Simple Steps to a B2B Marketing Plan

Developing a B2B marketing plan designed to drive leads and sales is really quite simple:

  1. Identify your destination. (Your company’s sales revenue goal)
  2. Determine how best to get there. (Your marketing strategy)
  3. Get started. (Your marketing tactics)
  4. Measure your progress. (Your marketing results)
  5. Make course corrections. (Modify your marketing plan based on results)

So why do so many B2B marketers never get around to developing and using marketing plans?

I’m guessing it is because they don’t want to be held accountable for the results. Unfortunately, I’ve found the results of not using marketing plans usually begins with the word “No.”

  • No budget.
  • No staff.
  • No raise.
  • No respect.

Or it results in the biggest “No” of all: No job.

Please jump in with your thoughts. If you develop and use a marketing plan, what benefits do you get from it? If you don’t bother, why not?


Targeting Your B2B Lead Generation

When searching for leads to buy your products or services, you want to find those companies who have a problem for which you have the solution.

How do you go about finding those companies and how do you find the level of contacts you need from within the companies?

I’ve added an article to my website about the process of targeting your lead generation:

  • Rank current customers
  • Add information about each customer
  • Determine likely prospects
  • Target lead generation by market or geography
  • Research the media they use
  • Focus on B2B marketing vehicles

Read the full article: Lead Generation: Targeting your B2B lead generation


4 great solutions for a marketing ROI challenge

What do you do when you have a tough time quantifying marketing return on investment? Recently someone contacted me asking for advice.

A Marketing ROI Challenge

The challenge I face is that we sell 98% of our products through one and two step distribution. As a result:

  1. Even if my sales guys follow up the lead, it’s being referred to one of our distributors,
  2. We don’t know if the prospect ever visits the distributor, much less buys from him,
  3. Our distributor doesn’t share sales or customer data, because they’re afraid that we’ll ‘poach’ the customer,
  4. If you ask the sales team how much the advertising drove the sale, they (obviously) tell me that while it was helpful — they were the key variable in closing the sale.

We track all of our marketing expenditures and leads, so we have a good sense of what each lead generation source costs us. But I can’t close the loop on an ROI. Any thoughts on how we might approach quantifying it?

4 Marketing ROI Solutions

  1. Conduct “Did you buy?” surveys (by mail, e-mail or phone) to the leads to determine what sales resulted and why or why not.
  2. Compare warranty cards or registrations to leads. Incentivize the returning of warranty cards with hats, t-shirts, etc.
  3. Incentivize the distributor salespeople to report back on closed sales by offering spiffs, bonuses, etc.
  4. Give the lead a “coupon” they can redeem at purchase for a discount or upgrade or add-on. The distributor has to turn it in to get reimbursed, closing the loop.

Marketing Lead Calculator

I’ve also developed a spreadsheet you can download and use to calculate marketing return on investment:


Getting marketing done

I think most business-to-business marketers should aim for “good enough” and “get it done” rather than aim for perfection when it comes to marketing to drive leads and sales.

Why? Because aiming for perfection, in addition to being nearly impossible to achieve, results in your marketing campaigns and materials spending far too much time in the concept and development stages and causes significant delays in delivering your lead generating messages to prospective customers.

Or worse, your marketing messages never get delivered at all.


Need help with B2B lead generation, marketing and sales?
For more information, please call Mac McIntosh at +1-401-294-7730, send him email at or visit