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How To Get More Leads – 5 Tips To More b2b Leads

Want More Leads?

So you’re looking for more leads? you probably got to this article by way of Google or LinkedIn searching for ways to get more b2b leads. I mean, let’s face it, who doesn’t want more leads and need more leads?

How Do I Get More Leads?

b2b prospecting has changed dramatically over the past 15 years and continues to change at a rapid pace, but there isn’t one simple answer to get more leads (Sorry, it’s not that easy). b2b prospecting is a collection of efforts, you need multiple touches using multiple methods all using consistent pain driven messaging. There is a lot of clutter out there and you need to stand out and be different, to stand out you must think about why you are in business… Why did you start your business or take your position? What pain of the prospect do you solve and how do you solve it better than anyone else? and make sure you back up your claims with your best reviews. Have you ever been in a sales presentation where the salesperson just starts talking about themselves? blah, blah, blah nobody cares about the salesperson….Unless they can help me! Yes, it’s true, but fancy brochures about how many years you have been in business and how many years of combined experience your team has means absolutely nothing unless you can help me. Messaging is the first place to start, create your messaging, then its time to start prospecting! Click here to learn more about how the brain makes a buying decision.

OK, as promised here are 5 tips to get more b2b leads…..

#1 Phone Cold Call

Cold Calling is not dead! Some will argue but for most industries phone cold calling is part of a much larger picture, you have to combine your cold phone call with other touches such as email, Social Media Marketing and SEO/SEM efforts. You may get lucky with a phone cold call by itself, but backed up with the power of value-added content from your other marketing efforts you will start to see your branding and message on your cold calls. One huge mistake that most salespeople make is simply making a couple of calls and giving up! You need at least 10 touches in today’s prospecting world. We find at least 8 phone calls over a period of a month combined with email, social will help get you to your prospect.

#2 Email

Email gets tougher and tougher each year, more spam blockers, and sophisticated tools to keep your email out of your prospects inbox! But don’t despair. Find a good email provider that will let you email from either a purchased or opted in list. We can help guide you if you are struggling with getting your email delivered. The key to emails as you probably have read a hundred times is a solid subject line and then a simple but effective main body, you have to surface the pain that the prospect might be going through, it’s not about you, don’t waste any time talking about you, focus immediately on the pain and how you can help relieve that pain and be sure to have a solid CTA (Call to action). Call to chat with us about getting better results from your email campaign.

#3 Social Media

When it comes to business LinkedIn is the one platform that will get you to your decision-makers quickly and easily. While Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram may work, they certainly don’t have a direct impact on b2b leads that LinkedIn has. First, you need to build your audience, then you can send sequenced messages much as you do with emails in a planned out strategy to provide your connections with solid content related to a pain/problem you help resolve. Don’t go in for the kill! I see so many people screw this up, they try to connect and pitch right away, or even worse, they pitch in the invite! Take it slow, build the relationship, and send highly focused messages with content that will help the prospect and provide value. Think of it this way, LinkedIn is like an extension of your phone call, have a conversation, be personal. There are a couple of tools that can make the LinkedIn process a little more efficient and streamlines (See the end of this article).

#4 SEM (search engine marketing)

Find the Right People Who Are Most Likely To Buy

PPC – Pay Per Click is a Google tool that I think everyone knows about or has heard about, its a great tool to drive leads now! but it’s not easy to go it alone, there are a lot of people and companies claim they can set up your AdWords and manage it for you, but buyer beware. Some key things to look for when searching for a PPC Partner.

 1. Look up their reviews – What success have they had? Your spending your hard-earned money and you have every right to make sure you don’t get screwed! Be sure to do your research and look at reviews, don’t get fooled into thinking a large company will look after you after the initial sale (Many, in our experience, will sell you and then put you in a line and you just become a number). Adwords needs personal constant attention to make sure you are getting the right keywords, reaching your target audience while getting the best price for your clicks, it’s easy to blow thousands of dollars away on a poorly set up campaign. Trust me, we did it years ago but learned our lesson to help readers like you.

    2. Set an attainable goal – At first, you want to set a reasonable goal and be sure your provider is on the same page, although Adwords can bring you instant leads, they need to be qualified leads. It only takes a few days to set up your PPC, but it takes a few weeks to optimize it and make sure you are getting the best clicks at the lowest price. Its great being at the top of the page for search, but not if you are paying $20 for a click that’s garbage.

  3. Give it time – We live in an instant gratification society, but you have to let things take their course, gather data, and optimize! Once your campaign/s are set up you need to gather data and click to make sure you have the right keywords, the right audience, and the right messaging. That takes time and clicks, you cant optimize your campaign with 30 clicks, you need a few hundred to get good solid data so you can truly run a successful campaign.

  4. Speak Up – Really get to know your PPC person,  they need to understand everything so be sure to set your expectations very clearly right from the get-go to avoid confusion and disappointment.

#5 SEO (search engine Optimization)

When I talk with clients there are lots of questions about SEO/PPC and SEM. Here’s how I break it down. PPC  is a great way to quickly drive leads. However, it’s like a light switch, you turn on AdWords you start to get clicks (If done right). You turn AdWords off and you stop getting clicks, and here is where SEO truly comes into play. Done right, SEO is a great partner to PPC. Use PPC to get leads quickly while you build your SEO presence, SEO is a long term strategy over 6 months, so start with PPC and eventually, you can scale back your PPC as your SEO efforts start to build. Now SEO doesn’t turn on or off like a light switch, so count on taking at least 6 -9 months for SEO to start to kick in and drive leads, but once you get started SEO doesn’t shut off instantly like AdWords, keep doing your SEO work and you will continue to drive leads. SEO is about relevant content getting to your target audience and a great way for long term lead generation at a fraction of the cost of PPC.

Tools to make getting leads a little easier

  1. LinkedIn – Dux-Soup is an excellent tool to automate some of your tasks for LinkedIn lead gen. It saves hours a day prospecting and messaging.
  2. Email Address finder – Hunter IO is a great tool to find email addresses, Hunter IO searches and scours the internet to deliver email addresses from companies you list. Makes it super easy to create a large email list and quickly.
  3. Email Platforms- If you are struggling to deliver emails for opted or non opted in lists just give us a call and we can share some tips with you about the platforms we have found work well.
  4. Website Leads – Well it wouldn’t be a good SEO article without a little self pitch right? so here we go.  98% of your website leads will leave your website without ever filling out your contact us form or calling you and that’s a massive problem. Your website should be your lead salesperson! Where do you think those prospects are going? 9 out of 10 times right to your competitors. “Revenue Detective” will identify what companies are on your website, what products and services they are interested in, and much more all in real-time with instant email notifications. Imagine the power of having information like this? Reach out to prospects before your competition does! To learn more about Revenue Detective and how to get more leads you already have but can’t see click here.

 

Watch a quick video to learn how to uncover hidden leads on your website

CONCLUSION

Getting more b2b leads isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, it takes lots of hard work, preparation, and a smidge of patience. However, with the guidance and tools provided above, we hope you take away something new and inciteful to go and get some serious lead generation going.

 

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B2B Lead Gen – Hidden Leads

WE ALL LOVE CALLER ID, RIGHT?

To me, it is physically hard to actually push the green button when I don’t get to know who is calling first.  Imagine what the power of website caller id can do for your business.  The ability to know who is “calling” could be the difference between making the sale and missing out.  So what is “Revenue Detective” from BBC Consulting?

WHAT IS IT?

“Revenue Detective” is an anonymous B2B visitor identification and website visitor tracking software that tells you who is visiting your website, what pages they are viewing, and where they came from!  I guess you could say it’s Website Caller ID but super-sized.

WHAT DO WE DO?

With our code on your website, when a potential lead comes to your site, we are able to tell you and you don’t have to do anything.  We track the visitor, tell you who they are, what pages they visit, how much time they have spent on each page, where they came from, and how often they return.  Simple.  This data is included in your Instant Email Alert.

GET READY… ENGAGE

Now that you know who was visiting and what pages they went to, it’s time to prepare for the call/email/smoke signal or push that green button. We include prepopulated links for further company research in every Instant Alert Email and also in every company information page from the dashboard.  All you have to do is click on them.  They are locked and loaded with the search terms needed to get the most information available about your prospect. What sets Revenue Detective apart from similar programs is the way in which we teach you to engage and the various tools we use to get to the decision-maker.

CONCLUSION

BBC Consulting’s “Revenue Detective” does so much more than just id your website visitors: we will track your visitors, then identify those visitors, and finally prepare you to engage with those visitors with actionable data collected from not only their visit but also from the research links provided.

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A Crazy Time For Sales

Returning to normal? Not so fast

As COVID-19 continues to create its own challenges for businesses, for those of us in sales and responsible for revenue its a heck of a roller coaster right now to say the least. What worked for lead gen a few weeks ago just changed and continues to change and evolve as people transition to work from an office/location or even decide to stay at home and as businesses try to figure out if, when and how they will get back to some sort of normalcy.  Methods have changed and continue to evolve when it comes to driving leads and revenue, as we all try to “figure this out” I will say this, its an evolving situation that requires sales and marketing teams to think outside the box, try and try again, then keep trying even harder, be flexible, be creative and try your best to be patient. Don’t ever give up! just learn what works for you, regardless, its PPC, SEO, Display ads, email, cold phone calls or any other marketing and sales funnel driver, when you figure out what works for you, go all out and make it happen.

Here are a couple of good “non-sales” back to work-related articles:

Osha Back To Work Guide: Click Here

COVID – 19 back to work interactive course: Click Here

For those of you in sales/marketing here’s a link to a resource to help with your lead gen and sales efforts that helps uncover “Hidden Leads” on your website: Click Here  

 

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Back To Work Checklist

What To Do Next?

Some states have announced plans to ease restrictions that were placed on businesses and individuals as a result of the COVID-19 global health crisis. Regardless of whether your business is located in one of these states, you’re probably starting to wonder what steps you will need to take in order to safely reintroduce employees back into the workplace.

Here are some key factors to consider:

Review official guidance.

Read and make sure you understand applicable federal, state, and local orders, directives, and guidelines, including information from OSHA and the CDC. These may include specific steps that businesses must take before resuming operations, and some may be industry and location-specific. The return to work process will likely occur in phases with certain types of businesses permitted to resume limited operations before others are allowed to do so. If conflicts exist among directives and guidelines, consider consulting legal counsel.

Independently assess your situation.

Even where employers are permitted to allow employees back into the workplace, employers should independently assess whether it is safe to do so, including whether social distancing can be maintained. Employers may also want to consider having employees return to work voluntarily at first to help address employees’ needs and concerns, or returning employees to the workplace in waves, starting with the most critical workers first.

Consider screening practices.

Consider various options for screening employees and visitors before they’re allowed to enter the workplace, such as temperature checks, COVID-19 testing, and/or self-certifications (see rules below). Employers that intend to conduct COVID-19 testing will also need to evaluate which type of test to use, who will perform it, how it will be administered, and the implications of various testing protocols, consulting local health officials when assessing the different options. Employers should also ensure consistency in applying their screening procedures to applicants and employees. In addition, make sure to treat screening results as confidential medical records.

Determine whether screening is subject to ADA rules.

Many screening practices would be considered medical examinations and therefore subject to certain rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar state laws. Generally, medical examinations must be job-related and consistent with business necessity, meaning an employer would need to conduct a medical exam because they have a reasonable belief that: an employee’s ability to perform essential job functions will be impaired by a medical condition, or an employee will pose a direct threat due to a medical condition.

Note: As of March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has met the direct-threat standard referred to above, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If the CDC and state/local public health officials revise their assessment of the spread and severity of COVID-19, that could affect whether a direct threat still exists and whether screening would be permissible. This means that guidance may shift as the crisis recedes, so employers should consider consulting legal counsel before implementing screening protocols.

Maintain social distancing.

Consider steps to maintain at least six-feet between individuals in the workplace, adjusting the work environment and office norms if necessary. Options include but aren’t limited to:

  • Allowing employees to telework whenever possible;
  • Offering flexible work hours and staggered start-times and shifts;
  • Increasing physical space between employees at the worksite (for example, opening every other cash register);
  • Putting up partitions between employees;
  • Increasing physical space between employees and customers through physical barriers and/or demarcating six-foot intervals;
  • Postponing non-essential meetings or events;
  • Prohibiting group gatherings in the workplace and limiting access to spaces where groups tend to gather;
  • Implementing restrictions on business travel;
  • Delivering services remotely or delivering products through curbside pick-up or delivery;
  • Discouraging handshaking;
  • Discouraging sharing tools and equipment and food and drinks; and
  • Restricting visitors in the workplace.

Designate a safety lead.

Consider designating a point person responsible for workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure compliance with federal and state occupational safety and health requirements. Make sure employees feel safe about returning to work. Tell them what steps you have taken to protect them and whom they can contact if they have concerns.

Train employees to practice good hygiene.

Train employees on safety protocols and widely communicate ways to practice good hygiene, including the following:

  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of the elbow.
  • Stay home when feeling sick.

Thoroughly sanitize the workplace.

Consider more frequent cleaning and implement sanitary practices, including the following:

  • Disinfect and clean the workplace regularly.
  • Maintain and adjust HVAC systems and increase ventilation.
  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles.
  • Provide soap and water in the workplace.
  • Provide hand sanitizers for when soap and water isn’t available.

Provide masks and other protective equipment.

Some state and local jurisdictions have enacted emergency rules requiring individuals to wear face coverings in public and in certain businesses. Some also require employers to provide such equipment at the employer’s expense. Review applicable rules and assess whether employees need to or should wear cloth face coverings, surgical masks, shields, respirators, or other protective equipment. Employers should ensure employees comply in the workplace, if applicable. Also, consider training employees on how to properly use protective equipment.

Note: Depending on the job and the circumstances, employers may also be required to provide protective equipment under existing federal and state occupational safety and health regulations.

Require notice of potential exposure.

Employers may ask employees to notify them if they’ve been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. Also, at this time, the CDC is recommending that people who are close to someone with COVID-19 and develop symptoms of the virus, self-quarantine for at least 14 days. Spell out any notification rules or guidelines in a written policy and continue to monitor guidelines for any changes in notification protocols.

Prepare for potential employee concerns.

Employees may have concerns about returning to work during the pandemic. Employees who refuse to report to work may have protections from adverse action. For example, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employees may have the right to refuse to work if all of the following conditions are met:

  • Where possible, they have asked the employer to eliminate the danger, and the employer failed to do so;
  • They genuinely believe that an imminent danger exists;
  • A reasonable person would agree that there is a real danger of death or serious injury; and
  • There isn’t enough time, due to the urgency of the hazard, to get it corrected through regular enforcement channels, such as requesting an OSHA inspection.

Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which grants employees the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions, may also come into play in this situation.

Comply with rehire requirements.

Make sure all decisions related to hiring employees are neutral and job-related, and not based on protected characteristics, such as age, race, pregnancy or other factors unrelated to the job. If applicable, send “rehire” letters, provide wage payment notices, and furnish other onboarding paperwork to employees who were previously furloughed or laid off. Also, evaluate implications on employee benefit plans and whether notices or contribution changes are needed. Additionally, keep in mind that many leave-of-absence laws require employers to treat rehired employees as though they had been continuously employed for the purposes of leave eligibility and access to accrued leave.

Provide leave as required.

Employees may be entitled to leave under federal, state, and local rules for various situations related to COVID-19, even when the crisis begins to recede. For instance, if an employee works for an employer with fewer than 500 employees and is unable to work because their child’s school is still closed, they would be entitled to paid leave under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Review policies, procedures, and supervisor training to ensure compliance with applicable federal, state, and local rules on leave.

Provide reasonable accommodations.

The ADA and similar state laws require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer. An employee with a disability that puts them at high risk for complications from COVID-19 may request a reasonable accommodation to reduce their chances of infection, such as asking to telework, for personal protective equipment, or for paid or unpaid leave if their job isn’t conducive to telework. Additionally, if the employer requires employees to wear protective equipment, an employee with a disability may ask for an accommodation if they are unable to comply because of their disability. Prepare to respond to such requests in compliance with applicable laws.

Develop protocols for symptomatic employees.

Develop procedures for situations in which an employee is showing symptoms of COVID-19 in the workplace. If an employee shows symptoms, separate them from other employees, send them home immediately, and direct them to speak with their doctor. Additionally, notify other employees of possible exposure. When informing other employees, maintain confidentiality, and don’t reveal who had the symptoms. In addition, establish and communicate protocols for returning to work after being symptomatic, following CDC guidelines, and applicable laws.

Conclusion & Resources

Each workplace is different, so develop a plan for returning to work that is tailored to your particular circumstances, follows applicable guidelines, and ensures safety for your employees, customers, and clients. Guidelines for returning to work continue to evolve; continue to monitor our Small Business COVID-19 Resource Center for updates.

 

 

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Source: https://www.adp.com/spark/articles/2020/05/small-business-return-to-work-checklist-for-when-covid-19-restrictions-ease.aspx#

Hidden Leads – The Secret to Unlocking Revenue

B2B Website visitor tracking is becoming more commonplace for companies looking to add value for sales and marketing and generate more leads. When you consider that 98% of your website visitors leave your site not filling out a contact form, you’re simply missing out on leads and that’s just not ok, is it?

New leads

  • Website visitor tracking software is going to provide you with additional leads that you would never have been able to access otherwise. There out there right now on your site looking at the very products and services you have to offer.
  • Your Leads may be of all different qualities and strengths but right now you don’t have a way to identify companies visiting your website, imagine if your sales team could identify prospects on your website right now?

Keep a close eye on leads in your sales funnel

  • In addition to new leads, any existing leads in your sales funnel can be tracked using website visitor software to identify when prospects go back to your site and identify what products and services they are interested in.
  • You can customize alerts on a specific company and can see exactly when they are visiting, which pages they have looked at, and for how long. Having this knowledge now puts you in a whole new game. Imagine having a proposal out and seeing that prospect on your site!

Automation

  • Many features in website visitor tracking software are automated, saving you time to work on closing more deals.
  • All data is real-time and automatically filtered into a simple to use dashboard. Once you customize your settings the software will provide data/analytics and notifications so you don’t have to log into the system constantly.

Demographic insights

  • The demographic insights from website visitor tracking can be very useful for discovering new markets and areas which you can include in your future marketing campaigns.
  • Seeing that you are receiving frequent website visits from certain industries, geographies or verticals will allow you to narrow down your focus and home in on your sales and marketing efforts.

Website performance insight

  • You will be able to see which pages are getting high traffic and those which are not. Allowing you to fine-tune content for better conversions.

Bring sales and marketing together for the common good

  • Website visitor tracking software can act as a hub for both your sales and marketing teams. We all know there is a divide between sales and marketing, however, this divide can be broken as you work together to see what prior hidden opportunities are right in front of you.

Get an inside view on your competitors

  • Website visitor tracking tools enable you to watch your competition’s movements on your website.
  • You will be able to see your competitor’s engagement on your site which will allow you to identify threats and allow you to plan your next competitive analysis with the deep insight you otherwise wouldn’t have.
  • You can set a trigger that allows you to see all of their activity going forward on your site and be informed of their instant arrival on any landing page which you choose.
  • Review your Google ads keywords and competition as your competitors click on your add.

Enhance your marketing campaign results

  • Add value to your marketing campaigns by identifying what companies are on your site. Especially your paid marketing efforts. You are able to collect genuine contact rather than empty traffic numbers which may or may not convert. You now have the option to follow up or continue to market in their direction.

Data & Analytics beyond Google

  • Having a report of visiting companies available for monthly or weekly reports can be a vital piece of data. And, of course, these can be customized to your exact needs and requirements.
  •  Zapier integrations allow you to sync into tools meaning your website visitor tracking data is far more conveniently used and adaptable to the way in which you work. Data reporting and sales processing could not be easier.

Cost-effective solution for lead gen

  •  When you find the right Website Visitor tracking program for you and when used correctly, you will have a great ROI which will allow you to grow revenue and have data tools not currently available.

Click Here to learn more about Revenue Detective website visitor tracking

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Virtual Selling In The Age Of Coronavirus

Businesses across the country face uncertainty now that the majority of the workforce is required to work from home.

If your business is used to thriving in a face-to-face environment, how can you pivot to a digital sales model?

While there are certain to be barriers and stumbling blocks along the way, we believe that such a transition is possible — and that it can make your business more healthy in the long run — provided you approach it with the right mindset.

1. My salespeople aren’t meeting with prospects face-to-face anymore. How can we adapt?

For companies who hadn’t brought digital into their sales process with virtual selling, putting the right technological foundation in place is essential so that you can communicate with each other and with clients, all while organizing, recording, and protecting your data.

Solution: You need to get certain virtual tools in place as soon as possible.

The good news is that many tools have free and trial versions — and a bevy of tech support options available for those just getting started.

Free tools like Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts might work just fine. Other more robust conferencing solutions like Zoom, Join.Me, and Microsoft Teams are designed for business.

Start by using a platform internally so you can work out the kinks before a client call. Watch online tutorials to help you troubleshoot.

Pro tip: Zoom is nearly industry-standard at this point — enough so that The New York Times published the headline We live in Zoom now late last week. Zoom has a free version to get you started, but there are some limitations (like having a 40 minute meeting maximum for groups larger than two).

2. My sales team is older and not very tech-friendly. What can I do to help them adjust?

The learning curve for technology can appear steep, but it is often people’s insecurities that are the biggest inhibitor. The last thing you want to do is keep your workers in the dark, taking too long to put solutions in place.

Solution: Communicate that you’re going to do everything in your power to make this digital transition quick and smooth. Give them a date by which the plan will be rolled out, and make sure to include mandatory training sessions when you announce any new tool.

Encourage your most enthusiastic, respected team members to participate in the tool selection and the planning for training. They can be your cheerleader and even help support others on the team.

Pro tip: Make a recording of the training available to your team members after the session is over so that they can refer back to it.

Use video so there is a visual component to look back on, and even open up a hotline or support ticket line where sales reps can ask questions and get answers they need to use the tools effectively.

3. With my staff working remotely, how will I know if they’re productive or not?

If you’re used to seeing your colleagues work each day at their desks, an abrupt switch to remote work can feel like a loss of control. After all, how can you be sure that they’re doing all they can?

Solution: As this is a stressful time, don’t make the mistake of hounding your employees. Remember, they’re adjusting too. And, if they are your coworkers, you likely trust them and value their professionalism.

If you have a task management platform or a CRM, all of the information that you need should be at your fingertips.

We often hear that customers’ sales teams use a CRM but that leadership doesn’t know how to determine if the activities they’re logging are effective, or turn into revenue.

To gain the visibility you need to understand how effective your team is, check out this HubSpot knowledge base article to help get you started building the reports you need.

Pro tip: As a part of your training sessions, you should also have a playbook that details exactly what activities you want your team to log and how they should do so.

Of course, sales reps are still responsible for reaching KPI goals while working from home — although these might be adjusted due to external circumstances.

4. My business is brick and mortar and customers are afraid to walk in the doors — or we have been forced to close altogether

The beauty of digital sales is that it allows your brick and mortar location to be only one facet of your business. A generation ago, if a storefront closed, the business folded.

Today, the shopping world is increasingly shifting to online commerce. According to Oberlo, “in 2020, e-commerce sales are expected to account for 15.5% of retail sales worldwide,” up from about 7% five years ago.

Solution: Of course, this depends on your business. If you’re looking to launch an e-commerce platform, there are many solutions.

Or, if you use your physical location for sales meetings, turn that former in-store appointment into a virtual in-home appointment. You can set up a scheduling tool on your website and allow customers to set up virtual appointments online.

When it comes time for the appointment, both the salesperson and the consumer will join the video call, and the salesperson can conduct their meeting as they normally would.

Your sales team can encourage contacts to use the scheduling tool, either by calling them or emailing them to help you generate demand.

You can also run digital ads to drive traffic to your appointment scheduler and generate additional demand. As long as electronic payments and shipping can get the consumer their product, you should still see the fruits of adapting quickly and helping consumers get the products they still need.

Also, if your hours have changed, don’t forget to update your Google My Business profile so that customers know how and when they can find you.

Pro tip:  Think about what you might ask the prospect to do before they show up for the virtual appointment. Do you have a video that you could send them so they are more educated about your sales process or your product before the virtual meeting?

Doing so can help you shorten your meeting time and open up your calendar to conduct more appointments.

5. A big portion of our revenue came from in-person events and tradeshows. Now what?

Companies often spend heavily to be represented at trade shows and other events. But don’t panic. Remember, no one is attending these events right now. You’re not missing out on opportunities. These opportunities currently don’t exist.

You’ll still be able to reach qualified buyers, and you won’t spend as much to do so.

Solution:  It’s likely that you’ve been given advice over the years to reallocate your tradeshow budget to digital or inbound marketing.

When you meet with prospective customers at tradeshows, they typically want to know things like “What problem does your product solve,” “How does that compare to your competitors,” or “How much does it cost?”

Now, people will still be searching for these same answers, but they’ll be searching for them online. You’ll want to be the most trusted resource for answers they can find on the internet. All you need to do is write down the answers to these questions and publish them. It’s that simple.

Pro tip: Once people are on your website, they’ll be hungry for more information. Video will get them to convert at a much higher rate than text alone. Here are a bunch of stats to reference about the efficacy of video, but my personal favorites are these:

  • Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users
  • Video drives organic 157% more traffic from search engine results pages
  • The average conversion rate for websites using video is 4.8%, compared to 2.9% for those that don’t use video

6. We don’t know the best way to communicate with our customers and prospects right now

These are unprecedented times, and it’s not always clear the best way to address what’s happening. It’s important to address the elephant in the room, but you need to do it right.

Solution:  Be empathic. Set up a time to talk with them, human to human. Listen to their problems and challenges and be the best resource that you can be. Try to accommodate them as much as possible because, when this pandemic turns around, the relationships you’ve built will help your business regain its footing.

If you learn that a customer is struggling and you have another customer that has experience in their particular situation, connect them. Hold a town hall-style meeting, a safe and open space for all of your clients to connect with your leadership and all company employees.

On your website, in emails, and on social media, keep your messaging consistent. Show empathy, but underscore the fact that business goes on and you are there to help your customers succeed.

Pro tip: Get ahead of your receivables, but with kindness and empathy. Do not hide behind email to collect payments or harass customers.

If you have an invoice coming due with a particular customer that has been impacted severely by the pandemic, call that customer or send them a video message so they can see your face, then do your best to help.

Managing the shift to digital

First, embrace the messy. Any abrupt transition is going to be tough. Work hard, knowing that everything will not be perfect the first time you host a video call, for example.

That’s okay.

Embrace the messy and learn from each experience. You will get better. But if you spend too much time trying to make things perfect before you get started, you’ll never move forward.

Second, live in the solution. In trying times, it’s easy to look back and think of how you could have handled things differently. With COVID-19, there was not much most businesses could have done. Regardless, focus your energy on the solution.

You can’t change yesterday. What can you do today, tomorrow, and next week?

The COVID pandemic has changed the world of business. If you spend the time waiting for normalcy to return, there’s a chance you might not survive. Smart businesses are diving into digital solutions, knowing they might not get it all right at first.

 

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Source: https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/virtual-selling-coronavirus-questions-sales

How do I work from home? Tips from the experienced

Most people spend months getting into the rhythm of remote work

Many Americans are trying to get that rhythm down with day’s notice. COVID-19 has made it to nearly every state including Alabama. With at least 28 confirmed cases (as of midday March 16) in Sweet Home Alabama, some businesses are telling their employees to stay home and avoid contact with the outside world as much as possible.

“It’s a big adjustment to start working from home,” said Tyler Reeves, a financial planner based in Birmingham. Reeves runs a one-man-show and has been working from his home office for a little over three years. First things first, he said, “dampen your expectations.” Working from home isn’t something you master in a day, he said.

“It is going to take a lot to get used to this,” Reeves said. “Give yourself some slack, and realize that these aren’t normal times.”

There are steps one can take to feel a little more “normal,” he said.

 

Find a routine

If you don’t work past 5 p.m. normally, said Kevin DeLeon, a web developer working remotely in Mobile, don’t pass that point when you’re at home. If you don’t work earlier than 8 a.m., don’t start that early from your bed.

Using the time you’d spend commuting, DeLeon said, to accomplish a personal goal, make breakfast or take a walk with your dog will get your day started on a better mental note.

“Office life gives you a forced schedule that you have to follow,” he said. “Form good habits early on and develop a routine.”

And developing a routine is important when trying to avoid feelings of guilt, he said. It’s easy to get locked in because you want your company to know you are putting in the work, he said but discussing trust and making others aware of your schedule can prevent harsh thoughts like, “Am I doing enough?”

Tarah Keech, coach and founder of Burnout Survival, suggests blocking out time for lunch or breaks on a public and personal calendar.

 

Listen to your mind and body

Blocking time out for yourself is crucial, Keech said. “You’ll be amazed at all you can do from home.” Letting the “new normal” sink in, she said, and taking breaks when you need them will better your performance.

DeLeon likes to step out on his back deck for a breath of fresh air, take 15 minutes to jog in place, do stretches or pick up the guitar in between jobs to refresh.

During these times, Keech said, mute your devices and go offline if you need a moment away from work. Simply getting up and walking around will help pass the day. In addition to physical activities, make sure you are eating regularly and drinking water, Reeves said.

“I know people who started working from home and didn’t realize they were eating more or less or not drinking enough water or spending too much time sitting,” he said. “Anything you can do to get outside and not just sit in front of the computer for eight hours straight will make this a better experience.”

 

 

Stay connected

And your co-workers can help a good bit with that too.

And if you don’t have a built-in work network, create your own for the time being. Reeves, who owns and runs his business alone, is a part of a financial planning organization and the group hosts video chats to see how people are doing, what they are going through and more.

Switching from emails to calls and calls to video chats is a brilliant way to kill some of the isolation, Keech said. “Connect on platforms and chats that you already love,” she said.

And if DeLeon can make it work from Mobile, Alabama, with co-workers on both coasts in New York and California, he said, we can make it work for the time being as a community.

 

Create a dedicated workspace

But, making it work involves more than a connection. Finding a place to do your best work is important, Reeves said. Setting up wherever you feel comfortable and focused will better your at-home work experience.

Whether that be at the kitchen table, on a couch, at a desk or on the floor somewhere, find a place that you can make your own, Keech recommends.

Julie Kenney, owner and designer at Inspired Closets Mobile, suggests finding a place that is quiet for phone calls and when the work is done, “close the door.”

And finding that place might be difficult for parents who have their children at home, Kenney said, but letting them help you draft a schedule for them can give parents the time they need to get work done.

Stay positive, take advantage of being at home while you can

There are probably tons of projects that have been put off, and now you have nothing but time at home to complete them.

Kenney, whose business specializes in helping people get organized, recommends cleaning and sorting drawers with the kids, going through closets and sorting to donate, working in the yard, painting a bedroom or organizing family photos.

Planning during the weekend or after 5 p.m. for the next day can keep you busy, she said. “Review what’s in your freezer, pantry and fridge,” she said. “Toss out any old, expired food that may be taking up space, and create a shopping list that can be available for a couple of weeks.”

Clean out your medicine cabinet, and make sure you have the basics on-hand if anyone gets sick, she said.

In the end, “how we think about what we think about will change our view,” Keech said. “If you have been unhappy in your career or job, this is an opportunity to show up and be who you want to be,” she said. “Think of ways you can be 110% from home.”

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88% of Sales Calls Are Useless – Here’s Why….

Customer indecision is severely reducing the effectiveness of the sales operation

There’s a stark truth every business that depends on sales growth needs to take on board. According to Forrester research, around 88% of sales calls are viewed by customers as being ineffective; i.e. they add no value at all to the customer’s life. Paying anyone to succeed only 12% of their time at work in any role is a terrifying thought. But when that pitiful strike rate applies to the very engine of the company’s growth – sales – it’s enough to leave the most seasoned business leader screaming!

The situation may be tough. But at least there are no mysteries surrounding this level of failure. The customers surveyed by Forrester confirmed they don’t respond to that mighty 88% of sales calls because there’s nothing in it for them when they do. It’s just more noise and more stuff –“cognitive overload” if you want a technical term.

The people making the calls are unable to communicate the full value – or any real value – of their sales message. They often don’t know enough about their industry, their market and their solution to be convincing. And when you know less about what you’re selling than the guy you’re trying to sell it to knows, it’s a fair bet that you’re in trouble.

What Other Operational Area of YOUR Business Would Accept a 12% Success Rate?

Of course, there are organizations that would regard a 12% success rate as adequate. Successful even. They would see themselves as keeping pace with competitors. Maybe even outpacing them. So that’s ok? Well sorry, but no it isn’t ok. Not if you want to create a profitable organization, fueled by vigorous sales-led growth. Drill down into the successes – those times you do get through and have your message listened to by a customer. Even in that situation of viable opportunity, you’re likely losing out around 76% of the time. How so?

Credible data suggests that 16% of sales lost will be to competitors. Again, you might think it perfectly ok to retain well over 80% of your closable sales. That looks like a home run … until you dig deeper. Competitors leave you with four-fifths of the potential pie. But it’s not your commercial rivals who are eating your cheese (and whatever other filling you have in your pie). The culprit isn’t an honorable foe in a clean fought battle. It’s the miserable, skulking, creeping fog that is customer indecision.

 

Customer Indecision – Accounting for a Pretty Decisive 60% of Lost Sales

Indecision accounts for around 60% of lost sales. Customers take an age to make their minds up. Somewhere along the way, the love and enthusiasm die. And you lose out. What are the reasons for this very undesirable situation? And what can you do to improve it?

Start with a deep realization: there is no advantage to you in letting customer indecision creep in and take root. You need to stand out fast. You need to stand out enough to trigger a decision – even if that decision goes against you. And you either need to make the sale or make your way out of the situation and on to the next opportunity. The long sales cycle never makes you a winner. Take a hard look at your current pipeline. If it is clogged with sluggish, wannabe deals that are not really going anywhere, examine the root causes and take action.

Effective action depends on making a second realization. Most customers are “indecisive” for a small number of important reasons. The key driver is commoditization. Customers do not see what you are offering as being different in any significant way. They could find it somewhere else, with at least a couple of viable alternatives and maybe dozens, or even hundreds, of other choices. And the first rule with any commodity is that you always buy it for the lowest price, not top dollar.

 

Can You EVER Win a Race to the Bottom on Costs?

Buying for lowest price means a race to the bottom for your costs, your margins and any prospect of a decent profit. You can only win this game if your whole operation is configured around delivering the lowest price and you know you can work on wafer-thin margins. BUT … If you need to make the best profit you can on the most sales you can achieve, you literally cannot afford the luxury of a bunch of “indecisive” customers. And you must, therefore, wake up and get real.

Think of the commoditized market as a Roman gladiator arena. You and your fellow combatants are out there on the sand under the burning sun. You’re the ones sweating and straining. Literally giving your life’s blood. In the end only one of you can win. Along the way, you’re providing entertainment for a bunch of guys sitting in the shade, in no hurry to put their thumbs up or down, as long as the show continues. Unlike a real gladiator, fortunately, you have the chance to walk away. So do that. Leave the arena. Work on some new moves. How?

Don’t be afraid to look very rationally – critically – at what you’re selling. If it is a commodity, re-configure to make the sale on a new basis: price led, fast, no prisoners. Thumbs up or down in a quick clean fight. If however you truly believe that your offer is stand-out, that it deserves real, focused, positive customer attention that leads to winning the business, then equip yourself to be a winner.

 

Get Yourself Some Lethal Weapons

Your new sales armory will include three lethal weapons:

1. Make Your Offer A “Must Have” Some estimates say that we are faced with around 35 thousand decisions a day. Even if the figure is closer to 350 or 35, that’s still a lot of decisions. So, clarify and tighten your offer. Strip out the “cognitive overload” and make choosing you – quickly and decisively – a no-brainer for your customers.

2. Make Your Sales Team Make Sense Become certain, through message clarification, training, and real understanding, that every time one of your salespeople makes a sales call, they will add value to the customer, drive a positive decision and eliminate indecision.

3. If You Don’t Win, Don’t Lose Out In The Sales Process Stop confusing activity with achievement. As soon as it becomes clear that your “customer” is just playing you, disengage. Cut your losses and move on. It’s a certainty that you will save resources and protect your credibility. It’s not impossible that some of those “indecisive” customers will quickly realize that you are exactly the kind of confident, successful and determined supplier they need.

 

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Source: www.revenuepathgroup.com

The Problem With Relationship-Based Sales

A business development consultant told me that 80% of new commissions come through relationships.

I don’t want to discount relationships. They’re important to us on a number of levels and a good portion of your work probably does come to you through some sort of relationship.

As a business development strategy though, you need to understand that things are changing.

First problem with relationships: They go away
It used to be that if you had a good relationship with the right person, all that client’s work flowed your way. In fact, when I was still working in architecture firms, I had a client who made all the facilities decisions for an extremely active and well-funded local organization. For almost 20 years he funneled all that organization’s work to us. Then he retired.

Your relationships are with human beings. They retire, change jobs, get promoted to different positions, basically experience some sort of change that makes that business development relationship less valuable to you. The relationships effectively go away.

Second problem with relationships: They’re just one person
It used to be that if you had a relationship with the right person, you could count on them to award the client’s or the prospect’s work to you. Today, decision making teams are getting bigger. There’s rarely one decision-maker. In fact, the average selection committee today is at least 6 people.

It’s not enough to have a relationship with one person. Now that your oldest, best client has a selection committee, your relationship with the Vice President isn’t enough. Your track record working with that client isn’t enough. There are 5 other people on the selection committee and that means that everyone you’re competing against may have a relationship with someone on the committee. In a simple vote, your relationship with one person on an ever-expanding selection committee loses.

Third problem with relationships: They make us lazy
Back when you had that relationship with the ultimate decision-maker, you could rely on them to advocate for you. They knew you, they’d worked with you, they trusted you and that was probably enough. Today, they’re not the ultimate decision-maker anymore and you haven’t equipped them with the tools they need to persuade the rest of the committee on your behalf.

Relationships are based on trust. In a one-to-one context that trust is usually built on experience over time. You don’t have that time anymore. Today, your clients and prospects learn about 70% of what they want to know about you before you even know they’re interested. What’s worse, you’re trying to gain the trust of a committee instead of the one person you’ve known for years. You can’t sit back and rely on that relationship to go in and carry the room. In a multiple-decision-maker world, where your prospects think you and all your competition looks the same, sounds the same and acts the same, you have to make yourself the clear choice and gain fast trust.

It’s up to you.
Keep building relationships. That still has to be part of your business development strategy. But go in with your eyes wide open. There are three keys to making the most of your business development relationships:

Have a clear message.
You need to clearly state what your convincing advantages are … the reasons why your prospects should choose you. Those advantages have to be clear enough (and stated enough) that those advocating relationships can repeat them just as easily as you can.

It’s not about you.
As experienced and qualified as you are, the decision-makers and selection committees are only interested in the firm that addresses their pains, threats, and fears. In order to gain fast trust, you have to demonstrate that you understand what’s keeping your prospects up at night and make your messaging all about them.

Have a conversation.
What it takes to get in the room is not the same as what it takes to win the room. That old-school relationship may have gotten you to the short-list interview, but now you’re in a room with 5 other people sitting, arms-crossed wondering why they should pick you.

You don’t know them; they don’t know you. Remember when you first met that person that’s now “your relationship”? It started with a conversation. Don’t talk about yourself like everyone else does. Win the room, and the project, by starting a conversation with them, about them. They’ll feel like you understand them, you’ll build fast-trust, and you’ll differentiate yourself from your competition.

Are you relying on old-school relationships or building fast-trust that differentiates your firm and makes you the clear choice for the right projects and the right fees?

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Source: https://blog.revenuepathgroup.com/blog/three-problems-with-relationship-based-business-development

Reputation Management – Who cares?

We have all heard about Reputation Management, and we know that it is a critical aspect of your business’s online and live profile… now let’s understand why.

Here’s an example that many of us can relate to. Imagine that you are thinking of going to a movie. If you are like a lot of people, you will probably first get online and look at all the movies that are playing and their reviews. Are you going to go to the movie that has awesome reviews, or the one that people say is a disappointment? Although a tremendous online review is good for a new movie, does it matter for you, the business looking to grow?

It isn’t news that businesses rely on the internet to research for the best product or service available to them. To get the best deal and the best product, people will use social media, review sites, even competitors’ websites. With everything out there, businesses need every advantage that they can get – – and they need to avoid potential catastrophes that could easily result from even one bad review.

Understanding reputation management can be vital for advancing your business – especially in a digital world where one negative online search result can be the difference between closing that deal or losing that revenue to a competitor.

When your online reputation really counts

Although your online reputation matters 24/7, there are some times when it seems to play a more critical role than others. Some real-world examples of when a good reputation really matters…

  • Closing a Deal

  • A Prospect is Doing Comparison Shopping

  • Potential Customers Searching for Online Reviews of Your Business

  • Selling Your Business

  • Networking

What is Reputation Management?

Before going too far down the reputation rabbit hole, we should outline a basic definition of what reputation management is. A basic description would be that reputation management is managing your reputation. But in reality, it is much more than that. Not only is reputation management managing your reputation by monitoring both the good and bad associated with your business online, but it is also being able to do something about those good and bad comments, reviews, etc.

How you monitor your online reputation

There are currently many different ways that you can monitor your online reputation. From apps to management companies, there are solutions to fit any size business. Knowledge is power so find a solution that works for you and move forward!

 

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