Tag Archives: How to Run a Successful Text Message Marketing Campaign

How To Utilize Data To Inform Your Sales Process

The Four Ways That Data Can Be Utilized To Inform Your Sales Process

By Dave Mattson | August 28, 2020


For as long as there have been salespeople, there has been data to analyze about the process they use to bring in business. The only issue has been how effective leaders are at drawing conclusions from that data.

All too often, companies don’t make effective use of the information available to them from their sales teams. They fail to generate the most relevant data points… or they focus on information that is familiar to them but less than meaningful. These common mistakes result in, among other things, the dreaded “garbage in, garbage out” sales forecast. So: How can you as a sales leader use data to support both the organization and the sales team? Here are four questions that will help you to do just that.

Question One: Do you have a sales process? This may sound like an obvious requirement, but most organizations we work with do not have a sales process! If you start breaking down data without a systematic process in place for generating sales, the data you come up with isn’t going to do you a lot of good. Note that a sales process gives people the steps they need to follow, from start to finish, to create revenue for your organization. Every company has a slightly different process; you can think of the data generated by the various steps of your sales process as being like an MRI. When it’s done properly, that kind of comprehensive scan is going to tell you what you need to know about the internal workings of your sales team. But to be useful, the analysis must line up with a functioning sales process!

Question Two: Have you identified your expectations? What are your expectations for each of the phases of your sales process? Break the process into its constituent parts: lead development, also known as prospecting; qualification; and then fulfillment and servicing the account. These three phases can also be understood, in the enterprise world, as landexpand, and renew. So. What are the specific outcomes you want to see within each of those three areas? What are the behaviors that make those outcomes possible? What are the departmental benchmarks – meaning what are your time-bound goals for behaviors that will land new business, expand existing business, and renew relationships with your best customers? Once you know that, you can break it down. What are the team benchmarks? What are the individual benchmarks? Set specific expectations. Hopefully, you’ve overlaid some competitive information, and you are meeting or exceeding the relevant industry benchmarks as you work with your team to identify the right goals. Once you have set the expectations, you will have something to compare the relevant real-world data to. (See Question Three.)

Question Three: Are you measuring the right stuff? Get meaningful data. Specifically, make sure you are getting data that connects to a specific step of your sales process. Make sure you are using your CRM system as a source of actionable business intelligence… not as a demonstration of compliance on the part of your salespeople. Make sure you are tracking leading indicators (activities that predictably generate revenue, such as having an initial voice-to-voice conversation with a decision maker) not just lagging indicators (activities that connect to revenue that has already been generated, such as filing a signed contract). Often, leaders spend too much time on lagging indicators and not enough in leading indicators. Identify the leading indicators that spotlight the effectiveness of a particular step of your sales process (such as the number of times a salesperson begins a discussion about the budget). Use that data to strategize improvement. What specific tools, resources, and behaviors will help everyone ensure the needle is moving in the right direction? How will you share the data in a way that inspires salespeople to monitor – and control – their own behavior?

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Question Four: Are you looking at a problem… or a symptom? This is perhaps the most important question of all. Is the data you’re examining pointing you toward an actual problem, or is it identifying the inevitable result of some underlying issue that you haven’t yet addressed? Sometimes, what seems obvious about a sales team’s needs isn’t obvious at all. Let me give you an example: Often, companies will look at their presentation-to-close ratio, realize that it’s low, and then self-diagnose based on that. They’ll say to themselves, “Okay, we need some help; we need to get better at delivering our presentations.” They think that’s the right response to what the data is telling them. But time after time, we find that’s not the problem.  When we do some digging, what we generally uncover is that they have a poor qualification process. The majority of those people they’re presenting to, they shouldn’t have been presenting to in the first place. They had no opportunity to win. Remember: There is a time to step back and get some help in assessing what the data is really telling you.

New technologies in CRM, in artificial intelligence, voice intelligence, and in any number of other areas are giving us all access to much deeper analyses than we could have made just a few years ago. As sales leaders, we can get the right data up on the dashboard… we can use that data intelligently… and as a result of what we learn, we can do a better and better job of leading our teams and our organizations in the direction they need to go. That starts with asking ourselves the four questions I’ve shared here – so we can avoid the all-too-common mistake of trying to land the plane without an instrument panel!

Interested in learning more about how you can utilize technology and data to inform your organization’s sales process? Learn why Sandler partnered with Gong to bring a measurable, data-driven approach to sales learning programs.

 


 

How to Close Sales Faster In a Pandemic

BY: MARK HUNTER|PUBLISHED ON: AUG 26, 2020|CATEGORIES: SALES MINDSETSALES MOTIVATIONSALES PROCESS0 COMMENTS

My newest book, A Mind For Sales, relates to what we’re dealing with today in the middle of a pandemic. So much of it has to do with our mind. There’s a tremendous amount of business out there; we just have to be flexible and willing to adapt to go find it.

I’m going to share with you 10 steps on how to close sales faster in a pandemic.

I encourage you to hit subscribe so you have access to the new content I put out there every week – on my blog.

1. Keep It Simple for Your Customers

This is not the time to get into a complex sales process. It’s not the time to get into major, major deals that are going to take years to close and involve multiple people. With a lot of people working from home, it’s much harder to get people together. You have to keep everything in your sales process and in what you sell. All of it must be simple in order to help the person or maybe the two people you’re speaking with to make a fast decision.

2. Focus on Your ICP

Now more than ever, you have to stay tight with your ICP – ideal customer profile. Stay focused. It is too easy to chase the shiny object for the sake of trying to find business; however, when you get outside your lane and start dealing with people not within your ICP, it will take you much longer to understand them and for them to understand you. That will just slow down the process. Stay in your lane and stay focused on your ICP.

3. Fast Prospecting

What is fast prospecting all about? It means you need to double down and triple down the speed with which you’re interacting with customers. This is not the time to sit there and say that you’ll slowly continue to reach out to them like every month. No! It’s not the time for that. You have to take whatever your process was, cut the time in half, and double the contacts. Prospecting must be faster than ever. In other words, if you normally reach out to your prospects every two weeks, now it needs to be every week. If you usually reach out every week, reach out every three days. Speed is what it takes. Speed sells!

4. Narrow the Solution

When you talk to a customer and engage them, the solution is not to start throwing out all of these ideas as to what they can do or all these things that they’re going to be able to accomplish. No, it’s not the time to sell world peace. This is not the time to try to find a solution for hunger. Now is the time to narrow the solution and help the customer achieve that one specific outcome that they’re looking to achieve.

5. Shorten the RSI

Remember that customers don’t want to be sold to and really, I don’t even think they want to buy. What they desire is a return on their investment. That is what they truly want, so it’s your job to show your customers how they can quickly receive a return on their investment when they buy from you and invest with you. Therefore, let them know that when they buy “x” service or product from you, they will immediately get value back. I have to do everything possible to shorten the ROIC, because things are just too unstable as we look long-term.

6. Limit the Options

When you get to the point of putting things out on the table, don’t say, “well, hey, why don’t you pick from one of 18 different items?” This is not the time to play buffet. No, no. You must limit the options. Any time you present too many options, you automatically slow down the decision-making process because the customer needs more time to think about it. Don’t put more than three options out on the table.

7. Trust

One of the reasons I am able to only put two or three options on the table is because I’ve earned their trust. Without a doubt, trust is key. Everything in your sales process must be centered around helping the customer understand that they can trust you, because you trust them.

Confidence starts in the listing and the respect. Confidence creates integrity, and integrity is really the sister or brother of trust. The greater the level of trust you have, the faster the customer is willing to make a decision with you.

8. Two-Way Street

Have you ever driven down a two-way street and noticed there are cars on the other side? They’re coming at you from the opposite direction. So, what is a two-way street and how does it relate to sales and prospecting? When it comes to helping you close sales faster, you have to understand that there will be give and take on both sides, but stay in your lane. This does not mean that you give the customer everything he/she wants. No, not at all. You don’t do that. Just understand that there may be wiggles and shakes that you need to be prepared for, and that’s okay.

9. Land and Expand

I want you to put this simple phrase on your computer. Put it on your phone. It’s your objective to make it so simple for your customer to do business with you that you land them as a new customer. Then, once you do, you expand that customer and begin building into and getting them in additional ways. But you have to create that initial sale first.

10. Value your Time

Your time is your most prized resource. It’s not what you sell. It’s not your customer. It is your time. In order to use your time wisely, go back through this list of nine and ask yourself where you need to change things. When you begin to understand the value of your time and that you can’t put a price on it, you’ll be able to close sales faster than ever. Time is priceless.

For more tips on valuing your time, go check out my blog post and video on How to Gain An Extra Three Weeks Every Year.

Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog.  Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.


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How to Create Videos When You Are First Starting Out

5 Tips for Creating Videos When You Are Starting Out by @XLConsultingGro

August 18, 2020 by Elaine Slatter Leave a Comment


create video content
create videos

by Elaine Slatter | Featured Contributor

During these crazy times, when face to face connections at events are not possible, have you thought about different ways to create video content?  You don’t need to hire a videographer.  All you need is a cellphone and the right equipment and setup and you can get started. At the beginning you may not be comfortable having to create video content through ‘lives’ whether Facebook live, Instagram or Linkedin live, but let’s explore the different ways to create video content.  Our 5 tips for creating videos when you are starting out will set you on the right path and give you confidence to launch your first video.

1) How to Create Video Content Recordings (not live video)

The advantage of making video content recordings is you can edit out the sections you don’t like, and chop the video up into smaller bite sizes (sound bites, if you like) that you can then re-purpose on different social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and your own blog.  So let’s get started

  • Record a video with your cell phone.  All you need to create video content with your cell phone is a tripod with a cell phone mount, a halo light, a remote button and editing software. A setup like the one in the picture can be purchased from Amazon for under $60.00  One free editing app for cell phones is InShOT. There is both a free and paid version of this software, available for both Android and i-phone.   The editing software allows you to trim your video, add text and insert your social media icons.
  • Use Zoom to record and create video content. One advantage of Zoom is you can use a virtual background to your video and in the new version you don’t need a green screen to use a virtual background.  All you have to do is upload a photo of your choice to your computer or select from your cell phone if you are using the mobile version of zoom.
  • Use your computer camera to record videos and then edit after the recording.  If you don’t want to edit your video yourself, using software such as Camtasia (for MAC and PC), or hop on over to Fiverr, type in “video editor” and you will find lots of video editors.  Look for a level 2 seller with a 5* rating when selecting a video editor in Fiverr.

When you’ve mastered creating video content through recordings you are now ready to do “live’ events

2)  Facebook Live

  • Did you know you can go ‘live’ privately?  Yes, you can!   Facebook Live has “Live Rehearsal” or  “Test Broadcast” feature which let’s you practice.  You click ‘live’ under schedule and then click ‘publish as a test broadcast’.  Only the page admins will see your test video.  This is only available on ‘pages’ and not in groups.
  • Once you feel brave enough, you can switch to Facebook live videos on your personal page, your business page or in your group.  If you are going live from your business page, here is where you find the ‘live’ button.

3)  LinkedIn Live

  • Since the pandemic has hit, I’ve notice quite a few business people are taking the plunge and streaming live on LinkedIn.  As of mid-2020 there isn’t a button on LinkedIn that you can just press to do a Linkedin Live, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see this added as a feature in the future.  To go live on LinkedIn you need to use a third party streaming platform.  One of the ones that I like is Streamyard . If you don’t mind the watermark and you are not doing lots of ‘ives’, the free version could be just fine for you.
  • With software such as Streamyard it asks you what you want to connect ‘live’ to and there is a button for LinkedIn.

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4)  Zoom Live

  • You can create a live event on Zoom and invite people to the event through Meetup or through your own email marketing.  With the latest Zoom software upgrade you need a password code and there is a “waiting room” so that you only let it people who you know.  This is to prevent Zoom bombing where hackers jumped into zoom rooms and created havoc to an unsuspecting audience.
  • To set up your scheduled Zoom Live, go into Zoom and “Schedule a Meeting” for the time and date before you go over to Meetup to set it up or prior to sending out an announcement to your email list.
  • Before you go live on zoom, make sure you press the record button to record your live session

5)  Live in Instagram Stories/Posts

  • Perfect for shooting with your cellphone.  You can add special effects on to your video and then post to Instagram.  Great for short snippets, ie 15 seconds or less.   Great for product shots, quick personal videos related to your brand.
  • If your video is longer, then you can post to IGTV
  • Make sure you add those #hashtags to help get exposure to video and gain more following.

How to Share your Videos

You can edit any of your videos to add your branding and to add thumbnails that you design on Canva to show at the beginning or end of your videos.  When you are happy with your videos, then here are the different ways to share them.   Don’t forget to use “tags” to find the searching of your videos easy for those who are looking for your content.

  1. On your YouTube Channel
  2. On a ‘video’ tab on your website
  3. In a blog post on your website
  4. In a facebook group or on your business page
  5. On your LinkedIn profile or Linkedin business page
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Elaine Slatter

Elaine Slatter is a Small Business Expert, founder of XL Consulting Group and author of the popular book, “Fabulous Fempreneurship”, a complete business guide for women. XL Consulting Group helps entrepreneurs with market planning, strategy, branding, web design and social media. She has over 30 years of executive business and marketing experience and is ready to help you rocket your business to success. Elaine is passionate about mentoring women to become successful women entrepreneurs. To find out more, visit XL Consulting Group or join the Fabulous Fempreneurship mastermind.xlconsultinggroup.com/

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How to Run a Successful Text Message Marketing Campaign

How to Run a Successful Text Message Marketing Campaign

This article is for small business owners considering launching a text message marketing campaign.

By Sammi Caramela, Contributing WriterUpdated: August 18, 2020

image for Champion studio / Shutterstock

  • Text message marketing is more personal than other forms of marketing and can help a business gain traction.
  • SMS messages should follow a structured, efficient marketing campaign.
  • Text marketing involves bulk text…

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