5 Trends that Will Drive Tech Tradeshow ROI in 2018 [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

Another year, another round of tradeshows. Whether it’s Dreamforce or a local industry meetup, tech marketers rely on live events to help them generate leads and drive revenues. But, like any other widely-used tactic, tradeshows tend to produce varying levels of success for different marketers.

Related: Get your First Tradeshow Clients with these Marketing Ideas

To make your exhibits stand out in 2018, we’re bringing you this neat little infographic from our latest free eBook. The visual showcases the biggest tech tradeshow trends you need to take into account when building your strategy.

 

The infographic is based on UBM’s 2017 Tech Event Marketing Insights Report which summarizes the survey responses from 220 business technology professionals.

5 Trends that Will Drive Tech Tradeshow ROI in 2018 [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

  1. Three is the magic number

UBM’s survey finds that, on average, IT buyers attend three tradeshows each year. This means that tech marketers only get a few chances at meeting prospects face-to-face.

Tip: Make each opportunity count, starting with having the right event marketing ideas and an actionable tradeshow plan.

  1. Prospects seek out vendors they already know

The key to getting the right quality and quantity of booth visitors all boils down to one thing. You need to generate buzz around the event early. That means you should connect with attendees well before the opening day, since 8 in 10 IT buyers say they prefer to visit booths of exhibitors they’re already familiar with.

Tip: Reach out to attendees months before the event. Use a combination of email, social media, and phone calls for your outreach. Also, try to leverage newer (but measurably effective) tactics for promoting your event, such as influencer marketing and native advertising.

Related: Thrice in a Row: Callbox Boosts Event Attendance Rates for CRM Market Leader

  1. Come for the offers, stay for the value

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t like getting free stuff or discounts. That’s why exclusive offers remain a proven tactic for attracting event attendees. Around 92% of the respondents in the UBM study appreciate vendors who promote exhibits via discount codes.

But offers and discounts only haul attendees in. To drive conversations and conversions, your exhibit needs to deliver genuine value. UBM’s findings report that 77% of tech buyers rate product managers as the most helpful people in tradeshow booths. They want to meet subject matter experts, not just marketing and sales reps.

Tip: Use offers, coupons, and deals to give attendees a reason to visit. But make them stay by staffing your booth with people who understand your product and your target customers.

  1. Follow up, follow up, follow up

Anyone who took B2B event marketing 101 knows the power of timely follow-ups. But how soon should you reach out to your tradeshow leads after the event? The UBM survey notes that 79% of IT buyers think 1 to 2 weeks is an appropriate time window.

The study also finds that more than a third of IT prospects want to receive further information after an event, while another 38% expect a post-tradeshow email from a sales rep.

Tip: Follow up, by all means, follow up. Use your past results and experience to figure exactly when and how to do this. But if you only have limited event marketing experience to draw from, start with UBM’s findings as your guideline.

Related: The 5 to 5 Calling Rule for Inbound Leads (That Generated Over 40% Increase in Sales)

  1. One-on-one is still #1

If you need further proof that tradeshows work, then consider this: 56% of IT buyers contact a vendor after seeing them at an event, while 54% turned into customers following a tradeshow. Of course, tradeshow success comes in other forms, too. Marketers gauge events by new referrals/introductions, lead quality/quantity, won deals, value of sales, and upsell/cross-sell opportunities.

Tip: Take a look at the tactics we followed to boost our campaign ROI at Dreamforce 2016. With our strategy, the Callbox team was able to generate:

  • 55 inquiries
  • 12 signups
  • 3 appointments scheduled
  • 2 contracts signed

That’s the power of tradeshows done right. There’s no other marketing channel that brings you up close and personal with potential customers. No matter how digitally connected the world becomes, there’s just no substitute for an in-person handshake.

 

 

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6 Books Every B2B Marketer Should Read (or Reread) Over Thanksgiving

6 Books Every B2B Marketer Should Read (or Reread) Over Thanksgiving

6 Books Every B2B Marketer Should Read (or Reread) Over Thanksgiving

I’m checking off my year-end reading list earlier than usual. With just hours to go before Thanksgiving, I think now would be a great time to share a selection of book titles I’m sure most marketers will enjoy over the long weekend. While these books aren’t strictly marketing-focused, they do offer valuable business and personal insights that will help you become a better B2B marketer.

So, without further ado, here’s a list of six must-read business books to check out during the holiday season (arranged in no particular order):

 

Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street (John Brooks)

Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street (John Brooks)

If you have time for just one book this Thanksgiving, then I highly recommend John Brooks’ Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street. If you’ve heard of the book or have read it already, it’s probably because Bill Gates named Business Adventures as the best business book he’s ever read.

The book details 12 pivotal moments in 20th century American business—from the botched rollout of the Ford Edsel, to the world-changing introduction of the Xerox photocopying machine. Weaved into its engaging narrative are hard-learned, real-world lessons still relevant to today’s marketers, such as the dangers of overhyped products and the importance of maintaining transparency in teams.

 

 

Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? (Lou Gerstner)

Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? (Lou Gerstner)

In the early 1990s, IBM was on the brink of collapse. The hitherto-icon of tech innovation had stagnated into a lumbering laggard weighed down by bloated corporate bureaucracy and costs. The company saw consecutive quarters of record-breaking losses which, at that time, were the worst in American corporate history. Things were going downhill for IBM. Then, Lou Gerstner showed up.

Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? is Lou Gerstner’s account of his time as CEO of IBM during a critical period in the company’s history. Under his leadership, IBM survived a near-death experience and regained its footing. Part of Gerstner’s success was that he approached the company’s problems as an IBM customer—a perspective which his predecessors lacked. If that doesn’t pique your interest as a marketer, nothing will.

 

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail–but Some Don’t (Nate Silver)

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail--but Some Don't (Nate Silver)

I read Nate Silver’s classic book The Signal and the Noise when it came out years ago, and it really shed some light on the many ways that forecasts and models can go wrong. The main takeaway I picked up from the book was that the avalanche of data available today has actually misled people to see patterns where none exists, oftentimes leading to flawed conclusions and predictions with disastrous results.

Now, as marketers increasingly find themselves buried under mountains of data, the insights from this book become even more relevant. Browse through any B2B marketing industry report and it’s easy to see why marketers find it hard to separate the signal from the noise.

 

Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade (Robert Cialdini)

Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade (Robert Cialdini)

From opening an email, all the way to showing up for a face-to-face appointment, marketers depend on their ability to persuade people. In Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, renowned social psychologist Robert Cialdini walks you through several research-backed, actionable tips on changing people’s minds in order to prepare them for persuasion.

According to Dr. Cialdini, this “pre-suasion” step takes place before message delivery. It’s your audience’s state of mind that determines how receptive they’ll be to your message. You need to tap into this state and prep your listeners first. That’s what this book teaches.

 

Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time (Rory Vaden)

Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time (Rory Vaden)

Aside from overstretched budgets, marketers today feel they’re trying to achieve more with less and less resources, including an apparent lack of time. Now, more than ever, marketers need to master prioritization and self-management (read: not time management) skills.

Rory Vadden’s Procrastinate on Purpose offers up actionable ways for overwhelmed people to get more impact with what little time they have on their hands. This isn’t your typical self-help, how-to-be-more-productive guide. That’s why, rather than write about the book, I’ll just quote one of my favorite lines:

“Once you admit to yourself that you can’t manage time and that you can only manage yourself, and you accept that there is more to do than you can ever possibly do, a new strategy emerges: prioritizing.”

 

How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business (Douglas W. Hubbard)

I haven’t read Douglas Hubbard’s How to Measure Anything yet, but this book has gotten some pretty decent reviews and recommendations (including from some in the B2B marketing community). The book shows ways to gauge seemingly non-quantifiable business indicators such as customer satisfaction and organizational flexibility.

But what really drove me to add this title to my Kindle reading list is that it explains the ideas behind many of the best practices we willingly accept in our roles as “data-driven” marketers. It’s easy to find how-to guides and practical tips on marketing metrics and analytics, but how many resources dive into the underlying mathematical framework?

 

Now, it’s your turn. What books are you planning on reading this holiday? Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

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A Crash Course on Lead Nurturing… And Why it Matters

Not Just an Address Book: 4 Hacks to Turn a CRM into a True Sales Tool

Not Just an Address Book: 4 Hacks to Turn a CRM into a True Sales Tool

CRMs are like gym memberships. Everyone buys one but most will end up only using it once in a while. Most users (about 71% in some estimates) feel satisfied with the results they’re getting out of their CRMs, but that leaves nearly 30% disappointed. To many in this group, CRMs are nothing more than a “glorified address book” that’s best put aside and taken out only when there’s new contact info to be recorded.

That’s a massive waste of CRM potential. Keep in mind that a well-implemented CRM platform pays back up to $8.71  for each dollar spent—not to mention a 29% improvement in sales, a34% boost in sales productivity, and a 42% enhancement in sales forecast accuracy.

The key idea in turning your CRM into a productive sales tool is to focus on the customer journey and to make sure that the platform maps the people (your marketing and sales reps) into the right stages of the process.

It’s okay if you don’t have any idea how to do this. Most CRM users encounter this difficulty when translating overall strategy into specific actions. That’s why we’ve rounded up four concrete steps to help you get started:

1.) Track customer lifecycle stages

Right out of the box, most CRMs come shipped with some pretty slick segmentation features, but these capabilities tend to be underused. Typically, CRM segmentation begins with features for segregating people into groups like contacts, leads, opportunities, and customers. These, of course, are only starting points.

To really feel the sales benefit from a fully-functioning CRM, you need to classify your target buyers according to life cycle stages. Life cycle stages allow you to set relevant and timely engagements, helping you minimize wasting resources on misaligned touch points.

While customer life cycle varies from one organization to another, a bare-bones outline (according to HubSpot and Christine Donahe) looks something like this:

  • Subscribers
  • Leads
  • Marketing-qualified Leads (MQLs)
  • Sales-qualified Leads (SQLs)
  • Qualified Follow-ups
  • Inactive Follow-ups
  • Open Opportunities
  • Lost Opportunities
  • Current Customers
  • Past Customers
  • Evangelists/Advocates

This further implies that you need to follow a well-defined method for ranking and classifying leads in your pipeline. Using customer life cycles and lead scores also provide an added benefit for CRM users. It streamlines the process of categorizing and finding CRM records, making sales reps’ workflows more efficient.

Related: 12 Easy Methods You Can Accomplish Massive CRM Success Rates

 

2.) Pool data into a single, 360-degree customer view

Acquiring a holistic customer view still ranks as one of the top perks of using a CRM. But, according to Gartner, fewer than 10% of CRM users actually achieve a 360-degree customer view, and no more than 5% manage to turn this insight into growth.

Data silos prevent companies from attaining 360-degree views of their customers. That’s because data barriers hinder users from quickly discovering patterns and linkages between different customer actions/attributes (e.g., buyers and buying history), oftentimes forcing users to compile one-time datasets multiple times in a campaign. Silos also drag down productivity by making users repetitively sift through records from separate sources. In fact, Cyber Sphere Security reports that 30% of marketers blame the difficulty in gleaning useful customer insights on having too many isolated data sources.

To begin breaking down data barriers, start with the following:

  • Connect your CRM with your collaboration/workflow tools
  • Create a single, central hub of information with all your different data sources
  • Append demographic, transaction, behavioral, and social data into customer segments
  • Team up with your IT or dev team to take full advantage of CRM APIs
  • Prioritize customer profiles over database schema

Related: Top ISO Certification Firm Boosts Sales Pipeline with Callbox

 

3.) Power your sales team with mobile and social tools

As CRMs increasingly play the role of sales and customer intelligence repository, features that enable reps to remotely access and modify information are becoming even more critical.

Nucleus surveyed 233 CRM decision-makers and found that sales reps increased productivity by 26% with the help of social networking and mobility features in CRM applications. In addition, the study revealed that data accessibility for sales people (visualization, customer profiles, mobility, and embedded information) cuts their sales cycle by 8% to 14%.

Also, the Aberdeen Group reports that 24% more sales reps achieve annual sales quotas thanks to mobile access to their CRMs. According to the research, organizations rely on the following mobility and remote access functionalities:

  • 58% of top-performers make their CRMs device-agnostic by integrating it with mobile tools their reps use out on the field.
  • 75% of companies support syncing calendars, contacts, events, and tasks.
  • Other top features include email access, data I/O, live chat, web conferences, and access to marketing materials.

Related: How to Use SEO To Influence B2B Buyers On Social Media [GUEST POST]

 

4.) Keep the ‘face’ in ‘interface’

No matter how powerful or well-integrated they get, CRMs will always remain a tool—and tools are only as effective as the people and processes that use them. Before you can expect great results with a CRM platform, you need to secure user buy-in and adoption. That’s where usability comes in.

When asked to rank what features mattered to CRM users, 65% of respondents told Inside CRM they preferred ease of use, 27% prioritized schedule management, and 18% pointed out data snapshots.

IBM also says that companies which provide quality CRM training tend to see very decent adoption rates. Among companies whose CRM training programs were given an “exceeds expectations” rating, 71% report that at least 90 reps actively use their CRM platform.

Finally, CRM Magazine notes that technical support and customer service are two other crucial factors that influence end-user adoption.

All this boils down to improving the user experience in order to drive adoption. Here’s a quick list of tips:

  • Involve end users early in the procurement and implementation process
  • Educate users on concrete benefits, not features or functions
  • Make sure the CRM solution offers adequate support and learning resources
  • Assign a “CRM champion”, an internal employee users can turn to for help and support
  • Set up a process for gathering user feedback and promptly acting on issues
  • Use end results (such as leads processed, prospects followed up, or deals closed via the platform) as metrics to gauge adoption, not just login rates

Another factor that causes friction between CRM implementation and adoption is that the end users themselves see CRMs as getting in the way of their tried-and-true methods. Sales reps tend to be an obstinate lot, so they’ll most likely end up eschewing anything that takes away their favorite tools and tactics. The only way around this is to find a CRM tool that enhances (not replaces) the things that have been working so well for them.

 

The Takeaway

Despite the availability of CRM, ERP, and ERP platforms, it’s somewhat surprising that close to 70% of mid- to large-sized companies still rely on spreadsheets for collaboration. Even for those that do use CRMs, almost half (about 43%) admit they leverage less than half of the available features in their platforms.

That’s despite the dozens of potential benefits that CRMs offer. The keyword here is “potential”. It’s going to take the right approach and culture to transform a CRM into a true sales tool.

 

 

Get a targeted sales leads or learn more about Callbox Pipeline CRM

Contact us or Dial 888.810.7464

 

 

Grab a FREE copy of 40 B2B Sales Email Templates for Every Situation! These 40 examples have all been hand-picked from a variety of sources that tested these templates in terms of opens, click-throughs, and replies


40 B2B Sales Email Templates for Every Situation {Free PDF}

 

A Crash Course on Lead Nurturing… And Why it Matters

150+ B2B Tech Marketing Stats to Help You Plan for 2018 [Free eBook]

150+ B2B Tech Marketing Stats to Help You Plan for 2018 [Free eBook]

In a few short weeks, we’ll be wrapping up another year. So now’s a good a time as any to look back at where we’ve been with our marketing efforts and, more importantly, to plan where we’re going. To help you refine your 2018 marketing strategy, the Callbox team is releasing an extensive compilation of key software/tech marketing stats as a free eBook.

We dug into more than 60 reputable published sources and pulled out over 150 data points every data-driven tech marketer should include in their planning assumptions. But we didn’t stop at simply listing the numbers out. We’ve also grouped the stats into 35 actionable insights gleaned from the data.

Let’s take a sneak peek.

Insights on Overall Strategy

Forrester expects digital disruption to shake things up in 2018 and become the new normal for B2B marketing. Most other research into B2B software/tech marketing seem to bear this out. Among the essential overall marketing insights the numbers point to are:

  • Tech buyers are evolving along with the purchase cycle. Millennials now comprise a significant chunk of the tech buying committee, while baby boomers and Gen Xers are starting to take a backseat.
  • A growing number of marketers in complex-sale B2B products (especially tech marketers) now embrace account-based marketing (ABM). Case studies and industry reports show that ABM strategies outperform other traditional methods in several key criteria.
  • MarTech and marketing automation platforms remain a critical component of tech marketers’ toolkit, although several studies point to both opportunities and challenges for marketers in this space.

Related: How to Get Quality IT Appointments Hands-Free with Marketing Automation

  • For a number of tech marketers, AI has evolved from a shiny new thing to something they can’t do without. More and more marketers plan to invest in AI for various practical applications, from predictive lead scoring to big data mining.
  • While MarTech continues to improve, data quality still bothers a huge percentage of tech marketers. In fact, they point to data as a major obstacle that’s keeping them from getting the most out of their tech stacks and campaigns. Up to the present time, tech marketers encounter difficulty gauging performance and returns.

Almost 9 in 10 tech marketers rank improving the ability to measure and analyze marketing impact as a top priority.


  • This is why a majority of marketers still think their budgets won’t be enough to hit their marketing objectives, even though most of them will see a bigger budget next year.
  • From the top three campaign priorities of B2B marketers (reaching audiences at the right time, matching strategy to audience behavior, and identifying the best channels to use), tech marketers encounter the most difficulty in connecting with prospects at the right time.

Related: 5 Lessons From Epic Tech Flops That Will Make You Better At B2B Sales

Channel-Specific Insights

The eBook also delves into current and future trends shaping content marketing, email marketing, social media, organic/paid search, and other tech marketing channels. Some highlights include:

  • Content retains its throne as king of the software/tech marketing world. IDG explains that tech marketers are now seeing the benefits of pioneering “brand as publisher” strategies. The next priorities revolve around precise measurement and diversifying the content portfolio.

Related: Better Content Means Better Leads: Make the Most Out of Your Content

  • Email remains very much alive. That’s because study after study reveals tech buyers prefer emails both for business communications and for sourcing information. No other channel comes close to the spectacular ROI emails offer, especially if emails are used to reinforce engagement and conversion in other channels. Read  The Great Email vs. Social Media Bakeoff (2018 Edition) if you’re not convinced yet.
  • Almost all software/tech marketers use some form of social media marketing. That’s despite a huge number of tech marketers claiming social media is their least effective lead generation channel, and only 1 in 4 tech buyers turn to social media to learn about new products.
  • Software/Tech marketers are big fans of SEO and PPC. That’s because an overwhelming portion of their target audience relies on online search when evaluating potential solutions.
  • Traditional initiatives like tradeshows and free trials still occupy an important place in the tech marketing mix, while newer strategies such as cross-border marketing are gaining traction among tech marketers.

Related: Get your First Tradeshow Clients with these Marketing Ideas

The Takeaway

It’s an exciting time to be a tech marketer today, and things are bound to get even more interesting next year. This post only scratches the surface of what you’ll learn from the eBook, so get your free copy right now.

 

 

We’ve been Generating Tech Leads for more than a decade

Learn about our IT and Tech Lead Generation Process

Contact us, Dial 888.810.7464

 

 

This eBook features over 150 data points hand-picked from more than 60 reputable whitepapers, slide-decks, industry reports, and other published materials. Beef up your 2018 marketing plan, click here.

150+ Software/Tech Marketing Stats to Help You Plan for 2018

A Crash Course on Lead Nurturing… And Why it Matters

Marketing and Sales Alignment – Best Practices [GUEST POST]

Marketing and Sales Alignment – Best Practices

It’s very common in businesses and offices environments that the marketing and sales departments are kept apart, with poor communication channels, working towards their own individual targets and consequently are not producing the most conductive results for the organization.

It is not the case that they are actually doing anything incorrectly, so to speak, but that they are not assisting themselves to create a situation that enables the team to perform with greater output and achieve ultimate synergy

Marketing can be defined as the planning, awareness and first contact with prospects, exposing the key details regarding the business service via a variety of creative processes and well-organized outreach. The end goal is to generate opportunities to be endeavored by the sales team.

The Sales Process then begins. This is the coordinated communication procedure of a newly-discovered lead through the sales cycle. The sales department members are involved with the direct selling of the business’s merchandise or offering and developing the transfer of goods in exchange for money along with various progression steps.

Alignment

In business, it is not a competition between marketing and sales. It is a mutual working relationship which in order to achieve the best results, must work in tandem.

When you take a step back, you realize that the process of selling cannot start until a marketing root has been planted.

And on the flip side, the marketing techniques and strategy cannot follow through without sales follow up. For sustained results, you can’t have one and not the other.

When all’s said and done, the end goal of a marketer matches that of the salesperson. Both want a sale to be concluded.

The only difference is the part which is played in getting a user and potential customer to the end of the cycle.

It is the preparation at the top of the funnel, the planning, targeting and identification of who is going to be sold to and how to get them in front of your sales representatives.

Marketing with more efficiency will allow the sales communication to be a lot more natural and fluent because of more relevant leads. Therefore they will qualify and progress with a lot less hassle.

Ensuring that your sales and marketing teams are being directed towards a consistent goal, singing from the same hymn sheet and helping the business to learn more about regular information passing through the channels.

Engaging in an alliance, opposed to separate areas. This will help contribute to the synergy of the business, with unanimity and collaboration.

This aids to building a strong team morale on an overall level with excellent psychological as well as strategical effects.

It is understandable that there is an element of fixation towards your own working project with there being a large amount of responsibility on that.

Also, it is fair to say that not everybody is always perfectly comfortable switching spontaneously into alternative job positions which do not match their inherent qualities.

However, here are some ways introduced by the Whoisvisiting senior management to consider which can contribute towards bringing your marketing and sales departments a lot closer for more effective business output.

Related: How to Use the 3 Levels of Pain Points for Better Sales Conversations

 

Alignment Of Your Marketing And Sales Departments

  • Organise Shared Team Meetings

By organizing regular meetings which incorporate the marketing and sales staff, it can develop a routine and the integration, giving everyone a platform to share their thoughts, highlighting the key topics and issues with an instant opportunity for constructive reaction.

These can be arranged on a weekly basis as an informal catch-up and overview, reinstating the immediate targets and constructing the alignment of the company. Everyone can hear each other’s plans and can branch off those with any input.

Alternatively, or as well as, Monthly meetings can offer – great detail of the bigger picture going into more complicated analysis and creating the framework for longer-term results.

  • Shared Brainstorm Sessions

Along with having your meetings which are organized and frequently attended, when there is a new campaign brainstorm or creative mind-map session, inviting all members to contribute can add value to fresh ideas and approaches.

This helps to break down the barrier of separation and gives all involved a clear visual of the project from its absolute source. This delivers a stronger understanding of the thought process behind the marketing approach for everyone’s awareness.

By gathering some contribution ideas of the sales team, who deal first hand with the prospects and current customers and speak to the day-to-day, you can gain access to thoughts from a different angle. This leads to better results.

  • Work Social Events

To keep with the theme of the sales and marketing teams being involved and doing things together, having regular work social events can help build the understanding between both sides.

Often used by many forward-thinking companies is an easy-going, Friday catch-up session to wind down for the week. This involves low key and informal sharing of the good which has been achieved across the company. It provides the benefit of keeping everyone updated but allows integration where you can let your hair down.

This can often be catalyzed by an alcoholic drink or two, so everyone feels comfortable and enjoys the experience.

  • Tactical Office Placement

Having your sales and marketing employees using and working in an area where it is not any effort to share information verbally can create a situation where communication and progression can take place naturally.

There is no reason to have a barrier to communication and intentionally make it more challenging to share information.  

Small details overheard in conversation can allow others to be informed and change something in accordance instantly, rather than waiting to receive that information through an email at a later date. It is the small things which can build up over time to overall create a stronger result.

  • Marketing and Sales Message App

Having access to a group messenger application between all members is a brilliant idea and it can be useful for less immediate, or more informal communication.

You can also create a different chat for different purposes, for example, one where ideas are dumped and logged.

Slack is a very practical tool for this and it integrates with all sorts of digital solutions for the seamless flow of information, keeping everyone in the loop.

One-on-one conversations can also be conducted conveniently for more serious or private matters.

  • Documenting Visual Progress

Having a completely transparent process that allows everybody to be notified when a positive development has occurred is an excellent idea for sales and marketing alignment.

Whether that be a lead, sign-up, or a sale.  Having a hub for visualization and awareness of this brings clarity and keeps the motivation high.

A useful software for this procedure could be Pipedrive, which simply allows you to log deals in separate ‘Pipe’s’ or channels which you can custom create for each stage of your business sales cycle.  

Within this platform, a marketing executive can log in to see whether or not their referral has been able to get results, or where the stumbling block in progression is happening.

Ultimately they can be reactive to this, rather unknowingly allowing sales to continue with poor quality leads.

In order to create more responsibility and positive pressure, everybody should be able to openly view each other’s results and having email reports of the KPI’s (key performance indicators) and updates of the analytical breakdown can be beneficial.

This should create an office environment for sales and marketers where they are receiving the credit they deserve for the individual actions which action successfully.

  • Socially Interacting Through Business Events

Within the realm of sales and marketing, there are always events going on around and about. Pairing a sales and marketing executive to go along to these events and report back to the rest of the office is a brilliant way to learn new nuggets of valuable advice from presentations or by networking.

It is also a strong way to build rapport and is a good way of building your public relations. Meanwhile, the sales and marketing members get to share time and build their relationship.

  • Joint Department Reward Scheme

If your business is rewarding the sales representatives with a commission structure based on closing deals that is regulatory.

However, by incorporating a reward scheme whereby the whole team is involved, it can create a cohesive working culture throughout the company.

It may not have to be commissioned if that does not resonate completely fairly, but something smaller which recognizes the whole business as one, rather than pinpointing individual units as ‘more important’ in completing the sale.  

It can instigate team members to pull together to create better conversion rates.

  • Flexibility Through Switching Roles

In theory, many of the skills which marketers and sales executives possess and due to the attachment and involvement with customers and prospects, it is not completely ridiculous to say that each can’t contribute to the other’s roles now and again.

This provides ultimate flexibility and versatility within your business and can be extremely useful when there is an absence in one particular department.

Being able to get involved in simple ways such as the marketing executives getting on the phone occasionally is a great way to integrate the roles, for example.

  • Neutral Job Titles

In business, by applying the terms ‘sales representatives’ and ‘marketing executives’, you are instantly creating a divide which people will instinctively separate by.

By applying a neutral title such as a Business development professional to all of the members, it changes your approach not independently as a seller or marketer, but to be involved in developing the potential of the business as a whole through various involvement.

There has to be a clear structure built around it, but it can contribute to overall alignment.

 

Author Bio:

Ant Musker is a content writer at Whoisvisiting.com, whilst also involved in marketing activities including email, social and SEO. He has various experience in sales and marketing environments, working for start-up companies and in the PR industry.

 

 

 

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A Crash Course on Lead Nurturing… And Why it Matters

 

7 Ways File Sharing Tools Make Life Easier for B2B Marketers

7 Ways File Sharing Tools Make Life Easier for B2B Marketers

Dozens of cutting-edge tools now make up the average B2B marketer’s tech stacks. From lead management to public relations, today’s marketers rely on an entire alphabet soup of CRMs, MAPs, and DMPs to get things done. But only one secret sauce binds all these ingredients together in a special recipe, and that’s collaboration.

Radius says that, on average, a marketing team’s stack consists of around 17 different technologies. However, a CMO Council survey reveals that only 3% of marketers believe they’ve managed to fully integrate all of their automation, engagement and deployment tools.

This is where marketing-focused collaboration tools come in handy. Moving toward increased collaboration solves a lot of the challenges related to martech integration. To ensure that all the pieces of your stack fit and work together, you also need systems and processes that promote trust and accountability among the different roles in your marketing team.

As we’ll find out in greater depth below, the ability to share materials and resources among team members is a critical part of the collaboration. That’s why file sharing tools remain a staple in a modern marketing team’s toolbox. These tools provide capabilities that are several orders of magnitude better than traditional sharing methods like physical storage devices, email attachments or shared network drives. Specifically, file sharing platforms help marketers.

  1. Allow better collaboration

If collaboration is the glue that holds your tech stack together, then file sharing is the adhesive that makes it stick. With file sharing tools, team members freely exchange files and resources that enable them to work together and complete projects.

Today’s marketing teams are made up of individuals with different roles who work separately from different places. File sharing tools help your team overcome obstacles to collaboration by making sure everyone’s on the same page regardless of role or location.

Related: A Software Company’s Guide to More Software Clients and More Sales

  1. Streamline workflow

Modern file sharing solutions eliminate the extra steps needed to access and retrieve files associated with outmoded methods, such as through thumb drives or email attachments. This, in turn, allows your team to focus more on the tasks at hand instead of repetitively doing non-value added activities.

In some cases, file sharing capabilities enable team members to work on files simultaneously, reducing idle times and bottlenecks. This simplifies marketers’ workflows and boosts productivity.

Related: 6 Ways a SMART Telemarketing Platform Doubles Sales Productivity

  1. Stay in sync and updated

In a typical marketing project, team members can have several versions of a file floating around in their project directory. This creates problems in version control and duplication, especially in situations where the team is working on projects that require multiple iterations to complete.

A good file sharing platform addresses this issue by aligning versions across users and properly handling duplicates. File sharing tools often come shipped with this feature, so marketers can leverage this critical capability right out of the box.

  1. Shorten project duration and lower costs

As we’ve seen, the right file sharing tool simplifies marketers’ workflow and enhances productivity. These platforms also ensure that everyone on your team stays on the same page throughout the project.

But file sharing solutions go beyond providing convenience. The gains in efficiency you get from file sharing tools also help accelerate project schedules. All those savings in time and increases in productivity add up to cost reductions and better marketing outcomes.

Related: 5 Lessons From Epic Tech Flops That Will Make You Better At B2B Sales

  1. Overcome technical limitations

Producing quality marketing materials often means that marketers and creatives have to work with very large files. Moving these big files around can become technically challenging. Emails have file size restrictions while transferring files through thumb drives and shared folders can take up too much time.

File sharing tools overcome this limitation by enabling users to send large files securely in as little time, cost, and risk as possible.

Related: Best Marketing Tools to INCREASE Sales Leads Production

  1. Enable scaling and expansion

The time available for value-added, creative work correlates with the quantity and quality of marketing materials produced. That means the more time your team spends on actually crafting content and collaterals, the more and better their output will be.

The right file sharing tool frees up time and accelerates the production process. It helps your team effectively scale up and expand their productive capacity. Without a robust file sharing system, it can be extremely difficult or even outright impossible to turn your team into a marketing machine.

Related: Selling Tips That’ll Make B2B Prospects Purchase your Software

  1. Improve transparency and accountability

Traditional methods for file transfer suffer from a lack of transparency and difficulty in maintaining accountability. Even FTPs make it hard to track and manage files. With traditional file transfers, you can’t easily make heads or tails of things like content authorship and contribution.

Most file sharing solutions today allow you to effectively manage files along with versions and contributors. In a time where marketers are increasingly being measured by how much they’re adding to revenues, this is an indispensable capability.

Related: Forget About Marketing, Focus on Improving Software Solution

 

The Takeaway

File sharing tools make life much, much easier for marketers. They help marketing teams organize and manage projects. They improve efficiency and productivity. Most of all, they foster collaboration and teamwork.

 

 

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How Behavioral Targeting Can Help You Achieve Your Bottom Line [GUEST POST]

How Behavioral Targeting Can Help You Achieve Your Bottom Line [GUEST POST]

In the past, businesses are busy spreading the word about their products and services through billboards, television, print and radio ads, as well as flyers. While we cannot disregard the value of these strategies, the problem here is that you are promoting to the mass market with a little hope that your target audience would stumble upon it.  

Today, the digital revolution has changed the rules of the game. You now have a choice to not rely on demographics only. Targeting the right audience is made more strategic, accurate and efficient using their own behavior.

Behavioral Targeting Can Boost Your Marketing Automation

That great thing about behavioral targeting is that it’s data-driven. Unlike in traditional marketing where the same message is sent to the mass audience, behavioral targeting uses the information about customer’s behavior to show messages that would to appeal to them. Here, you create proper customer segmentation and user profiles based on behavioral information provided by your a) data analytics b) browsing and search history c) cookies and applications and d) IP addresses.  

If your business is doing email marketing automation, behavioral targeting allows you to send targeted emails based on actions taken by prospects and customers. Correct data is essential to win this. Some of these include:

  • the number of site visits
  • website activity
  • frequent and recent purchases
  • preferred product categories
  • email engagement
  • social media activity

Related: How Marketing Automation Helps You Outgrow Your Competitors

These kinds of information are useful if you perform behavioral marketing with these marketing basics:

  • Define the main purpose of your behavioral targeting
  • Use the right data
  • Track the actions of your customers
  • Create proper customer segmentation
  • Measure the right metrics

Once you know about these, using behavioral targeting for your marketing automation campaign will be a walk in the park. To help you further, here are some of the proven behavioral marketing strategies you can try to boost your conversion rates.

5 Common Behavioral Targeting Strategies to Increase ROI

 

  • Location: Where is your customer located?

There are different ways location can be useful in targeting customers. One, people from different places have different needs. The simplest example to explain this is with the weather. If you are a clothing brand, it is commonsensical to send emails offering jackets and cardigans to those located in a colder region.

Another way is to know their location and send them discount vouchers which they can present in your physical stores near them. The accessibility of your store and the discount are great motivations to convince them to make a visit.

Related: The Remedy for Unqualified Leads: Nurture Them Until They’re Ready

  • Device: What are they using to access your site?

People behave differently on devices. Navigating a page on the desktop is different from navigating a page on the mobile phone. By knowing this, you can design a higher converting page based on device. For instance, you can send a simpler and mobile-friendly email to customers who often access their emails on their smartphones.

Related: Re-activate the Interest of Lapsed Customers to your Company

  • Channel: What’s the traffic source?

By reviewing your data analytics, you would know where your customers are coming from. Are they coming from Facebook, email, or organic search? Use this information to guide you how to interact with your customers.

If the traffic source of your customer is email, you can send them an email with a signup form or links to your content offers such as blog posts, ebooks, and downable FAQs to push them down the sales funnel. If they are coming from Facebook, you can create a lead ad with autofill form to collect their contact information and then send them emails to nurture them further. You can also show them a pop-up Facebook sharing button to encourage them to share your page on their timeline.  

Related: 15 Brilliant Web Design Hacks That Convert Traffic into Leads

  • Website Activity: What pages do they visit? What kinds of content do they consume?

Knowing which specific pages customers visit on your site allows you to determine what interests them. For instance, a visitor who frequents to a women’s shoes category might be looking for a specific shoe design that matches her budget. You can email this visitor with a list of shoe recommendations or a discount code to entice her to make a purchase.

If you have a blog post or landing pages of downloadable ebooks, you can check which type of content visitors consume to guide on what kind of content to email them.

Related: Top 5 Content Ideas to Inject in your Blog [INFOGRAPHIC]

  • Transactions: What are their past transactions with you?

Segment your customers based on their past transactions to group those who are candidates for repeat business, customers who will more likely spread the word about you, and visitors who are on the verge of converting.

You can segment them based on the frequency of their purchase, average order value, availed product or service category, and so on. From here, you can personalize your interaction with them. Remember, since customers transact with your differently, you must also interact with them differently.

Behavioral targeting shouldn’t be hard to nail, especially with helpful tools you can use. Your marketing automation software and data analytics are some of them.  

Forget about sending the same message to everyone else. Know your customers. Learn how their actions. And interact based on how they behave. Use behavioral targeting to find that needle in a haystack.

 

 

Author Bio:

Kimberly Maceda is a Content Writer for ActiveTrail. She comes up with brilliant content about email marketing and marketing automation to keep customers updated with the trends. For Kimmy, it’s Bring Your Dog to Work Day almost every day.

 

 

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How to Use the 3 Levels of Pain Points for Better Sales Conversations

How to Use the 3 Levels of Pain Points for Better Sales Conversations

What happens when a prospect finally starts hinting their company has an opportunity or problem that fits with your solution? Should you take this as a sign that all the stars have finally aligned and it’s time for you to go in for the close?

Not so fast. One crucial thing to remember when qualifying prospects are that pain doesn’t always translate to a need. From the classic BANT system to CHAMP Method and to a more recent buyer persona-based segmentation, pain points always form the backbone of any sales conversation. But pain points come in different levels of priority, i.e., some feel more painful (and therefore more urgent) than others. Effective sales conversations take these differences into account so that sales reps can help potential buyers arrive at the right decision.

If anything, a prospect’s acknowledgment of a pain point simply means the lead wants to explore the issue further. Jumping into sales mode now risks putting the lead off by misaligning with their priorities. That’s why selling high-value solutions to complex B2B buyers often progress through three different levels of prospect pain. These levels correspond to increasing degrees of severity or urgency that your prospect feels as a result of experiencing the issue.

Each level requires distinct strategies for structuring your conversations with prospects. The main goal is to help buyers identify, quantify, and clarify that single most urgent thing that’s bogging them down. This lets you determine whether or not the prospect’s situation is painful enough to warrant choosing your solution over the status quo.

Level 1: Technical Need

Business pain points often start out as minor irritations, and a great majority of them stay that way without prompting immediate resolution. Here, prospects admit there’s something wrong but feel the consequences warrant nothing more than a little bit of curiosity. This is probably the type of pain a prospect feels when first acknowledging an issue.

Some key talking points relevant to prospects with technical pain include:

  • The biggest challenge they’re facing in a specific business area or process
  • Some overview about these problems or opportunities
  • Background information such as what first drew their attention to the issue
  • Any previous attempts at resolving or addressing the problem and its results

Clearly, none of these ideas leave any room for prescribing your solution. These talking points are designed to help you and your prospect learn more about the issue. Typically, technical pains are symptoms of a problem and not the problem itself. Learn The Little Known Art of Exploiting Unhappy B2B Prospects

Level 2: Business Impact

When potential buyers are able to clearly specify and quantify how an issue impacts a particular business area or process, this means that they no longer see the problem as a minor inconvenience. They’ve already put the effort and resources to find a solution or even to evaluate possible alternatives.

Business impact includes financial costs, lost productivity, operational inefficiencies, and other consequences resulting from the unresolved issue. Sales conversations with prospects experiencing this pain point level should focus on:

  • Overall quantifiable impact to the business
  • Direct and indirect as well as short- and long-term consequences of the problem
  • Stakeholders affected by the issue
  • Tactical and strategic implications of the problem
  • The cost of inaction and the business case for change

Leads who feel the business impact of unsolved problems or unmet challenges are usually way past the awareness stage of the buying cycle and are well in the consideration phase. This is the stage where 60% of prospects want to connect with sales reps, after doing their research and narrowing down their options. So, take advantage of this opportunity to help leads make informed buying decisions.

Related: Using Neuroscience to Better Answer 5 Questions Leads Ask Themselves Before Buying

Level 3: Personal Impact

Both business and personal reasons drive B2B buying decisions. The choices that B2B buyers make also depend, to a large degree, on personal desires and emotional factors. That’s why personal impact turns critical business pain points into urgent needs, and urgent need turn leads into customers.

Sales conversations that reveal and explore personal impact emphasize the following points:

  • The issue’s impact on the prospect and his personal performance
  • How the issue possibly impacts the prospect’s personal life
  • Both visible and invisible consequences of the issue
  • Additional perspectives on the do-nothing-vs-change question
  • Other persons directly affected by the prospect’s action or inaction

By tying back how the problem impacts the prospect, the sales conversation goes from abstract topics to something more concrete.

Related: How to Reach C-Level Decision Makers and Boost B2B Sales

 

The Takeaway

Leveraging prospect pain points during sales conversations isn’t about deliberately manipulating how prospects feel. It’s about helping them gain a fuller understanding of the problem and pointing them to a potential solution. If prospects avoid these sorts of talking points during sales conversations, this can imply that you’re talking to the wrong decision-maker, or the issue isn’t (yet) painful enough to warrant action. Either way, you gain a better understanding of your target prospect by focusing on pain points.

 

 

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The Essential Checklist to Finding  a Decent Leads Database Provider

How to Select the Right Database Vendor? Criteria or Requirements
B2B businesses without a doubt face certain challenges that get in the way of their revenue goals. For sure, these businesses need to do whatever it takes to place their brand front and center and, more importantly, make sure that they are able to generate as many sales opportunities as possible.

However, not all strategies work. And we have to expect that each technique or method we apply has a certain caveat that needs to be addressed. This situation further places B2B enterprises in a dilemma that involves choosing to decide which strategies to implement. In terms of generating high-quality B2B leads, enterprises have to spend a lot of time generating their own lists of contacts to pursue. To this end, companies spend a lot of time and resources creating their own mailing lists from scratch.

While this has been very much possible for big brands that already maintain a portfolio of industry-specific business contacts, those that are still in the age of B2B infancy will have to create their own lists out of nothing. This, of course, entails a difficult and extensive process that will get neophyte startup execs scratching their heads.

But there is actually no reason for them to be all pessimistic as there are tons of lead generation services that offer the solutions these businesses need to feed their pipelines with the right leads – for an investment that’s right for the pocket, of course.

If you seek to generate a good bulk of B2B leads based on your target audience, the right way to go about it is to purchase a ready list from a database provider. B2B marketing services maintain lists of verified contacts that are ready to be engaged and nurtured. Buying these lists from them means avoiding the often complex task of list building and putting you directly into the action.

Still, for businesses that have not yet bought marketing lists before, it pays to know where to find the right provider.

When you are in the search for the right service to purchase, here are some things you need to put on your checklist.

Price

As a business owner yourself, you need to find cost-efficient solutions to certain issues that are costing you money in the first place. Just like when you are out shopping for new kicks, you need to take a gander at the price tag and see if you can negotiate a lower price.This won’t be easy actually since cheaper lists imply lower quality contacts. To be able to get the most out of your leads, of course, you have to pay a great deal, but that doesn’t mean you are not allowed to scale the price down.Ask the provider if the price can still be negotiated and see if there are any trade-offs.

Related: Answering Quora: Why should you outsource your data cleansing and enhancement services?

Quality

It’s true: price does not necessarily define the value of a product. You can buy a golden pen and not use it as the writing instrument it is meant to be. With that, you will have to get assurances that the lists do contain responsive contacts that have recently been updated.

While people will continue to assume that marketing lists contain invalid addresses 90 percent of the time, let’s face it, you still need these lists to remain competitive.

It is just a matter of selecting which service would deliver the best results. As a word of advice, do a background check of the provider before you can even consider sending an inquiry. Take a look at reviews and testimonials from current and previous clients and you will have the information you need to decide on which service to hire.

Related: Declare Your Independence from Bad Data: A 5-Step Plan

Deliverability

When buying a marketing list from a lead generation service, make sure that the contacts will actually translate to leads. To find that out, you simply look at the response rates from a particular segment of the list. Bounce-backs will obviously do you no good, so it really pays to watch your stats and see if your campaign is getting inquiries and the like. Deliverability issues mean that you are sending to invalid addresses, putting your email campaign right in the corner. Do not let this happen by asking the provider a test run of a certain group of contacts from the list before you even consider buying it.

Related: Why IT Companies Say List Buying is Bad…And Why They Can Be Wrong!

 

 

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Sales and Marketing Basics for the Cloud Crowd

Sales and Marketing Basics for the Cloud Crowd

Cloud-based solutions are enjoying a wave of popularity recently, and this is because businesses have realized its potential in terms of streamlining key activities and improving productivity. Essentially, a lot of people especially experts in the software and IT markets are forecasting greater growth for cloud-based packages. Read more IT and software statistics and trends.

This is because there have been increases in the demand for such solutions among B2B enterprises across different industries. These enterprises use cloud computing for a variety of purposes, making it inevitable for them to adopt cloud-based services. This, in turn, just shows how much of a gold mine these types of products and services are to companies that offer them.

Cloud computing will become a norm in three years’ time, mainly because enterprises feel that there is an even greater need to adopt such systems. For sure, the cloud industry will continue to experience significant growth numbers that It executives specializing in a cloud will drool over. To fill you in on what stats to look at, a Forbes article has projected growth from “$67B in 2015 to $162B in 2020 attaining a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19%.” From this observation alone, companies that offer cloud-based solutions are impelled to double their efforts in terms of acquiring customers and securing a better position for their brands.

The challenge remains for companies in the SaaS arena to improve their marketing and sales campaigns. And it starts by knowing just how essential these two are in improving the bottom line and making sure to open up as many opportunities as possible in the wake of cloud computing’s popularity.

Brand visibility

Perhaps the most important reason why marketing and sales are essential to cloud-based products is the fact that these activities allow brands to better position their products for their target audiences. Considering there are tons of IT prospects out there, companies must apply the necessary strategies to get the attention of prospects that are specifically looking for SaaS products that suit their needs. Being able to cater to these needs adds to your online visibility and thus extend your reach to thousands of business executives who in need of specific cloud-based solutions.

Pro-tip:

Use your website as your main lead capturing platform. Fill it up with relevant articles and search-worthy keywords and you will be converting visitors into software leads in no time.

Related: 5 Steps to Future-Proof Your Goto Market Strategy for Cloud Services

Audience relations

That you are able to interact with your audience is one thing that makes marketing a highly significant factor in the success of a cloud-based product. Come to think, sales conversions will never take place without going one-on-one with a prospect. Marketing, in this sense, provides you an opportunity to get into the heart of a potential client and to make a perfect case on why he should consider buying your product. This is something that is called lead nurturing. It is one trick that improves audience impressions about your product, on top of getting a prospect to set a sales appointment of course.

Pro-tip:

Don’t just settle with email blasts for your lead nurturing. Support it with telemarketing and have your best sales reps handle the engagements from there.

Related: The Secret to Making Irresistible Offers: An IT Company’s Guide to Selling

The Bottomline

Lastly, marketing and sales are not that important if they weren’t actually taking part in improving the bottom line. For sure, audience engagements and brand visibility are just the icings on the top. What’s more important is that you are able to attract, nurture and convert for the sake of your revenue goals. Sales numbers will remain stagnant if you are unable to apply the necessary techniques and strategies in terms of brand-building and lead generation. And since it makes sense to converse with your prospects regularly, you have to make sure that your messages are clear enough to effect a purchase.

Pro tip:

Meet regularly with your marketing and sales teams and interpret your weekly numbers. You have to take account of organic searches, bounces and other essential metrics that will show (or at least approximate) your campaign’s efficiency. Then, use this information to develop strategies, add components that would work, and drop those that didn’t.

Related: Answering Quora: Who are the best SaaS Marketing Agencies in the US, and the UK?

Cloud computing is a highly contested market, and companies that are involved in the battle for turf will have to consider applying the best tools as well as the best expertise for making an impact – in the industry as well as the bottom line.

 

 

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The Secret to Making Irresistible Offers: An IT Company’s Guide to Selling

The Secret to Making Irresistible Offers: An IT Company’s Guide to Selling

The challenge remains for IT companies to engage more prospects and increase their sales margins. But in a highly versatile and dynamic market, the challenge turns out to be more daunting than it initially seemed.

For some reason, this has been the result of increased competition, particularly in the web security and software development sectors. As more and more players enter, the market will continue to rise as businesses continue to seek for better IT solutions.

As Statista shows in this well-researched report, the industry enjoyed consistent gains from 2002 to 2016. We can only expect revenue to skyrocket even higher as new trends in software and innovations in hardware are being sought. 

Read more marketing trends for IT and software industry

For IT companies, this sounds like good news. But everything has a trade-off. The trend only encourages companies to become more aggressive not only in terms of marketing but also in terms of selling. Unfortunately, talking points in traditional selling have lost their mojo, leaving IT sales reps in a pickle. It is also worth noting that IT prospects now are not like the IT prospects of yesteryears. They now have a different view and approach to engaging IT sellers, making it even more difficult to come up with propositions that truly resonate with their needs.

Today’s IT customers demand a lot more, and you as an IT vendor have to deliver. In terms of selling, you will have to make a great deal out of knowing the art of negotiation.

Related: Top 5 Sales Blind Spots in the IT and Software Industry

Mentors, not Salespeople

Obviously, it is about making deals, but deals that are beneficial to everybody. Knowing how to negotiate with potential clients involves more than just aiming for a sales appointment. It is about listening to them and taking notes as eagerly as a nerd during Biology class. Learn from The Little Known Art of Exploiting Unhappy B2B Prospects

Moreover, negotiating is not really an act of mind manipulation. Sorry to bum you out, but Jedi mind tricks won’t work in the real world, much less the IT market. Actually, sales is about being able to engage clients as mentors and not as salespeople. Think about how you are going to help the prospect rather than help your revenue goals. With this mindset, you will be able to generate more clients who will be happy to have you on board as their partner in crime.

Clarion Enterprises CEO Bruna Martinuzzi makes a perfect case for getting clients more interested in an IT product (or just about any product for that matter). She points out that using the right techniques rather than to manipulate buyers should form the very foundation of selling.

One thing that strikes a chord is her view on using self-awareness. Martinuzzi proposes for a look inside one’s own psychological make up. This is where extrovertedness and introvertedness come into play. Knowing where the prospect is between these two allows you to identify the messages they need to hear. Martinuzzi writes:

“For example, if you are highly extroverted, your usual approach might be to secure a face-to-face meeting during which you will cover a wide range of items, discussed from a larger perspective. However, if you are dealing with an introverted client, you may be more successful having a more in-depth discussion of fewer topics. Neither is right or wrong—it simply has to do with preferences.”

Related: 5 Lessons From Epic Tech Flops That Will Make You Better At B2B Sales

Communicate, don’t complicate

Writing for The New York Times in 2011, Tom Szaky points out that “sales can be a melancholy job.” This becomes even more true with IT companies that trying to explain their solutions to interested clients, only to have these clients turned off by the amount of tech jargon being thrown around. Isn’t there a better way?

There is: DON’T BE TOO TECHNICAL.

As much as we want to point out that IT products and services should be explained right down to the core, securing an IT sales appointment demands that you make it easier for your clients to understand what your solutions can do for them. Sure, you can always show off your expertise like how a peacock shows off his feathers, but you must allow your clients some time to think things through.

More importantly, give them space to ask a question. With each inquiry, recall what you have just explained and given examples of situations your products are well-suited to handle. Another word of advice: never butt in while the prospect is talking. Hear him or her out first and try to craft propositions from these bits of information.

Related: Why Cleaner Marketing Data is Essential for IT

Selling shouldn’t be that hard, right? IT companies only need to consider the prospect first before everything else. Once you focus on helping your prospect out, selling can be a lot easier from that end.

 

 

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Answering Quora: Why should you outsource your data cleansing and enhancement services?

Answering Quora: Why should you outsource your data cleansing and enhancement services?

Businesses today should know more than just to implement digital marketing strategies. B2B enterprises, in particular, should go beyond content and focus mostly on the crucial aspects of their marketing efforts.

In terms of lead generation and appointment setting, businesses should always concentrate on establishing a robust marketing infrastructure. This involves a great deal of data management. When you have a list of marketing contacts to pursue, you won’t quantify exactly how many of these leads will result in sales. So, in order to feed the sales pipeline with a steady influx of high-value prospects, you will need to make sure you are engaging the right people.

With this issue in mind, you will need to implement an efficient database management system that can help you zero in on the right targets. Especially if you happen to possess a fairly large database of organic contacts, you will have to work round the clock on validating and updating the list with fresh contacts. For sure, this takes a lot of time and resources. It also involves implementing the right tools and hiring the right people to keep the database up and running like it is supposed to.

Did we mention time and resources? It is true that database management can eat up a huge chunk of both, which is why most B2B companies nowadays would rather have someone to take charge of cleansing and validating their marketing lists than doing the dirty work themselves.

In particular, outsourced database cleansing and enhancement services afford companies more opportunities to streamline their marketing operations:

#1. They save precious time.

Having to set up a database management system yourself requires a great deal of time. Validating individual contacts alone can already mean lost opportunities for your in-house team to generate quality leads. In addition, you will have to transfer manpower, thus weakening crucial sectors that should be kept strong. Letting someone else handle your database management activities saves you all this trouble since you will be provided a full team which will make sure your lists are kept squeaky clean of invalid addresses and the like. What’s more, you won’t have to make any adjustments with your in-house team, ensuring that your main business operations are not disrupted.

Related: Declare Your Independence from Bad Data: A 5-Step Plan

#2. They are cost-effective.

Without a doubt, outsourcing can save companies a whole lot of resources. The database cleansing market itself is chock full of B2B enterprises that are willing to offer solutions that are sure to help companies with their database concerns. Competition in the market has in fact pushed prices down, allowing solution-seekers more options for less. On the other hand, outsourcing can also save you a lot of money that would otherwise go to installing an organic arm for managing your database. Impractical? Certainly! At least with outsourcing, you wouldn’t have to think about investing in new equipment and hiring new employees.

Related: Is Bad Data Hitting You Hard? Here’s How to Roll with the Punches

#3. They let you access a lot of nifty tools.

Since developing your own system for validating and cleansing your marketing database just won’t cut it, the best way to go is to have someone that already has the infrastructure handle it for you. Third-party marketing services nowadays offer cleansing and enhancement services as an added feature. The best thing about this is that these services have created their own tools for addressing such tricky database issues as duplicates and wrong addresses. Added to this is the fact that they already have an efficient process for filtering out quality leads and ensure that your pipeline never runs dry of sales opportunities. Here how to find and remove Duplicate data using excel

#4. They basically have more experience than you.

That may seem rough to take in, but let’s face it: You need an expert. Companies offering outsourced lead generation and appointment setting have worked with an extensive portfolio of clients – from IT vendors to merchandise retailers. Being able to consider outsourcing your database to such companies allows you access to the same competencies that worked for their previous clients. You can expect an outsourcing partner to bring nothing but their best in terms of improving your marketing lists.

Related: Why IT Companies Say List Buying is Bad…And Why They Can Be Wrong!

Outsourcing can actually bring more to the table. As competition in your industry increases, you will need to find a steady ally that will make it easier for you to survive the hustle.

 

 

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