Tag Archives: b2b marketing university

Learn Holistic Lead Nurturing

Would you like to learn how Lead Nurturing can turn more of your leads into revenue? On a single afternoon in New York City, Silverpop brings together several expert speakers to discuss Holistic Lead Nurturing strategies. The agenda covers B2B marketing trends, marketing infrastructure, nurturing dialogs, campaign development and implementation advice. Speakers include Adam Needles (Silverpop), Jay Hidalgo (Annuitas Group), Mac McIntosh (Acquire B2B) and myself. See below for an overview of Holistic Lead Nurturing.

Date & Time: September 14th, from 12pm to 5.30pm, with cocktails afterwards
Location: Affinia Manhattan Hotel, 371 Seventh Avenue
Cost: FREE for qualified marketers

Register here: http://sloth.in/9esz8E

Other locations: Boston (October 19th),  San Francisco (November 2nd); see the full schedule

What Is Holistic Lead Nurturing?

For those of you who can’t make it, I’ll give a short overview of the event. First of all, what does “holistic” mean in this context? It means that you identify market trends, then define a strategy for lead nurturing, and then implement it. So it’s not just “let’s do some drip emails”, but a more comprehensive approach to get the most out of your lead nurturing campaigns.

The Changing B2B Buyer

The B2B buying process has changed. There is more information available online and in social networks, and sales people get involved at a much later stage. That also means that Marketing will be involved much longer: not just to generate leads, but also to nurturing the leads until they are ready to talk to a sales person.

New Marketing Technology

At the same time, technology solutions enable a new way to design and automate campaigns. Marketing Automation systems make it possible to design automated multi-step email campaigns. Also, they can track the responses at a very detailed level, including monitoring of website visits. Based on that activity, lead scoring gives an indication of the interests and sales-readiness of leads. And by integrating with the CRM system, sales can also be kept in the loop.

Creating a Dialog

With the new buying and technology environment, you can create a new type of nurturing dialog. It’s about understanding, tracking, scoring and routing leads. However, to succeed you need to put these individual activities together in a process to help leads along in the buying process. That is holistic lead management, which will help you turn more “raw” leads into qualified leads.

Generating Demand

And that brings us to the next step: optimizing your nurturing campaigns to generate more demand for your solutions. This starts with designing multi-track nurturing campaigns, based on the overall lead flow from the previous step. These campaigns should be aligned with the steps in the buying process, they should include appealing offers, leverage Buyer Personas, and possibly also integrate telesales or direct mail.

Putting It Into Practice

Because lead management and lead nurturing are pretty new, it’s sometimes hard to visualize how it will actually work in your organization. First of all, there are few organizations who have implemented all best practices: it can take years to build out a holistic nurturing program, but you can see the first results in just months, by taking small steps towards the ultimate vision. I recommend talking to peers at other organizations to see what they have accomplished with their lead nurturing programs.

Is Holistic Marketing the Future?

What is your take: should every B2B organization with a complex sales process adopt Holistic Lead Management practices? Or do you feel it’s too comprehensive? Did I forget any steps? Please let add your comments.

7 Steps to Finding Untapped Revenue in Your Marketing Database

This Tuesday (June 22nd at 11am PDT) I’m presenting a webinar on the 7 steps to finding untapped revenue in your marketing database. Do you have many leads in your database who have never been followed up on? If yes, you have a lot of untapped revenue in your database. View this webinar to learn how to generate additional revenue from your existing leads.

This video gives an overview of the content of the webinar:

The webinar is now available for watching on-demand.

5 Ways to Use Social Media in Marketing Automation

This is the first of three posts for the Silverpop B2B Marketing University, March 3rd in Washington DC. I will be speaking about Marketing Automation features, the marketing technology ecosystem, and the impact of Social Media. In this first post I will give an overview of my talk on Social Media: if you’d like to hear the full story, please come to the DC event, or wait until the University comes to a city near you (London, Palo Alto, Boston confirmed; Dallas, New York, Atlanta and Chicago announced).

Social Media

When talking about Social Media, most people immediately think of Twitter or Facebook. I define it much broader: Social Media facilitates any online social interaction, where monologues have been transformed into social dialogs. So it’s about having conversations with your (potential) clients rather than just blasting out your message. Let’s look at the 5 Ways in which Social Media is changing Lead Management and Marketing Automation.

1. Lead Generation

Where do your potential clients “hang out” when they browse the web? Are they on LinkedIn, do they Tweet or are they part of an online community like Marketingprofs? After some initial research, start interacting on the preferred Social Networks and measure the results: add tags to your social media interactions, so you see if it drives new people to your site. Use your Marketing Automation and CRM systems to see if this traffic converts to qualified leads and sales opportunities.

2. Lead Nurturing

It may take a while before potential clients are ready to buy or even want to talk to a sales person. In the beginning, they may not even register on your website, so they are still anonymous. No worries, with Social Media you can offer prospects multiple ways to stay in touch: if they’re not yet ready for your email newsletter, maybe they want to “fan” your company on Facebook, or simply subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed. If you incorporate Social Media interaction in your lead score, you can measure the effectiveness of these Social Media activities.

3. Lead Intelligence

Sales & marketing alignment is finally getting the attention it deserves. Marketing is starting to see sales as a customer who demands high-quality leads. With the right technology you can incorporate information from various online sources, so sales people are better prepared when they make the first call. It’s not just status information like the employment history from LinkedIn, but also real-time info from sites like Twitter.

4. Intra-company Collaboration

Social Media does not just transform how you interact with external parties, but also how you run your marketing operation. If multiple people work together on campaigns, it’s extremely useful if you can collaborate in the application itself. This is already commonplace in office applications like Microsoft Office and Google Docs, where you can add notes in the documents themselves, rather than putting those in an email. In the marketing space, the most well-known example is Google Analytics which lets you add annotations below each graph (click on the small triangle to show the annotation pane).

5. Customer Support

Often, Customer Support is in a separate department, and it’s seen as a cost center. Especially for subscription-based businesses, marketing should be closely involved in providing customers with the best possible experience: retaining customers is a lot cheaper than acquiring new ones. Companies like Zendesk, Helpstream and Get Satisfaction provide social support platforms, where existing customers can help each other, rather than channeling all questions to a support technician. You can also use Social Networks to keep customers informed of new products and services, and giving them the opportunity to provide feedback.


Many of today’s customers interact with Social Media. As a vendor, you can take advantage of this by actively participating on external networks, and adding social features to your own applications. I hope this post gave you some ideas to create a comprehensive Social Media strategy, and how to justify this with the right metrics.

B2B Marketing University: What Do You Want to Learn About?

B2B Marketing UniversityThere has been quite a bit of change in B2B marketing over the past couple of years. Buyers have moved online, which has had a major impact on the buying process. Prospects now have instant access to much more information, so marketing’s involvement reaches much further down the sales cycle: they need to nurture prospects with relevant content until they are sales-ready. Sales people are still very important, but they can focus on facilitating the buying process rather than distributing information.

In addition to this general trend, a whole array of software tools is now available to help the savvy marketer. 10 years ago, email marketing was in its infancy. 5 years ago Salesforce.com was tiny compared to Siebel. And now we have sophisticated marketing automation software that changes how you do marketing.

Continuing Education for B2B Marketers

silverpop logoConsidering these trends, now is a great time to to invest in some continuing education. Doctors do it, so why not B2B marketers? Enter Silverpop. They are organizing a B2B Marketing University this fall, with lots of interesting topics. They visit the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Atlanta and Seattle, with other cities to follow. And just like in medicine, the vendor pays for it all: admission is free for qualified B2B marketers (too bad they don’t have a session in Hawaii).

For more details, see the Silverpop B2B Marketing University website. You can sign up to be notified when registration for the university opens.

LeadSloth will present a session at several of these events. I hope to meet several of my readers in person! Let me know if you’re attending.

Question: What Do You Want to Hear About?

There are lots of new trends that B2B marketers need to know about. Unfortunately, my session will only be 1 hour, so it is impossible to cover everything. What topics do you think B2B Marketers should learn about?

Please leave a comment with your preference, and I will use your input in my session.