Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Sales Strategy’ Category


The Future of Marketing is Extreme Complexity


Are you in denial?

Marketing leaders in B2B and B2C are confronted with high customer expectations and a trend towards advanced technology that customers use during the buying process.

This is is turning marketing into an extremely complex discipline, providing challenges that need to be faced today. When is this complex future of marketing going to happen? Faster than you think…way faster…

Read more »


How to Leverage Big Data in Your Marketing Strategy?



Integrating big data in your marketing strategy is important in todays business strategies. The question is if big data is mature enough today to be usable, practical and beneficial to marketers. Isn’t big data a lot of effort, for little added value to the business? Let’s see…

No doubt data in general, within the field of marketing, is becoming more important. I’m not even talking about big data here, just data. As big data was reaching fever pitch sometime between 2011 and 2014, today the cool kids in data are moving on to obsessing over AI and machine intelligence and deep learning.

The basic idea behind the phrase ‘big data’ is that everything we do is increasingly leaving a digital trace, which we can use and analyse.

Early adopters have experimented with big data, with mixed results. They had to work with big data startups, and cobble solutions together. Today, these early big data startups went through multiple VC financing rounds, scaled their organizations, learned from successes and failures in early deployments, and now offer more mature, battle-tested products.

Is big data really sounding “3 years ago”, or has big data matured and is it more usable for marketers today ?

That’s the question I want to answer in this blog post.

Read more »


(Slideshare) The New Role of Sales in a Digital World

the new role of sales in a digital worldRepeatedly the death of salespeople has been announced in the last 50 years. Each time, sales people survived. Why? Because they evolved.

The digital evolution has changed how organizations conduct business.

By 2020 customers will manage 85% of their relationship with a business without talking to a human being. The buyer is also more informed than ever thanks to the abundance of online content, and now has the upper hand in negotiations.

Sales organizations and sales people must evolve.

In this blog post, and Slideshare, I want to share with you my opinion about how sales organization can evolve, and how they can redefine the role of the sales in a digital world. Read more »


What are new tasks of salespeople in the digital world?

new tasks of salespeople in the digital worldThe digital evolution has changed how organizations conduct business. There’s a lot of change happening: customers now have new ways of communicating using social media, forums and product reviews. They gather real-time information on products and services, and engage with brands in real-time, using mobile phones and more.

The rise of real-time messaging applications like Snapchat, Vine, Instagram and others signal a new era where customers increasingly expect personal experiences and instant real-time interactions. Instant shipping of products in ever shorter times provide instant gratification to buyers that live in the moment of today.

More access to information also means buyers increasingly research products, even for low involvement products like FMCG, fashion, computer software, multimedia products or home decoration. More and more of the buying process is happening online, where buyers today need to be served more and more by the content that marketers provide them.

The abundance of online content and channels is shifting the power from the seller to the buyer. Today buyers are more informed then ever, in which they don’t need salespeople anymore to help them buy. Or, salespeople get invited to conversations much later these days because of online content, in which they are confronted with very educated customers.

What is the impact of all of these changes on the role of salespeople within the buying process? Read more »


7 Ass-Kicking ‘Awesome’ Digital Marketing Ebooks of 2014

book - Mary(n_n)West on FlickrCatching the attention of  buyers is done differently today. In the digital world we live in today, classic interruption marketing is less and less effective.

Applying traditional marketing tactics in the online world doesn’t work.

In your case as a marketing professional, you are constantly looking for insight, trends, best practices and how-to-do stuff. You are blind for advertising, you use Google as your best friend, follow RSS feeds of major marketing blogs, and subscribe to newsletters. Right?

What catches your attention? As digital marketers we are constantly flooded with whitepapers, ebooks, ultimate guides and webinars.

Not all of them are of the same quality.

But sometimes you encounter brilliant, well researched, and extensive ebooks.

In this blog post I want to share some of the best ebooks I have found in 2014. Each and every piece is really useful, practical, visual, and something you want to save on your PC.

With the holiday period coming up, you might have some time to read some of them ;-).

* image by Mary(n_n)West, on Flickr.

Read more »


The State of Mind of Corporate Decision Makers

corporate decision makers

So are you ? (image source: Tumblr)

Reaching corporate decision makers can be tough.

B2B marketers have a whole arsenal of strategies and tactics to our disposal: buyer persona’s, content, SEA, SEO, event marketing, advertising and social. You name it.

You give yourself 100%, developing the most fantastic message you ever made.

This is it. Now you nailed it. This got to work. It’s perfect. You press the start button of your campaign. And nothing happens. Or hardly anything happens. 2% conversion. 4% conversion. Anybody want more?

And that’s what happens over and over again. Read more »


Marketing Automation vendors: revealing strengths and weaknesses


Long sales cycles and complex purchase decision-making challenge B2B marketers to find the most qualified prospects and to build relationships long before the first sales call.

In this environment, automation is essential to achieving a high level of demand generation maturity, and many marketers turn to lead management or marketing automation providers to meet this need.

The clear benefits of lead management automation should have B2B marketers jumping to purchase it.

However, back in 2009 this Forrester study reviewed a number of vendors in this area, they saw an underachieving space. Market penetration was low (between 2% and 5% of B2B firms have invested selling to <25M$ companies).

Forrester named some reasons for the slow market adoption:

  • Heated competition battling to grab share: because of the “big CRM players” beginning to play in this field, buyers hold back their investments because they believe they have the functionality already in house through their CRM system
  • A massive amount of new players entering the playfield all with different backgrounds claiming to have similar functionality. These claims keep B2B buyers running from demo to demo and scratching their heads over which offering will best meet their needs.
marketing automation vendors come from different markets

MAS vendors come from different market. Image source : Forrester


Today, looking at the recent Gartner report of June 2012 the CRM market as a whole, of which this industry is very much part, enjoyed a strong rebound in 2011 with revenue reaching $11.9 billion in 2011, a 12.7% growth from 2010.

Read more »


No level of customer churn is acceptable: make it so !

image source: Wikipedia

What would happen if your business ran out of viable customers? What if the pipeline of new blood permanently dried up?

The continuous rotation of campaign taglines, creative messages, and clutter-busting noise helps to keep a baseline level of acquisition activity. OK.

And somehow along the customer life cycle, we loose them. They churn, churn, churn.

I think the starting point of doing business should be:


The cost of acquiring new customers

Companies today are using advertising, promotions and lead generation campaigns to attract new customers. All these tactics take a big chunck out of your marketing budget. I’m not going to repeat that acquiring new customers is more expensive, we all know that.

So we use these tactics to attract new customers, because we know they work.

The problem with these tactics is that they are not working anymore, or not working as good anymore as they used to do:

  • 86% of TV viewers admit to skipping advertisements.
  • 44% of direct marketing doesn’t get opened anymore.
  • 99,9% of on-line advertising is not clicked upon.

Additionally, sometimes your budgets are cut because of a multitude of reasons, giving you even less arm-length to reach our to buyers.

Why do companies churn?

Usually companies switch because of the following reasons:

Read more »


Slideshare didn’t want my business

source : Flickr – by Joriel “Joz” Jimenez

Some time ago, I started using Slideshare as an extra way of putting out content to buyers.

At first it was an experiment, but we must have done something right, because soon we had over 10.000 views on a number of presentations.

Because we passed the 10.000 views mark, we got a mail from Slideshare to try the PRO version of Slideshare, adding lots of interesting functionality. Yeah, nice !

Sneaky free offering

Interesting, as it seemed, I went on to their website and tried to activate the free month trial period.

I got quickly disappointed, as the offering required me to fill in my credit card details. The sneaky bit here is that although they would not debit my credit card, filling in all the details would mean an AUTOMATIC renewed monthly debit subscription to the PRO service. I also saw that at LinkedIn, but hey, aren’t they the same company?

Bummer !

Marketing take-away: if you are offering a free trial period, make sure the terms and conditions do not harm your brand by putting in sneaky or less appealing conditions. Your offering must remain attractive, even during the free trial period.

Resisting to have me as their customer

The number of views kept growing, so I decided to go for it. As our company is not set-up to work easily with on-line credit card payments, I hoped that Slideshare would be able to invoice me fort heir services.

Read more »


Buying decisions are made in the cloud

This post is about todays buyers that inform themselves first through their “circle of trust” on the web, and create a short-list of vendors, before they approach them.

You must have noticed it yourself. How do you go about when you want to buy something? Chances are high that you talk to someone who has some experience with what you want to buy. But chances are much higher that you go on-line and that you build up your knowledge by visiting review sites, blogs, or contact some of your contacts on LinkedIn who might have some experience with what you intend to buy.

Oh no, not another post on content marketing

Before you think ‘oh no’, not yet another post about content marketing and inbound marketing, “tell me something I do not know”. Fair enough.

I want to share with you a little story on how I started realizing that indeed the buying process of professional has changed and that I had to change myself as a marketing professional.

Read more »