Tag Archives: Lead generation

Lead Management vs. Demand Generation. A White Board Runs Through It.

With all the marketing and sales jargon floating around, it is not surprising that some confusion exists around what certain terms mean. Carlos Hidalgo, CEO of Annuitas Group, noticed that many of the clients he worked with were confused about what demand generation and lead management were, and how the two worked together. So, he did a whiteboard series with Marketing Automation Software Guide, an online resource that provides reviews of marketing automation solutions. Carlos explains the difference between the two, as well as how marketing automation is a powerful tool for supporting the strategy you build around demand gen and lead management.

Most of what he says is pretty spot-on. My only modification would be to point out that individuals who leak from the funnel should be recycled by marketing with a special program until they are ready to progress again. This can be done with your marketing automation system.

Check out Carlos’ great whiteboard session and be sure to leave your comments below.

Where are You in the Evolution from Mad Men to Marketing Geeks?

It is a very exciting and challenging time to be a marketer, but it isn’t for the faint of heart or for those who refuse to learn new tricks. Evolution is not kind to the timid. Marketers today have a choice: get buried in the dust, or learn to thrive.

If you’ve been a marketer for more than 10 years you’ve seen a breath-taking amount of change. If you’ve been in the business only since about 2002, you’ve seen a lot of change too.

Consider all the new terms for marketers that have surfaced: Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Revenue Marketer, Marketing Technologist, Engagement Officer, Demand Generation Director, Social Media Specialist, Search Specialist, Digital Marketing Director and Marketing Operations Manager. I believe six of those nine titles didn’t existed 5 years ago. Two titles, Chief Revenue Marketer and Marketing Technologist, have only joined the vernacular in the past 24 months.

To appreciate just how much the marketing profession can change over time, let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane. It used to be so simple.

I love the hit TV series, Mad Men. I like seeing what the advertising business was like in the 1950’s. Simple. It was the same model that I stepped into 20 years later as an eager, long-haired grad with an advertising degree. I still think a gray Hart Schaffner Marx suit with white shirt and black wingtip shoes is a great look.

Somewhere in the 1980’s direct marketing concepts started to make inroads in B2B companies. New job titles surfaced, such as, Database Marketing Manager and Direct Marketing Manager. I recall reading a book back then called, Customer Engineering. It revealed to me the modeling, measurement and predictability of direct marketing. It changed the way I viewed marketing and my role as a marketer. I began to create plans and campaigns that drove sales in a measurable way.

At about the same time I read Geoffrey Moore’s, Crossing the Chasm (yes, the book is that old). Moore’s seminal book made me view the customer and customer behavior in an entirely different light.

In the 1990’s I learned to integrate and embrace call centers for pre-qualifying prospects and providing warmer leads to the sales department. This was also the time I built a bridge between my marketing team and the sales department. It wasn’t called sales and marketing alignment back then. It was called, this is how you achieve your bonus and keep your job.

Somewhere in the tech bubble of the late 1990’s and into 2000, marketers lost their way. Looking back I recall being under tremendous pressure from VCs to build brand awareness and get “eyeballs” to the website. It was all about how big and important you could make your company appear leading up to an IPO. Forget about the customer, we were asked to help build a house of cards.

Then throughout 2001 and 2002 the house of cards collapsed. It wasn’t pretty, but coming out of that downturn revenue and the customer regained their rightful focus for investors and business management.

With revenue back on center stage the challenge to marketers was clear, “Prove that what you are doing is driving revenue.” Many marketers panicked. They couldn’t do it. They knew little more than how to build awareness and provide unqualified leads to Sales..

About 2005 marketers began to learn how to use the Web and email for cost effective lead generation and direct sales. This required learning new skills for search marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and how to write compelling email offers. Finally, marketers had some of the tools they needed to impact the purchase decision and generate performance metrics to show to top management.

Fast forward to 2011, or more accurately switch to warp speed, Scotty. What skills are required for marketers to handle their revenue responsibilities today?  A post on Software Advice gets to the heart of the matter. Here are the main areas for skill development from the post, New Skills Needed to Address Marketing Gap

  1. Analytics and metrics: Marketers must now be able to measure campaign performance; track conversions along the sales funnel and make accurate forecasts.
  2. Lead management strategy: Marketers have to work with sales to define the different stages of the buyer’s journey. Then, they must develop a process that will best lead the buyer down that path.
  3. Content marketing: Relevant content is the key to engaging the buyer and getting them interested. Marketers have to be able to build a content strategy around their buyer’s journey
  4. Social media: More buyers are getting social, providing a viable medium for engagement. Being successful with social requires thought, strategy, content and consistent execution.

The first two skills involve data analysis and the ability to identify actionable information in gigabits of data. The marketing department has to have ready access to good data and a data geek.

There is no better source for learning about the buyer’s journey and lead management strategy than MathMarketing’s Funnel Academy (advanced B2B marketing curriculum). The newly formed Marketing Automation Institute is offering training for marketers who want to take their game to the next level. Other great sources of knowledge that I depend on regularly include MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa and Marketing Experiments, to mention a few. Even conferences, such as DemandCon, can play an important role in your professional development plan.

The pace of change for marketers will only accelerate if history is any indication. To thrive in this exciting new world, be very intentional, and schedule serious training for yourself and your team at least twice a year.

Do Marketers Have the Right Stuff to be Revenue Marketers?

In the past few months a cool new term has appeared on my radar. That term is, “revenue marketer”. Wish I had thought of it first. It defines a new level of marketing professional. While I’m energized by the term, sadly, I’m concerned that too many B2B marketers don’t have the right perspective and skills to play in this new league.

My latest exposure to the term was at an event in Austin hosted by Marketo, a marketing automation platform vendor. Speaking at the event was Debbie Qaqish , Chief Revenue Marketing Officer of  The Pedowitz Group, a demand generation agency based in Atlanta area.  Debbie has a Revenue Marketer blog, a Revenue Marketer internet radio show and is writing a book on the subject.  I’d say that qualifies her as a thought leader on the subject.  I think the Pedowitz Group has trademarked the term, as well.

In brief here is what Debbie defines as the characteristics of a revenue marketer and the role they play in their companies.

A revenue marketer is different from a demand generation marketer primarily in that the former is able to plan and execute predictable and repeatable campaigns. Other attributes:

  • Is obsessed about the impact that Marketing must have on revenue. Shares a business vernacular with the Sales VP.
  • Is a master of lead funnel management.
  • Possesses a deep understanding  of the market, of buyers,  and the buying process.
  • Is responsible for lead generation campaigns that can be tracked through the funnel and on to revenue impact.

With this check list in mind I did a quick mental exercise to see how many marketers that I know in B2B companies who have attributes of a revenue marketer. My unscientific survey had these results:

  • 20% are in the pro league; they have the skills, experience and the tools, such as marketing automation, and funnel modeling, to be a revenue marketer.
  • 20% are in the demand generation league, the farm league for revenue marketers. They are skilled at lead generation, but they are focused on lead counts, not on quality and not on revenue. The funnel may or may not be part of their world. They most likely have an email marketing platform, but don’t have a marketing automation system in place.
  • 60% are in the marketing awareness and branding league. Their focus begins and stops at ‘getting the product known’; having an attractive logo and website; and being mentioned in social media. They confuse gathering names with generating leads.

If you surveyed your marketing community what would the profile look like? I’d also like to hear from my friends in academia about what colleges are doing today to better prepare marketers for taking on the responsibilities of a revenue marketer.

Do you know your sales funnel like the back of your hand, or the back of your head?

If your CEO, head of marketing, and head of sales can all agree that the following information is known than step to the head of the class.  However,  I suspect that you won’t pass the test, meaning your company is like 90% of other B2B companies that are:

  1. Struggling to align marketing and sales,
  2. Struggling to hit their revenue numbers,
  3. Struggling to develop a believable plan and budget for 2010,
  4. Struggling to achieve a comfortable level of transparency into the sales forecast.

Often you’ll know:

  • The size of your market
  • How much revenue you need to generate out of that market

But do you, or the team, know:

  • How many deals you need to close each month?
  • How many proposals that will take – for each month of 2010?
  • How about first meetings (you know the one, the “Hi, thanks for making the time, tell me about your business”)? How many do you need in month 1,2,3 and next year?
  • And how many leads will that take from Marketing, and how many must Sales generate itself?
  • How about the market? Do you know how much of that market you need, and whether (and how tightly) you can (or must) focus?
  • Does everyone in Sales, Marketing, Finance and Operations have the same view of these numbers? Or are there disconnects?
  • How do these planned numbers compare to your current numbers?
  • Which of these do you know, and which of them are gaps in the understanding of your funnel?

So, how well do you, and your team know all of the numbers, and what does the future hold?
You need to have a simple, single model of your demand for 2010 (and beyond), outlining
your total funnel – top to bottom.

If you’re wondering where the gaps are in your ability to plan and execute a revenue plan effectively contact me. As a certified Funnel Coach in North America for MathMarketing there are many ways I can be of service to you this year, and some are even free.

My colleagues at MathMarketing in Melbourne have a nice habit of hitting the nail on the head when it comes to discussing funnel management, revenue planning, and marketing training, which is why I boldly lifted the above (in italics) from their literature. Thank you, mates.

Calculating Your Lead Volume Target: Lessons from Captain Hook

Universal rules for B2B marketers aren’t all found in text books and seminars. Sometimes wisdom can be found (re-found) in the oddest places; even in cartoons.

Remember the villain in Peter Pan, mean old Captain Hook?  He was only scared of one thing, a ticking clock. (To be accurate he was actually scared of the alligator, but stay with me a bit longer.)

As B2B marketers we have to have a healthy respect for the ticking clock, the passing of time.  Time,  just like Captain Hook’s nemesis,  can bite us in rear end  if we don’t understand the critical importance of time in our lead-sales funnel.

You may be feeling pretty good about your lead volume target. You calculated the number of deals or orders required to reach the revenue goal. You looked at conversion percentages at key points in the funnel. You calculated the gross number of names that marketing programs need to put into the top of the funnel.  What’s so tough about that, you might ask?

You have stepped into a trap and the alligator is about to have you for lunch.  Don’t ignore the ticking clock.

Here’s an excellent article with tips on how to factor time into your lead volume calculation. It’s good reading for sales managers, too.  The folks at Math Marketing have been developing and testing best practices for sales funnel management for over ten years on 4 continents.

If you want to be notified when there are Webinars or workshops on this topic, just contact me directly.

Do You Know How Big Your Funnel Is?

Here are five fundamental questions that too few B2B sales or marketing execs can answer and as a result they are flying blind.

  1. What is your average (or mean)  deal deal size expected to be in 2009?
  2. How many deals-contracts-orders do you need to win to achieve your revenue objective?
  3. How many weeks does it take to convert a name into a deal?
  4. What percentage of your  names leave the sales funnel during this period (leakage)?
  5. How many names do you need to put into the funnel, at what time, in order to achieve your revenue objective?

I’d say 80% of the companies I speak with cannot answer more than one  of these questions.  Such room for improvement.