Friday, December 21, 2007

"Always Be Opening" and Other Unexpected Advice

image I'm a bit skeptical of Webinars, white papers, and free eBooks. That's ironic as I'm a big fan of informational offers to generate online leads. Too often, these little morsels are self-serving, are not actionable, will talk down to me or are just plain boring.

So, I'm bringing a free ebook entitled Give Marketing a Sales Quota from Hugh Macfarlane to your attention that delivers the goods. Eloqua got my contact information, and I feel that I got good value in exchange. Unfortunately, there's no landing page that I can refer you to. So I'm linking directly to the ebook.

I wanted to add a little commentary to some points made in the book.

Always Be Opening

Make sure that sales is paying attention to the leads you're generating for them. Don't just incentivize Sales to close. It makes them spend their time with prospects that are already being worked. Incentivize them to open the next fresh lead before it goes cold.

Marketing is Only Valuable When it Delivers Revenue

I love this simple concept because, if you can get your organization to believe this, it addresses two of my pet peeves:

1. You have a good argument for killing the image-building brand-awareness crap that doesn't deliver the goods.

2. Marketing execs, long considered the head of the "creative department" can finally get a seat at the strategy planning table with the CFO and COO.

"Fragmented and incremental activities"

Your typical corporate marketing strategy can usually be described as a series of "fragmented and incremental activities." I'll hum a few bars, but you know the words:

What 10 things can we get done this quarter? OK, let's see which of those the CEO will let us do. When we're done, we'll have some cool creative to put on the slides that we present to the executives.

We don't know what problems our buyers face

We're so busy constructing positive messages about our company and our products, we don't acknowledge the pain and trade-offs that our prospects face when deciding if they will buy.

This is why I have dedicated myself to brining personas to the marketing world. At the heart of the persona is the reason a person comes to your Web site. The power of the conversion profile is that it lets everyone -- Sales and Marketing -- slip into the prospect's shoes.

Recycle the Leakage

Conversion is not the rate at which your Web site converts. That's your conversion rate. Conversion starts Conversations. Marketing has to be ready to carry on these conversations for the entire 3-9 month sales cycle faced by many B2B companies.

Read the eBook

This is good marketing. My apologies to Eloqua for linking directly to the book, but they didn't include a "share with a friend" link. That's a problem.

Photo courtesy juliaf

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