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Smart Growth Roundup

Subscribe and get the latest insights from both the industry and Imagine straight to your inbox on a biweekly basis.

The Smart Growth Roundup is our biweekly newsletter full of industry and Imagine insights. Every edition includes a specific focus in one of the following categories: Revenue Operations, Demand Generation/Lead Generation, Sales Performance, Sales Acceleration/Enablement, Database Management, or Go-to-Market Strategy. Here you'll find the entire archive of all our editions to the Smart Growth Roundup along with the web version of each email. 

September 21, 2021: Sales Acceleration/Enablement

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From Gartner: Evolve Sales Enablement to Support Revenue Operations

Sales leaders should shift from sales enablement to revenue enablement to support revenue operations in today's complex B2B buying & selling environment.

From LinkedIn - Gong Labs: 7 Tips for writing the perfect follow-up sales email (according to science)

After analyzing over 300,000 emails specifically on follow-up prospecting emails, Gong learned two major things about the formula for setting meetings.

From OpenView: How to Hire Enterprise Salespeople

Building an effective enterprise sales team for the long haul starts with the people you hire. Reflect and strategize so you can hire the best people.

From Sales Benchmark Index: How to Empower Your Sales Team to Have Meaningful Conversations

Better understand your buyer's needs and help them get access to timely information, customer insights, and effective communication tools.


September 7, 2021: Demand Generation/Lead Generation

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From CXL: How to Use Storytelling in Business to Build Captivated Audiences

Learn how to apply to art of storytelling in your marketing initiatives to engage and grow your audience, when to use it, and when not to.

From Copyblogger: What's the Difference Between Content Marketing and Copywriting?

If you're writing great articles that people would love to read, but you're not getting the traffic you want, the problem may be ineffective copywriting.

From Harvard Business Review: Research: When A/B Testing Doesn't Tell You the Whole Story

By identifying the characteristics that actually correlate with high sensitivity, marketers can proactively target their campaigns at the customers who will be most receptive to them, increasing ROI.

From OpenView: How to Write an Outreach Email That Someone Will Actually Read

With these 3 key tips, you will have everything you need to improve your outreach campaigns and make real connections with people.


August 23, 2021: Revenue Operations

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From CloudFiles: What is the difference between ECM, DMS, DAM, CMS, & FMS?

Streamlining business documents can be hard. There are so many different types of document management systems. This article differentiates between the above options.

From Forbes: B2B Revenue Operations Is Seeing Greater Centralization, But Can Organizations Make It Stick?

This article highlights a big takeaway from a revenue operations research survey from Forrester and what the insights mean for both the approach to revenue operations and practitioners.

From Drift: Want to Accelerate Your Revenue? Here's Why You Need Conversational Sales.

Ask any marketer, sales rep, or customer success person the most important metric they're chasing. Peel back those metrics and you'll see it comes down to one thing: accelerating revenue.

From Harvard Business Review: Why Your Company Needs Revenue Operations to Drive Transformation

In an era with heightened customer needs, overlooking untapped insights may be costly for your organization.

What is RevOps Infographic


The Starting Line For Sales, Marketing & RevOps




August 5, 2021: Go-to-Market Strategy

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From Sales Benchmark Index: 3 Keys to an Unmatched Account Segmentation Strategy

good account segmentation will keep the lights on, but a great segmentation is how market leaders surpass their competition. How does yours compare?

From StoryBrand: 5 Ways to Make Your Customer the Hero in Your Marketing Material

Learn how you'll be sought after to help prospects in their journey when you position them as the hero and your company as their guide.

From Crayon: 6 Steps to a Strong(er) B2B Value Proposition

Whether you're starting from scratch or revisiting an existing value proposition, here's a 6 step process you can follow to maximize the quality of your final product.

From Visual Capitalist: The Biggest Business Risks in 2021

We live in an increasingly volatile world, where change is the only constant. Keep these risks in mind as you're updating your strategies.



July 20, 2021: Database Management

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From Zoominfo: Experts Weigh In on Data Hygiene Best Practices

Although most companies have now adopted some version of a data hygiene strategy, dirty data is still very much alive and well.

From Adweek: Building the Right Mar-Tech Stack for Your Organization

Today there are thousands of marketing tools and platforms that sit across various categories - data tracking, integration tools, and more. So why is marketing technology important?

From Harvard Business Review: Your Data Supply Chains Are Probably a Mess. Here's How to Fix Them.

Most organizations struggle with a few common issues that can be addressed by focusing on "data supply chain" management.

From MarketingDive: 50% of agencies outsource data amid persistent uniqueness, validity concerns

Take a look at the findings from Stirista's survey of agencies across the Ad tech and Martech worlds and their concerns for high-quality data, as half of respondents outsource their consumer and B2B data needs.



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July 8, 2021: Sales Performance

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From HubSpot: How to Increase Sales: Tips from HubSpot Experts

Are your sales numbers flat this year? Are you struggling to hit your goals? If so, you're not alone. With some expert advice, you'll be well on your way to crushing your sales goals.

From Sales Benchmark Index: 5 Ways Sales Leaders Create a Winning Culture

There are 5 ways sales leaders set a foundational sales culture that helps them attract and maintain a well-oiled sales machine.

From The Center for Sales Strategy: 6 Things the Best Salespeople Never Do

In order to fully understand what makes a high performing salesperson, it's helpful to recognize behaviors NOT exhibited by this elite group.

From tenfold: How to Overcome Sales Objections and the Fear of Rejection

Handling sales objections can make or break a future relationship with a sales prospect, and objections that aren't handled properly can prevent a future meeting or purchase.


June 23, 2021: Demand Generation/Lead Generation

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From Zenmedia: 6 Step Guide to Launch An Email Drip Campaign (With Examples)

Email drip marketing comes down to providing your customers the right information at the right time. Here's a 6 step guide to launching an email drip campaign.

From Impulse Creative: What a Child's Nursery Rhyme Can Teach You About the Customer Buyer's Journey Stages

Just like any relationship, a relationship with your prospects takes time to grow. See how "Mary Had a Little Lamb" can be used as an analogy and detailed example for understanding the customer journey.

From Zoominfo: Three High-Impact Benefits of Email Marketing

Email is the most advanced medium of communication between marketers and their ideal customers. Here's why you should pay attention to the most measurable asset in your toolkit.

From CXL: How to Build a Beloved Product Without Email Marketing

It's important to know that this strategy isn't right for all businesses. You have to be strategic about what you replace it with to continue to be successful.

7 Ways to Screw Up Your Demand Gen Strategy Infographic

Set Your Teams Up For Success (On All Fronts)




June 9, 2021: Sales Acceleration/Enablement

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From Sales Benchmark Index: A New Rep Profile: How Sales Leaders Are Evolving A-Players in 2021

What defines an A-player rep today? Here's what you need to understand about how the past year has shifted the approach to managing relationships and closing business.

From Gartner: Focus on Enablement and Critical Skills to Lead Sales Through Disruption

To quickly and effectively respond to disruption, focus on both dynamic buyer and seller enablement and building these new critical skills.

From Crayon: 6 Best Practices for Better Alignment Between Your Sales & Marketing Teams

When everyone is aligned, the business as a whole tends to grow. How do you do it? Here are 7 best practices for better alignment.

From G2: Sales Acceleration: If You're Not First, You're Last

Creating relationships with customers is crucial, but there are so many other tasks that come along with sales that can slow down the process of selling. That's why you need a sales acceleration strategy.


May 26, 2021: Go-to-Market Strategy

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From OpenView: The 8 KPIs That Actually Matter - and How to Measure Them

There are dozens of metrics that can fall under the KPI umbrella. Cover the 8 KPIs that OpenView monitors closely, and how you can measure them, too. 

From for Entrepreneurs: Clarity of Message: Why You Need A Great Message & How To Create It

How do you make your message simple when what you're offering is complex? This post provides information and exercises you can do to create a great positioning statement.

From Crayon: How to Create a Winning Brand Positioning Strategy

Take a deeper look at the essence of brand positioning and about the strategies you can use to help your product/service rise to the top.

6 Stages of a Successful Growth Strategy

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May 11, 2021: Revenue Operations

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From CXL: Marketing Integrations: The Challenge of Getting Your Marketing Tech Stack to Play Nice

Should you use best-of-breed tools or an all-in-one marketing suite? The trend has shifted to a preference for integrated suites.

From Demand Gen Report: B2B Orgs Turn To Third-Party Data, Strong Leadership To Fuel RevOps Engines

As B2B organizations evolve their strategies and become revenue focused, total alignment, dynamic datasets and strong leadership can ensure success.

From Impulse Creative: What is Revenue Operations, AKA RevOps?

The good news is your business is growing. The bad news is, you're not sure if you're ready for everything that comes with it. Your answers lie in adopting a RevOps mindset.

From HubSpot: The Importance of a CRM: Why Your Company Needs a CRM to Grow Better

CRMs are powerful tools that can help you expedite business growth. Here are 7 reasons why your company needs a CRM to grow better.

What You’re Getting Wrong About RevOps Infographic

April 20, 2021: Data & Analytics

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From Sales Benchmark Index: How Sales Leaders Activate Key Data to Drive Alignment

Prescription and predictiveness are the principles that sales leaders should frame up to leverage market insights and drive decisions that impact top-line growth. 

From Gartner: The Future of Sales Analytics Promises More Commercial Impact

The future of sales analytics leverages intelligent applications and new data sources to drive more commercial impact. Learn what lies ahead.

From Harvard Business Review: Data Is Great -- But It's Not a Replacement for Talking to Customers

Many companies rely too much on big data and analytics in their hunt for strategic insights. They'd do better if they went out and talked to their customers.

From Zoominfo: Tackling Bad Data: How Poor Data Quality Impacts Your B2B Bottom Line

Businesses depend on data to fuel business growth. However, if that data isn't clean, your marketing and sales efforts take a hit.

Reduce Friction & Build Your Teams for Success





April 6, 2021: Demand Generation / Lead Generation

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From HubSpot: Why Business Acumen is Key to Sales Success (And How to Get It)

Business acumen is a term often thrown around boardrooms and blog posts. HubSpot breaks down what it is, why it's important, and how you can develop it in this article.

From Forrester: Inside The Black Box: Designing Sensors To Decode B2B Buying Signals

To enable post-linear buying journeys, marketers must design programs and tactics that connect content and conversations across interactions to predict and respond to buyer needs in real time.

From Sales Benchmark Index: How Marketing Leaders Are Supporting Acquisition, Nurture, and Retention

It's more important than ever for Marketing Leaders to approach Revenue Marketing from a Customer Experience lens.

From Convince&Convert: How Marketers Are Optimizing Their Email Marketing, According to Research

Ascend2 and other research partners fielded the Email Marketing Optimization Survey and around 300 marketing professionals responded. Here are noteworthy insights from the study. 
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March 23, 2021: Demand Generation & Sales Enablement

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From Gartner: How Marketing Can Better Sense and Respond to Customer Needs

In a recent Gartner survey, 90% of marketing leaders agreed that the marketing function needs to be more adaptive to shifts in customer needs. Learn how to better adapt here.

From CXL: Common B2B Challenges and How To Solve Them

CXL surveyed over 200+ B2B executives and marketing & sales leaders to find out what challenges they face. Here's what they learned and the steps you should take to put yourself in a position to succeed.

From Crayon: 5 Expert Tips for Improving Your Sales Enablement Strategy

It's often a challenge to get sales teams to adopt the resources being made for them. Here are the best tips for getting sales to use their sales enablement resources.

From InsightSquared: Chief Revenue Regrets: Relying on Reps to Provide Forecasting Deal Data

We all know who our best sales reps are, but do we really know what they are doing to be so effective? Most often the answer to this is no.

March 9, 2021: Sales Acceleration/Enablement & Go-to-Market Strategy

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From CXL: Market Positioning: The Keys To Getting It Right

This article explores what market positioning is, how to position yourself effectively, and look at some examples from both established and up and coming brands.

From HubSpot: 15 Tried and True Ways to Improve Your Sales Skills

Professional development is essential for salespeople. To progress in your sales career, consider developing and refining the following skills.

From Harvard Business Review: How Savvy Midsize Firms Increase Sales in a Virtual World

What can leaders of midsized companies do to keep a personal touch in sales interactions? HBR found a number of midsized companies whose sales forces have been holding their own and what they've been doing.

From Inc.: Navy SEALs Use This 7-Step Process to Achieve Any Goal. You Can Too

Rob Roy, a 25-year veteran of the SEALs, lays out the 7-step approach SEALs use to tackle even the most daunting missions, so you can adapt it to achieve your own biggest goals.

February 23, 2021: Sales Acceleration/Enablement

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From Crayon: How to Definitively Prove the Value of Sales Enablement

How do you prove the value of sales enablement? And how do you communicate that proof to your colleagues? Find out here.

From Forrester: What You Can't See Will Hurt You: Leveraging Digital Insights To Drive Sales

Even the best sales reps cannot win a deal they aren't aware of. In addition to working directly with the buyer to gain insights, sales should also use buying signals to identify need.

From Compt: Adapting to Remote Work: The Benefits, Challenges, and Keys to Long-term Success

This article covers the benefits and challenges of remote work, as well as the keys to having long-term success with remote work in your company.

From Gartner: 4 Strategies to Rev Up B2B Sales Growth in 2021

Gartner research shows that the key to accelerating revenue growth for B2B sales is a low-effort, digital buying experience that helps customers feel more confident about their decisions.

Increase Your Growth Velocity





February 9, 2021: Digital Evolution, Data Science & Learnings

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From HubSpot: Should You Start a Business in Uncertain Times? What Research & Real Business Owners Say

Uncertain times may not hold back business owners after all. Here's what a handful of entrepreneurs said about their personal experiences with launching businesses in 2020.

From Harvard Business Review: Data Science and the Art of Persuasion

Despite the success stories, many companies aren't getting the value they could from data science. To be successful, you need these 6 talents. 

From CXL: What I Learned Publishing 200+ Blog Posts on CXL

After posting 46 blogs and editing 156 more, Derek Gleason goes through what he's figured out in the process and what he failed to solve.

From Sales Benchmark Index: The Digital Evolution and Its Impact on Revenue Growth in 2021

More than 80% of CEOs feel "digital transformation" has become more urgent. Making the 2021 number is dependent on these capabilities - is your organization ready?

January 26, 2021: Demand Generation & Sales Enablement/Performance

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From Zoominfo: How to Align Sales & Marketing - And Drive Revenue

Discord between marketing and sales departments is an age-old story. The good news is when they're working together, you win.

From MarketingDive: CMOs will be more cautious in 2021 with growth strategies, Gartner finds

The new year promises to be another year of disruption as CMOs grapple with competing priorities to drive sales growth. Most CMOs favor a more cautious approach.

From Harvard Business Review: How to Reach New Customers When You Can't Meet Them in Person

Many companies have deepened their relationships with existing customers during the pandemic. However, sales teams should not give up on finding new customers. This article offers tips on how to do that.

From SiriusDecisions: Can Your Sales Rep Be Influenced By Commission?

Compensation is important, but it is not always the most important sales motivator. Before you make any changes, look at these three areas.

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January 12, 2021: Demand Generation & Sales Acceleration/Enablement

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From Copyblogger: How to Write Killer Email Subject Lines for Sales

To achieve success with email marketing, there is one aspect you must nail for your campaign not to flop - your email subject line.

From Crayon: Competitive Intelligence Planning for 2021: 15 Questions to Answer in Your Annual Plan

When it comes to building your competitive intelligence program plan for the new year, these 15 questions will help you establish the foundation of a winning plan.

From CXL: The Should-How Fallacy (Or Why "Correct" Isn't "Useful")

Being right doesn't create value; empowering others to succeed does. Learn the difference between "should" and "how" to get your content where it needs to be.

From HubSpot: Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021, According to 21 Experts

To better understand what to expect or pay close attention to in 2021, HubSpot connected with other marketing experts for their perspective.

December 15, 2020: Revenue Operations, Demand Generation & Sales Performance

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From The Harris Consulting Group: Why you need a Revenue Operations Team

If you're looking to understand and execute a revenue operations team in 2021, this post will provide the insights you need.

From Medium - Fluxx Studio Notes: 52 things I learned in 2020

Tom Whitwell is at it again this year, giving us the 52 things he learned in 2020. If you like "fun facts," this one's for you.

From Impulse Creative: The Customer Journey vs. The Buyer's Journey, What You Need to Know.

The customer and buyer journeys are two very different efforts. Understand the difference between the two and which one you need.

From Sales Benchmark Index: How CEOs Are Leading Their Sales Transformation

SBI recently surveyed 54 CEOs to understand how their FY20 revenue growth projections and sales and marketing spend have been impacted to determine how you can leverage this in your FY21 plans.

Foundational Business Resources




December 1, 2020: Sustainable Growth

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From Harvard Business Review: Now Is the Time to Shake Up Your Sales Processes

Leaders often wait to implement major changes until a significant event forces them to do so. Four issues need attention now, as changes will only get harder to implement as time passes.

From Jacques Corby-Tuech: Marketers are Addicted to Bad Data

Modern marketing is all about data. Most of us don't understand how data is collected, how these mechanisms work and where/how they don't work.

From HubSpot: Growth Opportunities Exist in 2021: Here's How to Find Them, According to HubSpot's Chief Customer Officer

HubSpot Research recently published findings to help sales leaders think about what changes they need to make when planning for next year.

From Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute: 3 Things You Need to Know for a Successful AI Implementation

Technology is not a solution, it's an enabler and an accelerator. How do you implement AI tech the right way? Uncover the success factors here.

November 10, 2020: Business Success

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From Harvard Business Review: Is Your Marketing Organization Ready for What's Next?

Marketing has never been more complex. Today's world has transformed how the marketing function must work, requiring that it become more agile, interdependent, and accountable for driving growth.

From SiriusDecisions: Should It Stay or Should It Go? Getting Alignment on Martech Decisions

If you are circling around whether some of your technologies should stay or go, here are some questions to ask about each to bring more clarity.

From LinkedIn - Geoffrey Moore: Zone Management: Mind Your Metrics - Hard and Soft

Enterprises undertake diverse sets of responsibilities, each which needs to be managed in its own way. When organized properly, this results in four distinctly different zones of activity.

From CXL: 11 Things People Believe But Shouldn't

People often choose to believe in things that are just not true. Here are 11 things that many of us in marketing believe, but shouldn't.

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October 27, 2020: Go-to-Market Strategy

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From Gartner: Future of Sales 2025: Why B2B Sales Needs a Digital-First Approach

Over the next 5 years, an even greater rise in digital interactions between suppliers and buyers will break traditional sales models.

From Sales Benchmark Index: The 4 Pillars of Flawless Marketing and Sales Alignment

The marketing and sales alignment surround 4 key pillars: big bets, the customer, process, and accountability.

From HubSpot: 5 Ways Go-to-Market Strategies Will Change in the Post-Pandemic Economy

To help businesses navigate their digital transformation journey with success, HubSpot put together a list of 5 key ways in which GTM strategies are changing and how to adapt to each.

October 13, 2020: Database Management, Sales Acceleration/Enablement & Demand Generation

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From Zoominfo: Your Guide to a Healthy Contact Database [Infographic]

Just as a healthy human requires certain things to thrive, so does your sales and marketing contact database - specifically these four things.

From Forrester: A Look Ahead: What Sales Operations Leaders Must Prepare For In 2021

To help sales operations leaders plan for 2021, Forrester published their planning assumptions, describing 5 key trends to prepare for.

From ProfitWell: Customer Expectations at All-time Highs: How Companies Can Keep Up

As companies move to SaaS & subscription-based models, a new customer-centric paradigm is rising with a new focus on customer expectations.

From CXL: The Science of Storytelling & Memory and The Impact on CRO

If your website isn't converting, it's likely the story you're telling through the marketing funnel isn't resonating on an emotional level.

Strong, Smart Growth Resources




September 29, 2020: Revenue Operations, Go-to-Market Strategy & Sales Enablement

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From Harvard Business Review: 5 Myths About Strategy

In studying strategy, there are 5 pernicious myths to be aware of. This article goes through why each are plausible and why each are wrong.

From FunnelCake: The RevOps Framework

Over the past 12 months FunnelCake interviewed over 100 B2B leaders and used the data to create the definitive framework for Revenue Operations.

From HubSpot: Insight Selling: The 8-Slide Framework for a Better Pitch

Today's buyer needs you to add value beyond the research they can conduct on their own. It's time to switch to Insight Selling.

August 31, 2020: Database Management

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From Sales Benchmark Index: Considering Technology-Driven Sales Prospecting? Examine the Pros and Cons of Automation

Weigh the pros and cons outlined here to decide whether automating your prospecting process is right for your organization.

From Zoominfo: 7 Ways Dirty Data is Hurting Your Bottom Line

Using dirty data to fuel your business initiatives is like putting the wrong type of fuel in your car; you're doing serious damage to your engine.

From ProfitWell: Customer Acquisition Vs. Retention: Where Are Your Dollars Best Spent?

Customer acquisition vs. customer retention -- which one is better? That's a misleading question -- both are important.

From SiriusDecisions: Are You Managing Your Sales Data or Is It Managing You?

A lack of accurate real-time data stunts an organizations ability to implement dynamic guided selling.

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August 17, 2020: Go-to-Market Strategy & Sales Acceleration/Enablement

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From Harvard Business Review: 4 Questions Sales Leaders Should Be Asking Right Now

There is a new abnormal at work right now. Sales leaders are challenging conventional wisdom as they look for answers to these questions.

From Sales Benchmark Index: Data Science and Sales Operations: Driving Greater Predictability Together in Uncertain Times

Learn how best-in-class Sales Operations functions are leveraging Data Science teams for predictive revenue insights.

From Greg Kogan's Blog: No New Categories

The secret behind success doesn't come by creating new categories, rather it comes from competing in existing ones.

From Visual Capitalist: 5 Ways to Build a $100 Million Company

Building a successful company takes more than hype, publicity, or fundraising skills.

July 22, 2020: Sales Acceleration/Enablement & Revenue Operations

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From Mike Weinberg's Blog: You Are Building Relationships with Prospects Who Have Yet to Respond

Feel like you're not making any progress with your (or your teams') initial outreach efforts? Think again.

From Gartner: Forget what you thought you know about B2B buyers - see six things that characterize the B2B buyer of 2020

Let's put it this way, if common wisdom drove results - results would be a whole lot easier to attain. Gartner busts some important myths here.

From HubSpot: Why Your B2B Company Needs A Revenue Operations Strategy 

RevOps is a hot topic these days, here's why.

From Harvard Business Review: Want to Be More Productive? Try Doing Less.

We've been taught that if we want more we need to do more. But what if we've been taught wrong?

Eliminate Friction & Drive Results