When Apple announced that it would be releasing its first phone in January of 2007, the media and tech world lit up with excitement about the new device that was promised would “work like magic.”
Bloggers, pundits and tech geeks created an online buzz that quickly escalated from giddy excitement to fanatical worship. If you think I’m exaggerating, here are a few examples:
“. . . tech bloggers described the ‘Jesus phone’ as ‘the holy grail of all gadgets’ (Danneskjold, 2007) and questioned how other cellphone companies might develop strategies for ‘dealing with the Second Coming”
“An Asian blogger used an image of the ‘sacred heart of Jesus’, but added an iPhone in his left hand held next to his heart.”
“PVP comics online even published a strip featuring ‘Jade’ trying to comfort her Apple-fanatic boyfriend ‘Brent’ who became catatonic after seeing Apple’s iPhone announcement, finally explaining his shock as ‘Jesus has come back and now he’s a phone’.”
~excerpts from Campbell and La Pastina, How the iPhone Became Divine, 2010
Most marketers and advertisers would kill for this kind of hype around the launch of a new product. When people are calling your product the Second Coming on their own, there’s not much work to do, right?
While the exact numbers are not available, it is estimated Apple spent around $250 million with their marketers and advertisers in the year leading up to the iPhone’s release. It is also estimated Apple spent another $20 million launching the iPhone in Europe.
So, what can we learn from Apple now that the iPhone has become the most successful cellular device in history? Even if you’re selling a handheld Jesus, you need to spend a lot of time and resources on launch.
Apple has been praised for being on the leading edge of marketing and advertising since their famous “1984” advertisement during the Super Bowl of the same year. But what Apple did well with the launch of the iPhone was knowing when to initiate the hype and when to let it happen on its own.
After announcing the release of one of the most anticipated products in history, Apple stood back and let the media build up the hype to a religious fever. When the public conversation waned in the mass media and blogosphere, Apple would release a brilliantly executed TV advertisement or print ad campaign. By the time the iPhone was finally released six months later, Apple’s target audience was in a state of pure devotion and desire.
So, the second thing we can learn from Apple is that even the people who invented the most revolutionizing product of the century needed help getting it to market. Apple spent millions to hire advertising and marketing experts who could provide insights and come up with ideas as to how to sell to the masses.
By spending the money to hire experts who understood Apple’s target audience and how to sell effectively in today’s digital world, Apple had possibly the most successful product launch in history. What could hiring sales and marketing experts do for your new product?
If you have any questions or would like to speak to a representative about a B2B sales and marketing outsourcing solution, please feel free to contact us.
Can a Marketing Automation Software make your sales team more productive? Generally we find that the answer is yes. However with all the features offered in these software solutions the more important question from our perspective as a B2B sales and marketing company is where should you focus the software during the initial implementation to gain traction. With the right focus you can start to produce and ROI quickly. We recommend you look at your Sales Process and Marketing Automation in tandem. To decide where and how to prioritize your initial implementation it helps to consider:
- Where you can get the best lift by improving your current sales process
- Are there parts of your process you can automate quickly
That stated here are some questions you can ask yourself to start thinking about where to get started.
ROI around lead volume:
- How effective is your company converting inbound leads into sales qualified leads. How much time/bandwidth does your sales team devote to converting inbound leads? Do you follow up one or two times then drop that effort?
- Consequentially…how many dead leads are sitting in your database?
- How effective is your sales team in prioritizing your inbound requests. Are they pursuing leads and working opportunities that don’t convert.
If this is a challenge you can focus initially on automated drip marketing programs. You can score a leads engagement and prioritize much more effectively.
ROI around decreasing your reps time spent educating the buyer:
- How complex is your sale? Or an even better question how many problem does your solution solve for your customer?
- How much education is required for your customer to become a viable prospect?
- How strong is your brand? Do you even have a brand or do your sales reps need to establish your credibility and thought leadership position with your customers?
- How educated is your customer about your category and solution area? How much time do your senior reps spend educating the prospect?
- Does your sale require a champion on the buyer side to educate their internal team?
If this is your challenge you can focus on creating a series of Webcasts, short videos and if you are working with Gabriel Sales you can implement our Digital Sales Base Camp™ to decrease the amount of time your senior reps invest in educating the buyer while simultaneously watching how the buyer consumes your content by contextualizing your content (including blog posts) for specific customer segments.
ROI from understanding your metrics
- What percentage of your revenue comes from new leads?
- What percentage of total opportunities come from existing prospects?
- Does most of your business come from leads generated in the last 30 days?
- How much of your business comes from customers that first demonstrated interest 3 months ago? 12 months ago?
- What is coming in from cold calling? PPC? SEO?
- Do you offer free trials or evaluations? At what rate do those free trials convert to paying customers? What is the process a buyer goes through to convert post a free trial?
- What ensure a trial implementation is successful?
- How deeply do they engage during a free trial?
A marketing automation software is also a great repository of all sorts of data sets. With a smart marketing and sales analyst you can really drill down into multiple different areas of your sales process in half the time or less it used to take to do serious deal flow analysis. Gaps and future areas of improvement are much easier to identify and get right from incremental and in some case exponential revenue gains. We have also found that this data is invaluable for clients that are getting beat up by Venture Capitalists. With hard data they are able to defend their valuations with hard data.
When approached the right way and asking the right questions of your sales process you can experience some quick wins with your marketing automation implementation. We are experiencing some fantastic initial success reducing cost of sales percentages for both ourselves and our clients. The learning curve is exponential. So pick a lane and get started.
If you have not checked out what these platforms can do here is a quick overview from Pardot 5 Minute Overview of Marketing Automation. If you have a stalled implementation or just want to get more out of your efforts and are curious if an outsourced sales and marketing company can get you on a faster track to sales results feel free to contact us for a quick consultative call.
For more information from Gabriel Sales on business to business marketing strategy, marketing and sales services, please visit our Knowledge Center. We also invite you to check out our White Paper that has several sections that give you some hard ratios on how you can calculate your hard ROI base on sales conversions.
Gabriel Sales helps companies move leads from marketing qualified to sales qualified deals faster. As a b2b sales marketing company here are a several things we suggest you avoid when following up on inbound leads.
- Handing leads to your rep without them being educated on the piece that generated the lead.
- Not leaving a voice mail.
- Leaving a voice mail that just talks about your company. Try something like “This is Mary from ACME, we help companies solve this problem, and I wanted to see if we could share another piece of content about.”
- Always leave your number at the beginning and end of the message.
- Don’t ignore non-business email addresses. Repeat…do not discount these. According to the latest TechTarget Media Consumption research, approximately 40% of corporate IT buyers indicate that they use their personal email account regularly for business.
A marketing automation is also a big help in increasing you ability to generate more business from your inbound leads. If you have not checked out what these platforms can do here is a quick overview from Pardot 5 Minute Overview of Marketing Automation .
If you curious if an outsourced sales and marketing company can get you on a faster track to sales results feel free to contact us for a quick consultative call.
Working Every Lead Critical in Business to Business Sales – Tip from Marketing Outsourced Company
As a business to business sales outsourced sales and marketing company we work at accelerating B2B sales for the Fortune 1000 and small businesses. The fundamental difference between the two types of companies is the volume of leads they can generate for their sales reps. As a small business we guarantee that you cannot compete against the big boys if you do not adopt the principal that you need to Work Every Lead. Adopting the philosophy that you need to “Work Every Lead” will guarantee that you maximize the sales pipeline from your leads and we can almost guarantee that the Fortune 1000 has a team that’s sole function is to qualify leads for their sales reps. This function is one major advantage a sales and marketing outsourced company can provide.
We also recommend that this team reports directly to the sales head or the small business owner. Often referred to as the demand generation team this group needs to be held responsible for sales qualified leads they put in the pipe. This group should leverage a marketing automation platform to keep both them and the sales reps accountable, to meet your companies hard revenue goals, and that all progress is communicated in a structured way.
Working every lead will ensure that your company is:
- Responsive: There are numerous studies that show that a quick response leads to higher conversion rates.
- Professional: A company that engages with a lead that does not turn into an opportunity can still gain from a prospect’s positive experience. These can lead to referrals, which are very powerful in today’s socially connected world.
- Learning: The sales demand generation team is now a great source of feedback to the demand generation teams on the effectiveness of programs.
- Efficient: This structure will ensure that your company gets the best ROI on your program dollars, when measured in pipe to spend, or a close to spend type metrics.
It’s up to the sales leader to be the champion of this process and to create the proper environment for this success. Ready to get started…feel free to contact us for a free benchmark and 30 minute needs analysis.
Related Blog Posts:
Top 10 Strategies for B to B Demand Generation
How to Align Your Sales and Marketing Process
As discussed in our Series on Aligning Sales and Marketing with smart outsourced b to b demand generation, our core job as an sales and marketing outsourcing company is to fill the pipe with sales qualified leads. Then with an outsourced sales engagement our job is to close that business. To do this we are required as an outsourced inside sales team to support or execute to the following marketing goals and objectives. And we are also tasked with creating the following deliverables to ensure our clients success (which are significant value adds) for our New Product Launch sales outsourcing clients:
1. Creating a Marketing Qualified Database of Customers – As part of a launch we consult with our clients to go after a very focused set of targets. By the time we are done your core market will know who you are, what you offer and what makes you different. The market will be ‘branded” and profiled so that your marketing team can continue to nurture the right accounts “not yet ready to buy” and ignore those accounts that will never transact.
2. Digital Sales Content – The quickest way to create “sales” content that will move the deal forward is to leverage digital platforms with authentic content that supports what prospects are being told by sales reps. This can be short video clips, quick blog posts and webcasts. By the time we are done with an initial campaign your content will be tested and proven (or dis-proven) and can continue to be used by the sales team or additional channels to drive efficiencies and accelerate pipe velocity. You have created content that you know works. These messages and initial content can be shared with a creative agency to polish and refine. It can then be taken to the mass market or leveraged with a publisher as part of a media spend.
3. Tested Messages for Direct Marketing Team – As part of our initial B2B demand generation efforts we will have tested messages, tested pains and tested some nurturing campaigns. You will know what messages will drive opens (and ideally conversions) as you decide on how and what to budget for direct marketing, pay per click and SEO efforts.
4. Sales Process Map – As we build an outsourced b 2 b demand generation and sales outsourcing solution understanding the key events in a buyers cycle is critical. Once this is mapped and proven this map can be used for creating a longer term digital content strategy and social media outreach campaign. The map can also be used to set work flows in a a marketing automation platform for lead nurturing campaigns to reduce your inside rep head count costs as the pipe grows.
5. Ability to Forecast the Sales Cycle – As we are measuring all the key success metrics, as deals flow through the pipe, we are also able to start evaluating the key buying signals for the client. This data is also anchored in cold call metrics. This allows our outsourced sales partners to understand what causes and a customer to move. It also helps them to understand when a customer is moving from “educating” themselves to getting serious about ‘making a decision and evaluating vendors”. We provide hard data that helps our clients to decide what digital content is most important to invest time and effort developing with a publisher or creative agency.
For more information on the additional strategic benefits of working with a sales outsourcing company like Gabriel Sales, and what we can do to put deals in your pipe with a b to b demand generation program, please feel free to CONTACT US. For additional strategies and tactics you can leverage for a New Product Launch feel free to visit our Resource Center dedicated to Go-To-Market approaches.