Archive for October, 2010
There are many great sales methodologies out there, SPIN, Miller Heiman, EDGE framework and others. No matter which dogma you choose, they all have one common weakness, as good as they look on the page, they all need to be executed to matter.
There is no getting away from the fact that the biggest reason for a lack of sales is a lack of execution. The sad truth is that sales people know what they have to do, they just don’t do it. You can train them, but can’t make them. It’s the age old “doer and the thinker”, in sales the doer executes and wins. There are many great plans gathering dust on shelves, but the winning plans are the ones actually executed.
Join Tibor Shanto, a top sales expert and the co-author of “Harness The Trigger Events That Turn Prospects Into Customers”, and Yves Matson, senior account executive at ActiveConversion as they discuss strategies around sales methodologies and how to properly execute them.
In 45 minutes followed by a 15 min Q&A you will learn:
- How to successfully execute sales methodology?
- Why CRM systems do not get adopted?
- Why there is lack of execution?
- What are the four cornerstones of execution?
Every company should be building and developing a connection with Google; increasingly Google controls who meets who. Even in the B2B world where sales cycles can be long, Google was often right there at the very start showing who should get an initial meeting or a request for quote. Optimizing Google is a long term and continually ongoing effort; mostly it boils down to educating Google about what you are an expert on. This sentence of course hides a lot of complexity and I’d advise using experts, but at the heart of it is “what keywords, or keywords phrases, are you going to try and convince Google you are an expert on?”
Everyone focuses on the obvious words, the ones that spring to mind and usually the ones that cause them to despair that they are not on the first page of Google search results for. The downside is that almost everyone else is thinking the same way, these keywords can be extremely competitive. Unless you have been working hard at educating Google, there are usually companies with a better and/or longer relationship with Google, and you will likely fail at overcoming them and moving up in the search results. Using the Goldilocks theme, these words are “too hot”.
Of course educating Google that you are an expert on keywords that receive almost zero search traffic is no good either (“too cold”). An alternate strategy is to go for a larger basket of second tier keywords; they are winnable as there is less competition, and the larger basket of keywords equals or outperforms the handful of very popular obvious ones. Not to hot, not too cold, this bowl of keywords is “just right”.
The game theory theme of this post comes from changing your perception of search engine visibility from a zero sum game, one in which you win or lose that popular keyword, to a strategic, long term process in which you first win the second tier keywords, which with continual effort and investment, become an inroad to eventually winning the very popular keywords.
Most importantly, the ‘long tail’ can come into play. Longer, less common keywords might be just the right temperature for the searcher, as you will find that ‘san Francisco nob hill real estate’ will convert much better that ‘san francisco real estate’, which undoubtedly will have more volume (and competition) but much less relevance.
The long tail of a keyword represents a far greater number of searches than the head. In a 2008 report, Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise, revealed that for any given topic, the top 100 keywords account for just 5.7% of all website traffic – while long tail keywords account for the remaining 94.3%!
Author: Yves Matson
Sending out newsletters and other information about your company is a great way to keep both your customers and potential customers in the loop. They can also help with getting your message across in a timely manner and help with promotional items. But have you ever wondered why they started subscribing to your emails?
EmailStatCenter.com is reporting that, “67% of US internet users say the motivation behind giving their email address to a company is to receive discounts and promotions. -ExactTarget “Email X-Factor Study” (2010).” If this is the case for your subscribers, you got over the first hurdle which is to get them to subscribe, but then you have to keep them engaging.
Segmenting Your Audience
Another key point in email marketing is making your readers feel like you didn’t send out a mass email. They probably know you are sending out a mass email, but the more targeted you can make the email, the more you can make them feel like they are getting a private email from you.
BtoB Online points out, “Understanding the status of the subscriber is critical in crafting your copy. Are they customers, prospects, lapsed customers or lapsed prospects? Imagine the different messages you could convey just on that knowledge alone.” If you don’t already have a few different emails drafted to send to these different categories of subscribers, test it out see if you see better conversion rates.
Call to Action
Having a call to action can be very beneficial—not to mention a great way to measure how many people are reading your emails. Most email programs have metrics for how many people are reading your emails, but what you may not know is if people don’t scroll down far enough in the email then many email software programs don’t count that open rate.
Setting up specific landing pages for your readers is a great way to measure not only the people opening your emails, but the number of readers who are actively engaging in your brand. If you already do this, see if moving your link from the middle or bottom of the email to the top has a better response. The more you change things up, the better you can see what works and what works better.
Scheduling your email is just as important as the copy and who you are sending it to. Daily tips or emails can be a great idea, but who is going to take the time to actually read and click through your email every day—probably not many. Instead try and keep it to monthly or even bi-monthly. It saves you time, and your customers can get more information in each email—which could make them more eager to read it.
Email marketing is a great tactic to utilize, and “according to the Direct Marketing Association, every dollar spent on e-mail marketing generates $43.62 in revenue,” reports DM News. Keep in mind this is just an average, being able to hone your skills and get more organized can produce even better results. What have you found useful?
Shannon Suetos is an expert writer on phone systems based in San Diego, California. She writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as VoIP service at Resource Nation.
Mitch Joel, http://www.twistimage.com/ the author of “Six Degrees of Separation” says sometimes negative customer’s reviews provide better opportunities for a business. Though negative reviews are not taken that well by businesses, it might be a game changer for your business.
Customers provide their reviews for the product they bought from you, and also for the kind of service they received with the level of support they get – and all these help establish credibility and bring in potential customers and inquiries. Though the majority of product reviews on the web are encountered for B2C kind of engagements, B2Bs can also reap the value customer reviews and help bring their offerings to the same ball game. One of the biggest barriers to businesses implementing customer reviews is the fear of negative comment(s). Contrary to the popular belief that it is better to only display positive reviews, negative reviews do hold some value. Here are some of the benefits for having not so perfect product reviews:
1. Not so perfect reviews means that the published reviews are genuine and not necessarily fabricated. They establish authenticity!
2. Decision makers often check for reviews to make their final decision, so having them helps confirm their decision
3. Negative reviews can help you correct that particular negativity
4. Companies can also find ways to better their business/product or service based on the reviews submitted.
Some interesting stats from PowerReviews that you might find useful:
This is for all the businesses out there. Human nature is to look and find negativity first, so don’t be afraid to be a human first and show some of your imperfection – it’s all well. Thus, negative reviews can help make you a better business. How can we all improve if everyone said that we were perfect? We cannot, and that’s the truth. The world is imperfect, as we commonly say it, and our mistakes makes us perfect.
Join Fred Yee at Calgary Technologies Inc on October 14th 2010 from 12:00PM to 1:00PM as he talks about the real truth behind SEO and what myths and misconceptions prevent companies from achieving success with SEO, social media and online media.
Fred Yee is the President at FoundPages and he will share best practices, including reviewing attendee’s websites for maximum visibility, effectiveness & conversion.
To learn more about SEO & Conversion, download and read our eGuide.
CTI Lunch & Learn sessions are free and held in a boardroom at the Alastair Ross Technology Centre (3553 31 Street NW, Calgary). Lunches can be purchased by cash only at Choices Cafe in the lobby.