The message from Wall Street is clear: 2014 is all about revenue growth. Achieve this, and shareholder value will increase. Fail to do so, miss your number, and investors will punish you!
To help companies determine the right strategies to increase sales in the coming year, CSO Insights’ 20th annual Sales Performance Optimization study will focus on four key themes:
• Find More—by optimizing lead generation
• Win More—by closing more forecast deals
• Keep More—by minimizing customer churn
• Grow More—by maximizing customer wallet share
We would like to invite you to participate in this year’s major research project, and as a thank you, CSO Insights will send you a complimentary copy of the 150+ page 2014 Sales Performance Optimization report when it is published. As an added thanks for your participation, you will also be able to immediately download the CSO sales process white paper “Anatomy of a World-Class Organization” upon completion of the survey.
To take part, simply click on the following link:
While today might be thought of as a Golden Age of B2B Marketing – what with the advent of Social Media, email, inbound, blogs and more – many companies are challenged by the economics. For while there are more ways than ever to produce sales leads, most companies find that demonstrating the value of lead generation, and comparing the relative merits of one method over the other, are becoming harder than ever before.
The problem it turns out, is that it’s almost impossible to compare the cost-per-lead for sales leads produced by different methods to one another. This is because different lead generation methods result in different types (i.e. “qualities”) of sales leads: An impression, a click, an inquiry, an attendee, a business card, a referral, an exposure, an email address, a visit, and a confirmed appointment are all different. They all drop you off in a different place in the sell-cycle, and they all have different values. So when you try to calculate the cost-per-lead – or more importantly, compare their ROIs – you can’t.
Making matters worse, when you try to pass them off to Sales as equal, you get confusion, and often rejection. And “lead scoring” doesn’t solve the problem; it only highlights it.
To calculate your “true” cost per lead, you need a common denominator – a standard definition of a sales lead that can enable you to calculate your cost-per-lead regardless of how it was generated.
In B2B marketing, the best common denominator – one that works regardless of whether you’re doing Internet advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, direct mail, telemarketing, or networking – is:
“An appointment with a decision maker who has a need for your company’s products or services, and who wants to talk with you about how you can help.”
To be sure, it takes time, effort and money to convert some types of “sales leads” to an appointment. But the fact is that someone has to do it – whether it’s done by telephone, email or smoke signals. Someone has to qualify the lead; and the cost of doing so needs to be included in the cost of the lead – not in the cost of selling.
Once you compare the cost-per-lead from your different marketing mix elements on an apples-to-apples basis, you may find that methods that look good on paper don’t look so good in practice. But it’s better than hiding the truth.
Contributed by Jeff Josephson, President and Chief Executive Officer of LeadGen.com, a service of Josephson Venture/Marketing, Inc., (JV/M) in Moorestown, N.J. For a white paper on “What’s the Cost of a Sales Lead” visit www.LeadGen.com/CPL. Jeff can be reached at 856-638-0399 x101 or Jeff@jvminc.com
Guest blog by Cory Schaeffer, Co-Founder of Listen Technologies
With noise levels on tradeshow floors reaching up to 80 to 90 decibels—equal to the sound of a lawn mower or heavy street traffic—commanding a captive audience at tradeshows and conferences is a significant challenge marketer’s face. In many cases, this can even hinder the ability to achieve a satisfactory return on investment from participating in such events.
Finding the leverage to overcome the hustle and bustle of tradeshow floors is one of the
keys to successfully generating quality leads as a result of exhibiting. One way to accomplish this is the use of enhanced listening technology.
Enhanced listening technology grew out of assistive listening technology, which is generally associated with helping individuals with some degree of hearing loss hear better. In its traditional form, assistive listening technology takes what is coming through a venue’s sound system and delivers it directly into the ear of an individual with hearing loss while simultaneously blocking out background noise to allow for a personal listening experience.
However, over the years a growing trend has developed around the use of assistive listening technology to enhance the experiences of individuals without hearing loss as well. After all, having difficulty hearing isn’t always about hearing loss. Often times, language barriers and environmental noise plays a significant role as well.
Thus, enhanced listening technology was born. Enhanced listing technology leverages similar wireless listening devices as assistive listening, but it is specifically tailored to the needs of presenters, tour guides, language interpreters and others who need to cut through environmental noise to create a personal listening experience for every individual they seek to communicate with.
There are very few more challenging environments to create a personal listening experience in than tradeshow floors. The constant clamor of voices makes it remarkably difficult for attendees to give their undivided attention to a single booth presentation. It’s not an uncommon site to see tradeshow exhibitors pouring their whole heart into a presentation or even a one on one conversation, only to have the audience or other party only half engaged due to the fact that they frankly can’t hear what is being said.
Some try to overcome this by leveraging microphones connected to loud speakers. Rather than helping, however, such an approach primarily just contributes to the already too loud ambient noise of a trade show environment and do not create a personal, comfortable listening experience.
Alternatively, enhanced listening systems as described above are portable radio frequency-based systems that use microphones and small transmitters worn by exhibitors and headsets with small receivers worn by attendees. As attendees approach a booth, they are invited to simply slip the headphones on. As they do, the environmental noise is blocked, while the exhibitor’s voice can be heard loud and clear. In contrast to the loud speaker strategy, enhanced listening systems create a very individual, engaging experience.
In short, enhanced listening systems can help ensure companies gain the full attention of tradeshow audiences and engage with attendees on a personal level. All this will help companies cultivate better leads and get a better return on investment from exhibiting at tradeshows.
Cory Schaeffer is a founder of Listen Technologies Corporation. Established in 1998, Listen manufacturers wireless audio products used in venues for auditory assistance, soundfield, tour group, language interpretation and conferencing. For more information, call 1-877-760-9271 or visit www.listentech.com/manufacturers.