The 3 Mistakes Every Company Makes Building the Outbound Sales Model

Editor’s Note: The following article is based on Liz Cain’s presentation at SalesLoft’s Rainmaker Conference. You can see the full presentation here. I’m going to take you back, way way back. The year is 1999. And what we now consider to be “old cloud” companies were just being founded. Salesforce was one of the first out of the gate with an inside model. Marc Benioff and his team demonstrated a consistent ability to scale with an outbound sales team in those early years. Top 3 Mistakes Building Outbound Sales And with that, modern inside sales was born. Building an outbound sales motion is not new, and yet almost every company makes the same three mistakes in the first months of getting up and running.

1. You don’t know your top segments, and if you do you’re not prioritizing them.

Every company starts broad. Excited by a large market and countless use cases, they take what comes
Top 3 Mistakes Building Outbound Sales Model
Top 3 Mistakes Building Outbound Sales Model
Top 3 Mistakes Building Outbound Sales Model
Top 3 Mistakes Building Outbound Sales Model
Top 3 Mistakes Building Outbound Sales Model
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10 step approach to B2B Customer Segmentation [Infographic]

Customer segmentation is a critical component of a company’s go-to-market strategy. Identifying and prioritizing high value customer segments (and just as importantly, deprioritizing low value segments) enables you to maximize your impact by aligning marketing, sales and product resources. Seems simple, right? Yet, 62% of SaaS companies claim they lack alignment on their top customer segments. If you fall into this group, we’ve put together 10 simple steps for you to successfully develop your customer segmentation strategy. Check out the full infographic below. Want even more on B2B customer segmentation? Access our full guide here. B2B Customer Segmentation Infographic
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Why Prospects Get Stuck in the Pipeline and How to Get Them Unstuck

“More leads, more leads, more leads.” When I ask marketing and sales people at technology companies about their top 3 priorities, that’s usually what they tell me. Most of their time and most of their budget goes toward pulling more leads into the top of the sales funnel. They’re running search engine optimization efforts and paid adword campaigns. They’re tweaking their websites to capture contact information. They’re hosting events, running email campaigns, pitching stories for publication, running social media campaigns, buying ads, sending out direct mail, and doing whatever else might work to get in front of prospective customers. And they’re creating content – white papers, success stories, videos, press announcements, webinars, etc. – to be used in all of these campaigns. The goal of all of this activity: Generate leads. Funnel

Lots of leads, but then prospects get stuck

If they’re planned and executed well, these activities should pull
Buyer Journey
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Lessons from a Triathlete: Managing through Difficult Times

Editor’s Note: This is the eighth article in a 10 part series on how an elite athlete applies the lessons she’s learned from Triathalon training to her role as a Fortune 100 marketing executive. Read the rest of this series here. We’ve all been there – those tipping points where you’re not sure your company will survive a significant delay in your product roadmap, losing a top customer, or missing your quarterly revenue target (again). When faced with these challenges, is it time to surrender or lean in? How do you brace yourself for a fight and lead through challenging times? I’ve faced several challenging moments in my career – from acquisitions (GetActive to Convio (Blackbaud) in 2007), to mergers (Cleantech Group + Green Order in 2012), to bootstrapped startups (ShareICE), but my toughest moment at IBM came last year as I was tasked to
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Lessons from a Triathlete: Managing through Difficult Times

Editor’s Note: This is the eighth article in a 10 part series on how an elite athlete applies the lessons she’s learned from Triathalon training to her role as a Fortune 100 marketing executive. Read the rest of this series here. We’ve all been there – those tipping points where you’re not sure your company will survive a significant delay in your product roadmap, losing a top customer, or missing your quarterly revenue target (again). When faced with these challenges, is it time to surrender or lean in? How do you brace yourself for a fight and lead through challenging times? I’ve faced several challenging moments in my career – from acquisitions (GetActive to Convio (Blackbaud) in 2007), to mergers (Cleantech Group + Green Order in 2012), to bootstrapped startups (ShareICE), but my toughest moment at IBM came last year as I was tasked to
Continue reading "Lessons from a Triathlete: Managing through Difficult Times"

How to Break Through with Your Messaging in a Crowded Market

A few months ago, I was approached by a marketing automation company looking to develop a new brand story. After digging in, the biggest challenge was a lack of growth. The 10-year-old company was battling flat sales, a dependence on a small handful of customers, and the inability to differentiate itself in an ultra-competitive marketplace dominated by players such as HubSpot, Pardot and Eloqua. The company had two pressing needs: it had to create a new story that highlighted how it was unique and it had to discover a way to effectively position itself among dozens, if not hundreds, of other marketing automation companies. Needless to say, it was a major challenge. The message / positioning exercise began with an in-depth look at the company’s products and services. What were its strengths and places where it shined? Finding the answers took time, research and, frankly, an honest look at the
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The 2018 Ultimate Guide to Artificial Intelligence

Editor’s Note: You can read our 2017 Ultimate Artificial Intelligence Resources Guide here. 2017 was a big year for artificial intelligence. We saw the first human Go player defeated by a machine (AlphaGo), Saudi Arabia grant citizenship to an ‘empty-eyed humanoid’ named Sophia and – more practically – the expansion of ‘smart speakers’ like Google Home and Amazon Echo. From agricultural software to B2B marketing applications, from robotics to medical care, last year’s achievements shifted the perception of AI from an emerging technology to a maturing market segment. There is no doubt that in 2018 the ‘race for AI‘ will continue to guide startup companies and tech giants alike to push to achieve that next big breakthrough. But, as the focus on AI continues to intensify, one top challenge remains: the already visible shortage of qualified AI talent. To put this into perspective, a 2017 New York Times
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Propagated by the System: Why Faulty Models Could be Keeping Women Out of Tech Leadership Roles

MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini recently noticed something strange about facial recognition systems from Microsoft, IBM and China’s Face+++: While the systems recognized her white friends, they had a hard time with hers. When Buolamwini, who is black, put on a white face mask, the system’s accuracy improved. Such work illustrates something that has been evident for a while – AI is a human invention that reflects the biases in available data sets and modeling techniques used by its creators. In other words, data rich with certain characteristics will be more effective at modeling those characteristics. Something similar could be happening when it comes to funding female tech founders. No matter how great their ideas or how impressive their backgrounds, VCs may fail to recognize female founders and their companies because they’ve been trained to focus on a different archetype, creating their own version of the white-face problem. That could be
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