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March 03, 2014

2014 Nominee: Laura Patterson, VisionEdge Marketing, Inc.

Company: VisionEdge Marketing, Inc.

Years in Business: 15

Nominee's Achievements:

Laura Patterson, President of VisionEdge Marketing Inc., has spent her entire career advocating the importance of the link between the marketing and sales departments and the overall goals of an organization.  Her philosophy is that the marketing department is not a "cost center," but an integral part of increasing an organizations profits, sales, and ultimately share holder value.  In order to achieve this synergy, many systems, processes, especially processes related to data and metrics, and changes in corporate culture must be put in place.  As a recognized thought leader in the area, Laura has published three books and hundreds of articles, served as a speaker at conferences all over the World, and most importantly, helped her clients re-think and re-engineer their processes to "prove" that marketing and sales positively impact the bottom line.
One of the key topics Laura has written extensively about and helped her clients achieve is lead generation, lead nurturing, qualifying leads, and how marketing and sales can work together most effectively.  Specifically Laura leverages her knowledge to identify the opportunity pipeline and its associated metrics, uses company data and analytics to outline the customer buying journey, and creates and develops buyer personas.

Nominee’s Achievement in the Field of Sales Lead Management:

  • Under the direction of Laura, VisionEdge Marketing (VEM) developed a customer-centric opportunity pipeline management model called "The 6 C’s of Customer Engagement," which is designed to align Marketing & Sales around the incremental customer behaviors associated with the customer buying process. Using this process, Sales & Marketing work together to organize the customer buying behaviors into one of the following six stages: Contact, Connection, Conversion, Consideration, Consumption and Community. This model enables Marketing & Sales to collaboratively address opportunity management, scoring, and conversion, while allowing marketing to use the customer buying process and data to develop appropriate content, touch points, and channels relevant to where the customer is in their buying process. Marketing organizations using this approach and model develop metrics that allow them to measure marketing’s contribution in terms of number of opportunities generated, the rate in which the opportunities are generated, the value of marketing-generated opportunities, the conversion and win rate of marketing-generated opportunities.
  • VEM was hired by Southwest Airlines Co. to develop a measurable customer-centric plan and a repeatable planning process. Many times, the sales and marketing organization has a general idea of what they need to do to accomplish various goals, but without a focused effort or a well-articulated roadmap to follow they are unable to define what is working and what specifically needs to be done. VEM's work with Southwest Airlines is an example of how a measurable customer-centric integrated sales and marketing team can improve marketing through defining measurable objectives, organizing information better, defining key customer-centric metrics for measuring marketing, and identifying missing pieces of information needed to make better decisions.  VEM outlined key challenges and processes in a case study called "Case Study 32: New Approach to Measurable Customer-Centric Plan Aligns Sales and Marketing" and made it available for public download via their website.
  • In 2013, VEM’s most downloaded case study was "Case Study 33: Measurable Marketing Plans Facilitates Marketing and Sales Alignment Tooltip" which highlights the importance of alignment for marketing and sales professionals in all organizations.  The case study came about when VEM worked with TÜV SÜD America Inc., a globally recognized testing, inspection, and certification organization.  TÜV SÜD America Inc. leveraged VisionEdge Marketing's "Six Steps to Creating a Customer-Centric Measurable Marketing Plan" process to provide a clear road map for how Marketing is working with Sales to meet operational and sales goals.
  • VEM has been conducting a Marketing Performance Measurement & Management Survey since 2001. In 2013, ITSMA and Forrester joined the Survey. Some of the key findings from the 2013 study include:
    •  Few members of the C-Suite rely on marketing data to make strategic decisions.
    • Just nine percent of CEO's and six percent of CFO's leverage marketing data in this manner.
  • The reason? Marketing dashboards report marketing activity rather than business outcomes, as marketers cling to performance metrics to continuously justify budgets and resource allocations—when instead they should show how marketing moves the needle on top line growth or profitability.
  • In 2013, VEM published a very popular and highly downloaded White Paper called, “Don’t Waste Your Bullets: Using Customer Engagement to Accelerate Revenue & Improve Alignment." This white paper recommends six essential C’s marketers must understand to properly engineer a customer-centric buying pipeline and outlines how to use it to better accelerate revenue and align marketing and sales. Marketing organizations demonstrate value, make an impact, wisely use company resources, and know as much as possible about their customers by measuring the impact of the three things marketers do: find, keep and grow the value of customers. When “finding” new customers, marketers often use language based on pipeline stages built from the selling as opposed to the buying process to configure the pipeline and measure their customer acquisition effectiveness. Today’s customer-driven environment outdates this traditional approach and dictates more focus on customer behavior.
  • Laura Patterson has spoken at over 150 marketing & sales conferences and events all of which emphasize how marketing and sales can improve revenue generation.  Some of the key conferences she has been invited to speak at include:
    • 2013 IFMA Marketing & Sales Leaders Forum
    • 2013 SMPS Pacific Regional Conference
    • 2013 ITSMA Marketing Leadership Forum
    • 2012 ANA B2B Marketing Conference

Professional Boards:

Customer Think Advisory Board

Charitable Boards:

  • Boys & Girls Club
  • Impact Austin
  • Theater Action Project

Authorship (articles or books):

Gone Fishin' - A Guide to Finding, Hooking, Keeping, and Growing Profitable Customers.
Printed version of Gone Fishin’ sold out, so was turned into an e-book.
Publisher: VisionEdge Marketing, Inc. (April 20, 2001)
ISBN-10: 0971008604
ISBN-13: 978-0971008601


Measure What Matters
Publisher: VisionEdge Marketing Inc.
ISBN-10: 0971008612
ISBN-13: 978-0971008618


Metrics in Action
June 2008 - By Laura Patterson - Racom Books/Racom Communications - 2008.06
ISBN 1933199156



6 Best Practices for Opportunity Management; The 6 C’s of a Customer-Centric Marketing and Sales Pipeline


Laura is nominated by Joan Berler


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