In business today, many, but not all, have realized that there is no longer a Sales Team and a Marketing Team… but a SalesMarketing Team.
SalesMarketing can and will be defined in many ways by different groups, but basically, it is a combined effort of both the sales and the marketing departments.
Think of it like this, the focus of the sales department is to make money (or build revenue) through relationships and direct one-to-one contacts. Think phone calls (both cold and warm), reaching out to potential clients, and other activities like this to bring in more business. Alternatively, the marketing department is geared less toward making deals, and more toward creating product awareness. Examples of this would include reaching out via mailings, commercials, print ads, online ads, and more just to bring product awareness to potential groups of customers.
So, it stands to reason that SalesMarketing is a method to make money and increase relationships via marketing type outreach programs. A favorite concept today – especially within businesses that may not have the required capital to fill two departments.
How to Implement SalesMarketing
First, you must understand that SalesMarketing embodies all of the abovementioned concepts of both Sales and Marketing. Implementing SalesMarketing is basically like finding a good multi-tasker: someone who knows the sales pipeline and is marketing savvy.
Next, you have to realize that, although outliers exist, research shows that it takes between 4-12 touch points of intersection to close the deal and make the sale. If this holds true, then each “touch” needs to make a difference, stand out, and leave a lasting impression. This means that your outbound sales strategy is just not enough. You need a robust inbound SalesMarketing plan to keep you competitive and keep you growing.
A Unique Solution…
Here’s one scenario, you have just boosted a post on Facebook, and you are starting to see the results with clicks to your website. How would you like to know which businesses are clicking? Would that help you get your foot in the door with a direct call to a company that you already know is interested in your product or service?
Not a Facebook marketer? How about Twitter? Adwords? It doesn’t matter because Revenue Detective tracks all visitors to your website. Even those that just heard about you and decided to browse your services. In today’s world, this is a Sales and Marketing dream!
But wait, there’s more! Revenue Detective goes beyond tracking the anonymous website visitors; we also have features to track email campaigns, forms that are already on your website, individual emails that you send (yes, you can know when those invoices or sales proposals are opened!), and so much more.
https://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/s-l640-1.jpg640480Gerard Bottomleyhttps://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/revenue_336x280-01-1-300x250.jpgGerard Bottomley2020-05-19 23:08:202020-05-19 23:08:20The End of Sales & Marketing
Every crisis of global proportions always takes its toll on the economy and decimates startups, SMBs, and enterprises equally.
While it’s true that we currently witness bouts of panic buying and wiping out shelves with paper towels and food, B2B sales have suffered a slew of canceled events, unclosed deals, and missed opportunities.
The latest pandemic, COVID-19, has put a massive number of people all around the world in isolation or prompted them to practice social distancing. In case of the B2B industry, this self-Imposed quarantine means that there are no face-to-face appointments, one of the most important strategies for building relationships and loyalty with potential clients.
As the feeling of uncertainty and insecurity sets in and gets the better of us, fewer clients are willing to finalize deals in order to reduce their spending.
However, although we have to observe and analyze the way consumers behave under these new circumstances, we should make extra effort to keep our businesses going until we’re out of the woods.
Here are some tips to help you deal with these issues and keep your B2B sales strong during the coronavirus crisis.
Keep Your B2B Sales Strong During the Crisis:
Keep Your Cool
This is a general piece of advice, regardless of what kind of problem you’re facing.
Panicking and obsessing about how you’re doomed and how your business will fold within weeks won’t get you very far. It will only prevent you from finding a solution and spotting an opportunity when it shows up.
The thing is that this will be a very busy time for B2B sales reps and professionals because they’ll have to keep a close eye on the market, identify the demand, and adapt to the latest changes.
We still have no idea for how long this crisis will last, and that’s why it’s crucial to leave our fears aside and start preparing for what will come when everything goes back to normal.
Besides, as entrepreneurs, we need to find a way to continue doing business with each other in order to build loyalty with our existing and prospective customers, allow our employees to earn their livelihoods, and keep the money flowing.
It’s our responsibility to care for our teams, customers, and communities, and do everything in our power to overcome these challenges.
And that can be done only if we’re calm and collected.
Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenario
Having said that, it’s essential to take off your rose-colored spectacles and come to terms with the idea that things will get tough.
Check your numbers and monitor your analytics closely so that you can take additional steps to cut any unnecessary expenses.
This isn’t a pessimistic attitude, but a commonsensical one.
By realizing that your profit will very likely go south and that you won’t be able to hit your numbers, you’ll be able to plan how to stay afloat in times like these. Get ready for some unexpected objections and learn how to prepare for the worst-case sales scenarios.
Change Your Mindset
We’ve already mentioned the importance of face-to-face meetings in the world of B2B sales.
And now that in-person prospecting and networking have been put on hold, it’s only logical to find another way around and get in touch with your clients through the channels they currently use.
This means that you’ll have to compete for their attention with their coworkers, partners, clients, and an avalanche of notifications that they receive if they work from home.
Still, cold outreach is the safest and most effective prospecting and lead generation strategy at the moment.
Of course, if you have an opportunity to finalize a big deal at a full price, do it.
But the point is that you shouldn’t focus on hefty, big deals only.
If you can close a client willing to purchase a smaller subscription plan that initially negotiated, don’t hesitate and try to persuade them to go the whole nine yards.
Act quickly and take what you can. The situation changes on an hour-to-hour basis, so this bird-in-hand approach is what you should stick to.
I know that most salespeople don’t like this way of doing business, but these are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures.
Maintain Your Cash Flow
Having a steady cash flow should be your top priority.
And in line with our previous tip, it would be a good idea to give a solid discount to your potential customers who are willing to purchase an annual plan in advance. Just think about it as of an investment that will help your business make it through this lengthy rough patch.
Offering premium features within a regular plan is another way of encouraging your existing customers to extent their subscription and those who consider making a purchase to do it now and get a great deal.
It’s not the same, but when we were just starting out, we offered a huge discount on a popular software platform and acquired tons of customers as well as traffic.
The moral of the story is that people are always on the lookout for discounts, and it’s the same during the crisis times.
Another important point – make as many pre-paid deals as possible. That way, you’ll avoid cancellations.
Make a New Plan
It’s obvious that your quarterly or six-month plan won’t be of too much use.
Given that the situation is constantly fluctuating, it’s best not to make a mistake of creating another long-term plan, that will be rendered useless in a matter of weeks or even days.
Instead of that, create weekly plans that can be easily altered so that they can keep pace with the latest developments.
Keep the Lines of Communication With Your Customers Open
Your customers and prospects are upset and worried about their own and the health of their businesses too.
That’s why you should stay in touch with them and let them know that you’re willing to help them. It’s a great way to build trust and loyalty. Besides, showing empathy is one of the most important traits of great salespeople.
For example, we decided to offer free sales coaching to small business owners and sales team leads that need help. Our experienced sales experts will dedicate a couple of hours every week to talk about growth and sales.
Do what’s in your power to show your customers that you’re in the same boat, as well as to nurture reliability and consistency during these hard times.
CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION
https://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/AdobeStock_325613525.jpeg300501Gerard Bottomleyhttps://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/revenue_336x280-01-1-300x250.jpgGerard Bottomley2020-04-07 00:28:382020-04-07 00:28:38How to Keep Your B2B Sales Strong During the Coronavirus Crisis
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.
Who Can Apply
This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by coronavirus/COVID-19.
Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries.
Small businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible at the store and location level if the store employs less than 500 workers. This means each store location could be eligible.
How to Apply
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.
Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020.
Loan Details and Forgiveness
The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.
This loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of .5%.
If you wish to begin preparing your application, you can download a sample form to see the information that will be requested from you.
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are currently eligible to apply for disaster assistance.
Enhanced Debt Relief is also available in SBA’s other business loan programs to help small businesses overcome the challenges created by this health crisis.
For information on additional Lending options, please click here.
SBA provides local assistance via 68 district offices and a nationwide network of resource partners. To find resources near you, please click here.
https://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/posteo-a-ftl-1150x600.jpg6001150Gerard Bottomleyhttps://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/revenue_336x280-01-1-300x250.jpgGerard Bottomley2020-04-02 04:42:532020-04-02 04:42:53What small businesses need to know about the government’s new forgivable loan program
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.
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.
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.
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.
https://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/roller-coaster-149508746-57ac7eb45f9b58974ace1b67.jpg16212161Gerard Bottomleyhttps://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/revenue_336x280-01-1-300x250.jpgGerard Bottomley2020-03-31 00:23:122020-08-11 00:14:33Virtual Selling In The Age Of Coronavirus
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.
People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include
Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
Children and teens
People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include
Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
Changes in sleep or eating patterns
Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
Worsening of chronic health problems
Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSAexternal icon) website.
Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.
Things you can do to support yourself
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
Children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. Parents can be more reassuring to others around them, especially children, if they are better prepared.
Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include
Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
Excessive worry or sadness
Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens
Poor school performance or avoiding school
Difficulty with attention and concentration
Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
Unexplained headaches or body pain
Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
There are many things you can do to support your child
Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.
Being separated from others if a healthcare provider thinks you may have been exposed to COVID-19 can be stressful, even if you do not get sick. Everyone feels differently after coming out of quarantine. Some feelings include :
Mixed emotions, including relief after quarantine
Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
Stress from the experience of monitoring yourself or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
Sadness, anger, or frustration because friends or loved ones have unfounded fears of contracting the disease from contact with you, even though you have been determined not to be contagious
Guilt about not being able to perform normal work or parenting duties during quarantine
Other emotional or mental health changes
Children may also feel upset or have other strong emotions if they, or someone they know, has been released from quarantine. You can help your child cope.
https://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/When-is-a-Good-Time-to-Work-on-Your-Mental-Wellness.jpg333500Gerard Bottomleyhttps://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/revenue_336x280-01-1-300x250.jpgGerard Bottomley2020-03-25 22:17:552020-03-25 22:19:19Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
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?”
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.”
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.”
https://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/revenue_336x280-01-1-300x250.jpg00Gerard Bottomleyhttps://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/revenue_336x280-01-1-300x250.jpgGerard Bottomley2020-03-17 23:14:172020-03-17 23:14:17How do I work from home? Tips from the experienced
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.
Click Here to schedule a complimentary consultation
There are a host of reasons that websites underperform for businesses that have them, even if they enter the website design process with the best of effort and intentions. Here are some of our thoughts on why websites don’t generate the business that company’s hope for:
1) They don’t understand their own target market.
It’s one thing to know your business and another entirely to know who is your “sweet spot” with respect to your target market. Without that, your web developer will be guessing when he creates the site, particularly if they don’t ask good questions
2) They don’t consider other marketing options other than a website.
Believe it or not, websites are competitive. There is only one top spot on Google, and you either have it or you don’t. Often times—in fact, most times, it takes work to achieve a top spot either through search engine optimization (SEO) or pay per click services. This is the most overlooked and underbudgeted issue with respect to website design.
3) Web designers don’t do their job. We’ve seen some terrible work over the years with the basics in website design completely violated.
Believe it or not, there’s a definite psychology to converting a viewer of a site to a client, there are SEO basics that must be done, and even colors and style matter tremendously in getting a client to call or fill out a form. This is also a real problem with site design– the basics aren’t even done because many web developers don’t know what they’re doing.
4) And lastly– Business owners treat their websites with an “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” Attitude.
They think that having a site is enough to generate business when that’s not nearly enough in most situations. Believe it or not, most websites have expiration dates. What? You say? Yes, they do. Technology changes and so should websites. This past week we had a client who was irritated when his website didn’t support Internet Explorer, a platform that Microsoft, who created it, hasn’t supported since 2016. We also don’t support Netscape and other antique browsers. The same is true of your website– you can have a “Model T” for a website. Just because you have one, doesn’t mean that you’re able to drive on the highway. Design changes quickly, as does technology. You’d be amazed how many websites are out there that are still not mobile-friendly, which means that their sites are devalued in Google, not to mention hard to surf on a mobile device. Realize that your site should be updated every 2-3 years in order to stay current.
Click Here to Schedule your free website review now
https://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/head-in-hands.jpg11191677Gerard Bottomleyhttps://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/revenue_336x280-01-1-300x250.jpgGerard Bottomley2020-03-04 01:40:392020-03-04 01:40:394 Reasons Why Websites Dont Work
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.
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.
https://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/unnamed-69.jpg341512Gerard Bottomleyhttps://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/revenue_336x280-01-1-300x250.jpgGerard Bottomley2020-02-25 01:26:382020-02-25 01:27:18How To uncover “Hidden Leads” On Your Website
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?
https://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Walk-Away-4da30f5a883c5_hires.jpg34192736Gerard Bottomleyhttps://therevenuedetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/revenue_336x280-01-1-300x250.jpgGerard Bottomley2020-02-25 01:07:152020-02-25 01:11:23The Problem With Relationship-Based Sales