July 1, 2015 12:00 AM
In the ongoing battle for market share, brands pour over metrics and tweak strategies to increase customer loyalty. The stakes are high, customer acquisition costs are expensive and most businesses can’t afford to lose sales to competitors. With prices commoditized in many industries, today’s battleground is centered squarely on customer experiences.
July 1, 2015 12:00 AM
When you’re pregnant (or when your partner is pregnant), you start seeing pregnant women everywhere you go. Something similar happens every time we put together our annual summer issue, with its focus on technology’s impact on sales and marketing.
June 29, 2015 12:00 AM
By 2020, nearly 50 percent of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials. They are diverse, tech-savvy, socially connected, and more comfortable “job jumping” to find professional fulfillment. The way Millennials evaluate job opportunities is very different from past generations. Although they require new levels of flexibility, office perks and management styles, the potential return on investment is enormous.
June 29, 2015 03:31 PM
Ben Parr, venture capitalist , startup coach, former coeditor of Mashable, author and public speaker, lives at the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship. In his new book, “Captivology,” Parr identifies seven “captivation triggers” that he says are the essential tools for capturing attention for your ideas and products.
SMM: You’ve been traveling the country trying to capture attention for your book about capturing attention. What have you found to be most effective?
June 26, 2015 12:02 PM
Ashu Garg, general partner of Foundation Capital, recently remarked, “Technology today is both friend and foe for the CMO. The shift from art to science requires CMOs to reinvent themselves and their organizations or become irrelevant. The CMO of tomorrow is the data nerd of today.”
June 22, 2015 06:12 AM
We have a fantastic group of people in our sales function, and an equally fantastic group of people in our marketing function. But, as I am sure they do in your organization too, they often talk different languages and operate on different timeframes.
June 19, 2015 06:43 AM
Referral selling seems pretty simple, right? All you need to do is tell your salespeople to ask for referrals. Why wouldn’t they latch onto their most powerful sales strategy? After all, referred salespeople:
June 17, 2015 12:00 AM
“Nobody was winning.”
That’s what Robert Eggeman, Service Champion for Mettler-Toledo International’s multi-million dollar Process Analytics Division (www.mtcom/pro), said when he inherited the management of the company’s technical documents, called “Certificates of Calibration.”
June 15, 2015 06:33 AM
Critical thinking gets customers out of their box. During my graduate work in training and development, I had the good fortune of taking a psychology class. Toward the middle of the semester, the professor asked me if I would assist him in reviewing more than 20 years of research relating to the way people communicate. At first I was somewhat reluctant. It sounded like a lot of work, and I really didn’t have the time. Then I realized that he had been very helpful to me and very insightful when it came to the material he presented in class, and now he needed my help.
June 12, 2015 12:00 AM
Life in sales isn't fair. You know that. Some salespeople have more than their share of difficulties, and some salespeople get more breaks than they deserve.
What fascinates me is how salespeople respond to their difficulties. Some of them use their difficulties as an excuse for their lack of achievement, while others use their difficulties as the motivation for their success.
June 8, 2015 12:00 AM
How much does one-on-one sales manager coaching matter when it comes to sales force performance? A lot, according to new research from Vantage Point Performance and the Sales Management Association. In fact, companies that spend at least three hours per month managing each rep’s sales pipeline through coaching show 11 percent greater revenue growth than those that spend fewer than three hours per month, based on a survey of 62 business-to-business (B2B) companies, 39 percent with revenue greater than $1 billion and 37 percent with revenue greater than $250 million.
June 5, 2015 07:30 AM
Being a leader isn’t easy – if it were, everyone would be one. Leading others comes with more responsibility and accountability in all that you do, at all times. With that being said, it’s important to sharpen the traits that will mold you into the kind of leader you want to be.
At baseline, every leader should have honesty and integrity but in order to succeed and inspire others to respect you and grow your business, there are a few traits every good leader should work to develop and perfect.
June 1, 2015 06:51 AM
In today’s virtual age, many salespeople rely heavily on Internet-based sales and marketing strategies to sell products and increase market share. E-selling tactics such as direct email, interactive websites, online advertising, and social media programs are used to supplement traditional marketing, such as TV, radio, print advertising and public relations. All of these can certainly be effective in raising brand awareness. However, face-to-face selling is often the most effective way to build customer loyalty and boost sales.
May 29, 2015 12:00 AM
Higher rates of unsubscription can prove disastrous for companies. Consider an email list of 500,000 individuals. With a moderate unsubscribe rate of 0.2%, the company is losing 1,000 people per email. At an email a week, the company is dropping more than 4,000 prospects or customers a month, a significant deficit that will require marketing to work hard to rectify with new email leads. Reducing the rate of unsubscribes can pay substantial long-term benefits by converting more prospects into customers and encouraging repeat buying.
May 25, 2015 12:00 AM
Relationship selling goes beyond emotional intelligence to a disposition of being other-focused to such a degree that you are in tune with others’ emotions, hopes, and desires – and with how you can meet those needs. You can’t change anyone but yourself, so working on yourself is the best place to begin your journey of relationship selling.
May 22, 2015 12:00 AM
70 percent of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago, according to Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProf’s latest B2B Content Marketing report. With the use of custom content on the rise, many have predicted that in 2015, brands will begin to truly think like publishers. That means producing content that stands on its own merits – content that can attract and maintain an audience.
May 20, 2015 06:12 AM
Take personalization to a higher octave. When the Bellas realized their standard renditions of all-female classics weren’t making the cut, they found the key to their comeback was to switch up their repertoire and personalize their performance for the crowd. Taking a note from the Bellas’ success, effective marketing campaigns require personalization and knowing your audience.
May 18, 2015 12:00 AM
The benefit of eliminating the trivial many from your work schedule is that it leaves room for the most important tasks. For sales, few things are more critical to long-term success than getting out into the field and learning about your customers’ businesses. Greg McKeown offers an example in his book, "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less," from the non-sales world that exemplifies how frontline reconnaissance can pay off by providing new perspectives.
May 15, 2015 06:03 AM
As the founder and CEO of Recruiter.com, an online platform that helps companies hire great employees and candidates find jobs that they love, I’m tasked with evaluating and implementing the right tools for my team. Recently I decided to kick my CRM to the curb in the hopes of finding one that better suited my company’s specific needs. I started my search and quickly realized there are quite literally hundreds of CRM tools out there. It quickly became overwhelming deciding which would best meet my needs.
May 12, 2015 12:00 AM
In a business’s life cycle, everything from attracting and retaining customers to meeting and beating prices can get in the way of long-term success. But a recent survey by the Corporation for Enterprise Development throws another factor into the mix that affects vendors in a big way: cash flow.
May 11, 2015 12:00 AM
I’m sorry to say – but most sales and marketing leaders on LinkedIn do not have a strategy. They have a shopping list of tactics that need to be completed. But, there’s no cohesive strategy.
May 6, 2015 03:55 PM
Ken Schmidt participated in one of the most celebrated turnarounds in corporate history. The longtime motorcycle enthusiast’s association with Harley-Davidson Motor Company began in 1985, when he was asked to work with the then-struggling manufacturer to help restore the company’s image and create demand for its motorcycles.
May 4, 2015 06:41 AM
If you have ever received a sales call during dinner, it’s probably safe to assume you’ve had a bad experience with selling. Unfortunately, the same negative reaction you experienced while eating green beans with your family is now commonplace – at all times of day – in the current selling environment. In most business models, the sales department is fixated on selling. The problem with this approach is that people no longer want to be sold. They want to be educated on how a product or service will benefit them.
May 1, 2015 12:00 AM
Despite the increasing buzz around inbound marketing, smart sales and marketing professionals know they cannot get by on just inbound methods alone. As the attention has shifted to inbound marketing, outbound marketing has faded to the background. That isn’t to say that outbound marketing is dead, but outbound tactics from the last century are not enough today.
May 1, 2015 12:00 AM
In the lobby of my son’s residence hall at the University of Nebraska, similar to residence halls at a number of major colleges around the U.S., students are greeted each morning by stacks of newspapers that are free for the taking: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY and the Omaha and Lincoln dailies.