How to Make Effective Connect Calls to Your B2B Inbound Leads

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Oct 26, 2016 4:00:00 PM

connect-calls.jpgYour prospect has downloaded one of your favorite pieces of content. You take a look in your marketing automation platform and see that they’ve been reading your blog and have spent quite a bit of time on your site. Clearly, this is a lead you’re excited to contact.

The imperative question at this point is how do you effectively make that first contact. Push too hard, too early and you’re likely to lose an opportunity before it starts. Proceed too softly or timidly and you lose the benefit of such a strong lead. It’s a challenge that even the best demand generation organizations struggle with every day.

To complicate things more, inbound leads come with their own set of considerations. Before any contact is made, you need to keep these things in mind:

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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching

6 Ways You're Scaring Your B2B Leads Away

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Oct 25, 2016 4:00:00 PM

scare-away-your-leads.jpgEverywhere you look these days, there’s something that’s been designed to give you a chill. From spooky jack-o-lanterns to ghosts and witches to creepy clowns, it’s the scaring season.

In less than a week, kids will be dressed up and invading neighborhoods across the country in search of treats. Where I live, we don’t get many trick-or-treaters. Those who do stop by get a friendly greeting – nothing too scary – and take home a big handful of treats.

In some ways, trick-or-treaters are a lot like B2B leads. Depending on how you present your company and what you offer, they may be scared away before they ever ring the doorbell.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

5 Things B2B Marketers Should Be Thinking About for 2017

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Oct 19, 2016 5:00:00 PM

planning-time-of-year.jpgThis time of year brings many things…raking leaves, carving pumpkins, crisp mornings…and for many B2B marketers, planning. That’s right…Q4 is the time to start laying the groundwork for next year.

Planning can be overwhelming. There’s so much to consider and so much to review. Today’s B2B marketing world is changing so fast. Just as you get your head around the latest demand generation trends new ones are emerging.

Couple that with the day-to-day level of craziness most marketers experience and thinking about the future can become a scary endeavor quickly. In fact, I think I’d rather rake leaves….every day…for a month.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

9 Ways B2B Marketers Can Convert More Visitors to Qualified Leads

Posted by Maria Votlucka

Oct 18, 2016 1:15:15 PM

convert-more-visitors-to-qualified-leads.jpgAs an Inbound Marketing Strategist at Imagine, I spend time with my clients every month to review metrics and adjust our plan of attack based on what those metrics tell us. One of the things we consider is the visitor-to-qualified lead conversion rate.

Earlier this year, our marketing manager, Stacy, wrote a post about why your 10,000 visitors aren’t converting to new customers. While obviously, it is important to have visitors, if they never convert to customers that indicates a problem with your approach.

In a recent study, Holger Schulze of LinkedIn’s B2B Technology Marketing Group noted that 59% of respondents said generating high-quality leads is a top priority. And in my personal experience working directly with clients, I would say the priority of generating quality leads for B2B SMEs is closer to 100%.

The first step in that process is for the contact to simply move from a visitor to a qualified lead. If that step is broken, the rest of the process is doomed.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Performance

3 Components Required to Scale Growth for Any B2B Organization

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Oct 14, 2016 4:30:00 PM

Imagine_Inbound_Scale_Growth2.pngI just finished my new presentation for Inbound 16 on sales enablement and it’s growing importance in successful sales, demand and revenue generation strategies (you are coming, right?). The focus of my presentation is on how sales enablement is crucial to bridging the divide between sales and marketing.

I kind of laugh when I hear people talking about sales and marketing alignment (and, yes, that means I laugh a lot these days). While alignment is certainly not a new issue, it’s prevalence has grown tremendously. It’s become so common, that while everybody agrees that it’s a worthy objective, very few have actually stopped to consider why it’s important.

The answer is actually quite simple. It’s important (and frankly, it’s only important) if predictable and sustainable growth - what we call scaling growth - is an objective. So, it’s a worthy effort.

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Topics: Demand Generation

8 Reasons to Attend Inbound 2016

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Oct 11, 2016 5:00:00 PM

Why-you-should-attend-Inbound-2016.jpgIn just four weeks, sales and marketing professionals from all over the world will be descending upon Boston for HubSpot’s Inbound 2016 conference. I can’t wait!

This will be my third Inbound. My first Inbound was in 2014. I was lucky enough to win a ticket to attend and it was, by far, the best experience I have ever had at a conference. I left inspired and motivated to make marketing what I always knew it could be.

I loved it so much that in 2015 I dragged a former co-worker with me. She also was impacted by the conference and returned ready to steer her organization down a new path.

Have you registered yet?

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[VIDEO] The Demand Creator Minute: When's the Best Time to Talk Price?

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Oct 6, 2016 4:30:00 PM

best-time-to-talk-price.jpgToday, we're talking about something that gets debated on a regular basis by those in your organization who focus on the go to market side of the business. That something is price and more specifically, when sales reps should start talking about it.

Some argue that if you talk about price too early in the process that you will scare your prospects away. Others think that if you wait too long, your prospects may get frustrated and neve really engage with you. 

Pete Caputa, VP of Sales at HubSpot, recently wrote an interesting blog post about what buyers and sellers want to talk about during the first call. As it turns out, buyer and sellers aren't on the same page. On the first sales call, 58% of buyers want to discuss price but only 23% of sellers do.

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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, ZMOT

5 Reasons Your Sales Team Is Not Using the Content Marketing Creates

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Oct 4, 2016 2:00:00 PM

sales-not-using-marketing-content.jpgIn my Twitter feed this morning, I came across a statistic that got my attention. Here it is. According to the American Marketing Association, 90% of marketing deliverables are not used by sales.

WHAT?! 90%?! As a marketer, I am well aware that the sales team doesn’t always use the materials marketing creates for them. But 90%? OUCH.

Why is that? Are we really so disconnected from our sales team (and apparently our customers too) that 90% of what we create never gets used to actually close business?

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

3 Reasons Not to Pursue Demand Generation-Inbound Marketing

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Sep 30, 2016 2:00:00 PM

3-reasons-not-to-pursue-demand-generation.jpgAnyone who knows me knows that I'm a BIG fan of demand generation and inbound marketing. The only thing I may like more is baseball. 

Readers of this blog know that one reason for my fondness is that Imagine provides services in these areas. What many may not know is that we didn't actually start as an inbound marketing or demand generation agency. When Imagine was founded, we actually focused on solving the bottom-of-funnel sales problem. We practiced demand generation and inbound marketing for ourselves but it wasn't included in the services we provided to our clients. 

We were such fans of the impact it was having on our business that we decided to focus our entire business on creating the same success for others. While I firmly believe that the strategies and tactics associated with inbound marketing and demand generation can benefit every company, my experience has taught me that not every company should go down that path. 

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation

4 Inbound Tactics that Can Impact Trade Show Success

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Sep 27, 2016 2:00:00 PM

tradeshowfloor.jpgUntil about two years ago, I was what is called today, a traditional marketer. I was responsible for a wide range of things. My days were filled with things like writing case studies and ad copy, branding initiatives, graphics support, direct mail campaigns, anything and everything associated with the website…the list goes on and on.

One of my favorite things from my life as a traditional marketer is trade show coordination. I love everything about it. From planning how things will look to executing pre and post show activities to working with staff to target specific attendees…I love it all.

The question is does making the transition to inbound marketing mean that I have to leave trade shows behind?

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation