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Making your dreams come true.

Part II.

Finding and targeting prospects at your dream accounts: How ABM really works.

Account Based Marketing is a highly focused program that depends on collaboration for its success. Because this is a program to deliver the accounts that your sales team really wants, the list development begins there, with input from sales. The first account names on your list will come from sales, with help from marketing. The collaboration begins with a discovery conversation.

MARKETING DIRECTOR: Which accounts have you had the most success with during the past year?

SALES DIRECTOR: We’ve done well with Partsco.

MD: Tell me why you’re excited about working with Partsco.

SD: Partsco is a Tier I auto manufacturer who gave us just under $1 million last year; they are not our largest client, but they are among the largest. And they take advantage of our strongest capabilities. They have purchased multiple product lines, and while they are informed shoppers, they appreciate our quality, and they are willing to pay for value. They are a successful company, and we expect their purchases from us will grow as they grow. We have an excellent relationship with Partsco. They see us as more of a partner than as a vendor.

MD: As I listen to you talk about Partsco, I’m starting to think about the possible targets for our dream ABM program. Would you say we should be looking for:
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Telemarketing: How to double your results from B2B demand generation.

By Ian Heslop – Account Director, The Verdi Group, Inc.

B2B telemarketing is almost always an effective way to generate leads. In more than two decades of involvement in telemarketing programs—as an agent, as a team manager, as a program manager, on the agency side as a production manager, and currently as an account director at The Verdi Group—I have rarely seen a telemarketing program that did not produce qualified B2B leads.

But the programs that really pay off in terms of ROI (for very different businesses)—programs that are continually funded and refunded because of their success—have a number of things in common that contribute to their results.

Successful programs always start with a program brief.
The brief states the goals, the quantitative objectives, and the conditions for success; includes a specific definition of a lead; and articulates how the program will be measured.  The brief sets expectations and identifies potential obstacles.

The brief may be quite extensive or take up only a few paragraphs on a single page, but it will identify:

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What’s the most important factor in B2B lead generation? TIMING!!

You’ve worked out your B2B strategy to generate prospects for your very ambitious sales quota. You have worked with your sales team to identify the ideal candidates for your company’s products and services. You’ve researched the key buying decision-makers and influencers on the buying committee. There was a time when the next step would clearly have been to spend half your marketing budget on a few key shows for your industry—with pre-show mail, email, booth design and tchotchkes to beg, cajole, and entice these juicy potential buyers to visit your show booth, meet with your sales teams, and engage with your show microsites. Timing was a given. Prospects were at the show to shop, and your team was there to sell. And the power of those face-to-face encounters vaulted over several steps in the sales process of converting a prospect to a warm lead. That was then.

This is now. 2021. Almost post-COVID. This year has changed almost everything about the sales process in business-to-business. Prospecting – and its timing – is particularly challenging, without chance meetings at trade shows, networking events and introductions to your customer’s teammates from other departments when you’re on site for a sales or service call. Now we have “virtual” shows, with “virtual prospects” attending, and salespeople are having Zoom conversations with “virtual opportunities” that often never emerge from the shadow world to become real. So what now?

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