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B2B Friday: Before Labor Day

by Trish Bertuzzi on Fri, Sep 04, 2009

Welcome to our 1st B2B Friday post. We are excited to share some of the best and most useful content that we've recently run across.  (This is a new idea for our blog. I hope you'll enjoy. If you do or don't please let us know.)

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B2B Thought #1: Are Marketer's Priorities Skewed?

In Are Marketer's Priorities Skewed?, Ardath Albee discusses her reactions to the results of a recent B2B Marketing Survey:

From the title I thought, wow, they're really getting it. Marketing needs to prove contribution to downstream revenues. Yeah!

But, what I learned instead was that their intentions may be great, but their strategy for getting there leaves me wondering how they ever will.

One of the things that told me they won't overwhelmingly prove their value is this:

"When asked what metrics they report to senior management, 59% said email opens and clicks and 49% said number of inquiries."

Say what? And then I came to this:

"18% said filling the top of the sales pipeline with as many "inquiries" as possible would be their top goal going forward. More concerning, of those who plan to focus on the top of the pipeline, 53% don't score leads and 69% don't nurture them."

Oh, my. There's definitely lots of work to be done. How is it possible in this day and age that jamming as many contacts as possible into the top of the funnel is a valid goal? Then again, since they don't score or nurture, what else would they focus on achieving?

Trish here: Ardath makes a great point. Here's my take - I've said it before and I'll say it again. I blame the CEO (unless you are a client and then of course I don't blame you!). When you compensate a Marketing Executive on quality v. quantity....you get crap poured into the top of the funnel. We talk about sales and marketing alignment but how about "C" level executive alignment with goals that are meaningful?

Definitely check out all the comments- great conversation.


B2B Thought #2: Your website should sell the sales conversation, not the product

In Effective B2B Lead Generation Means Selling the Conversation, Dale Underwood discusses the evolution in responsibilities between Marketing & Sales:

Tasks that were handled by sales (presentations, customer references, etc.) are recorded electronically by the marketing team in the form of webinars and case studies respectively; sales usually isn't even involved in these activities.

Less sales involvement puts more pressure on marketing to "sell".

To reverse this trend, marketers must rethink the goal of their marketing programs. Since most B2B companies do not sell products directly on their sites, the first goal should be to sell the sales conversation, not the product

Matt here: I read this post early Tuesday morning. At about 12:30, while eating lunch at my desk, Dale's point hit home. In B2B we are all working hard to educate the market and establish thought leadership.  That is good.

But what are we really trying to accomplish? For me it isn't about self promotion or getting the most links (or nowadays re-tweets), it is about encouraging a prospect to return a voicemail, respond to email, or pick up the phone when The Bridge Group calls. To me that is selling the conversation, not the product.

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