Sunday, June 30, 2013

Interrupt Marketing: A Provocative B2B Methodology That Makes A Compelling First Impression

Field Marketing Specialists Earn Their Stripes By Nurturing Leads To Sales Ready Status

I recently presented marketing assisted selling as an effective way to optimize the ROI from a B2B company's sales assets. Interrupt marketing, a component of marketing assisted selling, is a necessary, but challenging lead generation methodology.  It requires discrete, knowledge-based persistence.  It meshes with a prospect's buying cycle and can initiate your selling cycle.  It is best implemented as part of the field marketing process - not by field sales reps.

Begin a campaign by "approaching" a well defined targeted suspect list. Use sequentially scripted 1to1 "approach" emails that are generated through the CRM system based on campaign criteria and timed according to workflow rules - let's say every three-to-five work days. The goal is to gain permission from contacts who want to receive timely and concise information about your campaign subject.  A bonus occurs if they become an early stage lead ready for nurturing.  For those suspects who don't reply by the third email, the field marketing specialist will make a scripted telephone call after reviewing LinkedIn and other sources and updating the CRM record.  The goal is for them to opt-in or opt-out and for you to move on accordingly.

Email marketing tools provide a more aesthetically pleasing [compared to CRM generated emails] means for staying in touch with those who opt-in.  They offer the versatility to embed surveys and manage event marketing campaigns.

Through sign up forms on websites, social networks and email signatures, new subscribers may specify their areas of interest for receiving timely, concise information.  Use the field marketing process to approach these new subscribers and to correctly categorize them in the CRM system for future campaigns.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Marketing-Assisted-Selling For B2B Companies

A Great Marketing Assisted Selling Program Will Boost ROI From Your Sales Process To The Next Level

To me, a B2B sales professional plays the role of a high value company asset who leads and executes a tailored selling process while also being an adept marketer and customer experience expert.  Their primary accountability includes:

  1. Managing a healthy sales funnel for continuous goal attainment
  2. Creating golden spike sales opportunities
  3. Converting customers to clients
  4. Facilitating company-to-company and peer-to-peer relationships
  5. Channeling external feedback to company leaders contributes to effective decision making

Marketing Assisted Selling Enables The Optimal ROI From Your Sales Assets

  1. Analytical tools help customers determine if they have a problem worth solving.
  2. A portfolio of success stories about a challenge, solution and results is a risk reduction tool for situations where risk reduction is more important than price reduction.
  3. Pricing tools show the value of each trade-off during negotiations.
  4. Managed relationships with complementary vendors who need a "whole product" partner and who have relationships with people that can benefit from your company's solutions can be your best lead source.
  5. Self-service information, assessment templates, executive and application oriented presentations, and proposals fit for the appropriate stage of the buying process - Content must be instinctive for general conversation and more in-depth for leave behinds, downloadable PDFs, and proposal appendices.
  6. The field marketing (FM) process is involved in each stage of the buying cycle:
    • Awareness Stage: approach suspects to gain permission to send relevant, timely and expected information that continually reinforces your company and its solutions.  For each contact who is added to the CRM database, FM Associates search for additional contacts where cross-selling makes sense.  FM Associates schedule sales interviews for reps and are a consistent source of information when sales reps are unavailable.

    • Pre-Purchase Stage: Use a marketing automation tool to nurture early stage leads. FM Associates assign sales ready leads and work with sales reps to ensure that leads are reviewed and acted upon in a timely manner.  FM Associates stay in touch by distributing relevant articles, company information and videos and conducting theme webinars.
    • Purchase Stage: FM Associates assist in presentations, proposals, site visits, etc.
    • Post-Purchase Stage: Sales reps and FM associates co-author programs to retain, cross-sell and up-sell second-tier customers (STCs) and develop STCs into key accounts. A welcome package for new customers teaches them how to do business with your company and creates a positive first impression.