Customer-Centric Marketing and Sales Enablement

Why Your Inbound Marketing Isn’t Generating Leads| 3 Root Causes

Posted by Mark Shapiro

MOVING PAST THE HYPE AND GETTING REAL RESULTS WITH INBOUND MARKETING COMES DOWN TO TIME-TESTED MARKETING FUNDEMENTALS AND DISCIPLINE.  

There is no doubt that buyers are in control and that they way they buy has radically changed - making it imperative to adopt and master Inbound marketing. But as with any change that involves people, process, and

 technology - getting them it all in sync is a challenge that takes time and effort to get right. 

We often work with marketers and executives who are frustrated they have invested a lot of time and resources into their website but are disappointed it's not producing the qualified leads and customers they had hoped for.

They've done everything "right"  -they've invested time and effort into SEO, Adwords, and content but, they haven’t seen results, or if they have, it hasn’t translated to more leads and sales. Does any of this sound familiar?

  • You have a website but you can't figure out why you're not getting leads
  • You're blogging but you still can't get any leads
  • You created an ebook or white paper but nobody is downloading it
  • You  post on social media but nobody really cares or engages
  • You're doing all of the things people say you should do (email, blogging, etc.) and still, you can't get it to work and generate enough leads

If any of these sounded familiar then you’re probably making some common mistakes, which are impacting your results.

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Topics: Buyer's Journey, Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

How Effective Lead Generation Can Reduce Your Sales

Posted by Mark Shapiro

What To Do When You Have Too Many Leads and Not Enough Revenue– Yes This Really Happens…  

I know this may sound crazy, but I just talked to a sales manager that said he had too many leads. What he really meant was that he had more leads than he could follow up on and no way to separate the "hot leads"

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Topics: Buyer's Journey, Inbound Marketing

4 Keys To Building Buying Consensus

Posted by Mark Shapiro

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN B2B SALES AND MARKETING IN ANY INDUSTRY: HOW DO YOU GET ALL THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE THE DECISION TOGETHER AND CLOSE THEM OUT?

The myth of the decision maker

On average, 5.4 people are involved in today’s B2B purchase decisions. This creates differences in opinion that make it increasingly hard to reach a decision and many teams simply give up on purchases altogether. This scenario combined with a buyer- controlled purchasing process significantly increases the challenge for sales and marketing to influence the buying process.

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Topics: Content Development, Buyer's Journey, Sales Enablement, Persona Development, Challenger Selling, Segmentation Strategy

Why Selling Is 5.4 Times Harder Than You Thought - And what to do about it

Posted by Mark Shapiro


MOST TECHNOLOGY PURCHASES ARE GROUP DECISIONS AND MANY SALES AND MARKETING ORGANIZATIONS ARE UNPREPARED TO SUPPORT THE BUYING PROCESS:

Buying and selling has become increasingly complex and purchases no longer hinge on “the decision maker”. On average, 5.4 people are involved in today’s B2B purchase decisions. This creates differences in opinion that make it increasingly hard to reach a decision and many organizations simply give up on purchases altogether. This scenario combined with a buyer- controlled purchasing process significantly increases the challenge for sales and marketing to influence the buying process. 

Typically both business and IT functions are involved with initiatives tha

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The Growing Relevance of Challenger Selling and Marketing

Posted by Mark Shapiro

MORE ORGANIZATIONS ARE LOOKING TO MARKETING TO SUPPORT AN INSIGHT SELLING MODEL :

I don't know if it's merely coincidence or because there's a growing recognition that the way complex technology products are sold must change; but a number of CEO's, sales leaders, and marketing executives I've spoken with lately have specifically brought up the Challenger Selling Model or have described issues that this model addresses.  The conversation either starts with or leads to the need to improve their marketing  (and more specifically what is usually considered product marketing)  to provide support for this approach.  They typically mention the need for "better information on our buyers to create more effective messages" 

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Topics: Content Development, Buyer's Journey, Sales Enablement, Persona Development, Challenger Selling, Segmentation Strategy

Why did Sales spend only one-third of their time selling ?

Posted by Mark Shapiro


Sales enablement tips to boost productivity

With sales spending two-thirds of their time last year on non-selling activities, it should come as no surprise that with such low sales productivity, 79% of companies surveyed report that their top priority is to improve sales productivity.

If only one-third of a salesperson’s time is spent selling- what’s happening the rest of the time?  Sales bandwidth is consumed by a number of non-selling activities including internal meetings, administrative tasks, service calls, training, researching accounts, generating leads, and preparing for sales calls.

Some of the above mentioned tasks are unavoidable, however one stat is very revealing: 31% of rep time is spent searching for and creating content, which indicates a major disconnect between what reps need and what is being done to support them. 

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Topics: Content Development, Buyer's Journey, Sales Enablement

How Do CEO’s Define and Value Product Marketing ?

Posted by Mark Shapiro


The Great Divide:

If you’re trying to understand how product marketing can bring value to your organization try looking at it from the CEO’s perspective. The CEO of a global IT security vendor recently emailed me and stated:

“In brief, our current challenge is the gap that exists between product management (very technical) and marcom.  We need to do a better job on sales enablement, competitive analysis, pricing, licensing and all that goes with product marketing...Getting this right is the key to our growth”

Addressing Products Not Problems 

This statement says a lot and gets to the heart of what holds many technology companies back. 

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Topics: Content Development, Buyer's Journey, Sales Enablement

Messaging vs. Positioning

Posted by Mark Shapiro


What is the role of Messaging and Positioning in a Communications Strategy

Ensuring your communications development process covers both these critcal and foundational elements.

B2B product marketers have to think about both positioning and messaging when developing marketing content, training sales and working with influencer groups.  Your messaging and positioning needs to be developed with these uses in mind and has to

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Topics: Content Development, Buyer's Journey, Sales Enablement, Positioning, Messaging

Developing Bottom of the Funnel Content To Drive Purchase Decisions

Posted by Mark Shapiro


Providing sales with the content and context they need to effectively engage and support the buyer’s journey:

What content do you need for the last leg of the buyer’s journey? How do you support the bottom of the funnel as your prospects begin to engage with sales?

The concept of the Buyer’s Journey is essentially a framework that 

describes the cognitive steps each buyer must personally traverse leading from apathy (Do I care?) to 

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Topics: Content Development, Buyer's Journey, Sales Enablement, Inbound Marketing

You’re Not Special (Yet) - Why Positioning Matters

Posted by Mark Shapiro


Of the million or more messages you encountered in the last year, how many can you remember? How many were meaningful enough to shape your buying decision or to change your behavior?

Just recently, Cybersecurity Ventures published "The 500 Top Cybersecurity Companies". (that's not a typo) In 2016 VC's invested $3.1 billion in a record 279 cybersecurity startups- adding even more "next generation" technology. CTO's CISO's, and security decision makers are overwhelmed and inundated by vendors offering "solutions". It's now harder than ever to reach buyers of complex technologies, vendor's struggle to get their messages across and get lost in the noise.

There are a few key things you need to do to stand out in any marketspace and especially a complex one like cybersecurity where the margin for error is slim and those that don't stand out won't last long. While I do a lot of work related to network, software and device security for enterprise and "Internet of Things", these challenges are by no means unique to these markets.

One CEO's challenge - Does this sound familiar?

I recently had a call with the CEO of a rapidly growing company who was interested in our services. Before getting on the call I did the customary background information gathering to understand his business, products and competitors.  He happens to be in a very crowded space and so I looked at some of the companies in the space and focused in on a few that seemed to be similar in product offerings and target audiences. (So much so that they could have been interchangeable). When I spoke to the CEO and said

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Topics: Content Development, Buyer's Journey, Sales Enablement



Building Sustainable Marketing Practices
How-To's, Tips and Advice 

Today's marketing buzzwords (Inbound, Content, Growth Hacking , Social Media Optimization, Newsjacking etc... ) will give way to the next wave of  "hot " methods.  The thing that won't change is that effective marketing needs to  focus on the customer and not the product.   Offerings need to be targeted at the right set of buyer segments and supported by messaging and positioning that clearly articulates the business and technical value proposition. 

This blog is intended to share insights and approaches from current engagements and years of experience and apply these time-honored principals to the latest techniques for sustainable marketing and sales enablement. Hopefully this provides ideas and inspiration on how you can identify gaps in your approach and improve your marketing to deliver maximum return from your marketing resources.

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