yesterday's sales tools

Why Yesterday’s Sales Tools Are Not Working

What Are Yesterday’s Sales Tools?

When asked about successful selling today, cold calling is not at the top of the list. However, in the past, it would have easily ranked top. Why the change? Well, today people are extremely turned off by sales people and cold calling. It used to be that having a sales rep walk through the door meant that you were going to learn the newest and greatest gadgets or services that was going to help you to stay competitive and broaden your business. So, in light of that, people were more inclined to take the time to listen to a salesperson give their pitch. Read More

lead indicators

How Lead Indicators Can Be One of Your Best Sales Tools

What Are Lead Indicators?

As technology advances, we are able to evolve and refine the sales process more and more and our sales tools are able to become more sophisticated. Online web traffic has obviously became a more prominent marketing avenue and leads are increasingly converting on our websites. So, it makes sense to segment this online lead flow using lead indicators, but what are lead indicators? Lead indicators are automatic triggers that switch the status of a lead in the CRM, based on their interaction with various parts of your website. Read More

inbound overview

Sales Tools — Inbound Overview

Introduction to Inbound

Over the last couple of weeks, Blue Phoenix has came out with a series of blog posts geared around sales tools for companies who want to generate warm leads, as well as manage their lead flow better while freeing up their sales team to focus on the sales funnel less and more on the pipeline. This is really about generating inbound leads and nurturing them via content and automated processes until the customer is ready to hear from the sales team. Read More

sales tools

Sales Tools — Inbound Management

What is Inbound Management?

If you are like most businesses, finding time to consistently do blogging, social media updates, keyword research, and other marketing activities can be difficult amidst your everyday work-flow. Hiring an agency to handle this can alleviate your schedule so that you can focus on what you do as a company. You shouldn’t fall behind with these inbound sales tools cause it can hurt the performance of your company.  Read More

marketing platform

Sales Tools — Marketing Platform

What is a Marketing Platform?

Depending on which company you ask, you could get a different answer about what a marketing platform entails. So, to make this more succinct, I am going to tell you what it should be: A marketing platform is software that encompasses lead generation, social media, contact databases, email marketing, blogging, landing pages, website analytics, keyword analytics, and competitor analysis. Read More

marketing automation

Sales Tools — Marketing Automation

Why Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is one of your most time-saving sales tools, because it allows you to keep your sales funnel moving while salespeople focus on managing the pipeline. Automation not only allows you to move leads down the funnel, but also create what-if scenarios for when a lead seems to be not interested.

Isn’t Automation Impersonal?

Marketing automation can be impersonal if it is not used tactfully. As a general rule of thumb, you should make your automation as personal as possible. There are some basic ways of doing this, such as using your lead’s first name in an automated email (yes, this is possible). Yet, what really makes the process personal comes down to how well you understand your target market. If you understand your persona and what they need, want, and what problems they face, your automation will not seem impersonal. Instead, you will be relevant, understanding, and solution-oriented.

With that being said, depending on you market, you most likely will need to facilitate much of the close stage manually. Usually in sales, you have a point where your client has concerns or objections. This is a detail-oriented time of fact finding and deep diving into the prospect’s doubts and concerns and fielding these concerns takes more finesse than automation can offer. While there are still circumstances that require some finesse in the convert stage, these can be handled with if-then automation, which we will get into later in this article.

When to Automate

So, marketing automation should be done in the convert stage …  as well as the close and delight stages. Yes, that’s right. Once you have a contact in your database, you should either be working on moving them down the sales funnel and pipeline, or you should be providing as much post-sale value as possible.

While most of your blog posts that are sent to a closing prospect are likely to be suggested by the sales rep, it is not necessarily bad to send them updates on new blog posts that are being generated. This could lead to an expanded version of the contract that you are currently working on or it could simply further educate the prospect. If you really feel that you should not send these emails to clients that are talking to sales, then you can usually segment your contact list to select only those who are within certain stages of the buyer’s journey.

Delighting is all about providing value, so many of the things that attracted them in the first place, may still be relevant to them after the sale. Delighting the customer may seem like a less important step, especially if the customer was a short term customer and no longer needs your services. However, there is a lot of business to be had via referrals and keeping your company in the front of past customers minds is an easy way to achieve top-of-mind brand awareness and perhaps repeat business in the future.

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If-Then Automating

In the convert stage, much of the automation is done without the involvement of sales. Therefore, it makes sense to have a bit of intelligent automation that is sensitive to the actions of the lead. If your lead does not open an email that is intended to get them moving further down the pipeline, then perhaps they shouldn’t get an email in 3-4 days that is intended to move them even further. Instead, if they do not open it then perhaps they should get an email that looks different, but leads to the same important article that you are trying to show them.

This can be done as often or as little as you see fit for your target persona and demographic, but at some point, it may be most prudent to drop off for a while and try again with more informational emails at a later time. After all, you really do not want to lose a contact, just because your automated setup was too pushy.

Next Steps

Automation may or may not be included with your current marketing platform. If it is, then perhaps it is time to start taking advantage of its capabilities for your business’ growth.

lead nurturing

Sales Tools — Warm Lead Nurturing

Importance of Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing one of your most powerful sales tools for closing prospects, after they have converted to leads on your website. This is an important point of the buyer’s journey, as the lead is still interested in what you have to offer, but may not be ready to consider purchasing. Many prospects convert on your website, because they are searching for information. So, the challenge and purpose of lead nurturing is to move them from a newly converted lead to a sales qualified lead by taking them down the pathway of the buyer’s journey. Read More

content marketing

Sales Tools — Content Marketing

Content Marketing and Sales? Why?

Content creation is not what most people think of when they think of sales tools. Yet, content creation can be the foundation for generating warm leads that actually go somewhere. All too often, good salespeople burn out, because they are cold calling to people who are not interested in what they are offering. In the past, the definition of a good salesperson was someone who could make 300 call per day and find the one nugget in the gutter. However, the technology revolution brought us the internet and social media. Now the game has completely changed. Read More

buyer personas

Buyer Personas

Creating buyer personas can be a lucrative measure for your business to take in order to land more business and understand your customers needs more clearly. If you understand their needs more clearly, then you can better offer solutions to meet those needs. Ultimately, this will make you stand out among your competition and give your company the competitive edge that it needs to secure more business in the future. Therefore, from a foundational level, buyer personas can be one of the most powerful sales tools that you can have. Let’s get started! Read More