The Importance of Content Marketing

The following is a guest post by Jared M. Wells from TSL Marketing:

“The fourth Quarter is an interesting time for B2B Sales and Marketing professionals, you’re focused on closing the year with strong numbers.  Being in sales, I’m guilty of thinking low hanging fruit is the most appetizing, at times.  However, I have to ask myself if I’m cutting myself short.

Image by TSL MarketingSales and Marketing teams work diligently throughout the year filling sales pipeline and often times lead generation efforts go to waste when the sales team is focused primarily on short sales. Buying intent is often underestimated with longer-term opportunities and leads are overlooked.

This is why it is important to enable your sales team with tele-prospecting support and lead nurturing tactics. This helps assure that you will get you more mileage out of your pipeline and leads will not slip through the cracks.

The Importance of Content Marketing

B2B marketers have gotten more sophisticated with technology and taken steps towards better alignment with sales in recent years; because of this many coin 2010 as “The Year of Content Marketing” Sirius Decisions released some excellent research in this area. Content generated will have the most impact if it’s targeted to the prospect’s position along the Buyer’s Journey:

by TSL Marketing

“Content is Key” but be warned – it’s not just about content…  A recent study by IDG Market Fusion determined that in only 42% of cases, prospects received relevant content; that means 58% of the time the WRONG content is being shared. Marketing Sherpa also discovered that irrelevant or off-target information reduces your chance to win the business by as much as 45%. Keep it relevant!

Leveraging your Inside Sales Team for Lead Progression

Longer-term deals require time and attention in order to realize their full potential.  Automated Lead Nurturing is great, however nothing beats an actual conversation!  Leveraging inside sales for lead qualification will help ensure proper lead nurturing, and most importantly, pipeline acceleration are taking place.

Inside Sales is best suited to enable the Sales Team by qualifying and helping to ensure proper content is being provided. This will enable the field sales team to do what they do best, focus on closing deals.  If history has shown us anything: That’s what they’ll do, regardless.

To learn more on the importance of lead progression, TSL Marketing recently released a free whitepaper, “The Payoffs of Lead Progression”. In this whitepaper you will learn how you can increase lead conversion rates by upwards of 44%.”

Job opening – Sales Enablement/Marketing Specialist

Sales Enablement/Marketing Specialist

Job Requisition Number: 27463

United States

New York – NY

The Company
Bloomberg is the world’s most trusted source of information for businesses and professionals. Bloomberg combines innovative technology with unmatched analytic, data, news, display and distribution capabilities, to deliver critical information via the BLOOMBERG PROFESSIONAL® service and multimedia platforms. Bloomberg’s media services cover the world with more than 2,200 news and multimedia professionals at 146 bureaus in 72 countries. The BLOOMBERG TELEVISION® 24-hour network delivers smart television to more than 240 million homes. BLOOMBERG RADIO® services broadcast via SIRIUS XM Radio and 1worldspaceTM satellite radio globally and on WBBR 1130AM in New York. The award-winning monthly BLOOMBERG MARKETS® magazine, Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine and the BLOOMBERG.COM® financial news and information Web site provide news and insight to businesses and investors.

The Role
Within the Central Marketing Group, Sales Enablement’s primary objective is to facilitate the alignment of our sales and marketing engagement activities with customer needs.

Key functions:
– Assist in the collection, analysis, summary and dissemination of key data and information required to align our sales and marketing engagement activities with customer needs.
– Collaborate with marketing program managers, business unit managers and sales teams to implement segmented and targeted lead generation and nurturing programs.
– Assist in the implementation of sales enablement automation to more effectively provide contextually relevant content to customers and prospects in order to compress sales cycles and improve selling efficiency
– Evaluate the current experience level of prospects/customers and baseline performance of touch-points in order to support the creation of an effective and coordinated sales and marketing engagement model
– Optimize the use of marketing assets and tools in order to achieve program goals for specific business units and services. Various forms of media will be considered for optimizing content delivery based on target audience consumption habits and buying process. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • sales brochures and other product information
  • thought leadership (case studies; white papers)
  • electronic communications (email marketing, webinars)

– Track performance of our marketing assets, templates, tools and technologies used to support the sales process of a product or service in order to identify performance gaps and improvement opportunities.

Sales Enablement/ Marketing Specialist Position

Responsibilities include:
– Partner with the Internal Creative Agency to develop and implement an effective sales collateral system which includes content management, collateral distribution and usage tracking. This system must be scalable globally in order to meet future needs.
– Map existing marketing assets and tools to the current selling process in order to identify misalignment and opportunities.
– Evaluate the effectiveness of the pre-sales, on boarding and post-sales marketing assets and tools through feedback from sales and customers in order to identify improvement opportunities.
– Ensure sales enablement project documents are complete, current, and stored appropriately

Qualifications
– 7-10+ years of relevant marketing experience, preferably in/for the financial services or information provider industries
– Marketing strategy consulting firm experience desired
– Action and execution oriented
– Superior project management skills
– Able to analyze the full impact of marketing activities across multiple marketing channels
– Demonstrated ability to work through complex business problems and partner with internal clients with a consultative approach.
– Proven strong quantitative and analytical skills
– Demonstrated abilities to manage multiple tasks and projects
– Bachelor’s Degree required with a major in Business Management, Marketing, Operations Management, or other business-related area preferred.

Job opening – Associate – Sales Enablement

Old! Outdated!

Job Title: Associate, Sales Enablement

Location: Linthicum, MD, US
Organization Name: GFO

Position Summary
Entry level position into the Sales team. This position will have primary responsibility for sales enablement support activities including assistance with given projects that are designed to better enable the sales force globally and working cross functionally with various CIENA departments to complete those projects.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • Responsible for executing sales enablement strategy projects to meet/exceed objectives
  • Responsible for MS office applications production as needed for presentations to management, internal customers, and possible external customers.

Skills

  • A basic understanding of CIENA Corporation’s internal departments preferred
  • Basic project management skills preferred
  • Strong interpersonal skills and presentation skills
  • Self starter, capable of “owning” areas of responsibility

Desired Characteristics
Education / Experience

  • 1 – 3 Years of Experience
  • 4 year degree in Business, Project Management or Technical discipline.
  • Education equivalent of 1-3 years in sales or sales support.

Company: Ciena
Job Location(s): Linthicum
Employment Term: Regular
Employment Type: Full Time
Starting Salary Range: Not Provided
Required Education: Bachelor’s Degree
Required Experience: Open
Related Categories: Sales – Inside, Sales – Management

Reading List – Middle of September 2010

“Forrester announces Sales Enablement Conference focused on Selling into the New Economy” (Tom Pisello; September 09, 2010)

“Sales Enablement Efficiency?” (Tom Pisello; September 03, 2010)

“Frugalnomics Forces Changes in Sales Enablement” (Tom Pisello; September 03, 2010)

“Social Media and Sales Enablement: Internal Collaboration” (Joe Galvin; September 03, 2010)

The Importance of Context

On September 7, 2010, Matthias Roebel from BizSphere wrote “The Importance of Context for the Enterprise 2.0”:

Just a few days ago Joe Galvin from Sirius Decisions wrote about how important Social Media – as an approach for better internal collaboration – is as part of a Sales Enablement strategy. I think he is absolutely right. What used to be the informal coffee corner chat before nowadays is mimicked in Social Media platforms. Over time, people will learn that even within an enterprise the sharing of information is beneficial for everyone in the end. Yes, there may be a lot of sceptics around, especially in sales teams, but with the right programs and incentives offered, they will make the jump to the new social collaboration paradigm.

However, the flip side of extensive social collaboration might be the appearance of new information silos as well as growing information overload. Without the social collaboration being moderated to a certain extend, it might lose some of its potential impact on the overall performance of the sales teams. Aaron Roe Fulkerson discussed this in a recent blog post: “The importance of context: why Enterprise 2.0 still fails to deliver value”.

web 3.0 with BizSphere

 

A company might use a lot of different types of social collaboration platforms – the challenges is: How can they be orchestrated in a way, that actual knowledge exchange is taking place across existing team and functional structures? And how can the content generated be aligned to some generally agreed upon enterprise structures? What companies, that are serious about implementing a Social Media strategy for sales, should think about, is to create and maintain an enterprise context.

Enterprise 2.0 from a Sales Enablement point of view

Then collaboration can take place within this context and will add greater value to a broader audience. Ideally, the enterprise context should constantly evolve based on feedback gathered during the ongoing social collaboration.

Job opening – Sales Enablement Team – Sales Technology Analyst

Old! Out dated!
Employer: Motorola
Sales Enablement Team – Sales Technology Analyst
Nearest Major Market: Chicago

Date: Aug 20, 2010
Location: SCHAUMBURG, IL, US

Sales Enablement Team – Sales Technology Analyst

Location: UNITED STATES – IL – SCHAUMBURG
Job Category: Sales and Marketing, Business Development
Position Type: Experienced
Relocation Provided: None
Education Required: Bachelors / Degree
Experience Required: 5 – 10

Basic Qualifications
5+ plus years of experience in IT or Project Management or sales or operations experience

Department Description
Within the Sales Enablement structure, this role focuses on the Technology by driving productivity, efficiency and optimization programs within the Regional Field Operation Teams through the use of tools.

Scope of Responsibilities/Expectations
This role will perform business needs and process analysis in support of sales automation projects through proactive business engagement with the regional field operations teams; facilitate the documentation of business requirements and processes working in conjunction with the regional operations and IT plan teams; educate across the regions the value and capabilities of Salesforce.com; ensure business requirements and processes are linked to the technology design; measure and track adoption of salesforce.com; leverage project management skills and techniques to drive a project to successful completion; drive other productivity, efficiency and optimization programs as needed.

Specific Knowledge/Skills
– Bachelors degree preferred
– 5+ plus years of experience in IT or Project Management or sales or operations experience
– experience with sales force automation tools a plus
– Salesforce.com a plus
– bilingual skills – Spanish/English desired
– IT Systems Experience
– Process Optimization or Project Management Experience
– Strong project planning skills
– Innovative & Strategic thinking: Understand the Go To Market strategy. Design and align solutions to future state
– Effective relationship and communication skills: Interacts with Regional Field Operations Teams and Key work partners
– Ability to manage activities across cross-functional teams
– Possess business acumen of field operations (ie. sales, service operations and support)
– Six Sigma Trained or certified a PLUS

Reading List – Beginning of September 2010

“Engage early with Senior Execs, or Lose the Deal” (Tom Pisello: The ROI Guy; May 13, 2010)

“[…] Many salespeople are not armed today to adequately engage executives in the consultative strategy phase. That can be changed with Executive Assessment tools, providing a structured way to connect and engage with executives in this crucial early buying phase. […]”

“In Sales Productivity, Coroners’ Inquests Won’t Improve Life Expectancies” (John Cousineau, CEO, innovativeinfo; AUGUST 27, 2010)

“[…] Today, one of the productivity-improving therapies often recommended in sales operations is Loss Analysis. When a deal’s lost, do a post mortem to determine what happened + what should be done to prevent future deal deaths. In my view, it’s a bit like holding a coroner’s inquest. It accepts that fatalities are unavoidable other than by learning from them after the fact. It’s a strange way to stretch life expectancies. […]”

“Meet the Chief Listening Officer” (Neville Hobson; August 30, 2010):

“[…] So I wonder how a Chief Listening Officer will do.

In my view, such a role implied by the title is surely and exactly what organizations need today, especially large organizations. It’s not enough just to listen to conversations, analyze what’s going on and interpret the metrics: you need to know exactly, with precision, what the huge amount of interpreted data means to your organization specifically and what the people in their different roles can and must do as a result of the knowledge and insight you’ve gleaned from that listening, from that interpretation of the data.

Above all, you must know who in your organization needs what information, and be able to get that info to those people, on demand, when they need it. […]”

Chief Listening Officer – Chief Listener – CLO

One of my past job titles explained by Advertising Age:

‘Chief Listeners’ Use Technology to Track, Sort Company Mentions
Relatively New Role Is Becoming More Commonplace in Major Marketing Companies

by Irina Slutsky
Published: August 30, 2010

“[…] the CLO’s job is one of “broad listening” – as Dell has such a deep penetration globally in so many different markets.

“Our chief listener is critical to making sure the right people in the organization are aware of what the conversations on the web are saying about us, so that relevant people in the business can connect with customers,”

Unlike many social-media jobs, this position is very inward-facing. She’s listening to Dell customers and consumers and giving all the intel to her Dell colleagues internally.

[…] “Dell has been listening for four years and created a position called ‘Listening Czar’ two years ago.

[…] said their companies were driving innovation through customer feedback. […]”

Job opening – Technical Product Manager – includes a lot of Sales Enablement

Technical Product Manager
at DynamicOps in Lexington, MA, USA
posted: Aug 31, 2010

Overview
This position reports to the VP of Product Marketing, and has overall responsibility for championing the DynamicOps offering through direct sales and channel partners.

The ideal candidate will have a 10+ years of successfully marketing enterprise software to Global 1000 companies. She/he will have a track record of success in creating and executing programs and campaigns designed to increase lead generation, sales effectiveness and enable corporate awareness and visibility.

Responsibilities

  • Develop comprehensive product marketing plan that addresses the needs of the sales force and supports corporate marketing goals.
  • Create innovative product demonstrations, ROI models, sales tools, and content for product launches that demonstrates value and differentiates DynamicOps
  • Prepare presentations and demonstrations with clear, concise, compelling value and differentiation messaging
  • Develop and deliver in-depth training to the sales force and channel partners on the messaging, positioning, and value of DynamicOps offerings
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of the customers’ business problems, practices, challenges and requirements within the context of DynamicOps offerings
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of how DynamicOps solutions solve critical pains within our customers.
  • Develop and in-depth understanding of competitive offerings and how DynamicOps differentiates itself in the market.
  • Develop and maintain product packaging and pricing which for both direct and indirect channels
  • Analyze sales wins and losses and enable sales with competitive repositioning work with the field marketing teams to develop innovative marketing programs and event campaigns
  • Deliver in-depth support to the sales force by actively participating as a subject matter expert in presentations to prospects and customers and providing introductory, high level software product demonstrations

Experience

  • 10+ years-successful product marketing or product management experience of with a software organization marketing high value solutions to Global 1000 companies
  • Experience with enterprise systems management, virtualization and cloud computing an absolute must.
  • Proven experience creating sales enablement tools that simplify and articulate the value of complex enterprise software in a simple and compelling way.
  • Prior experience writing articles for industry publication, blogging or speaking at industry events

Skills

  • Ability to work in a fast paced environment and handle multiple tasks concurrently.
  • Business travel of approximately 25 percent yearly is expected for this position.
  • US Citizen or Permanent Residents Only.

Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree required. MBA from top school strongly preferred.