Tag Archives: Marketing Productivity

Process Improvement: It’s Not All About You

OK, so we’ve talked about some of the hidden pitfalls of driving real process improvement in sales and marketing. When we last visited our (process) hero, we saw how stepping up and taking ownership of a process can go a long way to ensure that activities will be continuously optimized. But now you’re saying, “What do you mean it’s not all about me?”

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Process Improvement: If Not You, Who? If Not Now, When?

In my last post on exposing the hidden hurdles to real process improvement in sales and marketing, we explored how being an efficient middle man can give a false sense of security. In this post, we’ll delve into another topic: lack of ownership. While process improvement may be urgently needed, marketing and sales leaders are often reluctant to take on yet another challenge. “Sure, I can see how messed up this process is, but it’s not up to me to fix it,” they say to themselves. “No way I’m taking on THAT political battle, and besides, I’ve already got enough on my plate. The last thing I need is some special project.”

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Are You the Efficient Middleman?

Be more efficient! Be more effective! If I had a nickel for every time I heard a sales or marketing professional pair those buzzwords in the last couple of years, I’d have, well, a whole lot of Jeffersons in my piggy bank. If everyone is so jazzed about getting better at these things, why aren’t we seeing dramatic cost reductions or huge leaps in revenue? The pitfalls are a little sneakier that you might think. In this, the first of a series of blog posts on the topic, I’ll clue you into some of the not-so-obvious gotchas that hold back real process improvement, what you can do to avoid them, and how to emerge as a process hero. Today’s lesson: The Fallacy of the Efficient Middleman.

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Planning Assumptions 2014: The Ties That Bind

2013? It’s so (almost) last year. Most b-to-b organizations have turned their attention to 2014, and how they can better align sales, marketing and product to drive operational excellence, revenue performance and profit achievement. The question is, which are the right levers to pull? Each year, analysts within each of our services work to isolate critical function-specific planning assumptions for the upcoming year. Across our landscape of 10 services, four common themes have emerged that we believe are those “right” levers. They include:

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Preparing for 2014: Is Professional Development an Impending Vulnerability?

I find it fascinating to watch babies take their first steps and reach other key development milestones: They show great curiosity in learning and determination to master new and existing skills. They relentlessly practice what they’ve learned, and they thrive when encouraged and provided with the right support to avoid mishaps. Organizations must provide similar support for their marketing talent as they master new skills. We all recognize the importance of having the right skills, but how many organizations are actually investing in the professional development of their marketing talent? Let’s lay out some staggering facts:

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The Top Five Characteristics of High-Performance Marketing

Many b-to-b CMOs find themselves in a tricky position. The evolution of the buyer’s journey means that many CMOs and their teams are taking on an expanded scope of responsibilities to reach empowered buyers who are conducting their own research before talking to sales. At the same time, marketing is still struggling to prove its value in many organizations, which typically focus on sales and product management. As Jay Gaines, vice president and group director at SiriusDecisions, explained in a recent webcast, the only solution for CMOs is to lead a high-performance marketing function. Here’s our earlier post describing Jay’s take on what high-performance marketing isn’t. Now, the top five characteristics of true high-performance marketing:

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High-Performance Marketing: It’s Not What You Think

What CMO wouldn’t want to lead a high-performance marketing team? In the current b-to-b environment, however, identifying and implementing high-performance marketing practices can be trickier than ever. Jay Gaines, vice president and group director at SiriusDecisions, guided a group of executives through the high-performance marketing journey in a recent webcast. If you missed the presentation, you’re in luck: We've gathered a few key points to give you an idea of the points that it covered.

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Six Ways Marketers Can Get Inspiration From the Laws of Nature

Biomimicry is the art and science of taking inspiration from, or imitating, nature’s best ideas. Velcro was inspired by the tiny hooks in burrs. The science behind medical patches (e.g. the nicotine patch) takes its cue from mosquitos, which can sting you without your feeling it (it’s the itch from the poison that you feel, not the sting). When developing Freenet, his peer-to-peer network solution, Ian Clarke was inspired by how ants used pheromones to organize behavior across an entire colony. Here are six laws of nature that can serve as inspiration to marketers:

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Marketers, Go on Some Sales Calls

At several recent SiriusDecisions customer forums, we had great groups of marketing and sales folks talking about their work with strategic accounts. At one point, a question was asked of the b-to-b marketers in the room: Do you go on sales calls? Very few said they did this regularly. My sense is that marketers in general don’t join salespeople for customer or prospect calls very often. That is a terrible shame. On the bright side, it’s not often as an analyst that I get to offer a “magic bullet” that solves lots of problems in a simple way. Now I do. Here it is: Marketers, go on some sales calls.

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The Five Things That B-to-B Marketers Must Know

From the many ways buyers can easily access information, to more sophisticated data and the seemingly endless rollout of new technology enhancements, the challenges facing b-to-b marketers have never been greater. With this change has come a need for marketers to keep their skills and knowledge current. Here are five key requirements that we see as imperative for all b-to-b marketers.

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