Marketing managers use several tools for converting prospects into buyers.  If your business is not using customers to tell compelling stories about your products or services, you are missing out on one of the best tools you have. Four reasons why customer references are indispensable in today’s sales environment: References build your credibility Customer references help establish credibility. They also help balance out bias that all prospects know is part of a salesperson’s pitch.  That’s because a customer’s story presents the experiences of people outside your company—people who actually use your products. Just as you’re more likely to believe a friend that praises a restaurantRead More →

Everyone wants a full pipeline. A full pipeline means more opportunities, and all things being equal, more closed business. But – are all things equal? Is your pipeline stuffed with wheat or chaff? From a marketers point of view, we need to do everything we can to help sales winnow the chaff quickly, consistently and positively. Fast Fail is an approach widely applied in software development. This concept is described in the article, Fast failure: The secret to fostering more IT innovation than your competitors. The author explains, “Without failure there can be no innovation, learning, or transitioning in an organization, and the organization that neverRead More →

As we’ve discussed, solution selling is different from other sales in the fact that you need to bring multiple stakeholders to the conclusion that your solution is the best option. By identifying specific stakeholder personas, you can craft your content to target their specific pain points. And by understanding where and when to target them along the buyer’s journey, you know what pieces of collateral you need to create to bring your message to their doorstep. Now we’d like to give you some practical advice on the last mile: four marketing tactics to get your message absorbed and acted on. The tactics are Social Media, Direct Marketing, SalesRead More →

In my blog, Has Social Media Failed SMB B2B Businesses? Part 1 – The ROI Problem, I shared an issue we hear a lot – How do small-to-medium (SMB) sized B2B businesses show a dollar-based return on investment (ROI) with social media? Until social platforms mature to the point where these companies can make predictable revenue directly attributable to their posts, it’s going to remain a very difficult question to answer. Right now, B-to-B interactions involve activities like EDI exchanges, supply chain or ERP activities, or possibly help-desk questions and responses.  Social media is not yet viewed as an imperative part of this communication mix,Read More →