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  • B2B sales leaders say they could win more deals if their marketing teams delivered better messaging and more qualified leads, according to recent research from Televerde.

  • Technology has made account-based marketing more feasible than ever, but you can't get by on tech alone. Here's how to combine the emotional side of brand-building with the personalization of demand gen to create marketing messages that will truly resonate.

  • Think marketing automation platforms are just a way to make your marketing organizations more efficient? Wrong. These systems—if used properly—can do wonders for your interactions with prospects and customers.

  • This week, the Lenskold Group and MarketingProfs released results of our new survey on marketing accountability, measurements, and ROI. The 2007 Marketing ROI and Measurements Study focuses on the difference between companies using profitability metrics and those using traditional marketing metrics with no financial metrics. Among other findings, the research clearly shows that companies using profitability metrics for at least some of their marketing campaigns have an advantage in outgrowing competitors and earning the confidence of their CEOs and CFOs.

  • Driving sales is what B2B marketing is all about. Although the precise roles and responsibilities of Marketing may differ from company to company, your marching orders are the same: Help Sales produce more with less. All marketers want to know best practices and share experiences about driving sales. Here are 25 metrics you should select from to prove marketing drives sales... and to track progress.

  • A lot of marketing organizations today think that they are on the path to greater insight because they now have analytics technology. The reality is that it takes a significant investment in four foundational areas to ensure analytics success. Here's a look at each area.

  • These are some of the most common and costly mistakes that marketers make when adopting, implementing, and executing ABM. But you can avoid making these 7 mistakes. Here's how.

  • The relationship between Sales and Marketing at most B2B companies has often been dysfunctional, even though coordinating the efforts of the two departments can have a big impact on the company's bottom line.

  • Sales and marketing best-practices are universally desirable—but, too often, elusive. Here are seven solid best-practices that address the misalignment between Sales and Marketing and help increase sales.

  • Marketers responsible for lead generation are all too familiar with some common challenges—getting closed-loop feedback from the sales organization, measuring marketing effectiveness beyond just lead quantity and cost per lead, and building strong alignment with the sales organization. As presented in the MarketingProfs' research report, "B-to-B Lead Generation: Marketing ROI and Performance Evaluation Study," effective lead-generation marketing is very much tied to overcoming these challenges to prioritize lead quality over lead quantity.

  • During the 12 years that Christa Carone has been with Xerox, the company has been on quite a roller-coaster ride, having gone through significant challenges back in 1999 through 2001/2002, when the company's brand and reputation really took a hit. Recently she discussed with Roy Young her work to strengthen the company's reputation in the marketplace, to bring the brand back to a place that is worthy of such an iconic name like Xerox, and to help the company grow.

  • The need to better align the sales and marketing organizations is generally well known. They are connected through their shared roles in motivating customer-purchase activities and divided by different cultures that concentrate on distinct portions of the customer-purchase funnel. There's no doubt that alignment is good, but what must you ultimately accomplish to drive performance and profitability?

  • For decades, the prevailing wisdom was that nonprofits should learn from for-profit enterprises how to become "more businesslike." Many nonprofits thus embraced best practices in branding, marketing, service delivery, money management, and leadership. They have also learned how to keep different business models running simultaneously. To be successful in all these endeavors has required nonprofits to develop approaches and skills—particularly in communication and branding—that (surprise!) for-profits can now learn from.

  • Today's buyer is in control. This transition means that our sales teams are no longer required as a conduit of information. Industry websites, vendor sites, blogs, social media, and search all make the required information readily available and, by doing so, leave the sales representative out of the room. As a result, it's impossible for the sales rep to read a buyer's physical body language to understand what aspects of a message are of interest and determine whether the prospect wants to move forward. Marketing teams must therefore instead read a buyer's digital body language—his or her Web activities, email responses, search activities, and engagements in events and demos—to understand what messages are working.

  • How do you know whether your lead-generation program is working and delivering a good ROI for the company? You may be doing some lead tracking to understand conversion rates and customer profitability, which is great. But the sales team will inevitably let Marketing know that (1) Marketing was just a small step in closing the sale so the sales team deserves the credit; (2) the sales team would have found and closed those leads anyway, so there is no incremental value; or (3) the leads are fine, but there is just never enough. We need reliable measurements to both prove and improve our marketing effectiveness.

  • If you are going to implement a corporate social responsibility program, do so responsibly. A poorly executed program can negatively affect the business in many ways. It takes one missing element, one arrogant blogger, or one angry ex-employee to publicly point out the failings of the good works that the company is so proudly touting. When done well, a socially responsible program is a tremendous advantage to the entire business. When done carelessly, it can be ruinous.

  • B2B marketers who develop consistent lead-management processes––along with careful investments in automation––achieve stronger, more qualified sales pipelines, according to interviews conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Silverpop.

  • You already know that a dashboard is an essential tool for improving (and proving) marketing effectiveness. These five steps will help you and your marketing team get started on the road to creating a dashboard that works for you.

  • Marketing automation—one of the new buzzwords in marketing—bridges the gap between lead generation and the sales force. Its goal is to improve Sales and Marketing alignment by passing over only sales-ready leads. There are really good reasons why you should be interested in marketing automation. There are really bad ones, too.

  • Companies with strong alignment between marketing and sales departments have fared better during the economic recession, reporting higher levels of new customers, revenues, and customer retention than those with low alignment, according to a study by Miller Heiman and Northern Illinois University.