7 Behavior Insights to Attract Small Business Customers

 

Small businesses practice distinct buying behaviors

For providers of value-added services or products who need to market to small business buyers, it’s critical to understand their needs and constraints. These seven proven behaviors summarize how, why and when buyers make their decisions and transactions.

1. Business owners have a distinct vendor selection process.

Based on information from a Gartner study, buyers generally divide prospect research into three blocks of time, usually around 20 minutes each.

In the research phase, prospects seek out potential partners. In the qualification phase, they engage with these potential partners to understand their capabilities. In the evaluation phase they move toward a decision.

It’s important to understand the phased approach, because it speaks to the need for marketers to have an integrated sales and marketing platform that touches prospects in all three phases. From case studies on your website to drip marketing campaigns, your entire marketing effort should be designed to touch prospects with information relevant to each phase.

2. Small businesses seek out particular data points about potential suppliers.

Smart marketers understand this selection process and deliver information that prospects are looking for. Often in the case of value-added services such as IT, buyers are looking for information about how things work and at what price. If you sell services to small businesses, make sure you convert the intangible into something tangible.

For example, ensure your white papers and case studies have clear visual models and illustrations that show how services are delivered, so you can advance from phase one to phase two.

3. Prospects are most likely to buy when they are in pain.

While marketers have long understood that they must identify pain and need, business owners often act based on particular events occurring in their business. In the example of outsourced IT, a prospect is more likely to seek out an IT partner directly following a cyber breach or similar event.

Marketing communication is like chocolate–you don’t want too much, or too little. Marketers need to find ways to be in front of prospects often without overwhelming them. Having an omnichannel communication approach provides opportunity for multiple touches without creating fatigue.

4. Provide proof.

Social proof has become game, set, and match in marketing today. Prospects will not only validate you on your website but will seek independent validation in the form of reviews on Angie’s List, Yelp and others. Make such validation easy to find or create your own social proof through testimonials and such.

5. Entrepreneurs want to grow.

Offers that focus on driving revenue are more meaningful than services that are categorized as a cost center. Business owners will pay a premium for outsourced services they view as accretive to building enterprise value.

In my consulting practice, I have consistently been able to up sell services when the service provided was directly related to improving the client’s service delivery or sales productivity.

6. Business owners care about value, not so much about price.

Business owners are trying to earn a profit themselves and understand there are costs associated with the benefits they buy. They want to see value from their suppliers.

While you may not need to be the cheapest, you do need to prove your value through total cost-of-ownership-type comparisons. Provide such data at the end of your interactions with them in phase three, after you’ve proven you are the supplier of choice.

7. Small business owners are firefighters.

They are time-starved with limited resources. They want their vendors to get to the point. Make sure your website navigation is clean, and ensure your white papers, testimonials and other marketing pieces are illustrative.

Knowing their time constraints, be maniacal about follow-up. As most suppliers have poor follow-through, providing personal attention and follow-up can separate you from the pack.

Source: https://www.inc.com/marc-emmer/want-to-attract-small-business-customers-use-these-behavior-insights-to-market-to-them-successfully.html?cid=search

 

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The biggest misconception about email marketing in the US…

I have to opt in to receive B2B emails..

After sending hundreds of thousands of B2B emails we want to share the single most misunderstood part about email marketing, we hear it everyday. So, we want to clear it up and provide the actual rules for CAN SPAM Compliance, because, in reality businesses can send other businesses emails as long as they comply with the CAN SPAM rules.

Here are the CAN SPAM rules for the USA so you can be better informed…

Do you use email in your business? The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email. It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” including email that promotes content on commercial websites. The law makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means all email – for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law.

Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $41,484, so non-compliance can be costly. But following the law isn’t complicated. Here’s a rundown of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
  3. Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.

Source: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

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6 Ways to Make Sure Your Sales Emails Dont Go to Spam

From Fortune 500 companies to scrappy startups, sending sales emails on a regular basis is a reality, so a large amount of time, strategy and effort goes into the process of sending these emails.

Yet, there is a massive blocker standing in the way of reaching your target’s inbox: spam filters.

1. Limit Links

Having an excessive amount of links in your email is one of the biggest red flags that will set spam filters off. Only include links that are absolutely essential to your sales email, such as your call-to-action, examples of your work for previous clients or something similar.

2. Keep the Exclamation Points To a Minimum

Punctuation marks like exclamation points are commonly found in spammy sales emails that litter our spam folders. Within your email, keep your exclamation points to a minimum, and quickly get to your point.

3. Dont Use Strange Fonts

Seemingly obscure fonts are another trigger that commonly set off spam filters. To combat this, stick to the default options your respective email provider gives to you. For example, on Gmail, Sans Serif is the default font. By using the fonts offered by your email provider, you’ll be reassuring the spam filters that your email was drafted in Gmail instead of being created by a sketchy bot.

4. Don’t Include Too Many Images

By keeping your text-to-image ratio at a reasonable level, you’ll be be decreasing the chances your email gets caught by the spam filters. As a rule of thumb, only use images that are absolutely essential to the content of your email. If you can’t, then it’s best to stick to text.

5. Don’t Use Sales Type Words

Words like “urgent” and “promo” and “sale” are easy targets for spam filters to identify and mark as junk mail. If you’re hosting a promotion that you truly think will add value to the prospects you’re reaching out to via email, then use a tool like Thesaurus.com to find some suitable synonyms to get the point across.

6. Include Your Physical Address & An Unsubscribe Link

Because of the CAN-SPAM Act, all senders must include a physical address as well as an unsubscribe link in all their emails. If you don’t, not only will you be violating this law, but your emails will also be much more likely to never make it through the spam filters. Platforms like Mailchimp make this process easy by having both your address and an unsubscribe link as a piece in all their email templates.

Email outreach is still one of the most commonly used forms of sales in the business world today. If you want to make sure your sales emails outsmart the tricky spam filters and reach your target’s inbox, start by following the best practices laid out in this article. Best of luck.

Source: By Dakota Shane Co-founder, Arctiphi@DakotaShane_Nun

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10 Skills You Need to leap ahead of your competition

According to Forrester, 93 percent of B2B (business-to-business) buyers say they “prefer buying online rather than from a salesperson.” Ugh.

Today, the most successful salespeople are part technician, part tactician and part consultant. The most effective selling style differs from market to market and product to product. Yet there is an evolving formula most effective in the majority of markets where technology is embedded in every solution, and relationship selling has been devalued.

1. BE AN ANALYST.

Among the most powerful differentiators today is information. The contemporary salesperson has access to data, and they know how to manipulate it in a form that is useful to customers. For example, exception reporting can trigger a response when a customer has not ordered something. You’re more likely to impress a customer by showing you’re paying attention.

2. BE TECH SAVVY.

To deliver the most effective solution, salespeople need to understand which technology applies to which problems. One approach may companies employ is matching salespeople with engineers or other technical subject matter experts to ensure technical competency is being presented to every customer.

3. BE A CONSULTANT.

While many companies talk about consultative selling, customers still try to put salespeople in their place. The consultative salesperson is an expert at “framing“- the art of demanding you are treated like a peer.

To do this, salespeople must frame every interaction. Before a meeting, they provide value-added information. During a meeting they manage how they are introduced, where they sit, what they wear, etc., with clear intention. For example, salespeople who offer only a few appointment times give the impression that they are in demand and not just available any time.

Once they have been framed as a consultant, they deliver the solutions customers value. This requires both technical knowledge and creativity. The most effective salespeople pull others into the conversation, such as Marketing and Operations. Often being a consultant within your company is as important as being one with the customers.

4. KNOW YOUR MARKET.

Understanding that some customers are left-brain thinkers, effective salespeople have research-driven data that support their positions. Fact-based selling brings validity to your offer.

5. TARGET THE RIGHT PROSPECTS.

In most markets there is too much competition to be a generalist. Targeting niche businesses and overwhelming them with value is the key to standing out. For example, one of our clients has positioned as a private label provider to regional furniture stores, which do not command as much attention from major brands. They have the ability to yield very specific expertise to a narrow audience.

6. BE MANIACAL ABOUT PIPELINE MANAGEMENT.

There are still some relics who dismiss the need for customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Their days are numbered. The complexity of today’s sales process requires that companies have a central hub where they can manage customer information and leverage marketing automation to provide useful, targeted campaigns. CRMs offer salespeople many other advantages such as mass email templates, tickler campaigns and more.

7. PARTNER WITH THE MARKETING DEPARTMENT.

Sales productivity today is driven by a partnership between sales and marketing. Integration of sales and marketing departments drive a cohesive message, positioning a brand for relevance, and driving more effective selling.

For example, with the proper use of CRM, new prospects have already been dripped (email marketing) in advance of every call with specific messaging about the products or services they are interested in. When sales and marketing are on the same page, the company’s SEO (search engine optimization) attracts the right prospects, and marketing provides useful tools likely to lead to conversion.

8. DEMONSTRATE YOUR SOCIAL PROOF.

To be solution sellers, the salespeople themselves need to demonstrate subject matter expertise. Social media tools like how-to videos, customer evangelism pieces, white papers and case studies provide “proof” of a company’s value, but when the salesperson originates them they position as the authority.

9. MASTER THE ART OF STORYTELLING.

While all the aforementioned methods are important to have in your tool chest, the best salespeople are great story tellers. It is a lost art.

Having a set of examples for every business solution is what separates the most enduring salespeople from the herd. Having both the substance and the delivery are of equal importance. Framing how you have solved other customers’ problems is the number-one trait of a subject matter expert.

10. CLOSE LIKE A PRO.

One constant that has not changed is that any good salesperson knows how to “ask for the order.” Many of the ideas offered here may “break the tie” or may simply be cost of admission. People still do business with people they like. So make sure you have communicated clearly in every step of the process and positioned yourself as a go-to solutions provider.

Source: https://www.inc.com/marc-emmer/10-skills-you-need-to-be-a-top-salesperson-in-2018.html?cid=search

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Hidden Leads

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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PROSPECTS GOING “COLD” WHEN THEY REALLY ARE NOT…

Have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult to win RFP’s?

WHAT IF YOU COULD WIN MORE RFP’S?

All the time, resources and energy that go in to RFP’s is incredible, and for what? a potential 1-3 shot of winning?

Let’s be honest, when buyers read the RFP response they will turn right to the page “Cost” or “Investment”. Most of us do it, lets just cut to the chase and steer it in your direction!

HERE IS A LITTLE TRICK….

When you fill in the cost of investment or pricing, add your testimonials immediately before the pricing. You create a neurological reaction that helps the prospect better understand how you have proven to help others resolve their business challenge,  provide a deeper connection to the prospects challenge and how you will help them fix their pain, threat or fear and more than anything else, you will stand out, you will be different from everyone else responding to the RFP.

It really works, the more you can surface the deep rooted business challenge/s and how you resolve, you have a significant advantage over your competition.

Stay tuned for next months sales growth tips and be sure to visit us for more Real Insights, Real Impact and Real Results

www.betterleadgen.com

 

If you can’t wait for more, just give Gerard a call 541-731-2973

WASTED OUTBOUND SALES EFFORTS BY TAKING SHOTS IN THE DARK

Who’s on your website?

With all the Marketing tools available today, many companies are still missing the boat when it comes to generating leads from their website. You lose 98% of your web traffic and dont even know who they are and that’s a problem. There are several companies that now offer website visitor tracking software so you can identify who is visiting your website.

3 things to look for with website visitor tracking software

 

#1 Budget

               When researching companies that offer “Website Visitor Tracking” make sure you understand their charges. Some providers charge based on the number of visitor clicks on your website, if your not getting much website traffic that might be ok, but if you have any decent amount of web traffic the costs will add up very quick and it can get expensive in a hurry.

#2 Data

               There are multiple points of data from each provider, be sure you are getting what you need. If you want potential contact info, make sure that your not just getting company names, but also data with potential contact info included. On a side note in some European countries your provider may not legally be allowed to provide contact info.

#3 Annual Agreements

                Some providers require an annual agreement, 12 months is a long time to go if your extremely confident that the program is a good fit for you. Look for month to month options until you feel confident that the program is a perfect fit.

 

To learn how to identify companies visiting your website click here or call 541-731-2973