How to Integrate Sales and Marketing Tools to Facilitate Alignment

sales and marketing alignmentBy now, B2B leaders understand sales and marketing alignment is essential for growth. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, sales and marketing alignment isn’t a new concept – yet, many companies still struggle to establish a strong connection between the two departments.

Today, we unpack a hidden culprit behind poor sales and marketing alignment—technology. Hear us out.

Both sales and marketing departments rely heavily on software to operate effectively. For sales, a CRM (customer relationship management) tool is the software of choice, while marketing often relies on automation tools. When two departments operate differently, communication becomes difficult. So, what’s the solution? Read More

6 Steps to B2B Blogging Success

In 2010, we first discussed the importance of B2B blogging. We wrote, “along with social media platforms, blogs are a fundamental way for B2B companies to communicate with their customers about their products and services.” While this still holds true, a lot has changed in the B2B blogosphere.

If done successfully, B2B blogging can be enormously effective at driving organic traffic to your website, engaging potential buyers, and generating high-quality leads for your sales team. In fact, B2B marketers that blog get 67% more leads than those that do not (source).

Today, we’re re-visiting the topic and providing you with the six steps to B2B blogging success. Read More

3 Times to Avoid Scripted Social Media

scripted social mediaFrom the time social media became a viable marketing channel, B2B companies have been looking for ways to automate social processes.  Although social media tools have made this easier—with features like post scheduling, conversation monitoring, and hashtag tracking—some aspects of social selling can’t be pre-planned.

Today we’re covering a topic that B2B marketers have disputed for years—scripted social media. If you’re not familiar, scripted social media is the process of using pre-written, well-vetted messaging as part of your corporate social media strategy.

Proponents of this strategy argue that predetermined talking points and canned responses give companies editorial control of their social channels. Others argue that scripted social media can appear inauthentic, robotic, or just plain annoying. Read More

The Impact of Direct Dials on Sales Productivity

sales productivityOften, sales reps who fail to hit the phones hard, wonder how they missed their quota. That said, not all sales outreach is created equal. Consider the following:

  • It takes 22 minutes to connect using switchboard numbers, but with direct dials it only takes 5 minutes (source).
  • When dialing a direct dial phone number at the director level, your SDR is 46% more likely to connect (source).
  • On top of that, when dialing a direct dial number at the VP level, your SDR is 147% more likely to connect (source).

The lesson here is clear: while access to direct phone numbers will not alleviate every pain point related to sales outreach, chances of connecting with prospects is significantly higher compared to calling into company switchboards. Read More

Get More from Your B2B Sales Training

b2b sales trainingB2B sales training is a big investment. Not only is it expensive, but your sales team loses prime selling hours in order to attend.

Yet, sales training programs can improve the overall bottom-line of your organization. In fact, according to CSO Insights, organizations that complete highly rated sales training programs can increase revenue by up to 106.7% (source).

Continue reading to learn why your organization should invest in sales training this year:

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The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Lead Nurturing

lead nurturingIn an ideal world, all incoming leads would be ready to buy—unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In fact, 73% of all B2B leads are not ready to purchase the first time they interact with your brand. Yet, up to 80% of those prospects will be ready to buy from you – or a competitor – within 24 months (source). The trick to bridging this gap is to prevent these leads from going cold. Enter, lead nurturing.

Lead nurturing is the process of developing meaningful relationships with potential customers throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey. Instead of forcing a sales pitch on someone who may not be ready, nurturing identifies the needs of the prospect and provides them with the answers they are searching for.

Lead nurturing has become a profitable marketing practice and is considered an integral part of many B2B marketing strategies. One recent study found companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads, at a 33% lower cost; while another study stated that nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases (source). Read More

Sales and Marketing Alignment: A Q&A

Seven years ago, ZoomInfo wrote a blog post about the newest trend in the B2B space—smarketing. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s what we now refer to as sales and marketing alignment.

In 2010, we wrote: Sales and marketing alignment is all the rage right now, as companies grapple with how to blend the two disciplines together to create better efficiencies. But first they have to break down the silos, and we’re not about to hold our collective breath on that one.

As it turns out, not much has changed.  Sales and marketing leaders are still debating the merits of alignment and struggling to bridge the gap between the two departments. With seven years more practice, research, and general insight, we’ll try to answer the same two questions we tackled in the original post.

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The Definitive Guide to B2B Employee Engagement and Brand Awareness

b2b brand awareness

Brand awareness is a critical, but often neglected component of B2B company growth. In fact, strong brand awareness is often linked with increased financial performance, higher sales volume, higher quality employees, valuable partnership opportunities and more.

While branding is typically a marketing concern, every department and its constituents – from c-level down to hourly workers – has a role to play.

Keep reading to learn how you can leverage the power of your employees and turn them into effective brand ambassadors. Read More

How to Create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Sales and marketing alignment is critical to business growth. For skeptics who think otherwise, consider the following: Companies whose sales and marketing teams work together see 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates (source).

While there are many ways to achieve sales and marketing alignment, the best place to start is to establish an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Read More