Our Points Of View On Sales & Marketing

Thought Leadership

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

B2B Freemium: Benchmarks & Key Questions

Recently, I had a dialogue with a colleague in Silicon Valley who asked me about my experiences with B2B Freemiums as she thought through new distribution models for her product.  It made me reflect for a moment about some of my more recent experiences about giving away an aspect of my product in the hope of getting more revenue.

Let’s assume we can tie the Freemium to actual revenue production – meaning the systems are built to track and trend that soon to be customer activity from download of software to close of revenue.  With no systems in place, you may as well nix a Freemium strategy in terms of measuring its success!

In my experience, a large majority of my inbound unqualified inquiries (meaning people with interest in my product offer) came from the Freemium offer, although the product offer itself had more B2C characteristics than a traditional B2B sale.  My conversion rate was in line with industry rates that appear to range from 1% to 13% depending on the source.  Here are 5 examples I dug up that could be considered a B2B benchmark for Freemiums:

  • Evernote 5.6% conversion rate on their two year user cohort, but note that the conversion rate on new users is much lower, likely SMB or consumer users.
  • Logmein 3.8% conversion rate, likely SMB users.
  • Heroku 1-2% ratio of paid-to-free users when it was about 50,000 apps in size
  • MailChimp –13% of users paying.  Having competed against MailChimp, their users are likely SMB and consumers.

So let’s say you had 2,000 inquiries/month, of which 2.5% used a Freemium at an average sales price of $10k/month – $500k/month revenue = $6M/yr on a very reduced customer acquisition cost if customers are able to buy via the web.

So that’s pure math…but let’s ask 4 key questions as you develop your B2B Freemium strategy:

1.  Will your buying entity see value in a freemium?

Companies are not as price sensitive as individuals. How large is your average selling price and your buying entity?  In the examples above, I do not have clear average revenue metrics, but by experience, an upper limit of value was in the $30k/yr range or lower – which may be in line with many cloud based applications.

2.  Can you get away with low acquisition and support costs?  Meaning, no support!

3.  Can you use the freemium as a low cost inquiry or cost of acquisition vs. traditional means?  If one were to look at customer acquisition costs, sales cold calling is very expensive/ineffective, targeted marketing less expensive, freemium is the least expensive.

4.   Companies do not virally spread a freemium offering and word of mouth is key.  How will you get others to talk about your freemium outside your community?  Freemium is all about scale, so you’ll need to assess the potential customer segment size for such an offer.

I think it is definitely worth testing the Freemium concept in a B2B environment.

What has your B2B Freemium experience been?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Executives + Technology + You = Results

In the B2B world, Executives and teams that master the art of technology in the revenue acquisition process fare 5x better than those that do not according to research from SiriusDecisions – this post is to help executives better communicate and understand what your teams face with their new technology investments in Salesforce.com, databases, and marketing automation.  It also helps those doing the technology work in these areas on how to better communicate with their executive team. Based on an informal poll of 6 B2B global companies, executives want and demand ‘more’ faster and cheaper yet they have no fundamental understanding of the complexity of their own data and lack an understanding of technology.  On the working side of salesforce automation, database management, and marketing automation, the workers that are knee deep in the technology process often say how out of touch their executive leadership is with ‘data reality’.  Those that bridge the gap will recognize more revenue quicker and cheaper than those that are unable to recognize and effectively bridge this gap.

To best avoid this grand canyon gap between executive knowledge and the workers involved in this technology, here are a few approaches that could work:

  • Roadmap with achievable technological milestones – set realistic expectations BEFORE investing in technology because the tendency of executives is that if you buy something shiny and new, it should pay off immediately which is an incredibly incorrect assumption yet it is how they operate.  Often times there is a significant lag between purchase time of a new revenue generating technology and actual results.  Technology is never a silver bullet.  People are the silver bullet. People make the technology work.  People drive process.   It’s best to have the people set the executive expectation as to what to expect and when
  • Benchmarks – workers and leaders should actively seek outside benchmarks (ala SiriusDecisions) or actual ‘live people’ testimonials from other companies who have experienced similar implementation challenges so it’s not just your own viewpoint when explaining to an executive why a technology integration is taking as long as it is against the ‘more’ quicker/cheaper executive standard.  Often times when executives hear from other data points outside their own company, it’s additional validation for them.  Outside 3rd parties can take the heat off you yet effectively bridge to an executive in communicating this gap.
  • Metricswhat does your Executive know about your prospect database, which is the lifeline to future revenue for the company? Does she/he understand it’s relevance is to the target market, what old names are vs. new names are, what a stale database is, what opt in or opt out is?  Executives understand metrics and KPIs.  Workers – you need to translate the health of your database into consistent, understandable executive metrics – the risk of poor data is like a bad sight on a rifle – if your rifle sight is off by an inch, you’ll miss your target by a mile.  If your data is bad, it won’t matter how many people you have on your sales and marketing team, it won’t matter what technology you have to nurture contacts – you have to have a discipline around an area that likely never sees sunlight in your organization.

I see this process as a journey, not a destination as technology is always changing, thus giving people new opportunities to learn and apply their learnings to their company and to their prospect’s buying cycle.  What experiences have you found helpful?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Implementing Executive Change: 4 Risks/Opportunities – B2B CMO view

Executives are paid to take calculated risks and make decisions.  Recently, I spoke to an officer of a $1B company seeking to make some large changes across their company, specifically by repositioning the marketing organization toward a strategic contributor to the revenue generation capability.  Within this situation, this company was considering significant process and technology augmentation – and realizing there were so many priorities to focus on without clarity on what to focus on first.  In 5 companies I’ve talked to in the last few weeks, this situation of a marketing team and leader not knowing where to focus first is extremely common in all sized companies!  Everyone wants to make quick, visible change and not risk the huge time commits for larger change.   In preparation for the conversation, I outlined 4 risks in making this kind of transition.  Specifically, achieving true marketing ROI, Process, People, and Technology.  I’ve summarized this below bolding the largest risk areas.

Situation

Risk

Opportunity

Improve measurement system for  Marketing ROI Cultural sensitivity to process overhaul and alignment; CEO/GM/Sales change management Changing Marketing to strategic business contributor (revenue, new sales, new customers) from ‘Arts & Crafts’ department
Improve process Underestimating commitment required for lead flow, content, data integrity, cross functional coordination Cleaning up processes to maximize marketing contribution to bottom line
Improve people skills Underestimating new skillset needed Retool existing people to compete in 21st century
Improve technology Silver Bullet mentality at Executive levelRelying 100% on outside vendors to guide on journey/pitfalls as they rely on self serving models or cookie cutter approaches Leveraging technology instead of people to drive revenueOperational experience in vendors

Of the four risks, achieving marketing ROI through executive alignment is the single biggest risk.  Specifically, the clearer one is on the single objective of the newly repositioned organization (ie  source revenue to X%, predict what sourced revenue will close, drive faster conversion by Y% on sales cycle by enabling sales, upsell existing clients, etc.), the higher probability the organization as an entire entity will succeed.  It is critical to understand the overall business objectives and where the new revenue will come from – get out of the marketing box and understand profitability by region, by channel, and by product.  Study the reports that are seen at the executive level, know how sales teams are compensated.  The other risks around Process, People, and Technology are tactics that typically fall behind the first objective.  Too often marketing leaders get sucked into the latest technology trends (which are constantly changing thus adding to the confusion), wrapped around their own proprietary language (MQLs, SQLs, etc) and then thrust the proprietary language upon sales or the rest of the organization, or have marketing team members that are not keeping current with the latest and greatest technology.

Change is never easy for any organization.  How have you been able to successfully implement change?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Mobility Enterprise Trends via Gartner

Today I attended Gartner Group’s Mobility/Security seminar at the Harvard Business Club in NYC by @mobilephillip and others – I attended because as  a marketer, it’s important to understand where the puck is going and mobility is where it is headed (plus I have a mobility background).  There were about 100 people representing a variety of enterprises struggling with how to best address the needs of the mobile user.  When one thinks back even 5 years ago, iPads, iPhones, Droids and other technologies were either pre-birth or at their very infancy.  With the adoptions of these new platforms so rapidly, users are struggling with corporate IT policies that are non-mobile friendly as well as enterprises are struggling with strategies to securely lock down the information on these mobile devices.  The mobile devices are marketers dreams in that they now have a way to target very specifically what a user needs or does.

Beyond new technology areas that are expanding for companies like Sybase, McAfee, and others, here were my key take aways from today’s discussion:

  • There are over 2B phones and mobile devices today;  over 80% of new phones sold globally are Smartphones
  • US refresh cycles (ie replacing mobile phones) are on a two year rhythm, whereas in Asia they either have multiple phones or replacing every 6 months to a year
  • In 5 years, Android will be THE operating system with 50% market share;  of the 6 operating systems today, it’s the FASTEST growing operating system.  This is worthy of marketing/sales attention.
  • iPhone (iOS) will have a difficult time penetrating above 25% market share due to manufacturing capacity issues (chipsets among others).  Meaning, this technology may be better B2C suited than B2B.  What’s new news is the capacity constraints of manufacturing.
  • iPhone (iOS) will be challenged to successfully penetrate the enterprise as their updates to software typically involve iTunes, not over the air updates
  • Blackberry Enterprise Services are most deeply penetrated in the enterprise.  (BES as commonly referred).  Recently, Blackberrrry announced it will support other devices other than Blackberry’s on the server, however, it looks like the press release is more vapor than reality
  • Android is the least secure mobile device with high risk of data loss should a device get misplaced or lost;  3rd party applications are almost always needed with Android
  • Apple iOS yesterday announced a free instant messaging service (MobileMe – what is new is the ‘free’ element), which hits at the heart of carriers who make millions off SMS/MMS platform services.  The enterprise opportunity will be class of services in messaging.
  • Younger generations expect enterprises to be ‘mobile ready’ yet they are not;  ironically, my feeling is colleges are not ‘mobile ready’ and do not cater to the mobile generation.

What are you seeing with mobile devices in your enterprise?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo 1 Comment

Coffee is for Closers…and second prize is a set of steak knives…

“The leads are weak.”

In an average B2B company, 15% to 80% of closed annual revenue is aided through teleprospecting efforts, which could either be a sales or marketing function.  Outbound leads are more challenging than inbound leads to pursue and/or close, so there may be different compensation schemes associated with each.

According to Bridge Group, over 50% of these organizations report into marketing, so I’m going to briefly describe this situation with the structure reporting into marketing.  For inbound leads, here are four ways to compensate a teleprospecting or inside sales function:

  •  On closed revenue – a purist viewpoint would have only leads that actually turn into revenue get compensated on.  This is likely the most difficult to implement as an approach but the concept is correct – compensate on quality, not quanity of leads.
  • On lead quantity – this compensation scheme is seen typically in organizations that lack sales and marketing alignment, mostly in larger organizations.  It provides a false sense of security around quantity rather than quality.  Marketing in this kind of organization is rewarded for activity vs. impact.
  • On sales accepted lead – better model to consider as now there is a quality filter in place and a more formal handoff between sales and marketing.  Some teleprospecting functions may balk at this as they have no control over what is accepted.  However, this compensations scheme forces a very tight alignment between sales and marketing around definitions and structure, a net benefit to the company.
  • A combination of lead quantity and sales accepted lead – this model rewards alignment between sales and marketing yet also seems fair to the teleprospector generating a quantity of leads.   This would be a recommended model from my viewpoint.

There are so many other factors to also consider when creating a comp plan – the first of which is to make sure both the head of sales and head of marketing have some common understanding of the comp plan as well as the percentage of time spent on outbound calls.  Lastly, when factoring the return on investment of a teleprospector, there is a significant opportunity cost of NOT having this function in place – meaning, a sales person would have to spend their valuable time qualifying leads without this function in place.  That in and of itself can justify the ROI of making the investment in this function.  There is also a tradeoff of lead quality vs. quantity which is a function of cost – more leads can be handed to sales at a lower cost, but the quality may suffer.  A higher lead quality can be passed over at a higher cost with tighter qualification methods.

What have you found most effective in compensating your teleprospectors?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Cloudforce by Salesforce.com – Listen, Engage, Act

Along with 1000 others, I attended yesterday’s #Cloudforce in Washington DC sponsored by Salesforce.com where the emphasis was a convergence of social, CRM, and mobility in the enterprise – this content was brand new in preparation for the uber Dreamforce in August.  Mark Benioff is a terrific visionary and is lucky enough to meet with executives around the globe to pick their brains about future challenges.  His keynote is well worth watching and absorbing (although lengthy at 40 minutes so I’ve summarized the key take aways under the video!)  He talks about the scale and elasticity of the Cloud we now live in…

  • Salesforce.com is so much more than CRMThe chatter application in particular, when a process is outlined on how to use, can cut down on meeting time and email flow intracompany by allowing groups of people in and out of the company to collaborate more effectively.  How valuable is that!?  From companies I’ve talked to that have deployed Chatter, one needs to be very disciplined around process.  Sales teams tend to use it for global proposals, cross functional projects can be managed;  also, some of the privacy settings allow exec or management oversight into the workflow process.   I see a lot of upside here in this application in terms of global coordination and effectiveness (assuming everyone speaks the same English language).  I had implemented a ‘Chatter’ like functionality with my global sales organization 8 years ago and found tremendous benefits with its capabilities around competition, positioning, and pricing.
  • The buying process is now more ‘social’ than ever before.  With their acquisition of Radian6 and its capabilities to broadly listen to blogs, tweets, and many other types of media, you’ll now get a more complete vision of what your customer is really wrestling with after they become a customer or even as a prospect.  Support centers that have customers call in will have intelligence about their customer issue prior to the actual contact – a huge savings for customer service operations where your conversations are threaded – salesforce service cloud.  While not new, the social element is also starting to hit a full stride in the buying department.  Companies that are smart are engaging, not ignoring.
  • Mobility – so much of what we do now will be on iPads, Droids, iPhones that organizations once banned but are now embracing – so all applications of SFDC are rendered and tightened down security wise for mobility;  beyond the rendering, a futuristic geolocation capability gives marketers new ways to think about their offers that never existed before.  I have a deep background in mobility and can concur with some of the observations Benioff made with the overall direction of the market particularly around the geolocation and advertising.  He also used a very interesting example of having products talking to us – get a car on a social network – maintenance notification, location sharing, in a private portal environment.

Of course the event had the ecosystem in full force in the gallery – a company named Birst caught my attention as they are solving a real difficult challenge of dashboard creation across multiple databases built into a single data warehouse.  For a marketer, this is a company and segment of space worth watching.

Terrific event and well worth attending!

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

B2B Teleprospecting, one case study @DemandCon

This week at the first @DemandCon conference which featured sales and marketing best practices, an impressive number of presenters discussed B2B buying cycle attributes and techniques to reach enterprise buyers.  (Full disclosure – I was one of the speakers).  One company that presented was Coupa, a growing SaaS company based in Silicon Valley.  One of my passions is really understanding how different sales leaders and teams operate in the face of today’s challenging customer buying process (see this related post), so it was terrific that the recent head of sales and current marketing leader presented together on the role of as non-quota bearing inside sales representatives (ISRs) or teleprospectors.  Here are four topics that were highlights:

  •  Centralized Structure:  although there was little debate between the two leaders on this, it was clear that there were advantages (training as one unit more junior members, farm league to an eventual sales career) to having a centralized structure of ISRs versus decentralized role.  I violently agree with this point – the risk in decentralizing the role is one of effectiveness, particularly if the representative is more junior and inexperienced which could lead to unintended distractions in the field and poor training.  The only exception to this would be regional calling (ie EMEA might have its own call center depending on company size)
  • Cold call vs. non cold calling – if one knows there is more revenue closing from inbound leads than outbound cold calling, is there a need to continue to cold call?  The head of sales felt the skillset and need to cold call was definitely needed.   Now this could be in the face of not enough inbound leads to keep the ISRs busy, but sounded more like a need to develop the skillset from her view.  My own experience mirrors this head of sales where a compromise has value to the company overall – the cold call skillset is definitely needed if the person migrates over into the company in a selling capacity.  However, there is a significant time investment and discipline needed to cold call which should be part of a CSO/CMO agreement.
  • Phone time:  Getting others in the organization to spend time on the phone as an inside sales representative– getting in the shoes of the inside sales representative.  I am 100% supportive of this approach, there is nothing but upside here for others in the organization to learn what the message is or how it feels to hit constant rejection.
  • Experimenting with packaging offers (ie targeted, relevant content) – using freemiums/trials to generate leads and test what pricing or approaches are most effective.  This also had a direct impact on inbound leads (ie freemium posted on the website which generated interest.)  The team was able to A/B test on effective offers and promotions which is a highly effective way to iterate.

The inside sales organization in this case was initially built around a business case to the board of directors;  it sounded as if there was more value from controlling the message and brand at point of impact to the market moreso an economic case to convince the board to make the investment.  It sounded like the economics of having this function did not sway the board;  that said, in similar SaaS models, I do believe the economics for a small, qualifying inside sales organization more than pays for itself and may be more of the model we see going forward as more selling efforts and content is pushed to the web.  Enterprise buyers are more comfortable than ever in buying SaaS based products over the web and phone.

What have you found effective for your inside sales role?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Executive Marketing Dashboards – 5 Lessons Learned

Here are 5 lessons to consider when creating an executive level marketing dashboard to measure marketing impact and ROI.  This topic is something I’ll be leading a discussion on at DemandCon next week and I look forward to hearing how others are looking at this situation.

1.       Know where you are
2.       Know where you want to head
3.       Speak the same internal language
4.       Measure KPIs, not metrics
5.       Leverage a 3rd party


Know where you are: 

There are so many variables to consider when planning a dashboard, and it starts with cultural situational awareness as the project you are about to embark on can be perceived as very healthy from some parties (CEO, GM, CFO), yet to some parties may feel like an audit or measuring things that have never been measured before  (Sales, Marketing, Inside Sales) – so anticipate some organizational discomfort.  Understand your company’s culture, it’s appetite for embarking on this kind of project, the importance of sales and marketing in the overall company strategy – some companies may be product focused, or they may have a focus other than the customer.  At the same time, it’s important as a marketing leader to understand the revenue and profitability model – where do the revenues come from geographically, from what products or solutions, and what is the dynamic of the sales cycle.  See this blog post to learn more on sales cycles.

Know where you want to head

This is an ambitious project to launch, so it is wise to show the outcome – the destination first vs. getting caught in the weeds.  This is the opportunity for sales and marketing to align (see post) on an outcome rather than focus on details – because if you get caught in the details, you’ll never hit the end target.  It’s best to approach the objective with executive alignment around the outcome (CEO, GM, CSO/CMO), then work through the rest of the company.  I refer to a ‘referee’ later in the post which is pivotal in this discussion.

Translate:  Speak the same internal language

In the world of marketing, we have our own ‘proprietary’ Star Trek language  – the language of inquiries, marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads, a marketing funnel, sales enablement, etc.  It’s easy for a marketer to talk in their own language without being situationally aware – understand that non-marketers think in other terms – revenue, speed to acquire new revenue, retention, pipeline, investment, payoff, etc.  As a leader of this process, it’s important to speak the same language – and where there is ambiguity, try to align on an understanding of a definition.

Measure KPIs, not metrics

Leaders measure for impact, followers measure activity.  Facebook followers, LinkedIn Group members, Twitter follower activity- – while important to integrate into an overall mix, are less important to measure activity unless it can be tied to business impact.  At it’s simplest terms, impact means what revenue marketing has sourced and/or influenced and at what overall cost for each.  You’ll soon see my presentation here on this topic on a follow on post.

Leverage a 3rd party

I’m going to eventually write a separate post on this, but as I think back of my own experience, having an unbiased 3rd party ‘referee’ or negotiate across stakeholders could be very valuable speed and cultural wise.  First, having a 3rd party changes the internal social dynamic completely – so the consultant is on the hook for raw accountability and can make raw observations without ramifications – and parties like sales and marketing can work toward a unified theme and objective rather than feeling like one is auditing the other.  Here is a successful case study of a 3rd party leveraged effectively.  The investment will pay off in spades down the road!

These are tips and tactics that work for me, I’m curious, what has worked for you?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo 2 Comments

Summary of Iron Mountain Keynote at SiriusDecisions

At the SiriusDecisions’ (#SDS11) sold out conference featuring over 750 people, this year’s keynote featured both the head of sales Jerry Rulli and Colleen Langevin who heads marketing in a dialogue around historic performance, current activity, and a single go forward goal highlighting the tight sales/marketing relationship and the impact a relationship has on business results.  This is a summary of that keynote discussion along with a few of my previous blog posts and experiences on alignment.

Although they are early in proving the model out, the first key was it appeared there is/was a tight relationship between sales and marketing.  The relationship requires both parties to compromise, yet it’s proven when that cooperation happens, a better end result (i.e. more revenue conversions) happen.  One step to success was involving sale extensively in a marketing plan – which went back and forth in a series of negotiations to arrive at the final plan tailored by segment.  It probably helped the relationship and the overall marketing plan that they focused on a single goal – revenue production, instead of sales which typically focuses exclusively on revenue production without the help of marketing and marketing on just creating more MQLs.  A very interesting compromise approach was not using the MQL language at all, likely music to a sales person’s ears as the concern is driving revenue, not driving more MQLs that never close.

A major key to success in their overall approach was the agreement to leverage an outside 3rd party (i.e. a referee) to uncover the real problem, steer the overall stakeholder and change management process to implement.  The advantage of leveraging a 3rd party is it removes the emotion and ownership from either party and can uncover true issues – a brilliant decision on their part.

The approach at an executive level toward the team was ‘here’s the problem, now own solving it’.  Structurally, marketing aligned toward their ‘buyer personas’ and the actual sales segment.   One point that was not clear was how Iron Mountain gets it’s majority of new revenue which could be from existing customer base (in account selling) vs. net new customer acquisition – as a head of marketing it’s important to understand how and where the revenue is coming from as that will dictate the overall marketing strategy (ie focus on demand creation of MQLs vs. Sales enablement from SAL to close).

The relationship, referee, and team members agreed on common language within the waterfall beyond the common objective.  Their teams trained on this element – in  my own experience, implementing this kind of language on a global basis takes several iterations and can be a very time intensive activity as different people have different views of definitions.  However, just like implementing a new sales stage funnel in a company, with consistency in definition up front means better performance down the road.

The relationship between sales and marketing was cemented in a ‘prenuptial’ Service Level Agreement.  The SLA went one step further requiring all team members to sign off on the overall gameplan, thus eliminating any potential ‘whining’ from either sales (we need more leads) or marketing (you should close more leads).  This too in my experience is an easier said than done activity, particularly if a head of sales doesn’t clearly understand the objective (more revenue production) or is ‘older’ school (ie doesn’t understand the impact marketing waterfall can have or what a waterfall is, so why have an SLA!) – yet absolutely essential for total transparency.   So as a head of marketing looking to introduce the SLA concept, you may need to sell the concept before just pushing it forward.

The last key step was transparency and accountability:  on going transparency on key business levers – from Conversion metrics to SQL to pipeline metrics, the marketing lead funnel, and KPI reports of volume and days accepted vs actual, this was key to success.  As I listened to it, having ‘one view of the truth’ meaning one single report to operate from both sales and marketing was also a major key to success.  This one view also eliminated the dialogue of ‘here’s the marketing dashboard and here’s the sale’s dashboard,’ which is another important lesson learned.

It’s all about the journey when implementing this process and your own experience may vary widely depending on the size and scope of your company.  What have you found effective?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo 2 Comments

Revenue through Teleprospecting – a changing world!

Teleprospecting teams pursue inbound and/or outbound leads via a telephone, are owned 50% of the time by sales and 50% of the time by marketing in a B2B company with the trend heading toward marketing according to a Sales 2.0 recent conference.  The nature of the role has changed dramatically over the last few years with more ability to ‘intelligently prospect’ rather than pure cold call.  This function is often overlooked given its mundane, routine tactical calling strategy yet is pivotal in revenue acceleration.   It’s where the rubber meets the road for revenue recognition!

Beyond lead generation quantity, there are metrics to consider measuring – by tracking and trending deals that actually close from teleprospecting efforts, to the time it takes to close those efforts, to the cost per effort as one can not afford to hire an infinite number of teleprospectors!  It’s important to establish metrics early and often for this function.

There are many different models of teleprospecting from an organizational viewpoint – from centralized to decentralized, to one region vs many regions.  I’ve found the most effective is regional centralization – meaning, keep the resources as close together as possible so they can learn scripts and effective best practices from one another.  However, when looking at this globally, it’s best to have in region expertise that understands the culture and nuances of selling within that region.  Trying to centralize all teleprospecting for a global company is ineffective.

A teleprospector has an infinite number of tools to choose from today that didn’t exist 5 or 10 years ago – from ZoomInfo, to LinkedIn, to InsideView, to Dun&Bradstreet’s 360, each of these tools or when used in combination, can really hone in on information about organization, contact information, and report structure.  Note that these tools are very regional centric (in this case many are North American heavily used tools).  DemandBase is an effective tool to extract IP address, though mapping an IP address of someone who surfs on your web to an actual contact name can be challenging if that user does not have some relationship with you, either registered, in the form of a cookie, or other trackable means.  Getting a prospect ‘warmed up’ through lead nurturing marketing automation platforms which I’ve mentioned in previous posts is also helpful and increases the chance of a successful close.

Depending on the size of your company, your team might consider using a tool called LookAcross.  LookAcross gives the teleprospecter the ability to scan social media profiles to optimize when the best time is to connect with that person telephonically and also provides much of the data of a prospects’ professional presence online.  It graphically shows a teleprospector the times and days that they are most active online, and what time and day of the week the prospect is likely to be reached.

Revenue recognition is critical and this function is where the rubber meets the roads.   How have you maximized the impact of your teleprospector function?