Business card information or the download of digital content is often times not enough to judge the quality of a prospect. If you can determine a person’s Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing (BANT) then a marketer delivers a truly qualified prospect to sales.
In an interview with IDG Communications Director Howard Sholkin, IDG Connect General Manager Andrew Sambrook explained the value of skilled telephone qualification and how BANT can help turn a lead into a customer….
Social networks facilitate brand discovery, research and connection
Although social media users’ top methods of discovering, researching and keeping in touch with brands vary, they rely heavily on social networks throughout the entire customer life process, according to a September 2013 study by Wildfire.
Investments in the social advertising space are paying off for companies looking to boost awareness of their brand, product or service. The Wildfire report, which was conducted by Forrester Consulting, found that paid ads on social networks are the top method of brand and product discovery for social network users who engage with brands on social media. Forty-one percent of them reported that’s one way they typically become aware of new goods on the market.
The likes of Bing and Google are consistently beneficial to 34% of social network users in the discovery phase, but opinions from friends and followers on social networks are almost just as useful. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed said they typically discover new brands and products by reading and posting messages on social networks.
Many tech vendors struggle with solution marketing because they focus on selling products. Instead, IDC says marketers should understand customer needs and explain the value of both the products and services to their prospects. Start with what’s in it for them. In this IDC webinar, Kathleen Schaub says the best solution marketing starts with the customer, features a culture of collaboration, and begins before products are developed.
Please customers and search engines alike when you apply these tips to your content. Since its arrival on the online scene, search engine optimization (SEO) has put writers in a difficult position. Do you write for people or the search engine algorithms? Thankfully, we no longer have to choose. According to an infographic from ContentVerve.com, Google actually prefers natural-sounding content—as do, obviously, your readers. Besides, what’s the point of landing a high Google rank if your content won’t turn people into customers?
How many of us as sales professionals have hit a home run in developing a champion at a top prospect, only to find out that our champion was unable to convince their management internally to go with our solution? We were able convince our champion of the wonders of our solution, but we failed to truly enable our customer to “sell” into their own organization.
Just as marketing and sales operations teams need to improve “sales enablement”; as sales professionals we need to improve our “customer enablement”. Customer Enablement is defined as:
What’s the biggest obstacle marketers face today when it comes to connecting with customers?
It’s building a productive partnership with their CIO, according to 60% of the marketers IBM recently talked with for a survey. The survey underscores what’s becoming clear to those in the marketing and technology departments. To stay relevant in our uber-digital, hyper-empowered consumer age, CMOs and CIOs need to become every bit as connected.
From tweets to pinboards, Tumblr updates and Facebook likes, every digital move a person makes leaves digital clues to understanding brand-love or early warning signs of customer defection and churn.
Social media, initially a curiosity, is an increasingly important avenue for marketing interaction between marketers’ brands and their customers and prospects, according to a new study from BtoB. The study also contains a number of surprises about which platforms are favored by marketers and social’s impact on legacy channels.
“Social Media Marketing: A Surge in Adoption” found that this year, 32% of marketers are “very” or “fully” engaged in marketing through social channels, compared with 21% surveyed by BtoB in 2011. For 2013, the study projects that 53% will be intensely engaged in social media marketing, with 97% of all marketers involved with social media to some degree.
Appealing to multiple audiences is one of the biggest challenges in creating content for corporate websites.
A typical business site typically draws visits from:
Firms that recognize the importance of these various groups attempt to appeal to all of them, usually by building content sections with high-level navigation labels, such as For Investors, Careers,or Media Center. Using this type of audience segmentation far exceeds doing nothing, but it still falls short.
NEW YORK: Less than 10% of US companies think they are genuinely “customer-centric” in their strategy and activities, new analysis has shown. The Temkin Group, a consultancy, polled 255 representatives of firms with revenues topping $500m, and found that just 7% of the panel believed the customer experience they provided was superior to all of their rivals. A further 28% placed performance levels “considerably above” the industry average, while 30% “slightly” improved on the norm, and 23% fell into line with typical standards for their sector.
I was reading an article in MIT’s technology review this past weekend about social intelligence, and I came across an interesting comment by Stanford professor Clifford Nass, an expert on human-computer interaction. You may be thinking, “what could this possibly do with sales?” Well, Nass was commenting on why Microsoft’s 1997 intelligent assistant for Microsoft Office, Clippy, failed so miserably. As Nass suggests, “Clippy’s problem was it said ‘I’ll do everything’ and then procreeded to disappoint [its customers].” Sound familiar?. . . I hear this from a lot of CIOs about their interaction with their vendors’ sales teams.