Another amazing year is almost at its end, and with it came more than 350 new posts on the Heinz Marketing blog.  We covered a wide range of topics relative to B2B sales & marketing, but in the list of our top 10 most popular posts from 2016 below, you’ll see a heavy focus on account-based marketing (ABM), sales development/sales enablement as well as technology.

Top 30 most influential women in marketing technology

We identified the Top 30 Influential Women in MarTech based on research using LittleBird‘s topic and hashtag search, providing us with the insider scores for determining rank results. You may recognize some familiar names, but as the MarTech landscape is ever increasing there are some new leaders to follow too.   These MarTech Insiders are well-versed in the dynamics of marketing technology from Marketing Automation, SalesForce, to Digital Marketing. They are leading women in the MarTech community both on social platforms, and in their careers. Some are leading as entrepreneurs.

Eight bad sales habits you need to break to be successful

The most successful salespeople in any organization obsess about consistent, disciplined execution. They obsess about following and keeping the habits that made them successful in the first place.  To make room for good habits, sales professionals (and managers!) must eliminate or mitigate the bad habits first. That’s not always easy, and oftentimes requires persistence (they’re called habits for a reason).  Step one, of course, is identifying the habits to eliminate. Hereare eight habits I see most often among otherwise well-intentioned sales reps that keep them from success.

Top 50 most influential people at Marketo’s #MktgNation16

We love that this list includes some familiar names with many surprises in there too. All of these individuals have a valuable voice and influence in the Marketo realm- definitely worth the follow. So, without further adieu, here is this years Top 50 Most Influential People in Marketo!  Full names, Twitter handles, and Twitter Bios are listed.

Who is telling sales reps this is a good idea?!

It’s not my job as the prospect to figure out why I should talk to sales reps.  It shouldn’t be on my shoulders to reply to every single inbound email without any ounce of value or perceived benefit from the sender.  I shouldn’t be shamed or guilted into engaging.  And yet, it seems that’s exactly what many sales development reps want from me and countless other email recipients lately.  Aggressive pursuit and follow-up from salespeople isn’t anything new.  But the volume of “why haven’t you responded to me” emails appears to be on the rise.

What’s in a name? – Account-based Marketing vs Account-based Everything

But if we do continue to call it ABM, there is a danger that Sales (and other departments) may be out of sight, out of mind for companies considering an Account-based Marketing program. As Scott Albro reminds us, interdepartmental alignment is crucial to the success of an account-based strategy, so there is a case to be made for changing the name of the game. Other experts have also commented that the name “Account-based Marketing” can be misleading and problematic.

10+ sales pitch pet peeves I could seriously do without

Based on Scott Brinker’s new 2016 martech infographic, there are at least 2x more companies selling technology to B2B sales & marketing groups than just a year ago.  But maybe I wouldn’t be so frustrated at the volume of pitches if those pitchers weren’t so BAD.  Inside Heinz Marketing, there’s a subset of us that regularly share pitch emails with each other.  About 10 percent of the time it’s to compliment a technique, but 90 percent of the time it’s to share something that hopefully we never ever ever let a client do with their own prospecting sequence.  Here is just a handful of pet peeves we’ve seen in recent weeks.

The 12 worst sales development emails I’ve received so far this year

It was a pleasure to speak at the #FlipMyFunnel B2B Marketing and Sales Conference in August in Boston.  It was particularly fun to speak on best (and worst!) practices for sales development emails.  My presentation outlined several best practices and recommendations for BDR outreach, but those were preceded by 12 specific worst practices pulled directly from campaigns I’ve received in recent weeks.  Here they are.

Lead-based marketing vs Account-based marketing

B2B marketers work in an environment that is constantly evolving: technology is changing how buyers interact with brands and best practices are moving targets. Lead-based marketing has been a popular strategy for some time, as marketers react to the digital marketplace’s effect on their sales funnels, but there’s a (relatively) new kid in town: account-based marketing.  Of course there never has been, and never will be, a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. Every industry, niche, business, and target audience has its own needs, pain points, and tools. So let’s explore some key differences between lead-based and account-based marketing so you can decide which is best for your brand or business.

The difference between advertising and marketing

Advertising is focused on getting you to buy a product or service.  Marketing helps you establish why it’s needed.  Advertising tends to be far more transactional.  Marketing isn’t always so.  Advertising works particularly well in a mature market where need has already been established. Where demand already exists.  Marketing is required to create, sustain or shift that market in your favor.  Marketing can create demand.  Advertising can capitalize on it.

Referral hacks: 22 best practices to help you win more business

I had the pleasure this year of presenting at the annual Influitive Advocamp event, celebrating customer engagement, advocacy and referral marketers worldwide.  In addition to some great keynote speakers, the agenda featured numerous 18-minute speed sessions.  Mine this morning featured 22 referral best practices and recommendations in a very fast-paced format!  For those who missed the session or developed a hand cramp in the middle, here’s a quick highlight of each best practices plus the full deck via SlideShare.