Category Archives: Uncategorised

Our uncategorised blogs either touch upon niche subjects or span a number of general categories.

Managing lead generation for those unplanned purchases

Last month we looked at how you can manage your lead generation for clients whose buying patterns are predictable. They may have specific renewal dates, or predictable contract endings that allow you to target them at the most appropriate times. But what about everybody else? They may not know when they will need your service, so how do you keep in front of them, so they think of you first when the time comes?

Understanding your target audience is crucial. Identifying key characteristics that set their patterns of purchasing apart from other market segments will help you recognise the best ways to keep in contact with them. Defining the target markets, looking at the opportunities for growth and understanding who the key competitors are important steps to take before starting to build a strategy for your lead generation. 

Strategic planning of your lead generation is an essential step to making your lead generation effective. You may not know when your prospects plan to buy initially, but through planned contact over a period of time you will find out more about their own business goals and objectives and through that gain an understanding of their likely purchasing plans. By building a detailed comprehensive strategy with clear time bound goals and KPIs you can assess and refine your strategy until it meets your prospect’s expectations.  

Building trust and establishing relationships is the single most important task in taking initial interest and developing that into prospects who have a genuine interest in your products and services. Customers who don’t spend regularly on your type of products and services often have more time to make decisions before making a purchase. Building trust and establishing relationships becomes critical in these cases. The benefit is that you will also have more time to demonstrate the advantages of dealing with you. Implementing strategies that foster trust, such as providing valuable, informational content through blogs, direct emails and regular contact are ideal for prospects in this situation. Above all focus on problem solving and giving value back to your prospects through your marketing.

Nurturing leads to convert initial interest into something more solid needs to be specific and closely targeted. Building your lead generation work around regular contact, through email, and on the phone will gradually guide them through the buying journey. You can offer additional resources, case studies, and testimonials. But above all be consistent in connecting with them.

That gives us the chance to remind you of our favourite lead generation stat her at YBDT. Wanda Allen’s ‘80% of sales are made between the 5th and 12th contact yet, 90% of sales people make 3 contacts or less’.

Generating leads for clients with customers who don’t spend regularly requires a strategic and tailored approach. Remember that consistency and adaptability are key when dealing with customers who have irregular spending patterns. With the right strategies in place, you can overcome this challenge and unlock new growth opportunities. After years of building sustainable effective marketing for our clients, and ourselves, we have a toolbox of techniques and insights into market sectors and prospective client behaviour that make YBDT the ideal choice to support your lead generation. Get in touch to book a discovery call, that is the first step to your business growth.

What should you do before you go on summer holidays?

Summer is upon us and for the first time in a while, people are able to go on holiday feeling a little more secure. This means many of us will book to go away on various breaks from long weekends to full weeks. This is great news and will bring joy to many; at YBDT HQ we wish you all a brilliant and chilled time this summer.

However, before you turn off all the computers and shut your office door, spare a little thought for your business development and sales activity this summer. Many companies decide to dial down their marketing over the holidays as they figure not much is happening anyway. In addition, any networking and meetings are much more scarce due to the season. Follow ups are neglected and most prospects prefer to speak again in September.

This is all quite normal and helps with switching off and relaxing which we all need so badly, particularly this year. However, the problem with this approach is that due to the nature of business development activities, come the end of the summer, you will find yourself starting to build your pipeline again and as it’s nearly the end of the year, you might not secure any major sales until the beginning of 2022.

Now, if you have had a brilliant year so far and are not really looking for more business until the following year, than it’s not a problem. If you are not in this position, this might be a real problem for you and the rest of the sales team. So how can you have your cake and eat it? Here are a few suggestions:

Don’t switch off your marketing and lead generation activity all together. Instead create a summer strategy:

  • Keep lead generation and business development funnels like PPC and outreach campaigns active to ensure you keep building your pipeline.
  • Work out a rota for managing leads and involve everyone in the team. This can be a good opportunity for more people to get involved with business development and sales.
  • Arrange meetings and sign up for networking events in the weeks you are at work this summer. It will help you keep connected and have tentative conversations which may uncover and develop opportunities.
  • Have detailed conversations with prospects on your pipeline, aimed at understanding when they might want to move forward, then work out what needs to be done first and get a clear time line in place where possible.
  • Plan your diary and book meetings in advance to ensure you hit the ground running this Autumn.

Once you have done that, make sure you get your cold Pinot Grigio, or whatever tipple you prefer, out of the fridge and pour yourself a large glass. Your summer chilling can now start in earnest.

We hope you find this advice practical and helpful. If you need help setting up a lead generation funnel or support keeping in touch with clients and prospects this summer, get in touch.

Our lead generation funnel

What is sales conversion support and why is it helpful?

When working on business development strategy with clients, we often come across companies who struggle to define their conversion rate. Three years ago, I wrote a blog about this which I think is still spot on. The key argument I was making is that getting both lead generation and lead conversion right, is the key to the success of any lead generation strategy. There is little point in generating leads if you cannot convert them and this can often result in wasted budgets.

To understand the problems better, take a look at the info graphic above. If you are using a lead generation agency to support your sales, you will find that most of them will support stages 1-2 of the funnel above leaving you and your team to complete stage 3. This often results in reduced return on your investment due to lack of conversion. which is why so many companies initiate lead generation campaigns which never get concluded leaving them feeling disappointed and frustrated.

As with other problems, explaining it can be easier than solving it because the solution needs to be specific and complex. We believe that you need to consider three key questions here:

  1. How much do you know about your prospect and their issues? Knowledge is power and really helps converting sales because it highlights where the opportunity lies as well as builds a good relationship. People are very keen to talk about themselves and their needs yet so many times we forget to ask the questions or dig a bit deeper to make sure we understand. Sometimes the answer is to pick up the phone and ask more questions or book a time to do so.
  • How detailed is your follow up process? Many people find follow up difficult because they are worried they will annoy the prospect or appear desperate. If you changed the word ‘follow up’ to ‘relationship development’ that might help you understand how important it is. The key to doing it well is to break it down to small goals and outcomes and then practice a lot. Still, this can be easier said than done and sometimes, another pair of eyes is required to make this work.
  • Does your CRM support this activity well? Most companies use a CRM system to record their business development work but getting this process right is difficult and time consuming. A big part of the follow up process is about booking the next conversation and documenting your new knowledge which makes the CRM work very important. To make it work you need to ensure the CRM process mirrors your sales process and that the team is clear on what needs to be done.

Like I said, it is easier to describe why conversion is difficult to affect than improve it. But fear not, at YBDT we approach things differently because we understand that new leads are often very initial and require a structured nurturing process to yield a sale. We offer our clients a more strategic approach that supports them throughout the sales process. You can read more about it here.

What to consider when launching the marketing for your new venture

A recent BBC article has pointed out that recession can be a good time to launch a new business. To demonstrate that they point out successful companies such as GM, Burger King, CNN, Uber and Airbnb which were all started at times of economic turmoil. 

According to Dane Strangler, a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Centre, in Washington DC, a difficult economic backdrop makes companies both tougher and nimbler for years to come. He puts this down to two main factors – lack of finance and reduced demand which the new business has to deal with from day one, contributing to their resilience.

With unemployment in the UK soaring and many experienced professionals being made redundant, new businesses are opening everywhere. We are therefore dedicating our Blog this week to new business marketing considerations. Here are our top four tips:

Be clear on the problems you solve: People do not make changes unless they have to, particularly at recession. To ensure you are successful in launching your business, you need to be clear on the problem you are solving for your clients. To help you understand the true impact on your target market it is useful to question this with people you know in the industry.

Understand your target market: When you start with defining the issue you solve it is easier to identify your target market. All you need to do is understand who will be suffering most from the pain you relieve and delve more into what defines them. Make sure you do your research and investigate the details as it will help you to create the right approach. 

Create a strategy: As a new business owner, you will be wearing many hats and will have lots of information cramming your brain. Make sure you create a detailed business development strategy covering the following points:

  • Your product definition and the problems it solves
  • Your target markets, their issues, what they want to achieve and how they solve their problems at presence. 
  • What tactics will you use? Can you get referrals and recommendations, is there a special offer you can use as your hook?
  • Who is your competition and what marketing tools they use?

Do your own marketing: To start with, I always recommend that you run the marketing yourself, send the emails, make the calls and write your communications. This will not only save you money but also teach you a lot about your target markets and the way your product is perceived. 
We hope this is useful to your thinking as a new business owner. We wish you lots of success with your new venture. We offer specialist support to new businesses in the form of strategy and mentoring. You can learn more about it here. We are always happy to have a conversation so get in touch.

Being distinctive makes brands memorable

I mentioned the Choice Factory in my last Blog, which covered first impressions. This time I wanted to use this helpful book to discuss the detail of making the right first impression, ensuring your brand is not only memorable but also engaging, which is key to creating lasting relationships.

In his book, Richard Shotton says, ‘Your task is to identify the formulaic rules of behaviour in the category you work in and subvert them.’ He provides an example from the comparison sites world, where up to 2008, all companies focused on their functional benefits, such as how many insurers are compared and how much money they have saved consumers. These in themselves were important factors but created no real reason to use one comparison site over the other.

Then in January 2009, used a more emotional route by creating the meerkat, Alexander Orlov, who was depicted as the eccentric owner of the company. As a result of using this approach, quote volume went up by 83% and the company achieved their entire 12 months’ objectives in just 9 weeks.  This was all down to their brand becoming a lot more memorable and relatable for consumers. As Shotton concludes, ‘Distinctiveness paid’.

The evidence proving that distinctive is memorable is compelling and supported by many behavioural studies over the years but still we see little evidence to many brands breaking convention. The two main reasons for that are:

  1. Companies rarely look outside of their own processes let alone outside of their industry. This results in many managers being reluctant to change their proven and tested approach. It also means that often, boards make decisions based on wanting to do what everyone else in the industry is already doing.
  2. Making a decision to break ranks and do something completely different, carries a big risk. If the approach fails, it lacks the safety in numbers or the support of a proven method. Many decision makers therefore tend to avoid this for reasons of self-preservation.

I think it is important to say that I am not suggesting that companies go out of their way to be different for the sake of being different. Sticking to your Brand culture, vision and values is very important and must be taken into account when planning a new approach. It is also important to consider other elements such as:

  • Your target markets and their views on your potential approach
  • The way you are portrayed in the marketplace
  • The products you intend to promote

Creating a successful lead generation campaign depends on many factors and achieving just one will not necessarily be enough. Standing out against the competition and getting the attention of your target market is an important element, but it has to fit in with an overall strategy.

At YBDT we are currently offering a free strategy workshop to support your next lead generation campaign. 2020 is soon drawing to a close making Q4 an important one to generate new sales revenue. Get in touch with us to book your session.

Are your salespeople up for the challenge?

You can always count on Brian Tracy to provide a good quote when it comes to sales success; how about this one, ‘Keep yourself positive, cheerful and goal orientated. Sales success is 80% attitude and only 20% aptitude.’

What I love about sales quotes, is that they make everything sound very simple and easy. In reality, achieving sales success can be hard work. I do agree with Brian Tracy that attitude and aptitude are the two main components to consider if you are looking to improve your sales success. Whilst there are many things to consider, these are the key elements in my opinion:


  • Poor attention to details: When it comes to new business, details are essential to progress the sale. Appearing too pushy, closing too soon, or trying to promote the wrong solution can all result in a sale not going ahead.
  • Lack of empathy: A successful sales process must include developing trust, and empathy is a big part of that.
  • Lack of enterprise: Working on business development tends to bring up challenges regularly which require rapid response and creativity. Note that sometime the problem can be related to your management style rather than your staff.
  • Lack of ambition: People who want a regular 9:00-5:00 job should not become salespeople. You want your team to have fire in their bellies, always looking to have more (money, training, responsibility, products, territory)


  • Poor communication skills: This is not so much about verbal communication but about written communication and presentation style which can sometimes get in the way of a sale.
  • Lack of processes and systems: Boring as it might sound, a well-designed sales process can be the difference between success and failure. The more defined processes and clear systems you have, the easier it becomes for your sales team to focus on selling.
  • Lack of clear strategy: If you have not looked at your strategy in a while, please make sure you do. Without a strategy, progress will be slow and measurement almost impossible.
  • Lack of organisation skills: Keeping on top of a sales funnel and pipeline takes some organisation. Sales is one of those jobs where you need to multitask to ensure that you are always moving forward.

An important thing to remember is that aptitude is easier to train and fix, whilst changing someone’s attitude is harder. The thing with attitude is that it is forever changing; people can be fantastic sometimes and struggle at other times. This is particularly true when it comes to hard times and rapid change, both of which are very prevalent at the moment. If you are starting to bring your sales team back from furlough, you will need to make sure that you are paying attention to their frame of mind and attitude, ensuring you give them the right support.

What can you do to make this happen? Well, because we are a very helpful company, we decided to develop a new service designed to support your sales kickstart as you are bouncing back from lockdown. You can read more about it here then give us a call to arrange your free target market workshop to kickstart your sales strategy.

What would make your missed opportunities list in 2019?

Writing Blogs this time of the year has the added responsibility of saying something clever providing a useful slant on the year which is nearly finished. One of my favourite authors for key moments is Paulo Coelho as he really knows how to capture them. Here is one which is very apt for this Blog:

‘Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering…’

Being long in the tooth as I am, I have learnt not to beat myself up over missed opportunities. However, I think that learning from every situation is key. So, every December I make some time to consider and write down a list of my 12 biggest missed opportunities of the year, one for every month, along with the learning and changes I have implementing as a result. I find it very useful because there is always a few I forgot about or not done anything with. 

If you find time to do your list this December, I am sure that at least one of those opportunities will be about missing a sale because you did not follow up or kept in touch.  We all do it, it’s easy to do as we are all so busy most of the time. Another problem with following up relates to the above quote; With many leads it’s hard to know whether you should wait, chase or forget so we end up not knowing what to do. 

Another problem many of us are facing at the moment is the serious lack of decision-making taking place. The combination of election, Christmas and Brexit seem to have stopped many companies from going ahead with proposed plans which can be very frustrating if you are the supplier.  If you find yourself with an extensive pipeline but no decisions, here are a few things you could do other than tear your hair out:

  • Analyse your opportunities based on buying personas: I have written before about the importance of taking into accounts buying personas. According to DISC research only 35% of people make decisions fast which means that the rest don’t. This is key statistics to remember when considering how to best follow up with an opportunity. I find that colour coding your top opportunities is useful to managing your expectations and planning your next best step. Try it it’s worth the effort!
  • Start even more new conversations: This might sound like the definition of madness, but it actually stops you from obsessing too much with sluggish opportunities. Consider which target markets you might like to develop in 2020 and make a start as it can take a while. Here are some tips you might want to consider from a previous Blog. 
  • Follow up and nurture your leads: Many buyers I speak to often complain about the fact that salespeople move on and stop talking to them too quickly. Don’t be one of them, people are always happy to feel that they are wanted. Just make sure that you use the appropriate behaviour based on their buying persona as above. Watch this video for more information.

I hope this is useful and that you might find some time to write a list of your 12 key missed opportunities and learning in 2019. I will be very interested in any learning you have gained from this. 

In the meantime, If you are considering your business development plans for 2020, give me a call to discuss further. Have a lovely festive break and a prosperous 2020!

Our favourite 2019 B2B Marketing Campaigns

Well here we are nearly at the end of another year. As is traditional at this time of year I thought I’d take a look back on the year just gone and give you examples of some great B2B marketing campaigns. Here are my top three:

  1. My First choice is HubSpot. Providers of resources for social media and digital marketing on the Internet, plus a range of products for inbound sales. Considering what they do it shouldn’t be a great surprise they are one of the best success stories for the power of B2B social media marketing.

One of the reasons HubSpot stands out to me is they are one of the few companies whose e-mails I actually want to read, because I feel they will benefit me! So much so, HubSpot have a folder in my inbox so I can refer back to the e-mails when I have time. Most other promotional e-mails go straight to the deleted folder! For more details and facts and figures on HubSpot and other B2B social media marketing click here  

  1. Next up is a B2B video marketing campaign from ADOBE. With millennials increasingly in charge of business decisions, a video marketing campaign done right can change the way your brand accesses market space. My choice of a great example is the Adobe – click baby click campaign, see it here. It’s humorous, engages you straight away and I love the unexpected ending!

For more on this video and other great examples of video campaigns done over the years and what makes them work well visit this website

  1. Having just mentioned that millennials are now many of the decision makers in the business world, my final choice for a campaign turns the negative image portrayed of millennials on its head. Although not strictly B2B, I loved the way this campaign took the stereotypes associated with millennials and Gen Z and turned them round. This campaign crossed different media and included TV ads and posters. This was a highly effective and successful campaign with  applications to join the army doubling in the first month.    Click here to see a video of one of their TV campaigns 

I hope you liked my choices above. It will be great to hear about your top marketing campaign choices for 2019. Even better, get in touch and let us know what marketing campaigns were successful for your company this year.

In the meantime, If you are considering your business development plans for 2020, give me a call to discuss further. 

What is your favourite B2B marketing strategy?

This week I have discovered that there is definitely something about the North Sea air that really clears your thoughts. I assume it’s the cold wind that hangs around even on a lovely sunny day. I am sat writing this during our summer holiday to the Scottish Island of Islay, a very peaceful and beautiful place indeed. We have just had a picnic and as you can see from the picture, I am ready for the Scottish summer. This means that my family can run around and enjoy the rock pools whilst I stay warm enough.

This brings me to the point of the Blog today which is all about diversifying and working with the conditions you are faced with. We all have a favourite marketing strategy which we tend to believe works for us. For some people it’s e-mail marketing, for others it’s Blogging and for quite a number of SME owners it’s repeat business and referrals. Fundamentally, there is nothing wrong with this. If you have been in business for sometime you must be doing something right. 

Having said that, I believe you need to consider two important elements besides whatever it is that you think is working for you:

  1. Market circumstances do change and being able to foresee this in advance can help you prepare and diversify to ensure you are ready for the new situation.
  2. Measuring your results is very important as there is often a big difference between what you think a tactic is generating and what you actually get.

Just in case you haven’t considered the above before, here are a few things you can do going forward:

  • Changes to the market: None of us have a crystal ball but we can still react to change and create a plan B using a variety of tools such as:
  • Developing possible scenarios and analysing how they might affect both growth and business retention
  • Identifying some low-hanging fruit which are relatively straight forward opportunities you can capitalise on
  • Considering new products or services 
  • Considering new markets to tap into
  • Increasing your reach in your existing market 
  • Measuring your results: This is never an exact science but its is important nonetheless. Here are a few things you might want to consider:
  • Get to know how to use Google Analytics better
  • Learn how to use digital analytic tools for your Social Media activity
  • Make sure you and your team are using a CRM system to record any sales activity 
  • Run some surveys with existing clients 
  • Ensure you always ask new people where they heard of you

These are very broad ideas and I am sure that you and your team can come out with much more specific strategies. When you have, we will be very happy to support you in taking your new ideas to market. Click here to get in touch.

GDPR is coming: is it time to revive off-line marketing?

In his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell describes how little things can make a big difference and bring about a tipping point thus creating a big change. One of the three rules of the Tipping Point is the Power of Context, defined by Gladwell as the conditions and circumstances of the times and places in which change occurs. In other words; while specific people and products can cause major trends, no trend can “flourish” without the right context.

If you had a chance to read my blogs recently, you may have noticed that I have been writing a lot about GDPR which are the new data regulations affecting everyone in the UK from May 2018.  I would say that the change brought about by this new legislation, will create the context in which some ‘old fashioned’ marketing tactics may make a comeback. This is because whilst you will still be able to make use of digital strategies such as Social Media and PPC, your ability to use the power of technology for direct marketing will be limited.

It might surprise you to know that When I started my career, online marketing did not play a big part in lead generation strategies. Instead, many businesses spent their marketing budgets on sending direct mail, leaflet dropping and advertising in magazines and phone books.  Whilst some of these methods may not seem as attractive, many can still be utilised effectively. Nowadays we call it Guerrilla Marketing because it makes us feel daring and special. Call it what you wish, some of these tactics are worth considering as part of your post GDPR marketing strategy. In the coming weeks, I will be sharing some pearls of wisdom from local experts covering some of these tactics.  In the meanwhile, here are a few famous Guerrilla Marketing case studies I liked:

  1. King Ronald

In 2005, Burger King implemented a guerrilla marketing campaign to increase their burger sales in Asia by luring more consumers into Burger King restaurants. Burger King promoters decided to target their number one beefy competitor, McDonald’s, by strategically placing branded Burger King t-shirts on Ronald McDonald statues, planting large footprints from McDonald’s to Burger King, and putting signs on empty benches that read “Gone to BK — Ronald.” Though a bit abrasive and cut-throat, this guerrilla marketing technique gained the attention of Asian consumers… and ultimately was extremely successful.

  1. Di*sel is no longer a dirty word

Another very popular form of guerrilla marketing is “reverse graffiti,” a technique where marketers literally paint the streets with subversive imagery. Difficult to execute, and sometimes controversial, this form of guerrilla marketing can be extremely successful because it catches the eye of hundreds of potential consumers, plus gets the grassroots communication ball rollin’. A prime example of successful reverse graffiti is when the high-end automotive company, Audi, was trying to promote their clean diesel engines. Audi painted the streets with messaging that read,”Di*sel is no longer a dirty word” around selected streets in metropolitan areas.

  1. Baroness Michelle Mone – Ultimo launch

“Sometimes you have got to have balls, and just approach people, because they are not going to come to you.”

With cashflow still an issue, Michelle was left with another problem – how to publicise her new product with a marketing budget of just £500. She said: “I hired 12 actors and dressed them as plastic surgeons and gave them banners saying ‘Ban the Ultimo bra because it is putting us out of work’ and got them to protest outside the store.

“I was hoping and praying it would work. When I was driving to the launch in Oxford Street, the taxi driver said the street was blocked with people. The place was swarming with photographers and it was known as the biggest bra launch in Europe – all for £500! Selfridges sold out six months’ stock in three hours.”

Even if you are not going to go Guerrilla the point is that there are a lot of different ways to approach your new lead generation strategy. The key is to take the time and effort to create your strategy so you can choose the most effective tactics and not the other way around.  Click here to see how we can help or get in touch to discuss further.