One of my favorite pastimes is cooking or should I say actually eating! I love to try unique recipes that offer incredible ingredients that are simple, but yet complex. Although I love to cook, I just don’t have the time to expend making that perfect bite each day. Renowned celebrity chef Bobby Flay has summed this up perfectly.
“Basically, there are two things we know: Everyone has less time, and the general public is demanding better food – better in terms of quality and better in terms of flavor” – Bobby Flay
In today’s competitive B2B world, finding that perfect bite is the key to success. Marketers are always searching for the right mix of key ingredients to support their company’s sales efforts while at the same time tasked with forming great content, blogging, social media posts and creating support materials. You get the picture. In many cases, lead generation takes a back seat or at least the quality of leads passed to the sales team leaves something to be desired (not appealing to the palette). With the ever changing B2B landscape buyers can get most of the way through the buying process before ever contacting a vendor. All sales team asks for is that they receive quality leads that they can turn into revenue quickly. This is not a complex dish by any means!
By chance, if you are a marketing automation user you probably feel you have the complete recipe. Just like non users, unfortunately, you are still missing this one key ingredient. This one key ingredient is something very simple. Anonymous web visitor tracking. When this ingredient is added to the mix, life becomes a little more savory for everyone! What sales person is not going to be thrilled to receive a lead that is actually qualified! Through anonymous visitor tracking, both marketing and sales can achieve their respective goals. Not only do you know when visitors spent time checking out your website, your sales team has valuable information telling them what and how many pages where visited, which means getting ahead of their competition.
Sounds like a recipe made in heaven to me!
VisitorTrack by netFactor offers this incredible ingredient! By adding VisitorTrack to your marketing and sales mix, the perfect bite can be created. With only about 2% of all web visitors filling out forms, it is even more important to capture those invisible visitors that are researching your products and services and leaving before they fill out a form. VisitorTrack provides key contact data so your team can get ahead of the competition. By adding this last ingredient your recipe is now complete.
Be your own marketing chef. So don’t’ feed your sales team leftovers when you can provide the perfect bite! You will be the life of your party and as they say in the culinary world, you are as Cool as a Cucumber! By creating better leads you add quality and flavor to your marketing efforts in a short amount of time. Bobby would be proud!
Millennials in the workforce – They’re Heeeeeerrrre!
The Millennial Generation – aka “Gen Y” – are people who were born between 1982 – 2001. There are 79 million Millennials in the United States. The oldest of this generation are thirty-three years old this year and they are now the majority of today’s professional workforce (35%). If you aren’t ready for the changes Millennials will bring to your business, you’d better get going.
Millennials are the first “native” technology user generation. Unlike Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964) and Gen Xers (born 1965 – 1981), Millennials have never known a world without the internet. The toys in the cribs of Gen Y had higher performance microprocessors operating them than was used by NASA to operate the Lunar Rover (the unmanned vehicle used to explore the surface of the moon). Millennials don’t just “get” technology; technology is in their DNA.
As with all generations, technology has shaped the way in which Millennials think, communicate, study and behave. As the first “technical natives,” Millennial in the workforce use technology as the core means of communication, and they don’t distinguish between “personal” use of technology and “work” use of technology. For Gen Y’s, it’s all personal – it just may happen to involve discovering something they need to know related to their “day job.” Whether it is texting their peers, searching the web, or checking with their social network, Millennial “workers” expect immediate and ubiquitous connection.
If you are a B2B marketer, you know that your business buyers are now mostly Millennials.
As the youngest population in today’s workforce, most of the research assignments are being done by Millennials. The decision makers may still be Baby Boomers or Gen Xers, but the investigation and business cases are being done by Gen Y. And how do these knowledge workers find out about your business? That’s right – via technology: web search, YouTube, social media, their Millennial friends. And, they are doing this research way before you ever know they are doing it.
Unless you have been under a rock for the past five years, you know that B2B buyers are waiting longer and longer before they contact potential vendors. Have you stopped to think about why this is? Because they can. Prospective buyers no longer need to contact you to find out what you offer and why you think your products and services are unique. Now, consider this clear trend against the context of the changing workforce. Millennials are doing the research and putting together the recommendations. They use smartphones and tablets to identify the best solutions, not telephone calls with the prospective vendors. They use their social network to get recommendations and referrals. When they are ready to contact you, they will find you. And when they do, these Gen Yers will know more about their options than you will.
So, if you aren’t by now, get ready for the Millennials. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Millennials don’t think of personal and work as two distinct activities. They blend them. That’s a big reason why YouTube has become the second largest search platform for businesses.
- Millennials expect to learn about your products and services without having to contact you. What previous generations thought of as “advanced” research, Millennials consider basic. Hint: If they have to contact you to learn about your offerings, you’ve already lost them.
- Want to get on the Millennial radar screen? Go where they are: social media.
- To reach them, entertain them and make it easy for these tech-savvy buyers. Long, verbose whitepapers and case studies gated behind web registration forms? Are you kidding?! Try videos on YouTube that link to your website.
- Since Millennials don’t feel the need to contact your sales reps, invest in technology that will enable you and your reps to identify them. It isn’t that Millennials don’t want to talk to you – in fact, Millennials constantly communicate! But, you need to become part of their conversation and stop trying to make them part of yours.
I’m a huge Seinfeld fan and one of the episodes that sticks in my mind is when George complains about his “worlds colliding” (in this case his friends and his girlfriend). I am in marketing and this topic continually raises questions with our relationship with sales.
Today’s B2B sales and marketing teams struggle with the overwhelming number of channels for finding and reaching new leads. In traditional roles these two departments are at odds making any form of peace virtually impossible. As most of us do from time to time, searching the internet for educational yet intriguing information, I ran across a term recently that I would like to share with you:
SMARKETING. What happens when sales and marketing meet in the middle.
This word caught my eye because it was a little bizarre, but I liked the philosophy. After all, sales and marketing have the same goal, (or least should have) to grow business and generate revenue, and though each department uses different mechanisms and tactics, both are vital to increasing the bottom line and eliminating the colliding worlds. They achieve more than when they work independently. A lot more. This efficiency makes SMARKETING an effective strategy to drive growth.
Anonymous web visitor platforms like VisitorTrack support the SMARKETING philosophy. Harmony between these two departments allows marketing to see who is engaged on their website without filling out a form, prioritizes prospects based on interest and can identify return visitors providing sales with a high quality lead. In turn, a sales rep can see which products the prospect is interested in, have all the important contact information for the potential buyer at their fingertips and contact them before the competition, which allows deals to be closed faster. Thus, generating revenue which is the common goal, and eliminating the colliding worlds.
Imagine these formerly divided departments speaking the same language, maintaining open communication and relying on the same data! Crazy isn’t it?
When your salespeople are talking to and following up with the same target audience that marketing is engaging in advertising, social media and other channels, the results are bigger numbers, more deals, and a better return on investment as a result of this SMARKETING.
As much as I like the term SMARKETING, I am not sure it is going to catch on and become the new buzz word of the 21st century, however, it is a simple concept to bring two worlds together that before would always collide. I think even George would agree! #Smarketing!