Last night I attended a Social Media event and found it AMAZING how many people not only attended but also engaged... I was one of those people who have had a LinkedIn profile before people started asking "are you LinkedIn?" Now it seems almost commonplace to have someone come up and ask not only whether you are LinkedIn but also how do you use it? The overwhelming growth of soocial media is just staggering.
One recent event that I wanted to spot light was the Sirius Decisions Summitt, where the same experience I discuss above happens but you see very different audiences than those events where people are there to discuss social media. The recent conference built on an already important concept of not just aligning sales and marketing but also driving adoption of technology. For those of you that have read my blog in the past these are both concepts that have been discussed.
Here are a few past posts that may be of interest:
Marketing Automation -From a Sales Perspective
The 5 Keys to Lead Nurturing - #1 Customer Buying Process
At a time when most marketing and sales executives are searching for ways to accelerate the speed of their pipelines, the SiriusDecisions Summit once again helped to provide some direction on how best-in-class BtoB organizations are still driving demand and closing deals.
The Summit, held last week in Scottsdale, AZ, drew a packed house of leading executives from both sales and marketing teams, and helped to introduce several new concepts and terminology which will help to shape the priorities around sales and marketing alignment.
Providing a look ahead to the changing needs and priorities for sales and marketing over the next five years, SiriusDecisions Managing Director and Co-Founder
- Investment in demand creation has increased every year for the past 8 years, according to SiriusDecisions data, and is expected to continue growing through 2015;
- With metrics for best-in-class companies showing almost 50% improvement in conversion rates, and significantly decreasing their cost per lead on closed deals, SiriusDecisions projects the penetration of marketing automation systems will expand dramatically over the next five years from less than 10% in 2005 to more than 50% of BtoB marketers by 2015;
- As the marketing mix continues to shift at BtoB organizations, SiriusDecisions expects web-based marketing initiatives will drive more than 70% of inbound leads by 2015, growing from 55% of leads in 2009.
Neeson predicted that these changing dynamics will force BtoB organizations to migrate from single, “one and done” marketing tactics to an “integrated, multi-dimensional” model. “As companies move to having more of a digital relationship with prospects and customers, new resources and skill sets will be required in order to be successful with a portfolio approach to marketing,” Neeson said.
As an example of the new approach, Neeson pointed to the need to design campaign and “message maps” which match the “demographic triggers” and “buyer journeys” of specific markets.
In a separate presentation titled “The Dynamics Behind the Demand Waterfall,” SiriusDecisons VP of Research Tony Jaros offered insights into accelerating the later stages of the pipeline. Jaros suggested companies avoid turning to financial levers and discounts too quickly and look at “information voids” which may be causing deals to stall. He pointed to tools such as online configurators, gap templates and feature/functionality side-by-side comparisons as stimulus offers which can successfully match the desire of the prospect.