Your compensation plan is one of your greatest tools for getting the kinds sales results you want and need to hit your numbers. Here are seven ways to botch it up completely.
If you are building out a new sales team it’s one of the first tough questions you have to address: “What kind of compensation package are we going to put into place?”
There’s no single right answer — every company will discover particular elements that do or don’t work for them. Unfortunately, for far too many companies, however, that discovery process can be long and include a few too many painful hard lessons-learned along the way.
Are you going about your B2B marketing all wrong? CEB’s Karl Schmidt explains why the real driving factors behind B2B buying decisions are far more personal and emotional than you think.
Uncovering the Underutilized Power of Emotion in B2B Marketing
When it comes to making purchasing decisions, we all know our choices aren’t always based on logic and reason. Why do you think they keep making red sports cars with terrible gas mileage and keep putting candy bars near the checkout?
Of course, acting on a last-second impulse purchase is one thing, but what happens when we’re forced to make a decision on a product or solution that could make or break our business? What happens when that involves navigating a complex buying process, requiring us to loop in multiple stakeholders across various departments, or when it takes maybe a year or even longer to finalize the purchase? Surely with everything riding on that kind of decision — not to mention with that amount of time to really think things through — our approach becomes more rational than emotional…
After all, it’s strictly business, right?
Listen up B2B marketers, innovative digital marketer and social media expert Ekaterina Walter has a new challenge for you — either make your marketing actually useful to your customers or prepare to get left in the dust.
In December 2012, Ekaterina Walter was doing what many people do in the days leading up to Christmas — scrambling to find the perfect gifts for her family.
Specifically, Walter, a renowned marketer, speaker, and best-selling author who is widely credited with pioneering Intel’s social media strategy, had no idea what to buy her husband.
“I was starting to freak out about it,” Walter remembers. “I’m not the type to just buy something random. I wanted it to be something he’d really love.”
So, the social media pro turned to a medium she knew was capable of solving her problem — Twitter.
Why should Hollywood get all the attention? With the Academy Awards right around the corner we’re hosting our 2nd annual B2B Oscars, and inviting you to decide which companies produced the best B2B marketing videos of the year.
Video — it’s the hottest tool in your marketing arsenal. And with more and more companies flocking to video as a way to deliver more engaging messaging, it’s clear that the best marketers are rising to the challenge, finding even more creative and effective ways to connect with viewers and stand out from the pack.
Following the success of last year’s B2B Oscars, we’re once again celebrating the cream of the B2B video marketing crop, nominating 15 of the year’s best videos across five categories, including:
- Best Viral Video
- Best Explainer Video
- Best Culture Video
- Best Customer Success Video (new category)
- Best Call to Action (new category)
The best part? Why wait to see what’s inside a stupid envelope when you can be the judge?
What makes the best “data-driven” organizations so successful? As these quotes from industry experts show, the secret is that they emphasize being results-driven organizations first.
By this point, it’s probably safe to say your company’s execs are all too familiar with the siren song of big data — the abundance of information at your fingertips, the unprecedented insight into customer preference and behavior, the veritable golden age of hyper-relevant marketing and better-informed decision making to come. But as the quotes below emphasize, knowing really is only half the battle. The truly difficult and critical part is learning how to distinguish between data that is interesting vs. data that is important — and determining how to best leverage customer information into actionable insights and results.
Building and developing a lead generation program within a B2B company is critical to scale. But for your lead generation team to really deliver revenue-producing results, that team’s calls need to convert. In the video below, ExactTarget Senior Manager of Sales Development Christy Weymouth reveals three factors that can positively (or negatively) impact your company’s cold call conversion ratio.
By nature, lead generation is a high activity, low yield function.
Reps are often reaching out to prospects who haven’t heard of a business, aren’t aware they could benefit from a particular product or service, or have no interest in listening to a sales pitch. And, needless to say, convincing those people to grant you even 15 seconds of their time can be challenging. Typically, most cold calls end with a response that sound something like, “Umm, yeah, not interested.” Click.
To counter that frequent rejection, some lead generation teams opt for the old “spray-and-pray” prospecting technique, throwing things against the wall and hoping something sticks. But, as ExactTarget’s Christy Weymouth explains in the video below, doing that will ultimately get you nowhere. Instead, the solution to your cold call conversion woes is to encourage your reps to be more strategic about every call they make.
In a perfect world, building and growing your business would be smooth and predictable. But face it — you’re going to experience setbacks and you’re going to make mistakes. The key is how you respond. In this week’s Founder’s Corner, Instructure CEO Josh Coates explains why tackling hurdles head-on with transparency can win you customer loyalty and trust.
Downtime — the word alone is enough to send shivers down the spine.
The fact is, if you’re at the helm of a cloud or SaaS company, unscheduled downtime is a fear (and a reality) that you’re going to have to deal with at some point. In the case of open-source learning management solution Instructure, it unfortunately couldn’t have come at a worse time. Heading into the 2012 school year, just as many of Instructure’s clients — grade schools and universities across the country — were beginning to ramp up their usage, the company’s platform Canvas stumbled. For almost half a day, customers experienced slow page loads and timeouts.
“It was really bad,” admits Instructure CEO Josh Coates. “Typically in our market segment, when competitors experience downtime, it’s usually on premise and no one hears about the outage. Because we’re a cloud-based company, we had hundreds of schools (experiencing the outage at the same time). And even though they were accustomed to downtime from previous vendors, the expectations were higher with us.”
Sales leaders’ and IT buyers’ perceptions of the sales process are often misaligned, which can lead to significant inefficiencies.
A recent OpenView survey of B2B sales people and IT buyers sheds some light on where the discrepancies exist and how to address them.