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Account Based Prospecting Glossary
Account Based Prospecting
Account Based Marketing everyone’s heard of. Account Based Prospecting is a subset of ABM that follows the same idea. If you customize your prospecting to each account, your outreach will be more relevant and will probably generate better response. Account based anything is easy to explain and very time-consuming to do. It generally doesn’t scale well. For that reason, we tend to focus account-based prospecting efforts on strategic prospects where the potential ROI is worth the trouble.
Appointment Setting Services
Predicated on the assumption that if you have a decent message or script and buy a good list, you can churn out sales appointments at a pretty good clip at low cost. The reality is that without good targeting and prospect research, this volume-focused approach won’t work for high-consideration b2b tech sales.
Automated Buying Intent Platforms
The rise of platforms that claim to be able to sniff out “buying intent” at scale generated a lot of buzz in 2016 and 2017, but the hype outstripped the reality. These platforms have gotten better, but the fact is that 15 people from a big company downloading your whitepaper is a long way from a complete picture of buying intent.
Whether you call them Business Development Reps or Sales Development Reps, these are the people charged with generating net new meetings for a sales team. They will usually be responsible for prospect research (or list purchases), outbound prospecting campaigns and sometimes initial prospect qualification before they hand prospects off to sales.
The holy grail of selling is to have insider information that a company is about to make a buying decision. Of course the ultimate buying intent signal is an RFP, but most buying intent takes a lot more detective work to identify. The more relevant intent signals you can identify, the more likely you are to be able to triangulate true buying intent.
Cold calling is still somehow a thing. True cold calling will annoy nearly everyone and is wildly inappropriate for high-consideration B2B sales. Does this mean calling prospects is always a bad idea? Of course not. If you’ve have good intelligence to indicate they have a pressing problem you can solve, and you have true subject matter experts making the calls, you can absolutely create some opportunities by calling. Assigning junior SDRs to do this won’t end well.
Email Marketing still works, but it’s getting harder every year.
A lead is just data you can get from any of thousands of sources. It’s basic business card info for someone in the right industry and more or less the right job title. As lead is someone who COULD be a buyer, but until they’ve raised their hand in some way, you have no way to know.
Marketing Qualified Leads, the lead everyone loves to hate. Marketing says they are good, sales isn’t so sure. Everyone defines this differently, but for us an MQL means someone in the right company, in the right buying or influencing role who actually shows up for a meeting at the scheduled time.
An opportunity is usually one step beyond an SQL. This means the salesperson has reason to believe that the prospect is not only qualified but has active interest in pursuing next steps. At this stage many companies begin quantifying the likelihood that the opportunity will result in a “closed won” deal.
The broadest defintion of outbound is any ad, email or phone call where the seller initiates a conversation with the prospect. We think of outbound more narrowly as direct one-to-one outreach to prospects to start a selling conversation, so display advertising doesn’t play a role. Outbound marketing is maligned by many marketers seduced by the view of the world that every prospect needs to find you through search and webform completions. For lower-consideration, lower-price offerings to a large addressable market, many companies can flourish with an inbound-only approach. However, for high-dollar, high-consideration niche products, there is no real substitute for a sophisticated, high-touch outbound marketing program.
Sales intelligence describes the product of all the buying intent signals you can find for a given account. Good sales intelligence requires the ability to “connect the dots” of multiple signals to understand what will most likely motivate a buyer to respond, or if there is an opportunity at all. Signals will be different for every industry, product and use case. Some common signals include hiring patterns, incumbent vendors up for renewal, content marketing downloads, multiple email opens, ratings and reviews, and many more.
Sales Qualified Leads are the just MQLs that Sales has qualified. SQLs require at least one and possibly multiple meetings to qualify. An SQL may not proceed to proposal right away, but meets the BANT or other criteria of the selling company.