How to Use Cold Emails to Grow Your Small Business

How to Use Cold Emails to Grow Your Small Business


In theory, email outreach is so simple that a lot of small businesses assume there’s some sort of catch.

Like, it’ll never work. I’ll never get any responses.

And even if I do manage to convert a prospect, it’ll only be a small deal anyway.

But that’s just not true. Cold email outreach is still a super effective tactic that can help small businesses win big contracts.

B2B buyers prefer to be contacted by email. And that shouldn’t be surprising – after all, email allows them to respond at a time that suits them, share information with other internal decision-makers, and re-read specific details at a later point.

However, crafting an effective email campaign takes planning. You can’t just expect to fire off 1,000 generic emails and earn a ton of cash. It takes a little expertise to develop a cold email strategy that delivers real results for your business.



Cold Emails for Sales

Use these tips to generate great leads from your cold email outreach:

1. Define Your Ideal Persona

Many small businesses see their email outreach strategy fail because they’re not 100% clear on who they’re trying to reach.

If you don’t fully understand the type of business – and the person within the business – that you’re selling to, you’re just not going to see the best results.

Sales prospecting is all about finding potential buyers or clients, but to do it successfully, you need a clearly defined buyer persona. Without it, you’re operating on gut feel alone.

The best buyer personas are backed up by data and research, such as interviews with your existing clients, or surveys of decision-makers within the industry you’re targeting.

Use this information to build a persona that helps you answer a bunch of questions about your target prospects, such as:

  • Where are they based?
  • What is their job title?
  • What are their immediate business goals?
  • What challenges are stopping them from achieving those goals?
  • What is the implication of failing to hit those targets?
  • How much (if anything) do they know about your product?
  • Have they worked with your competitors before?

2. Generate a List of Prospects

Now that you clearly understand the people you want to reach, you can start building up a list of prospects who match your ideal persona.

During the initial research phase, you might have identified multiple personas. Let’s say you sell a marketing SaaS product; you’re predominantly trying to reach marketing leaders (like VPs of marketing, marketing directors and CMOs).

But a marketing director at a small business will likely have very different priorities and motivations than the CMO of a multinational enterprise.

To make matters more complicated, personalization is super important. Buyers are savvy, so don’t expect them to respond to a generic email that’s clearly been sent to thousands of other people.

That’s why effective segmentation is crucial to building prospect lists. Create multiple lists for the specific persona you’re targeting and the type of message you’re sending.

3. Quality Over Quantity

No doubt you’ve got a lot to say about your product and all the ways it can help your prospects save time and money.

But you don’t need to say it all at once.

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Nothing puts off a prospect like opening an email to see huge chunks of copy. If you can’t communicate your message in three or four short sentences, it’s too complicated. No one’s going to read it, let alone respond. You got to add something that looks appealing and resonates with them.

For example, in restaurant marketing, owners should pull a report from your point-of-sale system (POS) and figure out what your top-selling items are. Then, take that list and start promoting them in your email outreach, adding pictures to grab their attention.

As well as keeping your copy concise, there are a few other best practices to bear in mind when it comes to cold email outreach:

  • Create an eye-catching subject line, aiming for around seven words/41 characters
  • Make it scannable by using short paragraphs, bullet points and numbered lists. According to studies, the ideal email length is about 100 words if you want to maximize CTR and response rate.
  • Add real value that highlights your knowledge of the market and compels your prospect to learn more
  • Demonstrate your credibility by providing social proof
  • Write personalized copy that clearly speaks to the needs of your prospect
  • Include a clear CTA that makes it obvious what you want the prospect to do next. Should they download your pdf? Email you back? Book a meeting via Calendly?

4. Invest in Tools

Sure, anyone can send a few emails.

If you’re only sending a dozen a day, you can probably handle most or all of the work yourself.

But if you actually want to send emails at scale – which you’ll likely need to do if you’re going to bring in enough leads and grow your business – then you need a little help.

In other words, you need a tool or software stack that allows you to send thousands of highly effective, personalized emails a month, without requiring you to spend all day, every day typing them out and sending them yourself.

Fortunately, there are a bunch of fantastic tools that automate huge chunks of the cold email process, such as:

  • Mailshake: A sales engagement platform that enables salespeople to craft super personalized outreach campaigns via email, social and phone. Upload a list of prospects incorporating personalization fields like name, phone number and links to social profiles, and even add fully personalized sentences and paragraphs.
  • Right Inbox: Add your highest-performing emails with a single click and schedule automated follow-ups if contacts don’t respond within a specified window.
  • Voila Norbert: Find new email addresses and verify the ones you have for target prospects, helping to reduce bounce rate from your email outreach.

5. Follow-Ups

You’ve crafted the perfect introductory email and sent it to a prospect, but they haven’t replied.

At this point, a lot of salespeople give up and move on. But if you do that, you’re potentially missing out on a ton of deals.

Sometimes, prospects just need a bit of prompting. They’re busy, and replying to your first message likely isn’t their biggest priority, so if you follow up multiple times, you’ll increase your chances of getting a response.

When it comes to crafting quality follow-up emails, there are a couple rules to bear in mind:

  • Keep on personalizing: Don’t get lazy and send the same generic follow-up to everyone. Keep on referencing your prospect’s pain points and reinforce how your product offers a solution to the specific problems they’re facing.
  • Have a reason for following up: It’s tempting to send a “just chasing you up” message as a follow-up, but emails like that just don’t add any value. There needs to be a genuine reason for you to send this message in the first place – like, maybe your prospect has just got a promotion. Or maybe you’ve just launched a special offer, like a free trial. Or maybe you’ve published an explainer video or carried out some unique research that would be useful to your prospect. If you don’t have a reason for following up, you’ll just get a ton of unsubscribes.

6. Record Your Success

Always track what works well and what doesn’t, and use the information you’ve learned to improve the performance of your cold outreach going forward.

With sales emails, there are so many metrics you can track and elements you can test. For instance:

  • Which subject line generated the most opens?
  • Which CTA resulted in the highest number of responses?
  • Which variant of your sales pitch led to the most product demos?
  • Which blog or case study received the most link clicks?
  • Which email format produced the most sales?

Conclusion

The best way to get started with cold email? Just do it.

Find a bunch of prospects who match your ideal persona. Make use of the tools at your disposal that makes it simple for you to send cold emails at scale. Then just get on with testing different approaches – different elevator pitches, different introductions, different closers.

And when you start to see results, do more of what works.

Image: Depositphotos.com




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The New Keap Makes Automation for Small Business Easier

The New Keap Makes Automation for Small Business Easier


Looking for CRM business automation you can set from a mobile device? Then Easy Automations, the new updated tool from Keap, may be for you. The pre-built and customized templates can be turned on simply by pushing a button.

Small Business Trends recently spoke with Ernest Saco, Sr. Product Manager and People Leader at Keap, about the new updates.

“These are easy to use automations that can save you time by automating repetitive tasks in just minutes,” he said.

The updates cover a lot of ground the average pressed-for-time business owner will want to know about. Not only that, they’re fast. It takes less than three minutes to automate items like scheduling.



Keap Easy Automations

These updates are also designed to move leads through the sales funnel quickly with user friendly drop down menus.

Saco says many businesses understand the benefits of automation but they run into a familiar roadblock.

“Most of the tools on the market today require a high level of marketing and tech savvy,” Saco said.

He also said the different jargon between competitors in the space frustrated business owners.

Enter Easy Automations. They’re the brainchild of the nearly 20 years of experience Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) has in the automation space. These updates are the result of some tweaking the company did to improve on an earlier automation tool called Campaign Builder.

The updates centered around a simple automation process and metric they used to find success.

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Easy Automations Features

“We eventually got to a point where we were getting a consistent 70% publish rate,” Saco said. “This was opposed to the 11% that we were getting in Campaign Builder. We were getting people to publish in a half or third of the time.”

Easy Automations has other big features that digitally greases small business workflow?

  • The updates send personalized follow-ups designed to get new leads to engage and buy.
  • You can also generate tasks automatically in fulfillment and sales so your process is seamless and efficient.
  • The updates also allow you to ask for referrals and reviews because word-of-mouth is still important.
  • Increased meetings and sales is simple with automated appointment invites. These allow you to schedule and follow up with prospects and customers.

Simple language is another advantage. There’s a noticeable lack of jargon in the prompts for and in the templates that makes the process clear and easy to understand.

“We started with normal everyday language. When this happens, that happens because that’s all automation really is,” Saco said.

For example one of the general prompts says: “When this happens (eg: an appointment is scheduled) is followed by another that says, ‘Then this will be automated.’ That brings up ready made or customized templates to choose from like sending the notification.

In the end, these new tools are both simple and fast.

“In the past automation has been too time consuming for small business owners,” said Keap Chief Technology Officer Rajesh Bhatia in a company release. “Easy Automations democratizes automation to the masses by removing a lot of the complexity. Now more entrepreneurs will have the freedom and time to focus on growth and delighting clients. This is the future of small business automation.”

The bulk of the clients for these Easy Automations are service providers. Still almost any business that has people making purchases can use this product.

Image: keap.com




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Why it is So Important to Follow Up With Leads

Why it is So Important to Follow Up With Leads


According to IRC Sales Solutions, only 2% of sales are made during the first point of contact. This means businesses stand to lose potentially 98% of their sales leads if they do not follow up.

The success of any sales rests on how well we seal deals. Success in sales means increasing the number of signups with both new and old customers thus positively affecting the business’ bottom line. The key to this is a strong follow-up plan to get prospects on board. 

As the number of follow up on sales leads increase, so do the chances of a successful sale according to IRC Sales Solution. As such, only 3% of prospects will sign up on the second contact and 5% will say yes on the third try. Surprisingly enough, 80% will buy-in into the sales pitch after the fifth or twelfth contact. This highlights the importance of following up as crucial for your marketing strategy, which must not be overlooked.



Importance of Follow Up in Sales

What this means is that the frequency of contact you have with your prospects will determine how quickly they will make a purchase. Constant contact allows you to better understand your customers’ desires and then come up with ways to help them achieve them. 

Regular follow up gives customers a chance to be heard and engaged with effectively. In addition, constant contact helps customers keep you in their minds when they have a need that you can fulfill. In fact, existing customers receiving follow-ups are more likely to go for new offerings than those without follow up. 

What is Preventing Sales People from Sealing the Deal?

According to IRC Sales Solutions, fear of rejection, or a difficult/non-existent sales process are the primary culprits why salespeople never follow-up with prospects. A sales process helps salespeople take customers through a series of steps starting from creating awareness to finally making a purchase. It is a continuous process of engagement that helps customers reach a decision to make a purchase. 

The study also points to a lack of persistence as a factor for not turning prospects to customers. Particularly when emails or phone calls are ignored, 44% of salespeople throw in the towel after just one attempt. A small fraction (only 8%) of salespeople actually follow-up more than five times.

Another factor in low lead success is the lack of speedy response. IRC’s research indicates salespeople who follow up with a lead within five minutes are 9 times more likely to convert them. Between 30-50% of customers would buy from vendors that respond first.  

From the company’s perspective, not having a good sales onboarding program can result in poor follow up. Good sales onboarding programs can help new sales hires become productive 3 to 4 months sooner, on average, than firms with low-performing programs.

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There are a number of sales follow-up statistics that back up the fact that following up with your prospects should be integrated into your sales process. For example, at any given time, only 3% of your market is actively buying. A further 56% are not ready, while 40% are poised to begin. This means salespeople need to be persistent and keep engaging if they do not get a nod on the first try. 

Some Sales Followup Stats

Studies indicate on average, 42.5% of sales reps take 10 months or longer to become productive enough to contribute to the company’s bottom line. This is after an average of 10 weeks of training and development. Most salespeople spend a third (34%) of their time actually doing sales. Their remaining time is spent on writing emails, data entries, research, scheduling and training.

This does not mean they have it easy. In fact, sales development reps average around 94.4 activities a day. These activities in return result in 14.1 of conversions, 16.7 opportunities, and 3.7 deals. The average breakdown of their communications activities includes some 32.6 emails, 35.9 phone calls. 15.3 voicemails and seven social media contacts a day.

How Should Salespeople Follow Up?

While on the first call and if customers aren’t making a buy, salespeople will need to schedule another call before ending the call. This opens opportunities for future conversations where they can sway the customers.

 To demonstrate your engagement you will need to send out a calendar invite for the next call and follow through on your pitch. This does not only mean that you call again with the same pitch. But rather come up with a tweaked offer that might be more appealing to the customers on the second try. 

Building rapport and persistence are crucial for sealing the deal. By having conversations you understand not only the needs of the customers, but when they are more likely to make purchases. By aligning your offering with their needs you help create value for the customers and build lasting relationships.

Take a look at the rest of the data in the infographic below:

importance of follow up in sales

Image: ircsalessolutions.com




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4 Lessons About B2B Sales Learned from Training New Sales Reps

4 Lessons About B2B Sales Learned from Training New Sales Reps


Over the years, I have worked with a lot of different B2B sales reps, many of them might be starting out in this line of work for the first time. During the COVID-19 crisis, a lot of retail sales people have been laid off or furloughed. If you have been making a living in retail sales at a brick-and-mortar business, or otherwise working in customer service or support, you might want to consider making a new career move into B2B sales and talking with customers by phone. Many of the same skills and personality traits that help people be good at retail sales can also transfer to the world of B2B sales, appointment setting and lead generation. But instead of talking with customers in a real-life brick-and-mortar setting, you can talk with them by phone. 



4 Lessons for B2B Sales

Whether you’re new to the industry of B2B sales, or if you’re a business owner who wants to improve your own selling skills when talking with customers, here are a few lessons I’ve learned over the years from training new sales reps. 

1. Start a Conversation, Build a Relationship First. 

The first step of B2B sales, no matter what you sell, is to just build a relationship with that prospective buyer. Talk with them, get to know them, and listen to them. When I work with new sales reps at my company, I always encourage them to just practice opening a call in a way that is natural and friendly, in a way that builds trust. 

2. B2B Sales is a Long-term Process. 

You don’t have to start selling right away, you don’t have to close the deal on the first call. B2B sales is a process. Give it time. Your first call with a customer, the goal should be to just find out more about the customer, see if they are the right fit for what you sell, see if they have interest in what you sell, and then ask for the customer to make a commitment to have a follow-up appointment. Not everything has to happen right away. The goal of B2B sales is to sell, of course, but closing deals takes time and there are a lot of other steps in the process that need to happen before the customer is really ready to buy. So be patient, with your buyers and with yourself. 

3. Don’t Put Pressure on the Customer. 

Sales people get paid to sell, so of course they are sometimes a little too eager to close the deal and get the customer to sign up. This requires a careful balance. Sales people that push too hard will end up making the customer feel pressured and stressed; this tends to make the customer less likely to buy. Most customers don’t like to feel pressured or pushed by sales people. Instead, sales people need to act like trusted peers. Act like you’re on the same side of the negotiating table as the customer. Work in the customer’s best interest and show how you can help to solve the customer’s problem – you and the customer are not opponents, you’re not enemies, you are on the same team. You as the B2B sales person are not trying to “get” something from the customer; you’re trying to “give” something to the customer that will truly help their business. B2B sales should always feel like a win-win. 

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4. Different Personalities Can Be Successful at B2B Sales.  

A lot of people might think that sales people are always cut from the same cloth: outgoing, charismatic, competitive, hard-charging. The truth, in my experience, is more complicated. B2B sales is an art and a science. There’s a strong element of process-oriented, data-driven “science” that happens with B2B sales – you need to have a strategic, clear process in place for how to work with buyers through the customer journey, and you need to understand how your customers are responding and which points in the sales funnel are causing the biggest challenges. However, there is also a strong element of “art” to B2B sales: creativity, improvisation, relationship-building, creating an emotional connection. 

Not all B2B sales people are good at both of these aspects of selling. Some B2B sales people are more analytical and technical; they know the product and the industry really well, they are almost more like engineers or data scientists than sales people. Other B2B sales reps are “people persons” through and through; they just want to be talking with customers all day and moving their sales conversations forward. 

If you’re retail sales person or customer service rep whose job was affected by COVID-19, and you would like to start a new career, I encourage you to think about getting into B2B sales. There are ways to get a foot in the door in the industry by working on the phone as an appointment setter or B2B lead generation specialist, and then if you like the work and you do well, there are ways to get involved with other roles in B2B sales. Anyone who cares about customer relationship-building, who enjoys the challenge of selling, who has a sense of curiosity and is willing to learn on the job, and who wants to add real value for customers and their career can potentially do great at B2B sales. 

Image: Depositphotos.com




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The Only 5 Lead Generation Hacks Digital Agencies Need to Get Qualified Leads

The Only 5 Lead Generation Hacks Digital Agencies Need to Get Qualified Leads


These are strange, challenging times for businesses. The past few months have put a financial strain on them – from the loss of clients and revenues to furloughing staff – which further resulted in halting expansion plans, investments, and even marketing spends.

Digital agencies have also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent study by Uplers, 66% of agencies experienced a decrease in overall revenue, while 47% experienced a decline in marketing leads.

impact on revenue



Lead Generation Hacks

But rather than focusing on the adverse effects, it is crucial to think creatively and identify ways to generate more leads for the business. Here are five lead generation strategies that agencies must implement pronto:

1. Referral program

Referrals are a useful asset for any brand. They not only pique people’s interest but also get them talking. Since you have clients who love your services, get them to recommend your agency to others.

Ninety-two percent of customers trust recommendations from a reliable source. And B2B referrals, specifically, boast of a conversion rate of 70%!

Introduce a referral program for lead generation at your agency. Any platform works – email or social media – as long as you can identify an incentive (e.g., free access to an otherwise paid program or course, or discounts on a service) that nudges your clients to refer you to their network.

Pro tip: Use tools such as ReferralCandy to reward clients for successful referrals and track results of your referral programs easily.

2. Exit-intent pop-ups

Pop-ups are often seen as a nuisance that interrupts visitors while browsing through the website or as soon as they land on the website. But did you know an exit-intent pop-up on the site can recover 53% of abandoning visitors?

An exit pop-up only triggers when the visitors mouse up to close a tab in their browser, which means they are less intrusive.

Moreover, there’s no shortage of ideas for the pop-up copy. Offer a content upgrade, get them to subscribe to your newsletter, offer a free trial, or nudge them to sign up for a consultation with your agency. Pop-ups can be used in many ways!

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3. Website forms

Times are tough, and everyone wants to work with a business they can trust! Website forms can be the ultimate lead-gen arsenal for you if you keep in mind three things:

  • a. Keep the form short. Don’t make your potential customers spend too much time sharing their details with you. In many cases, only an email and email address may suffice. But if it’s a long-form, provide optional and mandatory fields.
  • b. Place the form properly. If you place it at the bottom of a landing page, most website visitors won’t even see it. Therefore, ensure the form is placed conspicuously.
  • c. Incorporate elements of social proof at the bottom of the form. For example: “95% of first-time users report high satisfaction with our PPC service.” Keep it short since there is limited space on the form.

Pro tip: Typeform is an excellent tool for turning a list of questions into a conversation starter. Keep testing your website form copy to see which ones fetch you the highest number of leads.

4. Guest blogging and press coverage

Guest blogging is the lifeblood of any digital agency. You must consistently pitch trending stories and gain traction by showcasing your authority on top business and marketing publications. Avoid mass emailing editors with run-of-the-mill article ideas.

Every site has its guidelines and requirements, so research thoroughly so that you can come up with a proper article outline and personalize the pitch to increase your chances of getting approved.

Alternatively, use free online services such as HARO and SourceBottle to identify press opportunities for your agency and even send tips to journalists searching for sources/bytes on the platforms. “Staying in the news” can lead to increased qualified leads!

5. Lead magnets

Lead magnets are well-crafted pieces of content – such as an eBook, a how-to guide, or a set of templates or cheat sheets – that potential customers in your industry space will find useful. Topics could be topical (e.g., COVID-19 and remote working) to general.

Therefore, be sure to create something they will be willing to give away their contact information. Once you have their email addresses, continue sharing valuable resources from time-to-time, or use their data for remarketing them.

Pro tip: CoSchedule has an excellent resource library and newsletter that keeps the customers hooked to their brand even if they are not currently purchasing. Lead magnets offer a way to justify why you are the best agency in the market. Leverage that to attract customers.

End Notes

Now is the time for agencies to adapt to the current market scenario to keep doing what they love doing, i.e., serving as many clients as possible. Therefore, update/expand your lead generation initiatives and provide value to your prospects so that they see you as a thought leader in the market and eventually buy from you.

Image: Depositphotos.com




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4 Channels To Help Increase Online Holiday Sales

4 Channels To Help Increase Online Holiday Sales


 

While COVID-19 pandemic seems to have passed its peak, things are by no means “back to normal.” Supply chains are still disrupted, consumer wallets are still hurting, and unemployment is still high. It’s going to take a good while for the economy to get back on its feet, so you need to plan online holiday marketing strategies well in advance.



Holiday Sales Planning 2020

With so much holiday revenue coming in online, it’s vital for online businesses to put their best holiday marketing foot forward, and that includes considering which marketing channels to use to increase your sales.

1. Social Media Paid Marketing

According to received wisdom, CPMs have been rising constantly, dragging down ROAS on paid social. This was true, and there’s still an understandable spike in CPM before the holidays, which only emphasizes the need to plan your holiday marketing ecommerce strategy ahead of time.

But recently, something changed. In January-July 2019, CPM on Facebook dropped to $8.34, from $11.09 in January-July 2018. CPM on other channels took a similar dive. This is mainly due to two new paid social formats which drive more conversions: Instagram Stories, and Snapchat ads.

The native feel, full-screen creative, and swipe-up that takes the user direct to the site drove rapid adoption and high engagement for Instagram Stories, far surpassing Instagram posts. ROAS on Instagram Stories tripled since January, and 57% of marketers find them effective or very effective.

At the same time, Snapchat boomed to reach 90% of 13-24 year-olds in the US, more than Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger combined. It has over 190 million active daily users, but it’s still largely overlooked for marketing purposes.

Despite the potential of these two channels, don’t ignore your existing successful social media strategies. You know what works for your audience, so while you experiment with new possibilities, you shouldn’t rip up last year’s playbook.

2. Branded Utility

Branded utility refers to delivering value to consumers to create a relationship with them before you begin selling. It shifts marketing up a level by making it useful as well as entertaining.

Branded utility can take many forms:

  • Transactional, like coupons
  • Non-transactional, like a fitness tracking app
  • Digital, such as a chatbot helping travelers book their flights
  • Non-digital, like a garage fixing flats for free

IBM’s physical ads are a great example of branded utility. They gave people somewhere to sit and shelter and made their lives easier, without selling a thing. IKEA’s nap delivery similarly improved people’s lives without making sales by helping them to gain more sleep in their free time. The van is equipped with bad and drove by a personal driver. All they’re asking in return is a picture with the following hashtag – #UpgradetoIKEA. Both brands forged a connection with consumers and even provoked gratitude.

For branded utility to work it has to solve a real pain point. You’ll get nowhere if your campaign feels gimmicky, so you’ll need careful thought to find a pain point and an effective way to solve it. However, the IBM campaign shows that the pain point doesn’t have to be directly related to your product.

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3. Email Marketing

Emails haven’t been replaced by messenger apps; 293.6 billion emails are still sent every day, and that’s predicted to rise to 347 billion by 2023. Most of your holiday sales come from existing customers — 48% of 2018’s BFCM sales were generated by existing customers — which is useful because they are probably on your email list already.

Email marketing is still effective when it’s done right. Design plays an important role, so it can help to invest in layout, fonts, and color choices. Wisestamp signature generator helps you include an eye-catching and appealing CTA to your business without intruding on the email content. Some marketers recommend A/B testing to find the right subject lines, email lengths, etc. although others feel that it’s a waste of time.

The content itself matters too. Consumers are looking for human, personalized communications that nurture their connection with your brand, although they also appreciate discounts. Demand for customized content and offers makes audience segmentation vital. Segmentation also helps you avoid oversending, because you can usually increase the number of emails you send in the runup to a holiday, as long as you don’t overdo it.

4. Content Marketing

Content marketing is great for your SEO, because it uses your keywords in context, and that pushes your website higher up the SERP and helps drive more organic traffic, but it also goes way beyond it.

Content marketing engages, entertains, and interests your customers, opening up a conversation that could lead to a long-term friendship. Content that delivers value cements customers’ loyalty to your brand.

“SEO and content marketing will continue to drive visibility in 2020 but what good is being found if content is not credible or compelling? To win the content marketing game, brands need to focus more on optimized, personalized and influencer activated content experiences.” says Lee Odden, CEO of Top Rank Marketing.

Content marketing isn’t a monolith. It includes a whole swathe of media formats, including infographics, social media posts, case studies, and more.

Blogs used to be the preferred content media format, but they were recently overtaken by video. The choice is yours.

Like email marketing, content marketing needs to be adapted to and targeted for different audience segments, so choose and track metrics that define success for you. These can include conversions, sales, time on page, SERP ranking, etc. Effective content creates a positive cycle: you learn more about your customers as you see which content they prefer, and that in turn helps you create more targeted and effective content.

The Right Holiday Online Marketing Channels Drive Your Success

Holiday sales are crucial for small businesses, and that’s more true than ever this year, after COVID-19 left Q1 a washout and Q2 not much better. Planning holiday marketing strategies well in advance across numerous channels, and using the best practices for each one, can help your SMB get ahead and attract consumers for holiday sales.

Image: Depositphotos.com




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Sales Lead and Qualification Management During COVID %%sep%% %%sitename%%

Sales Lead and Qualification Management During COVID %%sep%% %%sitename%%


The COVID-19 crisis has caused B2B sales organizations to re-evaluate their sales processes, re-tool their sales pitches, and otherwise adapt to fast-changing conditions in an environment of unprecedented uncertainty. But there are two aspects of B2B sales operations that are sometimes underrated and overlooked even during the best of times: lead qualification and lead management. During this time of crisis, and even after the economy emerges into a New Normal, qualifying your sales leads, and then managing, nurturing and re-ranking your sales leads over time, is more important than ever.



COVID Sales Lead Qualification and Management

Here are a few reasons why your B2B sales team needs to put lead qualification and lead management at the top of your priority list during COVID-19. 

Lead Qualification Helps Prioritize Your Sales Efforts 

During a time of crisis like COVID-19, it might seem like there’s no such thing as a bad sales lead. The truth is more complicated. During COVID-19, there has been a slowdown of demand in many industries; many prospects are reluctant to buy or are cutting back on spending or delaying their purchases. This means that you need to keep spending time on lead qualification. Have a good process in place to qualify and evaluate sales leads with every inbound call and every outbound conversation: figure out which prospective customers are really showing interest in being ready to buy, which ones are delaying their spend, and which ones are not the right fit for what you sell. 

When there’s a decrease in buyer demand, that doesn’t mean you should be indiscriminate in taking on all new sales leads and assuming they’re all eager to buy and treating them all the same. Some sales leads are better than others. Some prospects are ready to buy, some are just starting their process of doing research, and some might never be the right fit for what you sell. And that’s OK! 

Good sales leads are precious during a crisis, and so is your sales team’s time. If you can get more precise at qualifying your sales leads, you can figure out what are the right ways to allocate your sales people’s time and energy. 

Lead Qualifying and Lead Management Help Clarify Your Value Proposition 

A big trend in B2B sales right now that we’re seeing from lots of clients is that some B2B buyers are still spending money, but they’re spending differently. They might be delaying big purchases until later in 2020 or till next year. Or, they might be cutting back on budgets. They might be canceling projects with big vendors and choosing to work with multiple small suppliers instead. 

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By having some in-depth lead qualifying conversations, you can learn more about what your prospects are really trying to accomplish, and find more nimble, agile ways for your company to deliver on their needs. They might not need your most elaborate, expensive package of solutions, they might need you to fit into a smaller budget. But there might be more opportunity here for your company, depending on what you sell. It’s a good time to be a small business, in some ways, because you might be more adaptable to the needs of the moment.  

Manage Leads for the Long-Term 

The COVID-19 crisis has been a terribly stressful event to live through, but there are many signs of hope. Some companies have reopened for business, others have resumed spending, others are seeing signs of growth for the rest of 2020. Lead management needs to be a long-term activity. Just because your prospects aren’t ready to buy today doesn’t mean they won’t be ready in a few months. 

That’s one of the enduring lessons of working in B2B sales: the whole situation can change (sometimes for the worse, but often for the better) in just a few months! Your prospect might get better clarity about their budget, they might decide to outsource some different business functions, they might gain a big contract that gives them more money to spend on your solution, or one of your competitors might go out of business which opens up opportunity for you. 

Having a good lead qualifying, lead ranking and lead management process in place will help you to evaluate, adapt, and capitalize on opportunities for the long-term. No matter how many business leads you have in your pipeline, no matter what’s happening with the broader economy, it’s important to invest some time and effort in understanding your business leads: how ready are they to buy, how well-informed are they about your solutions, how good of a fit are they for what they sell, and how can you add the most value to build a good relationship and close the sale? Lead qualification and lead management will help you prioritize your sales efforts and focus on the right activities throughout the current crisis, and beyond. 

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15 templates for a sales follow-up email

15 templates for a sales follow-up email


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Email is an essential form of communication in sales. Too often, however, sales professionals focus solely on the initial pitch and neglect the customer follow-up . When you get back in touch with potential customers, companies can ultimately make more sales. Creating some solid templates for sales tracking emails can help your team communicate consistently and generate more sales in the long run.

If you are ready to improve your sales efficiency by tracking email communication, use these email templates as a starting point to create your own.



Sales Tracking Email Templates

<! – -> Your sales follow-up emails should always be tailored to each prospect and the situation in connection with your previous communication. These templates can help you get started, but make sure you change some wording and personalize them to get the best sales results.

Follow-up to say thank you

Saying "thank you" is a perfect excuse to reach your potential customers via email after a phone call, meeting, or other form of communication. Really show your appreciation for your time and then divide it into another discussion about your products or services.

Hi [Name]

Thank you for taking the time to speak to me earlier today! I really enjoyed learning more about you and [company name].

Please let me know as soon as you have the opportunity to review the information that I have shared with you. I would also be happy to call you to answer your questions. Call me anytime at [phone number] or contact me here. <! – ->

[Signature]

When to use

This basic follow-up email is perfect for any prospect you recently met or spoke to over the phone or email.

Follow-up to share more information

There may be more information about your offers than what you shared in your first sales pitch. If a prospect has not yet responded to your email or returned your call, you can sweeten the deal by adding some additional details.

<! – -> Hi [Name]

I enjoyed meeting you earlier today to discuss [subject]. As promised, here is the information about [subject] that you mentioned. I hope you find it helpful

Let me know as soon as you have the opportunity to view this additional information. I would be happy to continue to discuss with you or answer further questions.

[Signature]

When to use

This sales follow-up is somewhat more specific. Use it when you want a prospect you spoke to to refer to a specific topic and you have a resource that can help you.

Tracking a special offer

In particular, a new offer or store can help make your sales pitch more appealing to a potential customer who is on the fence. If it's a new or limited-time offer, it's a perfect excuse to turn back to people you haven't heard from in a while.

Hello [Name]

I know I already shared some information about [product or service] with you, but I thought you might be interested in learning about a new deal that our company is offering. [Share details]

This deal is currently available from [end date]. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me or call me at [phone number].

[Signature]

When to use

This sales follow-up email can be effective for prospects who may have been a little hesitant about previous offers – especially if their concerns were about pricing or value.

Tracking a special request

For a prospect who asked questions, asked questions, or shared concerns with you during a previous discussion, your follow-up email is the perfect time to address these issues. Reference your previous conversation and share your answer quickly and precisely with them.

Hi [Name]

It was great talking to you earlier. You mentioned concerns about [subject] during our conversation. Fortunately, I contacted my manager and found out that [share details].

I hope this new information can help you answer your questions about [product or service]. If you have any further concerns that you would like to discuss, please call me at [phone number] or contact me here.

[Signature]

When to use

]

Tracking after an event

Sales professionals often make initial contact with new prospects at trade shows, networking events or local gatherings. After this first meeting, it is imperative to send follow-up emails to these people so that you can continue the conversation.

Hi [Name]

It was so great to meet you at [event name]. I hope you have drawn a lot of value from the meetings.

I wanted to contact you because you have expressed interest in learning more about [product, service, or company]. Would you be open to a meeting? I would like to learn more about your company's needs in this area.

[Signature]

When to use

After meeting someone at a networking event or trade show, contact them as soon as possible so that the interaction is still up to date.

Follow-up after showing interest

You may be able to see which potential customers are opening your email and which are following a link to your website or sales page. A friendly reminder may be appropriate for those who have shown some interest but have not yet responded or completed a purchase.

Hi [Name]

I noticed that you visited the website that I linked to in my last email. I hope this is not an overrun, but I just wanted to make sure you found what you were looking for and check if you had any questions.

Let me know if you would like to discuss the information further. I am happy to schedule a call or respond to your concerns by email.

[Signature]

When to use

If a prospect has actively opened your emails or clicked on links you have released, they are more interested in your offers. You may just have been distracted or have questions. By sending a follow-up to that person, you have the option of making the next steps as easy as possible and ensuring that they remain interested.

Follow up after showing no interest

However, some of your potential customers may not have taken these steps at all. Therefore, your follow-up emails to these people should follow a different template.

Hello [Name]

I don't want to bother you, but I just want to make sure you have received the information I sent in my previous email about [product or service]. I really think that this could benefit your company because [give explanation].

Do you have a few minutes this week to discuss further? Let me know your schedule or call me at [phone number] and I will take you through a demo.

[Signature]

When to use

This sales follow-up is aimed at people who have not replied to other emails. They just check if they are still interested or if they want additional information.

Follow up after meeting or calling

If you just had a face-to-face meeting or phone call with a potential customer, your email should be tailored to your conversations.

Hi [Name]

I really enjoyed our meeting today! Thank you for taking the time to discuss how [product or service] could benefit your operations at [company name]. I think it sounds like a good fit.

As soon as you have the opportunity to look at the materials that I have shared with you, I will be happy to guide you through the registration process or answer your questions. Call me at [phone number] if you have a few moments.

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[Signature]

When to use

This follow-up email is another general option for sending to someone after speaking to them in person. Try to insert a subject line that is relevant to your discussion.

Tracking a specific detail

In particular, some of these meetings could involve discussions about a particular feature or event. If you can find new details on an area in which a prospect has already shown interest, please do so in your follow-up email.

Hey [Name]

Thank you for taking a few minutes to speak to me last week. I really enjoyed our chat. If I remember correctly, you said that your company was working on [detail from your conversation] and I had just heard about a new product that we were working on that I think was a good fit.

Do you have a few minutes to phone me this week? I look forward to sharing the details with you as I think this would be a perfect solution for your team.

[Signature]

When to use

This follow-up email is perfect for those who have expressed interest in a particular area that a new offer from your company can help.

Follow-up to learn the next steps

Sometimes it is most effective if a prospect leads the discussion. If you customize your follow-up email to give you this opportunity, you may be given a greater incentive to respond.

Hi [Name]

I hope you had the opportunity to read my previous email. Have you had a chance to think about the proposal I shared with you?

I know that you are quite busy, but I can continue to discuss with you if you have any questions. Let me know how best to proceed so that we can get around your schedule.

[Signature]

When to use

This sales follow-up email is best for those who have shown interest in the past but have not yet responded to this interest. If they have expressed that they are particularly busy or have additional questions or concerns, it may be beneficial to take the lead.

Follow-up to keep in touch

In some cases, you are unlikely to make a sale immediately. However, contacting these potential customers via follow-up emails can still be beneficial. Bonus if you can instantly share something they find useful – without forcing a sale.

Hi [Name]

I really enjoyed meeting you at [event or occasion]. I think there could be some exciting opportunities for us to work together in the future.

Would it be okay if I added you to our contact list and regularly looked for new opportunities? I promise not to be a pest!

At the moment I have attached [offer or resource] which I think you will find useful. [explain value proposition]
[Signature]

When to use

This type of email works best for potential customers who are not yet ready to make a sale. You may have met them at a networking event or local gathering and they have expressed general interest, but first they need to expand their business or complete a large project.

Follow up to get quick response

Some interested parties may want to answer, but have not had time to do so. If you can customize your follow-up emails to be very easy and fast, you may be more likely to get the information you need.

Hello [Name]

I know that you are busy so that I don't take too much time. If I don't get a response from someone, I know that this is usually because they are either busy, not interested, or missed my emails. If you could inform me with a super quick response, I will update your file so as not to bother you again.

1 – currently busy

2 – not interested

3 – haven't seen any emails yet

[Signature]

When to use

This is for the busy prospect when tracking the email list. You haven't replied to your other follow-up emails, and you're not sure if you should continue to contact them. Make it clear in the subject line that you want to make it easy for them to respond.

Follow-up on added value

Sometimes it can be advantageous to take the conversation off the press of a sale. By releasing an additional resource unconditionally, you can remind them of the value your company offers. This can help you keep the conversation going so you can make a sale in the future.

Hey [Name]

I remember that you mentioned your interest in [subject] in one of our previous conversations. Our content team has just put together this amazing infographic that I thought was revealing to you.

If you like it, feel free to share it on your social media channels. I would also like to discuss a new offer related to [subject] that we are working on if you have an extra minute this week. Call me at [number].

[Signature]

When to use

This follow-up email is perfect for those who have additional content or resources related to a prospect's area of ​​interest. It's not specifically about driving new sales, it could help you maintain those relationships. Mentioning an infographic or other content in the subject line can be beneficial.

Follow-up to correct your records

Your emails and phone calls may have gone unanswered because you simply can't reach the right decision maker in the company. If you suspect that this is the case, you can simply ask if there is a better person to turn to.

Hi [Name]

I've sent you a few emails about [subject] in the past few weeks. I don't want to bother you, but I think we would be well placed to help [company] at [pain point].

After my last email I noticed that you may not be the right person to reach [company]. If I should contact anyone else please let me know and I will update our records so as not to bother you again. Thank you so much!

[Signature]

When to use

This follow-up is intended for people who have not replied to their previous messages at all. So you are not necessarily sure whether you are reaching the right person or not.

Follow-up to close your file.

Ultimately, not all interested parties become customers. Keeping in touch with an unresponsive person may only waste time for your sales team. Tracking one last time to close your file can therefore be beneficial.

[Name],

I looked through my contacts and found that I hadn't heard from you about [product or offer]. I'm sorry we haven't been able to work together so far.

If you are not interested, I do not want to bother you any further. Would it be okay if I closed your file with us? If you have any questions or would like to discuss them, please contact me at [number].

[Signature]

When to use

This is your follow-up email of the last resort. You have shown no interest so far and you do not want to waste your (and your) time anymore.

Mistakes to Avoid When Tracking Sales

These email templates below can make a big contribution to improving your sales. However, there are some problems that salespeople often encounter when creating their actual communication.

Avoid these seven mistakes in tracking email messages:

  • Message too vague – If the message is not relevant to them, they will roll right past it. Take the time to add details about your company.
  • Typo – Read your message for errors so they don't look careless and unprofessional. And never get her name wrong!
  • Wait Too Long – If you wait too long to send a sales follow-up email, your message may no longer be relevant. The exact timing depends on what you're selling. However, always pay attention to your email interval.
  • Too many emails – Even if your offer is relevant, bombarding a potential customer with emails can make you appear intrusive and unwilling to do business with you. Keep it essential when sending follow-up emails so they are more likely to respond.
  • High pressure or uncomfortable tone – Your tone in a follow-up email can make a big contribution to persuading people to do business with you. If you seem like a slimy seller, you can just go somewhere else.
  • Burning Bridges – If the prospect does not say at this time, it does not mean that you can never complete the sale. Accept her answer kindly and work to maintain the relationship in the future.
  • Do not investigate – It is worth knowing a little about the person you are contacting by email. This does not mean that you have to meet with everyone in person. However, a quick scan of your CRM or an online search can help you understand the company and previous contacts with your company.

Action points

Now that you understand what makes a powerful follow-up email, it's time to apply this concept to your small business. First save the email templates mentioned above and distribute them to your sales team. Edit all the points to make them more relevant to your company. Then work with your team to set up a follow-up schedule so everyone knows exactly when and how to reach potential customers. You can even put together a diagram with different scenarios so that your team understands when to select each email template.

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Pricing strategies for a strong bottom line

Pricing strategies for a strong bottom line


A pricing strategy is as important as what you have to sell. Finally, they determine what you charge for the goods and services that you have in the market. Ultimately, it's a balancing act to get these pricing strategies right. You need to find that sweet spot between market demand and maximum profit. <! – ->

You must consider the following to put together a good strategic pricing model.



What is pricing?

Pricing is what you charge for what you sell. Sounds easy, but there's a little more to it than you think. Any small business that wants to do this right must have a plan. Remember, finding the sweet spot is much more than just figuring out what customers are willing to pay at a given time. Good pricing strategies are sustainable and flexible.

Why is pricing important?

<! – -> Pricing is important because it is an important factor in a customer's decision to buy. In short, when pricing, the value of your sales is converted to cash. Pricing strategies help you to open up your target market. A low price can get you out of business if you don't meet your overhead. A high price that goes too far in the other direction can cut you out of your market.

Pricing Strategies

You need good pricing strategies as well as a good business plan. Every small business needs to understand what it can ask for products and services. These strategies provide a road map that you need to follow when pricing. If you follow one of these strategies, you can even know when to charge a higher price. In short, they help you determine the value of what you need to sell.

1. Competition-based pricing strategy

If you sell similar things, this is the pricing strategy that your small business should follow. How competitive pricing works First of all, this works best for products and not for services. It works when the price of these products has reached a point of equilibrium between your company and others.

This price strategy begins with the use of the market price to set a price.

The idea is to be able to ask for a premium price to get ahead. To get this high price, you have to be innovative. Generous payment terms and additional functions are just two ways to secure a larger market share. <! – ->

The competitive pricing strategy begins with a price based on what the competition has set. Suppose you sell new software for $ 50 a month for a monthly subscription. So that's the next guy. They add an online customer service and charge $ 60 a month.

2. Value-based pricing

Basically, this is pricing based on customers' willingness to pay.

<! – -> This price model consists of several steps. You need to do some detective work here to find a competitive product. Next, you need to list all the differences between your product. Emphasize the financial value of these differences. This is a reasonable way to defend your pricing strategy.

Here's a tip if you're thinking about value-based pricing. This is not a one-off pricing strategy. It is a process that you need to optimize further over time. Here is an example.

Value-based pricing works well in service industries like a restaurant. You can compare with a competitor's menu and add ingredients to justify the higher price. Ask your marketing department to defend the price difference.

Value-based pricing is based on what you can get customers to value.

3. Penetration Pricing Strategies

If you are a company looking to enter a new market, penetration pricing is right for you. How this pricing strategy works It is really simple. Your company enters the new market at a low price. And then you increase the prices over time. The penetration prices are based on customer loyalty. This pricing strategy is based on the value you have placed on your goods and services. And the hope that customers will stay with you when prices go up.

4. Premium pricing strategies

This is the best pricing strategy for high-end or luxury items. A company must have a solid brand for this to work. The perceived value is important for premium pricing.

Look at the prices for SAAS products. Offering different premium prices from basic to enterprise and unlimited versions is a good example of how this works.

Pricing for a Product or Service

Whether you use premium pricing, value-based pricing, or another version of pricing, depends on a few factors. By now you know that pricing isn't as easy as you might have thought. There is no uniform pricing strategy for your company.

Below you will find some price tips to help you get started.

Price Tips

Here are some tips to get you up and running. Remember that you can adapt them to your business model and style.

1. Don't go too low with the price

Christopher Grozdon is CMO at DASH-SEO . It warns against underestimating your services or goods.

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"If you get prices that are too low, it is ultimately a race to the bottom and you tend to attract lower quality customers." As a business owner, almost every cheaper customer we had was always a lot more demanding than the higher priced customers. "

2. Be patient pricing

To get maximum profit, you need to understand the market when setting prices.

Brian Robben, the CEO of Robben Media explains an angle.

If you've released new prices, think about increasing them in six or twelve months if there is no pushback. ", He says. "With enough price tests, you will find the right balance to be successful as a company and offer your customers added value."

3. Know Your Market

Pricing is a journey. It is important to take the right steps to get exactly what you are asking for your product. Don't forget to do your homework.

"When it comes to online and offline pricing, it's important to study consumer behavior," said John Davis, education ambassador for Score Sense . "For example, if you sell artisanal products, customers may be more likely to buy online in bulk, but if you’re dealing with something that requires more valuation in advance, such as a piece of furniture, you may want to adjust store prices so that they are lower than online to encourage visitors. "

For more information, see the following section.

Questions and Answers on Pricing

There are some frequently asked questions about pricing a product or service. Below are some of the most important ones regarding value and prices.

Should I use psychological prices?

As the name suggests, psychological pricing is about using psychology for sale. In short, it is about optimizing the product price based on the known functions. Setting the price below an integer is one of the tactics used. This is an effective way to set a price at short notice

A recent Stripe report found that simple pricing with .00 or .99 can have a significant impact on your customers' buying decisions.

  • When it comes to buying products, new customers make more purchases overall, ending in 9 for items that cost less than $ 10. However, Stripe says it also extends to items that cost $ 700, 800, or $ 900.
  • Evidence of this practice has led to higher consumer purchases for items ranging from $ 0.99 to hundreds of dollars.

To learn more, read: Psychological pricing online helps retailers sell more, study results

Is the pricing of an online product or service different from offline pricing?

Here are a few things to consider when evaluating your product and service for online or physical sales.

  • Loss leaders are not as effective online: Loss leaders or products that are sold with little or no profit margin to attract buyers are popular in brick-and-mortar stores. However, since selling online can be faster and more direct, this strategy is not always effective. So you should be very careful when discounting a product or offering a product with low profit margins.
  • Your policies can affect your prices: Another thing that can affect customers' willingness to pay is your policies on returns, exchanges, and mix-ups. If customers know they have the option to return a product that doesn't fit or doesn't work, they're likely to pay a little more than in a location that doesn't offer returns or covers them in the event of shipping issues.
  • Your products and services are online in one place. Pricing a product online is easier because there is generally a price because there is a location. If you have several stationary shops, your product may have different prices depending on the point of sale.
  • Multi-channel makes a difference. Multichannel retailers often try to match the product prices they find at online giants like Amazon. These strategies create a wedge from the price they charge in a physical store for the same product.
  • Product costs vary online . When you set a price for your product, there are some similarities between online and offline. And there are differences. For example, if you use value-based pricing on the Internet, your shipping costs and marketing budget will be much lower. This gives you more scope with the price.

To learn more, read: 20 secrets for the best pricing in e-commerce

How do I know when a price is right?

If you sell services directly, a measure is the buyer's reaction:

  • If the prospect immediately rejects the offer, the price is too high, which means that you have not sold the advantages of your company.
  • If the interested party accepts the offer immediately, you have given away too much value for a price that is too low; Your prospect seems to have discovered a Van Gogh original at a flea market!
  • You know that you did it right if your prospect only accepts your offer after some consideration. In this case, he knows the value he loses if he says no.

If you have a product that you sell in a B2B environment, here are some tips you can use.

  • When you sell to another company, you know the price is right if you never stop working on it. The input of the marketing and product development departments must be constant.
  • You will know that the price is right when the technician tells you. Today, companies can use algorithms based on analysis. Check out these price analysis tools .
  • You will know that the price is only right after you do your homework. In a B2B environment, this means putting together a customer profile. Remember that customers are more price-conscious than smaller ones. It is also helpful to know which phase of the business cycle your potential customers are in. Do not leave out any details. Dealing with businesses means adding customer support to your price. This is the kind of extra bonus that can improve your bottom line.

To learn more, read: How to tell if your prices are right

Conclusion

Regardless of whether you rate a product for a service, a well-considered, well-planned approach is best. One of the best things you can do is find out your target market first. If you know what that population looks like, you can make some other decisions.

Note that properly pricing your goods and services is not a static process. The most successful companies are constantly optimizing their approach. Pricing is important as it helps define the value of what you are selling. For many companies, this is one of the most important aspects of their work.

Along with what you actually sell, determining your price points is the most important feature. Finally, keep in mind that the right pricing strategies are a struggle that also depends on business cycles. If you take all of these factors into account, you can do it right.

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Creating a sales process for your company

Creating a sales process for your company


A clearly defined sales process for your company is as important as the right product or service. This template defines your sales cycle. <! – ->

In other words, it is a roadmap for sale that turns potential customers and potential customers into loyal customers. Success here means putting together solid information.

It usually involves several steps. Here's what small businesses with salespeople and sales teams need to know to get repeat business and profits.



What is a sales process?

<! – -> A sales process consists of a series of steps that you can repeat to complete a deal and turn a potential customer into a buyer. It is a series of phases in which the so-called sales cycle is created. There are generally 7 that should be followed in order.

What are the advantages of a sales process?

A well-defined sales process offers many advantages. First of all, your sales team stays on the same page. They help define customer relationships when everyone understands what's next in the sales cycle.

Here are some other advantages to defining a buyer's trip.

You increase revenue

Your small business will see an increase in sales. These sales processes have generally proven their worth. Over time, a small business keeps what works and eliminates what doesn't. Once the bugs are fixed, these defined sales pipeline templates will increase your profit.

They provide a consistent customer experience

A good sales process creates a professional buying experience. It is good to create a consistent customer experience. This is a great way to get verbal transfers that will increase your sales. <! – ->

You fix what's wrong

Define defined sales processes, which is wrong. If your sales team doesn't do business, something is wrong. If your sales have stalled, creating a step-by-step process can help you find the problem.

Good sales processes can teach others on your sales team

A repeatable sales process can be measured and taught.

<! – -> You can also define the buyer's trip. It moves a prospect from one step to another. This makes it easier for a sales representative to understand what to do and when to proceed to the next step in the process.

Here are the most common sales process steps you can use.

7 steps of the sales process

There are various optimizations that you can add to any sales process template. After all, no two small businesses are exactly the same. However, there are generally accepted steps you can start with. Remember that you can adapt them to your company. However, they must be clearly defined so that your employees can use them for 6 closing transactions.

1st prospection

It is obvious that you have to load your sales process from the front end. That's what mining is all about. This step involves finding new leads and working with them. You can find them at industry events, online conferences and social media channels such as LinkedIn.

Here is a helpful tip to make this part of the sales process work seamlessly. When you become a thought leader, finding it is easier. First create your own blog or write guest articles.

2. Qualify and connect

Next, you need to take things to the next level. Here your sales team makes the first contact with the people and companies that you have already identified. Here it is important to clearly define who the customer is. A lead is defined as a potential buyer. On the other hand, prospective customers are leads who are ready to buy. There are several questions that sales reps can use to define this part of the process.

You can ask a potential customer what problem they want to solve. It is good to understand the various vulnerabilities of a person or a company. Further questions in this phase are:

  • "What are your business priorities?"
  • "What role do you play in the company?"

A member of your sales team can ask these questions by phone or email. They should help to further define the sales process.

3. Planning

The next stage is planning or research. This is where the sales team and salespeople learn more about the potential customer decisions they have made. It is an important part of the sales process that requires some consideration and analysis.

A high level overview is one of the most important measures for this part of the process. A sales representative should speak to employees in different departments to get a high-level overview. Understanding a company means getting to know its long-term goals and plans. It is a good idea to find out something about the customer service department. It's good to find out how the team deals with objections and difficult customers.

4. The Approach

If you ask most sales people, they will tell you that first impressions are the most important part of a successful sales process. The idea here is to be subtle. Most experts recommend that you coach your sales team staff so as not to lead the pitch. This is not the best way to do repeat business. When your salespeople do their homework, they know the prospects.

Some outstanding sales professionals suggest focusing on the customer. This involves several steps. It helps make the prospect a character struggling with a problem. In the meantime, employees should know the weaknesses of a certain potential customer. The positioning of your sales team as experts and mentors helps the customer here. If you are able to solve your problem, you will get their attention for future sales.

Here's a tip to help you get the most out of this part of the sales process: Take a quick look around a potential customer's office. If pictures or trophies are prominently displayed, they are ideal as icebreakers for discussions.

5. The presentation

This is one of the most important parts of the sales cycle. To get the presentation right, you need to build on everything you've done in your sales process. It is important that you understand the needs of customers very well here. In this phase you can use different tools. Depending on the goods and services you need to sell, videos or social media presentations may work. Real estate agents are using more and more digital tools.

Here is some more important advice on this part of the process. It is important that you match your potential customers with the right goods and services. Get this part of the sales process wrong and all other efforts will be lost. For example, if you are a real estate agent who sells a house to an older couple, make sure that it suits them. There is no point in taking them to a property that has lots of stairs and no transportation.

The presentation must match the customer with everything you have learned about him. Research and follow the steps that brought you here. Remember that a good sales process has no links. Following the steps from start to finish is the best way to succeed

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6. Dealing with Objections

You will not find many prospects at the moment who have no reservations. Experienced employees know that this part of the sales process can be a challenge. Dealing with objections is an art form. The most experienced employees understand this and see this as an opportunity. Ultimately, it's a way for professionals to customize their product or service to their customers' needs.

Here are some examples of the most common customer objections and what you can do about them.

  • The product or service is too expensive. This is a common occurrence that occurs frequently in the sales process. Here it helps to talk to the customer about it. It is important to listen to your concerns at this stage. One strategy is to ask them how much it would cost to do nothing.
  • Some interested parties refuse contracts. One of the best ways for employees to deal with this is to offer a monthly alternative. You need some leeway in this part of the sales process. If necessary, you should be able to fully wave the contract to get your prospects on board.
  • You have to speak to your team. This type of postponement is another common disruption to the sales process. In the end, this is just another step on the way to a deal. At this stage it is usually a good idea to find out who the decision makers are. You may need to bypass and get to your current contact.

There are several other concerns that you may need to address to complete the sale. If the customer is concerned about your service department, you need to reassure them. Giving them the contact information for someone who works there can be the right step.

He should also be able to deal with potential customers who are not familiar with your company. Memorizing a few points about your goods and services can help you overcome this hump. You may be able to get this information from your website.

7th sale

This is the ultimate goal of the entire sales process. It builds on everything you've done and the other steps you've taken with potential customers. For repetitions, it is the Holy Grail of all their endeavors.

You may have to process various objections before you reach this stage of the process. Here are some tested techniques that work in this phase.

  1. The special advantage. This is a good technique when prospective customers are waffling. Offering a discount as a last incentive can work. Another way to flip the rest of the sales here is to get the customer to the top of the line.
  2. Emphasizing the value and benefits is another good option. This basically repeats only parts of the process that you have already used. Hearing the benefits again can make a difference.
  3. Sometimes removing a feature you offer helps close it. If a customer rejects the price, it works quite often. When you tell them that you can lower the price and take away features, they often buy everything.

Creating your own sales process

Tailoring your own sales process will improve your bottom line. Every company is unique and its sales template should not be the same. It is a very individual process.

Here are some tips to consider when tweaking the steps above. First of all, it is a good idea to look at the sales process you are currently using. You have to think about what works and what doesn't. Here are some ideas to help you make the necessary optimizations in every sales process.

You need to know when to make changes. To do this, you need to have an overview of your current process, such as the number of emails required to complete the deal. Other factors can be the number of cold calls answered by potential customers.

This is about knowing which criteria you need for each phase of the sales process. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all sales process. These are a number of suggestions that work with your input. Pay attention to all the details. You need to compile a sales script. Developing customer profiles based on your target market is another important part of the process.

To create your own sales process, you also need to understand your target market. It's a good idea to attend networking events and webinars in your industry.

Overall, you need to create a roadmap for the sales process that fits your individual company and industry. Note that these can be flexible. But you need to have a starting point from which you can start working.

How to improve an existing process

Improving your sales process is a constant part of business success. At no time can you sit back and rest on your laurels. Here are some improvement steps that you can use to optimize the process at any time.

Define your sales process KPIs.

You must have all of your employees on the same page in relation to your sales process. The best way to do this is to define where you want the process to go. At this stage, it's a good idea to define your KPIs. It is important that you can follow your potential customers on their way from one step to the next. Some of the most common benchmarks used here are past sales for the month and past sales for the year.

Standardizing this part of your sales process is important. However, you still need to leave some room for flexibility. Lifetime customer value and churn are two other sales KPIs you can use.

Track your sales process

Getting good sales for your small business doesn't have to be elusive or overwhelming. If you take the time to hold regular sales calls, you can keep everyone up to date. This is a great way to promote friendly competition between your sales teams. These meetings can include the results of your KPIs to further improve the process.

Remember that these do not always have to be personal. The modern sales process can include online meetings with video conferencing tools such as Zoom and other collaboration tools that are now available to you.

Use technology to forecast sales

The modern sales process uses technology. With a kind of online database you can place all your sales figures in one place. This makes it easier to optimize other parts of the process. Here are some other advantages of using technology to forecast sales.

All your customer information is in one place. This is undoubtedly a great way to speed up the entire sales process. It also helps to find the right CRM. It can store all the KPIs you use in your sales figures in one place.

Errors to be avoided in the sales process

If you're like most small businesses, sales are the backbone of your business. This means that you have to understand what you should avoid in your sales process. Here are some common mistakes that experienced salespeople refrain from.

  • Don't Understand Your Target Customers – This is essential to properly design your sales process. There is a process associated with defining a target market. Here are some tips that can help you. Gathering information about your current customers is one way to avoid this error. Finding a good analysis is another way to avoid this sales mistake. Facebook and Twitter have analytics guides that can help.
  • Error mapping your sales process – It is important that you conduct your sales process thoroughly. It must follow a logical order from start to finish to increase your sales. Identifying the end goal first and working backwards helps this process.
  • Don't make sure the team understands – Communication is the key to an excellent and efficient sales process. In the end, sales are an art form that depends on human interaction. Try to stay away from the jargon so your team can understand the steps. Holding monthly meetings with the sales department helps refresh the steps in your sales process.
  • Inadequate reporting and follow-up mechanisms – Goodwill is an important part of a successful sales process. Forgetting a potential customer after the deal is a sales mistake that any company will regret. Don't forget to send thank you notes. Remember, if you put together a good sales process, you will have satisfied customers. These people will give you recommendations.
  • Do not adapt departments to the sales process – Even the smallest company will have different departments that rely on sales. If they don't work together, the whole system can fail. Good communication between the sales and marketing teams is particularly important.

Why you need a sales process

A well-oiled sales process is as important as the goods and services you have in your inventory. The lessons you learn when you put one together can improve efficiency across your organization. Of course, these also improve sales in the long term.

There are several other advantages. With a good sales process, the financial forecast is more accurate. These also help maintain your company and lay the foundation for expansion. A good sales process also makes your sales team more accountable by setting clear standards.

A good sales process can also help your sales team to constantly improve. If you have clear goals and benchmarks, you can strive for any of these goals. This is also an excellent way to identify the characteristics of your ideal buyer.

Finally, this is a great way to assess what changes you may need to make to your goods and services.

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