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3 Tips to Help Managers Coach Sellers More Effectively

Posted by Digital Media Training on Jan 13, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Managing a sales team can be challenging.

Sales managers are responsible for a range of diverse tasks, including managing a sales pipeline, coaching their team, forecasting, hiring new sales representatives, strategic planning, and sales administration.

Additionally, managers are held accountable for hitting sales quotas and responsible for a target list of accounts. Not to mention dealing with a variety of independent and strong willed salespeople who establish their own process with little to no daily contact with their managers.

With all of this in mind, we want to help make your job easier, so here are three things to focus your seller’s attention on:

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Tracking

Every year, salespeople are presented with new challenges. The challenge of selling in a more competitive marketplace, hitting a higher quota or goal, and all the while gaining more responsibilities.

As a manager, your job is to enable your seller’s success through coaching and support.

The first step is helping your sellers identify what metrics they should be tracking.

For example, each rep should know how many:

  • Open opportunities are in their pipeline
  • Closed opportunities (both won and lost)
  • Average deal size
  • Average sales cycle length

Once you’ve determined the key performance indicators important to you and your team, then you can create a dashboard that tracks and measures progress against these metrics.

Your dashboard can be as simple as using the CRM you already have in place, or creating a separate spreadsheet to track everything outside of the CRM. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s a platform your team can easily and consistently update.

When you have an understanding and baseline of your performance, it’s much easier to reverse engineer what it will take to hit your new quota or goals.

The First Conversation

The first meeting or the first conversation with a prospect is a crucial point in the sales process. It can either make or break the deal, which is why it’s vital to your sales team’s success.

You need to help your sellers strategize the first meeting in terms of:

  • Have you done your research? What do you know about the company/industry/person your meeting with?
  • What’s the goal of the meeting? (from their perspective and from ours)
  • What is this prospect trying to accomplish?
  • What do we need to learn? (Budget, timing, authority, etc.) What questions to ask?
  • Does our solution fit their needs?
  • What’s our next steps?

When you encourage your sellers to prepare for and consider in advance what the first meeting will look like, your reps will increase their confidence and ability to start the right conversation that leads to having a great first meeting.

Is it Worth It?

As a manager, you need to help your sellers prioritize their time and understand the difference between opportunities worth pursuing vs. dead end leads. To do this, analyze and refine your qualifying criteria.

Qualifying is one of the most important conversations a salesperson can have with their prospect. This is where you learn whether the prospect is a good fit for your solution and if it makes sense to move forward together, or go your separate ways.

HubSpot has put together this comprehensive guide that will take you step-by-step through the fundamentals of qualification, five different frameworks you can use, how disqualification works, and conversational tip-offs to listen for.

As you work with your salespeople, help them establish a measurement mindset in order to track their progress, emphasize the importance of the first meeting, and finally, work with your team to assess and refine your qualifying questions and criteria in order to maximize time spent with the right opportunities.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2013 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

 
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Topics: sales, training, sales tips, managing, sales coaching

3 Ways to Polish Your Sales Performance with an End-of-the-Year Evaluation

Posted by Digital Media Training on Dec 29, 2016 2:45:00 PM

The end of a year can conjure up positive connotations of new goals and resolutions, but it can also trigger lots of deep introspection and regret.

In sales, if you’ve already hit your target or are about to - why should evaluating the past be necessary? If you know you’re going to miss the mark on this year, quarter, or month - why would you want to relive your failures?

While it might be easier to jump ahead and see the year coming to an end as a new start, it’s equally important to look back with a sharp eye on the last few months.

Taking objective inventory of how you got where you are today and how you’ll try to replicate, improve upon, or completely refocus in the future is critical to making the next year even better.

Pay close attention to these three things during your end-of-the-year evaluation to help polish and improve your sales performance next year.

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Your Numbers

Regardless of whether the revenue goal is on track or not, there are a multitude of numbers/metrics you should be taking into consideration when evaluating your performance.

We sometimes think that if we make a change it will be evident almost instantaneously in our numbers, but sales is like a new workout regimen or a healthy diet - it takes time to see results. It also takes time to see set-backs.

Try this:

Pick two months to analyze. The first should be your worst month and the second should be your best.

How many first appointments did you have in each month? How many outreach emails did you send? How many phone calls did you make? How many proposals did you submit?

Look at those numbers in the months at hand or two leading up to each one.

What differences are apparent? Do you see a certain trend in previous months that affected your worst and best month?

Based on these numbers, determine what you would need to change in your processes or strategy to improve them.

Your Sales Stories

Sometimes we focus too much on anecdotes from our own experience. These make rare exceptions seem like the rule and they can ultimately impair us in future situations, but they are extremely valuable.

All sales usually seem unique, but there are many patterns that can be discerned when looking at the bigger picture. Looking at the larger story of your interaction with a lead (whether they closed or not) can provide you with valuable insight into what you led to them closing or walking away.

Try this:

Identify two particular sales - one that you thought wasn’t going to happen, but did and one that you were sure was going to close, but didn’t.

Do they have anything in common? What differentiated them? Look for what was in your control, but also recognize what was out of your hands. What can you learn to do differently next time?

Keep in mind that some things will always be out of your control, but it’s always important to debrief to strategy how you can better handle the situation in the future if it were to arise again.

Your Feedback

How many customer service surveys have you avoided taking? How about those regarding your performance?

Feedback is extremely valuable in providing otherwise missed insights and providing a base for improvement.

It can be daunting getting feedback since it can sometimes be looked at like criticism, but knowing how others perceive your actions will help you have a more objective view of yourself.

Try this:

Ask for feedback from your clients, manager, and moving forward - your prospects.

For those who bought from you, ask them what in your actions or presentation helped them make their decision.

For those who said “no” to your offer - ask them for candid feedback.  Their decision might have to do with your offering or it might be personal. Either way, knowing what it was that lost you the business will give you power for the future. You’ll be able to switch up your pitch and adjust your approach for the next prospect.

When it comes to your manager, set up a 30-minute meeting to see what feedback and insight they can provide. If you bring the numbers you should have analyzed by now, this can guide the meeting and help you both set a plan for the upcoming quarter.

Key Takeaway

It’s not always pleasant looking at ourselves with a critical eye. However, towards the end of the year, it’s necessary to take inventory of how we did and learn for the future.

Analyzing your numbers, stories, and getting feedback are the best ways to quickly determine what will make a difference in the coming year.

Take Client Relationships to the Next Level - Start Here

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2015 and has been updated.

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Topics: sales, sales coaching, sales performance review, sales performance, sales evaluation

Q&A with Domenic Venuto, The Weather Company

Posted by Digital Media Training on Dec 22, 2015 8:43:00 AM

Let's get to know Domenic:

As general manager for The Weather Company's Consumer Division, Domenic Venuto is responsible for leading the company's consumer weather products across all digital platforms as well as building Weather's location-based products, capabilities, activation, and analytics.

Domenic_Venuto.jpgThe Consumer Division includes AdFX, the team that creates localized ad targeting solutions using Weather's access to location data and the most comprehensive weather data in the world.

Prior to Weather, Venuto served as global president, data, technology & partnerships at VivaKi, of Publicis Groupe. There, he led a global team, overseeing product, strategy, engineering and partnerships to develop proprietary programmatic products that interface with external data, ad tech and publisher platforms. He has also held positions within Razorfish and started his career at Arthur Andersen.

As someone who knows how to develop effective strategies in shifting and disruptive climates, Domenic also believes that charm, good food, and intelligent straight talk can do wonders in moving an idea from slideware to reality.


Now it's time for the questions:

Which “hot topics” in the industry seem to be impacting your day-to-day most?

DV: The issues of the day are the same ones bouncing around our industry's echo chamber - viewability, fraud, and ad blocking. These are important issues that need to be addressed and we are doing our part for sure, but it doesn't dominate our day-to-day.

The two biggest hot topics we're 100% dedicated to are: continued innovation in our consumer products to meet the demands of shifting consumer habits and continued innovation in mobile ad models.

On the former we just launched our new app on the iOS platform and soon Android to great accolades and increased adoption. We will continue releasing updates throughout 2016. On the latter, we boast unique native elements like our branded backgrounds that sit under the forecast in the prime first place position on the app. These are beautifully designed and engaging experiences our advertisers love as they boost engagement a hundredfold over traditional banners.

How do you think your industry will change in the next year?

DV: It will become increasingly competitive. The consumer shift to mobile will continue and that will pose challenges to many businesses that have been built off the back of robust hardworking websites. Mobile for many has yet to yield that yield.

On the sales side we continue to see the need for consultative selling. A growing need more than ever in 2016 as the new dynamics demand it - especially as innovation and creativity is what is now building client relationships and defining success.

What changes do you see significantly impacting the media landscape in 2016?

DV: I think the items I mentioned in the answer to the previous question will have a great impact.

I'd only add that programmatic will definitely continue its dominance. Especially private marketplaces. This is a good thing. Advertisers need to own this capability in house and build these skills quickly.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

DV: "If you pay peanuts you get monkeys." Great talent is hard to find; don't skimp and you'll be rewarded.

5 Digital Media Websites You Should Be Checking Daily

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Topics: digital media, programmatic

5 Secrets to a Successfully Designed Powerpoint Presentation

Posted by Digital Media Training on Nov 3, 2015 9:00:00 AM

When designing a PowerPoint presentation, you must consider a variety of factors like: your audience, the purpose of the presentation, the information being presented, and just as importantly, how it's designed.

The content layout and design of your PowerPoint can make or break your entire presentation.

"Everything is designed. Few things are designed well." - Brian Reed

Presentation projector

Below, we have compiled a few helpful tips to beat those bad habits and make some rockin’ PowerPoints that will help your presentation stand out.

Let’s take a brief dive into the basics of design and how to apply them.

1. Cut the Clip Art

Just because it’s convenient to use doesn’t mean you should. Clipart makes designers cringe and will most likely make your viewers/clients cringe too. Instead, there are many other options to visual aids in Powerpoint.    

  • Background images: This is an easy solution to clip art. Find an image, lower the opacity to 20%-50% and place it behind your text. This adds a nice visual effect that is less distracting then a irrelevant clip art in the corner.
  • Icons: Keep it simple and direct. An icon can, in most cases, get the point across in a clear and straightforward manner without being distracting. Why do you think tech companies use them for apps?
  • Colors: Even just having a simple color scheme is better then having multiple images. Color can influence us to buy something, react to it, or ignore it. It’s more powerful then you think. 

2. No Transitions

Well, don't rule them out completely, but remember to select a transition between slides that is consistent and not distracting, like a cross-fade. The cross-fade is a simple transition that is easy on the eyes and natural. So if your goal is to have a professional looking presentation, whatever you do, don’t add a checkerboard exploding or page twirls.

3. Hierarchy of Content

Remember back in high school, when your English teacher told you about creating a thesis statement?

The same rules apply to proper content layout on your PowerPoint. Each slide should be summarized by your title and opening statement. This is key to producing an effective message that gives your viewer enough insight to keep them interested.

4. Page Layout

Just like in photography, video, and almost everything visual; the ‘rule of thirds’ plays a huge role in keeping the viewer's attention. Something cropped in the center is less engaging than something cropped to either the right or left side of the page.

Remember some of these hints:

Titles:

  • Aligned Center or Left
  • Large Font Size between 38pt - 64pt
  • Sans Serif style

Body:

  • Regular style
  • Font size : 14pt -18pt
  • Sans Serif style

5. Break the Boundaries

Remember, your PowerPoint has to stand out. It won’t mean anything unless somebody thinks it's special or unique. And like everything you do, it is a reflection of yourself and expertise. Dare to do something different and really make your content shine!

First Appointment Structure

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Topics: PowerPoint, business, design tips, digital marketing

Programmatic Advertising Q&A with Keith Gooberman

Posted by Digital Media Training on Dec 4, 2014 11:32:00 AM

Programmatic_Mechanics_logoAn exclusive interview with Keith Gooberman, CEO and founder of Programmatic Mechanics, to help you understand and gain more insight into programmatic advertising.

What is programmatic buying?

Programmatic buying is the process of purchasing one ad placement space in a real-time auction. It's initiated by the publisher who sends off a group of parameters including URL, placement, ad size, geographic location of the user (and others) to over 200 different ‘bidders’. These bidders then respond and the highest bidder wins the space. This happens individually for every ad loaded. The entire process takes under 150 milliseconds, while the average blink of an eye takes 350 milliseconds.

Why is it so effective?

It allows advertisers to eliminate waste by only targeting the ad space they want. The publisher wins because they are ensured the ad went to the highest possible bidder. This helps with overall yield management: the process of making sure they make the most revenue possible. Both sides win, and therefore it’s providing a solution.

When should I consider advertising this way?

Programmatic buying got its start as a direct-response tool. It has matured into a technique used for branding across all digital screens as the buyer still maintains precise control over the ads they purchase. Currently, these ‘pipes’ are starting to power all types of digital buying as it is ideal for both buyer and seller.

Which media channels support programmatic buying?

True programmatic buying is alive and healthy in display, SEM, mobile, video and social. It is gaining traction in digital OOH, online radio, native, and ever so slightly into linear cable.

How do I drive success with programmatic advertising?

Marketers need to prove their ads work. Programmatic buying allows advertisers to measure the actions a user takes after seeing an ad on the client’s website.

How do I ensure that my ads are served in brand-safe contexts?

The ‘trader’ or person with their hands on the controls should utilize basic settings to ensure the ads only run on a specific list of websites. Nearly every website on the web participates in the exchange in some manner. You cannot win the premium space on the top properties, but you can win space on ebay.comkayak.comcbs.comabc.comyahoo.comnbc.com, etc.

Who are the major players in the programmatic landscape?

Google and AppNexus both have advanced technology available to the buy side and the sell side. Turn, MediaMath, and The Trade Desk all offer solutions to the buy side (marketers). Rubicon, Pubmatic, and OpenX offer solutions to the publisher side. Trading desks, Rocketfuel, and networks all offer IO (insertion order) based buying through programmatic means as well.

How has programmatic advertising changed in the last year and how do you envision it changing in the future?

Marketers and agencies are starting to get their hands dirty by using these platforms (“bringing it in house”). This means these groups are making deals directly with the platforms. Usually networks have sat between the buyers and the platforms, but because this is being bridged over, the margins in the middle are starting to fall. Ultimately the players left will resemble the SEM market – specialists who offer transparent buying services and a few massive technology players (Google in SEM, Google, AppNexus and Yahoo in display and mobile, Vistar Media in OOH, etc).

Are you or someone you know an expert in the digital space or sales? Do you want to be a part of our Q&A series? Tell us why! You might be featured in an email and our blog!

A Sellers Guide to Programmatic Advertising

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Topics: targeted advertising, online advertising, programmatic, Q and A series

What is Programmatic Advertising? - A Primer

Posted by Digital Media Training on Dec 2, 2014 10:25:00 AM

Programmatic advertising is the process of using software to buy and sell digital ads, including display ads, video ads, Facebook Exchange ads, and mobile ads. It can also be used to monitor data in real-time, and make adjustments on the fly—a process that’s very different than traditional ad campaigns, in which it takes longer to see the effects and make appropriate adjustments in response to that data.

The process

Robot-programmaticOne type of programmatic ad buying is called real-time bidding; it involves ad auctions taking place in real time. However, there are other types of programmatic ad buying as well. For example, “programmatic direct” is another type of programmatic ad buying in which buyers can purchase a specific number of ad impressions in advance, and choose which sites the ads will appear on. “Premium programmatic” involves buying ads on particularly desirable sites, while paying a higher cost-per-thousand rate. These brands are interested in having ads appear on very specific websites or sections of publication.

The programmatic advertising process is entirely automated, so it’s more efficient to sell and buy ads than it is for sellers to interact with buyers directly.  However, programmatic advertising is used almost entirely for digital ads. Television ads and other traditional media can be sold programmatically, but this is still new to the traditional media side. Programmatic ad campaigns also don’t necessarily help buyers who switch from one type of device to another.

Despite these limitations, programmatic ads simplify and speed up the process of selling digital ads online, and cut down the cost as well. This is part of a larger trend where machines provide assistance with some of the grunt work.

Pros and Cons

Obviously, efficiency is the biggest benefit of programmatic advertising. In addition, it can help businesses make smart financial decisions based on real-time data.

The drawbacks? Some businesses rely on programmatic without paying attention to the content of their ads, which can lower the effectiveness of ads that don’t have the same impact as one carefully crafted by designers and copywriters.

In addition, a human touch is needed to address prospects using multiple devices, and complement programmatic advertising with advertising in traditional media.

Finding a smart blend of creative and programmatic can help businesses find the best of both worlds.    

Your job is safe

If you’re wondering whether you should be concerned about being replaced by a machine, don’t worry. The rise of programmatic advertising doesn’t mean that ad buyers need to fear for their jobs--though they may be spending it on more specialized work and spend less time with insertion orders, spreadsheets, and other paperwork.

Although programmatic advertising can use data to help determine the best ad for a specific demographic, and the time to serve the ad to them, there is still a lot of detective work involved. And even though machines can automate some work and make ad buyers’ jobs easier, having less menial work simply means that you’ll have more time to spend on tasks that can’t be algorithmically replicated—the ones that require a human touch, such as strategizing, planning, and organizing custom campaigns and making adjustments based on data.

Programmatic advertising can be sold along with ad campaigns, because perfecting copy and graphics still has a big impact on the type of results the package will have.  Ad sellers also need to educate advertisers on everything from creating an advertising campaign that includes programmatic, to wrestling with strategies and challenges such as cross-device targeting. You’ll also likely need to educate the buyer on why ads have different rates at different given moments, and how to combine programmatic advertising with traditional advertising.

A Sellers Guide to Programmatic Advertising

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Topics: advertising, online display marketing, programmatic

It's Not Your Father's SEO

Posted by Digital Media Training on Nov 14, 2014 9:35:00 AM

Your website has likely been updated or redesigned dozens of times since the mid 1990s, and hopefully your search engine optimization strategy has evolved with the times. If you’re still using the same tips and tricks that worked like a charm back when search engines first started cataloging the web, you’re doing it wrong. Here’s a quick rundown of the new trends in search engine optimization—and what you should be doing differently.

seo-hero-500Quality Over Quantity

Back in the day, websites would try to generate as many incoming links as possible to increase their SEO clout. In fact, some businesses even paid cold hard cash to get listed in link directories, or paid for backlinks coming from obscure sites.

Google soon caught on to the shenanigans, though, and even created a penalty box to stop these bad behaviors. That’s because the search engine behemoth’s goal is to provide the best results possible for its users—rather than being beholden to the businesses that are tricky enough to make it appear as though their site’s relevance and value is greater than it actually is.

Anyone who is paying money for links had better wise up. Quality over quantity is the name of the game, so if you want to work on link building for your business, try to get links from sites you’re proud to be associated with, and that are highly relevant to the topics you’re covering.

If you’ve built up sketchy backlinks in the past, don’t worry—all hope is not lost. Simply log into Google Webmaster Tools, and consider disavowing the really sketchy ones.

Link Building Vs. Social

As the value of willy-nilly link building continues to plummet, some online marketing firms are starting to use the terms ‘content marketing’ and ‘search engine optimization’ interchangeably. While it’s true that creating great content and sharing it on social media has incredible impact, maximizing reach requires creating separate and distinct strategies for both SEO and social.

For example, someone looking for health information is far more inclined to use search engines to research their specific condition, or that of a loved one. However, they are unlikely to share the results on social media. Conversely, funny videos, memes, and listicles—and even things like recipes—are likely to be shared on social if they are engaging. Readers are far less likely to search for them. A smart approach is to do research on specific key words for search, but to also allow easy sharing. Each specific piece may be shared in different ways. By analyzing that data, you’ll be able to make modifications for your unique audience over time.

Long live guest blogging!

Guest blogging used to be a slightly more legitimate way to build links, and one that was completely free. Since then, Google has really cracked down on the practice, and many sites have taken note and created no follow links, killing any SEO benefit of these posts.

This isn’t to say that guest blogging is ineffective for building your business, attracting leads, and getting your name out there organically. It’s just not all that effective for SEO juice. Being aware of that can help you determine how to best spend your time.

Security may become a factor

So far the changes have been minimal, but adding HTTPS and SSL to a website can give you a minor SEO boost. Although Google has stated that quality content is far more important than this feature, there is some indication that it may become a bigger factor in the future. These settings protect your user’s privacy and safety online, but you’ll need to make sure Google knows you have made this change so it doesn’t inadvertently harm, rather than help, these efforts.

Bottom line

Google is always tweaking its algorithms, and it’s worth paying attention to new developments as they take place. Above all else, creating compelling, quality content that speaks directly to the people you’re trying to reach is key. This also makes it easier to keep up with new changes by making slight modifications rather than having to start over from scratch.

Digital Media Landscape Training

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Topics: search engine optimization, SEO, search engine results page

Enhance Your Marketing with Mobile Advertising

Posted by Digital Media Training on Nov 7, 2014 10:43:34 AM

Mobile devices are ubiquitous, and their use is rising. According to the Pew Research Center, 90 percent of American adults own a cell phone, and 58 percent of American adults have a smartphone.  Consumers spend 60 percent of their internet time on mobile devices, and the numbers continue to rise. Therefore, incorporating mobile advertising in a traditional media campaign can definitely give you an edge.mobile-advertising-smartphone-marketing

Ads in mobile apps

In-application ads appearing on mobile devices can help you target the people you want to reach in a more dynamic and interactive way than a magazine advertisement. The two can be used hand-in-hand to reinforce your brand.

Placing ads in mobile apps can be very broad—think ad networks that share advertisements across multiple applications—or very narrow, such as event-based ads, which can hone in only on users who perform a certain set of actions on a specific application.

Mobile-optimized video

As more and more clients and prospects begin to use mobile phones for online video viewing, making sure that video advertisements optimized for a small screen becomes paramount. A well-designed video should have critical information front and center, and it shouldn’t be too busy: because mobile screens are small, tiny details may get missed, so it’s better to cut out extraneous visuals when creating a video you hope to use on various screen sizes.

Also, keep in mind that videos often take a very long time to load on mobile devices, so make sure to test your videos on multiple platforms to make sure it meets your performance needs.

Viewable ads

According to the IAB, a viewable ad is “an advertising message that appears on a user’s device in such a way that it creates an ‘opportunity to be seen’ by the user.” That means that you can determine whether the ad will be viewed based on whether it meets certain parameters you select. For example, you may choose to only display videos if the screen is not obstructed, or if the viewer has been inside an app for a significant period of time.

Best practices

Mobile advertising is most effective when it is designed for how a user interacts with his or her phone, rather than simply making a large website smaller. This may include limiting features to the most important ones, creating slideshows or multi-panel scrollable advertisements for tactile mobile phone users, and requiring users to scroll past an ad before it disappears.

Banners can be locked to a single space, but sophisticated advertisers create ones that can be easily viewed no matter how someone holds their phone-- in both landscape and portrait formats.

Push notifications are one other form of mobile advertising that is highly interactive.

Bottom line

Incorporating mobile into your overall marketing strategy is one more way to reach prospects. Tracking the data from each campaign will allow you to further refine and improve your strategy.

Understanding the Mobile Advertising Landscape

 

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Topics: mobile marketing, mobile advertising campaigns, marketing, mobile advertising landscape

How to Become a Winning Salesperson in the Social Selling World

Posted by Digital Media Training on Jun 30, 2014 3:00:00 PM

As the landscape of selling advances at a rapid pace, you need to stay up-to-date with emerging tools, technologies and trends in your industry as well as new developments in the sales profession, in general. Social networking is a necessity in today’s sales culture. Why? Because networking in this way is a cost-effective approach to communicating in our fast-paced society. Utilizing social media as a sales tool has become a great approach to creating and building relationships as well as sharing relevant content to position yourself as a leader and credible resource to your peers.  As a salesperson, you may face a lot of pressure to succeed through social selling. Today, we’ve put together a few simple tips that will help you identify what your “social selling style” is and how to enhance your professional social media presence.

smart_phone_floating_media_icons_800_clr_9133_(2)Here are 5 steps to get you started today:

1. Be Confident, Be You!

What made you get into sales in the first place? Love working with people? Your outgoing nature? Passion for persuasion? In sales, it’s your personality and the way you make connections with others that will contribute to your style and success. This is typically true and can impact both your “in-person” and “online” presence. Often times, if you are unfamiliar with a new technology or sales approach, it can be difficult to make the transition. But remember, regardless of the technology you are using to communicate, stay true to yourself and think of ways you can translate your “offline” personality into your “online” personality.

2. Drive Direct Engagement.

Once you’ve established your individual social selling style, now it’s time to get to know your target audience and their online behavioral patterns. After you’ve gained some insight into who your target audience is, what challenges they are facing and what type of content they are interested in, it’s time to start engaging them as much as possible. You can begin this process with your target audience by (1) leaving thought-provoking comments and questions on group discussions or industry blogs (2) monitoring and sharing emerging/relevant content that would be valuable and useful (3) publishing your own articles or blogs to establish yourself as an expert. These are just a few things you can do that will directly engage your audience and promote further opportunities to interact and start a conversation.

3. Focus on Quality Content.

Content is King! We know, we know. This is the tune that a lot of marketers have been singing for awhile. And they’re right, content is definitely king, but what does the quality of your content say? Top-notch? Subpar? You must take content quality into consideration when you’re sharing information through social media. One subpar “share” could diminish the credibility that you’ve been working so hard to accomplish. Remember, what you share on social media not only reflects you as an individual but also reflects back to your company or the company you work for. The key to selling through social media is to have clear, concise, and compelling information to share in order to get the message across to your target audience.

4. Create Relevant and Relatable Posts.

Now, you might be thinking, “what could I contribute to the social media conversation that would be useful to my target audience?”  Let me give you an example. Jessica, a VP of Sales for a mobile gaming company, just read a recently published article about the newest developments in mobile gaming technology. Jessica shared her comment about it with the link to the article. Later that day Jessica receives a direct message from Jake, a mobile advertising salesperson for company ABC, who is looking to continue a discussion about what Jessica posted earlier that day. Posting relevant pieces of content that other people in your industry will relate to is a very powerful thing. It can create new sales opportunities as well as an alternative way to gain awareness and momentum among other professionals in your industry.

5. Develop a Clear Brand Message.

In today’s selling landscape, it’s important to have a variety of options when it comes to creating brand awareness and providing information about your product or service. Being an advocate for your brand/company is a great way to take advantage of all that social media has to offer. It’s important to be clear and consistent as well as stay in-sync with the bigger brand message to avoid confusion among coworkers and your target audience. We want to make it easy for people to know what we do and how to find us.

Start building your social selling style by using the five steps mentioned above. And remember, It’s important that you continue to test these ideas so that you can customize for your needs as well as improve and optimize your approach for future opportunities. 

Do you have any tips you can share with us?

Prospect Management System

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Topics: social selling

Social Advertising Best Practices

Posted by Digital Media Training on Jun 9, 2014 6:43:00 PM

juggle_social_media_iconsIn today’s consumer-driven world, people flock to their mobile phones, or other electronic devices such as tablets or laptops to communicate with people, search for the latest products or services, and then purchase them with a click of a button in merely seconds. Shopping online isn’t just a phase; it’s a development that has gotten the world to depend on technology for basic necessities like checking the balance of their bank account, to grocery shopping. Yet what is most surprising when it comes to this technological advancement is the fact that people aren’t necessarily going to the store website to purchase these products or services. Rather, they are viewing and buying these products/services through advertisements promoted on social media networks. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Vine are all social media networks you’ve probably already heard about and you may even be using these sites for your own purposes. But have you heard of the recently emerging social media marketing sites and services that companies are using to gain greater visibility into their target audience and make their marketing efforts seamless?
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Today, there are more than 60 different social media tools used to measure, search, analyze, provide feedback, stream, buffer, and share information across multiple platforms and accounts, all at once. Companies use these tools as a guide to track and analyze what’s working and what’s not working, this helps to truly target their customer niche. But how do they determine their target demographic in the first place?  Social media started out as a form of direct communication, and an easy and quick way for sharing pictures, whereabouts, and favorite things to do, but has become a “hot spot” for companies to “relate” with that user’s personal information and promote their services or advertise products that accommodate a person’s likes, interests, and lifestyle. As more social platforms emerge each year, it’s easy to get caught up in an abundance and overload of user information and content. However, using social media the right, most effective way means taking the time to understand and utilize social media advertising best practices. In order to comprehend social media and its’ growing advantages, companies must first recognize why they are using it, and how they are using the medium to reach their revenue goals.

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The number one best practice in social media advertising is developing relationships and is the key to any successful social media ad campaign.  Recent findings from the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) shows that digital marketers strengthen personal interactions online by connecting people to advertisements and content that interests them and engages their personalities. Social media advertising is an essential marketing medium and can provide valuable insight into how to reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time.

                

share_button_keyboard-2However, one of the biggest disadvantages and issues of social media advertising today is privacy. According to the IAB, privacy is a top concern for most consumers. How much data is too much data? For instance, Facebook has changed their privacy settings so many times, there isn’t a clear way of blocking  off all of your personal data from users you don’t want to be bothered with, and that’s not including companies. Businesses can pay to look up your personal information, and track your newsfeeds and personal activity without you ever knowing. Furthermore, according to the IAB, almost every social media app on mobile buffers your personal information (which may be forwarded to third party vendors) before you can even download the app. As a company that advertises to consumers, it’s critical to make it clear how and why their data is being used as well as prominently displaying user controls so they have the option of adjusting their settings. More importantly, it is transparency and proactive communication that will help your business build credibility, authority and trust, which ultimately leads to long lasting customer relationships.

 

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If you want to get started on the right path to Social Advertising success, then check out these 5 steps and start scratching them off your “to-do” list.

 

1. Creative Components (Are you using a contest, prize giveaway, personalized survey, or photo gallery, or share personal testimonials of consumers to create a personal relationship with your target audience?)

 

2. Data Usage (Are you engaging in analyzing metrics and ad words with social media management tools on a consistent basis?)

 

3. Consumer Control (Are you tracking relevant content based on your consumer’s activities, choices, complaints, as well as measuring their behavior and providing top-notch feedback? Are you making relevant changes to service/products based on that feedback?)

 

4. Privacy Guidelines (Are you giving consumers a choice to protect and secure their privacy with different options and features for data? Are you giving away information to third parties and if so, are you informing your consumer of this act? Are you gaining the consumers trust and protecting their privacy by investing in the correct platform?)

 

5. Social Advertising (Are you keeping up with emerging digital media trends, and creating marketing campaigns based on best advertising practices?)

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Topics: digital content strategy, advertising, digital marketing, marketing strategy, advertising strategy, social selling, social media marketing, selling social media marketing, customer service, digital content, client relationship building, Social Advertising Best Practices, social advertising