Koozai > Blog > 83 Sales Winning Tips From Econsultancy FUNNEL 2012 #FUNNEL12

83 Sales Winning Tips From Econsultancy FUNNEL 2012 #FUNNEL12

| 8 minutes to read

Funnel LogoHeld on 13th November 2012 at the Emirates Stadium, London, Econsultancy FUNNEL 2012 brings together like minded senior B2B marketers interested in aligning marketing and sales teams to drive new business and increase revenue. We were attending for the second year running and with many tracks and sessions from industry pioneering speakers, unfortunately it wasn’t possible to attend every talk, however here are some key takeaways from the sessions I attended for those that were unable to make them!

Session One: Using social media and communities to increase peer-to-peer engagement, interaction and recommendation | Craig Johnson (@craigjohnston77) | Digital & Social Media Strategy Specialist, Standard Life

Standard Life have 6m customers and 9,000 employees

Social is changing the way customers engage with Standard Life’s offerings, assisting with awareness right through to advocacy and retention

Communities have always existed but are now even more prominent due to social, I.e. Facebook and LinkedIn groups

Relationships are built on value exchange, there must be something in it for the customer. Standard Life must listen and take ideas on board in order to engage in a personal way

It’s not about doing social – it’s about being social

With social get the fundamentals in place first. Have a clear sense of direction and have clear social media policies to empower staff. Allocate appropriate resource and finance to social

Follow a framework. Define a problem, identify the target audience, choose the social channels, develop KPIs and measure

Reward participation via social to get over the participation barrier as typically only 9% of users will contribute

Find a way to identify and rank super users so you can reward them

Track brand, leads and sales data – from traffic and awareness to profit and retention

Use, test and learn initiatives to engage a variety of audiences on a variety of platforms to attain valuable insight

B2B platforms such as the UK Advisor Twitter Feed have provided the best insight as it allowed Standard Life to engage with progressive advisors and key industry influencers

The LinkedIn pilot group for Irish SL Pensions is invite only. It provides a platform for selected advisors to interact with Standard Life and one another. It has now gone from pilot to business use and is their 2nd biggest referral site

Social cannot live in isolation. It needs to compliment the rest of the marketing mix

Session Two: Content: make do and mend | Catherine Toole (@catherinetoole) | CEO, Sticky Content

Content strategy = plan, create, govern and deliver

Address the balance and don’t just spend all your time creating, spend equal time planning

Careless content costs leads. What do you want people to think, feel or do?

Most people’s challenge with content is time and resource

The bar is very high for B2B content. For example AMEX Open Forum is very top end

Make rules and formats for your content and enforce them rigorously

When it comes to tone of voice have before and after examples. Have an editorial manager and keep full control

Re-use content. Create once – publish everywhere. I.e. Highly modular content such as using whitepaper content in q and a’s

When planning your content look for stories that can be re-used and re-cycled. Ask yourself if the story has legs?

When you interview someone aim for three or four pieces of content, not just one

Test content changes (even small text amends) closely and measure everything. I.e. When Facebook changed ‘Fan’ to ‘Like’ the uplift was huge

A big problem in B2B content writing is focusing on features. Don’t obsess over features. Focus on benefits

Autoglass saw a 40% uplift when they made changes to clearly include the benefits of their service on the homepage of their site

Session Three: Right Content, Right Person, Right Time – McAfee Lead Nurture Programme | Andrew Freeman (@crmtechnologies) | CEO, CRM Technologies

Studies show in some cases buyers spend 70% of the sales cycle in control before speaking to a sales person

Four key steps are:
Right Time – track buyers behaviour and where they are within the journey
Right Person – categorise their role and create buying personas
Right Content – map relevant content to the buying stage, persona and other attributes
Nurture – engage in an ongoing learning dialogue

For the McAfee 321 Campaign any inbound users are entered into a nurturing (drip) campaign. Timed messages are sent to identify more about users. Standard tactics are used for this. Once they know enough about a user they are pushed down one of three pillar campaigns depending on their interest and behaviour

Each pillar workflow uses early stage thought leadership pieces/whitepapers (assets) to educate through to middle and late stage assets depending on user behaviour to nurture prospects

Drive users from email to dynamic sites/pages based around their specific interests based on what you know about them

Progressive profiling should be used whereby at early stage the form is very short, and as you go through middle to late stage you request more information until you have a marketing qualified lead

Session Four: The 5 Truths of Modern Marketing | Heidi Melin (@heidimelin) | CMO, Eloqua

Advertising is all about emotion

Project Rebrief by Google takes iconic past adverts and reuses them utilising core marketing principles across modern marketing platforms. Definitely worth a view on YouTube

Leverage the power of word of mouth. The social network will become your search engine

Engagement is higher once users are signed on via a social network. Influence content in your buyers trusted network

Understand your buyers. Buyers rely on peers, analysts, influencers and the web to learn

Use digital body language to score leads

Offer compelling content. Marketing must deliver content at all stages of the buying process. Leverage automation to channel buyers through the sales cycle

Leverage apps to connect with buyers everywhere

Marketing automation provides real time insight and action for the Sales Team. Social intelligence can be used for sales

Ensure your actions drive results. ROI is paramount. Marketers must be accountable for revenue

Marketing should be viewed as an investment. Not an expense

Have the infrastructure to measure and benchmark the impact of your marketing on revenue

Session Five: How to Create Content that Converts: Practical Advice with a Case Study | Adam Berry (@pardot) | Sales Executive, Pardot | James Cox (@tracepoint) | Managing Director, Tracepoint

You must differentiate yourself and your content from feature led to benefit led to succeed

Identify what position you own within the Market? How do you sit in relation to the competition

Understand what space you own and how to achieve a top one or two position

Discover your unique perspective. I.e. Google know they are first and foremost a search engine

Create buying personas and map appropriate content to those personas within your marketing automation

Create a content marketing plan. For example at the top of the funnel you can use blogging, videos and Infographics. At middle stage you may use whitepapers and at bottom stage you may use case studies

Align marketing and sales via a handover to ensure processes are in place

Track your best performing pieces of content and learn what works well in terms of driving engagement and conversions

Session Six: Content Marketing, Be Relevant, Targeted & Metrics Driven | Kieran Flanagan (@searchbrat) | Online Marketing Manager (EMEA) at Marketo

Use data to identify personas of users as some people won’t convert

Know your funnel in terms of top channels driving leads and opportunities

Use Analytics to see what users are reading and what they are downloading. Understand what content works well

Test marketing messages on social as platforms like Facebook have amazing demographic targeting options

Use persona modelling and a structured process to create and distribute content, so you can test and see what works, before learning and evolving

Know who you’re attracting. Know why they’ll convert.

Identify your influencers. Who are they? They will help you share your message

Use TweetDeck to categorise influencers so you can listen and find ways to engage with them

Make influencers part of your content marketing plan

Your pitch is important. Your brand is key. People buy from experts.

Use FollowerWonk to search and segment Twitter users to find prospects, as well as who influences them

Use TweetArchivist to see what these people are sharing on Twitter

Know what you’re measuring and use business metrics to gain investment in content

Use Google Analytics for multi content channels

Create content dashboards in Google Analytics

Session Seven: How today’s most successful companies are using aligned planning processes to drive superior sales and marketing performance | Bob Apollo (@bobapollo) | Managing Partner, Inflexion-Point

Highly aligned organisations achieve 39% higher annual revenue growth

A plan is designed to inform action

You are better off implementing a good plan now rather than a perfect plan in two weeks time

Interaction between the organisation and the customer is the biggest influence over buying decisions above brand and offering

You must provide ongoing advice and consultation in order to provide outstanding customer interaction

Marketing and sales must agree on the organisations they want to target, for example the demographics such as size, the structural factors such as what systems they have in place, the behavioural factors such as how they deal with customers and situational factors such as trends

Sales and marketing should target your ‘ideal customers’ based on a pre defined and agreed set of criteria

Get sales and marketing to collaborate on identifying and understanding the key stakeholders you need to target as part of the sales process

Issues and problems have consequences if they are critical. In considered purchase markets you are competing against the status quo

You must be different and unique to show your capabilities can deliver a better outcome to the prospects issue

Sales conversations must be aligned with your marketing messages

Goals should be directly related to revenue

Base your sales funnel on the phases in buying behaviour

Less than 50% of deals closed as forecasted with the same value and in the same timeframe as in the forecast (source: CSO Insights)

You should have one team, one funnel and one plan. Target the right stakeholders, in the right companies with relevant messages according to their issues.


  1. Kieran Flanagan avatar

    Thanks for the round up, just a quick one, the name of my preso is wrong:

    Session Six: What sales people want from marketers to help them drive revenue | Jurgen Heyman (@searchbrat) | Director, SPI Sales

    It was “Content Marketing, Be Relevant, Targeted & Metrics Driven”.


    1. Mike Essex avatar

      Thanks Kieran, that’s been fixed now. Apologies for the mix up.

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