All Posts By

Jim MacLachlan

Subject matter experts

Forbes says subject matter experts are the new rainmakers. We agree.

By | Sales Insights | No Comments
In a recent Forbes article on the 10 trends that will drive business success in 2017, subject matter experts (SMEs) topped the list of what will grow revenue for B2B companies.

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? We all know a few great sales people who can go beyond just schlepping a product—people who work hard to understand customers’ pains and problems, and can align product and service solutions to address them. Of course, our challenge as sales and marketing leaders is that only about 20% of sales people have been in the industry long enough and intuitively get how to demonstrate subject matter expertise.

Imagine what could happen if your other 80% could solve customer problems like your top performers do. How would that change the game? How would it affect your ability to achieve results?  Read More

Stealing budgets from other departments

How to Steal Budget from Other Departments

By | Marketing Insights | No Comments

We know. “Steal” is such an ugly word. But if you have big goals for 2016, and lack the marketing budget to make it all happen yourself, you have to do something to get things done.

Think about it. Marketing touches every part of your organization, so why not (okay, let’s say) “borrow” funds from other departments? Here are some tips on where to find extra dollars, and how to convince other areas that “sharing” budgets can help achieve mutual goals.

Read More

3 Ways to Use Growth Hacking in Your Marketing Planning

By | Marketing Insights | No Comments

As you gear up for your marketing planning, the “do more with less” mandate doesn’t have to be a pipedream. The secret? Growth hacking—a new modus operandi that’s disrupting the B2B marketing world as we know it.

For the unfamiliar, growth hacking (or growth hacker marketing) has its origins in start-ups. It’s a mindset born out of the need to skyrocket growth as fast as possible, using unconventional resources, on a limited marketing budget. Read More

3 Ways Buyer Personas Enhance the Customer Connection

By | Customer Messaging | No Comments

The misconception that the B2B purchase decision is based purely on logic must be set straight. That truth is, we humans rely more on the emotion and instinct from the right side of our brain, than the logical and rationalized reasoning from the left side. Yes, even in B2B marketing. Your challenge is to master this right-brain selling—and connect with the intuitive side of our customers so sales messages resonate with their needs, pressures and preferences.

How? One way is by creating buyer personas of your target audience(s). Read More

Get more out of your marketing automation program

5 Must-haves to Make Your Marketing Automation Dominate

By | Marketing Automation | No Comments

Marketers leverage marketing automation software to nurture their prospects into long-term customers with positive and profitable relationships. The fact is, however, this goal isn’t easily realized. Marketing automation isn’t foolproof, and many marketers are paying the price in wasted resources and missed opportunities because they’ve failed to adequately develop their marketing automation strategy.

Use these five insights to ensure your marketing automation program dominates, from creation to execution. Read More

Get Over Yourself Graphic

Get Over Yourself: It’s About the Customer, Not You

By | Customer Messaging | No Comments

Let us ask you a question, and answer with complete honesty. What is the goal of your business?

If your key messaging reads something like “Celebrating 25 years” or “Quality supplier since 1985,” you may have the wrong focus.

You’re here to provide products and services that make your customers’ lives easier. When you make your customers happy, you make money.

To do this effectively you need to move beyond self-serving messaging and put your customers’ needs first. Not yours. Read More

4 Ways Interactive Sales Presentations Shorten Your Selling Cycle

By | Downloads, Interactive Sales Presentations | No Comments
Figure out how to shorten your company’s selling cycle, and you can look forward to a bright and lucrative marketing career. When the most important touch point in the B2B sales funnel is the face-to-face pitch, your team needs effective sales tools that help them close faster. But, let’s face it. Your 60-slide PowerPoint isn’t exactly what you’d call “engaging.” There has to be a better way, right?

An interactive sales presentation can help you lock down a more consistent brand message, while giving your sales team the flexibility to adapt to different selling situations—and move your prospects further down the sales funnel in four key ways.

Read More

Getting sales in step with marketing

3 Reasons Why Your Salesforce Doesn’t Focus on Your Marketing Goals

By | Sales Insights | No Comments

Imagine the day when your salesforce is totally in sync with your marketing goals. When they’re laser-focused on selling high-margin, strategic solutions that address real customer needs and drive profitable growth.

That’s the dream of every sales and marketing leader, so how come reality doesn’t always work out that way? You’ve equipped your sales organization with reams of market knowledge, segmentation data, customer personas, competitive insights and selling tools. Yet it’s like all your hard work ends up in a big black hole. They don’t use it, you don’t hit your numbers and everyone’s frustrated.

Here are three reasons why your marketing efforts might not be paying off—and how an interactive sales playbook can help you get your sales organization to sell more strategically.  Read More

Making VOC insights work harder

3 Ways VOC Insights Power Up Your Marketing Efforts

By | Customer Messaging, Downloads | No Comments
Get inside the minds of your customers—really understand what makes them tick—and you’d know exactly what it takes to convince them to buy your product or service.

If you want a skewed perception of your customers’ needs, just start and end with feedback from your sales organization. But if you want to truly understand your customers, cut out internal biases and go to the source to get first-hand Voice of Customer (VOC) insights. Successful VOC initiatives engage customers directly to pinpoint their challenges, recognize their motivations and uncover new sales opportunities.

By actually listening to the customer, you’ll not only gain loyalty points but also the insights you need to improve your marketing programs. Here are three ways VOC insights can help you drive stronger marketing results. Read More