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May 21, 2013–Framingham, Mass.– IDG’s Computerworld—the IT media brand dedicated to providing peer perspective, IT leadership and business results—announcesData+, the world’s most authoritative conference on analyzing, predicting and monetizing big data. Data+, which evolved from the former BI & Analytics Perspectives Conference, will take place September 8-10, 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Over the course of this two-day event, 250+ IT decision-makers and business leaders will connect with their peers and leading big data business and technology solution providers.
“As the data deluge of the enterprise grows ever broader and deeper, the need for predictive and advanced analytics has become one of the most pressing challenges companies of all sizes and industries are facing today,” said Bob Melk, SVP, group publisher & CMO, IDG Enterprise. “At Computerworld’s Data+ conference, IT and business decision-makers will receive valuable insight on deploying a strategy designed to propel their business forward by monetizing one of their greatest assets, their data.”
To be a successful btob company, you need to combine marketing, sales, and mobile tools. That’s Digitas Senior VP/BtoB Global Practice Lead Dennis Reilly’s opinion as he explained to IDG Global Solutions Director Howard Sholkin. During a BtoB Digital conference in March 2013, O’Reilly was asked to describe what the best companies are doing…..
Call me an optimist, but in my opinion there has never been a better time for marketing to directly impact sales productivity. I’d even go so far as to say that we’re experiencing a “perfect storm” for this opportunity - i.e., “anactual phenomenon that happens to occur in such a confluence, resulting in an event of unusual magnitude”.Wikipedia More specifically:
Over 45% of the buying decision today (i.e., for large purchases) is being made before a buyer even says hello to your rep. [translation: marketing plays a much greater role today in influencing the buyer's journey, and it is incumbent upon us as marketers to better equip reps for this new buyer 2.0 reality] (click here to learn more about the buyer’s journey)
Sales organizations are struggling to make more informed investment decisions, however, in many cases they lack the data and core competencies needed as part of this process [translation: marketing, your internal "customers" have a clear pain point that can be addressed by the "products" and "solutions" that you've been trying to offer them for years]
As publishers add native advertising and other content marketing services to their product portfolios, there’s a growing need for business-side editorial teams to manage this content. Sales teams have staffed editors as part of their custom publishinggroups for decades. But the role of business-side editors is expanding as native advertising programs lead to more commingling of editorial and sponsored content.
Publishers that are experimenting with or considering a native advertising program may need to invest in a dedicated editorial team to help advertisers develop, optimize and publish content. Deploying “brand journalists” on native advertising projects – separate from the rest of the editorial staff – will also help publishers protect their own brand from thinly veiled press releases or other low-quality drivel that advertisers submit under the guise of “real” editorial.
There’s an urgency to get this right. In a recent study from Econsultancy and Adobe, content marketing was deemed the top priority for 2013 among digital marketers. And native advertising – in which branded content is published on third-party media sites – is quickly becoming a key piece of brands’ content marketing strategies.
Our B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn conducted the 2013 lead generation survey to better understand how B2B marketers are adjusting to new challenges, and to identify new trends and best practices.
Here are the Top-5 Trends in B2B Lead Generation (for more details download the report):
(1) The number one challenge for B2B marketers: Generating high quality leads.
(2) The most effective lead generation tactics used by marketers: Company website, email marketing and SEO.
(3) The greatest barrier to lead generation success is lack of resources: Staff, budget and time.
(4) B2B marketers’ top metrics to measure marketing ROI: Cost per lead, revenue and lead volume.
(5) The secret to B2B email success: Provide compelling content for each stage in the buying process to move buyers from first touch to purchase.
Many B2B companies approach social media the same way they approach other parts of their business. With silos. No matter the size of the company, there are separations that reduce efficiency and cause confusion both within and outside the company. Even social media starts in a silo, usually in the marketing or pr department. And don’t even get me started on technology silos where company data lives in different systems depending on the function.
Here are some ways to use social media to break down the silos in your B2B company:
1. Align Sales with Social Media
The lack of alignment between sales and marketing continues to exist as more B2B companies use social media to generate leads and improve their prospecting. Short of doing an exchange program where you embed a marketer in your sales team and a sales person in your marketing team, this starts with communication. Make sure that each team understands the other’s challenges. Marketing is now responsible for more of the journey through the buying process than ever before….
As Ogilvy & Mather’s director of digital strategy, Jeff Stokvis works closely with the agency’s B2B clients and is a member of Ogilvy’s Mobile@Ogilvy cross-functional working group. Stokvis spoke with eMarketer’s Tobi Elkin for the B2B Perspectives series about the ways mobile is changing how B2B marketers communicate and the untapped business opportunities that mobile offers them.
Is there a low awareness among B2B marketers about the impact that mobile can have on their business?
Stokvis: Most B2B marketers are certainly aware of and have a broad understanding of the importance of mobile. There tends to be a little confusion as to where to get started across the spectrum of their enterprise and business, where to focus, and how to come up with a strategy that’s broad enough to be enterprise-wide yet narrow enough to deliver on specific business objectives.
If you’ve had a chance to read any of my prior posts, then you know how strongly I believe in the next generation sales operations team taking on a role that covers 3 key areas: Strategy – Productivity – Automation; and breaking free from simply being the forecasting, SFA and compensation team. In fact, let’s not call it “sales operations” any longer, and use a new brand – the Sales Excellence team. I’ve covered the pathway to maturity for this team in prior blog posts as well as in IDC’s Next Generation Sales Operations study (contact me for a copy email@example.com ), so I’d like to focus here on the need to establish a vision for your team.
Too many sales excellence teams are juggling too many tactical activities for the limited amount of resources that they have at their disposal. The figure below provides details about the different areas that can draw attention from a sales excellence team’s time and resources.(note that Sales Enablement cuts across several areas, and requires collaboration with marketing)
And if this team is going to build credibility with their sales executives and drive impact in sales productivity across their organization, they must do 3 things: (with collaboration and/or input from your executive team and internal customers)
1. Develop a succinct visi on/goal for the sales excellence team. Examples include:
Give time back to sales reps in order to spend more time with their customers/prospects.
Increase sales productivity
Enable the sales team (executives, managers and reps) to be more effective and efficient. . . Meet/Exceed Quota!
Metrics to track success at meeting those objectives (quantitative and qualitative)
Targets for the specific metrics
Roles and responsibilities for the sales excellence team, including clear bounds as to what the team should and should not be working on. (e.g., try a RACI process – who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed for each process area or project)
3. Communicate the vision, objectives and related bounds throughout the organization. And there’s no doubt that sales reps and others will test these bounds over time, increasing the risk of you not reaching your objectives and the ultimate vision of the team due to a lack of focus. Therefore, be strict about these bounds.
Without the above structure in place, you are simply “flying blind” in managing your team’s time and resources. And you’ll be simply going about “business as usual”, and will learn the extent of your (and your team’s) success based upon if you have a job at the end of the year or not.
Continue the discussion by visiting the Sales Advisory Practice’s blog, here: Sales Productivity Blog . Sales Advisory Service clients can access additional frameworks, quantitative data and best practice recommendations and case studies to address their greatest sales challenges atwww.idc.com/salesadvisory
About the IDC Sales Advisory Practice The IDC Sales Advisory Practice provides sales executives and their operations counterparts with insights, benchmarking and best practice research to improve sales productivity and performance. Employing a scientific approach to measuring and managing sales performance and productivity, IDC analysts work with clients to strategize and problem solve, to benchmark and optimize strategic sales metrics, investments, processes, and organizational strategies. Additionally, clients convene periodically for peer-to-peer problem solving and networking.To Learn More For more information about the Sales Advisory Practice and our Sales Leadership Board, please follow the links below.
This infographic is based on IDC’s 2012 IT Buyer Experience study. It shows how buying teams are structured, how long decisions take, top influencers, and key expectations of vendors. IT sellers can align their sales and marketing activities to these behaviors to help expedite the sales cycle.
For additional resources on the study, including a webinar, click here
Here are eight lessons from 2012 for B2B marketers.
1. Manual is just too… manual
Marketing has grown far too complicated to be run in an entirely manual way. Among the chief roles B2B marketers can play is nurturing and qualifying leads for Sales. Manual processes just aren’t enough for doing that effectively.
The proof is in the chart. We looked at automated campaigns versus campaigns that weren’t automated. Those that were automated resulted in huge increases in conversion rates—to the tune of 200%.