- B2B business development leadership, with roles in Direct Sales, Indirect Channels, Marketing and Demand Generation.
- Charter always includes the identification, development and generation of new revenue streams.
- Experience with early-stage, VC-funded, public and private companies; IPO with Mips, Netscape, E.piphany
- Experience with Multi-channel, online marketing solutions (PPC, SEO, Social Media, Display)
- Ad Agency experience. Developed Ad Agency channel for Conductor and worked for 3Q Digital, the Bay Area's largest privately held, digital Ad Agency.
- All 7 Best Practices
- Pre-Call Discovery Process
- One-on-One Call with Expert
- Session Summary Report
- Post-Session Engagement
- Buyers are doing a lot of research online about vendors and have often made their decisions before they ever speak with a sales rep.
- According to Gartner & Forrester research, somewhere between 60 and 90 percent of B2B sales cycles are completed before a prospect ever speaks with the vendor. That's a fundamental change in how sales are made, and a trend that only a few companies understand.
There are many sales and marketing implications, in terms of the sales cycle and how to generate well-qualified leads. Clearly, these buyers are visiting company websites and educating themselves by doing things such as downloading white papers, reading blog posts and viewing videos. They're doing research on their own. They are basically sniffing companies out and evaluating them, and going through what traditionally has been the education and qualification part of the sales cycle. They're doing a lot of that independently before they ever reach out and ask for a conversation with a sales rep.
It's essential now for companies to have a well-orchestrated, nurturing and educational process that begins the moment someone visits their website.
- Phone and web meetings are acceptable substitutes for face-to-face meetings early in the sales cycle.
Not that long ago, to have a national sales presence, a company would build up sales teams in cities all over the country, and insist their reps be out there having face-to-face meetings with their customers and prospects. Or they would spend a lot of money to put people on airplanes, pay for hotels and rental cars so they can travel wherever they needed to in order to meet prospects, some of whom would never convert to an actual sale. Of course, face-to-face is always preferred, but building out a geographically dispersed sales force is expensive and time consuming.
Today, it's perfectly valid to use GoToMeeting or WebEx or join.me, or Skype, or a combination of phone, video conferencing, and web demos with PowerPoint. Those types of conversations have become expected and acceptable substitutes for face-to-face meetings, especially early in the sales conversation.
With video conferencing technology, your reps can now have the first few conversations without traveling at all – and yet everyone involved can see each other and have a rich conversation. Your reps can walk potential clients through a presentation. They can be talking with an entire group of people who are calling in from multiple locations. Your company can have a very productive conversation with key decision makers much faster, more easily and at much less cost than a face-to-face conversation from a geographically dispersed sales force.
Of course, if you're selling a big ticket item and asking somebody to spend hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, it is still important to get face-to-face later in the sales cycle. But early on, it's absolutely acceptable to use web-based and video communications technologies.
- Finding new prospects is being replaced with "becoming findable."
- Companies used to hire sales reps and expect them to do cold calls and go to conferences and send emails, and to do what they could to find their own prospects.
Today, nobody answers their phone anymore, so cold-calling is basically dead. If 60-plus percent of the sales cycle is being done via online research before you even hear from the prospect, then "becoming findable" via a Google search, is truly crucial. If potential buyers are looking for what you sell, the first thing they're going to do is go online and do a Google search. They're going to look at your competitors' websites. They're going to go to your website to see what content you have.
- Do you have white papers?
- Do you have videos?
- Do you have a blog?
- Do you do webinars?
- Multichannel demand generation is becoming a strategic imperative.
- In this context, "multi channel" refers to all the various options available for communicating with your prospects online, offline, via email and phone, and in person.
Web channels include paid search, organic search, social media and programmatic display. This also includes your website.
- What happens when somebody visits your website? Do they have an informative and easy-to-navigate experience?
- Are you are using your website as a lead acquisition channel?
That round of golf can still be important for building relationships, and can often lead to new referrals, which are the best of all leads! But all of the various new channels that the web has created should be utilized as part of your demand generation and sales conversations.
- Inside phone teams are becoming more important in the lead qualifying process.
- As part of the demand generation and sales process, inside phone teams are becoming more important and prevalent. They can provide the first stage in the lead qualification and nurturing process.
For example, there is a fairly traditional demand generation model for early stage software companies. They offer white papers on their website, and when somebody clicks to download a white paper, a little lighthouse window comes up and says, “Thank you for asking for a white paper. Simply give us your email address, your name and title, and we'll send you a link to the paper.” The white paper download is being used as a way to capture information about the person that's asking for it.
Once you have the email address, automated emails go out to them and now you can start nurturing. If the prospect provides a phone number, an inside rep can call and have a very brief conversation: a thank-you, and in 40 seconds or less, your elevator pitch. Then ask 3-5 questions that will qualify the prospect as a lead. It's very quick.
Of course, many of these "potential prospects" aren't prospects at all. They may be students, or someone looking for a job, or someone that simply doesn't fit your minimum qualification criteria. If it is someone who says, “Yeah, I'm at a company and we're evaluating,” send the prospect to a sales rep to follow up, and you've started the sales cycle.
- There's an immediacy in the timing of web-to-phone contact that can be very compelling.
- When an inside phone rep can respond immediately to a website visitor prospect, literally within minutes of the website visit, this can become the key differentiator in your demand generation efforts. You can know right away if someone is a qualified lead or not. And if it is a qualified lead, you've already established contact, and now have more information about the prospect, and can start nurturing – all within minutes of someone downloading a white paper. It's very clean and effective. And your competition probably isn't doing it.