03 Jun: Selling has evolved

You know that. We know that. And every good sales professional knows that.

Between social selling, customer relationship management, big data and extensive hiring processes – there are billions of dollars spent each year trying to optimize relationships with employees, vendors, partners and clients. For example, recently commissioned studies from Gartner indicated that 60% of North American organizations express intent of increasing their spend on public cloud services and SaaS systems for managing client relationships.

We wanted to know just how well this investment in social, CRM, data and? hiring was playing out. Specifically, we wanted to know whether…

23 May: The skills start-up marketers really need

A lot of friends shared the Techvibes post titled The Rise Of The Technical Marketer yesterday. It’s a good post. It talks about how modern marketers need technical skills to be successful. Practicing measurable marketing and doing it with modern tools such as marketing automation, CRM and analytics is where marketing has been heading for years. If you’re a technology marketer you should also have a good foundation of the how the technology works that you’re marketing. I agree 100% but I think there’s more.

In the 15 years that I’ve been in marketing at start-ups or fast growing…

16 May: How Social Media Helped Me Eliminate Cold Calls

As mentioned in past blog posts, relationships are critical in the sales world. The evolution of social media has only made creating and maintaining them that much more important. This is because the barriers for creating these relationships have dramatically dropped. Twitter is a major reason for this as connections and conversations are being made with ease, considering that they can be started simply by posting or responding to someone’s tweet.

One of the things that I found most fascinating about Twitter is how available it makes people and how quickly relationships can be formed. I have a number…

15 May: How To Generate Quality Sales Referrals Effectively

Sales referrals are one of the most effective ways to generate new business. Yet, while every salesperson will agree that referrals can work, very few effectively implement a sales referral strategy in their process.

For many sellers, working independently and finding their own leads is more than a virtue – it’s a way of business. These sellers are okay with spending days and weeks prospecting through websites and mailing lists with the hope of catching a wave. I’m here to say working solo and ignoring your network is a missed opportunity.

Referrals can be the foundation of an effective…

06 May: The Best Approach for Lead Response Management

Generating leads is one of the most important aspects of having a healthy sales pipeline. Millions of dollars are spent each year by businesses looking to identify and close new leads. However, according to a recent study from MarketingSherpa, 79% of sales leads never convert into a sale due to a lack of lead nurturing and relationship building.

The folks from recently examined 3 years of data across a wide variety of companies that respond to web generated leads. From their research they developed an infographic to showcase figures and stats to help sales reps be more efficient and…

26 Apr: Event Follow-up Do’s and Don’ts

I attended a few events a couple of weeks ago. One was a smaller event where we exhibited and the other two were larger events where I attended for a few hours and walked the floor of exhibits. Since then I’ve been receiving a lot of follow-up emails from companies that were involved at these events. A lot of follow-ups. Following up is good, we did it too, but all of the contact got me thinking about the various tactics and how well they work. Here’s what I’ve observed:

Personal Is Best
If you come back from an…

25 Apr: 7 Tactics to Generate More B2B Leads

eMarketer published a report earlier this week about the struggles that B2B marketers have with lead generation. The study, conducted by BtoB Magazine, showed that the #1 challenge for over half of B2B marketers was generating more leads followed by reaching more of their target audience.

Here at Introhive we use 7 tactics to make sure that we are reaching our desired audience and generating leads for our sales team.

Paid Search

Paid search is a great way generate new visitors and leads to your site in a cost effective manner. Not only do we bid on popular keywords…

11 Apr: Choosing the Right References Can be a Game Changer

The American Marketing Association published an interesting study on the value of business references in the buying process. Defining, Measuring, and Managing Business Reference Value defines the reference characteristics sellers value when providing client references to prospect accounts. The study also defines the reference characteristics valued by prospect accounts and their ability to positively influence these prospects. Conveniently, the factors chosen and valued by sellers and prospects are the same.

These are the factors identified in the study that affect the value of a client references, from most valuable to least valuable:

Client Size – Defined by both number…

27 Mar: Aligning Marketing and Sales

I hear lots of talk about the divide between marketing and sales. Some sales teams think that marketing doesn’t support them, that they create poor leads or that they focus on things that don’t move the needle. Some Marketers complain that sales are reactive, stray from messaging and miss important opportunities. I don’t get it. I’ve been lucky to work in organizations that had strong alignment between the two groups. I think it worked because, knowingly or not, we focused on three things that brought us closer together: clarity, collaboration, and consistency.

Here’s what I mean:

Clarity: Too many organizations…

11 Feb: The Evolution from Social Media to Relationship Capital

There is a quote recycled on occasion on Twitter that is attributed to me. It’s goes like this:

“Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.” ~David Alston

It does sum up my view of social. Yes social media can be an engagement channel, a source of insight or a content distribution network. For me it’s magic has always been around the topic of relationships. The discovery, building and maintaining of relationships. Social media has done a great job reminding businesses about the power of relationships. It’s also shown business leaders that…