How and Why to Make Pricing Your Strategic Edge in 2018 | OpenView Labs

Pricing strategy connects your Where to Play and How to Win Choices. It does this by helping you define how you create value for your target segments and how you will capture your fair share of that value. To execute on pricing strategy you have to be able to answer the following questions.


Broadly speaking, you need alignment on your Winning Aspirations and your Where to Play Choices before you drop down into How to Win Choices. This framing is based on the work of strategy thought leader Roger Martin and is often referred to as Cascading Choices or Strategic Choice Structuring. See his page on this topic.


It is well known that pricing is the most powerful lever that companies can pull to improve profit. From the classic article, by Michael Marn and Robert Rosiello in Harvard Business Review,


“The right price can boost profit faster than increasing volume will; the wrong price can shrink it just as quickly. Yet many otherwise tough-minded managers shy away from initiatives to improve price for fear that they will alienate or lose customers. The result of not managing price performance, however, is far more damaging.”



How Sales Should Respond to the Board of Directors | OpenView Labs

In order for a Board of Directors to be effective in their mission to help the organization improve, they need to see data, trends, and reports that reveal actual findings – not assumptions or guesses.

There are few things that can make a sales leader more uncomfortable than being asked questions that they should have quantitative answers to – but don’t. When leaders have to manage their teams by relying on Salesforce deal mechanics without insight into why sales professionals go off script during calls, how prospects respond to discovery questions, or when prospects go dark during the sales cycle, how can they be expected to articulate responses to the Board.



Team Selling: If You’re Selling Alone, You’re Doing It Wrong (Stats)

If there is at least one call that contains multiple participants from the buying side of the organization, that correlates with a 32% higher close rate:

Generalized across all stages of the sales cycle, having at least one call that contains multiple participants from the seller organization correlates with a 258% higher likelihood of closing that deal (compared to if the rep flew solo on every call that spans the deal).


ScribbleLive: How Experimentation Keeps Brands Competitive – Even Against Players Like Google


“Consider the site – I wonder how much traffic [it] lost when Google started showing a user’s IP on the search engine result pages? Likewise, online calculators and the like. If your business is based on simple answers that the search engine can deliver, then you are on shaky ground,” Miller said. “But recruitment? Travel? I am not sure Google can provide all the answers here. Certainly, the recruitment industry is built on relationships and trust. A search engine or AI system can’t replace everything that human does in these industries (yet at least). We live in disruptive times. Things are changing. Rapidly. The businesses of tomorrow are the ones that will adapt to and benefit from the changes of today.”


Customer Referrals: 5 Ways To Grow Your Business With Your Best Advocates |

How do you get a referral from your existing customers? It’s actually quite easy with a little bit of planning.

While there is not an exact number, the general rule of thumb is that it costs between 4x to 10x more to acquire a brand new customer rather than than selling into your existing base, proven time and again here, here, and here. That means it’s significantly more cost effective to grow organically from whom you already have.

Here are some tactics you can work into your business starting today to grow your business from customer referrals.


This Is How We Generate Qualified Leads on the Drift Blog

These days the buyers have all the power. And that’s why we decided to build a new lead generation strategy for our blog. We needed to adapt to meet this new reality.

Just imagine if I ended this blog post right here and said, “Alright, want to learn more? Go to this page and enter your name and email and phone number and company name and company size and we’ll let you download this PDF document.”


25+ Proven Lead Generation Ideas With Case Studies & Screenshots

Pro Tip: Many chat widgets have the ability to pop open and/or make a noise to catch the visitor’s attention. You may want to consider using this feature after a visitor has been on your site for a certain period of time or visited a specific page on your site such as your pricing or features page.

Pro Tip: Try experimenting with the number of fields visitors have to fill in order to receive your Ebook. While it may be nice to get that extra information to qualify the lead, some visitors will be hesitant to fill in too much information and simply leave the page.


SalesLoft Grew Its Revenue by 1,750 Percent Using Outbound Sales. You Can, Too.

Without the right people in your company’s essential sales roles, you can’t expect great results. Good salespeople are self-motivated and love a challenge. They aim high and are committed to going above and beyond expectations.

In an interview with the Growth Everywhere podcast, Kyle Porter, founder and CEO of , addressed his company’s success. “We’ve got a lot of good science on the front end, and then we’ve got really good people who are able to use this rhythmatic process of Prospector plus Cadence [SalesLoft tools] in order to get 300 demos,” he said. “Then, we’ve got an executive sales team that comes in and closes those demos.”


Coaching time – Where is it best invested? The views from top sales leaders, coaches, and experts

Coaching is frequently accepted as THE most important function of a front line sales manager, with data showing that effective and frequent coaching can comfortably see a 20% increase in performance. Yet despite the perceived importance of this function, the average sales leader invests only 5% of their time in helping to develop their reps.

The factor of time is probably the most common reason as to why coaching doesn’t take place as much as it should do. But when time is perceived to be at such a premium, where should sales leaders be best investing it within their salesforce?

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Epic Guide To SaaS Metrics for Customer Success and Product Management

With the advent of a 360-degree customer-centric business strategy, every single unit which is responsible for a touchpoint along the customer journey, can actively or passively affect distant metrics which belong to the domain of another business unit.

Gone are the times when finance was responsible for tracking and improving financial metrics while marketing and sales were just concerned on their own KPIs.


Sales Reps In Training: An Inside Look at SAP Academy — Clarionttech Services Ltd

“A dramatic change is taking place in the industry,” says Page. “In 10 years, the workforce will shift from 60% Baby Boomers to 70% Millennials. This shift requires a significant investment in training to ensure that Millennials, also known as ‘early talent,’ are prepared for leadership responsibilities. We look for hard-working self-starters who are passionate about problem solving and are eager to learn and grow in a rigorous and stimulating environment. This is the first time in SAP’s 40-plus-year-old history that global hiring has been conducted on such a massive scale.”


How to get your sales operations team strategic fast | Lead to Money | CallidusCloud Blog

Years ago I was put into a situation where we acquired a company, and had to very quickly merge sales teams. This means new comp plans and quotas and a host of other things that are needed to get the sales team up and running. There was really no choice in the matter–we had to drop what we were doing. If we didn’t, we would have been looking at a loss of focus, missed quotas, and the kind of churn you don’t want to see during an acquisition period. Having a prioritization plan left us room for those Cognitive Non-Routine, urgent tasks that are so strategic for any company.


13 Demand Generation Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind

Success for many demand marketers is no longer defined by the quantity of leads generated. For many B2B teams, success measures are now defined by lead-to-customer conversion rates or other full-funnel metrics. Increasingly, marketers are responsible for supporting the customer’s entire journey through tighter alignment with their organization’s sales and customer success teams.


8 Essential B2B Demand Generation Best Practices for 2018


Mid-funnel processes have become efficient in the past decade due to widespread adoption of marketing automation platforms (MAP). Giselle Abramovich recently reported that fifty-five percent of B2B brands are using automation technologies to nurture leads, perform progressive profiling on leads and present personalized content. Abramovich also noted that 91% of the most successful B2B marketers rate MAP as “very important” to the overall success of their initiatives.

Supporting full-funnel demand gen in 2018 involves building closer partnerships, a relentless pursuit of operational efficiency and, often, the adoption of new technologies. In this article, we examine eight best practices marketers should adopt in 2018 to implement effective, full-funnel demand generation strategies.


Why Sales Training Fails (And What You Can Do About It)

Research has consistently demonstrated that without systematic, ongoing learning and reinforcement, participants quickly forget what they learned and revert back to their original behaviors.

A common problem with many sales training initiatives is that they are event based (i.e., intensive, multi-day training events) where participants typically forget much of what they learned shortly after the training event.

According to the American Society of Training and Development, US based companies spend approximately $20 billion a year on sales training. Yet many sales organizations get low ROIs from their sales training initiatives.


Solving the SDR to AE Handoff Once and For All | Sales Hacker

Over the past few months, I’ve been constantly talking to VPs of Sales, SDR leaders, and SDRs themselves. One constant struggle I hear is the SDR to AE handoff. The problem is mostly centered around accountability, process and compensation. In this article, I’ll analyze the core issues that are deeply rooted within the SDR AE handoff process, and propose a few actionable solutions to address it, along with general best practices to follow.

The AE’s best interest is to keep deal opportunities as long as possible in the “qualifying a prospect” stage because they are not held responsible for those, and it doesn’t affect their close rates or perception of performance. This obviously creates a very unfavorable scenario for SDRs.

SDRs complain that the AEs handling their demos are not as good as other AEs, and that’s why their opportunities aren’t moving forward. The AEs on the other hand complain that the SDRs are just sending unqualified demos and therefore they aren’t on track to hit quota.


How I Went from Entry Level Sales to SVP Marketing in 8 years

In her early and mid 20s, Ada achieved “hockey stick” growth within her own
career, eventually leading growth and marketing as the SVP of Marketing at
SurveyMonkey after starting out just 8 years earlier as a new college grad
in an entry level sales job at Microsoft.

In this post, Ada shares a few frameworks that anyone can use to trigger a
high growth inflection point in their career.

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How to Create Viral Content with Studies in Neuroscience and Past Data

According to virality expert Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at Stanford University, the key to viral content is emotional arousal, particularly that evokes high-arousal emotions, like joy or fear. However, a new research by Jacopo Staiano of Sorbonne University and Marco Guerini of Trento Rise

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Longer read, but fascinating research.

IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CMO 2018 Predictions – IDC

Prediction 1: By 2021, Privacy Will Have Been Redefined from “the Selective Sharing of Data” to “the Value of Data” and Digital Marketplaces Will Have Emerged That Enable Consumers to Provide Data in Return for VIP Services, with up to 10% of Consumers in Developed Countries Participating

Prediction 2: By 2021, at Least 15% of Businesses’ Standard Customer Experience Decisions Will Be Handled by Algorithms as Companies Shift from Person-to-Person (P2P) to Machine-to-Person (M2P) Engagement and Transactions

Prediction 3: By 2020, 20% of Marketers Will Share Customer Experience Budgets, Processes, Metrics, and Compensation with All Other Customer-Facing Functions in the Enterprise Including Sales, Finance, Fulfillment, Customer Service, and Contact Center

Prediction 4: By 2019, 80% of B2B Marketers Will Have at Least One Account-Based Marketing Campaign in the Field

Prediction 5: By 2019, Available Inventory in Marketing Databases Will Shrink by 40%

Prediction 6: By 2021, 70% of Digital Advertising and Marketing Will Be Augmented or Automated Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Prediction 7: By the End of 2021, 75% of Large B2B Events Will Personalize Participant Experiences Using Human-to-Machine Technologies; Augmented Reality, Sensors, and the Use of Biometric Data Will Propel Events into Brand Differentiating Powerhouses

Prediction 8: By 2021, 25% of B2B Companies Will Reshape Their Marketing Organizations into Nonhierarchical Structures, Aided by Collaborative Technologies; New Forms, Such as Circles, Squads, and Tribes, Will Help Companies Break out of Silos and Provide Better Customer Experiences

Prediction 9: By 2020, 60% of B2B CMOs Will Be Held Accountable for at Least One Customer-Oriented Metric as Companies Accept Customer Centricity as Core to the Marketing Mission; Metrics for Loyalty, Advocacy, and Quality Take Their Place Alongside Revenue-Related Metrics

Prediction 10: By 2020, 50% of B2B Companies Will See a Reduction in Sales, General, and Administrative (SG&A) Costs of up to 15% as More Cost-Effective Automated and Algorithmic Marketing Eclipses the High Cost of Selling

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Chatbots and the rise of conversational marketing – Marketing Tech News

In a survey of Fortune 500 marketing professionals carried out by LiveWorld, 52% of respondents thought that advances in technology would allow them to engage in meaningful two-way conversations with their customers. Social media, messaging apps and, in particular, chatbots are seen as effective tools to usher in ‘conversational marketing’.

Conversational marketing is the shift away from brands trying to dictate to customers how to think and feel about products and services. Instead, through the use of chatbots, auto-responders and tech that integrates live agents, brands can actually converse with their customers in real-time, leading to personalised experiences and lots of lovely data on consumer intentions and behaviours.

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CMO Spend Survey 2017-2018: Spotlight on Marketing Analytics – Gartner

What are the big spending trends within CMO’s “analytics” bucket?
Two areas stand out in our conversations with marketers:
Customer data platforms
Attribution systems

Any talk of using AI and Analytics in the marketing mix or with digital marketing?
Most definitely. The three most popular areas: marketing-facing analytics, untargeted conversational agents and real-time personalization.

What are 3 to 5 key metrics that you recommend CMOs track?
• ROI of total marketing spend
• Market share versus competition
• Brand health
• Lifetime value to cost-of-customer acquisition cost ratio
• Profitability

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How well do you understand your marketing and advertising technology stack? Not well enough – Which-50

We have also worked with marketers and agency leaders to identify where the knowledge and capabilities gaps exist.

1. Do you know all the key technology providers in your marketing and advertising tech stack and the basis on which they are engaged? Do you understand the cost drivers?
2. Have you assessed the technology skills gaps in your organisations and do you have visibility over what skills you are likely to need this time next year that you currently do not possess?
3. Do you know which agencies are responsible for you adtech solutions?
4. Do you know who owns the data if your data is held in a third parties systems?
5. How confident are you that when someone arrives on your website you know who they are?
6. What other non-marketing systems collect personally identifiable information about your customers and are you able to marry these up to data in your marketing tech stack?
7. Do you run programmatic advertising campaigns and who manages the programmatic buying desk, your employees or your agencies?
8. How integrated are your teams when they plan campaigns? For instance does your social desk talk to your search desk, and do they know what display campaigns are running in the market at any given time?
9. Does your direct marketing team have visibility of search, social and display campaigns?
10. Thinking of search, social, display and video do you know how your agency is structured and whether they have an integrated or disjointed approach to managing your campaigns?
11. Is responsibility for search, social and display split across agencies?
12. How sophisticated is your attribution modeling? Are you still relying on first last clicks and are you able attribute across multiple formats and channels? And perhaps more importantly, how quickly can you respond to the insights derived from your models?
If you can answer yes to most of these questions positively you are doing better than many of your peers.

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Why Are B2B Companies Moving Inside Sales To The Marketing Department? – Demand Gen Report

If an organization is large enough, to the point where it has distinct marketing, inside sales and external sales teams, then it may make sense to have inside sales live within the marketing department. This is great for a sales team that needs to qualify leads and prioritize those that are more likely to engage. But it’s also a big step forward for B2B marketers.

Making inside sales part of marketing could provide marketers better ability to measure their work, opening the door to accountable revenue metrics.  You can’t do revenue marketing if you don’t have resources following up on the demand that is being created by marketing.  There will always be a natural, unintentional lack of accountability if marketing has no control over sorting through the demand or resulting disposition of the leads to measure its effectiveness.  

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The Greatest Sales Pitch I’ve Seen All Year – The Mission – Medium

A few weeks ago, I met a CMO named Yvette in the office kitchen at OpenView Venture Partners. She was chewing on a bagel during a lunch break from the VC firm’s all-day speaker event, and she was…

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Great read for sales and marketing folks: “The Greatest Sales Pitch I’ve Seen All Year – It’s Drift’s and it’s brilliant. Here’s why.”

How To Become A Customer Acquisition Expert

I started my career out as a “product guy.”  But about 4 years ago I
realized that product was a small piece of the startup puzzle.  I became
fascinated with how products were growing.  Thus, my journey on learning
growth and customer acquisition began. Here is the step by step guide I
wish I had when I started to learn customer acquisition.  

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A classic read from 2013.

Where Are You on the Growth Marketer’s Hierarchy of Skills?

Hubspot’s Scott Tousley shares the internal career progression framework
he’s used to build competitive skills and a career path on their growth
marketing team.

When I joined HubSpot’s growth team in 2014, led by Brian Balfour, I felt
wildly unqualified. I had one skill. I (sort of) understood content
marketing. That was it.

That’s why, after many hours of deliberating this topic, and fine-tuning
feedback from other intelligent growth marketers, I’m happy to share the
internal career progression framework we use at HubSpot.


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