Fanatical Prospecting Transforms Sales People Into Sales Superstars

By | Demand Generation, Integrated Campaigns, Strategy | No Comments

Type “sales book” into the Amazon search window and you’ll get nearly 2,300,000 results. But every once in a while, a book comes along that rocks the sales world. That’s the case with Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount. It’s a practical guide on how to do the most important – and the most difficult – thing in sales: prospecting. Recently, April Williams, President of North Star Marketing, Inc. (NSM), sat down with Ted Williams, NSM’s…

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Top Sales Trends for 2017

By | Digital Marketing, Marketing & Sales Alignment, Strategy | No Comments

I recently read an article by SMM that highlighted what they saw as 2017’s Top 4 Sales Trends. Their focus was on the directive at many companies to “sell more and sell it faster.” I agree there probably is not a sales person who hasn’t been told that in one way or another. The article goes on to say there are four key trends that innovative companies are leveraging today to drive sales. 1. The…

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north star marketing lessons from a breewery

Lessons From a Brewery

By | Marketing & Sales Alignment, Strategy, Traditional Marketing | No Comments

At North Star, we have one vision – to Redefine Marketing. We are focused on making marketing work for sales; to help each individual sales person meet or exceed their quotas. One of the ways we do that is by being in constant communication with sales folks. Our most recent conversations happened at the beginning of June with a group of innovative sales leaders across Rhode Island. We invited everyone to a local brew pub,…

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Minding The Gap Matters When It Comes To Driving Revenue

By | Marketing & Sales Alignment, Strategy, Traditional Marketing | No Comments

When it comes to marketing and sales, two things have always been clear. Marketing owns making someone aware of your company and sparking their interest. Sales owns closing the deal. But who owns what happens between sparking some interest and closing the deal has always been a big black hole. Recently, I read an article by Marketo that showed how the sales funnel needs to be restructured and renamed the Revenue Cycle. The key takeaway…

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Driving Sales Revenue Takes Team Players

Driving More Revenue Takes Marketing and Sales Being Team Players

By | Marketing & Sales Alignment, Strategy | No Comments

This may seem like a no brainer to you but in most companies today – marketing and sales are far from being team players. Several years ago, we began to see a painful trend for marketing and it concerned us to see how disempowered and unsuccessful many of the CMOs we spoke with felt. We spoke with 150 heads of marketing and uncovered what was at the heart of CMO’s high turnover and lack of…

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Five Great Lessons Sales and Marketing Can Learn From Each Other

By | Marketing & Sales Alignment, Strategy | No Comments

The conversation isn’t new but the struggle still exists, sales and marketing are still not aligned.  Who doesn’t want shorter sales cycles, lower market-entry costs, and a reduction in cost of sales?  One of the many reasons I like working at North Star is because we are an agency that truly believes Sales and Marketing Departments working together is Smart, Creative and the results are real!  I have had the great privilege of working with some…

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To Make Your Vision a Reality, Build a Culture of Accountability

By | Brand, Strategy | No Comments

To transform a vision into reality, you need to have the confidence that things are getting done. To gain this confidence, a culture of accountability is critical. Building a culture of accountability isn’t easy. Today, accountability has become one of the biggest challenges that business leaders face. But without it, driving success will be a challenge. According to Greg Bustin, author of Accountability: The Key to Driving a High Performance Culture, “Lack of accountability is the single…

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3-Pronged Approach to Build Your Pipeline

By | Demand Generation, Marketing & Sales Alignment, Strategy | No Comments

Today’s marketing allows you to build your pipeline in ways we never could have five years ago.  There have been people over the years who have promoted a singular tactic to drive sales but where we are settling in is exactly where we should be – looking at integrated tactics that marketing and sales can tackle together.  It is called Account Based Marketing [ABM] and, if done right, it is a game-changer for companies.  It…

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Demand Generation: Don’t Be a Drip

By | Demand Generation, Email Marketing, Strategy | One Comment

66% of buyers indicate that “consistent and relevant communication provided by both sales and marketing organizations” is a key influence in choosing a solution provider, according to a Genius.com study. What are the key words here? Consistent and relevant. Drip marketing nails consistency, but often fails at relevancy. Michael Ward of Net-Results uses a great analogy to explain the difference between automated drip campaigns and real lead nurturing in his article, “Lead Nurturing vs Drip…

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Creative Ad Trumps Technology

By | Brand, Traditional Marketing | No Comments

Good news!  Creativity is not dead in this brave new world of technology and automations. If you listen to automation proponents talk about data collection and things like smart targeting, you might get the impression that the creative side of marketing was going the way of the woolly mammoth.  When you’ve got technology that can deliver a micro-targeted message to an audience down to their preferred social networks and favorite books, is there actually a need for “creative types”?…

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inbound marketing one trick pony

Inbound Marketing: Riding a Prancing One-Trick Pony

By | Digital Marketing, Email Marketing | No Comments

Inbound!  Inbound!  Inbound!!  For awhile there, it was all anyone was talking about. Far too many online marketing companies were making it sound like inbound was all any company needed, the proverbial “magic bullet” of marketing solutions. Now, it’s easy to see the appeal.  Inbound can be less expensive and fairly easy to implement. Combined with some decently researched SEO, and an inbound focus can help companies -especially smaller firms- gain some leads and overall visibility. But… that’s about it.   In…

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The Value of Social Listening

By | Digital Marketing, Social Media, Strategy | No Comments

Your customers are shouting their opinions on social media for everyone to hear. Are you listening? As mentioned in our post on trends shifting marketing power back to the brands, social listening can be an incredibly powerful tool for gaining audience insights, as well as measuring the impact of your content marketing. The best systems deploy heuristic processing to sort through comments, but more basic keyword-based tools such as SocialMention and HootSuite allow highly affordable…

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marketing automation feed the beast

Marketing Automation: Feed The Beast

By | Marketing Automation | No Comments

So, you’ve invested in a pricey marketing automation system, and you’re now wondering “What next?” Well, what’s next is to feed it! Gluttony is often considered a sin, but nothing could be further from the truth when talking about marketing automation. The more data it can get, the better. Personally, I think this is where many automation projects fail. Those implementing them may believe that automation means “fire and forget” whereas, realistically, automation starts off…

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5 Trends Shifting Marketing Power Back to Brand

By | Brand | No Comments

Personally, I’m getting a little tired of all these defeatist articles saying that consumers now have “all the power” in relationships, and brands now have to bow to the will of the buyers. Poppycock. If anything, brands today now have more leverage through more channels than ever before. It’s true that marketing is certainly changing, and old ways of outreach are largely falling by the wayside. I’d even say a bit of a power-rebalancing may have been…

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5 Signs Your Business Needs Marketing Automation

5 Signs Your Business Needs Marketing Automation

By | Marketing Automation | No Comments

Email marketing can be a really cost effective way to boost awareness of your brand and increase your customer base. However, doing so successfully requires a lot of time and resources. It’s one of the reasons why the most successful businesses make use of marketing automation. Not sure if you need marketing automation? The following are five clear signs that marketing automation could benefit your business: You’re running out of time – If you find…

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