Virtual events have made a tremendous rebound in 2020 for obvious reasons, and guess what? They’re not going anywhere. Faced with no other option for the last 7 months, organizations have been forced to take their events online (or cancel them altogether) and are clearly seeing the benefits that virtual event providers have touted all along – they’re more cost effective; they can drive more traffic; they’re more measurable and allow for better post-event follow-up; and in this day and age, they’re a heck of a lot safer. With that said, virtual event success doesn’t come easy. Certain items must be in place and steps have to be followed to realize the event ROI you’re looking for. Now let’s dig into the 5 Keys to Virtual Event Success.

  1. Plan, Plan, Plan – for whatever reason, there’s a tendency for folks to think that just because an event is online it doesn’t need a proper project plan. That couldn’t be further from the truth. At minimum, we believe there should be an 8-week project plan for virtual events, but that can change based on the size of your event. If you have a larger scale event with more rooms/spaces and more content, you should look at 10-12 weeks. We’re coming off of a sizeable virtual event a few weeks ago that had a 14-week project plan against it. At the end of the day, virtual events are events and need to be treated as such.
  2. Determine the experience, and vendor, that fit your needs – I know this sounds incredibly obvious, but it’s a very large piece of the equation. Do you want a truly immersive experience that offers a ton of different ways for your audience to engage and connect? Or are you looking for a series of Zoom meetings over the course of 4-5 hours? In our opinion, a virtual event is not a series of Zoom meetings or GoToMeeting sessions. It IS an environment where your attendees can experience different event spaces, watch sessions, download content, engage with experts and network with their peers. Also, think about the support you want the day(s) of your event. Do you want your internal team to manage all of the technical details, or do you want your vendor to handle the technical aspects of your event to ensure everybody is able to attend and view the event with no issues? These are very important decisions that will have a direct impact on your attendee experience.
  3. When possible, pre-record your sessions – pre-recorded and simu-live webinars are becoming the new norm…and that’s just for one-off presentations. When you look at a virtual event that could have a lot of sessions, you want to limit the amount of 100% live webinars. Pre-recording your sessions limits the amount of live day streaming, which in turn decreases live day stress. It also gives you peace of mind that your presentations will be perfectly executed and gives your attendees the value they signed up for. Of course, there are instances where live sessions are completely unavoidable and that’s okay. We’re not saying your sessions can’t have live components – we want them to be as engaging/interactive as they can be and some form of live element (see live Q&A, polls, surveys, chat) will increase audience engagement. We’re just saying pre-recording whenever possible is going to give you a better end result.
  4. Think outside-the-box – virtual events are the perfect forum to get creative. They are the ultimate content marketing tool. Think about how you want to make your content available – through webinars, booths, resource centers, networking café’s, product showcases, etc. Additionally, think about how you want to enable peer-to-peer networking. Can they network within booths, within sessions or anywhere within your virtual event? The right virtual event provider will not only provide you with a lot of these options, but also be willing to customize event spaces and functionality to fit your needs.
  5. Have an on-demand plan – yes, you want to drive large numbers to your live virtual event. You want live day engagement and interaction. However, unlike in-person/physical events, you can extend the shelf-life of your virtual event through on-demand archiving. It’s very important to have an on-demand plan ahead of time. Do NOT wait until the event is on-demand to put your plan together. If you promote it and position it the right way, your event can become an on-demand virtual resource center that will continue to educate and engage your audience, while increasing your overall event ROI. This is something that you simply can’t do effectively with in-person events, so be sure to take advantage of it.

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com

The last thing I want to do here is beat a dead horse, but let’s face it – the Coronavirus is having a massive effect on B2B events and B2B event marketers. SXSW just cancelled their March event last week. Facebook cancelled their event. Google cancelled their developer conference. Oracle, SAP, RedHat and many others have either cancelled or postponed what many see as industry critical events. Side note – even the BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells) was cancelled on Sunday and I’m a huge tennis fan! You get the picture, it’s a mess out there. If you want to see the lineup of B2B tech events that are being cancelled or postponed, here is a good resource for it.

With all this event hysteria, virtual/online events have come to the forefront again. Organizations are scrambling to put a digital event structure in place because, regardless of the coronavirus or any other pandemic, they still have an audience and they need to be able to give their audience what they want. With physical, in-person events not being an option right now, they’re turning to virtual events, online events and webinars as the main way to meet and engage their prospects and customers. All of this reminds me of two prior events that forced B2B marketers to look at physical event alternatives – the 2008 financial crash and the 2014 oil bust. In 2008, the first items that were slashed from the budget were travel, entertainment and thus, events. I would argue at that time virtual events had the biggest surge they ever experienced. In 2014, oil and gas marketers had to find alternative ways to meet with their audience. The good ole’ boy way of shaking hands at conferences and racking up big expense reports was no longer an option. We then started to see more oil and gas companies leverage virtual events, webinars, webcasts and all sorts of online events to market to their base.

It shouldn’t take a time of crises, however, to put an online event strategy in place. Too many companies dedicate most of their budgets to physical events and too often the ROI is just not there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked an event marketer how their physical events are working out for them and I get the response of “they’re okay.” When I proceed to ask why they keep investing so heavily in something that is just ‘okay’, I typically get the following:

  • “If we don’t show up or exhibit, people are going to wonder why we’re not there.”
  • “If we don’t have a presence, our competitors are going to get all of the leads.”

I call complete and total BS on both. The main reason most companies continue to invest in physical events more than anything else is because it’s what they’ve always done. There’s a resistance to digitally transform their event structure. They don’t want to step outside of their comfort zone and change the event narrative. I’m not saying to scrap physical events. I get that they need to be a part of the mix, but they need to be scaled back to make room for alternatives that have less barriers, are more measurable and more often than not give you more bang for your buck. Enter online/digital events.

When you think about planning your next event and all the money it’s going to cost, ask yourself if it would be better for you, your company and your customers/prospects if you did it via an online event or webinar. Is it really necessary to rent that space for $20k, pay for everyone to get there and pay for everyone to eat/drink, when you could’ve done it all online? Couldn’t that lunch and learn at the Marriott (with that brutal banquet food) have been a two-part webinar series? Again, I get that physical events need to be a part of the marketing plan. However, the smart marketers are going to ensure that every physical event has a digital element (see hybrid events, on-demand event webinars, on-demand virtual events) and are going to ramp up their webinar and online event game significantly moving forward. Online events are for everyone, regardless of industry, and there’s never been a better time to look at them as your go-to event option.

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com

It’s no longer a buzzword, but rather a necessity for B2B organizations that want to get and stay ahead of the competition. Once thought of as a tactic for only large enterprises, companies of all sizes are starting to play the Account-Based Marketing (ABM) game. Spray and pray is out and a targeted, more personalized multi-pronged approach is the way forward (see Elastic’s Four-Pronged Approach to ABM Success).

Here are 10 stats that prove ABM is more than ready for the big stage:

Higher ROI – Research by ITSMA found that 87%of marketers that measure ROI say that ABM outperforms every other marketing investment.

Pipeline Impact – Marketing leaders are more tied to revenue than ever before, and because of that their main goal with any new marketing initiative is to generate revenue. In a study by Demand Gen Report and LeadData, 54% of marketers cite “influence pipeline” as their primary ABM metric.

Deal Size Increases – in a study by SiriusDecisions, 91% of companies using ABM were able to increase their average deal size, with 25% of respondents stating the increase being over 50% or larger.

ABM Maturity – According to Pardot’s State of ABM, 24% of companies reported having ABM programs that were well underway or advanced. Another 45% said they just started. Only 7% said they have no plans to start an ABM initiative

ABM Budget – According to Pardot’s State of ABM, the average percentage of the marketing budget that would be dedicated to ABM was 29%

Better ROI than Other Marketing Initiatives – 97% of marketers say ABM had a somewhat higher or much higher ROI than other marketing initiatives, according to SiriusDecisions

ABM=Revenue – Companies using ABM generate 208% more revenue from their marketing efforts

More Opportunities Created – According to Gartner, ABM programs show a 70% increase in the number of opportunities created

ABM Aligns Sales & Marketing – According to Demandbase, 83% of marketers say ABM increases engagement with target accounts, making the marketing and sales process more efficient overall

Marketers Want Better Leads; Enter ABM – ABM’s rise has largely been attributed to B2B marketers who were not satisfied with their more traditional lead-gen programs. According to Crowd Research Partners, improving the quality of leads remains the top priority for a majority (68%) of B2B marketers. Only 16% of these folks are actually happy with the effectiveness of their lead-gen programs

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com

(Houston, TX) – Elastic Solutions, a leading provider of webinar-based marketing solutions and strategic lead generation services that help B2B marketers drive more pipeline, is hosting a webinar – The Ideal 8-Week Webinar Project Plan – on Tuesday, March 24th, 2020 at 1:00 PM Central.

“We believe webinars are the ultimate marketing tool to educate, engage audiences and drive more pipeline for B2B organizations,” said Jason Stegent, Founder and President of Elastic Solutions. “However, too often webinars aren’t given the respect they deserve from a planning perspective, and because of that a lot of marketers we’re speaking with have been disappointed with their webinar ROI. From concept creation to event archive, this webinar will review what an ideal 8-week webinar project plan looks like and outline what organizations can do to dramatically improve their webinar programs moving forward.”

Attend this 45-minute webinar if you’re looking to:

  • Understand how to more effectively project manage your webinars from A-Z
  • Drive more registrants, attendees and on-demand viewers
  • Make your webinars more engaging for your viewers, resulting in better leads to hand off to sales
  • Launch a webinar strategy and you want to understand what it takes to do it the right way

The webinar will end with a live Q&A. Click here to Register Now!

If you have any questions about this webinar or anything related to Elastic Solutions, please email sales@elasticroi.com and/or call 832.831.5844. We hope you can join us.

About Elastic Solutions

Elastic Solutions provides webinar-based marketing solutions and lead generation services that increase target audience engagement, generate more qualified leads and drive greater pipeline results.

From cloud-based webcasting and virtual event solutions that enhance demand generation and accelerate opportunities through the sales funnel, to strategic marketing services that get businesses in front of the right decision makers and generate more ‘sales ready’ leads in the process, Elastic Solutions improves the way companies engage their target audience.

The company is headquartered in Houston, TX at 3100 South Gessner Road, Suite 135. To learn more, please visit www.elasticroi.com and/or call 832.831.5844. We look forward to working with you.

Marketers know the power of webinars. When done well, they can engage, generate better leads and drive more pipeline than any other form of content marketing. With that said, the webinar game has changed and organizations need to be aware of the different ways webinars can be used and the different formats they can leverage to truly maximize webinar ROI. They need to look at webinars through a different lens and below are some ways they can do that.

Webinars aren’t only for lead generation – it used to be that webinars were only used as a top-of-funnel lead generation tool, but that’s no longer the case. Yes, most companies mainly use them as a way to build awareness and initial interest, but savvy marketers are using webinars for every stage of the funnel. And the approach of your webinars should be different for every stage. There are webinars that can be used to further qualify existing leads; webinars that can be used to build a business case and take an opportunity to the proposal stage; and there are ways you can use webinars to be the final push to close those hard-to-win prospects. Don’t stop there, though. Today everything is about customer experience and you must earn your customer’s business every single day. Webinars are a great way to continually educate and engage your customers, ensuring they’re happy and up to speed on everything you can do for them. They’re a great way to upsell and establish a larger footprint within your current customer base.

Your webinars don’t have to be live – I don’t have the stats in front of me, but I would venture to say that 5 years ago at least 85% of the webinars being executed were 100% live. That number might even be short. Your webinars don’t have to be live anymore. Yes, a live webinar still makes sense depending on the type of webinar and the kind of audience you might have, but there are options. Here are the different formats and when you should use them:

  • Live – go live when you want webinars that are collaborative and have a lot of audience interaction. For example, going 100% live is ideal for town hall-type webinars or any webinar where you want to answer questions from the audience while they’re coming in. Additionally, if you’re big on polling (if you’re not, you should be) and want to immediately publish the results for the audience, a live environment might be what you’re looking for (you can still do polling in other formats as well). If you have a sizeable database that is engaged, familiar with the type of quality content you put out, and you’re not concerned about poor live numbers, then going 100% live would be a fit for you as well.
  • Simu-live – there has been a sizeable shift in simu-live webinars (pre-record the presentation and broadcast it as a ‘live’ webinar with live elements) over the past 2-3 years. More and more marketers are going this route for a number of reasons. First of all, they’re sick of getting burned by live day webinars – the technology craps out on them; the audio isn’t working; they can’t move their slides; their speakers do a crummy job; or worse yet, something comes up at the last minute and they have to postpone or cancel the webinar altogether which is a terrible look. None of these are issues when you run simu-live webinars. Second of all, going the simu-live route enables you to get the presentation exactly how you like it and ensure that it’s going to be top-notch and well received on the day of the broadcast. There are a host of other reasons that simu-live makes sense, but ultimately it provides more peach of mind which is priceless.
  • On-Demand – no, I’m not talking about archiving it on-demand after the live or simu-live event. I’m talking about doing it on-demand from the get-go. Organizations large and small are taking this approach. If you’re a small company and don’t have a big enough database where a live webinar of any sort make sense, create an on-demand webinar. You can then use that on-demand webinar to build up your audience and generate leads at the same time. If you’re a company of any size and don’t want to deal with promoting a webinar, going through everything that a live/simu-live webinar entails, but you still want to create a piece of content that’s a lot more engaging than static forms of content (see whitepapers, eBooks, etc.), than an on-demand webinar is your answer.

Extend their shelf-life and re-purpose – almost all companies that are executing webinars are eventually getting them on-demand. However, most companies do a poor job of promoting the on-demand version. They archive it somewhere on their site, maybe send an email or two to their audience, and then they let it die on the vine. It’s a waste of a great piece of engaging content. You should promote your on-demand webinars the same way you promote your live webinars. Additionally, on-demand webinars offer a treasure trove of goodies from a re-purposing perspective. They can be used to create whitepapers, eBooks, case studies and blogs. The feedback you get from them can be used to create additional webinars. One of the things we’re doing for a lot of our clients right now is creating highlight reels of their webinars. So as opposed to only having the on-demand version and making people sit through 45 minutes of presentation, a highlight reel is a condensed 4-5 minute mini-webinar that highlights the most important pieces of the webinar that will deliver the most value to the audience. It’s easier to promote through social channels, gets higher response via email than promoting the entire on-demand version, and it’s a great tool for your sales force to leverage when they want an exciting, outside-the-box piece of content to send to their prospects. This approach has really taken off for our clients.

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com

With all the tools, tricks and tips available, B2B lead generation should be easy, right? Not so fast. It’s harder than ever before because there are more people vying for your prospects’ attention, your prospects have more data at their disposal and thus are more educated about what they want and why, and it has become increasingly difficult to rise about the noise. With that said, there are certain elements that are essential to consistently generate leads and drive pipeline in 2020 and beyond. Here are the 6 Must Haves for Lead Generation Success:

  1. Picking the Right Targets – who’s your target audience? Sounds simple, but it consistently gets butchered. An effective lead-gen campaign is impossible without nailing this first step. You need to select the right companies and ensure that you’re dealing with contacts that can actually move the needle and make decisions. One of the main downfalls of lead generation campaigns is that they’re going after companies that don’t need their product/service and focusing on contacts that don’t have decision making authority. Don’t let this be you!
  2. You Have to Actually Budget for it – a few questions to ask yourself here:
    • Are we paying for quantity or quality? MQLs (which we believe are dead and is a blog for another day) or SQLs? What about what we like to call CRLs (conversation ready leads)?
    • What tools, products, partners and services are we going to use to generate these leads? Which channels get X amount of budget and what are we expecting from each channel?
  3. There Must be an End Goal – and that end goal should come down to pipeline and revenue. How much truly qualified pipeline do you need to hit/exceed your revenue goals? Unfortunately, many marketers (and even business owners) can’t answer this because they’ve been tied to MQLs as a measure of success for as long as they can remember. As stated above, we believe the MQL is dead because marketers are more tied to revenue than ever before. You need to look at how many truly qualified leads and opportunities you need to generate to hit your revenue targets. In our opinion, there’s really no other way to look at it.
  4. A Multi-Pronged Approach is Necessary – you must take a multi-pronged approach to prospect engagement, leveraging different tactics at every stage of the funnel, to create competitive differentiation, generate qualified leads and close more business in today’s B2B landscape. This includes the methods (such as inbound and outbound) and the tools you use to engage your target audience (webinars, videos, blogs, literature, events, etc.).
  5. ABM is Now for All…Big & Small – it was once thought that only the big boys could leverage ABM, but that’s no longer the case. If you have key-account initiatives and the bandwidth and/or partners to support that approach, ABM is for everyone. The concept has been around for a while, but better technology and access to more/better data have simply made it more effective. In a recent report, SiriusDecisions said that “92% of B2B marketers worldwide consider ABM extremely or very important to their overall marketing efforts.” That’s an incredible number. Learn more about the Elastic Solutions Four-Pronged Approach to ABM Success
  6. You Need an Inside Sales Team Filled with Killers – In-House, Hybrid or Outsourced – Whether you keep it in-house, completely outsource it, or take a hybrid approach (you have your own inside team but bring on third parties to add more horsepower to your efforts), you need a team of inside sales killers. Some questions to think about when it comes to building an inside sales presence:
    • Do I have the bandwidth to effectively train and manage an inside sales team?
    • Do I have the bandwidth to hire the right inside sales team?
    • Are there partners out there that have expertise in the industries I’m focusing on, and if so, can they ramp up quickly?
    • What does my call and email cadence need to look like? How fanatical do we have to be in our outreach efforts and how will the handoff process work?
    • Taking all the above into consideration, what can I actually afford to do and what kind of impact do I expect inside sales to have on revenue?

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com

(Houston, TX) – Elastic Solutions, a leading provider of webinar-based marketing solutions and strategic lead generation services that help B2B marketers drive more pipeline, is hosting a webinar – Lead Generation Megatrends for 2020– on Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 at 1:00 PM Central.

“Lead generation is the lifeblood of any B2B organization, but there are still significant challenges that are preventing marketers and demand-gen practitioners from hitting their lead generation and pipeline goals”, said Jason Stegent, Founder and President of Elastic Solutions. “This webinar is going to cover what worked and what didn’t in 2019, the tactics and trends that will shape B2B lead generation in 2020, and what organizations can do moving forward to generate better leads that result in more customers.”

In 45 minutes or less, attendees will learn (among other things):

  • An easy way to put an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) plan in place. ABM adoption was at an all-time high in 2019 and will only continue to grow in 2020 with companies of all sizes adopting the tactic
  • The many different ways you can repurpose your content to increase audience engagement and generate better leads
  • How a strategic webinar strategy can help you not only generate leads, but close more business as well.
  • Why smart outbound calling, backed by data, needs to be a part of your plan. Think warm (not cold) calls. Yes folks, the phone still works
  • Why you need to stop messing around with Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and only focus on Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). MQLs are dead.

The webinar will end with a live Q&A. Click here to Register Now!

If you have any questions about this webinar or anything related to Elastic Solutions, please email sales@elasticroi.com and/or call 832.831.5844. We hope you can join us.

About Elastic Solutions

Elastic Solutions provides webinar-based marketing solutions and lead generation services that increase target audience engagement, generate more qualified leads and drive greater pipeline results.

From cloud-based webcasting and virtual event solutions that enhance demand generation and accelerate opportunities through the sales funnel, to strategic marketing services that get businesses in front of the right decision makers and generate more ‘sales ready’ leads in the process, Elastic Solutions improves the way companies engage their target audience.

The company is headquartered in Houston, TX at 3100 South Gessner Road, Suite 135. To learn more, please visit www.elasticroi.com and/or call 832.831.5844. We look forward to working with you.

In our opinion, webinars are a marketer’s best friend. They cost-effectively extend your reach, generate audience engagement and drive pipeline. However, not everyone we’ve spoken with about webinars has achieved these benefits. Some organizations can’t even get a webinar strategy off the ground, while others who are running webinars simply can’t seem to get the ROI they’re looking for. Here are the four most common webinar hurdles that are preventing marketers from driving pipeline, and how they can overcome them.

  1. I don’t know how to kick-start a webinar strategy – many folks that we speak with simply don’t know how to get a webinar campaign off the ground. They see the value in webinars, and they want to add them to the mix, but they simply don’t know where to begin. They don’t know how to find compelling content; they don’t know how to find engaging speakers; they don’t know how to promote webinars the right way to generate the audience they’re looking for. At Elastic, our managed-service webinar offering can essentially act as your outsourced webinar team. From registration page creation to event archive, we manage the entire process to ensure your webinars are flawlessly executed and deliver on your end goal. And if you’re a marketer, your end goal with webinars should be quality lead generation and better pipeline results. View our on-demand webinar – How to Build a Webinar Program From Scratch – for more ideas.
  2. I occasionally run webinars, but I don’t have the bandwidth to run more – these are typically marketers that have had success with webinars and wish they could run more, but their lack of bandwidth is holding them back. In this scenario, like the hurdle above, a managed-service webinar provider makes sense. You don’t want a webinar vendor who can only drop off the technology and wish you the best of luck. You want a webinar partner that can do the heavy lifting and make bandwidth a non-issue, enabling you to create engaging content that will ultimately generate more revenue for your company
  3. My webinar content and formats are growing stale – keeping your webinar content and formats fresh is essential to ongoing engagement with your audience. Boring webinars and ho-hum formats will make your prospects think that you’re boring and ho-hum as well. Put together content that is different than everything out there in the marketplace and truly educates your customers and prospects. Don’t make it a company commercial…make it a fun, educational session. In terms of formats, if you’re going to do audio and slides be sure to make your slides pop. Look into vendors that can also offer live video streaming and/or can roll videos into your audio and slides-based webinar. Video-based webinars (videocasts, as we like to call them) offer a more personalized experience for your audience and can help optimize demand generation. Be sure to use engagement tactics like social interaction, Q&A, polls, surveys, content downloads and chat features. When you give your webinar audience more opportunities to engage, it means better reporting metrics and insights into your prospects on the backend. This intelligence will enable you to sell and market smarter, resulting in increased revenues and tremendous webinar ROI.
  4. My webinar attendance has been underwhelming, leading to a lackluster pipeline and poor ROI – let’s face it…as a marketer, you’re running webinars to get eyeballs that turn into interest and, hopefully, new business. Poor webinar attendance is the biggest webinar challenge out there today, and there are many reasons for it. In our most recent webinar – Solving the Webinar Attendance Problem – we go in-depth about this problem and what companies can do to solve it. It will give you the answers you’re looking for and is definitely worth a watch!

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com

(Houston, TX) – Elastic Solutions, a leading provider of webinar-based marketing solutions and strategic lead generation services that help marketers drive more pipeline, is hosting a webinar – Solving the Webinar Attendance Problem – on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 at 1:00 PM Central

“Like any other marketing tool used to generate leads, webinars have their challenges”, said Jason Stegent, Founder and President of Elastic Solutions. “The biggest webinar challenge that marketers and webinar pros face is poor attendance. A lack of traffic is the main reason why companies give up on webinars…they just can’t solve the problem. I believe this session will provide folks with new ideas and best practices that they can put into action immediately to generate more meaningful attendance and greatly increase webinar ROI.”

In 45 minutes, attendees will learn (among other things):

  • Topics and webinar formats that will generate more interest and increase registrations for your webinars
  • The anatomy of a good registration page that will engage your audience and entice them to attend your presentation
  • The ideal promotional strategy – how long, channels to leverage, the best days/times
  • Why putting all of your eggs in the live day webinar basket and neglecting the on-demand asset is a BIG mistake

The webinar will end with a live Q&A. Click here to Register Now!

If you have any questions about this webinar or anything related to Elastic Solutions, please email sales@elasticroi.com and/or call 832.831.5844. We hope you can join us.

About Elastic Solutions

Elastic Solutions provides webinar-based marketing solutions and lead generation services that increase target audience engagement, generate more qualified leads and drive greater pipeline results.

From cloud-based webcasting and virtual event solutions that enhance demand generation and accelerate opportunities through the sales funnel, to strategic marketing services that get businesses in front of the right decision makers and generate more ‘sales ready’ leads in the process, Elastic Solutions improves the way companies engage their target audience.

The company is headquartered in Houston, TX at 3100 South Gessner Road, Suite 135. To learn more, please visit www.elasticroi.com and/or call 832.831.5844. We look forward to working with you.

Lead generation is the lifeblood of any sales force and the chief function of any marketing team. Unfortunately, too many B2B organizations aren’t equipped to do it the right way and what you’re left with are leads that aren’t truly qualified, a dry pipeline, and unaligned sales and marketing teams that are constantly playing the blame game. If you’re seeing this in your organization, here are four reasons why you should consider outsourcing your lead generation to somebody that does it for a living.

1. It’s more cost effective to outsource

Think of all of the costs involved to build an in-house lead generation engine – inside sales reps (ISRs) with their salaries, benefits and monthly expenses; sales managers to manage them with their salaries, benefits and monthly expenses; technology, both software and hardware, to help manage the process; offices to house them (they’ve got to sit somewhere don’t they?), etc. The list goes on and on. What if you could outsource it to a team that has all of this covered? What if you could have 1-2 (+) people dedicated to your account and you pay them on a retainer basis? Or what about performance-based contracts, meaning you only pay for the leads delivered to you that meet a defined criteria? You’re not paying for garbage, you’re paying for quality. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?

2. It’s not what you do

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair (and fellow Houstonian)

It’s simply not what you do. You don’t have the process or technologies in place; you don’t have the people that have the experience to get the job done; and a lot of the time the good people you do have are completely out of bandwidth, meaning you’re out of resources to do the job right. Outsource this function to professionals that can provide the horsepower you need while you and your team focus on closing business. “Get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus.” – Jim Collins, Author of Good to Great

3. Your sales reps are more entitled than ever before

That might sound aggressive, but it’s true. Today’s B2B sales reps, more often than not, want qualified leads delivered to them on a silver platter and they’re not willing to make the amount of touches necessary to drive leads. They don’t want to hunt. And when you tell them that’s a part of their role, they begrudgingly do it. This leads to resentment amongst your sales team, which leads to unenthusiastic calls (in terms of first impressions, having the wrong tone can be an absolute killer), poorly scripted out emails, and overall poor results. And for your sales reps that aren’t entitled, many times they’re getting poor training because their managers and supervisors don’t know how to implement an effective lead-gen strategy. Remember, it’s not what they do (see reason # 2). This is an instance where outsourcing this function to a lead generation partner is a necessity. Look at the commitment it takes to drive a sale at your company. Ask yourself, “Is my team willing and ready to do this?”

4. Setting appointments is just the tip of the iceberg

Many of today’s lead generation providers do a lot more than what you might be accustomed to. Scheduling the initial appointment with your ideal prospects is just the beginning. Look for providers that can shorten your sales cycles and increase revenues by helping you:

  • Build targeted lists that you don’t have the bandwidth/technology/resources to build in-house
  • Qualify inbound leads so your sales reps don’t have to, giving them more time to actually sell to existing leads
  • Nurture leads that aren’t quite ‘sales ready,’ ensuring that you stay relevant and on their radar when they’re finally serious and ready to begin the buying process
  • Promote and drive traffic to events where you’ll have a presence, resulting in more in-person meetings and better event ROI
  • Build relevant content that you can use to more effectively generate leads from your targeted account list

If you’re current ISRs are doing a poor job of filling the calendar and the pipeline, and you’re looking to get more return on your lead-gen investment, outsourcing should be at the top of your to-do list. Just make sure you do your due diligence on your lead-gen partner of choice. There are a lot of swindlers out there that muddy up the waters for the rest of us!

If you’re compelled, please share your feedback below. Talk soon

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com

A lot of marketers want to make webinars a part of their content marketing and lead generation strategy, and why not? Webinars are the ultimate tool to extend your reach, engage your target audience and drive more pipeline. However, you can’t just jump into a webinar initiative without proper planning. In this blog, we outline the 5 things every company should know before they start a webinar campaign.

1. Outline Responsibilities

Responsibilities need to be defined before, during and after the webinar. Consider the following questions:

  • Who are the folks that will be building the topic and description for the webinar?
  • Who is going to build the project plan for the webinar and ensure that your team is staying on schedule?
  • What marketing tactics are you going to use and who will be managing/overseeing the promotions of your webinar?
  • Who are your speakers and how are you sourcing them? Who will be responsible for making sure your speakers are comfortable with the presentation, as well as the webinar technology, the day of the event?
  • Who will be building the slide deck and other supporting content in the webinar? Will it be audio or video-based and who is responsible for recording?
  • The day of the event, what members of your team will be there to support the event to ensure its executed flawlessly?
  • Post event, how are the leads going to be distributed to your reps for immediate follow-up? Who’s going to ensure that the on-demand version of the webinar is used properly so it continues to generate leads for your business for months to come?

2. Appropriate Bandwidth is a Necessity 

Many folks are shocked when they enter into a webinar campaign, only to find out that they don’t have the necessary bandwidth to execute their webinars the right way. In cases like this, it could make sense to work with a vendor that offers a managed-service option. Vendors like this can handle all technical and production details from registration page creation to event archive, allowing you to focus on putting together a top-notch webinar presentation and promoting it the right way to drive the traffic you want. We’ve often found that the #1 reason marketers don’t execute more webinars is because they simply don’t have the bandwidth to do so, regardless of how well their webinars have performed in the past. A managed-service webinar vendor can make this challenge obsolete.

3. Your Audience Doesn’t Want a Company Commercial

Too often, companies use webinars as an opportunity to tell their audience how great their company/product/service is. The truth is, your audience doesn’t care because they didn’t sign up for a 45-minute commercial. They want your webinar to be an educational experience, one that gives them tips/pointers and helps them understand how your company has helped businesses like theirs. This doesn’t only pertain to the webinar itself, but to the registration page and promotions as well. Your registration page should clearly outline who your webinar is meant for, what attendees will learn by taking 45 minutes out of their day to hear what you have to say, and the value they’ll get out of attending. If it doesn’t do that, you’re losing before your webinar even takes place.

4. Different Webinars Serve Different Purposes

If you’re using webinars for marketing purposes, there are different types of webinars to use throughout every stage of the funnel. There are webinars for top-of-funnel lead generation; webinars to turn existing leads into working opportunities; and webinars that actually close business. It’s important to understand different segments of your audience and what webinar fits them best. There are also webinars to improve the customer experience that can help establish a larger footprint in your client accounts; webinars for sales and partner enablement; and webinars for overall training purposes. Whichever way you plan on using webinars, just make sure that that you get the right webinar in front of the right audience.

5. Webinars Have Long-Tail Impact

The biggest mistake marketers make is putting all of their emphasis on the live webinar and completely disregarding the on-demand version. Yes, everybody wants a large live audience so they can immediately turn those attendees into qualified leads. However, its important to properly extend the shelf-life of your webinar content so it acts as a lead generator for your business for a long time to come. Your on-demand webinars can also be re-purposed into other forms of content – highlight reels, short videos, whitepapers, eBooks, blogs, etc. – that can drive significant pipeline for your company as well. When you are planning out your overall webinar strategy, be sure to outline what your on-demand plan is going to be for each webinar. Treating on-demand webinars with as much care as the live event can significantly increase the ROI of your webinar campaigns.

If you’re compelled, please share your feedback below. Talk soon

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com

(Houston, TX) – Elastic Solutions, a leading provider of webinar-based marketing solutions and strategic lead generation services that drive greater pipeline for marketers, is hosting a webinar – Creating Survey Campaigns that Drive Pipeline – on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 at 1:00 PM CDT.

“B2B marketers are constantly looking for ways to generate better leads and drive more pipeline,” said Jason Stegent, Founder and President of Elastic Solutions. “At the same time, they’re looking to get more targeted and find an approach that enables them to penetrate their key accounts more effectively and generate actionable account intelligence. We’ve found that surveys are an ideal vehicle to fulfill these needs, and in this webinar we’ll explore how putting together survey campaigns the right way can help marketers uncover more ‘sales ready’ opportunities that lead to accelerated revenues.”

In 45 minutes, attendees will learn (among other things):

  • Why it’s important to pre-define the overall goals of the survey and how the findings will be used
  • The anatomy of a good lead generation survey – including the ideal flow, question/answer formats and length – that will generate the best response
  • The right promotional mix to get the amount of survey responses you’re looking for
  • How to repurpose the survey findings into other forms of content – whitepapers, webinars, etc. – and how to leverage the findings for long-tail lead generation impact

The webinar will end with a live Q&A. Click here to Register Now!

If you have any questions about this webinar or anything related to Elastic Solutions, please email sales@elasticroi.com and/or call 832.831.5844.

About Elastic Solutions

Elastic Solutions provides webinar-based marketing solutions and lead generation services that increase target audience engagement, generate more qualified leads and drive greater pipeline results. From cloud-based webcasting and virtual event solutions that enhance demand generation and accelerate opportunities through the sales funnel, to strategic marketing services that get

You’ve committed to making webinars a part of your marketing strategy. Fantastic! Now…what are you going to talk about? How are you going to put together a webinar topic that speaks to your audience and makes them want to register and attend?

While the webinar presentation itself must be compelling and have substance, your audience will never even see your webinar unless you pick an engaging topic that they’re interested in learning more about. Think of it like a prospecting email – the message in the body of your email might be awesome, but your prospects will only read it if the subject line compels them to open it in the first place. Here are some tips that will help you pick the right webinar topic every time.

It’s not about you. It’s about your audience

It doesn’t matter what you want to talk about. What matters is what your audience wants. Where are they looking to improve? Where are they challenged? What information are they thirsting for and how can you give them what they want? Going to your sales team to get answers to these questions would be a smart move. They’re on the frontline every day speaking with customers and prospects. They’re hearing the complaints and challenges. They also know where there’s miscommunication and why some deals are being lost. They can essentially be the voice of the customer/prospect and help you build topics and messaging that resonates with your audience. Finally, don’t be afraid to simply ask your audience, “We’re going to be running webinars to educate and connect with our community. What would you like to see and learn in our webinars?”

Pick a topic with your webinar goal in mind

Are you looking to create mass appeal and touch your entire audience? If so, you’ll want to go with a topic that’s broader in nature. These are topics that will drive more webinar traffic, but most likely won’t generate as many qualified leads. If you’re looking to generate more qualified, sales ready leads or accelerate existing opportunities through the pipeline, you’ll want to pick a topic that appeals to a particular niche or segment of your audience. These are webinars that are meant to meet where your prospects are in their buying journey. We touched on this a few months back in A Webinar for Every Stage of the Funnel.

Repurpose content that’s been successful

We always talk about how great webinar content is staring marketers in the face…they just need to know where to look. If you’re struggling to find that perfect webinar topic, dive into past content, determine what’s generated the most buzz and re-purpose it. If you have a blog that’s gotten a lot of attention and shares, an eBook or whitepaper that generated a lot of downloads, or a video that got a lot of views, double down on that success and make it the topic of your next webinar. Too often marketing teams create great content, but don’t look at the big picture and realize the long-tail impact it can have. They’re just looking at short-term results. Webinars are the ideal vehicle to extend the shelf life of successful pieces of content.

Clearly articulate the purpose of your webinar

I know it sounds obvious, but too often the topic doesn’t clearly state what the webinar is going to talk about. Pick a topic that will give your audience a good idea of what the webinar is going to cover (for example, ‘Five Ways to Generate More Webinar Traffic’), and then when they get to the registration page have a description that clearly states the educational benefits of attending your webinar.

If you’re compelled, please share your feedback below. Talk soon

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com

Organizations are investing more in marketing than ever before. There are more tools at a B2B marketer’s disposal than ever before. Marketing budgets are going up. However, putting together content marketing and lead generation strategies that stand out from the crowd and truly deliver results has become increasingly difficult.

To find out what is truly effective right now, check out Demand Gen Report’s ‘What’s Working in Demand Generation in 2019’ report. Three key highlights from the report that we see:

  1. It’s time to test ABM. Actually, it’s been time to test ABM for a while now. It’s no longer a buzzword, but rather a necessity for getting ahead. Once thought of as a tactic for only large enterprises, companies of all sizes are starting to play the ABM game. Spray and pray is out, and targeted, personalized campaigns are in. A multi-pronged approach is key and that’s what we stress with our Elastic Solutions Four-Pronged Approach to ABM Success.
  2. Webinars continue to be a killer lead-gen weapon. 58% of respondents to the 2019 Demand Generation Benchmark Report cited webinars as their most successful tactic for top-of-funnel engagement. Webinars are considered a ‘must do’ channel and new webinar formats will enable B2B marketers to increase prospect engagement, learn more about their prospects and drive more pipeline. If you’re looking to take you’re webinars up a notch, check out our on-demand webinar The Seven Pillars of an Effective Webinar Campaign.
  3. Build content with the customer in mind. While the goal of your content is to generate engagement and drive demand, don’t make your content a company commercial. Build it with the prospective customer in mind. Educate and inform your buyers, establish your brand as a thought leader and resource for them, and your content marketing ROI will greatly increase.

If you’re compelled, please share your feedback below. Talk soon

Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ jstegent@elasticroi.com