SharpSpring Social Now Available

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SharpSpring users now have access to a new social media and calendar features.

  • Content Calendar: A bird’s-eye view of your social posts, email sends, and blog articles.
  • Social Posting: Post directly to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn without leaving SharpSpring.
  • Social Listening: Monitor social media activity with customized listening feeds.
  • New Trigger/Filter: Create automations based on when leads interact with your social media accounts.

SharpSpring has updated Lead Scoring and the Life of the Lead to now include social interactions. SharpSpring will be releasing to all clients in a few days.

Ready to learn more? Contact us for a guided walkthrough of these new features.

Top Marketing Automation Strategies for Converting Financial Advisor Prospects

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Financial Advisor Marketing

Financial Advisor Marketing

Financial Advisors are an amazingly difficult prospect to engage. They are incredibly busy and already have a wealth of resources already available to them – do they even need to engage with wholesalers? The best way to convert financial advisors to customers is to build your marketing automation program around them.

Lead generation starts with effective segmentation

Before focusing on key strategies, Sales and Marketing must have defined a set of engagement personas and customer segments. Marketing has had personas for a decade but only since the advent of marketing automation software have engagement personas become empowered and brought to life.

Defining financial advisor segments for lead generation

Creating clarity with Sales is a two step process:

  1. Lead scoring – a measure of how active a financial advisor on your digital properties
  2. Lead grading – a measure of how profitable the financial advisor is likely to be

 

Advisor Marketing Focus

 

It may take several iterations to get lead scoring and grading optimized, however, the process should be fruitful for Sales and Marketing. The process crystallizes Marketing and Sales perspectives around which advisors are most profitable and which digital behaviors are believed to be most relevant to a sale. Some marketing automation vendors have one score that represents profitability and interest. However, being able to separate advisor behaviors from profitability factors simplifies discussions by clarifying customer segments by profitability as seen in the above graphic. As an example, Pardot applies a numerical value for an advisor’s lead score and a letter grade (A-F) for an advisor’s expected profitability.

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77% of B2B marketers are NOT making their numbers! Why?

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77 Percent

77 Percent

Many so-called “Revenue Marketers” are writing checks that their companies simply can’t cash! According to a recent study by HubSpot, only 23% of marketers are exceeding their revenue goals. Yet, Revenue Marketing has become a ubiquitous concept and is getting tons of hype in today’s market. And rightfully so. No question – it’s the “holy grail” of today’s senior stakeholders.

Here’s the problem—all the verbiage around it was generated by companies and people deeply invested in its success. These include companies that are predominantly staffed by marketing automation technologists and solutions engineers, who are actually software people, not demand marketers. And all the talk isn’t limited to the marketing operations and automation folks who are making claims. There are also many strategic consulting firms and agencies that do the same, but they don’t have enough experience as practitioners to execute on the very recommendations they are prescribing to clients.

Don’t get me wrong, the modern marketing technology stack forms the most powerful marketing enablement toolkit I’ve witnessed in a nearly 25-year career. But it’s just that…an enablement toolkit. It’s a partial solution. You ALSO need effective buyer engagement strategy and execution or the monetization of your marketing investments won’t even come close to its potential.

Quite simply, revenue marketing can work—when (and only when) it’s driven by a worthy buyer engagement strategy. But the primary challenge, which we address in our new eBook entitled Exposed. The False Promises of Revenue Marketing., is all the confusion, misinterpretation and general lack of understanding that exists around revenue marketing and the buyer engagement strategies that are essential to its success.

These points of confusion include:

  • The fundamental deficit in buyer understanding that is killing marketing performance at most companies
  • What’s wrong with persona development
  • How messaging is largely missing the mark
  • Why most B2B content is lousy as it’s “domain-centric,” not “engagement-focused”
  • How most marketers are focused on all the wrong metrics
  • Why so very few marketers are capable of aligning all the requisite elements of a high-performance buyer engagement strategy

In the eBook we highlight these critical elements (and many more) that are too frequently being ignored, simply misunderstood or not fully embraced, but that are vital for true revenue marketing. In it we address 9 foundational principles that when used as a roadmap for marketing automation and social media propagation are the surest way to develop a sound buyer engagement strategy that transforms you into a true rock star of revenue marketing.

Download a copy of the eBook to discover 9 ways to exponentially increase leads, conversion, pipeline velocity and revenue impact:

 

 

Understanding Spam in Email Marketing

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email spam

This is a guest post with a backgrounder on Spam and eMail tactics.

email spam

Email spam, or junk mail, is sending and receiving unsolicited messages via email. While most spam messages are actually untargeted promotional emails, a percentage of junk emails also contain disguised links to familiar websites, but which are actually phishing attempts, or host malware meant to infect your computer system. Junk email can also contain scripts or executable file attachments which can then brick your computer, spy on you, or fill your browsers with adware.

Email spam has a long history, first appearing in the 90s, when botnets, which are practically networks of infected computers, began sending unsolicited emails to thousands of people present on their lists. Regardless that since the Internet became a reality, junk email was prohibited, it still represents a practice today. Email spam stands against the ethical principles of email marketing and can often be classified as unsolicited bulk email, which is mail sent in large quantities, or unsolicited commercial emails. Read more

10 Questions for Your B2B Sales Campaign

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Revenue Programs

Designing and launching a B2B sales campaign is a continuous activity for B2B sales and marketing teams. To illustrate this, we developed a Closed-Loop Marketing Architecture that describes the continuous campaign process. Data insights help determine the new customer messaging and personalized interactions resulting in better sales conversions.  The process tightly aligns marketing and sales teams to orchestrate buyer engagement at each stage and maximize lead conversions and ultimately revenue impact. Data and insights from past campaigns drive new segmentation and new messaging, spawning new campaigns.

A campaign involves the design, launch and optimization of experiences across multiple channels. It will engage customers and prospects at each stage of the buying lifecycle. So what are the elements in an effective B2B campaign design? These 10 questions can help cover the bases for your next B2B sales campaign. 

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Chief Revenue Officer Role Description

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What we do as a firm is highly consistent with the role of “Chief Revenue Officer” (CRO). Over the last 10 years, the CRO role has emerged as a critical hire. Companies recognize the need for a single revenue focus and an integrated approach to marketing and sales which is embodied in the CRO role. The CRO combines traditional responsibilities of the VP of Sales and the Chief Marketing Officer. This member of the senior team oversees the entire revenue value chain and is responsible for the firm’s go-to-market strategies and revenue performance.

If you are recruiting for the CRO position, we recommend that the Chief Revenue Officer role description / job description should be organized around three layers of a Revenue Architecture. These are:

Revenue Strategy: Align revenue architecture with business architecture and differentiate go-to-market strategies.
Revenue Systems: Define sales and marketing processes, integrate technologies, and engage teams.
Revenue Programs: Engage the market and acquire customers with inbound and outbound marketing and sales programs.