Creative Use of Social in B2B Marketing

Posted by Dan Kraus | October 19, 2014


I had the opportunity to do three presentations at the eXtremeCRM conference two weeks ago in Las Vegas and I wanted to give a shout out to the folks from The Portal Connector for Dynamics CRM for the way they leveraged social media for B2B marketing during the conference.  (They took the same approach at the Microsoft WPC) 

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Topics: B-to-B Marketing, Social media

Personas Risk Leading Your Marketing Astray

Posted by Dan Kraus | October 13, 2014


I could not agree more with Tim Reisterer and his recent article in the Sales and Marketing magazine. (You can read the article here, on pages 22-23.)

It’s a great article and dead on point. Personas are an excellent way for marketers to paint a broad picture of those they are trying to attract, helping unseasoned marketers get a grip on the idea of whom they’re writing to and creating programs for. Personas also help shape the language you use in your marketing collateral and tactics while providing a common language to use inside an organization as they talk about different prospective customer roles.

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Topics: Sales, buyer persona

So You Want to Become a Sales Rep: 7 Things You Should Know Before Moving

Posted by Dan Kraus | October 7, 2014


If you look at my résumé before I founded Leading Results, you’d see someone who was a bit schizophrenic in their sales and marketing career. I have had as many marketing roles as I have had sales roles. Why? Because when I had a sales job, I would often get frustrated with the effectiveness of the marketing to find me sales leads. Or the reverse: I’d have a marketing job and get frustrated with the effort – or lack thereof – that sales would put into the leads I generated. In either case, I’d shoot my mouth off and get told, “Okay, you go do it.” So I did.

I’m older and wiser now.

It sometimes seems that sales gets all the glory while marketing does all the work. It’s not true, but it does seem that way at times – though those times may be a-changing with the impact of the search engine on buyer behavior.

But I’ll assume that as a smart marketer/finance manager/consultant, you know all this, and still want to go and be a sales rep. Here are seven things you should be sure you know as you go:

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Topics: Sales Compensation, sales and marketing, Sales, sales calls

How Closed Customers Can Help Inform Your Marketing Strategy

Posted by Dan Kraus | September 29, 2014


Notice I didn’t say new customers. Or prospects. Closed business – people that actually pay you money for your products or services – should have the biggest impact on your go-forward marketing. However, there are lots of caveats to this.

When you are early in your business, before your business model finally gels, any customer that pays you is a good customer. This is one of the most treacherous times and one of the best times to let your closed customers influence your marketing strategy. But, and it’s a big but, you have to be careful in the questions you ask and the way that you listen to the answers.

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Topics: know your customer, customer buying process, customer experience

5 Tips For Surviving Day 2 of Inbound 2014

Posted by Darling Jimenez | September 17, 2014


So day one of Inbound 2014 is  over (perhaps not for you brewmasters). By now a few things have happened, you have met some very cool people, you have been excited by the new possibilities of the CRM and you have had way too much coffee, and still  feel exhausted and not sure how you will make it to and through inbound's wednesday sessions in one piece. Here are 5 tips to help you make it through tomorrow in one piece:

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Topics: Marketing Automation, inbound2014, survivinginbound

5 Awesome Quotes From Day On Keynotes at Inbound 2014

Posted by Darling Jimenez | September 16, 2014


INBOUND IS AWESOME! There is so much positive energy, so much to learn and so many brilliant people.  It's hard to remember every brilliant thing that has been said but here are 5 quotes to take away from day one

  1. "The cost of leadership is self-interest. We let alphas lead because when danger strikes we expect them to protect us."  Simon Sinek 
  2. "Leaders do not ask for reasons to sacrifice, they take the risk and that's what makes them leaders." Simon Sinek
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Topics: inbound2014, inboundkeynotes

HubSpot: Now with CRM included!

Posted by Dan Kraus | September 16, 2014


The space-time continuum between sales and marketing is rapidly moving to extinction. Sales individuals must think like marketers (see John Jantsch’s new book – Duct Tape Selling), and marketers are engaging with prospects in what had traditionally been considered a sales activity. Brian Halligan, the CEO of HubSpot has repeated a number of time "The traditional sales process in broken. Instead of "always be closing," the next generation of sales teams will "always be helping."

Customers have changed their buying process dramatically. Marketers and sales teams have begun to adjust their approach. But the tools that teams use to effectively work together have not kept up (see this post we wrote a few months ago)... Until now.

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Topics: CRM, CRM and Marketing

Wholesale Knowledge Drain

Posted by Dan Kraus | September 15, 2014


There has been a lot written about Costco and their success as compared to other “wholesale clubs”. I particularly like this article in Bloomberg. And while I like Costco and have been a member at times, I currently do not live within a reasonable driving distance to one, so I belong to BJ’s.

While chatting with the check out clerk this morning, she commented (as she scanned my quart of blueberries) that they (BJ’s) had finally gotten smart and starting taping the containers shut. I commented that I agreed it was a good thing because I had one pop open on me in my cart and had lost all the berries to the parking lot. She said the same thing had happened to her.

Then she went on to say that she had observed a lot of little things the company could do better. When I asked her if she tells the company about them, her answer was no; that they only care if they do something wrong and never tell them (the staff) when they do something right. She said “I have not been late in eight months, or called out sick, but god help me if my supervisor saw me chewing gum”. (I would guess she is about 40 years old). In a few additional comments, she indicated that she really did not feel appreciated at all, but going to a place like Costco was impractical because it really was too far to drive.

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Learn from the marketing brilliance of the ALS Bucket Challenge

Posted by Darling Jimenez | August 26, 2014


It’s everywhere, dominating your Facebook news feed and your TV screen. You cannot get away from it because from George Bush to Lady Gaga, everybody is doing it. The ALS bucket challenge has managed to leverage social media to raise awareness and massive donations ($80 Million as of yesterday). But why has the ALS Bucket challenge been so successful?

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Topics: buyer persona

The second critical role on your marketing team

Posted by Laura Lorenz | August 20, 2014


In my last blog, I began discussing the change in marketing that has occurred over the last fifty or so years. Strategy was the focus of that post.

In this post, we’ll discuss the difference between copy-writers of old and great content writers of today.

When I think about copy-writers, I think of Peggy from Mad Men. Her job was to create promotional materials for the purpose of selling to a specific demographic. It needed to be able to persuade the reader to buy whatever the copy is selling. They used focus groups to see if the copy they wrote would move people to action.

Great content writers today write educational content that helps a potential client figure out how to solve a problem they are having. They need to be able to gently guide them through their buyer’s journey, helping the reader or viewer arrive at the conclusion that their product or service is the only one that will solve the problem.

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Topics: content marketing, outsourced marketing staff