According to analyst firm SiriusDecisions, during the last five years; the average sales cycle has gotten 22 percent longer. There's no doubt that it is more difficult for B2B companies, particularly those with complex sales cycles, to make the numbers. Into this environment comes Brian Carroll's new book Lead Generation for the Complex Sale: Boost the quantity and quality of leads and increase your ROI.
This is a great book for any organization struggling with getting more and importantly, better leads. The book lays out the fundamentals and explores the varied traditional options such as Web, tradeshows, phone, and direct mail. But there are also some of the newer techniques too such as blogging and podcasting.
I particularly liked that Brian focuses on how marketing and sales can (and should) work together. Too often in B2B companies, marketing and sales are their own islands and the only time that the two departments come together is to point fingers: "We got tons of leads," says the marketing team. "The leads all suck," retorts salespeople (and sales management too).
I'm impressed that Brian's book ideas were originally written on his blog, which focuses on B2B lead generation, sales leads, and marketing for the complex sale. His blog provided interested publishers with direct evidence of his marketability, subject matter, and writing style.
Brian's experience is a terrific example of the power of online content to sell a concept, a product, even a book idea. Today, authors become well-known online first, and then build a book proposal that puts them in a great position with publishers. Blogs are a powerful way for individuals to harness new media to great success.