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4 Ways to Make B2B Sales as Smart as B2C Sales

Analytics define the business-to-consumer journey. With the long history of data availability available to B2C salespeople, they’re able to better track, recognize, and understand their prospects and the buying trips they take.

For business-to-business, there’s an added layer of complexity. You’re not just thinking about prospects as a company but as a bunch of individuals within a company; each has his own persona as both a businessperson and a consumer, meaning there’s a lot of data to digest and disseminate.

You have old-school firmographic data, new data elements, and beyond that, elements indicating business intent. All this information comes together to form analytics that can tell you whether a prospect has a particular need and whether your product or service is the one to fulfill it.

Use intent data to catch big fish with your marketing automation platform

Is your marketing automation as smart as it should be? Columnist Thomas Koletas explains how using intent data can help make your automation program more intelligent and efficient.

Marketing automation software (MAS) is all the rage among B2B marketers. Frost & Sullivan predicted the MAS sector will expand by a whopping 300 percent from 2014 to 2020, growing to $1.9 billion. And a full 63 percent of B2B marketers invest 10 percent to 29 percent of their budgets in marketing automation.

The unfortunate downside of all this growth is that marketing automation is simply not as smart as it could be. I don’t mean the concept isn’t a smart one; I mean the platform itself just isn’t smart.

What Marketers Need to Know About Facebook

Last week, Facebook opened up Messenger usernames for all businesses, encouraging them to promote their Messenger presence in the same way that Facebook once encouraged brands to promote their Facebook pages. Here are the main questions marketers need to understand about Facebook Messenger to determine just what role it will play in their marketing mix going forward:

1. Will it be all pull, or also push? Currently, Messenger operates as a mechanism for pull marketing. If you're a shoe store, a customer may message you to find out your hours or ask whether you have a certain brand and size in stock. If this store is very responsive on Messenger, then it has a chance to get the sale over a less responsive competitor.

“Spray and Pray”: A Step-by-Step Guide to Effective Targeted Sales Prospecting

Some salespeople view prospecting as a numbers game. They reason that the more emails they send and calls they make, the more conversations they will have, and the more customers they will eventually sign. So instead of spending time customizing and personalizing their outreach for each individual prospect, they mass blast generic emails, and follow the exact same script on every single call.

Seven Essential Mobile Apps for Marketers

By Kerry Gorgone, {grow} Contributing Columnist

Back in 2014, I wrote a post on essential mobile apps for marketers. It’s been a while, and since apps change more often than Kim Kardashian’s phone number, I thought it was time for an update.

These days I have 144 apps on my phone. That sounds like an insane number of apps, but I have them neatly grouped into categories, so I have just a few screens of icons.

Mastering the “Four Ps” of Office Communication

Don’t just wait for the next company meeting to keep your team informed.

We have never been so connected. With modern technology, countries all over the world are, quite literally, at our fingertips. Why, then, does it seem so hard to spread the word about something as simple as, say, the company picnic on Saturday, the new HR policy changes or that big new client the sales team has been courting for months?

Good office communication flow boils down to what I call, the “four Ps” — portions, packaging, placement and point-in-time. In other words, you’ve got to pass the message at the right time, in the right place, and in nicely packaged, digestible bites.

How Product Marketing Has Become a Sales Enablement Challenge

Product marketing professionals find themselves as the lynchpin between Product, Marketing, and Sales. However, most functions are notorious for not investing enough time in supporting sales efforts. Sure, they are effective at product launches and using feature/benefit language, but they often fall short when it comes to effectively enabling their sales team.

While this stigma can be true, it would be wrong to assume that product marketers don’t want to help their sales team. Instead, they often lack the adaptability required to support the dynamic aspects of the sales process. This is what makes marketing and sales alignment so difficult. Language and tactics that present well in an internal strategy meeting don’t always translate to effective customer conversations.

11 important content marketing metrics I bet you don’t measure

Eighty-eight percent of marketers use content marketing—up by 2 percent from last year (86 percent). Seventy-six percent of them also plan to create more content in 2016, according to Content Marketing Institute.

However, measuring content effectiveness is among the top challenges faced by B2B content marketers.

As a marketer, bringing tangible results should be our top priority. However, determining the success of content is not as simple as it appears. While there are several metrics to dig into, there is no particular set of metrics to answer your questions.With businesses allotting more of their budget to content marketing, marketers must align their goals with the results they want. Let’s learn about the metrics that determine the overall performance and health of your content campaign—not just those that are easy to track.

The Revenue-Generating CMO

Piloting Revenue Attribution - How top-flight CMOs prove that each new marketing dollar they invest drives organic revenue growth.

Revenue-generating chief marketing officers create more shareholder wealth than any other type of CMO.

More than brand-building CMOs. More than lead-generating CMOs. More than product-positioning CMOs.

The 9 Skills Every Community Manager Needs

When you tell someone you’re a community manager, you’re probably bracing yourself for two things. One, that you’ll have to explain what that means—and you probably already have your pithy elevator pitch in your pocket—and two, that you’ll have to further explain that no, no, you’re not just a professional tweeter/facebooker/instagrammer by trade. Sigh.

We know that our jobs are about much more than just the social channels we help manage, and someday most of the business world will finally catch up, too. In fact, we tend to have so many irons in the fire that it can even be difficult for us to tell what makes us so good and suited for our jobs.

We’ve boiled it down to make it much easier for you.

19 Ideas That Will Inspire a Years Worth of Blog Post Topics

Step 1: Determine What Type of Post To Write

There’s more than just one type of post.

So, if you’re at loss for ideas, start by determining which type(s) of posts you want to focus on.

This will help you brainstorm new ideas or tweak the ones you already have.

Maybe you have a general idea of what to write about, and just don’t know how to present the information in the best way possible. In that case, choosing the right type will help you get more focused.

Here are a few post types you need to consider:

Why Fear is Limiting Your Sales Career

Division, also known as the Big Red One, headed into a meat grinder on D-Day.  Soldiers pressed on despite seeing most of their peers decimated before their eyes.  This historic photo is appropriately named The Jaws of Death.

Think of the challenges you face in your role as a sales leader.  While sales leaders make tough decisions, hopefully this historic reference places the challenges of today’s business problems in perspective.

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