Thought Leader Interview #10 – the Leadsloth Jep Castelein

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Our goal is to bring you insights from the smartest people in B2B Marketing today.

I’m excited about this interview. This time we interviewed a sharp guy in marketing — Jep Castelein, better known as LeadSloth, “Smart Ideas for Lazy Marketers”

We help increase marketing’s impact on the bottom line.

If you like what Jep has to say, just visit him at LeadSloth, follow jepc on Twitter or send an email to jep at leadsloth.com. I wish to thank Jep for his contributions to Fearless Competitor.

Many more thought leaders are coming soon, so stay tuned. We’re on a mission to bring our readers the very best.

1. CSO Insights recently found that quota achievement was at its lowest rate ever, lead generation budgets were flat or cut, and quotas were being raised. Jim Dickie sees this as the Perfect Storm. Jim Dickey said it is like raising the high jump bar, when we could not clear the last height. As a marketing expert, what are you observing in B2B sales?

When I look at the challenges in B2B sales and marketing, my main conclusion is that we need to get more value out of our existing leads. If we can’t spend extra money on lead generation, we need to spend more time with our existing leads to turn them into sales-ready leads. I sometimes compare it with having a goldmine: instead of buying a new goldmine to easily find new gold nuggets, you now need to deploy advanced methods to get every last crumb of gold out of your existing mine. And to translate that to B2B Marketing: leverage state-of-the-art lead management practices, supported by marketing automation technology.

2. The economic challenges of today are a major problem for B2B sellers. Blogs and content sharing are critical elements like websites and the LeadSloth blog is very popular. How can a robust online presence help generate leads? Can you share the lessons you’ve learned with our readers?

What I’ve learned is that a content marketing strategy really takes off once you’ve discovered what your ideal clients are interested in. You can then start creating content and blog posts that match their interests which makes you a valuable and trusted resource. In contrast, if you only write about your company or your products, people will lose interest. For every piece of content that you create, ask yourself why your audience should care.

3. Changing of the internal status quo is a major impediment to progress. Companies tend to do what they did in the past, but marketing has been transformed. How can marketing and sales leaders implement change without incurring undue risk?

Marketing’s job now goes beyond generating raw leads and also includes lead nurturing until the leads are sales-ready. This obviously creates a gray area where both sales and marketing may be communicating with the same leads. It is management’s job to align and integrate the activities of sales and marketing, to avoid any conflicts. This is not an overnight change. Ultimately, marketing needs to be able to show the results of this approach, so a metrics-driven culture is essential.

4. Today it’s more critical than ever that marketers can measure the impact of options. They need to know what’s working, what’s not, and what to change. What do you recommend they do?

The first step to be more metrics-driven is the definition of a marketing funnel. In sales it’s very common to look at stages for sales opportunities. In a similar way, marketers should assign quality ratings to leads to create a marketing funnel. That way you can see how fast leads move through the funnel and optimize your processes to turn more inquiries into qualified leads, faster. Marketing Automation systems are a great enabler for creating a marketing funnel, because their lead scoring functionality can be used to assess lead quality.

5. Content is more important than ever. Buyers look for content at every stage of the buying process. What do marketers need to know about content and what actions do you recommend they take?

The main issue is still that organizations like to write about themselves and their products. Potential clients will quickly lose interest if companies only talk about themselves. As part of my 7-step methodology, I recommend you segment your audience, develop a detailed persona for each segment, and then create compelling content for each of these segments. This content should be primarily educational, but it can be mixed with promotional offers in the same way that advertisements are mixed with editorial content in newspapers and magazines.

6. If a CMO were to ask you today – What are the 3 most important takeaways that I need to know? What would they be?

My top 3 tips for CMOs to find untapped revenue in their existing lead database are:

– Assign a budget to nurturing of existing leads and customers

– Focus on content creation and stick to issues that matter to your audience

– Foster a collaborative culture between sales & marketing

Jeff Ogden, Find New Customers
http://www.findnewcustomers.com

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeff Ogden
Jeff Ogden (http://jeff-ogden.brandyourself.com) is President of the Tampa based Find New Customers demand generation agency. http://www.findnewcustomers.com .

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