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Top Takeaways B2B Roundtable Webinars

I can’t stress this enough: when it comes to marketing, if we’re not constantly learning, we’re going to find ourselves left behind faster than ever.

Some people say I’m an expert in B2B lead generation because I wrote a book on it, but you know what? I am astonished by what I didn’t know then compared to what I know today. This past year has been especially illuminating thanks to the brilliance of smart marketers who are expanding and perfecting the lead-generation concepts I wrote about years ago.

This year’s B2B Lead Roundtable webinars are a testament to that., Top Takeaways B2B Roundtable Webinars

In February, Paul Teshima, SVP of Product Management at Eloqua, set the tone for the webinar year. He defined the tenets of the new world of marketing in Revenue Performance Management. “We’ve seen a problem now where, even though marketing is doing a great job of generating leads, sales still cannot handle the volume and they slip away,” explains Paul. “Some of the leading companies today are really focusing on this idea of managing and bringing marketing sales together, in a more effective way, now that they’ve solved some of the tactical problems.

Paul explains how here: The Future of Marketing: The Evolution from Demand Generation to Revenue Performance Management

In March, Michelle Mogelson Levy, Associate Vice President of Global Marketing at ECI Telecom, detailed how she executed an ultra-successful content strategy campaign and how that transformed their entire marketing strategy.

We had to put ourselves in line with our buyers’ journey so we knew how to engage them at the right level,” she points out. “We had to provide value to our prospects, who have never heard of us before, and position ourselves as a company that understands their marketplace and their business issues – a partner as well as an expert.” Learn more here: How ECI Developed an Entire Content Marketing Program from Concept to Completion and the Surprising Results

In April, John Johnston, eBusiness Marketing Manager for Volvo North America, outlined how he streamlined, integrated and automated lead generation for a marketing program for 20 different heavy construction segments for dealers in 125 countries.

“We took online marketing activities, leveraged their analytics and optimized – measure, take action and repeat. It’s a continuous loop that makes the database and the lead-generation process better and better.”

Watch the webinar to find out how John’s efforts are providing customers and prospects the precise information they need to make a smart purchasing decision, and dealers a much more detailed, useful picture of who they’re selling to. And much of this is happening in real time. Learn more here: How CRM Revolutionized Marketing and Lead Generation at Volvo North America

In May, Brandon Stamschror, Senior Director of Operations for MECLABS Leads Group, and I expounded on the powerful combination of excellent data and the human touch to make the best use of sales time and resources.

According to MarketingSherpa, 80% of marketing leads are lost or discarded because even though someone may have provided basic contact information, they may not be ready to talk to a salesperson. Teleprospecting bridges the gap.

Make sure you’re setting a strong foundation for your campaigns with an accurate list. Brandon revealed the outcomes of a breakthrough experiment that tested how higher cost/high quality lead data affected the cost per lead. The results were astounding – the difference between the best- and worst-performing lists was $581 per lead. Learn more here: Teleprospecting that Drives Sales-Ready Leads and How One Company Slashed Their Cost Per Lead by More than Half

In June, Sergio Balegno, Director of Research, MarketingSherpa/MECLABS Primary Research Group, shared why inbound marketing – a strategy where the prospects find you as opposed to you finding them – is critical, and how integrating social media and SEO drives it.

Companies with integrated social media and SEO achieve 60% better conversion rates…Search rankings are driven by relevance, relevance enhances an organization’s credibility, and this credibility helps to drive conversion rates,” says Sergio. “It’s an essential ingredient to a B2B marketing program.”

To prove it, Sergio shared five steps that helped an email marketer pull in 70% more leads and doubled revenue in one year. Learn more here: How to Integrate Social Media and SEO to Drive More Leads and Increase Marketing ROI

In July, Dave Elkington, Chairman and CEO of InsideSales.com, revealed how companies are leaking significant revenue in their sales and marketing funnels – knowledge gained through analyzing two billion communications with 80 million customer profiles. He outlined astonishing facts like 43% of companies don’t even respond to inbound leads! But for those that know how to respond, the opportunities to make the sale grow exponentially – 78% of sales goes to companies that respond first, not to the company with the best or cheapest product.

It’s no wonder that Dave points out that venture capital firms want companies in their portfolios to have inside sales departments. “They’ll recruit, train and transplant inside sales teams into their portfolio companies,” he says. For more data that will show you how to speed leads into your sales pipeline, go here: Research from Harvard, MIT Pinpoints Hard Lead Conversion Lessons with Easy Solutions

In August and September, I was joined by Pamela Markey, Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy at MECLABS, and Dave Green, Director of Best Practices, to discuss some real-world approaches to achieve year-end sales goals without having to expand budgets.

Find out how:

  • Clarifying value proposition helped one company decrease cost-per-acquisition by 66% and multiplied monthly profit four times over
  • Re-engaging clients helped one company attain grow its business by 64%
  • To quickly and easily choose the best lists
  • To time lead-generation activities to attain the highest possible return on investment of resources
  • Closed-loop feedback makes sales professionals worship their marketing department

Find out much more here: Finish 2011 Strong: Six Funnel Focal Points to Maximize Time, Resources and Revenues Part 1 and Part 2

It all came full circle in October, when Jen Doyle, MarketingSherpa Senior Research Manager and Lead Author of the B2B Marketing Benchmark Report, discussed what more than 1,745 marketing organizations had to say about their lead generation efforts in 2011.

It’s increasingly challenging for marketers to achieve success, and challenges are growing in pertinence year after year,” she explains. “Perceived effectiveness of tactics is declining severely. It’s getting more difficult to achieve the same results from the same marketing activities.”

She points out, however, that may be due to the fact that marketers still aren’t optimizing their funnels:

  • 68% haven’t identified their sales or marketing funnels.
  • 61% send leads directly to sales.
  • 79% haven’t established lead scoring.
  • 65% haven’t nurtured leads.

Learn how to make 2012 a better year here: B2B Marketing Benchmark Report: How Marketers are Transforming Mounting Pressures, Challenges into Revenues.

We are in the process of planning our 2012 webinar year. What would you like to know more about? What information would help you generate more leads? How can we help you stay on top of lead-generation innovations? Leave a comment below.

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