Are You a Marketing Leader or Laggard? Lessons for Every Startup CMO

In 2014, a Verizon Enterprise and Harvard Business Review study reached an interesting conclusion: There’s a direct correlation between a company’s attitude toward new technology and the business outcomes it achieves. In fact, the study found that “Pioneers” – companies and leaders who believe so strongly in the benefits of new technologies that they seek first-mover advantage – are more likely to lead in revenue growth and market position. By contrast, more risk-averse organizations – groups the study called “Followers” and “Cautious” – were far less successful. How much so? According to the study, just 10% of “Followers” matched “Pioneer” growth rates, while many “Cautious” companies weren’t growing at all.

The Benefits of Being First

Let’s presuppose that your marketing organization was one of the first to embrace blogging, Twitter or video marketing. How much better off do you think you’d be today? In all likelihood, you’d have a bigger, more
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A Healthy Funnel is a Happy Funnel: Building a Productive Sales Funnel to Increase Lead Quality

In sales, your bottom of the funnel metrics are directly influenced by top of the funnel quality. To keep your bottom funnel metrics high, you need to fill the top of your funnel with high quality leads. What might seem like an obvious concept to some is still foreign to others – funnel health is pretty much the most important piece of your sales function. Fill the top of your funnel with high quality leads, and more qualified opportunities will come out at the bottom. You can call it “Trickle Down Funnel-Nomics” (or not, I would understand). The idea makes sense – higher quality leads flow through the funnel at a faster pace. The question then becomes: How do I increase my lead quality? Take a look at the funnel pictured below. Each “L” that goes in is a “lead” – the thing we need to increase the quality of.
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Getting Started with Conference Content Marketing

Editor’s Note: The following is a transcript from Noel Wurst’s presentation (embedded below) on Conference Content Marketing. The below has been edited and condensed for clarity.
My name is Noel Wurst and I’m the Content Marketing Manager at Skytap in Seattle, Washington. Skytap is a public cloud provider that extends enterprise cloud and DevOps strategies to traditional on-premises applications. Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action. This is what content marketing looks like at Skytap. I can’t stress or recommend enough that content marketing should support content from every single team you can get it from. To me, that’s every single team, no exceptions. There are hopefully incredibly smart and talented people with interesting stories to tell in every department at
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How to Scale Your Hiring: An Inside Look at ExactTarget’s Sales-based Recruiting Model

From the back of a cocktail napkin to a $2.7 billion exit, ExactTarget’s story is a SaaS fairytale that most technology companies would love to emulate. Launched in late 2000 before email became a standard tool in the marketing arsenal, founder Scott Dorsey and his team built a software company that was perfectly positioned at the bleeding edge of relationship marketing. Today, as Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Dorsey’s creation helps businesses create scalable and personalized email, mobile and social marketing campaigns that create a powerful 1-to-1 customer experience. While there were many factors that contributed to ExactTarget’s success and eventual acquisition by Salesforce, one of the key factors was the scale and quality of the company’s team. As ExactTarget’s Senior Director of Global Recruiting during the critical years prior to the acquisition, M.T. Ray, now High Alpha’s VP of Talent, was up-close and personal on how the company
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Thinking Outside the Box: How Wistia Uses Creative Content to Drive Repeat Traffic

Today, there are more options than ever to get your message out there: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Periscope, Snapchat…I could go on. The challenge is that all these channels are saturated. They’re free, but they’re filled with noise, content and lots and lots of other marketers all trying to earn the attention of would-be customers. At my company, Wistia, a video marketing platform, we’re not just competing with other video platforms, we’re competing with the New York Times, Facebook, Snapchat and worst of all, BuzzFeed. We’re competing with “29 Tattoos that Failed So Spectacularly They Almost Won,” and content just like it. And this is true for most companies today. After all, there are only so many eyeballs and hours in a day. With all of these different channels, attention has become an extremely scarce resource. It’s so hard to get people to pay attention to what we as marketers are doing,
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Exploring the Top 5 Benefits of Customer Success

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Building Your Customer Success Strategy, an eBook discussing the ins and outs of Customer Success. Access your free copy here. While customer success helps you improve in many key areas – both tangible and intangible – the five most important business elements it drives are:

Customer Retention

Renewal decisions are based on perceived value. By focusing on customer success you will help customers realize more value in your products and services which will lead to increased renewal rates and longer customer tenures, both of which increase a customer’s lifetime value and help you drive growth and profitability. The number of available options out there combined with low switching costs have commoditized many markets. By adding value to customer relationship beyond product and service you can alleviate some of the pressure on product delivery and introduce a buffer for errors that will be acceptable
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20 of the Best Interview Questions for Sales Hires

Asking candidates the right questions during a job interview is always important, but that’s especially true for sales roles. After all, these are people trained to pitch and spin for a living. How do you ensure you’re cutting through to the core competencies of each candidate, and filling up your team with A players who can truly deliver? Below you’ll find a collection of favorite interview questions from some of the top minds in B2B sales — each designed to help you identify the top performers who will make a bigger impact and fuel your company’s growth.

20 of the Best Interview Questions for Sales Hires

  < table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" class="columns"> Alexander_jpg Greg Alexander started Sales Benchmark Index to provide sales consulting services to leading organizations across both private and public sectors. He is an active speaker and writer, co-authoring books such as Topgrading for Sales: World Class Methods to Interview, Hire, and Coach Top
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