Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Mike Raia, Craig Lowell, JP Morgenthal, Pat Romanski

Blog Feed Post

Are You Pandering to the B2B Lead Slave Trade?

BuyerZone_B2BLeadDisposition

I just read the State of B2B Lead Generation report from Buyer Zone and I have to say that my heart sunk a bit. That nearly 50% are sending inquiries directly to sales as "leads" was disheartening enough. But when asked where they'd spend budget if they had money to burn, the answer from 31% of B2B marketers was to buy more leads. The majority of marketers said that increasing lead quantity was the key to their success.

If you haven't guessed - the remainder of this post is a bit of a rant. Fair warning.

Have we learned nothing? Do marketers walk around with blinders on? Or is it wishful thinking that force feeding our funnels can solve all of our problems?

Somehow this notion makes me feel kind of slimy. Like marketers are pandering to a B2B Lead Slave Trade where buyers are bought and forced to endure marketing and sales hell until they can break free of the shackles of this inhumane treatment.

Okay, so I'm being a bit dramatic. But, do you like it when you end up on the receiving end of emails from companies you've never heard of or given permission to hear from about stuff you have no interest in?

Do you enjoy downloading a paper and getting called from a clueless salesperson to "follow up with a demo" when you were simply interested in the topic of a white paper?

I thought not. So why is it we still feel like this is the way to go? It's kind of one of those "do unto others" things. But, for some strange reason we act like it doesn't apply to marketing.

BuyerZone_B2BLeadBuying

So why?

I'm going to start by blaming the CMO, CSO and executive team. Until marketing performance is graded on quality, rather than quantity, you're driving the B2B Lead Slave Trade.

What the Buyer Zone report found is that B2B marketers are actually getting pretty good at generating their own leads but feel that they've exhausted their internal skills to amplify the volume, so they resort to buying them. You're selling yourselves short; taking the easy way out.

I'd argue that if the leads generated were really leads, marketers wouldn't have this problem. Although marketers in mid to large companies say they're tracking qualification and close rates, it appears they're doing this more as bystanders than as active participants with accountability. (See the immediate turnover of leads to sales above)

So now it's time to assign blame to marketers perpetuating the crime. It's not okay to abdicate yourself from your participation in the B2B Lead Slave Trade by taking a hand's off approach as you toss leads over the wall and rely on sales to sentence them to hard labor as they seek to reach the number. Your hands are still dirty.

Set Your Slaves Free

Buying leads is lazy. It's all about you and nothing about them. The hard part about marketing in this noisy world is that attracting attention and then sustaining it isn't for the faint of heart. It takes hard work, dedication and a buyer-first mindset. But it's worth it.

When you create and share ideas that your target audiences need and want, they will opt in willingly to get more. They'll be interested in dialogue to learn more about the expertise your company brings to help them achieve elusive objectives. A lead isn't created in one touch - not usually. Just like you don't become best friends when you meet someone the first time.

In the report, the company website barely eked by lead generation services as the number one source of leads. I guarantee you that you have not exhausted the potential of that property to generate leads. You're probably not even close. The same is likely true for email, social media, SEO and word of mouth - ranked 3 - 6.

Instead of buying your way to lead quantity, it's time to focus on improving your skillsets and market approaches for gaining attention and sustaining engagement to improve lead quality. Roll up your sleeves and get to know your buyers. The buy and toss method doesn't help you do this.

There May Be a Bit of an Upside...

B2B marketers were asked, "Looking ahead, what will be the key game changer for the future of lead generation success? 

First response by 21.1% was increasing the quality of leads. Lead nurturing came in second with 12.8%.

Kudos to one fifth of marketers for at least knowing they're not hitting the high notes. The remaining 79% may be in serious trouble as buyers continue to fight for their freedom.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee, CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist of her firm Marketing Interactions, helps companies with complex sales increase and quantify marketing effectiveness by developing and executing interactive eMarketing strategies driven by compelling content.

Her book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, was published by McGraw-Hill.

Her articles and blog posts have been used for university ezines, published in CRM Today, Selling Power, Rain Today and Enterprise CRM News. Marketing Profs has incorporated her blog posts into a number of their "Get to The Point" newsletters.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...