March 29, 2016

#SmarketingWeekly: Forecasting, Canvas Ads, and Contradicting Your Boss

Welcome back to #SmarketingWeekly, TechnologyAdvice’s once-a-week roundup of the top B2B marketing and sales content (see our earlier editions here).

With “snackable” snippets and a direct link to each piece, #SmarketingWeekly is the ideal way for busy smarketing professionals to keep up with the latest trends and stories — whether you’re on a train, in the checkout line, or in the bathroom. This week’s edition includes stories on social lead generation, handling disagreements with your manager, the hype surrounding account-based marketing, the death of Instagram, and much more.

Read on.

SiriusDecisions: Stop Asking Salespeople to Estimate Probabilities in Their Forecast Process!

Forecasting sales is a key ability for any smarketing team. According to Dana Therrien, “Generating a sales forecast requires four data points: opportunity amount, sales stage, closed date, and forecast category.” Despite the relative simplicity of this process, many organizations still aren’t forecasting properly. At best, they’re asking the wrong questions. At worst, they’re setting their sales team up to fail. Are you?

HubSpot: 9 Behaviors That Destroy Salespeople’s Credibility With Buyers

Salespeople have it tough. As members of one of the least trusted professions, they fight an uphill battle from the moment they’re introduced. Make a mistake, and they lose the sale. According to Leslie Ye, avoiding these nine behaviors will help you establish yourself as a trusted advisor and make the sale.

Buffer: How the Pros Get Leads from Social Media

Growing your social lead generation requires time and effort, but Buffer’s indefatigable Kevan Lee has 16 ideas you can use right now to start boosting organic social. He defines what a social media lead looks like and how you should define your criteria. The article is complete with channel, message, and campaign examples, step-by-step guides — and this handy-dandy SlideShare:

State of Digital: Everything You Need to Know About Facebook Canvas Ads

As long as we’re on the subject of social lead generation, are you using Facebook Canvas Ads? If you still haven’t had time to figure them out, Tara West is your new best friend. She’s assembled an insanely detailed guide, complete with examples (and pictures!) that will help you get your first Facebook Canvas Ad campaign live.

Marketing Land: Twitter’s Algorithmic Timeline Fully Rolled Out, Few Opt-Outs Reported

Did you opt-out of Twitter’s recent “new and improved” Facebook-like algorithmic timeline? If so, you’re decidedly in the minority — Matt McGee reports less than 10 percent of Twitter users have opted out of the feature, which is surprising considering #RIPTwitter was trending shortly after the new algorithm debuted.

TechCrunch: The Death of Instagram for Brands

Not to be outdone by Twitter, Instagram is now headed for the gallows over a news feed algorithm update, reports Steve Feiner. In a move everyone had to see coming since Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of the visual social network, Instagram’s organic reach will dwindle enough to encourage brands to buy ads. You see this traffic? It would be a shame, a real shame, if anything were to happen to it . . .

The Next Web: The Six Google Analytics 360 Suite Modules in Live Beta

Tracking leads and lead channels is the marketer’s never-ending battle, whether via social channels, search engines, or otherwise. If you’re tired of seeing (not set) for all your keywords in Google Analytics, tired of fixing broken UTMs, or just tired of always digging, take heart. A new set of enterprise-grade analytics tools from Google started rolling out in limited beta several days ago, and Google Analytics Premium and Adometry customers can expect to see their platforms merged into the new Google Analytics 360 Suite, to which they should be invited in the coming months. Abhimanyu Ghoshal reports on the six modules’ names and how each should work. You can also check out this video:

GeekWire: Outdoor Retailer REI Reports 23% increase in digital sales, record membership growth

Membership-based businesses are a growing segment of the greater economy; from classic examples like American Express, AAA, and REI, to more modern ones, like Amazon Prime or any SaaS company. It’s a concept we’ve been paying attention to here at TechnologyAdvice, thanks to Robbie Kellman Baxter’s awesome book, The Membership Economy (listen to our interview with her below).

REI offers quality outdoor clothing, equipment, and supplies with a unique membership model — you don’t have to be a member to shop there, but paying the one-time fee returns literal dividends for every dollar you spend. Monica Nickelsburg reports their CEO recently received some backlash in a Reddit ‘Ask-Me-Anything’ post regarding the unique incentive model they offer their employees to encourage them to sell memberships. Hint: it’s not an incentive model at all. Regardless of backlash, you can’t argue with results. REI’s strategy appears to have paid off.

TechnologyAdvice: Transcending the Hype of Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) is another trend we’re watching closely here at TechnologyAdvice, in part because the execution of a good ABM campaign bears more than a passing resemblance to the membership economy above. There’s also all that funnel-flipping going on. Our very own Josh Bland recently sat down with Jon Miller, CEO and founder of account-based marketing software firm Engagio to discuss ABM, its explosive growth, and some of the biggest challenges ABM companies face.

Inc.: What Google’s New Study Says About Teamwork and Success

Google recently concluded Project Aristotle, an internal study on the effectiveness of teams. Robin Camarote reports on the key findings. Team composition is, unsurprisingly, the key factor for successful outcomes, but “. . . all of the effort we put into matching people based on skills and disposition doesn’t work.”

HBR: How to Disagree with Someone More Powerful than You

Even the best-aligned, most effective teams will have disagreements. Unfortunately, if the disagreement is between you and your boss, it can be difficult to have that conversation — especially if you both have strong feelings about the subject. Amy Gallo offers eight points on how you can approach this tricky situation.

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As always, thanks for reading this week’s edition of #SmarketingWeekly. We hope you found the content enlightening. If you have suggestions for stories, videos, podcasts, or other sales/marketing content you’d like to see featured, share it with the #SmarketingWeekly hashtag, mention @smarketingwkly, or connect with curator Charles A. “Drew” Settles.

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