This week, I spoke to a marketing leader responsible for driving “enterprise level” opportunities for her sales team. She said her number one goal was to drive 10,000 leads this year. While I didn’t say anything, my mind wondered if there were actually 10,000 people that would fit their ideal customer profile. She further mentioned that they use tradeshows to hit that number, but noted that the sales team was not excited about the leads that tradeshows produced.
Following that discussion, I spoke to a sales leader who was responsible for closing “enterprise level” opportunities in the cybersecurity space. He said that while they get many leads from their marketing efforts, these leads generally aren’t sales qualified leads and don’t turn into closed deals.
This is today’s dilemma in enterprise B2B sales and marekting. There is an intense focus on driving leads, but yet research shows that over 90% of leads NEVER convert to a sale. We’ve found that there are two underlying reasons behind this dilemma:
Over 80% of executives who make purchasing decisions, prefer face-to-face meetings as the vehicle to learn about and then buy new solutions.
>90% of B2B Leads don’t result in a face-to-face meeting with an executive.
A 2016 study estimated $83 billion was spent on digital marketing and $26 billion was spent on B2B tradeshows for the purpose of driving leads. However, these leads are not valuable unless they turn into face-to-face meetings with the right people at the right companies.
Part of the issue lies in how success is measured. Cost per lead (CPL) drives a certain behavior focused on simply driving leads. Customer acquisition costs (CAC) or cost per acquisition (CPA) have the promise of uniting marketing and sales into a common measurement, but can still lead to organizational finger pointing. Account-based marketing (ABM) at least jointly focuses marketing and sales on the right companies, but ABM doesn’t guarantee what both sides of the buying/selling equation want – face-to-face discussions.
To be a leader in today’s enterprise B2B world, one needs to move from leads driven by measurements and instead driving face-to-face meetings with the right people. Maybe it is time to have a new measurement: cost per face-to-face meeting (CPF2FM). Maybe that is a measurement that can truly unite sales and marketing.
CDM Media helps sales and marketing leaders grow their revenue through a Sales Acceleration Platform that drives face-to-face meetings and discussions between their company and C-suite executives from their target markets.
Walking into the Executive Exchange Session at the CDM Media CIO Retail Summit in New York, I had formulated five fundamental tenets of digital transformation in the retail industry. The session was about the Race to Retail Digital Transformation between business and IT – who will get there first? After all, retail is all about transforming the consumer experience, provided technology can enable this continuous journey. The room had more than 25 leaders from global enterprises that are living these challenges across the manufacturing and retail industries. I quickly set the context and suggested that there were five tenets of digital transformation in retail. Join me as I walk you through what came out of this thought-provoking session.
Tenet One: Channel Does Not Matter Whether it be online, over the mobile phone, or walking into the store, the channel does not matter to the retail customer. Omnichannel is streamlining the overall customer experience. However, there are other factors to this as was asserted during the session. The online and mobile channels do not readily support the in-person handshake and emotional interaction. Customers are more likely to dismiss a pop-up window than negate an offer from one human to another. One representative of a leading construction equipment manufacturer indicated that the omnichannel options opened up opportunities for their equipment with other online retailers that did not exist before. Thus, even though the channel may not matter to the end customers, it forces the manufacturers and retailers to think differently about the retail business.
Tenet Two: Location Should Not Matter We are now able to ship and receive any item to and from nearly any location. Say, for instance, my spouse is vacationing in Hawaii or just walking the Magnificent Mile in Chicago and she finds an item of her liking. She is then able to order it in the store or online and have it shipped to a location of her choice as well as the ability for it to be received by the person of her choice.
Tenet Three: Automation – and People – Matter Let us not lose sight of the human element. Whether the greeter at the front of the store or the clerk wishing you a nice day, the human element matters! Automation done right is all about increasing the overall efficiency of the end-to-end retail process while redirecting the brainpower to more innovative applications. Next-generation technologies open up options for new business models and newer ways of enhanced customer experience.
Tenet Four: Innovation Matters
Such enablement requires an ecosystem of passionate members to collaborate by bringing together diverse perspectives and embrace innovation. Whether it is between retail enterprises or individuals with expertise in the business of retail, collaboration is the most effective mechanism to sustain innovation. When I referenced Gartner Fellow, Darryl Plummer advocating Connect – Don’t Collect for data sources in the Gartner Symposium last year, Boeing Fellow Brian Laughlin chimed in with a different take on it. Laughlin interpreted the concept of “Collect” being more about siloed teams that do not collaborate with each other and “Connect” being more about unity driven by collaboration and exchange of information. Cognitive diversity through collaboration is fundamental to innovation – which brings me to the fifth tenet.
Tenet Five: Context Is Queen Laughlin explained that for years, retail used to be about location, location, location. With retail’s online presence, this mantra evolved to be content, content, content – what is presented to the customer online. Well, now it is about context, context, context. When the customer is at the store looking for a product, the retailer must have all the relevant information about the customer’s purchasing patterns and within easy reach to make appropriate suggestions. However, this is true for all retail channels. Context with relevant information defines the business moment for the customer. Moreover, it is not just about the data itself, but about the combination of perspectives applied to the synthesized data. Diversity of thought results from the diversity in gender, ethnicity, nationality, etc. The manner in which a male sales associate processes the data about a customer could be very different from his female counterpart. The retailer wants a diverse array of perspectives to better serve the customer and ensure the right context is provided. Context, augmented by diverse perspectives, is the new mantra! Thus, if Content was King yesterday, Context is Queen today!
What say you?
How is your enterprise doing in the race to digital transformation? Are there other tenets that matter for retail digital transformation? Please let me know.
Wow. It’s been an incredible ride. From early on I set the goal of being the number one company in the C-Suite marketing and demand generation space. It was a bold idea for what was a very new and somewhat unknown market. Through the ups and downs (and there have been plenty of both) there haven’t been many constants in my life—my family, location (Chicago/Hawaii/NYC), and strangely enough—you, the CDM Media community; EMPLOYEES, CUSTOMERS AND PARTNERS alike. From my first founding days at the company (when I was deeply in need of sleep, more bootstrap money and some outside reassurance that I was doing the right thing), to the incredible rush of sealing our first deal with a Fortune 500 client within 90 days of ‘opening the doors’, to becoming one of America’s fastest growing private companies’ just six short years later. It felt like the sky was the limit and the great thing from my perspective is, it still is! Even in the darkest hours of the past decade, when I’ve felt the most alone, dispondent and over-extended, you’ve been there too.
I get to see a lot of you in person at our office locations, summits and events around the world. But I also get to see you right here online—on LinkedIn, Twitter or through email. Your support, loyalty, empathy, and unwavering belief that CDM Media could and would do great things has been astonishing and a challenge that I constantly strive to meet.
People say that time flies, and I’ve learned that it certainly does when you don’t need look at the clock each day. I suppose in any way you look at it (3,652 days, 87,648 hours or 5,258,880 minutes) 10 years is a long time and I’ve just been lucky enough to be afforded that opportunity to be at CDM Media. Very few things in our lives or in the world last that long—the average tech startup struggles to make it to the two year marker! For that, I’m honored and humbled that you’ve stuck with us all that time, and I promise that in the decade ahead, CDM Media will deliver in the areas you need most by supporting team members, partnering with all of our customers and executing upon our plan. We will strive to be the best company you would wish to be associated with.
Whilst I reminisce about the past ten years today, I am thinking much more about CDM Media’s future. I believe whole-heartedly in our plan and in the market we serve. We believe in assisting with human connections that others find arduous and sometimes impossible. We aim to support our clients sales and marketing goals through the power of ‘face-to-face’ C-Suite marketing. To secure large enterprise clients, the good old handshake and two humans finding a common ground is here to stay AND so are we. We will strive to bring invaluable business connections together along with supreme content curation supported by the best thought-leaders in our industry, whilst delivering remarkable events and services that everyone can gain benefit from.
Thank you for the ten remarkable years of partnership, warmth, friendship and support. We have accomplished a lot together and I absolutely couldn’t have done it without you. But what matters most now is what we do next. As we move along that path, I hope you’ll keep holding us to high standards, and telling us when we’ve met your expectations and when we’ve let you down.
Thank you for helping make CDM Media a fantastic company now and for decades to come.
Selling a complex solution to a Fortune 1000 Enterprise is extremely difficult. Whether you approach the enterprise sales dilemma from a marketing point of view or from a sales point of view, the process can be both long and frustrating. Over the past 10 years of being immersed in the enterprise B2B sales ecosystem, CDM Media has learned three key points:
The sales cycle, from the first touch (by phone or email) to the contract signature, can be frustratingly long. Our research shows that the average length of a complex solution sale cycle ranges from 12-18 months.
The idea that there is a single decision maker is truly a myth – they don’t exist. Instead, on average, 5+ people need to approve a purchase of a new complex solution.
Up to 50% of this lengthy sales cycle is spent working to get a face-to-face meeting with one of those 5+ decision makers.
This process has led to the short life cycles of those held most responsible for building a robust pipeline of highly qualified opportunities for the sales team. Studies show that CMOs and VPs of Marketing have a corporate shelf life that is nearly half as long (or should I say short) as the rest of the C-suite. In spite of myriad marketing automation tools, massive amounts of creative content, cold calling tools and techniques, account based marketing and the rise of social media marketing, the sales cycle is what it is — long. And the sales cycle can be as long as the average tenure of a CMO — 18 months.
We have seen some try to solve this through meeting one of these 5+ Decision Makers at large B2B tradeshows or exhibitions, but these seem to rarely work. What are the odds that a C-level decision maker is attending a tradeshow and even if they do, what are the odds they will drop by your booth and engage in a 30-minute detailed discussion?
While the numbers tell a story that can seem troubling there is a number that brings hope:
Chicago – July 12, 2017: CDM Media has announced Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS) as a featured partner of the CIO New York Summit (September 12, 2017), CIO Atlanta Summit (October 3, 2017), CIO New Jersey Summit (October 10, 2017) and CIO Dallas Summit (October 12, 2017).
WOS is a next-generation nonprofit organization that transforms early career professionals by cultivating their talents. By connecting leading companies with thousands of ready-to-work professionals who reflect diverse communities and customers, WOS sponsors upward mobility, professional success, financial independence, and lifelong learning. Their individualistic approach to training and educating potential employees provide veterans and underserved jobseekers with the tools they need to succeed, not only in their career path, but in life.
Launched at Columbia University in New York City, their scientifically-based program offers cutting-edge research and analytics in partnership with top-tier academic institutions. Since being founded in 2005, they have partnered with more than 50 corporations in 35+ locations across the U.S.
CDM Media is thrilled to partner with such a dedicated and all-encompassing organization.
To learn more about the WOS and their mission and services, visit http://www.wforce.org/.
To learn more about the summits WOS will be attending, visit:
As we gear up for CDM Media’s 10 year anniversary as a company this July, our video editors sit down with Founder and CEO, Glenn Willis, to look at how focusing on creating an exciting and evolving company culture has shaped CDM media into what we have become today.
As always, it has been a busy and exciting few months at CDM Media filled with new developments and a packed summit schedule! One such rousing event was the CIO Boston Summit that took place on April 25th at the Westin Copley Place. The concept of digital transformation and a CIO’s place in helping to facilitate and navigate their company through necessary changes and innovations in IT is a particularly relevant topic for any tech company. To give a deeper insight into this topic, one of our partners at the CIO Boston Summit, TechTarget sat down with Matt Griffiths, CIO at Stanley Black & Decker at the Boston Summit to discuss the challenges and advantages of the digital transformation journey.
CDM Media is pleased to announce Fred Thiel, Chairman and Chief Advisor at Thiel Advisors, Inc. as MC and speaker for the CIO Manufacturing Summit on June 20th in New York, NY. The event will run alongside the CIO Retail Summit and the CMO Summit Series at Convene Conference Center (730 Third Avenue).
Thiel is a senior advisor to management teams, boards of directors, private equity and venture capital firms, and sits on private and public company boards. He is a respected expert and frequent speaker on the Internet of Things (IoT) and the digital transformations of companies and industries, providing deep technology industry expertise and strategic advice on transformational value creation – the process of generating growth and shareholder value.
Thiel has over 25 years of operating experience leading companies in the technology, data communications, Internet, M2M, automation, Big Data, digital media and software industries. He has repeatedly driven rapid growth and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in shareholder value. As a CEO, Thiel led companies through rapid growth to IPO, repositioned companies for high value exits to strategic and financial acquirers, led M&A and roll-up strategies, as well as successfully executed corporate turn-arounds and wind downs. Thiel is a frequent speaker and futurist in the areas of IoT, smart systems, collaborative and autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, inference engines, predictive analytics and Big Data.
Thiel attended classes at the Stockholm School of Economics and executive classes at Harvard Business School and is fluent in English, Spanish, Swedish and French. Thiel is a current member of WPO and former chapter chairman of the YPO California Coast chapter.
At the CIO Manufacturing Summit, Thiel will MC the event and lead a think tank on The Business Value of RFID Every Day. Takeaways from Thiel’s presentation will include:
The goal is to create an integrated data collection system that makes the most of your present business.
Check and double-check your information before many any critical business decisions.
Companies in all segments of the supply chain are proving the business value of RFID every day. A company can wisely use the capabilities of RFID to improve the accuracy, speed, and responsiveness of your entire business operation.
To learn more about the event and register today visit:
Gene Glekel to Lead Think Tank Discussion at Regional Summit
CDM Media is pleased to announce Gene Glekel, VP of IT at Cresa as our think tank speaker for the CIO Boston Summit on April 25 in Boston, MA. The event will run alongside the CISO Boston Summit and will take place at the Westin Copley Place.
As the national Director of Information Technology, Glekel is responsible for shaping and executing Cresa’s long-term strategy of applying a technology mix to maximize competitive advantages among 55 Cresa offices and over 850 employees. His direct responsibilities include overseeing formulation, planning, and daily operations of all network, messaging, telecommunications, datacenter operations, network security, and business continuity nationally.
Glekel has over 15 years of experience in the corporate IT operations field, having worked in prominent Boston area firms such as Putnam Investments, Boston Properties, and Eaton Vance.
In addition, he has co-founded several Technology Advisory and Strategic Consulting startups. Most recently, Glekel managed the Northeast Infrastructure Consulting group at RSM McGladrey, where he led a team of consultants specializing in advising mid-size firms on formulating, planning, and executing technology innovation strategies. Outside of his direct responsibilities at Cresa, Glekel is the Entrepreneur in Residence at RTP Ventures, a New York based technology Venture Capital fund. Gene holds a B.S. in Economics, and an MBA with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Babson College.
At the CIO Boston Summit, Glekel will lead a think tank discussion on “Avoiding ERM for the Sake of ERM”. During this discussion Glekel will look at:
ERM is a way of life, not a one-time effort and the only way to value is to come to that realization early.
To be successful, an ERM deployment must be sponsored from the top and have the involvement of every level and every department.
Even though ERM initiatives are all-encompassing it’s best to start small; trying to boil the ocean is the surest way to failure and loss of good will and buy-in.
To learn more about the event and register today visit:
Matt Griffiths to Lead as Keynote Presenter at Regional Summit
CDM Media is pleased to announce Matt Griffiths, CIO at Stanley Black & Decker as a keynote speaker for the CIO Boston Summit on April 25 in Boston, MA. The event will run alongside the CISO Boston Summit and will take place at the Westin Copley Place.
An innovative, results-focused technology leader with a track record of driving enterprise-wide transformational business processes, systems and cultural change across diverse groups and geographies, Griffiths has 18 years of enterprise experience in leading Software Development, Enterprise Architecture, Business Process Management, Infrastructure Operations Data Center, and Cloud Engineering organizations to enable technology solutions that facilitate disruptive business change.
Griffiths builds rewarding work environments for global teams to grow, thrive and deliver transformational results in support of organizational goals. Throughout his impressive career, he has implemented rigorous project management discipline to improve on-time project delivery by 70% across a $45M project portfolio, a 20% reduction in production incidents with 98% resolved within SLA, along with a 10% reduction in baseline resources through automation and environment clean-up. He was also honored by CIO.com in the 2016 CIO 100 Awards.
At the CIO Boston Summit, Griffiths will lead a keynote presentation on “The Future of the CIO in the Coming Digital Economy”. During this presentation, he will discuss:
Change is, if not already here, certainly coming and the CIOs who don’t prepare for the change may not like the results when it arrives.
Digital transformation is all about connecting enterprise systems to information technology to drive productivity and performance improvements.
Be prepared to tackle the tasks that no-one wants to do, but everyone needs done; establish relevance to cultivate importance
To learn more about the event and register today visit: