Customer Reference Programs: Going Social?

Laura Ramos

Lauraramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

Great customer references fuel great B2B marketing. But getting customers to testify or submit case studies is challenging. Good references require investment. But how do you keep customers from feeling like shills for their vendor firms? By involving them in communities of like-minded advocates! That is one hypothesis I plan to explore further in 2009 -- investigating the connection between social activity and greater customer advocacy.

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Yang Steps Aside as CEO: A Good Thing For Yahoo!

Shar VanBoskirk

Sharvanboskirk [Posted by Shar VanBoskirk]

**Update** Per the comments below, I've adjusted the title of this post to reflect that Jerry Yang is transitioning out of the CEO role, not "departing" Yahoo! overall.

This morning, Yahoo! announced that founder and CEO Jerry Yang would step aside as soon as Yahoo! found a replacement.

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Sales Enablement Roundtable - West Coast Style

Scott Santucci

Door_to_door_salesman_1950NOTE:  SALES ENABLEMENT HAS A NEW BLOG 

 

On November 7th, I facilitated Forrester’s second sales enablement roundtable – this time in Foster City,California.  Joining us were sales and marketing executives from:  Intel, NetApp, Borland, Informatica, Sun, Interwoven, Microchip, Renesas, Juniper Networks, Trend Micro, and Thoughtworks. 

 

 

Overall, we had an extremely high energy session, even though I lost my voice the previous week.  It’s hard to summarize a whole day of intense discussion into a blog post, but I’ll give it a try.

 

 

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B2B Marketing Obsolete, Really? (Part III)

Patton's Patterns - Execution Lessons for Driving Sales

Scott Santucci

Pattonmovieposterlarge General George Patton’s unparalleled ability to execute in WWII sometimes gets overshadowed by his colorful (and stupid) public relations.  Because of his quick strike abilities, the Axis leaders feared him more than any other Allied general.  What made him truly unique, and someone still studied in military academies throughout the world today, was his formula for success.  Patton had a voracious appetite for history and believed that humanity already had a master inventory of all of the strategies and tactics for winning a battle.

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Upcoming Webinar - Sales Enablement In An Economic Downturn - November 6th

Scott Santucci

Join Brad Holmes and I for a look at what can be done to drive sales results in a down economy.  Forrester views "Sales Enablement" as a cross-functional disipline requiring product, marketing, and sales teams to work together to optimize results.

When:  November 6th, 2pm ET

Register:  Register now for this complimentary Webinar.

We will explore:

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Retailers Focus on Multiple Holiday Sales Driving Tactics, in Addition to Search

Patti Freeman Evans

According to the 2008 JupiterResearch Executive Survey results, online retailers continue to put search engine marketing spending at the top of their holiday sales driving tactics. Nonetheless, this trend is more subdued when compared to previous years. The JupiterResearch US Paid Search Forecast, 2008 to 2013 notes that paid search will grow 26 percent in 2008 (to $11.4 billion) and continue at a compound annual growth rate of 13 percent, however attention is starting to shift from paid search to more aggressive search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns.

15 percent less online retailers cite increasing their search engine marketing spending for the holiday season among the top three sales-driving tactics. According to the 2008 JupiterResearch Retail Executive Survey, 40 percent of online retailers will increase search marketing spending as a holiday sales-driving tactic this year. Though a high overall total percentage, this is still 15 points less retailers than the previous year. Online retailers already spend 40 percent of their budgets on search, thus the slowing of this spending increase signals a wider focus on other tactics.

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What Do You Say When the CEO Asks "What Do I Get For My Investment in Sales Enablement?"

Scott Santucci

Sales_crystal_ball When your CEO asks, "Why haven't we realized the sales performance boosts we expected when we (insert investment of your choice)

...implemented our SFA system?
...trained our sales organization?
...launched our sales portal?"

How will you respond?

If you (and the CEO) thought that investment was "the answer" to improving sales performance, we have some bad news. There is no such thing as a sales effectiveness silver bullet.

While, there are many different types of organizations that claim they can help you improve your sales productivity, few of these solutions can offer measurable gains in productivity on their own. For example:

•CRM vendors argue that implementing their software will help you drive more business by providing better structure to the sales process and improving the accuracy of your forecasting.
•Sales training firms suggest that you can improve your sales fundamentals by teaching a common sales methodology and best practices.
•Market intelligence firms claim that better and more up-to-date information about market trends and your competitors' actions will do the trick.

However, companies that have implemented these solutions report that they are not realizing the desired impact of these investments.

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Will B2B Marketing Become Obsolete? (Part II)

Laura Ramos

Lauraramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

Wow.  I am overwhelmed by the response I received from my first post on this subject. Looks like I hit a nerve and inspired some great commentary.  In particular, I'd like to call attention to the thoughful response from Arthur Einstein, who is the VP of Marketing at Loyalty Builders. I wanted to comment briefly on what I am hearing from all of you so far. To avoid obsolescence, readers believe B2B marketers must focus on:

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Will B2B Marketing Become Obsolete? (Part I)

Laura Ramos

Lauraramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

Today marks the beginning of my 8th year at Forrester and my 4th year researching B2B marketing.

I’d like to use this anniversary to start a blog conversation about what I see happening in B2B marketing and to think about what’s next. And, frankly, I am concerned about the future of the business marketing profession.  In particular, for those of us marketing high technology products and services.

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