Champions Adapt. Are You One Of Them?

February 23, 2016

The business landscape has changed dramatically in just the past 12 months. Champions in the field of sports are skilled in making adjustments. Think of Peyton Manning calling an audible at the line of scrimmage. In Business, whatever your goals, in order to succeed, you are going to need to adapt. New co-host MariAnne Vanella joins Dan Sixsmith to discuss some new strategies for winning in the sales and marketing arena. Check out MariAnne's new article as well:


Is Sales Becoming Irrelevant? Maybe Not.

July 3, 2015

So buyers are 50%-70% through their journey before talking to sales, eh? Well not so fast says Sirius Decisions. They admit to not having the full story when they made that claim years ago. Now we know it depends on business size, complexity of the deal, etc. Tune in to This Week in B2B Digital Marketing to learn more about the new research. And tune in to hear Nick explain the most accurate explanation of social selling since Jill Rowley hit the scene. 


Retention is The Biggest Digital Marketing Secret

May 10, 2015

Dan and Nick explore the tremendous opportunities to drive incremental revenue through customer retention and expansion. So much of marketing's focus is on top of funnel/acquisition, but the reality is that organizations have a much greater chance of completing a successful sale with a current customer(60-70%) than with a new prospect(5-20%) according to Gleanster. And the impact of of customer retention is powerful. Gartner says that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase the bottom line anywhere between 25%-125%. Yet, according to the Gleanster report, 90% of marketers are NOT properly managing the end to end customer experience. 


Interactive Tools are the Bridge for Sales and Marketing

April 25, 2015

On this episode of This Week in B2B Digital Marketing, Dan Sixsmith and Nick Robinson discuss the troubled history between sales and marketing alignment. Then they discuss the possible role of interactive tools to bridge the gap in sales and marketing communication. Right now, we are able to collect digital body language data, which shows raw activity. What we really need is a tool to show us the context around the digital body language. We believe the answer lies within interactive tools. Listen to the episode to learn more!


Can Analytics Rescue B2B Digital Marketers?

April 18, 2015

In this episode of This Week in B2B Digital Marketing, Dan Sixsmith and Nick Robinson discuss the importance of analytics in creating successful digital marketing programs. The discussion touches on big data, skill sets, reporting and taking action. Then, they explore the future of analytics and technology in B2B digital marketing. We cap off the show with B2B Digital Shout Outs. 


Will Meerkat Change B2B Digital Marketing?

April 7, 2015

Meerkat absolutely blew up at SXSW. So technically the product is only three weeks old… three and a half weeks old. And so it blew up at SXSW, that's all you hear about right now. And now the company is raising according to TechCrunch raising $12 million at a 40 million dollar pre-money evaluation. It doesn't even have a revenue model yet. It’s worth $40 million. Dan and Nick also discuss B2B digital marketing use cases for Meerkat. 


B2B Personalization and Content Marketing Success

April 7, 2015

Personalization is critical, and that includes website and social content and not just email content. DemandBase delivered some interesting stats around this. They found 85% of website visitors are not potential customers; 80% of web visitors will abandon a site in less than five seconds due to irrelevant content and 90% of website visitors will ignore a call to action. This is staggering. Marketers need to focus on their websites and leverage technology which can serve up tailored content based on a visitor’s IP address. Specifically, industry focused content is the most commonly leveraged angle.


Can Social Selling Save Sales?

April 3, 2015

Forrester indicated that 20 million sales people will be out of a job by 2020. That's almost 25%! In this episode, we explore ways that sales people can stay relevant in today's mobile, social world. 

Podcast Epsiode #1: Death of a Salesman?

Forrester put 1 million B2B salespeople on notice at their recent Sales Enablement Forum in Arizona. The pendulum has swung so far in favor of buyers over sellers, they claim, that by 2020, there will be 1 million less B2B salespeople-1 million! –That’s roughly a 25% reduction. Buyers want to buy and not be ‘sold to’. Order takers are definitely goners. The landscape is changing fast and salespeople need to evolve or become extinct. According to CEB, buyers are 60%(others say more, up to 90%) through their decision making process and have already created a short list of vendors before sales is engaged. Salespeople need to add value to the conversation in order to be successful. How will they accomplish this?

We have heard how salespeople need to become credible thought leaders, leveraging insights, connecting via social, and picking up where marketing leaves off in providing an outstanding customer experience. The main obstacle that Sales faces today is not the competition, but rather it’s the Status Quo and the risk-averse nature of buyers today. There are many tools that salespeople can leverage and one very important example is storytelling. As John K. Bastes, a renowned business presenter says, “never tell a story without a point, and never make a point without a story.” A buyer must be engaged both emotionally and rationally.

What is important to note is that social is a somewhat newer medium for the modern day seller, and as such it needs to be incorporated into the larger selling strategy which still includes emailing, phone, events, old fashion networking and the like. Moreover, in regard to messaging, the focus must be squarely on the prospect, her challenges, issues, KPI’s, business strategy and goals. The old, ‘feature, function, price’ approach or the ‘we are the leading provider of widgets’ pitch no longer (did it ever?) resonates with buyers. The reality is that the prospect has already done the research and knows who you are and what you do. He is looking to solve his issues. Those organizations that can demonstrate that they understand the buyer’s business, his pain points, and can paint a picture of the ‘to be’
environment and the specific value it brings, will be the most successful.

Salespeople’s partners in making this happen are the marketing team. Marketing must engage early with these prospects, dissect and proactively uncover the issues, and then deliver relevant content to help move buyers along in their decision journey. Again, the focus should be away from the seller. Let’s just say for every four pieces of content, you want make sure you are talking about your company in only one of those four. Overall you want to be providing valuable information to the prospect. It kind of like it goes back to Jay ‘Jab Jab Jab , Right Hook’ approach espoused by Gary Vaynerchuk. Going for the one punch knockout in the buyer’s journey can end with you being the one that get’s KO’d. Organizations need to build trust with buyers over time and that can mean several pieces of content, a live event and a webinar.
In addition, there are an increasing number of stakeholders involved in a purchase decision. The ability to connect with each of the stakeholders is paramount, and both marketing and sales need to collectively work on identifying issues and building consensus. CEB says that organizations which successfully build a bridge to at least 6 stakeholders won more deals and those that had identified and engaged with 5 or less had a lower win percentage. (I will find this article)

So in summary, sales needs to do the following to avoid becoming a victim of Forrester’s predicted extinction.

1. Become a though leader-develop a specialization in an area related to your business. Blog and curate content around the subject and become the go-to authority.
2. Build your social network presence and start connecting-You need an audience for your thought leadership and content marketing. A recent study showed that 98% of those sales execs that had 5000+ LinkedIn connections made their quota.
3. Work with marketing to identify your target buyers and deliver relevant and personalized content in the channels where they participate.
4. Identify all of the members of the buying committee and work to build consensus among them for a greater chance of turning them into clients.