Blog Ramblings

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

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

Will Inbound Marketing Solve My Lead Generation Problem?

Posted by Dan Kraus | December 7, 2013


The short answer is no. But the short answer is never the complete answer.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Sales

Finding Success with

Posted by Dan Kraus | November 9, 2013


At Leading Results we do a lot of work with ERP (aka accounting) software resellers and consultants. These consulting businesses are in a difficult market:

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Topics: Sales

Five Ways to Use Testimonials to Generate Leads

Posted by Dan Kraus | October 2, 2013


Testimonials from your clients (or partners) are traditionally used in the sales process to help a prospect develop trust. Trust that you or your product does what you say it does. What many businesses miss however, is the opportunity to use their customer testimonials to generate new inquiries and leads.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Public Relations - PR, Testimonials, video, Customer Service, Linked-In, Marketing, Social media, Sales

How Well Do You Know Your Perfect Customer?

Posted by leadingresults | September 2, 2013


First, let’s define perfect customer. The concept of a perfect customer is pretty simple – they are the ones, that if you could get enough of them, it would rock your year. They are profitable; they value your knowledge, experience and you as a vendor partner and they refer you. They are the people you love to do business with. As Duct Tape Marketing Consultants, we call them ideal customers.

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Topics: Referral marketing, content marketing, strategy, Marketing, Sales

Best quotes from Hubspot Inbound 2013

Posted by Dan Kraus | August 23, 2013


The Leading Results team just invested 10 man-days at the Hubspot Inbound conference (3 of us for 3 days and 2 of us for a half day). If you are a marketer, you want to put this conference on your calendar for next year. The amount of great content and new things to learn was just about overwhelming. And it wasn’t all (or even mostly) about Hubspot software.  It covered marketing, life, customer delightion (a Hubspot word), charity, technology and trends – and those were just the sessions I personally went to.

There were great quotes from all the speakers throughout the conference – and some we thought worth sharing and considering. Here they are:

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Topics: content marketing, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Sales

Seller's Remorse

Posted by Dan Kraus | August 6, 2013


We’ve all heard of buyer’s remorse.  Its that time after you make a purchase where you regret having made the decision.  Sometimes it imagined – a form of a brief panic attack – and sometimes its real, like choosing a house (or anything else you need to live with for a long time) for the wrong reasons and truly coming to regret it.

Seller’s remorse is something we don’t experience as much, but is just as real. On a personal level it may be when you sell something you really wish you had kept (my Audi Allroad is still missed for example). For a business owner or sales manager, it comes in the form of the client that you wished you had never written the proposal for, or that customer that bought, that you just knew as you took the payment, that they would be back again (and again, and again) and never with good news.

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Topics: strategy, Sales

Building Marketing 101 into your CRM System

Posted by leadingresults | July 16, 2013


A few weeks ago we did a post on CRM Systems are not a Magic Bullet for Business Development and discussed some ways to leverage your CRM (Contact Relationship Management) database. What we didn’t discuss was a few specific pieces of data that should be tracked.

Let’s discuss what fields are pertinent for Marketing 101. At the very minimum you should have the following fields:

  • Account Type – required – is used to determine what type of account it is (customer, prospect, referral partner, past customer)
  • Source – every record should have a place of origin
    • Data Source – from a list that you typically import
    • Lead Source – where did the lead come from? Even better if you have a Lead Type (print advertising, website, referral, etc.) and a Lead Source (the specific source; ABC ad, XYZ Landing page or Joe Smith)
    • Industry – we are big fans of tracking industry so that you can see what kind of mix you have or should have
    • Product/Service Type – ideally you would know what products/services each customer has so that you can do targeted marketing.
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Topics: lead optimization, Marketing, Sales

Connections, connections everywhere, and not a one to pitch

Posted by leadingresults | July 8, 2013


“I have over 6,000 linked-in connections!” 

I met a small business owner this week who made the previous boast.  And yet later in the same conversation he lamented how it seems that for all the hard work he's done in developing his LinkedIn network, it really isn't helping him develop any real connections or sales opportunities.

And this is where today’s discussion of social networks will start.

We, as humans, can really only maintain up to about 250 active social connections at one time- and even fewer (less than 15) as our “immediate tribe or family”. As soon as you are over that number, you have what are termed “Facebook friends”  Not people on the proverbial Christmas card list, but people who you know of, and know of you. We do not however think of our Facebook friends regularly or first when we look to make referrals and introductions- they simply aren’t and can’t be top of mind.

This is also, by the way, why weekly referral groups like BNI can be much more effective than monthly chamber of commerce type events.

So our business owner with 6,000 Linked in connections, it seems to me, may not have any real connections at all.   What they do have is an advertising platform to attempt to reach and connect with people who have connected with him… likely to do the exact same thing! (connect without connecting!)

This is a perfect example of a very broad network-  lots of very weak connections.

How should they use that social media platform?

Two answers:

1) As a content based advertising platform following the 10:4:1 rule of thumb:

  • 10: Re-broadcasting 10 pieces of other people’s content relevant or interesting content to your connections (content that reinforces who you are/what you believe).
  • 4: Initiating and promoting 4 pieces of your content that you’ve created/written/had commissioned/etc.
  • 1: One direct sales promotional piece that is a direct promotional offer.

If you generate a ton of content, you can start to exchange the 10/4 numbers.  I’d start to define a ‘ton’ of content when you are producing at least 30 pieces of content a month.

2) As an introduction engine:   I’m looking for a _________ to connect with ___________.
Being at the center of a pleasant introduction can significantly ‘deepen’ the connection with both of the people.  We, of course, like people that help us, and that we help.  If said business owner started listening for referral/introduction opportunities, they can have a much better shot of quickly deepening those connections.

So what are you doing with the social connections you have built? Or have you been holding off building the connections because you didn't know what to do?  We're happy to help you figure out how to use social channels in your business development mix.  Give us a ring or drop us an email.

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Topics: Lead Generation, B-to-B Marketing, Referral marketing, content marketing, Linked-In, Social media, Sales