Sales & Marketing Content that Doesn’t Suck



“According to a 2011 study, on a typical day, we(Americans) take in the equivalent of about 174 newspapers’ worth of information, five times as much as we did in 1986.” Source: New York Times

That statistic makes me tired just looking at it. The real downside of the content marketing explosion is all of the noise. It can be a real time sink. For example, look at this post – “50 Marketing Blogs You Should Read Every Day” – What?

Sales-Marketing-Blog-List

To combat the info overload it is important for you to narrow down your reading to only the best content. The people & blogs you follow should not only be well-informed, but they should also be thoughtful posters. People that tweet too much or have too many self-serving posts can be a real time sink. Here is a list of Sales & Marketing pros that provide quality content that is not exhausting.

Rand Fishkinrand fishkin faceCEO @ Moz
@randfish
http://moz.com/rand/
If you haven’t heard of this guy you must be new to marketing. I saw him speak for the first time at SMX in 2008 I think. Articulate, well-read and understands the value of quality over quantity. I pretty much read anything the guy writes or posts.

Ken Krogueken-krogueCEO @ InsideSales
@KenKrogue
Ken is a great guy to follow. His sales-focused SaaS company is exploding. He seems to post about 2 times a day and they are usually interesting. Topics include Sales, Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

KissMetrics Blogkissmetrics logo@KissMetrics
I follow @neilpatel and @hitenshah as well as @kissmetrics, but I pay more attention to the KissMetrics tweets as everything they produce is more relevant to me. I mostly like their conversion and SEO content. Lead411 is also a customer of theirs. It has been great tool for us.

Sales4StartupsSales 4 Startupshttp://sales4startups.org
This is a great resource to find out more about other sales startups and tools. I recommend just signing up for their newsletter to get their new posts over using their twitter feed.

Danny BrownDanny Brown Author/Blogger
@DannyBrown
DannyBrown.me
I just came across Danny recently and really enjoy him… Everything is well thought out and focused. This is probably the highest quality content you will read. I wouldn’t just follow him on Twitter though – I would also signup for his RSS feed so you don’t miss any of his posts – dannybrown.me

Jill Konrath jill konrtathSales Author
@jillkonrath
http://www.jillkonrath.com
I follow Jill as she is probably the most social Sales personality out there. I haven’t read any of her books, but she is a good person to follow to know what is happening in the sales world.

Unbounce Blogunbounce logo http://unbounce.com/blog/
I don’t follow @unbounce on twitter. I just subscribe to their blog. Their posts focus on their niche which is conversion optimization and a/b testing.

Kendra Leekendra leeCEO @ KLA Group
@kendraleeKLA
Not as well known as Jill Konrath and Jeffrey Gitomer, but she produces some excellent sales and lead generation content. She is probably less well known because she is busy running her lead generation firm KLA Group.

MarketingProfsmarketingprofs logo@marketingprofs
I love statistics. While reading a specific story on how a company was able to grow their business is interesting to me, knowing what works for a lot of businesses is even better. I use MarketingProfs to see which tactics are working and which ones aren’t.

B2B Lead RoundtableB2B-Lead-Bloghttp://b2bleadblog.com
This B2B lead blog is heavy on statistics similar to MarketingProfs. I read everything they send out. I also follow @brianjcarroll.

If you have some other people/sources you feel produce great sales/marketing content feel free to add them in the comments area.

B2B Email Lists Buy Guide


Are you looking to buy a b2b email list for sales & marketing, but want to make sure you receive high quality data? When I first founded Lead411 I could count on my hand which companies sold b2b email lists. Not opt-in lists, but actually had lists for sale. Now, on average I get 5-10 emails a month from some broker stating they sell business email lists. I would say that 95-100% of these offers are scams… but recently I have noticed some of these providers in the top 10 in Google for the phrase “b2b email lists”. Which is scary! This guide will give you some best practices on what to be wary of when purchasing and will give you a list of some reputable providers.

Best Practices for Buying Email Lists

Quality Email Lists Are Not Cheap

I have been in this business for over 10 years. Data is never perfect. Good data is extremely HARD to keep accurate and clean. For example, Linkedin is a high quality data provider correct? You would be amazed at how many people named “Pat McGroin” and “Ivanka Tinkle” have profiles on Linkedin. So even Linkedin has tons of bad data. It is incredibly hard and expensive to keep data clean. Any email list provider that works really hard to keep their data clean isn’t going to give it away for pennies.
linkedin-dan

 

Get A Random Sample w/your List Quote

When you get your list quote, insist that you get a random sample… as big as you can get. Most companies or their sales staff will try to send you the records they most recently updated. You want a complete random sample so that you can really check the accuracy.

Verify Your Sample List Quality

After you get the sample, test it all. Call the phone numbers to see if the person does exist at the company and that the phone # is correct. Email testing is harder because you cannot 100% verify an email address. From our own email marketing and testing we have noticed that 50% of business email servers are catchall servers meaning that if you sent an email like gozzsd.asdof@microsoft.com you would NOT get a bounce-back. For these catchall servers it is hard to decipher the accurate email. You can use tools like Mailtester.com or Cobisi.com to verify emails from non-catchall servers, but for the rest I would suggest searching bing or google for the domain to see if the email pattern looks remotely correct. E.G. Type this into bing +*@insidesales.com.

Insist on a Guarantee

Whenever we sell individual lists we always offer a guarantee. So if an email bounces then the person gets a replacement record. It is a great system because we get our emails tested automatically. Any email list provider that does not do this doesn’t really care about their data accuracy.

How do they Verify their Email Database?

Where do they get their data from? More importantly, where do they get their emails from? Crowdsourcing, some sort of technology, both? Other data providers?

email-lists

Some Reputable B2B Email List Providers

Hoovers/D&B
Pricing: N/A
D&B has been around since 1841. 160+ years before “big data” became a popular term D&B was collecting information about businesses. In 2003, Hoovers was acquired by D&B and somewhere around that time Hoovers started offering business email database with their company contacts. I am not quite sure of the pricing of their email lists as there is nothing on the site that mentions their exact costs. Hoovers acquires their data from numerous data sources as we have discussed selling our data to DNB in the past, however we never went through with it.

ZoomInfo
Pricing: Subscriptions start @ $60/month
ZoomInfo is another well-known provider of business email lists and addresses. Previously named Eliyon Technologies, the company has been collecting business and people data for over 15 years using scraping/crawling technology. I am not positive where their email address data comes from as I don’t believe it is from their crawlers, but for the most part it is a reputable source. ZoomInfo offers numerous products but their primary solution is their subscriptions.

Data.com
Pricing: Subscriptions start @ $125/Month
Email Lists @ $0.50 – $1.00 per record
Jigsaw.com was acquired by Salesforce and later they changed the name to Data.com. Data.com uses crowdsourcing to collect contacts, business email addresses, phone numbers, etc. If you are willing to upload your own list you can get another list in return. Data.com sells email lists as well as offers a monthly subscription.

InsideView
Pricing: Subscriptions start @ $99/Month
I have never used InsideView’s data, but from what I can tell it seems better than others I have seen. Like us, they don’t believe that data can be verified using one type of solution. InsideView does not sell individual lists but they have different options for the size of company you are.

Lead411
Pricing: Subscriptions start @ $39/Month
Unlimited List Downloads @ $166/Month
Email Lists @ $0.50 per record
Our customers don’t have time to waste on bad data and they want access to Unlimited Email Lists. We strongly believe that a multi-pronged approach to data collection is the best way to get accurate data…. Crowdsourcing + Technology + An Internal Research Team. Here is a recent research report from G2Crowd where we were named one of the “Top Performers.”

Sales Intel LIsts

If you have any suggestions or recommendations of other b2b email list providers please use the comments section below.

Lead411 introduces Unlimited Salesforce Sync

salesforce upload
We just added an awesome new feature for Salesforce users. Now you can easily push any Lead411 contact directly to your Salesforce CRM. You will find this button all over the site… within company profiles, people profiles and within your prospect lists.

For the time being we are making this feature unlimited for all SB/Enterprise customers. Yes, unlimited. This may change in the future, but for now we are testing out demand. Enjoy!!

Sales and Marketing People On The Move – 1/8/2014 to 1/9/2014

Roger Egan was recently named as the new senior vice president of sales and channels for Docker, Inc. He was most previously part of Red Hat, where he was VP of North America channels alliance and commercial/SMB sales. Egan will share more than two decades of experience in sales work in the hardware, software, and services industries. There’s more about his appointment on this news link.

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Sales and Marketing People on The Move – 1/3/2014 to 1/7/2014

Bill Gerski was recently named Vice President of Sales for Huawei Technologies USA. He had worked with companies like Time Warner, Bell Atlantic, and Viacom. Gerski will share with the team four decades of experience in the field. There’s more about his appointment on this news link.

Peoplefluent® recently appointed Chauncey Kupferschmid as their new SVP of Sales and Business Development. He was most recently with Silkroad, where he was Chief Sales Officer. Kupferschmid will contribute to the team his experience in software sales leadership, spanning over 25 years. There’s more about his appointment on this news link.