Can You Really Use Marketing to Shrink the B2B Sales Cycle?

new-sales-model-thumbnailIt seems at least once a week that I talk to a B2B company about how to shrink their sales cycle. Sales executives and CEOs get especially frustrated because their quarterly sales forecasts become much harder to predict when the sales cycle timing is all over the map. For example, we have one technology client where it seems half their deals close in days or weeks, while the other half can take six months or more. So what is going on and what can us B2B marketing types do about it?

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Criteria of Efficient B2B Lead Generation Processes

Lead to Revenue ProcessesMy team and I are always preaching the doctrine of the consistent and predictable lead generation engine as a key part of the Lead-to-Revenue Machine. In my recent book, The Essential Guide to Building Your Lead-to-Revenue (L2R) Machine™, I included a chapter on how to build efficient lead generation processes as a key component of L2R success.

The fact is this: Even the most creative branding and awareness-building program won’t produce the desired results unless you can efficiently work prospects through the system and produce revenue at the other end. But like everything else in marketing, you can’t improve

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Why a Powerful Brand Strategy is Crucial to Your Lead-to-Revenue Plan

How Branding Supports Lead-to-RevenueWhen I published my recent book, The Essential Guide to Building Your Lead-to-Revenue (L2R) Machine™, I chose brand strategy as the first key component of the framework because of its extreme importance to L2R success. Building the rest of your marketing and sales initiatives on top of a weak brand is akin to building a house on a bed of sand. It may work for a while, but will have no chance of sustainable success. We find that clients who focus on the brand early in the process have a much better chance of hitting revenue targets quarter over quarter and year over year. This is why it is so essential to define your brand promise as a guidepost against which you can gauge all of your tactical activities.

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Top 6 Ways that Marketing Supports B2B Sales and Revenue

B2B Sales and MarketingSince the early days of B2B marketing and sales, marketing VPs have been asking that puzzling but oh-so-important question: “What in the heck does sales want from us anyway?”  And the problem is, the sales department sometimes doesn’t know what it wants — or it changes what it asks for on some seemingly random basis. One day it’s, “We need a lot more leads.”  Another day it’s, “We need more qualified leads,” or “We need more marketplace awareness.”  Some days, they want all three.  And there are myriad other requests like sales collateral, website changes, event support, press releases, and targeted campaigns. The list can be endless.

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Does Your B2B Sales Model Need an Overhaul or a Tune-up?

When designing a new, or optimizing an existing, sales model, you will be faced with some tough but extremely important decisions. The lifeblood of your business is not only in creating valued products and services, but also the ability to acquire new customers at a low cost relative to the average transaction amount. When you can do this, you get positive attention from the CEO and investors.B2B Sales Models

The adjacent graphic shows the major B2B sales models and how they relate on two important criteria: the cost per transaction and the amount of personal interaction required. When you include hybrids that combine elements from more than one model, there are dozens of possibilities.

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How to Validate Your B2B Go-to-Market Plan

Go-to-MarketMy team and I are often asked to comment on – or do a more formal evaluation of – a product or business concept prior to launch. This may be part of a new venture concept or a new product line in an established business. In either case, the basic question is: “Will we be successful in the marketplace?” Since we have been involved in about a dozen business startups and a couple of dozen new product launches, we are certainly familiar with the promises and pitfalls of launching new products and ventures.

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How B2B Marketing Supports Sales Enablement

Sales EnablementThere is a lot of industry buzz around the term “sales enablement.” This is terrific because the marketing department should always be concerned about how it can help the sales department achieve its revenue objectives. But truth be told, there is a lot of confusion about just what sales enablement is and how it benefits both sales and the entire organization.

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Nine Critical Criteria For Selecting Lead-to-Revenue Technology

B2B Sales MachineMy team and I write lots of content for our B2B clients. We also keep our own content stream flowing with fresh and relevant content related to B2B marketing and sales.  To this end, I started writing a white paper on the Lead-to-Revenue (L2R) strategies we use to help clients meet their revenue objectives. 9,000 words later, the white paper has turned into an eBook, which we expect to have published in early May.

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How to Rejuvenate a Troubled B2B Brand

RebrandingTwo months ago, I wrote an article titled The Economic Value of Your Company Brand. The theme of the post: No matter the size and scope of your company, the brand position you hold with your prospects and customers has monetary value in terms of sales, stock prices and even employee retention. One of the points I made in the article is that you are sometimes better off if you are starting off with a clean branding slate. The downside is that few people know about you – the upside is that you can start with a fresh and differentiated brand position. 

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B2B Marketing: Six Need-to-Know Nuggets

Six B2B IdeasRather than my usual practice of writing some in-depth content about a specific subject area, thought I would share some quick thoughts on some important subjects related to B2B marketing and sales. Sometimes there’s just too much going on for a single-topic post!

Monitoring Performance

A guy named John Wanamaker, who was a pioneer of advertising in the early part of the 20th century, made the famous observation, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

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