303, 2014

20 Questions Every B2B Company Must Ask

By |March 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 20 Questions Every B2B Company Must Ask

Every company has blind spots.  It doesn’t take a big data project to identify the blind spots that are due to “data gaps” in the organization— missing opportunities that, if addressed, can drive immediate insights and improvements in sales and marketing.  But where do you start? According to Forrester, most big data projects fail by not asking the right questions upfront.  The same is true when it comes to improving sales and marketing.  While every company is different, here are 20 (very answerable) data-driven questions that every B2B company should ask and address.


1.  How can you quickly assess the potential of new products and markets?  What data is available?

2.  How do your customers perceive your company and brands vs. your competitors?

Growing your database

3. What (non-obvious) characteristics do your best customers have in common?  And how can you increase your odds of getting more of them?

4. What are the big gaps in your database?

5. To what extent are duplicate records and inaccurate data interfering with your sales productivity (and marketing effectiveness)?

 Improving marketing effectiveness

6. How can you track the effectiveness of each campaign and channel—not just ALL the way through the marketing process but in sales too (beyond web analytics)?

7. Identify previously unknown prospects

a. How can you identify which companies are visiting your websites –  who DON’T sign up for anything—and companies that call you but DON”T leave a message?

b. How can you target and market to previously “unknown” prospects?

8. Lead qualification – How can you get more qualified leads?

9. Marketing benchmarks — What does “good” look like?  What are the benchmarks across the industry?

Increasing sales effectiveness

10. Where you are losing prospects in your sales and marketing funnel? (and what is the potential revenue gain from improving each piece of the funnel)

11. If you have an outbound telesales team, how many phone calls per prospect are needed to maximize your revenue?  How many is too much?

12. Which (non-obvious) metrics do your most successful sales reps have in common?  And your least successful sales reps?

Building a Data-Driven Organization

13. What are the key challenges in building a more data driven organization?

14.  How can you overcome these challenges?

Recommended Analyses

15. Which quantitative methods can help you better score leads?

16. Which advanced methods can help you target the right offer and right product to the right customer?

17. What do you need to know about your current customers (but don’t)?

18. What do you need to know about your potential customers (but don’t)?

Learning more about your competitors

19.  What competitive info must you know that you don’t know now?

20.  How can you get this info?

Boundless Markets addresses all 20 of these issues – and more – by conducting a data audit for B2B companies, with specific recommendations on how to fill these data gaps.

2002, 2014

Superbowl Moments – Every Business Has One

By |February 20th, 2014|Articles|Comments Off on Superbowl Moments – Every Business Has One

This post was originally published in Chief Executive’s CEO Briefings

Every company faces a “superbowl moment,” a make or break time when customer service really counts and every employee’s head should be in the game. The coordination leading up to the Big Game provides a good metaphor for the planning discipline that’s required for businesses to excel in their big moments — or suffer the consequences if they do not. The question is, will your company be ready?

The Superbowl is quickly approaching, and with it, the usual press coverage and media scrutiny of thousands of journalists who cover the event. Game strategies are reviewed. Playbooks are reported on. Every angle of preparation is covered.

2002, 2014

Generating Customer Feedback With Real Conversations

By |February 20th, 2014|Articles|Comments Off on Generating Customer Feedback With Real Conversations

This post was originally published as an article in Chief Marketer.

In the digital world, driven by interaction and big data, there are many sophisticated ways to get customer feedback and understand what’s on the mind of your audience.  But whatever happened to good old-fashioned conversation?

Before I go old school and suggest engaging in real dialogue (the kind where human lips move and emit sounds), let’s take look at some more technologically advanced ways to generate customer feedback

  • E-listening Tools:  These can mine and semantically analyze online chatter.  These tools are getting more and more specialized for specific industries, e.g. there are different platforms built specifically for restaurants and car dealers.   These days you can’t go anywhere in New York City without running into a hot dog vendor, an investment banker or someone who has developed a new social media monitoring tool.
  • Online Survey Tools:  These tools, like Qualtrics, connect respondents’ answers to demographic and other information in a customer database.
  • Feedback Platforms: Sophisticated platforms like Jive Software and Get Satisfaction can facilitate online customer communities and integrate with social media, CRM systems and marketing automation tools.   This takes “feedback” to the next level by making it actionable – by putting it right in the tools used by marketing and sales teams.  You know things are far along when Gartner even has a Magic Quadrant for this space, called Social CRM tools.
2002, 2014

Marketing Subscription Data Services

By |February 20th, 2014|Articles|Comments Off on Marketing Subscription Data Services

This post was originally published as a conference roundup on the website of Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA).

This year’s Data Content conference kicked off with a boot camp on marketing for subscription data services.  Let’s face it, while there’s been a lot of innovation in data-driven products, the industry information is not known for its marketing prowess.   Yet, as presenters Minal Bopaiah and Russell Perkins pointed out, there are best practices in marketing that quantitatively can make a big difference, particularly in e-commerce and lead generation.   (E-commerce has more potential at lower price points below $1500 but for straightforward offerings with a clear value proposition it’s even worked at prices up to $6000).

The Bootcamp focused on what works during different phases of digital marketing — discovery, engagement and retention.   In the discussion on discovery, I was surprised to hear that only 23% of subscription sites are optimized for SEO – particularly since there are so many resources available on that topic.  One good point mentioned is the long tail benefit that comes from letting search engines index partial listings from a paid database.  You don’t have to give away the farm for free but you should make sure enough of your content is open to the search engines to make sure it’s sufficiently indexed.  Yet, only the minority of data publishers do so.

2002, 2014

What Happens When You Get 100+ CEOs in One Room

By |February 20th, 2014|Articles|Comments Off on What Happens When You Get 100+ CEOs in One Room

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the CEO2CEO Leadership Summit at the New York Stock Exchange, organized by Chief Executive. Aside from networking with mid-market CEOs, the event was a terrific opportunity to gain insights from luminary CEOs on leadership, innovation and transformation. The line-up of speakers included among many others:

  • Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric
  • George Barrett, Chairman and Chief Executive, Cardinal Health
  • David Cote, Chairman and Chief Executive, Honeywell
  • Bob Nardelli, CEO, XLR8 (former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler)
  • Larry Freed, President and CEO, ForeSee
  • Ed Heffernan, President and CEO, Alliance Data