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Written by: Sabrina Ferraioli

“If you want to go upmarket, which you absolutely must to grow, you have to go outbound. Winning large customers is much more about causing sale, not just catching one.”— Ken Krogue, President and Founder, InsideSales.com

Account-based marketing is quickly gaining popularity. It’s a strategy that aligns sales, business development and marketing around the potential deals that can have the most impact on a company’s future revenues. To execute account-based marketing tactics, you will likely need to transform the approach of your business developers.

The Role of the Business Developer in Account-Based Marketing

How do the account-based business developer’s activities differ from those of typical telesales representatives?

The job of the account-based business developer is to open doors at the big accounts that matter most. So, rather than simply qualifying inbound leads, they use outbound tactics — phone, email and social selling — to stir up sales opportunities with high-value prospects. Based on in-depth research, reps contact prospects in a personalized way that provides value. The emphasis is on long-term gains, not quick hits. 

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Written by: Jeff Kalter

Do you simply tally up your wins and losses, then look to see whether the trends are going in the right direction? If so, you’re like many other companies. Some will go a little further and ask the sales reps why the sale was lost. Most likely they’ll tell you it was the price or some other failing of your offering.  

Those companies, however, that take a systematic approach to win/loss analyses gain a wealth of information. Ultimately, it enables them to improve their relationship with prospects and customers as well as the products, services or solutions that they sell.

Win/loss analysis is the systematic process of interviewing new clients and prospects who fell by the wayside to find out why they chose one path or the other. And that’s precisely the information you need to make steps toward ensuring the right prospects choose the path to becoming one of your customers.

So here’s what you can learn.

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Written by: Jeff Kalter

B2B companies are increasingly selling from remote locations over the phone. Perhaps a decade ago, most people would not have predicted this turn of events. After all, that’s when marketing leaders eagerly sought out the new promise of inbound marketing to produce leads and revenues.

For many years, we’ve seen arguments favoring inbound over outbound marketing. Marketers are now starting to realize, however, that they may have swung the balance too far in one direction. There’s no reason to choose between inbound and outbound tactics. Today’s effective marketing is “all-bound.” That’s because there’s synergy between inbound marketing and outreach in the form of emails, social selling and phone calls.

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Written by: Sabrina Ferraioli

Challenges that are part and parcel of new market expansion and product introductions include executing in-depth market research, filling distribution gaps, honing marketing tactics and building internal resources to support the initiative.

Given that leaders are juggling multiple priorities, it’s not surprising that they sometimes fall flat when attempting to scale inside sales to meet expansion goals. After all, there’s a lot involved — creating a sales process, hiring and training sales people, and ensuring they have the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently and successfully.

Let’s take a quick look at each of these challenges and how to tackle them. 

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Written by: Sabrina Ferraioli

“The purpose of any business is to create and keep a customer”—Theodore Levitt

Customer-Centric Businesses Will Win

Customer centricity started in the 60s with direct marketing. Since then, the omnipresence of the Internet has increased opportunities for companies and customers to interact. Customers became more connected and empowered and their expectations rose. At the same time, they turned into the main force driving the success (and failure) of businesses.

For instance, it’s now easy for prospects to learn about your products from their peers. Online reviews, LinkedIn discussions and tweets are all at their fingertips.

As a result, organizations that have a laser-like focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences will be tomorrow’s winners. They will align their operations with market needs so they can build products and offer services customers love, deliver them with ease and provide seamless support. In doing so, they will build enduring relationships. 

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Written by: Jeff Kalter

Having worked with hundreds of business development professionals, I’ve noticed that those who generate the lion’s share of revenues share certain habits and traits. The top sales people:

                  • Are Not Too Extraverted or Introverted

                    Contrary to popular opinion, the extroverted, talkative business development rep does not always rise to the top. Instead, according to a study published in Psychological Science, it’s the ambiverts— those who cluster in the middle of the introvert to extrovert spectrum — who close the most sales. They are comfortable enough with other people to engage with them but do not feel the need to dominate conversations. Because they are curious about others, they naturally ask questions and listen to the answers.
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Written by: Sabrina Ferraioli

The Focus on Customer Acquisition

If you ever call a company’s customer support department and then call their sales department, you’ll likely notice a difference in the level of service you receive in each situation. Frequently, it seems you are more liable to spend time on hold when you are seeking service than when you are calling to make a purchase.

That’s a sad statement on how many companies perceive the value of existing versus new customers. They place more emphasis on bringing new clients into the fold than on retaining and growing existing accounts.

An eye-opening Gallup study revealed that 71% of B2B customers are either indifferent or actively disengaged with their vendors. In other words, they are likely to end the relationship at any time. Perhaps there’s good reason for this. The vendor has also disengaged from these customers. While companies risk losing these customers, they can achieve 50% higher sales and 34% more profitability with customers who are engaged with them. 

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Written by: Jeff Kalter

You purchased a list, and John Smith is now in your database. He has not, however, expressed to your company any interest in your products or services. As such, he falls into the category of “suspect.”

A call to John is cold.

And, understandably, whether they are the initiator or recipient of such a call, most people prefer not to engage in this activity. Luckily, today you can use LinkedIn to warm up the call and make the experience more pleasant and fruitful to both parties. Here are some tips to get started. 

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Written by: Jeff Kalter

Seven seconds. That’s how quickly busy executives can form an impression about you and the reason for your call. For you, it’s the difference between a successful B2B sales call and a hang up.

If you’re cold calling and connect with a decision maker, and don’t want to be left listening to the dial tone, you’ll make every second—and every sentence—count. Open your call with a powerful, succinct message designed to intrigue and hint at the value you have to share.

Professional telemarketing agents will tell you, it’s not the slick pitch that closes the deal. And there’s no magical trick or gimmick to opening doors. Whether you’re inviting executives to your next seminar or scheduling a face-to-face meeting, it all comes down to how you present yourself, the way you set the tone for the call and how effectively you capture a prospect’s interest.

This seven-step blueprint will help you open your next B2B sales call on just the right note and build rapport rapidly: 

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Written by: Jeff Kalter

When your marketing efforts start to pay off, delivering a boatload of quality leads, it’s exciting. You want to celebrate. But the game’s not over. Your sale is not won yet. You’re just at the starting gate of your demand generation process.

The bare bone fact is: Leads do nothing for your organization’s bottom line unless you can convert them to sales. And the quality of the lead alone does not predict how likely it is to convert. The magic is in the lead nurturing: how you treat a lead after you receive it.

This brings us to the study conducted by Velocify. They looked at data from 3.5 million leads from 400 companies and discovered the formula to maximize conversions. While they note there are differences between businesses and what works for each of them, the overall findings are

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