Items from May, 2012
Remember summer vacations as a kid? I’m sure most of us went to camp somewhere or we had a week or two at the beach or in the mountains with our “Gramps and Grammy” or Uncle Bob or Fred. In my case, it was camp at my gramp’s retreat in the wilds of Quebec – he called it Rock Annand. Yes we called him Gramps, but we called the retreat camp – all 14 of his grandchildren – and we loved it. So much so that some of us named our companies after it. There’s the Rock Annand Group and Rockannand German Shepherds. I digress. Yes, it’s a PLACE and pronounced Rock AN-und. NOT ahNAND.**
The problem is that we are all grown up now, with crazy busy lives and kids and for some grandkids running around, And with the Memorial Day weekend starting today everyone is thinking of summer and vacations away somewhere. Well, I am here to tell you that camp is NOT just for kids and that we CAN have our camp and business “and eat it to”. It’s called B2B Camp and it’s for all you B2B sales and marketing kiddies who yearn for an experience with other B2Bers at a great retreat location. An experience where we sit around the campfire and share stories about all our hectic sales and marketing endeavors in the real world. The successes and the failures and where we get great inspiration form others and support in how to conquer our fears in climbing the rope (new lead nurturing campaigns) or doing backflips off the diving board (getting that prospect to take our call or respond to our CTAs).
Well folks B2B Camp is here! And it’s coming to Boston September 29th at a great location, NERT in Cambridge. It’s not quite summer time, but what adults have time during the summer to take a Saturday to go to a business camp without your family? Starting tomorrow, every Saturday until after Labor Day is spoken for, but as one of co-host of the event, I have the last Saturday of September (which is also the first Saturday of Fall) circled on my calendar. Matt Bertuzzi, of the Bridge Group has it circled too cause he’s co-hosting with me!!
I strongly suggest you consider marking your calendars too because B2B Camp is like no other B2B sales and marketing event you’ve ever been to. Let me count the ways:
- B2BCamp is one of the many “un-conferences” gaining popularity around the world, however, this event is solely focused on B2B sales and marketing professionals.
- Although similar to traditional industry conferences, B2BCamp has no “attendees” because everyone participates in some manner, including you if you join us.
- Everyone, including hosts, participants (you) and sponsors will be regionally based, so the topics and presenters will be what “we” all want to hear.
- No one gets special treatment or speaking opportunities. Participants vote on the topics that are proposed that morning and the sessions are more hands-on discussions then death by PowerPoint.
- Session topics will range from client acquisition practice and use cases, lead to sales process optimization, social selling and marketing, and sales/marketing automation tools and technique.
Now we won’t really have campfires, s’mores or weeny roasts, but we were able to get a great special guest for our camp to wow and inspire, who will keynote the day. His name is Mike Bosworth, co-founder of StoryLeaders , and known worldwide for founding and growing one of the most successful virtual companies in the B2B arena, Solution Selling. Mike’s talk, entitled the “Power of Story”, will look at how to facilitate and institutionalize “Whole Brain Selling” for the entire sales and marketing team to achieve greater connections with customers and future customers through story. His keynote will draw upon his recently published third book entitled, What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story.
So there you have it my fellow prospective B2B campers. Grab your calendar and with a sharpie, put B2B Camp Boston in there on 9/29, tell the fam you’ll be going to adult business camp that day and plan to have one memorable experience. No need to pack a lunch (we got that covered), but do bring a favorite blankie or pillow so you can gather round the various story tellers who will keep you motivated, engaged and inspired. Bring lots of business cards too, because just like in summer camp, you will develop lots of new B2B BFFs that you can tweet, text and email when you get back home.
** Just for kicks, google ANNAND and you will get a super long list of Annands, all from Scotland or New Scotland (Nova Scotia). Like this one: Annand Coat of Arms.
Posted in B2B Marketing, Marketing & Sales Alignment, Sales & Marketing Events, Storytelling | 1 Comment »
I must admit, I’m a bit of stats nut when it comes to forming an argument and making my case for something, like whether the Celtics can win it all this year, or saying its time to break up the Red Sox and start all over.
Rethinking the DemandGen Process: Quantity or Quality?
But when it comes to B2B sales and marketing, I am going to get on my soapbox and tell all it’s time to rethink the entire demand generation process. Why? Because looking at a variety of stats from some of my favorite authorities like Gartner, Forrester, Marketing Sherpa and Sirius Decision tell a very dark story about current practices that still plague the B2B industry and have a big-time drag on revenue and profitability growth. These stats represent some of the worst practices that are a carryover from the way we did things in the good old days when buyers actually took your calls and read your email. They also point to an obsession with lead quantity rather than lead quality.
Sales-Ready vs. NOT Sales-Ready
Let’s start at the top. Basically, today when someone hits your web site for the first time and registers for something of interest, only 10-15% of those folks are sales-ready. Most of the rest, 70% or more are not ready to engage beyond this initial opt-in for that white paper or webinar. So going all Lady Gaga and calling all those people who downloaded that cool info-graphic you just published or who dropped by your booth at Info-Mania Marketing World Expo is impressive, but a waste of time. Its not hard to figure out the ones that sales can work on, but that 70+% group will be quickly discarded by your sales team.
What Happens to the 70+% That are NOT Sales-Ready?
The latent demand ones typically just fall by the way side. And that is not only a shame, but a HUGE waste of your leadgen dollars. That is something your CEO or CFO will remind you of come budget review time because 3 out of 4 of those leads will end up buying sometime in the future. More damning though is stat #3 from the worst practice hit list: 9 out of 10 of those who buy, do so from someone other than who started things off initially. Think about that one for a moment. Let it roll around in that rational analytical mind of yours before you start reaching for the bottle of Tequila.
“You Tawkin’ to ME?”
Point #4 speaks to buyer behavior today that is driven to total distraction with Smart Phones and texting and tweets and stop-by workers and bosses. With B2B buyers bombarded by 3-5,000 messages daily, it takes 11-13 proactive outbound communications to interrupt those ADHD buyers. That’s a lot of emails, phone calls and banner ads loaded with supposedly juicy content before that target buyer asks, “you tawkin’ to me?” and pays attention. It’s not necessarily that the content or the offer or the call-to-action is irrelevant or weak. You have to be committed, be persistent and keep trying.
What’s the Payoff for the Shift to Quality?
Finally, though we have painted a dark and hopeless picture here with the state of things in B2B lead management behavior, the real message to deliver to your sales team and your bosses is that doing it right will make a huge difference in revenues and commissions for everyone. Sirius Decisions annual study of the B2B market repeatedly report that the best-in-class sales and marketing teams generate four (4) times the number of closed deals than average team from the same number of leads.
If that doesn’t get your bosses’ attention when you make your case for making some changes in your lead management practices, then you have a different problem to deal with friends.
Posted in B2B Marketing, Content Marketing, Lead Management, Lead Nurturing, Lead Quality, Uncategorized | No Comments »