If Product Marketing Makes Bold Claims Then Beware

In some cases Product Marketing make bold statements about the new product or solution which will cause problems for your sales teams later on.

Multiple markets

If Product Marketing claims the product can be used for many things and in many cases and many markets, then there is a problem uprising as they can’t figure out who the target clients are. It is impossible or not realistic to address the entire market (segment) and explain to the market the purpose of the product as the message will be just too complex. So Marketing can’t target and can’t get a single message out.
As a result you will not get any real prospects.

Multiple uses

If Product Marketing claims the possibilities (features) of the new product are enormous then you have the problem of picking the best ones as all features are potential winners. Marketing will communicate a way too complex message for explaining all the possible features and solutions. This will result in nobody hearing or understanding the message. The value proposition will be too complex or unclear.
As a result you will not get any real prospects.

The Next Big Thing

If Product Marketing presents the new product or solution as the next big thing or the disruption, then wonder how they are going to explain it to the market and how much that will cost. People are used and open to understand a gradual change or improvement, but a radical change like a disruption is harder to accept.

Beware of bold claims

So always beware when Product Marketing makes bold claims for marketing a new product as these can turn out to become real disasters in sales. Moreover due all the effort, money and time that goes into the promotion of the new product your existing products might suffer as they get less attention which also leads to a lesser revenue.

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Top 16 To Keep Your Visitors Longer On Your Website

We all dislike high bounce rates. We want to keep our visitors as long as possible on our website and keep their interest. The longer – the more likely they will remember the company or brand or product or solution.

In order to make people stay longer consider some of these solutions and tricks:

1. Few fonts

Two or three fonts is considered as OK. More fonts will file your website as outdated. Too many fonts will clutter your webpages.

2. Large fonts

Too small font and a large population won’t be able to read it: visually impaired, elderly people (over 40 even), tired people.
At least 16 pixels or more for body copy as then the size compares to the size in a book or printed magazine taking into account the 23 to 28 inches distance from the display.

3. Remove clutter

When a visitor lands on a web page he will decide in less than 15 seconds to continue or to leave. If there is too much or too many things going on on a web page he will be confused and leave.

4. Small content blocks

If a block of content is to large, people will just read the first line and then start skipping lines. People on the Internet are impatient. You need to have consumable blocks of content.

5. Visual breaks

In order to break-up long content blocks, the use of:
– Headings
– Sub-headings
– Bulleted lists
– Numbered lists
will help and will also allow for people to quickly assume the content

6. Images of people

Adding images with people – especially faces will increase the stay on a web page or even increase the conversion rate. It makes your website more human and creates some kind of trustworthiness.

7. Avoid typical photographs

Be aware that the typical stock photographs are known and most people have seen them already. Hence you need original photos or “Photoshop” images in order to make them more unique or attractive.

8. Data and stats for brand recognition

Stories can be retold but is not often feasible as an audience is required.
Data and stats will be remembered and can easily be used in any related conversation in order to make the person interesting. Numbers or figures can be used quickly in order to grab the attention in a meeting or conversation. This person will have visited more than once and will remember your brand or company or product.

9. Data and stats for trust

Data and statistics will add trust to your website as it requires effort, time and money to generate or to collect data or stats.
People will find your website more interesting and it will add to the trustworthiness of your website and company.

10. Internal links

On each page or in each content part at least one link towards another page should be present. Preferably two or three links. These links can be anywhere on the page, but from the middle to the lower are more suitable as you have given them the time to grasp the main message of the first page.

11. Engage

If possible ask open questions and aim for people to answer or comment on your webpage. if the take time to create and type a reply they surely have given your question a thought which results in a longer stay and a higher likelihood of brand and company recognition.

12. External links to new pages

If you need to have external links on your website then they each should open on a new page. Opening on the same page over your website makes them leaving your website. Hence the visitor is lost.

13. Limited messages per page

Apparently people are capable of remembering only two or three messages. Hence you need to limit the number of messages on a webpage too as anything more will cause to forget all additional messages.

14. The Back button stopper

When people click on the back button they have decided to leave the page and website. The best solution is to have a pop-up window that asks a relevant question or refers a link to a possible interesting page that they haven’t visited previously. Chances are visitors will stay on your website by replying to the question or visiting the referred page.

15. Relevant content

Once landed on your website and with the knowledge of their search terms used or the referring website page, you could suggest in a pop-up relevant additional information or a link to a page containing such information.

16. Entertainment marketing

People like to be entertained. Your website could not only provide useful information and data but also some kind of entertainment in the form of textual, visual or video content. Chances are high that visitors will take the time for the entertainment resulting a longer stay on your website and more brand recognition.

How did you decrease your bonce rate ?

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Selling On LinkedIn

LinkedIn is B2B

In B2B you want to target potential customers with your marketing and sales pitches as effectively as possible. The world is big and the targets are everywhere so it is a huge task to communicate to potential customers.
As LinkedIn has only professionals as members and no consumers it seems the best place to spam your marketing and sales pitches. LinkedIn even makes it more easy by having groups of interest which allow you to aim even more precisely to potential customers. With some luck you can even have people replying to your messages or subjects you posted. Engagement seems a feasibility.

Content marketing on LinkedIn

However just posting marketing noise and sales pitches won’t work on LinkedIn neither.
You need to:
– Create subjects with open questions in order to have people jump in and only somewhere later in the conversation point to your solution.
– Post valuable informative content in order to show your expertise on the subjects that matter to the groups on LinkedIn.

Selling on LinkedIn

In order to be successful you need to take it carefully: not pitching but open questions and content that should interest the group you are posting in.
The goal is to engage other members of the group and get the interested or into a conversation. Any form of engagement is positive. Even people who do not engage in the conversation could remember your company or will have a look into your website.
As always these indirect selling methods require a long time to result in a closed deal, but it is feasible.

Selling on LinkedIn is possible but you need to handle it carefully as the group administrator can exclude you at any time.

Did you ever generated a lead through LinkedIn ?

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BElieve in YOURSELF only then sell

Be positive

If you are not convinced you will succeed it will be unlikely you will get the deal closed. You have to believe in yourself.
You have to believe in your victory and thus also in yourself.
Be positive about yourself which you will reflect to your customer during telephone calls, emails and meetings.
The more positive you become the more you will succeed in sales (and in business life)

Still be yourself

In order to believe in yourself you should be yourself. Don’t play a character. Don’t mimic a successful person. Just be yourself and positive.

Sell when in positive mode

Only start with selling and sales cycles when you are completely optimistic about yourself and your future and the future of the company you are working for. All the positive attitudes do matter in sales. If a customer notices one negative point it could be the deal killer immediately.

People prefer winners and victors – they like to buy from winners and victors.

How positive are you about yourself ?

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Marketing Moving Away From Selling Into Relationship Building

When Marketing discovered the Internet:
– The company website became their ‘sales channel
– The emails became selling tools
– The Newsletters the proprietary ad channel
Relationships were no longer their focus as used to be previously.

Over time Content Marketing started to change the selling attitude by providing informative and useful content for potential and current customers. The advantage of the Content Marketing is that it is a start of building a possible relationship. Still it is only one way communication, the content consumer is getting engaged with the vendor or supplier.

The main content is still generic but in the future personalized content could be provided. Content that is truly relevant to the potential or current customers by having content messages that are adjusted to the customer’s habits, likes and needs. This will show the Marketers’ awareness.

The goal is to have Marketers building relationships with existing and potential customers by using all possible technologies available on the market. One of them is to know who is visiting the website, why someone is visiting the website and the level of interest.

Is your marketing still into selling ?

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Are You A Disruptor Or An Innovator ?

Disruptors vs Innovators

There is a huge difference between disruption and innovation.
Disruptors are innovators, but not all innovators are disruptors.
In most cases new business models are disruptors, whereas innovation is mostly in technology and products. Hence most companies are into innovation and start-ups can be disruptors.

Established companies

For an established company it would be extremely hard or difficult to become a disruptor in it’s market as this would be a threat for its’ existing business. Moreover the internal discussions and battles would kill both their existing and their disruptive business.

Low-end disruptor

For established companies becoming the low-end disruptor, aiming to serve the least profitable customer who just wants a good-enough product or solution, is hardly possible as the same brand addresses very different parts of the market: the high-end or middle class with outstanding products and the low-end. In such cases most companies opt for defining, launching and marketing a new low end brand in order to avoid all possible conflicts.
Hence low-end disruptors a most likely to be start-ups or new entrants to the market.

Disruption is not equal to success

In many cases disruptors are not all or immediately successful. Many do fail as there is a huge risk involved with a disruption as there is no proof that there is a market and people have a demand. Learn from lessons of disruption.
It can even be another company picks up the concept ans turns it into a profitable business.

Still the disruptors will eventually eliminate 4 out of 10 companies. However disruption will not only destroy but also create.

Innovation is for most companies.
Disruption is solely for a limited number of companies.

Are you a disruptor or an innovator ?

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The Death Of Cold Calling Is Now

Once upon a time the daily work of salesmen and sales reps was to cold call a number of people on a list in order to present them a product or service and aiming to get an appointment.
Those days are gone.

As technology evolved a similar technique with faxes and emails has existed but these methods are also doomed.
The main reason lies in the fact that the cold calls are made without or with little information about the potential customer. Whether the customer really has a need or not the call was being made.

Nowadays there are a number of tools or services available that inform the salesman or sales rep about the interest, need or level of interest of a potential customer before any call or contact has been made:

Search Engines

Search engines are probably the main source for your website traffic. Most of these visitors having used a search engine are looking for a solution. The challenge is to get into contact with the visitor. One of the solutions is to install an online chat on your website which will allow the visitor to contact you without the need of leaving any (apparent) contact detail information which gives a level of freedom. The challenge is to turn the chat from an informative conversation into a conversation where the visitor exposes more information than he was intending to do. This will allow to stay in contact with the potential customer afterwards.

Website Contacts

It is rare but some people actually contact your company through the contact page on your website. Nothing easier than to start a conversation with them by email or telephone call.

Inbound Marketing

As all your Marketing communications and campaigns or Content Marketing should generate interest, these marketign efforts will persuade people contacting your company. Once a contact made then no cold is required anymore.

Social Media

Social media – especially LinkedIn – allows to post content which can trigger interest from potential customers. This can be by replies to the post or even direct contact by themselves.
The same can happen by just replying to posts of other people or companies which again triggers the interest of a potential customer resulting in a public conversation on the social media.
No cold calling involved as the salesman or sales rep is already in a conversation with the potential customer.

Website Visitors

In all your marketing communications your website is referred, which is likely to generate traffic on your website.
Companies that visit your website in search of a solution are likely to be potential customers. So if you have installed a web service that reveal the companies visiting with their interest and level of interest, then contacting these visiting companies is no longer real cold calling.

Cold Calling is death (or hardly existent)

Do you still Cold Call ?

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How To Spy On And Track Your Competitors’ Marketing

Knowing what your competitors are up to or what actions they are planning or executing is good to know and to be aware of.
So here are a few tools to know more about your competitors=

Email campaigns

By subscribing to all possible newsletters it is feasible to inform about what each of your competitors are up to.
EmailInsights
OWLetter
RivalFox

Ad search

In order to know the ad campaigns of each of your competitors you can use:
MOAT Free !
SpyFu Free !
WhatRunsWhere
LotsOfAds Mainly social campaigns
BoxOfAds for PPV campaigns and media buys

Not only you know what they are promoting but also what didn’t work out if they abandon quickly an ad campaign.

Social Media tracking

There are so many tools that the list would be just too long

Combined or complete: ads, email, social media

RivalFox
Yesmail

Your own website

It is also always good to know what your competitors find interesting or how strongly interesting they find certain pages on your website

How do you spy on your competitors ?

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Why The Salesman Needs The Cooperation Of The Prospect

Sales process and sub-goals

The sales process or sales cycle is flow of events and sub-goals which resembles the climbing of a huge mountain. These sub-goals are in-between successes – like reaching the camps on the mountain.
Although the entire sales cycle is one process, it has been chucked up into several stages just for administrative reasons:
– Initial contactSales cycle is like mountain climbing
– Lead stage
– Prospect stage
– First meeting stage
– Qualified prospect stage
– Follow-up meeting stage
– Proposal stage
– Negotiation stage
– The close
– The deal transaction
– The retention stage

Of course the most important stage is when the invoice gets paid !

No single sales cycle will go through these stages perfectly as there always will be deviations or retreats in the process.

Sales process stages characteristics

Although many steps have been defined with sub-goal achievements:
– None of these steps are equal
– The efforts required reaching each of the sub-goals are not equal
– The time required for each step may differ enormously: some can happen immediately others can take weeks, months, …
– It is the buyer who dictates the speed of the sales process
– The required participation or involvement of the potential customer is not equal neither

Synchronizing sales- and buyer process

This last one is most important as the sale needs a customer going through his buying cycle at the same time as the salesman. The salesman cannot move ahead without the buyer.
In real life no two processes will ever synchronize, there will be discrepancies between the efforts on the sales side and the efforts made or lacking efforts on the buyer side. Hence moving through the sales cycle stages can be painstaking slow.

A sales cycle can only move ahead if both the salesman and the potential customer reach the next sub-goal together. Both have to be involved and engaged.

Leader of the sales process

As the sales cycle should be compared to climbing a steep mountain with the salesman as the leader of the climb. In some cases important sales the sales manager takes the lead although he is not entirely involved in the process but involves and manages reaching the sub-goals. Still it is possible that during some stages the lead or prospect actually takes the lead in the climb as he is under pressure of getting a solution in place.

Retrograding sales process

However whenever there is a problem or an unexpected event occurs or new information comes to the deal, the climb can become a descend instead. This can happen it is required to have an assessment or aggregation at a previous stage.
In such case the prospect retrogrades or moves back to a previous stage, more work and effort lies ahead for the salesman or sales team. In most cases such a retrograding is due to one of the competitors.
The amount off effort the salesman then has to generate and put into the sales process can be huge as it will can stop the sales process for the vendor company.

Customer effort indicator

The best indicators of the commitment of the potential customer to buy is the amount of effort, time and interest the potential customer puts into his buying process.
In order to measure the commitment of your leads, prospects, potential customers and customers all companies should implement a website visitor revealing solution as in all cases people will visit your website. These solutions allow to retrieve and measure from your company website the amount of interest generated by the potential customer as they visit your company website for gathering additional information or want to verify your statement made during sales pitches and conversations.

How do you measure the involvement of your potential customers ?

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The 10 Perks Of A Salesman

Although life of a salesman might seems good, well-paid and wonderful there are many perks and issues for getting the sale closed:

1 – Target stress

Each year the target increases. This results in stress as a salesman needs to achieve his target.
Salesmen should be able to handle their stress.

2 – Target management

The target even increases more as the last year was much over target. Hence it is sometimes better not to over-achieve in one year as next year the target will be even higher. Hence a salesman needs to modulate his sales and sometimes keep new purchase orders in his drawers for next year.
A successful salesman is capable of keeping orders behind when needed.

3 – Obesity

In most cases a salesman will wine and dine with his customers quite often. This can be pleasant at first and seen as an additional benefit but on the long run it can / it is likely to result in obesity.
A salesman should be able to chose food and eat without getting fat.

4 – Family

Salesmen do travel which allows them to see the country, the continent or even the world. However everyday out of the home is a day less with the wife, the kids and less time for the parents.
A salesman needs to be capable of being away from his family.

5 – Alone

Alone on the road: in the car, in the plane or in the train
Alone in the hotel room.
Alone in the meeting with the potential client.
A salesman needs to be able to live and handle alone.

6 – Communicative and interrogative

A salesman needs to be communicative and open to talk to new people or people he hardly knows.
However a salesman that just talks and keeps on talking will never be successful as he needs to pose questions and keep his mouth shut while he is listening. The more the customer talks the more information he will expose.
A great salesman needs to be able to talk but also able to listen.

7 – Waiting and patience

Waiting at the airport for the departure.
Waiting before the meeting with a potential client.
Waiting at the telephone for the customer to answer the call.
Waiting for the purchase order to arrive.
Waiting while life goes by.
Without patience you can’t be a successful salesman.

8 – Risks

The more travel the more risks for accidents or diseases.
Staying in the office at a desk is a much safer life.

9 – Depression resistant

Even after a long sales cycle the client can decide to opt for the competitor.
This is major drawback and could make a salesman depressive.
Successful salesmen need to be resistant to depression.

10 – Repeat until boring

When selling the same stuff for many years the same pitch is being hold over and over again, until it becomes boring. The same jokes, the same questions.
A salesman needs to keep up his pitch fresh and lively over the many many years.

How about your perks as a salesman ?

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