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#marketing 5 Sales Strategy Examples That Produce Real Results

In Marketing on 30 marzo, 2017 at 0:06

5-sales-strategy-examples-that-produce-real-results.jpgAre long sales cycles crushing your sales team? Is the cost of every sale going up while your team takes longer and longer to close deals? Are you failing to grow the number of prospects you’re working with?

Dominating the sales cycle isn’t impossible. It just takes the right strategies to get your sales reps focused on delivering on consistent, sustainable revenue growth. With the right examples, tools and processes, you can lead your team to bigger deals that are closed faster. Elevate your sales team from mediocre to masterful with five key sales strategies.

Five Key Sales Strategies and How They Help Your Team Dominate the Sales Cycle

1. Develop a Consistent Sales Message

The first step to delivering results starts with defining a clear and consistent message that every member of your sales team uses. If you don’t already have messaging or it isn’t working, here are two key questions to ask:

  • What’s the value your solution creates for its target buyers?
  • What differentiates you from your competition?

Your sales message must be focused on the value of the solution you’re selling and how it addresses your buyer’s most critical business needs. Every member of your sales team must be able to show and articulate the value and differentiation of your products and services in a way that’s aligned directly to a prospect’s business objectives and outcomes.

Differentiation can be a key way to move a sales opportunity forward. However, the lynchpin to its success is enabling your salespeople to outline how your solution is different in a way that has meaning to the buyer. You may have features that your competitors don’t, but if those features aren’t important to the buyer they mean nothing. In addition, touting parts of your solution that your buyer doesn’t need will likely make your product seem like its more than the buyer needs.

2. Target The Right Buyer

Your salespeople need to have a clear understanding of the type of buyer who “owns the pain” that your solution alleviates. Who owns the problem? What factors should be evident that would give clear indication that they would allocate money to purchase your solution? Reps need specifics on the type of buyer they should be targeting.

You can’t tell your reps, “Anyone and everyone can buy our solution.” That generality creates ambiguity and a lack of focus. Ensure your reps know who they should be targeting. We have worked with hundreds of sales organizations – I’ve seen it time and time again. You folks on the phone have likely seen the same thing. Companies fail to equip their salespeople with how to be successful at the buyer level. As you identify market changes, you can adapt your approach and understanding of your ideal buyers. This insight can also help you understand the value of your products and services.

3. Implement Clear, Repeatable Processes

Every sales leader wants his/her reps selling as much as possible. You can’t make that happen if they’re burdened with cumbersome processes and tools. Refine your processes so that there is consistency across your sales team and you’re inspecting the same best practices with every rep.

With everyone on your team following the same process, you can more easily measure results, track the progress of potential deals and make faster decisions. This allows you to quickly identify any issues before they become major problems. You can see where additional training is needed and where you may need to replace low-performing members of your sales team.

4. Ensure Your Reps are Communicating Digitally and Leveraging Technology

Technology can be a clear way to automate low-value administrative tasks, freeing up time for reps and managers to move sales opportunities forward. Social media platforms like LinkedIn can help your sales team stay in front of prospects and customers every day, allowing your team to communicate across a wide network, making connections and increasing your visibility with your prospects. If your competition is doing it, you want to ensure your reps are as well. If they’re not, what a great way to differentiate how you communicate.

Technology can help your sales reps increase their reach. Social media platforms can be a good way to connect with and educate your prospects.

5. Equip Your Front-Line Managers To Coach

Once you’ve empowered your team with these strategies, make sure your front-line managers are monitoring your sales reps’ efforts. They should be evaluating each member of the team with regular reviews and coaching sessions.

Using a skill/will model is a great way to target coaching efforts. It looks at a sales reps’ motivation compared to their abilities. This model helps you identify the reps you should spend time with, the ones you should move out of role and the ones you should look to promote.

Make this year your most successful ever by implementing these five key sales strategies. Investing time now will create a successful, dynamic sales team that is leading the market and crushing your quarterly and annual goals.

Ready to learn more about creating a sales team that dominates the sales cycle? Download our Land and Expand Activation Kit now!

via Business Articles | Business 2 Community

#marketing 7 Times You Should Update Your Resume

In Marketing on 29 marzo, 2017 at 23:36

Your resume is a living document—fluid, ever-changing, evolving just as your own career evolves. As such, it’s never something you should just set and forget. It’s smart for any professional to make regular resume updates—even when you don’t happen to be in the job market.

So, when is it smart to go through your resume and make a few tweaks and additions? Here are seven instances when a resume update is absolutely called for.

When to Update Your Resume

  1. Any time you finish a significant new project at work. Take a few moments to record it on your resume, lest your achievement go unmentioned. Make note of your own responsibilities for the project, the people you collaborated with, the skills you employed, the challenges you faced, and the results you obtained.
  2. Any time you receive new metrics. Did you just receive this month’s client satisfaction scores, or this quarter’s sales figures? Take just a second to log them in your resume, where numbers and statistics carry tremendous power.
  3. Any time you complete a new training course or obtain a certification. Log your continuing education achievements on your resume to show that you’re still growing, still learning, still pushing yourself.
  4. Any time you consider freelance or side positions. Take a minute to customize your resume, really highlighting the value you can bring to that specific job.
  5. Any time you want to speak at a conference or seminar. Customize your resume to show why you deserve the gig!
  6. Any season of tumult or transition at your current company. Hopefully you won’t find yourself on the receiving end of a layoff, but there’s certainly no harm in being prepared for it, just in case.
  7. At the start of the new calendar year. When January rolls around, and as you think through your New Year’s resolutions, make one of them to make some updates to your resume, keeping it fresh and up to date.

via Business Articles | Business 2 Community

#marketing How to Improve Marketing ROI through CRO

In Marketing on 29 marzo, 2017 at 22:36

One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today isn’t garnering attention—in fact, with more and more emphasis on social media and digital awareness, it’s never been easier to get eyes on your business. Brands seem to explode out of nowhere. They pop up online and make a name for themselves, but very few do more than that. The struggle many companies face is turning that attention into something productive and profitable, effectively converting the user into a customer and prove the value of marketing within the organization.

Often businesses fail at that final step – to turn a prospect or searcher into a lead or customer. They need conversions. In a world that is increasingly becoming more mobile, businesses have to start to rethink the ways in which they are getting users to convert on their digital properties. Here are some basic questions to ask about your mobile presence:

  • Is your website optimized for mobile?
  • Are your forms easy to fill out on a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device?
  • Are you reaching the customer where they are at—on social media apps or other mobile platforms—to capture their attention and get them to convert?

These are all questions that must be answered for businesses to improve their conversion rates and ultimately prove and improve their marketing ROI. It doesn’t matter how sophisticated your marketing efforts are, whether or not you can connect online and offline sales to prove your return, or to what extent you can get your business in front of the right audience—if you can’t take the necessary steps to move a user from the research to decision phase, you won’t thrive.

Prove and Improve Marketing ROI


Consider how jarring it must be for a prospect to search for a solution, find the ideal message in an ad or social platform, but then be directed to a homepage with no relevant message or way to continue the conversation. The evolution to a conversion-optimized experience isn’t as arduous as it might seem. But if one piece of the puzzle is missing, then all the attribution, dollars spent on digital marketing, and time put in by your team is wasted.

We see it all the time with our clients, many B2B enterprise companies that have established in-person relationships with their clients but struggle to break out into new markets and capture new audiences. Often it is because their website and landing pages haven’t evolved with their marketing programs. They are ready to adopt new forms of inbound media without doing the work required to optimize their sites and landing pages to ensure they are in line with the programs they are running. So much of the culture in marketing is to cast a wide net and hope something catches. But why waste time on things that might prove fruitless when you can do less and do it better? Don’t spend dollars where your time is being wasted.

Take a look at your marketing efforts, both in the past and currently. Every business is different, and every solution that takes your business to the next level in marketing is going to be different too. Ideally, your business would be strong in every aspect—SEM, SEO, email marketing, social media, etc. But whether you are just getting started or you have years and years of experience, it is essential to focus on what you can do now and do it right. Analyze what has worked and where your efforts are not giving you the return you would like to see. Then by focusing on the things that you find most effective to convert your audience, you’ll do more than survive—you’ll thrive.

A huge part of digital marketing that truly impacts your ROI is the conversion rate optimization. Whether you make changes to ad copy, test new imagery on your landing page, A/B test where you send users on your site, or something as simple as a swapping out your call-to-action for something more edgy, CRO is a vital part of enriching your marketing efforts.

Let’s look at the elements that make up a sophisticated marketing approach and how they’re affected by poor landing page experience due to poor CRO efforts.

Data & Analytics


Data, data, data. Never before has there been so much data at our fingertips. Every day, users are triggering hundreds, if not thousands, of moments online that add up to tell an important story. By following the users’ interactions on your website and landing pages with tools like heatmaps and form tracking, you can find out what is working for you and what isn’t.

Or maybe your marketing team is concerned with the performance of paid search ads, low CTRs, and poor conversion rates on-site. Take a look at the numbers provided by those platforms or dig into Google Analytics—this is where it helps to have real people on hand who know how to crunch the numbers—and figure out ways in which you can test new paid media programs.

This is why A/B testing is so important, especially with platforms like Pagewiz. The numbers won’t change if you don’t do something about it. Some absolute essentials for any landing page include:

  • Move the form above the fold.
  • Make sure your paid search ads are closely aligned with landing page copy for better quality scores.
  • Try new visual creative.

Platforms like HubSpot allow you to serve different calls-to-action on your landing page depending on whether the user is a return visitor or not. And smart forms can capture different data from the same user who has already filled out the basic information (name, business, email, phone number) on your site in the past. These are easy and important steps to take to transform the user’s experience and make the more likely to convert, and all of this impacts your marketing ROI in the end.

These solutions sound simple, and they are! But so many businesses don’t let the data dictate their strategies; they don’t step back and look at what is actually happening in order to inform their efforts. Going with your gut is important, but if you’re contradicting the numbers that are right in front of you, something’s wrong.

Mobile Vs. Desktop Experience

There is no need to emphasize the fact that mobile experiences must be good to convince a user to hand over their information. We have all been in that place of bouncing from a page out of frustration—whether it is because of a poorly designed interface, the form is too long on mobile, or the site won’t load properly on your smartphone. Making sure your website is responsive and media landing pages are optimized for mobile is a must.

And that means the things that work on desktop, things your marketing team may have mastered, will not necessarily translate to mobile.

It is important to think about the ways in which people use mobile. While web searches on mobile surpassed desktop in 2015, the things people search for on their mobile devices are much different than desktop. Similarly, display campaigns on mobile apps and social media platforms need to be tailored to something convenient and convincing for a user to convert.

Facebook and LinkedIn, among many others, have auto-fill features that populate the usual information required on a form for the user in one easy click. This is a game-changer for mobile conversion optimization in your paid media programs. By removing this barrier to conversion—the inconvenience of clicking and typing out information in each form field on mobile—you’ll be enhancing your mobile performance and bringing in more opportunities to improve your marketing ROI.

Personalization: The 5th ‘P’ of Marketing


The famous 4 ‘Ps’ of marketing—product, price, promotion and place—have a new counterpart: personalization. As Rachel Ready, the VP of Digital Marketing here at BusinessOnline, says, “B2B marketers have the ever-growing problem of getting through to a user base that is being inundated with more and more messages. The way to break through is by using data to truly understand who your customers are and how to achieve that 5th ‘P’ of marketing: to speak to a customer in a personalized way –working toward a world where we can achieve 1:1 personalization at scale.”

Part of that personalization process is making the on-page experience tailored to them. A key to this is knowing your audience. Understanding who your customers are and making sure you optimize towards the common denominator amongst them will ensure a more relevant user experience. The closer you get to reaching your audience with the right content, the more likely they are to convert.

An Example

One of our largest clients, an enterprise telecommunications company based in the Midwest, underwent various optimizations over the last 12 months—that included both a website redesign to be responsive and mobile-optimized as well as a campaign restructure and focus on messaging to specific markets. Their efforts lead to a YoY increase in ROI by nearly 12% and an increased order value by 57% in FY16 over FY15.

Firstly, the client underwent a website redesign that included pages optimized towards mobile and tablet devices. The responsive design led to greater ease of use for the users on these devices, making forms easier to fill out and driving up mobile conversion rates.

Another major change that this client made was due to research and data derived from messaging around specific markets. By focusing at the city and state level, and messaging to users who were engaging with location-based content rather than their general product information, we were able to create and optimize campaigns better.

We helped them develop and launch new pages by product at the state level, leading to a better user experience because of a more personalized experience, higher click-through-rates in paid media, and an overall increase in conversions. Ultimately, based on this data and testing of the new location-based pages versus their general campaigns of the previous year, the client saw a positive return on marketing investment.

In the end, Listen to the Data


As we said earlier, look at the data. Are they spending more time on your site via mobile? Then focus your marketing efforts on mobile platforms and ad types. Are you nurturing your leads? Are leads signing up for emails more likely to convert in the long run? These are practices you should be not only putting into place but analyzing and optimizing to create the most personalized and relevant experience.

via Business Articles | Business 2 Community

#marketing How to Destroy a Company

In Marketing on 29 marzo, 2017 at 22:06

While action flicks may destroy businesses using in-depth heists and powerful explosions, ending a company proves much easier in real life. From bad service to impulsive tweeting, there are numerous ways to ruin a business, and below we’ve listed a step-by-step guide on how you can destroy your own.

Hire people you wouldn’t want to work for

Mark Zuckerberg is famous for a couple things; he built a social media empire in his twenties, and he sports the same shirt virtually everywhere he goes. Perhaps less known, however, are the Facebook founder’s insights on hiring employees. Zuckerberg only hires someone to work for him if he would would work for that person, too.

Not only is this an interesting concept, but it makes sense. You probably want to hire a competent individual, but you probably need to hire a critical thinker, a troubleshooter, and someone who will challenge you professionally. A yes-man (or woman) may seem great in the moment, but it could disarm you later. Teamwork is crucial, and you want team members to help you, not hurt you.

Post your thoughts and grievances on social media often

We’ve all heard about companies’ accidental tweets and PR nightmares, but the truth is, everyone’s public words are just that—public.

And therein lies the dilemma with the viral age; things can go viral instantly, but often for the wrong reasons. While people love cute animals and funny memes, people also love outrage. So, if you’re trying to be clever or funny on social media, keep in mind, virtually everyone can see what you’re saying. This means your job or business could be on the line if your joke is negatively perceived. That’s a lot of weight resting on a punchline.

Make choices without assessing all possible outcomes

When a company fails, it’s easy to brainstorm the reasons for failure. Perhaps the company appealed to the wrong demographic. Perhaps the company implemented outdated practices. Numerous articles tell us brand evolution is the only way to stay ahead.

However, companies frequently do evolve. Being “stuck in the past” doesn’t necessarily destroy a company. Instead, changing a brand rather than a company’s mission—making decisions without thoughtful consideration—these can be the downfall of an otherwise good business. Simply put, your company can be affected by anything, and if you’re basing a decision on past successes, you may need to assess your current business and your current world. This kind of consideration could save your company.

Accept that SEO is dead

Some companies feel SEO is unnecessary, or more commonly, that SEO is dead. This is an interesting theory, especially since most of us still rely on Google for a myriad of things, like, “How do I jumpstart my car,” or “Can I eat cheese with this antibiotic?”

And as Moz points out, Googlebots can’t describe your dog the way you can—or anything else, for that matter—making SEO pretty handy. SEO helps Google understand what you want, as well as the information you’re inputting. This means we should not only employee SEO, but we should invest in it. SEO offers a “fairly good ROI,” sure, but it also works. What’s more, there’s no likelihood SEO will stop working any time soon, so until it’s really dead, better safe than sorry.

Don’t worry about encouraging employees

Complimenting an employee on a task may seem unnecessary, but failing to encourage your team may be the perfect way to land disengaged workers.

Like all relationships, employees and managers should communicate, because employee engagement can be measured by how challenged and valued someone feels. This means employees want to know how they’re doing. With this in mind, regularly consider how you and your employees can grow and advance.

Assume you’re already the best manager you can be

If you’re already encouraging your employees, you may think you have nothing to to worry about. However, as you can probably guess, employee engagement is only half the battle.

This rings especially true, since problems may begin early in the hiring process. That is to say, if you hire someone—even if it’s a great someone—for the wrong position, you’re going to experience problems. (And that goes for promotions, too.) Remember, hiring a good fit now can prevent a difficult situation later.

Put everything above customer service

Chances are you’re not going to please 100% of customers 100% of the time, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. In fact, more than half of Americans are willing to spend more and/or try a new company simply based on good customer service.

But forget the numbers. Think about a time when you had really bad service vs. a time when someone took care of you. Chances are, both situations stuck with you in a big way. Customer service is important, and even if providing good support requires more energy, your reputation and paycheck may be better for it.

Make poor financial decisions

There are plenty of horror stories about CEOs who have ruined companies, but white collar crime and bad investments are not the only examples of poor financial decisions.

For companies big and small, there are a few simple things to keep in mind. For instance, keep an eye on how much money is coming in and going out each month. This advice may seem obvious, but disciplined organization and analysis will maintain financial responsibility. In addition to cash flow, ask yourself this; am I spending more than I should each month? With a proper set of goals and a financially responsible team, you will have a better chance at fiscal success.


You never know if a startup will be successful. What may have worked two years ago may be old hat now. Even still, some of the greatest businesses have destroyed themselves by following a point or two from the above list. Want your business to be a success? Be smart, be thoughtful, and be encouraging. Oh, and a good product doesn’t hurt.

via Business Articles | Business 2 Community

#marketing The Best Way to Find and Protect Your Job

In Marketing on 29 marzo, 2017 at 21:06

There are many types of insurance that we are paying on a regular basis and we don’t typically reflect too much on that since it has become routine. Some types of insurance are deducted automatically from the paycheck. These are mandatory expenses while others are elective. Insurance is a payment we pay to get protection against a possible eventuality. It is a guarantee of compensation for specified loss, damage, illness, or death. Commonly we insure our assets such as house, car and even unemployment or long-term disability. But what can an individual do to protect their job, their income without which their mere existence is jeopardized?

Protect your job through your skills.

The job market changed and today it is almost impossible to protect any job. World events destabilize the job market and employers need to react quickly. Often they need to shed a large contingency of employees just to be able to stay in business. Simply, employees have no protection against such events regardless of the position within the organization. So what are they to do to insure themselves against such possibilities? The answer is in continuously striving for opportunities to learn new skills and improve on the existing ones. Think about what would be your answer if during a job interview you were to be asked to name two or three new things that you have learned during the last year. Employers no longer value long tenure with one company. They want to see skills and ambitious personality learning new skills because they know that the future in business is going to demand something that can not even be predicted today. This is the type of insurance that companies need for their future and continuous existence and thriving at the same time.

Companies are adapting fast – but are you?

There are a myriad of companies developing tools, software and systems for sourcing talent. Employers are investing in such products because they want to stay competitive. The supply of applicants or even passive candidates (A passive candidate is employed, but not currently looking for a new opportunity) is vast and they need tools to effectively sift through the many thousands of them. Of course, this can not be done manually. Automation is the answer.

The hiring process shifts gear

In the past, the practice had been that a person looking for a job is sending out many resumes to potential employers. In those days there was a department called Personnel which actually used people to read through resumes and file them according to their existing departments/functions. Once a replacement was needed they searched through their inventory. Those days are gone forever! Today’s pace is much faster and the inventory is larger. The modus operandi changed too. While in the past a candidate’s professional past was summarized on say two pages today’s resume is on Google. While the past practice was two-dimensional via the resume, today that is multi-dimensional and searchable on the internet. Employers are interested way beyond what the resume says. They are searching on applicants routinely to find relevant information via social media. This is a third dimension which did not exist in the past and today it is a competitive edge for some.

The interviewing process changed

Once the vast number of potential candidates has been narrowed down to a reasonable number they enter another phase in this competition. Companies are no longer ready to pay for flying in viable candidates. Companies need to be careful with their expenses and the Human Resources department which replaced Personnel is investing in new and existing technology. For example, more and more companies are using not only video or Skype interviewing but some sophisticated software. Candidates are asked to interview on camera without an interviewer present. They are interviewing with a pc. After they are sent a link to such a software they are instructed how to proceed. They are given between six to ten questions to which they have only a short time to answer. Say maximum two minutes. This process results in short video which is sent out to the interviewing team. Each team member can make his or her comments to the rest of the team and able to score each candidate. The process seems very fragmented but certainly efficient. Once the candidate passed this phase he or she is invited for an in-person interview. And now the big question is how many people are fully prepared not only to make a great impression via this rudimentary videoing system and at the same time able to deliver great interview answers within merely seconds.

via Business Articles | Business 2 Community

#marketing How Protecting Your Team Can Backfire

In Marketing on 29 marzo, 2017 at 20:36

One of the most primal goals of a leader is to keep their people safe and secure. In the business world, safe and secure is subjective. In today’s office environment employees are safe from physical harm when they go to work. This leads to leaders adopting new definitions of safety, whether realizing it or not. For example, leaders often consider team happiness as the primary measurement of safety and security in an office environment.

A leader’s good intentions can protect team members from the wrong threats.

Some of the best advice I receive when protecting my team was a simple question, “have you asked your team?”. I had been hoarding work because I didn’t want to overwork my team, I didn’t want to stress them out by overloading their workload. What I was doing in my mind was protecting them. In their eyes, once I asked them was that I didn’t trust or believe in them to take on some of the more challenging tasks.

Don’t protect your team from improving their skills.

If you want to prevent a team member from developing their skills, then please keep protecting them. Keep the hard projects, the messy ones and the long-term ones. Don’t delegate. I’ve personally even kept the administrative tasks because, “who else would want to do this”. I looked at employee happiness as the factor I was protecting. By delegating the ugly administrative task, the tedious one I was keeping my team happy. What I was really teaching them was that these types of tasks don’t exist. That their job is only filled with the fun and interesting assignments.

Your team needs these ugly, difficult and long-term projects.

In her book, Grit, Angela Duckworth states that talent “is how quickly your skills improve when you invest effort. Achievement is what happens when you take your acquired skills and use them”. By protecting your team, you’re doing the opposite of any great manager you’re preventing your team from using their skills.

The next time you have an ugly, messy or tedious project ask yourself if you’re really protecting your team.

via Business Articles | Business 2 Community

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