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4 Ways to Inspire B2B User-Generated Content

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Dec 8, 2016 3:00:00 PM

b2b-user-generated-content.jpgWe recently returned from a family vacation in Orlando, Florida. Like everyone else who goes on vacation, I spent lots of time online researching what to do, where to stay, where to eat, etc.

Of course, the big attractions all do a pretty good job with inbound marketing. There is a lot of content available on their sites to help potential visitors do a large part of the planning and booking.

However, what I found most valuable when planning the vacation and again while we were there was not content from the companies themselves. The most useful content was user-generated.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

3 Criteria to Assess the Effectiveness of Your Sales Process

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Dec 6, 2016 3:00:00 PM

3 Criteria to Assess the Effectiveness of Your Sales ProcessI was talking with a prospect a few weeks ago about his (lack of) sales process. He took exception with my comment, saying that they did have a process and that it was defined by their pipeline stages.

Those stages won’t shock anyone who has been in sales anytime in the last three decades. Here’s how it was set up:

  • Initial Contact Made
  • Qualification
  • Demonstration
  • Proposal
  • Negotiation
  • Closed/Won
  • Closed/Lost

While those are certainly steps in the sales journey, they don’t meet Imagine’s definition of a sales process or sales methodology. As I explained that to my prospect, he asked a very insightful question, the answer to which I share here. His question: “Why Not?”

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Topics: Sales Development, B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching

[Video] What You Need To Know When Launching or Revising Your Growth Playbook

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 30, 2016 4:30:00 PM

successful-business-growth-strategy.jpgA few weeks ago I shared an article here on the Six Stages of a Successful Growth Strategy. The launch of such a strategy is an exciting time for everybody. You deal with possibilities, address limiting obstacles and emerge with a strategy that creates clarity and confidence...two necessary and powerful ingredients of success.

There's a downside to the excitement however. It's easy to underestimate what's involved in transforming that clarity and confidence into real prospects, sales opportunities and revenue. This often leads to a deadly mistake in execution.

In the video below I share this secret, and highlight the keys to successfully navigating it.

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Topics: Sales Development, B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching

5 Components of a B2B Blog Post That Converts

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Nov 29, 2016 5:00:00 PM

blog-posts-that-convert.jpgAnyone can blog. The concept really isn’t difficult to grasp and all of the evidence supports the idea that it can be a game changer for B2B marketers.

In fact, according to HubSpot, companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts. And B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost 3X more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times per month.

That said, while the concept itself is easy to understand, achieving results is much more difficult. What and how you write and publish each post plays a critical role in the overall success of your blog.

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Happy Thanksgiving - Enjoy

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 24, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Happy-Thanksgiving.jpgIt's that time of year again. Have a great Thanksgiving and make sure you take some time to consider all of the great opportunities we have.

Here's my tribute to Thanksgiving:

I love this time of year. We've got the 3-F's: friends, family & football. There's the wine, the turkey, the stuffing, the wine. It's great fun.

And I have a tradition at this time of year that I would like to share with you. I often write about how the old paradigms of business, sales and marketing are letting businesses down. Well, today, I'm not going to get that deep. Today, I'd like to focus on one of the all-time promotion fiascoes, from one of my favorite shows.

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5 Key Takeaways from Inbound 2016

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 23, 2016 2:30:00 PM

Inbound2016-cropped.jpgAnother year, another Inbound conference. This year’s gathering of inbound marketers and salespeople topped the 18,000- person mark, making it clearly the largest marketing conference in the world. Once again HubSpot did a great job of putting on a show, building the community and enabling great conversation to occur.

In an earlier post, I shared the product announcements HubSpot made. Today, now that I’ve had some time to ponder the event, I’d like to share my key takeaways from Inbound 2016. Overall, I was struck by the growing maturity of inbound marketing and how fresh and new it remains at the same time.

It is increasingly clear that inbound marketing and demand generation are becoming core disciplines to the modern growth playbook. While the importance is clear, the success formulas are still being created.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation

5 Reasons for B2B Marketers to be Thankful

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Nov 18, 2016 12:00:00 PM

B2B-marketers-thankful.jpgThanksgiving is next week. It brings a day of food, family, football and friends. It also is a time to reflect on things that we are grateful to have or experience.

At our house, we create a thankful tree. It is simply a few branches stuck into a jar with some small rocks to hold them in place. Beside the tree is a stack of leaves made out of cardstock. As guests arrive, they write things on their leaf that they are thankful for and hang it on the branches.

I’m assigned to cutting out the leaves this year and I was working on it, I started to think about what the leaves on a marketing-focused thankful tree would say.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

The Traditional Revenue Growth Playbook is Broken

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 15, 2016 3:00:00 PM

The Traditional Revenue Growth Playbook is BrokenIf you’re a reader of this blog I’m going to assume that revenue growth is important to your company. Stop for a moment and consider the investment of energy and money your company has made in these efforts. Now consider this question, “How well is it working?”

  • Is revenue growth predictable for you?
  • Are the costs required to sustain decreasing?
  • Are more of your salespeople beating their number (quota) consistently?

According to the research that’s out there, less than 10% of companies can say “yes” to all three questions, and the vast majority of companies would respond “no” to at least two of these questions.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, B2B Sales Strategy

The Big News at Inbound 2016

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 10, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Inbound_2016.jpgSo I just saw my fourth keynote from Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, founders of HubSpot, at this year’s Inbound conference. Listening to Brian and Dharmesh is always a bit like looking into a crystal ball on the History Channel. You get a tremendous viewpoint of what’s going to happen, all within the context of what has happened.

It’s also an opportunity to hear about the big product updates that HubSpot is rolling out. While I’ve never been to an Apple product launch event, I like to think of Inbound as a slightly less popular version.

This year two things were different. Where it’s typically Brian and Dharmesh that share the product announcements as a part of the keynote, their Inbound 2016 keynote did not have any product announcements. Instead they made the product announcements a breakout session where their Products VP, Chris O’Donell, announced the news. And the big news is...well there wasn’t any really. And, while I like the excitement of major product announcements, I think the lack of them is good news and an important lesson for marketers, demand generators and sales executives.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

5 Tips for Attending a Conference Alone

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Nov 8, 2016 10:00:00 AM

tips-for-attending-conference-alone.jpgThis week, I’ll be in Boston for HubSpot’s Inbound 2016 Conference. I’m really looking forward to it. Inbound provides a great opportunity for learning, inspiration and fun. It also gives me an opportunity to get out of my home office and see my co-workers and other smart sales and marketing people in real life.

While this year I am joining my teammates in Boston that was not the case two years ago when I attended for the first time. That year, I was on my own. And that can be an intimidating place to be at any conference.

B2B marketers for small to mid-size companies probably find themselves in this position on a regular basis. If you have a small marketing team, the likelihood you’ll be attending events on your own are pretty high but it doesn’t have to be scary.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing