Ryan Patenaude had to build a sales organization from the ground up. When The Focus Group put him in charge of sales for Focus EduVation, the new spin-off had no customers, no prospects and no business! Patenaude needed to get the phone ringing, fast.
Patenaude needed to develop quickly a database of prospects in the publishing arena, where many companies have thousands of employees. He evaluated a number of B2B business information providers, but the options he found were too expensive and too outdated. They also lacked a critical piece of information for prospecting in the modern age: accurate email addresses. As he put it: “Who cold calls or sends direct mail anymore?”
Feeling like you’re in the B2B sales “pressure cooker”? You’re not alone. With the dual demands from both the C-suite and your customers, it’s easy to let the stress build up and hurt your performance.
Putting up a website without search engine optimization (SEO) is like a shop owner hiding behind the counter when a customer walks in. If customers cant’ find you, they can’t buy from you! Fortunately, the first part of a new two-part article on ZoomInsights, “Don’t hide from your customers (Part one),” explains SEO, its importance and how to do it.
Part one is available now; stay tuned for part two.
In Part one, SEO expert Eric Evans from Merge discusses two of five basic SEO principles:
1. Tracking your success
2. Choosing the best keywords
The first basic principle isn’t just for SEO; it’s for your entire online digital strategy. If you don’t track and analyze your marketing efforts, how can you know if you’re converting users (or leads) into customers? Evans discusses various Web analytics options and makes a recommendation on which to choose.
In keyword research, your first step is to select keywords that fit with your business strategy and align with your company’s services. Evans uses the example of an exotic pet shop to demonstrate how to choose keywords and how to use them in Web pages.
Sometimes, when a prospect asks you to send a brochure, it’s really not a put-off. Some people prefer to do significant research on their own before they spend time with sales reps. Our friend Jill Konrath, author of the Fresh Sales Strategies Blog, offers three ideas to maximize the opportunity:
• Jolt them out of complacency with the status quo
• Show them what’s possible
• Keep educating them
Marketing executives across industries struggle with metrics and analytics for digital marketing programs, according to an article in ClickZ. Author Augustine Fou writes that digital marketing tactics are so new to many marketing executives that they’re unsure what metrics to use.
“What’s great about digital campaigns is that they do allow businesses to track a variety of new metrics. But they are not all created equal and the abundance of data can be overwhelming.” That’s the word from Demandbase CMO Greg Ott, who shared his thoughts for a ZoomInsights article, “How to measure digital campaigns.” Ott also shared five metrics that most business can start with, including overall visits and engagement by industry and company size and conversion rates by industry and company size.
And David Raab of Left Brain DGA pointed out that in a traditional channel like TV, marketers know that gross rating points correlate with revenue. But Raab told ZoomInsights that because digital channels are newer, the best you can do is find the metrics that are closest to the final result of increased revenue – metrics such as conversion rate.
Webinars can be a boon to B2B companies, both for drawing in new prospects and getting current customers to stay engaged. But this marketing tactic has become so popular that some potential views are beginning to experience “webinar fatigue.”
Fortunately, an article on ZoomInsights, “Get more win from your webinars,” offers ways to overcome webinar fatigue and other ideas to make sure you get as much benefit as possible from hosting a webinar.
The article offers tips on promoting your webinars, ways to improve engagement during the events, and ideas about ways to use a webinar’s content after it’s over.
When working the phones to acquire new business, our second and third calls to decision makers too often don’t “move the ball forward.” Instead, we end up with the same “field position” we had after our previous calls.
The solution is to get decision makers to commit to a small action item before getting off the phone with us. This gives us some of their mindshare. Like a first down in football, it “marks our spot” on the field for our next play – starting our second call 10 yards further toward our goal than we were at the beginning of our previous call.
STOMP (Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program) is an opportunity for undergraduate, graduate, high school, and industry employees to promote engineering education in K-12 settings. STOMP fellows provide expert engineering knowledge to K-12 classrooms to assist/mentor K-12 teachers and students. STOMP’s main goal is to partner industry leaders with K-12 teachers in the greater Boston area to create an engineering curriculum that reaches across all disciplines, piques the students’ interests in engineering, and improves the students’ problem-solving skills. STOMP fellows are responsible for consulting with their classroom teacher to come up with an collection of 8 – 10 activities throughout the semester. These activities typically touch on engineering and technology content and connect back to other topics students are learning about in their classroom.
This past spring, 5 ZoomInfo engineers – in conjunction with Tufts University & the Waltham Public School District – taught a program introducing Lego Mindstorms to 5th-graders. The course stressed basic engineering skills, such as requirements gathering, how to design with testability in mind, and the importance of iterative development. STOMP’s curriculum is designed to encourage teamwork and cooperation while also stressing the merits of accountability and competition. At the end of each lesson, students had to demo their designs in front of the whole class and received suggestions and critiques from their classmates when their product didn’t meet the lesson’s requirements or quality standards.
The projects started small – building a lawn chair for a stuffed animal – and got more ambitious as the students gained confidence and experience working in teams. By the end of the 6 week program, each team had built a robotic car that could navigate a small course.
All told, STOMP was rewarding and educational for both the fellows and their students. ZoomInfo Senior Engineer and STOMP fellow, Jeremy Freeman, said that “It was cool to watch kids get excited by engineering and math when they were trying to win that contest. Those kids will do anything if it involves winning and robots :)”