I attended a fascinating webinar on Monday on The Social Revolution: Connecting With Today’s Customer given by George Hu (@GeorgeHuSF), EVP Marketing & Platform of Salesforce.com and Brian Halligan (@bhalligan), CEO & Co-Founder of Hubspot. For those of you who missed it, I recommend that you take a look at the recorded webinar, but I wanted to share a few of the headlines in the meantime…
A recent McKinsey Quarterly article claims that “we’re all marketers now” - and with good reason. Customer preferences are no longer shaped through traditional marketing channels - they are formed by the accumulated experience of every interaction they undertake with a vendor. In fact, according to McKinsey, in an era of engagement, marketing is the company...
During the past year I've benefited from the insights of people and organisations that have made telling contributions to raising the standard of B2B sales and marketing. As we approach the New Year, I'd like to share a dozen of the best with you - in the hope that some might stimulate your own ideas about how you can realise the potential of 2011.
I'll start with three video clips, in which Simon Sinek explains why people don't buy what you do - they buy why you do it, Dan Pink reveals the surprising truth about what really motivates people, and Steven Johnson suggests that chance favours the connected mind.
I'd then like to highlight three articles inspired by the ground-breaking research of Sirius Decisions - suggesting that bigger pipelines aren't always better, explaining why investments in social media must be accompanied by thought leadership, and reminding us why we need to understand where our offering fits on the demand spectrum - is it a new concept, a new paradigm or an established category?
Donal Daly of the TAS Group offered some fresh perspectives on B2B sales success by sharing 5 facts about how B2B sales cycles are changing and suggesting that there are only two reasons why you lose a sale.
McKinsey published a stream of fascinating findings through the year - my attention was drawn in particular to measuring the value of word-of-mouth marketing and their explanation as to why too much sales contact can cost you business.
Finally, the excellent research done by CSO Insights suggested how organisations might boost sales performance in 2010 (and beyond) and inspired my own article on the 7 reasons why CRM systems so often get forecasting wrong.
I'd like to conclude by wishing you, your family, colleagues and friends a peaceful and prosperous New Year - and hoping that some of the ideas I've shared might contribute in some small way to your success in 2011.
Regards, and Best Wishes!
Is Web 2.0 simply a passing fad or an enduring trend? We no longer have to rely on the evangelists’ opinion. A recent McKinsey study of more than 3,000 executives has come up with statistically significant proof that the intensive organisation-wide adoption of Web 2.0 technologies is closely correlated with margin and market share gains.
Today during his keynote at Cloudforce 2010 in London’s Royal Festival Hall, Marc Benioff, Chairman and Chief Executive of Salesforce.com, launched Chatter Mobile to the usual adoring audience.
There’s a short article in the latest McKinsey Quarterly on “the basics of business-to-business sales success”. It captures the conclusions from their survey of more than 1,200 purchasing decision makers in small, medium and large organisations across the US and Europe who are responsible for buying high-tech products and services.
As we emerge from the downturn, it’s clear that we’re going to have to find new and better ways of reaching and satisfying our customers. The May 2010 edition of the McKinsey Quarterly reports that “the way businesses buy from and sell to each other is changing”.
No great surprise there. The article explores three trends that McKinsey’s analysts heard from senior sales executives. Now the nature of McKinsey’s sample is such that the results reflect the experience of some of the world’s largest and best established companies – but my own observations suggest that a growing number of successful up-and-coming organisations are already embracing their recommendations.
The “end of the road warrior”?
Your customers, and your prospects, have opinions - and they are fascinated by the opinions of their peer groups and others they have come to trust for advice. They no longer have to rely simply upon the views of people and organisations they already know – our networked world has made it easy for them to seek and share opinions on a global scale.
The term “word of mouth” marketing is something of a quaint misnomer. One-to-one verbal communication is only one of its' manifestations. The phrase is now commonly (and, I think, appropriately) used to describe customer-to-customer communications across a variety of media that share a common characteristic – the participants have no direct personal economic interest in the information they are exchanging, simply a desire to share what they have learned for the common good.
Time to shove “push marketing” to one side...
The latest McKinsey Quarterly carries a great article on the consumer decision journey - and shoots holes in the now outdated “sales funnel” metaphor. Whilst the piece focuses primarily on B2C buyer behaviour, our own observations suggest that many of the principles are equally relevant to the process of B2B buying.