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3 Posts authored by: brianghansford

As a US history and modern marketing geek, this post by mattheinz for our 4th of July holiday is great!  Enjoy.

 

What if the Declaration of Independence was written by modern sales and marketing professionals, attempting to free themselves from archaic processes, irrelevant strategies and old-school management structures?

 

 

Using as much of the same language as possible, this is what it might look like. Have a great Fourth of July Weekend everyone!

 

 

IN UNISON, July 4, 2013.

 

 

The unanimous Declaration of Modern Sales & Marketing Professionals the World Over,

 

When in the Course of the latest fiscal year or quarter, it becomes necessary for sales & marketing departments to dissolve the political & organizational constraints which have both connected and kept them from one another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the new, integrated and collaborative station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation from past practices and embrace of the new reality.

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all leads are not created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator (be it marketing or sales) with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Conversion.–That to secure these rights, Sales and Marketing Departments are instituted among Companies, deriving their just powers from the consent of the executive suite, –That whenever any Form of Management becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Sales & Marketing Departments to alter or to abolish irrelevant habits and processes, and to institute new collaborative best practices, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Success and Sales Results.

 

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Organizations long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that too many sales & marketing organizations are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms (and barriers and politics) to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Missed Numbers, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such traditional organizational barriers, and to provide new Rules for their future success.

 

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Sales & Marketing professionals; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Operations. The history of the historic, ineffective Sales & Marketing system is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these teams and objectives. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

 

  • It has refused Assent to Buyers, the most wholesome and necessary for the public pipeline.
  • It has forbidden marketing managers to enact new processes of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till an organizational consensus should be obtained; and when so suspended, the organization has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  • It has refused to enact other new processes for the accommodation of large districts of the sales team, unless those sales reps would relinquish the right of access to leads in the CRM, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  • It has called together random administrative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Leads, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with archaic measures and lead follow-up systems.
  • It has dissolved Management teams repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness attempts to improve lead flow and pipeline growth on the rights of the sales team.
  • It has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be enabled with CRM and marketing automation access; whereby the Management powers, incapable of Reaching Consensus, have returned to the marketing team at large for their exercise; the Sales Team remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  • It has endeavoured to prevent the population of these Lead Funnels; for that purpose obstructing the Processes for Naturalization of New Leads; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Redistribution of Qualified Opportunities.
  • It has obstructed the Administration of Conversion, by refusing Assent to Lead Nurturing for establishing Conversion powers.
  • It has made Lead Quality Definitions dependent on Subjective Will alone, for the tenure of their conversion to SQLs, and the amount and payment of their commissions.
  • It has erected a multitude of New Lead Stages, and sent hither swarms of Irrelevant Offers to harrass our leads, and eat out their substance.
  • It has kept among us, in times of peace, Crappy Content without the Consent of our prospects.
  • It has affected to render the lead definitions independent of and superior to the teams that manage them.
  • It has combined with others to subject us to a buyer persona foreign to our understanding of customer needs, and unacknowledged by our lead stages; giving Assent to their Acts of pretended Conversion:
  • For Quartering large bodies of unqualified leads among us:
  • For protecting them, by a$mock Drip Campaign, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these Sales Departments:
  • For cutting off our Campaigns with all parts of the world:
  • For imposing Sales Quotas on us without our Consent:
  • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Reporting by Excel:
  • For transporting us beyond CRM to be tried for pretended pipelines
  • For abolishing the free System of Sales Process in a neighbouring Territory, establishing therein an Arbitrary lead definition, and enlarging its Qualifications so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Sales Teams:
  • For taking away our Unconverted Leads, abolishing our most valuable Collateral, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Landing Pages:
  • For suspending our own Nurture Campaigns, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all sales opportunities whatsoever.
  • It has abdicated Pipeline Management here, by declaring us out of its Protection and waging War against us.
  • It has plundered our territories, ravaged our Databases, burnt our trade show booths, and destroyed the lives of our sales reps.
  • It is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Call Centers to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the VP of a civilized organization.
  • It has constrained our fellow Marketers taken Captive on the high Pipeline to bear Arms against their Own Departments, to become the executioners of their peers and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  • It has excited interdepartmental insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our sales stages, the merciless Unqualified Savages, whose known rule of qualification, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
  • In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A VP whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the manager of a free process.

 

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Old School brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their management meetings to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our advancement and sales processes here. We have appealed to their native justice and revenue objectives, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these disconnects, which, would inevitably interrupt our pipeline growth and quotas. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of collaboration. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Sales Friends.

 

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united modern Sales & Marketing Organization, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme CEO of the organization for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Sales Teams, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Sales & Marketing teams are, and of Right ought to be Integrated and Collaborative States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the Isolated States of Old, and that all political connection between them and the Old Way of Doing Business, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Integrated and Collaborative States, they have full Power to levy Process, conclude Pipelines, contract New Customers, establish Quotas, and to do all other Acts and Things which Modern States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Sales Goals, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Revenue Objectives.

Grumpy Cat List.jpg

 

 

Database intelligence and list source providers are everywhere.  They play an important role in an overall data management strategy. Even with ongoing inbound contact capture efforts from websites, social media, and events like tradeshows, it makes sense to occasionally add fresh contacts from a reputable source.

 

The problem is filtering through the plethora of list providers to find the right fit for your requirements. Each vendor comes with their own set of advantages and potential problems. I imagine most of us get emails from our sales VP's with a spam from an offshore list provider that can provide thousands of targeted contacts for pennies on the dollar. 

 

Here is some of the criteria points I recommend when selecting a list and a data source provider.


Define the Data Standard

Every list or set of data records you purchase should meet a data standard defined for your organization. (If you don’t have a data standard, you need one NOW!) For example, a minimum percentage of your marketing automation database should have ‘record completeness’ with all of this information:

  • First and Last Name
  • Title
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Street Address
  • City, State, Postal Code
  • Revenues
  • Number of Employees
  • Website URL

 

You can use Eloqua to measure the level of complete records! Incomplete and outdated records make your database ineffective and generally bring mass chaos and ineffectiveness to your efforts.

 

Who is the company providing you with data and information list services?

Don’t buy a list or database from anyone that doesn’t have a list of reputable clients and does not have a major base of operations in North America.  And absolutely don’t buy a list from an offshore list provider with sweatshop web scrapers.  A vendor with a cheap list may give you three to ten times as many contacts as a name-brand shop. The initial savings will end up causing pain and costing you more in the long run.

 

Quality Information:

Even the best data has a limited shelf life and needs continual maintenance and care. In 2011 the US Department of Labor reported that over 11 million people changed jobs.  The best vendors actively maintain their data assets to keep up with the massive changes from people continually moving and shifting where they work and what they do.  If the data sets you receive don’t meet quality expectations, those vendors will work to fix the situation by analyzing what happened and providing replacement contacts.  Cheap vendors employ sweatshops and web-scrapers to pull and identify basic company contact information.  This information is ultimately worthless if you do not have reliable contact information including verified email and phone numbers. The best data solution providers can build a data set that meets your data standard and segmentation criteria.

 

Contact-ability:

Does your vendor test and maintain the quality of the database contacts for accurate contact information? Do they verify email and phone numbers regularly? Do they filter out spam traps that can put your organization’s reputation and Sender Score at risk?  If so, how do they manage their updates? If your vendor doesn’t have a QA program, or gives you a flaky answer, that’s a negative sign.  Your preferred vendors will provide you with the best information services that avoid spam traps. 

 

Vertical Industry Expertise:

Some vendors specialize in certain industries like healthcare and B2B tech.  Even others can specialize in providing information on HR. It pays to conduct research on vendors who specialize in the areas you are targeting.

 

Data Enrichment Services:

Vendors who only provide contact lists will come and go but never really be viable data business partners.  The best data and information vendors provide detailed contact information, and in some cases information about planned business initiatives.  The best vendors can also test your existing database to ensure duplicates records are not purchased with a new data set.  Quality vendors also assess the state of your current data health and provide recommendations and tools for how to maintain data health. Even better, these vendors will have tools that integrate with your existing marketing automation and CRM platforms. 

 

Service:

I personally refuse to work with vendors who have poor service, regardless of how good they claim their data products are.  I fully expect phone calls will be returned in a timely manner, as well as emails. If we have questions or problems with data services we receive, it’s critical for our clients that we have some investigation and resolution.  We want data and information service providers that have the same focus on client success as we do.  Companies that focus on transactions are merely commodities and easy to replace.

  

Diversification:

Strong data services partners work the best when combined with organic inbound list building.  Don’t rely on a vendor or a series of vendors to be your only source of contacts.  Combine the effort with submission forms on your websites, event registrations, newsletter subscriptions, and even social media.

 


What are the requirements you have when working with data and information source providers?

 

Willy Wonka List.jpg

It's always fun to create ideas on tools to use with Eloqua.  These are some ideas I have.  What are yours?

 

MindJet – I would love to see a MindJet app or connector for Eloqua.  Combining mind mapping and project management is a cool and easy way to design and implement marketing campaigns.  MindJet’s approach is simple and elegant and visual.  For marketers like me simple is a great thing! I like how the MindJet doesn’t require classical Gantt chart knowledge or technical PM certifications.

For fast-moving marketing teams, MindJet easily integrates with Microsoft Office apps, including SharePoint, making it easy to use for marketing teams and campaign contributors. The team collaboration approach is very powerful and can reach across agencies, teams and departments.   Combining this with Eloqua would give marketers a natural way to plan, build, and implement campaigns.  That’s a very interesting idea to me.

Badgeville – This is a natural fit to build an Eloqua App or CloudConnector. Gamification is a technology category with lots of B2B marketing potential.  Humans have played games throughout history for entertainment and building skills.  Gamification platforms like Badgeville provide new ways to engage customers with entertaining and educational simulations. This is the perfect way to get out of a boring rut of white papers and webinars!

One of the most innovative implementations of B2B gamification is Plantville from Siemens.  With Plantville access is granted by invitation-only for specific segments and personas.  Plantville users go through scenarios to improve efficiency and productivity in their own plants.  Scores are based on KPI’s and users can compete against other plant managers at different levels.  Based on the areas of focus, Siemens can make recommendations for plant management solutions.

Scenarios like this are perfect for Eloqua and Badgeville to build innovative engagement scenarios.  This is a very cool technology that makes a marketing geek like me drool.  Sales reps could have much more interesting conversations than talking about a white paper or basic product demo.  This could give a new meaning to lead scores!



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