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A brief story about sales motivation

Hey Guys!

I am so excited to share with you this story about sales performance and sales motivation apps from Monitae (@monitae). Maybe you are wondering why there are a lot of posts about motivation. In real world and in business world, motivating an employee or a sales person plays a vital role. Why? It is because these people are the ones whose bringing us the profit, if their spirits are down, so as our earnings. This is why companies are conducting team building activities, seminars, meeting and giving sales contest games. I know you are excited as I am so I will not keep you waiting, here is the complete post. Happy reading!

A brief story about sales motivation

Every business aims to make a profit. Whether you are in a retail or manufacturing industry,   your business performance is determined by the number of sales. There are many ways that you can increase sales. One is by expanding your targeted market. You may expand your market in terms of the geographical area or by targeting a wider age group. Another way is by increasing the number of salespeople. However, these all require more investment in the business to succeed. In fact, you are not even assured of any positive result on your individual sales. Of all the sales motivation methods, most businesses prefer to hold sales competitions.

While most people believe that a salesperson only works for money, it is not all that they want. Every employee wants to achieve success in what they do. In addition to working in a flexible and well-paying job, an employee wants to see what he/she has achieved in a given period of time. Rewarding your employees, therefore, is very important for your business to grow. The best way to reward employees is by planning asales contests. This is a healthy way of encouraging sales, as it provides a single platform for all the salespeople to compete on their sales performance.

A good example is a retail company in Canada that decided to hold a sales contest at the end of the year. The sales manager’s objective was to motivate sales. He decided to reward the best sales performer during that month with an Apple laptop. According to the rules of the contest, the employees would compete fairly, with the number of sales being the determining factor. By the end of the month, the sales department had recorded a sales increase of over 150%. The feedback from the customers was also impressive. The company had not only increased sales, but also motivated their team of salespeople.

This is just one success story that shows how you can motivate sales. Different companies have different stories. The bottom line is that by motivating your salespeople, you are assured of increasing sales. This way of motivating sales is very affordable. Instead of investing a lot of time, energy and money in looking to expand your market area, focus instead on dominating your current market by motivating your salesforce. Arrange for several regular sales competition campaigns to ensure that your workforce is motivated. You may also choose to motivate your team of salespersons by giving a raise or promotion to the best performing individual.

A motivated salesperson is a gem to the company! Sales competition never fails as long as you run it fairly. Be creative and always arouse their excitement. If you make them happy, they will make you happy too. Now, are you ready to run a sales competition? I will be waiting for your response down here! 🙂

Best,

Jack

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Sales Management

Hey People,

I would like to get the attention of the sales management team or the sales manager today because the blog that I saw is for them. It is about sales management on how you handle your sales team. If your team is doing fantastic, it must  be because you are a good leader but if your team is doing poorly, it is time for you to ask yourself “am I a good sales manager for them?”. Your sales people need help from their superior before they do the business. Make sure that they are equipped with the knowledge they need before you let them go to the field. Here’s the article from Ken Thoreson, your sales management guru.

Sales Mgmt:  Understanding “Setting the Hook”

By Ken Thoreson

One of the main jobs of sales management is to help their salespeople see where they are in the sales opportunity.  Are they early? Do they know what they need to know? Do they have an excellent strategy to close?  I like to think that a salesperson is a juggler, tossing X number of opportunities in the air and the sales managers job is to assist the salesperson on judging what opportuniti8es to work , which one’s to toss away and to provide ideas on HOW to work the selected ones

During a few recent client/consulting meetings I realized that this remains an extremely important aspect of any salesperson’s life as well as any sales manager or president of any firm. Exceeding monthly sales objectives are the goals of the sales organization, especially the sales manager. What to do?

First: if you have not subscribed to the “Sales Managers Tool Kit”, atwww.AcumenManagement.com , you can get a free copy of the Sales Strategy Guide by sending me an email:  Ken@AcumenMgmt.com   The Tool Kit contains 40 tools/guides for any sales manager.  The purpose of the  Sales Strategy Guide  is to be used by each salesperson and the sales manager to discuss and strategize on individual sales opportunities and uncover what you know, what you don’t know and develop tactical steps to move the account to conclusion.

Second: The salesperson must know what the “Impact” of your product or services will have on the prospects business. The salesperson must fully understand this question and its answer. You will use it during critical aspects of closing the opportunity.   YOU close for the prospect’s benefit-not the salespersons.

Third: Depending upon your product/services that you offer and vendor relationships, knowing when the prospect wants to be fully utilizing your offering is critical. It is not about “when a decision will be made” it’s about understanding timing and any issues surrounding that timeframe.

Fourth: Knowing early on during the sales process the reason the client will make the decision, the impact of your solution on their company and timing, allows the salesperson to begin to set the hook early. Now I am not suggesting unethical sales tactics, but making sure early in any sales cycle you fully understand the prospect’s key issues allows you control the sales process.

The key element to remember is individuals are always challenged to make a decision, your job, as a trusted advisor is to assist the individual in making the right decision that will impact their business and to help them make it on your time line. This is selling vs order taking.

Being mentally creative and tough and moving your role from simply presenting products/services to providing business guidance moves the role to the next level. It is the job of sales management to assist the salesperson to move forward professionally.

Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 14 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout North America. His latest book is titled: “Leading High Performance Sales Teams”.

As a sales manager, it is your obligation to inform your team about your company and about their role in the business. It is also your duty to motivate them and to bring out the best in them. Remember they are looking up on you. You must be a good example and you must be firmed all the time, to get their full respect! Questions?

Happy selling,

Jack

Increase Sales with these 25 Sales Techniques

Hey Friends,

How are your sales today? Is it growing day by day? Well, it should be and if it doesn’t…oh boy! You are on trouble. It is a good thing that I have read a blog from KathleenSteffey about Increasing Sales from Salesjournal (@salesjournal). This blog is about the article of Adarsh Thampy. The title of the article is Are You Using These 25 Sales Techniques to Increase Sales? This is a question that you should have to answer at the bottom of the article. Everything are all listed below so if you are struggling with your sales, try these 25 sales techniques!

Are You Using These 25 Sales Techniques to Increase Sales?

By Adarsh Thampy

Are You Using These 25 Sales Techniques to Increase Sales?

Everyone wants to start a business and increase sales as their business grows. Most people prefer online business as it is the most cost effective way to get started.In this article, I will list out 25 of the most effective sales techniques anyone can implement in their business to increase sales and make more profits. Increasing sales volume is not just enough. You need to increase profits as well.

Increase Sales: 25 Sales Techniques That Work

Strategy 1: Use Content Marketing

The key is not to call the decision maker. The key is to have the decision maker call you. -Jeffrey Gitomer

A few years back, when you had a product or service to sell what did you do to get the word out? You tried press releases, television ads, paper ads, cold calls, banner ads, display hoardings and any other means you could afford. Business went to those who had the largest marketing budgets.

Fast forward to present day, people are no longer paying attention to the thousands of marketing messages that they come across each and every single day. With internet usage on the rise and people becoming more aware, all of these traditional marketing approaches are weakening day-by-day.

People who embrace relationship marketing, has already understood the power of content marketing. As compared to traditional methods of marketing, content marketing means getting found by prospective customers rather than trying to push your product or service to the uninterested masses.

With content marketing, there are a host of benefits

  • Pre-qualified leads
  • Lower marketing costs
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Higher customer satisfaction
  • Lower customer acquisition rates

You should embrace content marketing not just for the benefits. Although it takes time, it’s what works very well now, and probably the only marketing technique that will work in the future.

Strategy 2: Use Upsells Effectively

If you are not using upsells, you are leaving money on the table. How many times have you ordered fries just because the sales guy asked you “would you like fries to go along with it?” or perhaps you were given a discount on something when you already made a purchase?

Upsells are very effective to increase sales. Once they buy from you and are in a buying mood, it’s easier to close an additional and related sale.

Many people who run online businesses give 100% commission to their affiliates on their product. Once people buy this product, they are presented with an additional high end product as an upsell. This is how many people make most of their money selling info products online.

Strategy 3: Create a Product Which Has Demand

Supply always comes on the heels of demand. – Robert Collier

This is a no brainer. Understand what your customer really wants. Is there some product already in the market that delivers the solution to your prospective customer? If not, provide it!!!

If there is already a product or a solution, try to think of a better way to satisfy the needs of the customer. This can be in the form of a better quality product. You can even bring about a twist in the actual offering to make your product more attractive.

Strategy 4: Clever Pricing Is the Key

Even peace may be purchased at too high a price. -Benjamin Franklin

Most of us who are not born to sugar daddies do price comparison shopping.

You may have a wonderful product everyone needs. However, if you price it insanely high compared to your competitor, you are going to find it hard to make decent sales (unless you are Apple).

5 strategies to price your product

  1. Do market research and understand your competitor pricing. With this data in-hand, either develop a product with lot more features and charge more, or develop the same quality product and price it lower
  2. High price can provide a sense of “high quality” since people have a deep rooted notion that higher the price, better the quality. If you price high, be prepared to deliver what your customer expects to get
  3. Similar to point #2, a lower price can indicate inferior quality. The best way is to charge higher prices by providing more value to your customer
  4. Price of a product is directly proportional to “perceived value”. If you can make you product seem superior to your competitor, you can charge a premium over your competitor
  5. Price is again proportional to perceived brand value. If you have a brand value attached to your product, people will more readily pay a higher price for your products or service

Final Takeaway: Your product is worth what your customer is willing to pay for it.

Strategy 5: Run a Customer Reward Program

You really don’t need to be a fortune 500 company to run a rewards program. Just make it a simple program where people can get discounts for being a customer and satisfying certain simple criteria’s such as

  • Being a customer for 1 year, they can enjoy 50% discount on the first bill of their second year as customer
  • Collect points and redeem points for discounts, gifts, and so on
  • 10% discount on your purchase if you shop for more than 100$

You get the idea.

Strategy 6: Advertising Is a Necessary Evil

A magazine is simply a device to induce people to read advertising. -James Collins

Many people take to advertising as a means to sell the product in any way possible. What the marketer does not take into consideration is that customers do not like to be deceived or being sold to. Advertise only the benefits the product/solution can give and never ever hype anything.

Only if your product lives up to its claims will people return to buy from you the next time.

Advertising is essential to bring your product to the spot light. Make use of the advertising medium that best suits your product and the time it is released. Radio, television, print and internet are some of the mediums you can rely upon to advertise your business.

Never give your entire advertising contract to one firm. If you have a line of products, ensure that you give each product to a different agency and do a split test on who can produce the maximum benefits.

Strategy 7: Give Out Free Samples

It’s proven time and again that giving away free samples to your customers can help you increase sales. If you have a book for sale, make a chapter or two available for free. If you sell products, give small sample packets for users to try out. If you provide a service, offer a free initial consultation.

Once your prospective customer starts using your product or service, they will have increased confidence over their purchasing decision. This will lead to a faster sale.

Strategy 8: Reach Out To Your Customers

It’s not enough that you simply advertise your products. They only make the buyer more open to embracing the product. Once you test your product, reach out to your customers and ensure that they can buy the products with ease.

Strategy 9: Looks Definitely Matter

I almost always end up buying products based on the design. Whenever I go shopping with my family, I tend to pick products with nice illustrations.

If it looks like a school going kid made the cover I am almost certainly not going to buy that product. Include a touch of professionalism and also convey the meaning. This holds true especially for food related products.

What about Apple? Apple focused on the design and let everything evolve around it. The simple touch interface, sleek and highly usable design made Apple the most valued Tech Company that it is today.

Strategy 10: What’s In a Name or Is There Much More to It? (Hint: There is much more to a name than just being a “name”)

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet -William Shakespeare

Always choose a product name your customer can pronounce easily and can remember without jumping through hoops. Take extra care to name the products in such a way that the name itself gives out the product details. The name you choose must proliferate into the mind of your target customers.

There is nothing wrong with choosing a unique name and trying to brand it. The minimum you have to do is make sure people can write it down correctly if you just pronounce it.

Do you think people who are not familiar with the car brand Chevrolet will correctly write it down if we simply pronounce it (Phonetic Pronunciation: shehv-ruh-LAY) and not spell it?

Strategy 11: Quality is King

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected – Steve Jobs

Never, ever compromise on the quality of your product. If your customer loses the trust on your brand, your business will collapse like a pack of cards.

Some people tend to sacrifice the quality to prevent price hikes. But, if needed increase the price and serve the same quality rather than producing a low quality product.  You can also choose to serve less quantity for the same price.

If you plan to stick around with your business for a very long time, any compromise on quality will never get you even remotely close to your goals.

Strategy 12: Give Your Dealers a Reason to Sell

Nothing can be more devastating than dealers refusing to sell your products. It could be that they are getting better pricing from your competing brand or that they do not see a reason as to why they should push your product. Give them good commissions and always deliver on time. This way you can build a long lasting relationship with your dealers and they will push your products more.

In the online world, we come to affiliate marketing. Affiliates are the ones who sell our products for commissions.

In the information publishing business, you can expect to give up to 75 % of the commission to the affiliates. If you give them lower commissions, they will promote your competitor who offers them a better compensation. It’s always the rewards that motivate the affiliate.

Very few affiliates promote based on value. That’s the ugly truth online. So make sure you pay 50-75 % commissions for your info products to increase sales through affiliates. Some even give 100 % commissions to build a list of buyers.

If you sell a service or a software, figure out the maximum commission you can afford to pay your affiliates while not incurring a loss. I have seen software vendors and service providers offer commissions in the range 3%-25%.

Strategy 13: Set Up Production Centers in Different Parts of the Country

Always try to diversify when it comes to setting up a production center. It is always best to have various centers spread over a large geographical area. When you concentrate more employees in one region, problems are bound to come up.

Put on your thinking cap and decide the next site for setting up a production center.

When you have an online business, it is best to diversify your support staff. It is also good to have a local presence since people will trust you more. If you have a SEO company for example, it is easier to rope in US or UK clients if you have an office in the US or UK.

Strategy 14: Diversify Your Product Range

A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets- Steve Jobs

The trick is to increase your market share in other related markets. If you concentrate on one particular product then the risk of MNC’s coming and replacing you is huge. So always spread out your line of products.

If you produce ham, produce different frozen food items, not just ham. If you have field staff and you need to make the most of them, it is necessary that you have a range of products to sell. You won’t make enough profits to pay a decent wage to your field staff if you concentrate on just one product.

In the online world, to increase sales, diversification is essential. You may have one product that teaches how to build muscle. You needn’t have the info about how to build six pack abs in the same product. You can instead have two different products.

This strategy to make more sales will help you price the two different products competitively as well as make more money through upsells or cross promoting the products to the two buyer lists you have.

Strategy 15: Listening To Your Customers Does Wonders for Your Business

Find out what they require. Why do they use the current product if they use any? What could have made their job easier? Always have an eye for details for such things.

The reason why you should be listening to your customer to make more sales is because it helps you learn the customer’s language. Once you start interacting with them and understand their problems, you will learn to convey your product marketing message in a language your customer understands.

Strategy 16: Be Unique With a Great USP

A good voice isn’t so important. It’s more important to sound really unique – Stephen Malkmus

Whatever product you bring to the market, it must have a unique angle to it. If you produce normal pencils, make it unique. Maybe the pencil has additional features such as higher resistance to the writing lead breakage or a comfortable grip or something like that.

Have a simple, yet effective USP.

If you are selling a book online about “making money online”, make sure that you have something to differentiate yourself from the rest of the people out there. If you have an online store, what makes it unique? Free shipping or do you have same day delivery?

Strategy 17: Test Locally and Deploy Internationally

Make sure that you release your product to a local audience first. Test it and see how it fares. If you can’t make sales locally, there is not much chance that you will make huge sales on an international level. Choose your local test market in such a way that there is a demand for the product there.

If you have an email list of people who have subscribed for information from you, try selling them your product at a discounted price. Some people call it internal launch. See how well they receive it. Make tweaks and improve constantly. This way you can increase sales online.

Strategy 18: Reinvest Your Profits

How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case – Robert G. Allen

It’s always a good bet to reinvest what you get from your business into your business. Never try to spend your business income for unnecessary things (Do you really need a new couch or a fancy office?). You must always have a cash reserve in case you plan for expansions in the future.

In order to increase sales, you must have a good product. TO ensure that you have a good product, you need to invest in research and development. Use your business income to fuel the R&D process and not withdraw a huge salary for yourself.

Strategy 19: Be Professional

I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away. – George Carlin

As your business expands, it would be difficult to manage your business on your own. When required, make sure that you recruit people who can align themselves with your values and business goals.

Being an online business, not many can afford to hire a HR. So, handpick the people you want. If you want to increase sales, then you need a dedicated team to help you with your goals.

Strategy 20: See Your Employees as Your Co-Workers

Never try to be bossy. Always make your employees feel that you are a part of them. If you try to portray yourself as the boss and others as workers, it may affect their morale.

Most people, who have online businesses, hire work at home people or have a virtual team. In that case, make sure you don’t sound arrogant and always pay them on time.

Strategy 21: Your Employees Are Your Greatest Assets

In case of delayed payments, it must never occur to your employees that you are purposefully delaying payments. In case of dire situations, inform your employees beforehand that there will be a delay.

If you have field staff, give those people hands on training. You must make sure that they are well versed with answers to any questions your prospective customers might ask.

Try to bring up people within your team. This will greatly boost the confidence and morale of your employees. Employee people local to the place whenever possible and if you have outstation employees support them as much as you can.

The quality of your employees can have a direct effect on how well your product sells. If you have a great team, not only will you products be great, but your team will find and solve issues faster and innovate easier.

Strategy 22: Be Honest

Achievements on the golf course are not what matters, decency and honesty are what matter. – Tiger Woods

File your income tax correctly. If you are not well versed with accounting, hire someone who can do it for you. If you provide services, give a money back guarantee to your customers. If you cannot provide the service as described, never hesitate to make a refund (If possible, a no questions asked refund).

Strategy 23: Provide Unmatched After Sales Service

If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will. -Bob Hooey

This is one area which I see many businesses fail in. They market their product, sell to their customers, and then no news from their support team.

It is equally important that you provide support to your customers. Only happy customers result in repeat buys and quality referrals. Do not forget the fact that word of mouth is still the best mode of establishing a brand and increasing sales.

Strategy 24: Set Up an Incentive Program for Your Sales Team

What motivates your employees to sell more other than your monthly pay check? If you have no incentives, then when most people reach their sales quote, they won’t try to sell any more. After all, what’s in it for them to work harder just to make a few more sales?

Provide incentive to your sales team and you’ll see that your sales will mostly increase after setting up the incentive. It can be anything from getting featured for the month on your company website or extra pay. See what works with your employees and give them what they want.

Strategy 25: Keep Testing

Keep testing your products or service. Experiment with your ad copy, your price points, your website structure, promotions you are running and so on. Only after a lot of testing can you come up with the most effective way to increase sales.

If your business is web based, then make sure you use conversion optimization techniques to test and find out the most effective way to close the sale.

Strategy 26: Always Over Deliver :)

It really makes your customers smile when they get something extra. You want your customers to smile and be happy for them to come back to you.

When I do SEO consulting, if there are small jobs like helping customers with some technical aspects of their website, I do it for them without charging anything extra. Sometimes when they come to me with small tasks, I do it without taking payments. These small things has helped me retain my most loyal and highest paying customers.

Your Turn:

What do you do to increase sales volume? Do you find any other sales techniques that should have been mentioned? What is your #1 sales technique that out performs all others? Let me know in the comments.

Now that everything was laid down in your hands..what are your next step? Are you going to apply these techniques? We know that knowledge without application is nothing. Have you used these techniques before or are you still using it? What are the outcomes? You are free to share what you think works and don’t work.

 

Until then,

 

Jack

Building a Business

Hello People!

I have a very interesting blog to share with you right at this moment. This will leave a question in your mind that you will bring the whole day. This is if you are the one who is in control of the company. One of the executives! Are you the Sales President or Sales Vice President? Whatever role you play in the company, your opinion counts, especially if you are responsible for the company’s profit. We make business for profit right? Therefore, we are offering a service or a product for the people. It is a must that we make sure that it is something valuable to them and something they can’t resist. Here is a blog written by Mark LaRosa (@mlarosa), CEO of QuotaCrush.

“Building a Business” means something very different to me.

By Mark LaRosa

I saw this post today on VentureBeat about free courses being offered by Stanford to “Build Your Business

Scan the list… NOT A SINGLE COURSE ON SALES!

It doesn’t matter how much “cryptology” you use, or how good your “graphical models” are, or how “creative you are”  if you can’t get people to buy the product – if you don’t have people who want to PAY you for it.  You will eventually go out of business!    (BTW:  are they seriously trying to teach how to be creative?  isn’t that in your nature or not? of course, I feel the same way about teaching you how to be an entrepreneur, you either are or you aren’t – it can’t be taught).

On the same day, there was a post on Business Insider about how Tumblr ignored revenue for too long and is now feeling the heat.

I say it over and over again, your product does not matter if people don’t want it.  It has to solve a critical problem.  And if you aren’t thinking about sales from day 1, you are already too late.  You don’t build a product for product sake, you build it so that people will buy it – so that you can bring in revenue and make a living for your employees.  Spending some angel’s money or some VC fund’s limited partner’s money just for fun is NOT what being an entrepreneur is about – and it always shocks me that business schools have not figured this out!  There is only one common thread in EVERY company in the world – and that is selling.

In every company that I have started, revenue has always been the main focus in inception.  If I couldn’t think about how the company made money, I moved onto another idea.   The revenue can certainly be indirect, but there has to be a monetization strategy somewhere – otherwise you are just spending investors money “playing company.”

When I have been brought into companies to rescue them, it is always about bringing revenue in- and its certainly much easier when there are plans for this from the get go.

So… certainly take these free classes from Stanford – but don’t forget that “building your product” does not mean “building your business”.  If you are building your “business” then revenue should 100% be a component of that discussion.

How about you? How do you see business? What is your main goal when you are starting up a business? Is it for profit? Of course, it is! Don’t deny it! Though, there are people I know who will answer “to help other people” but in return, the more people they help, the more revenue they get. Do you have any comments? I want to read it on the comment box!

Always,

Jack

B2B Sales Tips

Hello Salespeople!

Are you ready for a new video? Who loves video here? I, myself love watching videos, whether for entertainment purposes or for widening my knowledge. Videos are very easy tool to learn something because you can hear it and you can read it. Today, I will share with you a video about B2B Sales Tips which was uploaded by 2622robert17 3 years ago. This blog get me interested because of the title which is “B2B Sales Tips from a Bee” plus it uses bees as illustration. I think that learning B2B Sales through this video would be fun! Let us all together enjoy the video below!

B2B Sales Tips from a Bee

By Bob Riess

The voice is from Bob Riess. There are only 3 things he pointed out in the video and he explains how he came up with those ideas or conclusion. He said that the first thing to understand about B2B selling is that your potential customers only want to know few things about you and your company and these are the following:

1. How will your product/services help my company make or save money or at least make my life easier?

2. Who are your current customers?

3. What do these customers think about you and your company?

He tells his story when he was new to business and what he does doesn’t work until Jerry came into the scene and gave him some advice. Jerry suggests….

– sell short story that will convince customers that we are a successful company

– we deliver what we promise and

– we have a great product that will make a difference for them.

These suggestions help him concisely explains his company’s value and help the customer make the right decision to purchase from them.

Now, he is throwing short stories on how he helps his current customer and he does increase event registration by 85% and revenues over 30%

What I love about the video is how he explains things so simply yet very informative. What is your opinion about the video?

Always,

Jack

Knowing your Targets

Hey there!

Are you excited for the new info that I am going to share today? My excitement is doubled because every time I find something interesting, I can’t help myself but to hurry and post it.

I can relate to this post from ZoomInfo (@ZoomInfo), the title is “Marketers don’t understand their targets“. Can you relate too? An example is a B2B Sales through social media. Marketers are hurrying to try something new in marketing world, simply because they don’t want to be left behind. If everyone is using Facebook to have sales, they are also there, trying to target every Facebook users and forgetting their target market. Read for yourself.

Marketers don’t understand their targets

By ZoomInsights staff

New technology often leads to a gap between goals and execution across industries, and according to a Demandbase study – done in conjunction with Ziff Davis – that is true for B2B marketers. The report, “Account-Based Marketing in 2013,” said, “Many survey respondents indicated that how their companies measure results, produce content or even use resources does not correspond to their long-term priorities.”

In many ways, this is an age-old tale. Everyone wants to use the newest tools, but not everyone takes the time to plot out a strategy. Not surprisingly, the report said, “To stay competitive, such organizations must bridge this gap by testing new approaches, thinking strategically and measuring their results.”

Social media and content marketing on the rise

While the report found that SEO still claims the top spot when it comes to the strategies that companies use for online marketing, it is social media and “inbound marketing/content creation/blogs” that come in second and third. These inexpensive marketing tools that take your company’s message straight to the people have become powerful extensions of the B2B marketing machine. As these tools gain prominence, however, there will be questions to be answered.

On the other hand, pay-per-click campaigns seem to be on the decline, and display advertising also rank low.

Who are b2b marketers targeting?
Demandbase asked its respondents “Which of the following marketing targets are most important to your company?” and “Which of the following marketing targets consume the most marketing resources (e.g., budget, staff time, other resources)?” In both cases, marketers indicated that they are focused on targeting companies by industry and/or vertical market. Coming in second, in both cases, was “prospect title.”

The report warns marketers against making too many assumptions about people with desirable titles: “While targeting by title can be effective in marketing a narrow niche product or service or for the creation of buyer personas, it can also limit the efficiency of marketing efforts by failing to better define what the title really means within the context of a particular company — or where that company exists in the context of your buying universe. Are they likely to ever buy from you —or is it a case of right person, wrong company? Context is key.”

A lack of understanding

Although the marketers who were interviewed indicated that “increased focus on individual prospect types/buyer personas” and “increased focus on industries or vertical markets” were their biggest priorities, the research found that many of these same people were struggling to understand those target markets: “With 50 percent of the respondents who say they have only a basic understanding of their target market, and another 10 percent who say they don’t yet understand their target at all, this area indicates room for ample growth.”

How to improve your B2B marketing efforts

The report drew three concrete conclusions about how B2B marketers can improve their efforts in the coming year:

  1. Align targets, resources, lead scoring and content creation. Long-term goals and areas of focus should serve as a guide.
  2. Consider diving deeper into data you have collected about your existing customers as the shortest path to a more thorough understanding of who your new customers will be.
  3. Limited budget and resource concerns lend themselves to a renewed focus on account-based marketing techniques, combining what you know about the companies most likely to buy with your tactical campaign selection, lead scoring, lead nurturing, buyer persona creation and content strategy.

As it turns out, much of what the report concludes is common-sense advice. Know your audience, have a strategy, and measure your success – wisdom for this year and next.

P.S. ZoomInfo has partnered with Vorsight, an award winning sales effectiveness firm, to host “Unlock the Secrets to Handling Objections”. Please join us for a free webinar on Tuesday, January 22nd at 1:00 PM. Space is limited. Reserve your spot today!

Are you guilty of not understanding your target markets? This is very important in the business. This is the basis of every strategy. When you know your markets are, it will be easy for you to do your next step. Who are your targets? Have you figure out already? Comment if you know!

Best,

Jack

Find the Problem and Offer the Solution

Hi Peeps!

This is an amazing day! It is amazing because I am here again sharing another interesting stuff with you. The blog title is No Problem, No Need which was written by Jim Keenan (@keenan) of A Sales Guy. What makes this blog interesting is how the author presented the term “need”. We have been taught to sell something that the people need. This is true but why some people refuse your product? Is it because they don’t need the product or services? If you are certain they need it why they are not buying it? These questions will be answered through this blog. Come on and read it and include this to your inside sales technique!

No Problem, No Need

By Jim Keenan

As sales people we are taught to find a need and sell to it. Needs based selling is what many of us have been taught from the early days. In almost every conversation I have with sales people on how to sell, the word “need” comes up. It’s without a doubt the most common term I hear sales people use when discussing how they sell and what sales is all about.

In almost all cases it’s explained as the “thing” a sale must be attached to. Need, is what sales people need to ferret out. Good sales people find need. The best sales people dig and search until they can find a need, then they sell to that need by telling the prospect how their product or service can fill their need. As good as it sounds, this approach is wrong and actually handicaps sales people.

Selling to a need assumes the customer has a need and more importantly, knows they have a need. The problem with this assumption is most sales opportunities are found because the prospect didn’t know they had a need.  They didn’t know they needed anything. They thought things were just fine.  Have you ever listened to someone sell to a need that didn’t exist?  It’s painful.  The customer says they don’t need the sales persons product, and the sales person flounders around looking for a need, while the customer says nope, I’m happy with my current product, yup, it does that, nope don’t need that feature, nope don’t need that, nope, don’t need that feature either. After about 5 min. if the sales person is lucky, the call is over, dejected and confused, they call the next poor soul, ready to find their need.

Here’s what’s wrong.

There is no need without a problem.   Trying to find a need without finding the problem is like trying to fish without a pond. NO pond, no fish. No problem no need.

A problem is when something can’t get done, a goal is being blocked, or when there is a hinderance to reaching an objective.   A problem is when something is preventing something from being achieved such as; information, knowledge, a tool, resources, insight, etc. Problems exist when things are missing.  The missing things is where the needs come in.

Rather than selling to need, find the problem. Don’t ask if the client needs something. Don’t look for need but rather for a problem.  Dig in to see how they are operating the business your product effects. Try to determine if they are happy with the results they’re getting. Ask if they are getting everything out of the current environment they want. Ask if they are on track to achieve their yearly goals. Ask if their competition can do things they can’t. Find out if they would like to get more out of the current environment. The key is to look for problems or even better show them they have a problem they didn’t know they had.

If you want to increase sales stop looking for a need.  Start by trying to identify a problem. Once you’ve found the problem, you then can start focusing on what they NEED to solve it.

All sales starts with a problem, everything else comes after. Find or uncover the customer(s) problem and everything else will take care of itself.

This is a great real life story on how focusing on need gets a “NO!” But, finding the problem gets a “YES!”:

What I Learned From a Franklin Covey Store Clerk

Be a problem finder.

As a final thought, the author states that you should find first the problem then offer the solution they need. In this case, they will find your product or services irresistible because they badly need it! So what do you think about the whole post? Have you learned something today? Comments are welcome!

Sincerely,

Jack