During 2011 I’ve used, trialled and taken a look at many applications to help me and my clients to market and sell, and help us do the tasks that the B2B marketing and sales role requires.
As 2011 draws to a close I realised it would be useful to review which software I use. And then I thought there could be value in sharing this with others, and provide a small insight into my world.
The rough criteria for the inclusion and ranking of these apps are:
- they help me to market and to sell
- they help me to develop my sales funnel
- they enable me to do something I couldn’t do before
- they help me to be more productive and do more in less time.
B2B Marketing and Sales Apps – Top 10 Review
Here are my top ten apps for my own B2B marketing and sales, based on personal experience. Unless otherwise indicated they are free.
This handy app adds LinkedIn activity into the People Pane display in Outlook and other functions that enable me to use Outlook 2010 and LinkedIn more seamlessly together.
This plug-in provides a REALLY simple way to share a website page with people through LinkedIn – so you can post it as a status update, post to a group, or notify specific contacts within LinkedIn. NB. I’m using Firefox.
Xobni provides ‘a Smarter Inbox’ by giving much more of a ‘Single view of Customer/Contact’ as an extension to Outlook, Gmail and on Mobile Phones. Hear Bill Gates give his endorsement of Xobni. There is a Free version but I went straight for Pro at about $50 pa.
Paper.li is a very easy way to curate a topic from Twitter, to read and share and make contact with others within the Twitter community. I have set up one on each on my Twitter accounts, for example @MarkJStonham has a Sales 2.0 theme at the B2B Sales 2.0 Daily here.
Marketing Grader is now the main diagnostic tool from Hubspot, and currently available free, admittedly as ‘bait’ for their other services. Hubspot is a rapidly growing provider of excellent mid-tier online marketing solutions. I really admire their philosphy and approach, a very authentic company that ‘walks the talk’. Their other grader tools cover Twitter, Blog and Website, which are included in the umbrella Marketing Grader assessment. Marketing Grader looks at 3 critical areas of online marketing – Top of the Funnel (ToFu), Middle of the Funnel (MoFu) and Analytics. I find these tools provide a helpful action list to investigate and improve online sales funnel systems or specific elements of online marketing activity.
Google Analytics is an awesome tool with which to analyse, plan and monitor website and online marketing activity. As well as helping to understand Audience, Advertising and Traffic Sources, the analysis of Content and Conversions is so powerful. Multi-Channel Funnels in particular has huge potential for B2B marketing. The Funnel approach from Google is a great structure for campaign planning, providing a marketing and sales funnel structure to the data.
Like most B2B marketing and sales people you probably want to know which companies are visiting your website, and when someone registers what pages they have already looked at, and be alerted if they visit your website again, and see their email and web history, and send them email nurture campaigns that change based on their behaviour, and integrate new contacts and sales-ready lead with your CRM system, right?
Loopfuse is an enterprise level email marketing automation and website visitor tracking system that is available for free for up to 1000 email contacts. There is an investment required though, in learning and set-up. However, Loopfuse could be an ideal system for a small business selling higher-value deals and relationships to other businesses, which are my typical clients. Other systems in this space are Genius.com, Pardot, Marketo and others, each offering different strengths and considerations, but at the moment for me Loopfuse has the edge for function and (low) licence cost.
Hopefully this part of my Top Ten marketing and sales apps review has given you some ideas for your own systems.
To find out which Apps are my Top 3 B2B Marketing and Sales apps from 2011 just follow the link and I’ll reveal my top apps on the next page.
PS. One major productivity boost was getting a second display to slave off my laptop. The laptop is primarily for Outlook and the display is primarily for Browser, Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc.