Demand Generation for the rest of us

04/08/2011 by

The Revenue Typhoon is a way to reliably and consistently generate revenues through demand generation.  But is it for for everyone?

An entrepreneur wrote “Marc, that sounds great … if you’re IBM or have funding. I’m a small company. I don’t have the money or people to engineer a pipeline or hire you to create it. Now what? Where’s MY Typhoon? Or am I destined for a few measly sprinkles.”

IBM, wow. That’s dating yourself, my friend.

If you’re a self-employed professional or small company, you don’t have to wander aimlessly in the desert, hoping you’ll run into an oasis. You’re not Moses.

Demand Generation is a philosophy, one that can be practiced even if you don’t have the resources to create a mean, lean, revenue machine.

Technology, knowledge, and process are key ingredients of the Revenue Typhoon and demand generation.

WeMeUs contact and lead management technology is the core of demand generation.  The personal CRM stores your contacts and provides a platform for generating and following up leads so can track the entire demand generation cycle.

Next, build a database that is a complete accounting of your marketing and sales efforts. What programs did you run, what markets did they reach, what metrics were used, how many leads were generated, how many were qualified, how many resulted in sales, and so on.

If you have staff, advisors or consultants, share and update this data so everyone can contribute and see your objectives and progress.

Process starts with a commitment to be knowledge-driven where possible and not dependent on the experience, whims, or dartboard tosses of your top marketing executive, CEO, or his uncle Sal. Marketing and sales activities are judged by relevant business metrics. Each program starts with a plan that includes metrics and then is regularly monitored, compared with other programs, and increased, modified, continued, or canceled.

Plan, execute, measure, learn, and repeat. That’s it!  That process turns your raw data into knowledge as you see what works, what doesn’t, and what has the best ROI.

While you may not have your own full-time demand generation guru, you absolutely can do it yourself. Through this practice, you will constantly improve your ability to generate leads and convert them into sales.

You CAN Win: Sales for Small Businesses

08/31/2010 by

Marketing Sherpa published the chart below on sales conversion.  What’s stunning is that 50% of companies have NO processes or system in place.  That’s an opportunity for smaller organizations.

While a customized Salesforce application and IT staff may be out of your reach, you can still effectively manage your sales pipeline and compete against the bigger boys with the right product like WeMeUS Relationship Management and Lead Generation. Compare our features against the chart.

  • CRM system / closed loop tracking. GOT IT.  WeMeUs is a personal CRM with full Lead Management for Consultants and Small Businesses. Follow and track leads from contact acquisition to email marketing to lead inquiry to the sales process from qualification to engagement.
  • Define sales-ready and Qualified/Warm leads and quality. CHECK.  WeMeUs provides automatic lead scoring. Fields includes Sales Status, Interest Level, and Priority so you can qualify, rate, sort, and display leads.
  • Measure lead generation. YUP.  WeMeUs lead capture, tagging, and search make it easy acquire, track and measure your lead gen efforts.
  • Nurture leads / Hand leads to marketing. ABSOLUTELY. If leads don’t yet merit sales attention, WeMeUs Relationship Management and Email Assistant are a powerful combination to personally stay in touch with key contacts for nurturing, referrals, and repeat business.
How Organizations Manage Their Marketing-to-Sales Process

Is your email marketing about quality or quantity?

06/08/2010 by

The average businessperson receives 200 emails per day.  He spends  30-40% of his working time just managing that email torrent.  Do you think he needs yet another one of your impersonal emails?  It’s little wonder harried people today click ‘Spam’ on perfectly legitimate messages.

Business is increasingly about trust and building relationships.  The top email marketing tactic is sending custom content to a targeted group, according to a MarketingSherpa survey (below).  Generic email blasts rank at the bottom of the list.

What about the email that you send to your business customers and prospects? Email marketing services like iContact and Constant Contact can be useful.  But sending out blasts of hundreds or thousands of emails is increasingly ineffective.

Large businesses have the manpower and budget to customize CRM systems like salesforce.com.  Small businesses and consultants don’t.

That’s why we created WeMeUs Contact Management and Lead Generation. Our personal CRM system with Email Assistant enables highly personalized emails for messages that have impact … and actually get read.

Lead generation is the #1 marketing challenge

04/28/2010 by

According to a MarketingSherpa B2B survey, generating high quality leads is by far the number one challenge for marketers.

It wouldn’t be such a challenge if more people used WeMeUs, the top lead generation solution for self-employed professionals and small businesses. WeMeUs is a powerful personal CRM that gives you one place to turn to store, track, and build your relationships and sales.

WeMeUs features daily reminders, Keep In Touch updates for key contacts, and highly personalized emails that enable you to leverage your contacts, prospects, and customers to generate high quality referrals and repeat business.  WeMeUs web forms capture Internet visitors  and update your contacts and reminders to generate more leads.

Personalized Email & Social Media

04/22/2010 by

The richness of media has led to people to consume it in personal and different ways – both desktop and mobile, on computers and portable devices, with apps like email, newsletters, RSS readers, blogs, microblogs, and integrated services like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Buzz. And it’s increasing with innovation from new devices like the iPad to the proliferation of mobile apps and plugins.

Today you have to reach your customers, prospects, and the public on all these channels to ensure they receive your message.

Social media basics – Integration shows you how to effectively add social media to your communications.  This article lists a few ways to integrate it with WeMeUs Contact Management and Lead Generation.

  • Signature. Create and use a sig file in the Email Assistant (EA) that  links to your key social media services, including your web site, blog, Twitter, etc.
  • Lead form. If you don’t regularly publish your phone number and email address, use  your WeMeUs lead form as a key contact link and include that url in your sig, blog menus, and online profiles.
  • Promote these services with the sig in all your EA emails, including individual, group, and newsletter messages.
  • Brand. If you’re promoting your lead form for contact use, use a domain or subdomain like contact.mycompany.com  to point to the page for easy recall.
  • Cross-posting. Use automatic cross posting from Posterous or other services. Some like Posterous enable updates via email.  Add the posting email address to your contacts and send the post from Email Assistant.
  • Write Once-Publish Many. Each social medium has its own blend of formats and lengths. When you create original content repackage it for other media. For example, when you write and publish an article, create an appealing summary and send a personalized email through Email Assistant to your contacts who will be interested.

Know Your Customers IV: Lead nurturing

04/05/2010 by

Lead nurturing is the culmination of this past month’s example of aligning and integrating marketing and sales to powerfully and predictably generate revenues.

The process to this point has been composed of the following:

  1. The development of a Target customer.
  2. Segmentation that meaningfully divides your prospects so you can tailor your marketing to them.
  3. Lifecycle marketing for timely communications based on sales and product status.
  4. WeMeUs personal CRM with contact management, tags, groups, lead forms, and highly personalized email.

Lead nurturing combines the data from Segmentation and processes from Lifecycle marketing to generate the highest level of personalized communications. It enables you to deliver the information your leads want when they need it. Establish you or your company as a leader, improve your credibility, and remove sales objections. It all leads to your bottom line as nurturing qualifies the lead and moves the prospect down the sales funnel.

Lead nurturing is a warm way to make use of the various marketing and support collaterals and programs you’ve developed, run across, or obtained, including your industry, application, and product web pages, news, help, research, demos, executive briefings, seminars, webinars, case studies, articles, blogs, video, social media, testimonials, free trials, executive access, and immediate sales and technical support.

Know Your Customers III: Lifecycle marketing

03/29/2010 by

Lifecycle marketing is an effective program to reach current contacts and customers for repeat and referral business. It’s a special case of segmentation because it’s one you have direct knowledge of – the prospect and customer’s exposure to your product and the sales process.

Lifecycle marketing is strongest where there are clear and immediate signs of purchase intent, such as clicking an ad or filling a shopping cart. But it also applies in the B2B world for self-employed professionals and small businesses.

Your customer message depends on where they are in the lifecycle. Here are a few examples.

  • After initial lead acquisition, send educational information and offers to help that reinforce your messaging, unique selling proposition, value, and special product features. Stage this over time or use an autoresponder to maintain an ongoing relationship during this crucial time.
  • After initial use, such as first login, ask if there are questions or for immediate feedback.
  • After different levels of use or different features are first used, send appropriate tips.
  • After a positive transaction, such as a referral or purchase, send a thank you.
  • Before an important service or billing date, such as subscription renewal or lapse, remind the user of your service value and upcoming transaction.
  • Before an important date, such as service or use anniversary, send a personal email to show your appreciation.
  • After a customer demonstrates that they’re one of your top customers, such as through usage, level of purchase, community support, or other engagement, send a loyalty email that shows your appreciation and recognition and turns them into an evangelist.
  • When customers become inactive or at-risk, re-engage them to learn what happened and how you can recover their business.

WeMeUs contact management and lead generation is a personal CRM (Customer Relationship Management). WeMeUs both reminds you to stay in touch with top contacts and tracks the status of all your sales opportunities from initial contact through discussion and engagement. Use tags to further track customer segments and affiliation. Select contacts by status or tag and send personalized messages through the Email Assistant that give your contacts the right message, information, and incentive for their stage in your relationship.



Know Your Customers II: Acquiring marketing data

03/22/2010 by

Last posting we covered customer segments and how to store them in WeMeUs using tags and groups. In this issue we look at how to get this data  from your contacts and prospects.

Here are a few techniques.

  • Web funnel. Create different web pages for your various segments. For example, your home page may have links that let the visitor click to explore solutions for different professions, such as recruiters, IT consultants, etc. Each web page then would have a different lead inquiry form that automatically identifies the user from his self-selected page.
  • Lead form. The lead form itself can directly provide options for the user to select his segment(s). The WeMeUs lead capture form provides three radio button Interest fields. If you have more segments, direct the user to type his choice in the Notes field.
  • Survey. To increase survey participation, make them short, make them relevant, provide an offer like a white paper or sweepstakes entry, and show a compelling benefit, such as survey information (where applicable) will be shared with all participants.
  • Drip marketing. Drip marketing is an extremely effective data acquisition program. Send a regular and personal email through the WeMeUs Email Assistant that asks only one or two questions or a quick poll. Over time you will build both a strong customer relationship and powerful knowledge base.

Know your customers I: Segmentation

03/15/2010 by

This article kicks off a new series of marketing and sales tips for self-employed professionals and small businesses. Subscribe to our blog or Twitter feed to receive future installments.

The secret to generating revenues is creating an end-to-end integrated marketing and sales process. This Know Your Customers series will show how that happens.

The more you know about your contacts, prospects, and customers, the better you can tailor your messaging, communications, and products to increase sales. One technique is segmentation. There are many ways types of  segments. The key is finding the ones that naturally divide your prospects by person and company and enable more targeted one-to-one marketing.

Typical B2B segments include:

  • Location
  • Industry
  • Market
  • Professional
  • Organizational title

Segmentation is developed at the beginning of marketing and sales planning where your Market definition describes a target customer. If you don’t have a formal marketing plan, take your best shot and define one. Then look to your actual customers. You may find reality different from your original customer notions. If they diverge, update your target customer profile to match who actually is buying your product.

WeMeUs Contact Management and Lead Generation provides robust tag and group management so you can store segmentation data on your leads and customers.

  • Tags. Create a unique tag for each segment option. The tag name should be composed of the generic segment name followed by the individual segment to make them easy to find, such as LocationChicago and LocationMiami. You can use the Tag Manager to enter segments, or just enter each segment as a tag on its first use. The Tag Selector maintains a list of all tags you’ve used in the past. You can apply tags on an individual contact record, a group, or selection of multiple contacts.
  • Groups. Create groups with affiliated tags for segments that you will be regularly searching or sending custom emails to.

Manufacturing Revenues

02/02/2010 by

Building your business is a process. Strategize, plan, execute, measure, and reload. Generating revenues is the same.

Sales consultants like to talk about the funnel. A bushel of leads enters the funnel. The leads are winnowed after qualification and prosecution until only a few exit the funnel as actual sales.

But the focus on a funnel is short-sighted. Let’s say you’re the guy in charge of sales. Your goal is 10 sales this quarter. You’re damn good and know that you can close 20% of qualified leads. Marketing generates 50 leads. So you’re set, right? No. That’s a separate funnel. If 20% of gross leads are qualified, you can only expect 10 qualified leads and to close 20% of that, or 2 sales. Marketing actually needs to generate 250 leads for you to make quota. Uh-oh!

Tactical funnels don’t exist in isolation. There are a series of operational marketing and sales funnels that encompass and qualify markets, prospects, leads, and accounts. Indeed there is one huge funnel that stretches from mass markets of tens of millions of business or consumers customers to the individual customers that trickle out the other end.

When you build a manufacturing plant, you don’t just engineer one machine. You design the entire layout, including machines and production line, from raw materials to finished product.

It’s the same in marketing and sales. You can’t focus on an individual step.  It’s the entire process that counts.  When you design and engineer that process, your revenues will become predictable and manageable.

This approach to manufactured revenues is taught by services such as Tribe Blue‘s  Revenue Typhoon and supported by demand generation systems like WeMeUs, which provides a single platform for marketing, lead generation, and sales tracking.


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