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Zach-Taylor-3Recent articles published by Inc Magazine & Harvard Business Review have capped the increasing amount of attention paid to ‘Customer Experience’.  Apple, and the way they handle the massive crowds at their retail locations, catapulted the customer experience conversation that has exploded in the past two years. The concept originated in the service industry – hotels and restaurants – then moved into the retail environment (ie. Apple, car dealers, etc.), and is now everywhere we look.  The importance of customer experience continues to gain momentum in the B2B arena.  As the world gets smaller and competition grows, great execution of customer experience in the B2B space is now paramount.  While still not perfectly measurable, the strategy is sound: deliver an amazing customer experience and your customers will never leave you (they will buy more and provide referrals).

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Don’t Stop Selling

Posted: November 24, 2013 by Zach Taylor in Leadership, Marketing, Selling, Social Media, Startup

“You don’t find customers anymore – they find you”

— Chief Marketing Officer at an SEO Marketing firm

Zach-Taylor-3A C-level marketer presented this extremely controversial and dangerous idea to B2B service providers at a recent conference.  According to the presentation, social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) is how you inform customers, generate inbound leads, then sit back and watch the money roll in. Allegedly, cold calling and sales reps are disruptive, unnecessary, and wasteful.  Unfortunately, too many of today’s marketing leaders are buying into the death of cold calling and outbound sales. Believing that content marketing is the almighty god of gods is… maddening. How many dozens of marketing/creative fads have come and gone since the Mad Men era? Just a few years ago, PepsiCo proclaimed that television advertising was dead and dedicated their entire media budget towards digital advertising (the trend du jour of the time).  Guess how that worked out?  PepsiCo quickly discovered the errors of their ways and diversified their ad spend with a mix of TV and digital.

If I could run a sales operation without ever having to make another cold call again, I would do it in a heartbeat and not look back.  Many are the days I dream of a room full of ringing phones with rock star sales reps fielding calls from interested, qualified prospects. Closing 80% of the people we talk to and getting better, more qualified referrals from the 20% that can’t afford our solution.  I think about the types of vacations, watches and expensive meals to which I would regularly treat my marketing team.  If there is a company out there with this luxury, please point me in their direction — I want to go work there.

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