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3 Strategies for Effectively Developing the Right Calling Approach

Posted by Steve Bookbinder on Feb 23, 2017 8:19:00 PM

Whether you’re new to sales, or an experienced pro, developing the right approach to making sales calls is a strategic advantage.
 
As a salesperson, oftentimes the first impression you make is over the phone. Whether that’s talking to a new prospect, building a client relationship, or maintaining contact with long term clients.
 
Developing an effective calling approach and phone persona is essential to your sales success. But how can you develop an approach that will consistently drive results?
 
Consider these 3 strategies as you develop, refine, and optimize your calling approach: 
 
sales call approach ideas


1. Personalize Your Message

Think about who you are calling and why you are calling them before you pick up the phone.

First, we must consider what kind of leads are you calling and what’s the right strategy for each?

For example, let’s say you were just assigned a new lead. This lead came in through the website as an inbound lead who downloaded your newest eBook. What’s the approach for this type of lead?

To start, we must do our best to research who the person is, what company they work for, why they might be interested in the eBook, and whether they’ve downloaded any other resources from your website.

Why are these things important?

Because each piece of information helps you paint a picture of who you are calling. The more you know about the company, the person, or the industry in general will set you up for success because you’ll be able to tailor your message by saying something that resonates with the lead.

In this inbound lead example, you could personalize your message in a simple, yet logical way by helping them identify the key takeaways from the eBook they just downloaded and offer ideas about how the information applies to their job, company, or industry.

Taking this approach helps you position yourself as an expert, presents your company/offering in a positive light, and lets you take the role of the helpful salesperson who is educating them on new information and solutions.

 

2. Build Your Sales Story

 Identifying the right approach for each type of lead is only part of the game. The next step is to build your value proposition by crafting a compelling sales story.

We often think that facts and figures are what motivate people to take action. But the truth? Facts and figures aren’t nearly as effective as telling a great story.

Let’s say you’ve got a prospect on the line and they want to learn more about your solution. Instead of rattling off numbers that will mean nothing to them, consider walking them through the story of how you’ve helped other companies, maybe even mention a competitor of theirs, and help them visualize how your product and/or service delivered results for that company.

For example, you could say something like: “We’ve had a lot of success with companies like yours who have experienced some of the same challenges you may be facing, so I’d like to learn more about what you’re doing, tell you how we’ve been implementing solutions for businesses like yours, and see if there’s a match.”

You’re not only going to get their attention fast, they’re going to want to know how they did it, when they started doing it, how far behind they are, and what they need to do to catch up.

 

3. Understand the Rhythm of the Call

Listening is the key to a great conversation. So when we are speaking with prospects and clients over the phone, we must listen to the rhythm of the call and make certain decisions based on the rhythm.

If you ask a question and the other person responds as soon as you finish speaking, this probably means they’re tuned in. On the other hand, if there’s a long gap and their response doesn’t really relate to the question you asked, they’re probably not connected to the conversation.

As sales professionals, our goal is to ask 2nd level questions in order to create a more substantial conversation. 2nd level questions, asked in the right context, encourage the customer to share relevant information needed to understand their true interest in our business solution as well as their motivation to help their organization acquire it.

This is the type of conversation when the customer reacts to the salesperson’s interest and capabilities by sharing relevant information about their background, biases, plans as well as their power, influence, and motivation to buy.

The best way to help them make more sales is to maximize their time with people most likely to buy and minimize their investment in time with the rest.  At the same time, sellers need to dig out opportunities that are not immediately obvious but lying just below the surface waiting for a skilled salesperson to uncover and close.

 

Conclusion

Remember these 3 strategies the next time you’re ready to pick up the phone, and you’ll be on your way to building a connection with your prospects and clients while creating a more open sales dialogue.

manager_HowMuchCoachingShouldIBeDoing_Vlog.png

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2013 and has been updated.

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Topics: sales, tips, selling, sellers, prospecting, value, skills, sales tips, sales training, digital media training, cold calling, call, small business, improving, marketing, strategy, phone

4 Steps to Take When Closing Your Next Deal

Posted by Steve Bookbinder on Feb 2, 2017 6:30:00 PM

Closing a deal is the ultimate reward for all of the research, preparation, and follow up that goes into building new relationships and maintaining a high level of client satisfaction.

Every now and then, it’s important to remind yourself to go back to the basics of selling to ensure that you’re not simply closing a deal, but instead, opening a new relationship that has future growth potential.

So, when the time is right and you’re ready to close your next deal, remember these four tips: 

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(SLA) Service Level Agreement

SLA stands for Service Level Agreement; in other words this is the document that outlines the timing and delivery of the products and/or services you will provide. This is a critical point in the sale because this is where all expectations need to be set and understood by both sides.

When you close a deal, it’s not enough simply to get the sale. You want to be able to leverage the sale in the future. To do this, you need to confirm with the customer that he or she feels your level of service is superior and that you did more than simply meet the minimum requirement. So, when formulating your close, review what the minimum deal is and then determine what else you can add. Be sure that you have added in enough elements to your deal to get that agreement.  

TRY THIS:

Review a sale you are closing now or have just closed. Decide what you can add (product, service, conditions terms, etc.) to enhance the service level without increasing cost to you.

On-Boarding Process

Sales continue even after the close.  As the seller, you are the “face” of the sale to the customer. So, the customer will always look to you to explain and validate every step of the implementation even after the close. Therefore, meet with your internal team and carefully review who does what, when, why and how. Then, repeat the process with the customer explaining who on your team will be taking over the implementation on your side. Be sure to always point out the value of each person taking charge of the steps in the implementation. This builds rapport and helps pave the way for future sales.

TRY THIS:

Think of a current sale and review your on-boarding process for the account once you close the deal. Use a tool like the following to think through all the steps in on-boarding. This will help you be ready to both explain the process to the customer and to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Future Opportunities

A single sale for a single deal may have a finite point. However, the superior seller knows that each successful sale leads to another... and another…. You can leverage past success into future success by ensuring that the job you do with the first sale is not only adequate but superior, beyond expectations – in effect, stellar. This way, you develop equity within the account and draw upon that equity to pursue one successful sale after another.

TRY THIS:

Review a current or upcoming sale. Review the terms of the offering. Find something that will help the sale exceed expectations – something you or your company will do, a “deal sweetener,” etc…

Strategizing the Right Time to Ask for Additional Business

 A major goal of the consultative seller is to position him or herself as the “conduit” of a range of products and services that address multiple functions within the account. This process is called “evergreening.” To successfully evergreen an account, you have to be extremely observant to what you see and hear and what you can deduce to identify opportunities all the time. Then, when you spot an opportunity, you move on to that one if your present sale is going well. This way, the present sale “evergreens” into additional business.  Account selling is not linear.

TRY THIS:

Review all your active accounts. For each, think of additional opportunities and note how you think you can transition from your present deal to the future opportunity even before you close the first one. Use a tool like the one below for your analysis.

Conclusion

Before closing your next deal, take these four things into consideration and utilize them to your advantage by ensuring that you: set expecations up front, properly on-board new clients by clearly outlining how your product or service will be implemented, understand what a future opportunity might look like, and strategize the timing of asking your client for additional business.

How to ask for the deal without sounding too

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2013 and has been updated.

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Topics: sales, training, tips, managing, manager, client, cold calling, building client relationships, strategy, deal, service level agreement, client on-boarding

7 Strategies for Selling Search Engine Marketing

Posted by Steve Bookbinder on Dec 29, 2015 9:30:00 AM

1. Start with a Great Target List

If you observe veteran search marketing salespeople, you will see that they receive inbound calls and email inquiries quite frequently from potentially ready-to-buy advertisers. Unfortunately, half of the calls will be less than optimal and shouldn’t be considered real prospects, but the other half will be first class opportunities.

Watching those veteran sellers, you may wonder what sort of magic makes them so effective. What is the real magic? The seller and his/her company have been prospecting for years.

The odds of cold calling someone today and reaching the final decision maker is low. But you can sow the seeds today- make sure they already know about you, and make them impressed enough to remember to contact you when they are ready.

So if you want a successful career, think ahead to the advertisers you want to be working within the next 1-3 years and begin pursuing them, without appearing desperate. Each day, given that you will have to make about 10-30 calls (especially if you are in your first year of SEM sales), you should be having at least one good conversation with a decision maker/advertiser.

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2. Prospect Every Day

Although this seems obvious, especially given the point mentioned above, it can sometimes be difficult to carry it through. Since you sometimes actually reach an interested advertiser, you lose some prospecting time.

The "interested" calls can easily go on for about 10-45 minutes. Those calls often result in the promise to send something. That something can take an hour to 3 days to prepare. Managing your time so that, despite these needs, you still find time to prospect enough, ideally, you should aim for a call to be only a few minutes long that results in a face-to-face meeting.

3. Prepare for Each Meeting Like an Investor

Before investors will put their money into a company, they want to know everything about that company. Therefore, apart from the information you will glean online and from various databases, etc., you need to make sure you understand how big the vertical is, how big a share your target-prospect has and what their plans (ideally budget) and timing needs are to grow that share.

This level of information can only be acquired through conversations with the prospect. You may even need more than one good conversation before you can learn enough about this advertiser.

Remember, you are also trying to determine if this advertiser is a good fit with your own agency. Given your competition, you may never get a second chance at getting that advertiser back.

4. Create a Presentation that Tells Your Agency's Story

The normal flow of events leading to a sale with a new advertiser goes either through the RFP process or through a process led by the search agency. The RFP process gives the customer total control while the other gives the agency total control.

Either way, you are likely to need two presentations. The first is either the RFP response or your agency's initial presentation; the second will include the agency fee structure.

If you are involved with an RFP, you will likely be presented with a variety of categories (for example Proprietary Technologies, Bid Management Strategy, Service Team Structures, etc.) with a series of detailed questions below each. Your answers should tell a story about how your agency services accounts.

If the sale is outside the RFP process, then the focus still needs to be on telling that story: the story of how your agency's philosophy of servicing accounts is a superior fit for that particular advertiser.

5. Create a Sense of Urgency

Assuming the advertiser is trying to improve the ROI of their search campaign, the seller needs to be specific about the advertiser's timing for those changes. Even if the advertiser's goal is to increase their SOV of search traffic (and conversions) to their vertical by the following year, the good search seller will be able to build up a sense of urgency in the client.

How does one do this?

By building a backward timetable.

Let's say it's currently January, and the advertiser wants to take advantage of the Q4 traffic increase. By describing each and every step leading up to October/November/December along with the amount of time needed to test and optimize each step (including keywords selection, creatives, matching strategy, landing page, etc), you can easily show the advertiser that starting in January may not even be enough.

6. Involve Your Team of Experts Pre-Sale - Without Wasting Their Time

If the seller is the smartest person in their agency, then the advertiser will suffer having to work with a not-as-smart service team. On the other hand, if the service team is a bunch of rocket scientists that the advertiser never meets, then the advertiser may have trouble visualizing the benefits of working with them.

Make sure you as a seller appear well-informed, but then top yourself by introducing the advertiser to at least one additional member of either the management or the service team - ideally both. Consider the introductions of other team members a great "next step strategy."

7. Stay Involved While Handing Off Campaign to Your Account Management Team

Some agencies ask their sellers to stay involved after the sale - some even insist that the seller joins weekly Account Manager calls. Other agencies ask that the seller cleanly hands off the advertiser, turning to focus on the next sale.

Either way, the seller is well advised to make sure they schedule a conversation (or 2, 3 or 4) during the first week/month of the new advertiser's campaign with both the Account Manager and the client. The last thing a search seller wants is to learn - too late - that the advertiser was unhappy and unable to get resolution through the account team.

How to Transition into Digital Ad Sales - eBook

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Topics: training, sales process, prospecting, value, sales tips, sales training, marketing, strategy, phone, account manager, agency's story

Leveraging the Power of Negative Thinking in Sales

Posted by Steve Bookbinder on Dec 3, 2015 8:43:00 AM

One of the ironies of work life is that most of us do the very thing we believe is the right move continuously. With all of those right moves, we should all be successful all the time, right?

Consider the many choices salespeople make every minute of every day. Of all the possible emails we could send, phone calls we could make, research we could possibly do, proposals we could write, we make a choice and at least at that moment we believe we are doing the right thing. Everything is a choice and the opportunity cost of every choice is all of the other things we could have done instead.  

Your year end results are the final product of all of those “right” choices.  Do you wish your results were different? Better?

We all know if in the upcoming year we use the same system of choices we’ve always made, our results will be the same. But how do we know what to change if every move always feels right at that time?

Cloud with rain falling

Here are 4 negative thinking choices that you can make which will change your 2016 results:

1. Stay in pain.

Keep remembering how disappointed you are rather than sweeping it under the rug as you begin again in January.

Why should you choose to stay in pain rather than rush to the relief of a blank slate?

When things are feeling okay, we don’t analyze why everything feels good. But as soon as something hurts, we turn into detectives trying to solve the case of why we have pain. What happened? What could we have done differently?

That is the necessary mental climate to find the weak spots and do something about them. If  you had a disappointing Q4, keep thinking about it in 2016. You will end up making different choices all along the way which is precisely what is needed to change in the coming year.

2. Trust objective results only.

Don’t simply go by “it doesn’t feel right”. Have you ever gotten good at doing something and then someone showed you a shortcut? Only then do you realize that your way “worked” in the sense that you eventually got what you wanted, but this new, previously unfamiliar way works better.

The same applies to sales. Every single sales technique will eventually produce sales. To get more sales, you need to keep your eye on the right objective measures, such as the sales cycle, number of sales closed each month, and percentage of the goal reached each month.

3. Make uncomfortable the new comfortable.

Have you noticed that nothing this year worked the same way it did 5 years ago? Well, in the upcoming year there will be even more new changes. To keep up, sellers need to learn to feel comfortable being uncomfortable.

While your habitual choices guide you into actions that feel right, keep remembering that the solution to improvement is to always be in a place that feels uncomfortable because to improve you need to do new things that you are not doing now. You are, by now, comfortable doing the things—making the choices—you’ve always made. So by definition, it will feel more comfortable to choose the same patterns and more uncomfortable to dip your toes into new patterns.

Listen to yourself. Are you hearing yourself say “I already know how to do that” a lot? If yes, it may be your signal to yourself that you believe that the answer to improving lies in what you already know.

Really? If you already knew, you wouldn’t need to improve.

While learning is hard, unlearning is even harder. Despite the “painful” process, keep going, because the outcome will be worth it.

4. Pain it forward.

The reason I want you to dwell on our own pain is because it triggers off the mechanisms needed for improvement.

I want you to imagine it is this time next year - you’re looking at your results and you fell short of your goals. You feel that pain. It’s frustrating. You wanted the success so badly yet somehow it eluded you. All along the way your plan was to do the right thing. Yet somehow something went wrong.

Now let’s go back in time all the back to today, so we can make the daily changes we’ll eventually figure out that we should have made. Let’s leverage this power to CSI the events in our lives. Let’s look through the binoculars backward, so-to-speak, and learn in advance where the soft spots in our plan are going to be and what we will need to “sure” them up.   

The opportunity cost of pain-free living is never experiencing the success you would have experienced had you allowed yourself to learn from your pain. Being sales smart is learning from your pain in time for it to do you good.

How to Increase Sales in 2016 Free Webinar Register

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Topics: sales tips, strategy

4 Ways to Increase Your Sales Forecasting Accuracy

Posted by Steve Bookbinder on Sep 8, 2015 11:11:00 AM

Sales forecasting is about taking the necessary actions and implementing proper sales techniques to understand, predict, and forecast promising sales. After working with thousands of salespeople and sales managers, we’ve reached a definitive conclusion about most of the sales forecasts salespeople submit…they’re inaccurate and unreliable.

What can you do to increase the reliability and accuracy of sales forecasts?

Forecasting works best when you’re not guessing, but only when you actually consider real prospects, when you apply a 50 percent correction factor, and when you take the time to remove old prospects.

Businessman forecasting with crystal ball1. Stop Guessing

The first thing you need to do is stop guessing!

Start off your next meeting by identifying the customer’s buying timetable. For instance, ask a question like: “Mr./Ms. Prospect, I’m just curious. If you and I end up working together, when do you envision us delivering our service/product?

The response they give you will help you identify the pace at which you should proceed through the sales process. By understanding the timetable for delivery early in the sales process, you’ll be able to more accurately account for what’s going to come in when you say it’s going to come in.

The timing has to be known, it’s not something that should be guessed at.

2. Only Consider Real Prospects

Many times, prospects will say something that makes them seem like they’re really interested. They might have even started the sales process originally months ago by calling you or going to your website and asking for more information.

But regardless, if at some point the sale is not moving forward, you should start to take those prospects out. You don’t want to include those prospects or the potential dollar amount in the forecast because you can’t confidently say the sale will actually happen.

It might eventually happen, but as a sales gets older it gets more difficult to figure out when it would actually close. Therefore it shouldn’t be included in your forecast.

If you start to consider only real prospects that are galloping ahead and not stagnant, then you’ll be more capable of accurately forecast your sales.

3. Apply a 50% Correction Factor

If you took your entire pipeline of everything that you thought was going to come in, say within the next quarter, and you identified the next sale that was likely to happen, consider what the contract amount would be.

Whatever that number is, take no more than 50 percent of it into consideration. That’s not to say that only half of your prospects will close, but you need to understand there are different sized opportunities.

If you take this approach, your forecast is never greater than 50 cents on the dollar, which makes most sales forecasts already a lot more accurate. Over time, if you see evidence that your number comes in at less than that, you want to change the correction factor, but 50 percent is a good starting point.

4. Remove Old Prospects

The longer a sale goes beyond its normal sale cycle, the less likely it is to happen. As sales begin to get old, they become less likely to happen.

You should begin removing those from your pipeline. It is equally important to start removing those prospects mentally. This means you need to start prospecting for new opportunities.

If you think you’ve got more in the pipeline than you really do, you’ll tend not to prospect enough and the end result will be that you did not bring in enough sales to cover your forecast.

Remember to practice these four tips for a more accurate sales forecast: stop guessing, only consider real prospects, apply a 50% correction factor, and remember to remove old prospects.

5 Simple Prospecting Tips to Increase Your Sales

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Topics: sales, selling, sales process, prospecting, business, improving, strategy, closing

How to Utilize the Power of B2B Social Selling

Posted by Kevin Kiriluk on Apr 21, 2014 12:30:00 PM

 

Social Selling has become a hot topic that continues to buzz around blogs, discussion forums, social networks, and most likely you've heard a co-worker talking about it right in your office. But, how eaxctly are sellers using the power of social media to gain traction with sales opportunities and generate new sales leads?

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Salespeople are discovering new ways to reach prospects. They are doing this through their own social networks by creating and sharing valuable content provided by the brand, which ultimately helps grow their personal brand and book of business as a seller. Growing your personal brand is not only beneficial to your company but it allows you to extend your offerings even further.

Today, in 140 characters or less you can sell a product, make connections, and build meaningful relationships. Seems simple right? But wait we’re not just talking about Twitter, brands are building their business through Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc... You must maintain your relationships by staying unique, discussing ideas, and becoming active in your industry. This is similar to Content Marketing, except you must become the social chorus of your brand and promote your content throughout the digital landscape.

Outlined below are a few steps to help get you started with Social Selling:

Step 1. Who are you trying to reach?

Just like marketing, salespeople should have a targeted audience that they are trying to reach. This is when you must start researching your target's online presence and how they interact online as social buyers. A study by ITSMA showcases The Rise of the B2B Social Buyer and supporting methodology. From these results, you can most likely see which category of business fits your target.

Step 2. Join a network

Once you've identified your target audience, it’s time to find out what social network would work best to connect with this audience. For example if you’re a B2B seller, Linkedin or Twitter might be a great place start. Linkedin offers you the ability to connect with like-minded professionals and is a more formal social networking website (without the cat videos). Make LinkedIn work for you by creating a great profile, presence, and connecting with others.

Twitter has become the online ‘word-of-mouth’. 140 characters allows you post quick snippets about events, offerings, topics, questions, and whatever else you might be eager to share. It’s also a great way to test your ‘elevator pitch’ by really getting the point across quickly and effectively. Another tip is to post frequently so your social reach can grow as you contribute to topics, interests, and essentially grow your follower base. Remember, you are ‘social selling’ so make sure that what you're offering is beneficial to both parties by leaving the hard sell till after you've established your credibility and authority.

Step 3. Interact

Hashtags are a great way to interact and discuss topics you might be interested in or your potential customer is. These hashtags can be used as keywords to help grow your presence; but do make sure you are actually contributing to the discussion rather than just adding noise. Here are some fabulous Twitter conversations you should be aware of: 10 Great Examples of B2B Twitter Chats

Step 4. Share

Content is the key to success on social media. If your company has a regularly updated blog or promotional material it is important that you become a part of the social chorus of your company. Therefore promoting the brand and yourself. By sharing this content you can again contribute to conversations, grow your presence, and benefit by interacting with the people you are targeting. Content marketing is meant to capture information about a prospect's interests or challenges by enticing them to download a free guide or tip sheet. This enables the consumer to seek out and find the information they are looking for, which results in them coming to us instead of the other way around. Who doesn't love a warm lead?

 

We hope you have enjoyed this post about Social Selling, follow us on Twitter for topics!

 

 

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Topics: sales tips, social media, marketing, strategy, inbound marketing strategy, media salesperson, social selling, b2b

The #1 Common Mistake Salespeople Make

Posted by Molly Depasquale on Sep 23, 2013 2:00:00 PM

get_attentionThere are some who think that if an idea is good enough, the product or service will walk, run or jump off the shelf right into the lap of eager buyers. Those are the same people who believe that life is inherently based on “what is fair.” Life lesson: life isn’t fair and if you are in sales you know this about life and probably love that about life too. I, personally, don’t want fair; I welcome an unfair advantage all the time. As a competitive seller, I am always looking to unlevel the sales playing field and muddle the “fair” RFP (Request for Proposal) process. It’s true that the buy does go to the best media sales partner. However, best is very subjective. It takes great selling ability to persuade the buyer that your media is the best place to advertise.

Today, the pressure is on for media sellers, especially digital / integrated sellers. Usually, but not always, sellers believe in their own offering, be it a network, a branded content site or a combination of the two. Let’s say management created the right ad packages, marketing provided all the support needed, account managers and digital natives worked their magic and hit a homerun with their Big Idea, and then the company successfully launched the campaign and earned a renewal. Now the seller should be able to convert all of that into an increased budget for the next campaign. From a high level, it looks like every company has great a salesperson who knows what to do but that’s not always the case.

Even though many salespeople know better, here is the #1 common mistake salespeople make, specifically integrated /digital salespeople:

#1 Common Mistake – Not Taking The Time To Learn About The Space They Are Selling In

This mistake comes in 4 flavors:

1. Not Familiarizing Themselves With The Entire Digital Landscape

It’s not enough for the site or network to appear in the “display” space; the seller needs to understand all of the ways sites can attract and monetize an audience. They have to study how the interaction between search and social media drives traffic to each advertiser’s site. They have to understand enough about web graphics, site design and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to be able to talk intelligently about engaging targeted users. They need to be observant about how brands use the latest ad units, CTA and landing pages differently depending on whether the target is at the top middle or bottom of the funnel. Sellers need to gather success stories about how content – paid, owned, earned and shared – complete the best campaigns. Sellers need to understand both the possibilities and limitations of each form of targeting – from geo-targeting/geo-fencing to BT (Behavioral Targeting) and DSPs (Demand Side Platforms). And everyone needs to know what data experts are now collecting so they can understand what data matters most to each buyer. Collecting valuable data can be as important as CTR (click through rate) and other campaign metrics.

Sellers need to stay ahead of the curve in order to discuss how mobile is changing the way their users engage with online content. Most sellers have the wrong idea about mobile - mobile doesn’t split your audience, it adds an extra dimension. Mobile users enjoy task-oriented behavior when they are away from their desktop. What brand doesn’t want to reach that kind of user? Armed with all of this, the seller can tell a compelling story about optimizing engagements and scaling results. Without this broad understanding of the landscape, sellers rely on persuasively throwing up on their prospects (“let me tell you what we offer….we offer the following stuff”). Also, the most classic form of this mistake is only knowing the same legacy peers you faced as an offline media (print, broadcast, cable, etc.) and not knowing enough about the newest, non-traditional digital competitors and be able to defend yourself against them.

2. Not Recognizing The Digital Landscape Parts Their Advertising Prospects Are Playing In

You need to know where else your advertising prospects are playing. Are they investing in paid search or SEO campaigns? If they are, they’d probably appreciate additional traffic to their common keywords. If they are also playing on social media, they may want to drive additional likes, shares, followers, etc. What is their paid, owned and earned strategy? Do they have a lead recapture strategy? What we are talking about is the digital extension of the most basic of sales principles – know your customer so that your sales pitch sounds more like help and less like unsolicited advice.

3. Not Using The Necessary Tools To Determine The “Digital Competitive Advantage” – Or Disadvantage Of Their Prospect Against Their Peers

Your prospects have competitors online. They are trying to drive more traffic to their site, better traffic and more engagements than your prospect. They are running display ads on sites and networks, bidding on keywords and optimizing their content. They have a certain number of followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. But, what is their sentiment monitoring score? How visible are their organic listings on search engines? Are others outbidding them on Paid Search? Who are their competitors targeting and on what platform are they reaching those targets? How much traffic goes to the competitor’s site? Your prospect should be gaining a competitive advantage—or attempting to gain an advantage – over their competitors in all these areas. Imagine walking into a meeting with screen shots of competitor ads plus campaign analysis? How great would you look? Now picture your competitor is walking into the buyers office with deep dived research and you are walking in with nothing but a stapled collection of your corporate overview. They will think you are kidding! No wonder you were left off the buy or couldn’t snag that increase you were hoping for.

4. Not Focusing Enough On How The Advertiser’s Needs Uniquely Meet With Your Site Or Network Offering But Instead On What Your Own Site/Network Can Do

Obviously walking into a buyer’s office without an in-depth knowledge about your own site, site traffic and description of your targeting, content-creation and other details is embarrassing (just in case you are having trouble visualizing this, I will be referring to this classic mistake in a future blog). But, for the moment, let’s focus on how prepared you are to match up the client’s goals with your site and offerings. You need to make it easy for them to figure out how best to use your services. Why not spell out clearly how they can achieve their goals with your site? Do they already have video which you can re-purpose? Do they already have engagement points on their site that you can drive traffic against? Do they already have rich media ad units you discovered as part of your pre-meeting research? Let’s help the prospect connect the dots by learning what they are trying to do and how their goals can be met with your offering.

It’s a brave new world. Take the blinders off and you will see that in the game of ad sales the internet has called for a big “do-over” and we are all starting from scratch but it will benefit you to remember to NOT make any of these common selling mistakes.

Understanding the Mobile Advertising Landscape

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Topics: common mistakes, trends, sales, sales training, digital media training, digital, digital sales, strategy, sales manager, digital training, mistakes

How to Define A Sales Culture

Posted by Molly Depasquale on May 17, 2013 6:09:00 AM

What does a sales culture define? Does it dictate the way prospects are handled, instill a standard procedure for customizing solutions, or does it imply that everyone on the sales team is urged to attend training every once in a while?
An organizational culture implies that the members of the organization are working towards a common goal. There is a certain set of similar views or beliefs that employees hold across multiple departments. Those beliefs, when united, should ideally move the members to contribute the best they can to an organization's output. 
A solid sales culture that provides a constant inflow of revenue, happy clients, productive work setting, and a positive morale is wonderful. Is it attainable? 
What are some simple ways that you feel might help build up a strong sales culture?
 
We'll start off the list with:
- reinforcement of core values
 

find_success

 

Please leave your suggestions and comments in the box below!
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Topics: training, strategy, sales culture, reinforcement

Challenge Accepted: Conquering the Sales Callback

Posted by Molly Depasquale on May 15, 2013 9:47:00 AM

When trying to set up an initial meeting with a prospect, you should both call and email the person. Combining these two approaches will make your message a more memorable as well as easy to respond to for both email and voicemail people. The key to this approach is to use the same wording for both messages and send them at the same time. Both the voicemail and the email should include your name, phone number, company name, reason you are calling, and your phone number (again).

red_phone_receiver_call

1. "Reason for Contact" Statements

Your "reason for contact" statement should be the shortest possible description of your lead source. For example, if you received a referral from Roger Smith, your reason statement should be something like "regarding Roger" or "regarding Roger Smith." If you acquired the lead from a trade show, the reason statement should be "regarding the trade show;" if you met at a networking event, the reason would be "regarding last week's conversation."

2. Keeping It Simple and the Same 

According to studies where sellers carefully tracked their ratios, shortening the message to a single word or a short phrase seems to work the best. For example, if you are selling your product or service to an insurance company, you would leave a message that says "Re: Met Life." When they call back (and they will), you can finish the thought by saying "We've done a lot of work with insurance companies like Met Life, and I thought we should get together to discuss." Again, the key is to use the same wording for both messages and send them at the same time.

merge_combine_mix_connect

3. Getting the Call 

Do not type your entire sales pitch or toss your manifesto in the emails you send to fresh prospects (avoid the "See the attached 400 page document on why we are so great"). Emails should read more like reminder notes you leave for your spouse or roommate. The business version of "please don't forget milk today" might be something like "confirming our appointment for Tuesday." You might even leave out their name and all niceties (such as "greetings"). Just get to the point. In this age of ubiquitous iPhones, Droids, Blackberries, smartphones, and iPads, your message recipient will appreciate this more as they walk and read.

Common sense tells us that those who read or listen to our complete messages are much more likely to respond to us!

Action Steps 


To improve your sales success, focus on:

• A Reason for Contact
• Keeping it Simple and the Same
• Getting the Call

 

Question: What was the best callback you've ever received? How did the conversation flow?

 

About the Author:

Steve_Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

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Topics: calling, reason for contact, emails, tips, prospecting, value, call, improving, strategy, user engagement

10 Questions to Ask Before Investing in Sales Training [Free eBook]

Posted by Molly Depasquale on May 7, 2013 8:10:00 AM

"20% of the sales force in many companies delivers 80% of the revenue"according to Salesforce.comWhy not aim to help 100% of your sales team achieve its potential? 


Many companies consider training their employees but question whether or not they are investing in the the right type of training for their specific needs. It is important to ask the right questions when considering training.

This eBook was written to help you concisely tailor a training strategy, outline what you should take into account before investing in your next training initiative, and help simplify the next steps.

In this eBook, we look at:

  • 10 Must-consider Objectives
  • Expert Opinions from Top Trainers
  • The Key Questions To Ask Out Loud

You know that the competition grows stronger and that goals are set higher every year.

Access the eBook below to help stay ahead of the competition.

 

Free eBook

 

 

About the Author:

Steve Bookbinder is Co-founder and CEO of Digital Media Training, a training partner to some of the most successful sales organizations around the world.  DMT delivers training which treats sales as a competitive sport and changes behavior needed to help sellers consistently win.  DMT is a leader in M-learning training reinforcement with a proven track record of improving sales through training. Steve has delivered more than 500 keynote speeches at national sales meetings, conducted more than 3,000 training workshops and trained, coached and managed more than 35,000 sellers and managers from leading companies around the world for more than 20 years.

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Topics: sales, training, value, skills, eBook, Investing in Sales Training, strategy