- They want a career that allows them to do interesting work
- Money is important, but so too is flexibility and bonus potential
- When looking at a potential employer the opportunity to develop is the most crucial factor
- They value a coaching style of leadership
- They expect email to be the dominant style of communications for the foreseeable future
I love it when you stumble across something you created a few years ago and, upon re-reading, decide that it still holds up.
What additional ones would make your list of must-read blogs – particularly in the B2B space?
Yesterday I spoke at a seminar organised by B2B Marketing magazine. Rather than use the traditional analogies of dating/marriage that we all use to describe the nurturing approach, I used the topic of vegetable gardening (it’s the new rock’n’roll!).
Marketing campaigns produce seedlings, but that’s only the start – we need to feed, weed, water, prick out etc at the appropriate time. We also need to ensure that the sales teams want to eat vegetables and are not just red meat eaters. You get the picture?
So my 9 tips for a bumper marketing crop have now become:
- Grow the right stuff (Align marketing activity with Sales)
- What’s growing and What isn’t (Record all your Responses in a client contact-centric view)
- Follow the instructions on the Seed Packet (Develop “nurturing blueprints” of standardised processes to develop a relationship from an initial response)
- Apply the right Feed at the right time (Align your nurturing content to the stages of the buying cycle)
- Are the nutrients being absorbed? (Implement activity-based scoring)
- Make it easier with a little machinery (Automate the most appropriate processes)
- Share your knowledge (Integrate your marketing insights with the CRM system)
- Monitor Progress Regularly (Measure key indicators)
- Apply plenty of Mulch (Refine and keep learning)
You can find the complete presentation on Slideshare.
Flickr Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tico_bassie/120810354/
Catching up on some reading today I came across this article from the ITSMA – an interview with the excellent Brian Carroll. It offers the following common sense advice to improve your lead management:
- Create a marketing funnel
- Create a universal definition of a lead
- Use the phone
- Ask about goals – don’t sell
- Define lead nurturing – and the right people to nurture
All good stuff – you can read the full article here.
Here are some of the key documents, blogs and websites that I have used recently that have really helped me get an insight into the issues and potential challenges surrounding lead nurturing and progression:
I found that googling Laura Ramos at Forrester unearthed a number of insightful pieces including a paper titled– How mature is B2B Lead Management in which they had benchmarked 252 B2B companies and established that only 9% were at best practice. For most of us, we were creating leads that we were passing onto the sales teams (usually too early), and the sales teams were tending to cherry-pick those that they felt they could close quickly. All the rest was leaking out of the buying funnel. There is also a Forrester Marketing Blog that Laura and a number of her colleagues contribute to.
Another name that keeps on popping up is Brian Carroll, CEO of Intouch. His ebook Start with a Lead offers some practical pointers that help remind us that nuturing a client from initial interest through to sale takes a sustained effort, not just a series of disconnected tactics. Brian maintains a regular B2B Lead Generation blog.
Another great resource to dive into is Jon Miller’s Modern B2B Marketing blog. Of special note here is the Big List of B2B Marketing Blogs where you will find the opportunity to learn from and engage with good, bad and ugly truth-seekers in this arena.
That’s where I started on this journey – along with a few a few vendor websites such as Marketing Advocate and Vtrenz and a handful of newsletters from the likes of MarketingSherpa and MarketingProfs.
There’s so much information out there that’s just a click away – and most of it is free. On its own this won’t solve your lead management challenges of course, but at least you’ll sense that there’s some others who are thinking along similar lines as yourself.
What free sources do you use for inspiration on the topic of B2B lead nurturing? Please post a comment and let me know.
And Finally – and for not obvious reason whatsoever, each post will be headlined by a an extract from a song. The only prize is your own smug satisfaction. Post #1 was pretty obvious – Start! By the Jam. Today’s is much more obscure, but also from the Jam – News of the World.