Inbound Marketing is a transformational approach to attract prospects with valuable content at each stage of the buyer process.

Align Marketing and Sales to End 2015 Strong

It’s the middle of Q4 and the end of the year is fast-approaching. For many, it is a time to slow down from work and spend time with family. For sales people, it’s can be a frantic time, as many B2B companies must close sales opportunities to achieve revenue goals.

So, what can the marketing team do to help the sales team and ring in the New Year on a positive note? Here are a few tips to align marketing and sales and help ease the December frenzy and drive some upward momentum into the New Year.

Read more

Revenue Systems

6 Marketing Automation Myths

Marketing Automation has been around since the 1990s. Back then, the focus was on automating email marketing— managing the development and delivery of emails to target lists at scheduled times. Over the decades, software developers expanded the capabilities of Marketing Automation to meet the requirements of a variety of marketing functions and users.

Today, Marketing Automation refers to a broad range software technology for marketing and it is an important element of closed loop marketing. Its evolution has raised many questions about what it is, what it does, and whom it benefits.

blog writer

How to Write a Blog Post Quickly

We are launching an exciting new content campaign introducing our new Closed Loop Marketing Architecture (CLMA) in the next few weeks. This new content is central to our core mission – to deliver closed loop marketing solutions for complex sales. Companies with complex sales, including financial services, investment management and B2B are looking for ways to align marketing and sales and drive top-line growth. CLMA helps them achieve this.

blog writerOur team members are enthusiastic about the new campaign and want to author blog posts about dimensions of the CLMA.


However, many of them consider writing a blog post a daunting task!

It does not need to be!

 

 

So, how can you write a [great] blog post quickly?

Read more

B2B vs B2C: 7 Attributes of Effective B2B Marketing and Sales

Typically B2B sales are complex and considered. Evaluation and decision making follows multiple stages of learning and evaluation. B2B sales cycles are longer and purchases typically have higher dollar volumes and higher risk. B2B is often characterized by team selling to committee buying. Decisions involve various stakeholders and influencers including economic buyers, solution users, procurement specialists, domain experts, etc. B2B buyers self sell. Sales teams are no longer the single source of product information and benefits. Education has shifted to the web where buyers search products and ‘self-sell’. The buying and selling process is fundamentally different in B2B and marketing and sales must work well together around the customer buying process.

Revenue Programs

Revenue Architecture for Closed Loop Marketing and Sales

Revenue Systems Blueprint

Align Sales and Marketing with a Revenue Systems Blueprint

When implementing CRM and Marketing Automation, first align marketing and sales with a Revenue Systems Blueprint.

For 20 years, CRM (and now Marketing Automation) has promised to help organizations capture customer value. Businesses that attract, sell, service and retain the best customers see positive effects on growth and profitability. By delivering relevant experiences, customers engage more deeply, become more loyal, and act as advocates. As sales and win rates go up, cost of acquisition goes down, satisfaction increases. The longer the relationship, the more opportunities there are to cross sell additional products and services and build lifetime value.

But, as the diagram below illustrates, marketing technologies are expanding rapidly and cut across every dimension of the marketing, sales and PR ecosystem. It is not as simple as selecting a CRM or a Marketing Automation solution. Successful implementation requires alignment across different business areas, especially marketing and sales.

Read more

A 5 Stage Sales Pipeline Management Model

Effective sales pipeline management is vital to your business. Align your teams around a ‘lingua franca’ to better manage deal qualification, forecasting and the sales process.

We know the B2B sales pipeline is changing.  Inbound marketing and emerging marketplaces (like 99designs, Thumbtack and BlurGroup among others) manage elements of prospecting and the lead generation cycle outside of direct sales. Marketing plays a bigger role to drive inbound leads into the sales pipeline and marketplaces can replace some elements of sales outbound prospecting.

In complex or considered sales, the professional management of the sales process from working lead to committed remains vital.  It is important to get the sales team on the same page and using the same sales process. Quite often, we see companies that are not using a common language for the sales pipeline. Forecasting is much more difficult when we are unclear about the status of each deal and the stage in the process. Firms often over-invest in some deals and under-invest in others while colleagues who support the sales effort become frustrated when time is wasted.

Read more

SharpSpring Review

If you’re looking for a marketing automation platform that offers many of the same functionality as the more expensive options, give this SharpSpring review a look!  Sharpspring works primarily with agency partners (like Revenue Architects) and is well suited for mid-sized businesses and high end professional sales teams. As an agency, we work with Sharpspring along with other platforms including Eloqua, Hubspot, Pardot and Marketo. We find SharpSpring is an excellent fit for businesses that value inbound marketing. email marketing  and integrated CRM. Depending on the solution architecture in your organization, including the existing infrastructure of CRM and Office, SharpSpring may be a fit.

This post highlights features found in marketing automation platforms as well as a few lesser-known features found in SharpSpring.  Let’s begin with the most common functions of a marketing automation platform:

Read more