4 Tips for Sales-Leads Follow Ups

When it comes to the worlds of sales and marketing, there are always items that we can look at to improve our effectiveness.

In marketing, it may be that we want to increase brand awareness and acquire more leads. Or, it could be that we want to do a better job of attracting leads that are more qualified before they are handed off to the sales team.

But when it comes to Sales, one of our goals, that should always be high on our priority list, has to do with our follow-up process.

Here are four tips to help increase the effectiveness of your lead follow-up process:

  • Do your research: If we want a sales call to go smoothly and turn into a success, we must take the time to learn what we can about each lead before we call them. We don’t need to go overboard — but in today’s world, we can quickly find out key details about most of the people that we may be interacting with. We should look at the data on social networks and in our contact history records. That data can help us to deliver a relevant and compelling message to each lead.
  • Be ready to get to the point: Are people busier than ever before? While I don’t know the answer to that, I do know that this is true: people have more communication and technology options at their fingertips than ever before! Thus, we must ensure that we can deliver our key message to people in a short period of time. Sales reps should have a catchy “elevator pitch” ready so they can quickly start the follow-up conversation and get it moving down the right path.
  • Recognize the difference between pushing and being too pushy: While sales does rely on doing what it takes to close deals, it is important not to come off as too aggressive or rude. Nowadays, people are quite apt to air their grievances or complaints about a company on their social networking profiles. If you are outsourcing your sales follow-up needs, or perhaps using someone with limited experience, help them to understand the consequences of their actions during the follow-up process. However, we must strike a balance. We need revenue to survive — and that doesn’t happen simply because we’re nice.  We need to find ways to ensure that our prospects understand the importance of looking at our products and/or services.
  • Be happy and passionate: People like interacting with someone that enjoys what they do. They also will be more willing to listen if they think you truly believe in the product or service that you are selling. The tone and content in our follow-up efforts can certainly leave a big impression on other people when they think about our brand.

These are just a few tips to help improve the sales lead follow-up process.

I hope that you find them helpful!

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Digital Marketing for 2017: Avoid These 3 Marketing Traps

According to Social Times, nearly 90 percent of companies rely on social media for all or part of their marketing. If you plan to use digital marketing in 2017 to promote your products or services, you should know that the internet is a powerful tool. If you use it well, you will receive great rewards. If you fall into one of the following traps, however, your results might not be what you expect.

Ignoring or Misusing Digital Data

When you market your business online, you will receive a ton of data that you can use to better align your marketing strategy with your audience. However, the sheer amount of information that you receive daily can be daunting, which may cause you to ignore important information or pay too much attention to data that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. The best strategy is to have one person handling all of your data and making informed decisions based on that data.

Too Many Irons in The Fire

If you have too many marketing strategies, you may stretch your marketing department thin. If you want to focus on digital marketing, make sure your resources are allocated properly. You may have to cut back on traditional marketing methods in order to free up the resources to launch an effective digital campaign.

Not Creating Enough Content

In digital marketing, content is vital. Blog posts, social media posts, press releases, web pages, and articles are all necessary to drive traffic to your website and promote your products. Don’t overlook the power of unique, fresh, and relevant content. It’s what drives a successful digital marketing strategy.

To make a marketing campaign successful, you must first identify what works and do it. However, you must also watch out for potential pitfalls and traps that can undermine your efforts.

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New Year, New Marketing Plan – Let’s Get Started

Do you set a personal resolution for the new year? About 41 percent of people do, and it pays off. People who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than those who don’t make resolutions. If you own a business, you should be making resolutions or goals for that business at the beginning of each new year as well, especially when it comes to marketing. So let’s get started.

Review

Before you can establish a marketing plan, you must review your performance for the previous year. Review your most successful strategies as well as those that didn’t do well. Did you achieve your goals? Could you have done anything differently? Also, look over your budget for the year. Did your budget play a role in your success or failure? If you had a tight budget and an unsuccessful marketing strategy, you may want to look for ways to increase your budget this year.

Plan

Once you have a good idea of what worked and what didn’t, it’s time to make a marketing plan for the new year. A basic plan will outline all of the strategies you plan to use, including strategies for print advertising, branding, events, public relations, social media, and web presence. Include a brief synopsis of the goals and budget of each plan as well as a breakdown of how you want to execute it.

Implement

All the planning in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t implement your marketing strategy effectively. Part of effective implementation is the ability to see when changes need to be made. If a strategy isn’t getting the response you hoped, don’t be afraid to make changes. Additionally, if you have money left over in your budget as you progress throughout the year, don’t hesitate to beef up a strategy or two.

It’s a new year, and it’s up to you to make it a great one with a new marketing plan for your business.

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Mobile Marketing and Direct Mail – A Match Made in Heaven

Marketing is more personal than ever. You can’t send a salesperson to talk with every potential customer. With mobile technology and direct mail, you speak to them directly. This is why mobile marketing and direct mail are a match made in heaven.

 

Customers spend more time on their smartphones than ever before. Around 40% of all internet activity originates from a smartphone according to Nielsen. Mobile use is so prevalent that Google announced plans to roll out mobile-first search listings. Consumers report that they search for businesses when they feel a need for a product or service.

 

The growing power of mobile is well known. Yet many overlook direct mail. In the digital age, a well-designed direct mailing may win your customer’s attention. It slips past all the distractions online and reaches your customers where they live and work.

 

On the surface, direct mail may seem old-fashioned compared to modern mobile marketing. Direct mail and mobile marketing have much in common:

  • Both are individual and personalized. Savvy marketers send targeted messages to prospects.
  • They both reach customers at home. Your material is at your customer’s fingertips at the moment they make a purchasing decision.
  • Both are cost-effective compared to mass media promotion like advertising and media campaigns.

Direct mail is most effective when paired with your mobile marketing plan. Your mailing may include special offers and QR codes to inspire customers to connect with you. They may be more likely to use your code to send a text or follow a link than to make a telephone call. If your offer is attractive, customers may even visit your business to claim the offer. Best of all, your direct mail may slip right past all the competing marketing noise online. This combination is a marketing match made in heaven!

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How to Handle Complaints Through Social Media

If your business currently has a social media presence, you may have gone through the dreaded issue of having a customer post a complaint on the wall of your business page. This can be incredibly disheartening and make you wonder if it will cause you to develop a “bad reputation”, but the truth is that you can (and will) get through it with great success. In fact, it is how you handle this roadblock that will give you serious points in the eyes of prior and future customers.

 

The Basis of Truth

 

Your response to a complaint on your social media platform will depend on the validity of the person’s claim. Was it true that your company made a mistake, or was negligent in some way? Determining this first will allow you to form a quick plan and be as graceful and humble as possible.

 

If the claim is true, you should write a response within no more than a couple of hours. It only will look worse on your part if you do not have a ready answer, as it will appear that you are avoiding the individual and the topic. Discuss it in a public forum, such as right on the same post. Keep your statements brief, and ask for clarification. Then, offer a solution that will be in the best interest of the customer. Even if he or she chooses not to take you up on your offer, you will have the advantage of looking like a professional and compassionate representative of your company.

 

Rise Above and Beyond the Expectations

 

Many individuals who write about their negative experiences with a company on social media do not expect to hear back from said company within a short period of time, if at all. If you give him or her the benefit of the doubt, be as clear as possible, and stick to how you can help to resolve the issue, you are certain to make it right with the customer. Also, you will serve to maintain your company’s solid reputation.

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Increase Your QR Code Scans With these 3 Tips

In the modern society, QR codes are essential marketing tools used by businesses. They make the aspect of mobile marketing efficient. It is a perfect way that necessitates the promoting of services and products to the clients. QR codes offer a direct link to the online sites of the firm. One aspect that makes them reliable for marketing is because they are applicable across the globe. Therefore, customers from every country can engage directly with the organization and view advertisements with ease at a lower cost. Therefore, it is advisable to incorporate QR codes as crucial parts of your marketing strategies. Below are essential tips that can help in increasing your QR code scans.

Offer Essential Guidelines Near the QR Code

Many businesses print plain QR codes on brochures and other materials without providing instructions on how to use them. Therefore, many customers do not know the need of those codes, and they just ignore them. It leads to low rates of QR code scans. If you want to increase your QR code scans, you must offer your customers helpful instructions on how to scan those codes on the printed materials.

Test the QR Codes

After incorporating the QR codes as a marketing tool for your business, you should test them to enhance efficiency before printing them on different materials. Testing is essential to ensure that they direct the customers to a mobile compatible website where they will be able to view different offers and advertisement of the firm. It will enable proper engagement with the company without complications and increase your QR code scans.

Ensure that the Destination URL is Short

QR codes are capable of holding a lot of data. However, the more the URLs are complicated, the harder it will be to scan the QR codes. Therefore, ensure that it is short to enhance efficiency. It will increase your QR code scans because clients will find it easy to perform the process.

Therefore, as a marketer, you should use the tips above to increase your QR code scans. Always make sure that the codes are attractive and that your people are aware of their existence on the prints.

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Integrated Marketing Tips for The New Year

What is integrated marketing? Simply put, integrated marketing is a strategy that displays a consistent brand message across multiple platforms. There are various avenues to market your brand, whether it be the internet, television, radio or print media. In order to reach as many people as possible, many marketings opt to utilize more than one avenue. The point of integrated marketing is that the message consistent about what the brand is. With integrated marketing expected to be one of the bigger trends in 2017, marketers are looking for new tips to employ in the new year. Here are four tips for integrated marketing.

1. Find the Best Platforms to Integrate.

Once you know the target audience, you can figure out which platforms are best to sell on. For instance, if you want to target a younger audience, marketing strategies that involve the internet is the way to go. Meanwhile, an older audience is more likely to use traditional media like television. Do your research and find out what are the most suitable platforms to market your brand on.

2. Use a Marketing Management Platform.

Integrated marketing can become messy. It’s easy to forget one marketing platform when you’re busy cultivating another. That’s why you should use some kind of management software to stay organized. Resource managers are available to simplify the process for you.

3. Come Up with a Brilliant Message.

Because integrated marketing is about consistency, you need to come up with one clear and concise message to spread across all platforms. Not only does it need to represent your brand well, it needs to fit seamlessly with whatever platform it is being marketed in.

4. Look for New Ways to Integrate. 

Change in the marketing world is constant. It is ultimately up to the entrepreneur to stay ahead of the curb. Always be on the lookout for new ways to revise and improve your marketing strategy.

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Direct Mail is Worth the Investment

When it comes to advertising, most companies feel that email is the best way to reach consumers.  All too often, they push aside print media options as they feel they are too costly.  In truth direct mail pieces are a great medium to turn those leads into customers.

Low Cost per Each Lead

While you may be right in thinking that emails are less costly than direct mail pieces, it is not the cost of the marketing that should be part of your strategy, but the actually cost per lead that the piece generates.  The cost per lead of your average, letter sized, direct mail piece is lower than emails, pay per clicks, print ads, and telemarketing efforts.  This number drops even lower when you utilize personalization in direct mail pieces or include personalized offers.

Mailing Lists for Direct Mail are More Accurate

Since mailing addresses are regulated by the post office, they are often updated and will have any bad or incomplete addresses removed.  Email lists tend to be less accurate as many people will use fake addresses or email addresses they never check when signing up for newsletters or logins they are required.  With emails, you also have a high chance of emails going to spam, where as a direct mail piece is almost always delivered to the recipient.

Direct Mail Lasts Longer

Basically in terms of shelf life, direct mail has emails and telemarketing campaigns beat.  People are quick to delete emails or clear voicemails without even listening to them or reading them and they are then gone forever.  While direct mail may sit around a little bit, either on a table or a drawer, many people will at least look at its contents once, even if it’s to just check for offers.  Either way your direct mail piece will be hanging around in a large percentage of homes longer than an email.

So when planning your next marketing campaign, give direct mail another shot.  You will not only pay less per lead but benefit from a higher conversion rate as well.

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3 Reasons You Should Include Forms on Your Website

Whether you have a small business or a corporate website, including forms can be a low-cost way to begin customer interaction. Below are just a few of the reasons you should add forms to your website:

1. Capture Visitor Information

An online form can track and record a wealth of information that you may not be able to get (or remember to ask) during a phone call. The simplest and most common form across the web is a company contact form. While it may seem to only capture basic information like a person’s name and phone number, you can ask additional information such as where they heard about you or their job title.

If you use a tool that connects forms to a marketing platform, you can also gain insights to information not asked within the form, including which pages of your site they’ve visited, how they got there, and the dates and times of all activities within your site.

2. Provide Communication Options

People can be shy, busy, or just prefer to deal with companies electronically. It’s a good idea to give them options for ways to connect with you. Ever needed to contact a company after their business hours and then try to remember to contact them the next day? Forms provide a way for your company to be accessible anytime, so you don’t miss out on important communication.

3. Customizable and Versatile

One of the best benefits of using forms is that they’re completely customizable and can be adapted for many uses, including:

  • Blog/newsletter subscriptions
  • E-book downloads
  • Event registrations
  • Demo requests

Including forms on your website can help you gain valuable insights into how people interact with your site and provide a window into customer buying habits.

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The Value of Direct Mail is Still Promising

So you think print is out, digital advertising is in, right? Wrong! Despite popular opinion, direct mail campaigns are still highly effective and can compete well with internet marketing. People are bombarded every day with words and images on their computer screens, and must continually fight these distractions if they are to get on with their day.

Your potential customers will at least have to hold your piece in their hand and glance at it before tossing it in the trash. If it is attractive or interesting enough they may look at it a bit longer and make a mental note that you exist. Who hasn’t paused to look at a travel brochure with colorful pictures even though they have no intention of taking an expensive trip? A physical piece of mail captures perhaps even more attention than it did before in this digital age.

Advertising through email is not necessarily the best approach to marketing either. As Craig Simpson writes in Entrepreneur Magazine, people are swamped with emails every day and often just don’t open them, partly for fear of spam or a virus. If they do open your email, they may be wary of clicking on a link or attachment they don’t trust.

Another factor, according to Simpson, is personal touch. People might just throw out a flier with loud, ugly advertising, but what if you received a nice, textured envelope with a real stamp that appears to be hand-written, shaped more like a greeting card than a business envelope? You would probably be intrigued and open it up just to feel the connection to a real human being.

The lesson that many successful businesses have learned is, don’t underestimate the power of direct mail!

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