:00 AM
Big deals in B2B companies can account for as much as 50-80% of annual sales. Losing multiple big deals often results in missing the number. Why doesn’t a typical marketing budget/focus apply the 80-20 rule? Demand Gen is too often focused on the masses not the big deals.
What can you do differently so you don’t miss the number? Download the Targeting Analysis Tool and start focusing on what really matters to the sales team. Targeting the deals that move the needle is the difference between making the number and not. Companies that have solved this problem are making the number.
Why Use the Tool?
November 24, 2013 at 7:00 AM
One of the most difficult responsibilities for a B2B marketer is sales enablement. What makes it difficult is the lack of adoption and rejection by sales. The sales field is often critical of any marketing effort. Marketers can feel like they are in a can’t-win position. Even when you do everything sales asks for it’s never enough, never right, or simply forgotten.
October 5, 2013 at 7:00 AM
September 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM
There are three themes commonly present in under-performing lead generation programs. Marketing leaders can quickly diagnose the most common Lead Generation mistakes.
August 15, 2013 at 7:00 AM
April 17, 2013 at 7:00 AM
This post is written for Marketing Leaders newly hired in an organization and those who want to keep pace in the industry. The first question new marketing leaders ask themselves is, “how good is my team?”
You may have a team with talent and strong capabilities or you may have dinosaurs. Despite what you inherit, your #1 goal entering the organization is to drive results. How do the best in class marketing leaders drive results with their current team? Here’s what the best do.
February 27, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Marketing leaders are faced with difficult decisions regarding outsourcing. As new technologies and skillsets are required, CMO’s are turning to consultants. What functions should be built in-house vs. outsourced?
It is a common business practice among world class companies to outsource significant levels of strategy and execution. The strong get stronger. But when do you do it in-house? When do you outsource?
February 18, 2013 at 7:00 AM
“Starving the future to feed the present is a mistake - it leads to obsolescence and stagnation. Sometimes it is hard to make this understood.” Burton Richter, Nobel Laureate
We have seen a tremendous rise in the interest and use of buyer personas since 2002. The year I first introduced the methodology for creating buyer personas specifically for marketing and sales. It will serve no purpose to rehash how much buyers have changed since then. You know this already.
February 16, 2013 at 7:00 AM
February 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM
The average tenure of a VP of Sales is (18) months. Chances are a marketing leader will engage with a new head of sales at some point. So when you’re in this position, how do you ensure the relationship is productive?
Think like a VP of Sales
Have you ever thought of your VP of Sales as a key Buyer Persona? You should. Your success is tied to his and vice-versa. Winning the Head of Sales over to your cause should be a top priority.
Most Sales Leaders are ill-versed in marketing. It’s not their language. This puts the onus on you to understand what drives the new VP of Sales and to communicate accordingly.
SBI has worked with and interviewed over a thousand Sales Leaders. Our work and research tells a compelling story about what makes the Head of Sales tick.
Here are some key insights to help you engage with the new Sales Leader:
- Make the Number: The #1 goal of a new sales leader is making the in-year number. Missing it casts a shadow of doubt on him. The changes in buyer behavior have placed a heavy burden on marketing departments. B2B companies must learn to sell ‘when a rep isn’t present’. Consequently, marketing plays a huge role in hitting the growth number. You need to generate awareness around what marketing can deliver to the sales organization. Too often I find marketing & sales working independent of each other. Fight the silo tendency. Reach out regularly to your sales counterpart. One suggestion is to conduct joint win-loss interviews with former customers and lost prospects. You will gain valuable buyer knowledge. Use this rich data to enhance your content.
- Upgrade Team: Every new sales leader wonders whether his team is good enough. If reps cannot close enough deals, their skill level is questioned. Sometimes this is the case; sometimes it isn’t. Talent is only half the equation. The performance conditions in which you place your talent represent the other 50%. Help your sales counterpart optimize the performance conditions. Have you developed Personas for each buyer type that a rep can use in their campaigns? Have you developed persona-driven content for reps to leverage when prospecting?
- Ensure Field Execution: One way to impact field execution is through Sales Enablement. Is your company’s future tied to successfully launching new products? If so, you need to prepare the sales force for a successful launch. Best practice in this area is the Sales Rep Playbook. You must work closely with the sales leader to develop the new product playbook.
- Marketing Experience/Credibility: Sales leaders lack marketing knowledge. The good news is that they are beginning to admit their knowledge gap. They are also starting to realize the need to be marketing lead, sales driven organizations. Moreover, Sales Leaders recognize the importance of Social Media. They just don’t know how to effectively use it to their advantage. Invest time in teaching them how to leverage Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Teach them how to be Social Sellers.
- Prioritizing: Sales Leaders struggle with prioritizing improvement initiatives. They often implement them out of sequence. Frequently, initiatives address symptoms rather than the root cause of the problem. When diagnosing a sales problem, start at the top of the funnel and work your way down. Issues in sales performance are frequently tied to poor Account Segmentation and Lead Generation. As a marketing leader, make sure you have correctly defined your Ideal Customer and prioritized the market segments. Without these, the sales leader cannot successfully deploy his resources into the marketplace. You should also work with your sales counterpart to define what good looks like. Marketing is often criticized for generating less than ideal leads. Sit with the sales leader to define a “Sales-Ready Lead”. Send the reps only those leads that match this definition. Additionally, implement a Lead Management Process that nurtures early inquiries into sales qualified leads.
- Resources: Like you, most sales leaders are resource challenged. As a result, sales reps are pulled in many directions. We call this role corruption. Instead of selling, they spend too much time on ineffective prospecting and lead nurturing. Fill this gap by investing in a Lead Development Rep (LDR). The role of the LDR is to nurture and qualify leads until they are sales ready. Sales reps are terrible at lead nurturing. They focus on hot leads and let the warm ones fall by the wayside.
CALL TO ACTION: If you are working with a new VP of Sales, invest time understanding their priorities. Year one is critical for a new Sales Leader. All eyes are on him. Help him achieve his goals and you have gained a long-term ally.