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Our sales team is very new to Sales Insight, so I did a training with them last week to show them some of the features and how they can use it to interact with their prospects better. I figured this is probably something a lot of us have to do at some point, so I am attaching my powerpoint that anyone can adapt to use for their own sales teams. Warning: it has many gifs and memes. Our sales team is very young, so I knew this would keep their attention also, my gif game is strong. Some of this is specific to our instance - for example, I created a marketing suspend campaign to allow them to suspend a prospect from marketing for 30 days if they are actively working a deal or about to do a demo - but it can probably be adapted for anyone.
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By: Janet Dulsky Posted: May 16, 2016 | Modern Marketing As marketers, we have been forced to become more technically adept as we are on the verge of another major shift . As our CMO put it, “Marketing has changed more in the last five years than it has in the last 500 and will change more in the next five than ever before.” With the emergence of new technologies , we now have to be able to look at data, understand it, and use it to make decisions about our marketing campaigns. While I feel pretty good about my “technical” skills, when I have to deal with teammates who are engineers, web developers, or other really technical folks, I sometimes feel like a babe in the woods. Having had the opportunity to work with plenty of these techy types over the years, I’ve developed my own personal list of do’s and don’ts for working with them. This list isn’t rocket science. All of these do’s and don’ts for working with technical teammates are simply practicing good interpersonal skills: 1. DO Bring Your “A” Game This is all about respect. You want your technical teammates to respect you, not look down on you as one of those “fluffy” marketing types. Don’t be afraid to show them what you do know. I recently went through the Google Analytics (GA) Digital Analytics Fundamentals online course with the goal of eventually getting certified (still working on that). When I was reviewing our web data with our analyst, I let him know I was familiar with GA and pointed out some of my observations from looking at the data. For example, I noticed visitors were dropping off on our pricing page at a higher rate than I expected. This led to us having a conversation about testing changes on the page, including CTAs, form placement, and content, to encourage more of our visitors to engage. 2. DON’T Be Afraid to Ask Questions Ever had that feeling in a meeting that everyone else is speaking a foreign language you don’t understand? I had that experience just the other day when I was sitting in a meeting with our engineers who were talking about software integrations. I had to decipher the language if I wanted to get my job done, so I started asking questions. “What’s a connector?”, “What’s an API call?”, and so on. My colleagues happily answered my questions, and I slowly began to make sense of the discussion. Asking questions doesn’t make you look stupid. Not asking questions when you don’t know something does, and it can negatively impact your ability to do your job well. Besides, everyone likes to be considered an expert on something, so by asking questions, you allow your teammates to demonstrate their expertise as they teach you. 3. DO Really Listen While you do know a lot, you don’t know everything. Be willing to really listen to what your teammates are saying, especially when they’re explaining something technical to you. It shows that you’re interested in what they do and respect their expertise. And you’ll probably learn something that’s both interesting and useful. I find that I usually do. When I deleted something from our website’s content management system (CMS), I noticed that the content was still showing up on the website. When I asked our web developer about it, he explained that we had different time delays set for flushing the cache on various pages on the site based on how often the content typically changes. Not only did his information help me understand why I was still seeing deleted content on the website, the information was valuable for me going forward since I can now plan changes to the website around the timing of the cache flushing. 4. DON’T Say “I Can’t” If your technical teammates ask you to do something technical, don’t say immediately say “I can’t.” First (here’s where my inner cheerleader comes out), you can because you’re smart and a quick learner. Second, you will earn your teammates’ respect if you’re willing to try and give it your best effort. The more you learn about the technical work your teammates do, the easier it is for you to speak their language and know exactly what to ask them for when you need help. When I worked on my first web project, I didn’t know how to work with the CMS. I didn’t let that deter me. I asked lots of questions, listened to the answers, and jumped right in. Now, I am very comfortable working in a CMS. For marketers to be successful today, we need to be generalists with both a breadth and depth of knowledge. Who knows? You may discover an aptitude for a technical skill you never knew you had. In addition, being exposed to and learning new technical skills is a bonus for you and your career. Learning something new makes you that much more valuable to your company. Plus, it keeps you interested and engaged. 5. DO Always Say “Thank You!” This is the most obvious of all my do’s and don’ts, but it’s amazing how often people forget this simple courtesy. Everybody likes to be appreciated. Telling a teammate “thank you” for showing you how to do something, going out of their way to explain something to you, or helping you get your job done goes a long way in building good working relationships. I find that these two simple words make people more willing to help me the next time around. And, they make working with my technical colleagues (or anyone for that matter) much more pleasant. As marketers, we have lots to learn from our technical brethren. So, embrace your inner nerd and reach out to your technical teammates. Have any do’s or don’ts of your own to share? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
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Here are a couple campaign request form templates that were developed to capture all the information needed to build a webinar program in Marketo. I build a lot of these one-off programs and was finding myself spending too much time tracking down information from various people. The attachments are as follows: Campaign Request Form - External (used when campaigns originate from a department outside of marketing (ex. Sales)) Campaign Request Form - Internal (used when campaigns originate from a member of the marketing team) Campaign Request Form - External First tab: this is the tab that the campaign originator will complete Second tab: this is an example of what a completed webinar campaign request form will look like Third tab: this is an example of what a completed email campaign request form will look like Campaign Request Form - Internal First tab: this is the tab that the marketing team member will complete to originate the campaign Second tab: this tab contains the appropriate tokens used for emails/landing pages Third tab: this tab contains the appropriate information for GoToWebinar Fourth tab: this tab contains information need to post a portal ad The additional campaign tabs are added to the external request form once received by the marketing team. We also use a Google form for some project requests. That may be an option too!
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By Rebecca Lieb Digital isn't just every where , it will soon be every thing . Since the 1980s, digital has been in an unrelenting phase of hypergrowth. In our lifetimes, we've witness centralized mainframe computers morph into distributed desktop computers connected to a network. By the late '90s most of those machines were instead connected to the World Wide Web. The next decade brought with it cloud and ubiquitous computing, technologies for anywhere, any time mobile users. Up next? Pervasive computing. Processors will be embedded in everyday objects to gather data for analysis and action, the catalyst of a new ‘phygital’ world in which digital connections bridge the physical and digital worlds. The Internet of Things (IoT), beacons, and sensors already enable a far deeper "conversation" between all elements of brand experience – including objects. Connected Devices – Impact Increasingly, consumers no longer differentiate between media and channels. Second screen activity is already transforming how they watch television, for example. They may simultaneously be shopping, buying, voting, emailing, or chatting with friends, posting on social media or looking up information about the show they are watching. They're likely not even viewing content on a TV. Cord-cutting is rampant. Consumers no longer care about platform or media ownership, what matters is access and convenience. So how do marketers find these fickle consumers, flitting between channels like digital hummingbirds? It depends. Any individual’s preference will be based on their own unique pain points and needs, the time and location when that need strikes, their behavior, history, culture, exposure to technology, peer influences, and myriad other factors. What is clear however is that the CMO must be as agile and multifaceted as the increasingly varied customer journeys they steward. Their brands are compelled to be omnichannel, and that "omni" accounts for ever-more channels and devices. The CMO's mandate is to bind omnichannel together with seamless customer experiences bound by the Three Cs: Consistency : Consistency in brand tone, outreach, response, presence, and culture. Expanding touchpoints allows brands to pervade consumers’ lives by providing timely content, services, and utility Content : Content is the unifying element of how brands manifest across all touchpoints across channels, platforms, and devices, online or off. Context : Context is the antidote to endless, noisy media proliferation. Data helps companies better understand customer context down to the individual level, including (but not limited to) personal, location, historical, behavioral, cultural, social, technological, and beyond. MGM Resorts sends hotel guests at the Bellagio Las Vegas notifications on the MGM app for nearby restaurants, shopping, and shows via their smartphones. Offers are highly personalized based on a number of factors: geo-location, time of day, loyalty member status, purchase history, and preferences. You might get a twofer ticket offer for tonight's show, while I receive a steak dinner special. A non-mobile example of the new “phygital” frontier is Navdy, an in-car display system that's been called the Google Glass for your car. It shows the driver relevant messages: navigation, text and voice messaging, and vehicle service notifications, for example. Beacons and sensors in retail locations can not only convey inventory information, but provide consumers with highly contextual offers. Sensitive to the shelf level, embedded devices know if the shopper is browsing ketchup or mustard and can tailor offers accordingly. ‘Phygital’ Risks and Rewards Harnessing digital connections to foster deeper human interactions is the opportunity in bridging the digital and physical worlds. For brands and consumers alike this means: Increased relevance and context Greater visibility Greater utility (“brands as service partners’) Happier, more engaged customers Data that inform optimization opportunities (across customer and product lifecycles) Increased loyalty Improved conversion and business results Market differentiation As with other emerging technologies, the “phygital” world is also not without risks, particularly if strategy is secondary to a tactical approach. Risks can include: Attribution Impact Losing (or losing track of) customers along their journeys Viewing mobile as a secondary channel Advertising-only mentality Annoying or creeping out customers > opt-out Higher possibility of friction in “offline” contexts Under-use of content and brand assets Negative impact on brand sentiment/experience Ineffective or unethical use of data Wasted investment Planning for an omnichannel “phygital” world requires a renewed commitment to digital transformation. This includes orchestrating across not only internal teams but also agency and technology vendor partners. Planning must take into account media convergence, with a strong view toward integrating technologies to "play nice" together, everything from marketing to mobile tech to systems that may live outside of marketing's purview, such as CRM. Ready or not, we're hurtling into a brave new world. Brands that aren't at the ready in the channels and media, times, and places where customers and prospects wish to interact will in just a few short years risk irrelevance, even obsolescence.
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By: David Cain Marketers often believe that investing in analytics and digital marketing tools fully prepares them to compete in a data-driven world. These tools are built to quickly and simply helpmarketers translate data into actionable metrics. But in reality, that’s just half the battle. Keeping pace in the digital age also involves hard decisions about the setup of their marketing organization. But for too many companies, slowed down by old, corporate silos, that’s not going to be an easy transition. Marketing departments in the pre-internet and early-internet era created individual departments (sometimes in excess), which were based on functional expertise and often dedicated to specific channels, such as print, television, email, web and social. These departments were built in a time when companies believed that marketing controlled the customer in a linear process, pushing them methodically through their marketing ‘funnel’—from awareness to purchase and the various steps along the way. That approach worked historically, but the explosion of additional digital channels like mobile and social, and higher consumption across them scrambled the equation forever. The buying process nowadays is anything but linear. Think about the typical consumer’s day. They may start by doing something on one channel. But then later, they may interact with a brand again—this time on a different channel. If the brand is treating each channel as a silo, they won’t be able to have anything but a jumbled, disconnected conversation with their consumer. The new world requires constant company engagement with customers, supplying personalized and relevant information that offers value and informs their decisions wherever they are and whenever they are engaging with you. Shift To Support The Customer Journey This evolution to what we, at Marketo, call engagement marketing, is forcing marketers to move as quickly as their markets and their customers. The challenge to CMOs is to take a sledgehammer to their corporate silos and reimagine a new way to structure their marketing departments. We’re seeing successful CMOs transform traditional marketing silos and channel-focused roles into organizational structures that allow for greater focus on the customer journey as a whole. To be fully prepared for the digital age, your organization needs to be organized around your customer, and you need people who can listen and respond to your customers in a coordinated fashion. In action, this translates into the “hub and spoke” model, that Marketo’s CMO Sanjay Dholakia nicely explains. It’s an approach that features “centers of excellence” (think service bureaus but with a much greater strategic focus) that all of the company’s marketers can turn to when they need help. The shared service model that is at the core of centers of excellence helps teams think about and respond to your customer more collaboratively while also removing inefficiencies. The Value of Centers of Excellence The main building block is the creation of a centralized skills-based competency center , which we call the center of excellence (COE). There can be any number of them inside the company, embracing everything from content to marketing operations to design to events. Replacing the myriad decentralized functional groups that accumulated over the years, these centers of excellence provide a consistent and comprehensive set of services to other parts of the organization. No longer will different groups make arbitrary decisions about the same things. Now and forever, the left hand will know what the right hand is doing. What’s more, you’ll help light creative sparks. People working side by side can better brainstorm and, hopefully, come up with magic—the idea being that 1 plus 1 will equal 3. While this value-added has obvious and subtle benefits, it doesn’t change that people are creatures of habit. You’ll find that people inside your organization may take a while to adjust to the change. They may initially feel frustration that they don’t “own” the resources needed to accomplish their objectives. By definition, centralizing expertise in a COE means that expertise won’t live under the multiple silos. Still, that’s a small price for running a leaner, more nimble organization and eliminating potential duplicate efforts. Consider that the benefits outweigh the downsides. For example: Focus: You get like minds working together, often resulting in a team that pushes each other’s boundaries while focusing on the task at hand. Economies of scale : Better load balancing means you ultimately need fewer people to get more done. Collaboration: Your specialists are no longer laboring in isolation. The potential upside from peer-to-peer collaboration is limitless. Quality: You now can better enforce standards such as brand guidelines and style guides. Consistency across the organization saves time and fosters better quality output. Single voice : A single point of contact ensures a consistent message throughout the organization. The benefits gained from COE’s make organizations more flexible. As companies scale in size, this organizational arrangement makes increasing sense not only because it offers organizations the benefit of streamlined, creative, high-quality work, but because this structure best supports the true customer journey—one that’s dictated by the customer, at their own pace. Siloed teams can flex in their individual units, but without an understanding of the big picture, whereas a customer journey focused organization supported by COE’s can nimbly respond to the customer’s (changing) needs, throughout their journey, and across channels. Today, marketers must understand their customer and communicate with them with the right message at the right time, but it doesn’t end there. To be successful, today’s marketing leaders must not miss the critical step of structuring your organization to adapt quickly.
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Originally published in Forbes How Technology Is Transforming The Structure Of The Marketing Organization This article is by Phil Fernandez, chairman and CEO of Marketo, a marketing-automation company. Technology is no longer the tail that wags the marketing dog – it is the entire dog, nose to tail. There was a time in the not too distant past when digital was an add-on function in the marketing equation. Today, digital is at the core of everything we do in marketing. And that has profound ramifications for the business of marketing, the people who practice it, and the companies that rely on it to grow and succeed. Just as technology has transformed how companies market themselves and their brands, it is having a similarly momentous impact on corporate marketing organizations and the people who staff and manage them. For corporations to fully capitalize on the technology-fueled marketing revolution– or just avoid being left behind – they will need to completely rethink and restructure their marketing departments. Companies large and small are already starting to align their marketing departments with the new technology-driven business environment, but these changes are happening with less urgency than is warranted. Marketing should be a leading indicator in business (and technology), not a lagging one. So what does the tech-empowered marketing organization of the future look like, and what do you need to do to build one today? In my mind there are two big areas of focus: A Customer Mindset A study we commissioned earlier this year that found that 75% of CMOs and senior marketing executives expect to own the end-to-end customer relationship in the next three to five years.  Assuming even more responsibility for managing the entire customer lifecycle, the CMO is now organizing the marketing function around the customer rather than around channels, internal processes and tools (e.g., no more separate email and social marketing teams). We’re also seeing centers of excellence emerging to connect common, horizontal functions and drive coordination around engaging the customer. This includes breaking down the old barriers between customer acquisition and loyalty.  Suffice it to say that if you still have a separate digital group in your marketing department, you are probably headed in the wrong direction. A New Team For years the key players in the marketing department were the VPs of brand marketing, corporate marketing and product marketing. Who are the leaders in this new digital age? The term “content marketing” barely existed five years ago. Today most marketing departments have at least one executive whose sole job is to oversee the development and distribution of content to attract and engage customers. The modern marketing organization is increasingly being powered by an engine that is process-driven. This has given rise to a new role, the head of marketing operations,who isr esponsible for driving that engine with the right blend of technology and data. I also believe we need to designate a head of listening. This individual would listen to what the customer really says and understand how she behaves via the web, mobile, social and the “real” world, too. Always advocating for the customer’s needs and wants, the head of listening would use these insights to empower the marketing team to respond in real-time, customer-by-customer, thus helping to build the long-term relationships that produce outsized revenue growth. Notwithstanding all of this progress, too many companies are not evolving fast enough. To paraphrase the great poet Chaucer, time and tide wait for no company. Forward-thinking corporations are moving aggressively to build customer-centric, technology-driven marketing organizations that are competing more effectively and poised to win the future. Is your company ready?
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This document was provided by our LaunchPoint partner, Sprinklr. It contains advice for using social media to turn employees into brand advocates. Plus, advice from practitioners at Entergy and EY.
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How do you know if your organization is ready for B2B Marketing Operations (MO) 2.0? This paper will help you determine if your organization is ready by asking questions like: What does that organization look like? What are its primary pain points? What is its vision for the future? What pressures are driving it to consider undergoing substantial change? THE CURRENT STATE OF B2B MARKETING OPERATIONS Marketing Operations is still finding its way into the enterprise, but it has certainly made has made significant strides in the past three years. Consider: In Silicon Valley, less than two-dozen companies had formalized Marketing Operations functions in place in 2005; that number today is likely in the hundreds. Even smaller upstarts, such as Big Band Networks, CyperSource, Iron Key and InsideView, have recognized the value of Marketing Operations by investing in dedicated staff. At least a half-dozen MO-related special interest groups have arrived on social media sites, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo and Yahoo Groups. Conferences, such as ad:tech, eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit and Predictive Analytics World, have added Marketing Operations to their agendas. The Marketing Operations Cross-Company Alliance (MOCCA) has grown to more than 500 members and the Marketing Operations Future Forum, which was just formed in April 2009, already exceeds 300 members. Even in a bad economy during the winter holidays, a search of MO-related job openings uncovered several dozen opportunities. The first courses on the discipline of Marketing Operations were offered through the University of California system and in Asia (Hong Kong) in 2008. The UCSC Extension MO course is expected to become available online in January 2010. A CHECKLIST FOR YOUR COMPANY To see if your company is a good candidate for B2B Marketing Operations 2.0, check all the characteristics listed below that apply. My company invests a significant amount in marketing resources (headcount and/or budget). My company’s marketplace is dynamic and highly competitive. My company’s marketing has evolved into a complex and multi-dimensional function. A diverse mix of programs and resources are funded to reach a breadth of audiences (segments, sales channels, internal and external stakeholders, etc.). My company faces government and regulatory compliance pressures. My company’s marketing processes have evolved to the point where they are no longer well coordinated or even well-understood. My company values best practices but lacks process, technology and metrics to achieve them. My company is pressuring marketing to assume a more strategic role. Within my company, many believe that marketing must deliver greater value for the company’s investment. If you checked half or more of the above statements, your company is a great candidate to benefit by leveraging the power of B2B Marketing Operations 2.0. WHERE DO YOU FEEL THE PAIN? If your company is feeling some pain, you’re probably acutely aware of it. Arriving at an accurate diagnosis, however, requires a careful examination. Before reviewing the checklist below to identify localized pain points, first consider the general health of your marketing effort. Does marketing currently receive wide recognition for its strategic leadership and bottom-line contribution? Is marketing in complete alignment with your company’s strategic goals and other key functions? Can marketing clearly measure its success and demonstrate ROI to your executive team? MO 2.0 is specifically designed to address these corporate pain points: A Marketing team focused on firefighting and tactics rather than on strategy. A Marketing team experiencing difficulty measuring ROI and demonstrating value, causing it often to be on the defensive, needing to justify marketing accountability to C-level executives and investors. Marketing success tied to other groups that have different, or even conflicting, goals. A corporate environment that fails to support collaboration and consequently loses opportunities for synergy. Employee defections that jeopardize continuity, place institutional knowledge and expertise at risk and contribute to high customer churn. Marketing processes that too often constrain internal efficiencies and effectiveness instead of enabling them. Poor coordination of shared processes across functions. Difficulty assimilating and integrating programs, systems and resources obtained from corporate mergers or acquisitions, leading to leading to duplication, momentum loss, lack of focus and resistance to change. If you resonate with two or more of the above statements, your organization may be in enough pain to be ready to embrace B2B Marketing Operations 2.0. WHAT’S YOUR VISION OF MARKETING’S CONTRIBUTION? In a perfect world, marketing operates as a very creative, fast-paced, results-driven function that stays close to the customer and its other stakeholders. It is not only aligned with the enterprise’s strategic agenda but also helps define it. It leads the customer experience and innovation processes. It is well integrated with other corporate functions and takes full advantage of the power and discipline of a strategically designed B2B Marketing Operations 2.0 infrastructure. The MO 2.0 infrastructure layers into the marketing function the processes, technology, guidance and metrics required by an efficient operation that delivers outstanding value on a consistent basis. Such an MO 2.0 infrastructure enables informed decision-making, accountability, sustainability, visibility, teamwork, strategic thinking and repeatable best practices execution. A marketing organization is ready to think seriously about embracing MO 2.0 when it feels internal and external pressures to make systemic changes because it has not been delivering on its vision and has consistently failed to achieve its operational goals. The CEO considers the CMO/Marketing VP to be a valued strategic partner. Marketing is fully aligned with other company functions and stakeholders. Marketing efforts accelerate new product adoption, strengthen customer relationships and increase market penetration rate. Marketing leverages metrics and dashboards to measure and track results, and continually improve them. Dashboards rapidly and accurately inform decision makers. Metrics are aligned with corporate goals and increasingly drive marketing expenditures. The marketing team is energized and highly effective. Employee and customer loyalty are consistently high. High return on marketing investment is clearly recognized companywide. Unless you’ve checked at least half of the above statements, there is a large gap between your vision and your current reality. Your company is ripe—or more than ripe—for MO 2.0. Characteristic Organizational Pain Desired Vision Substantial marketing investment (resources, programs, budget) Unmanageable complexity, difficulty demonstrating ROI, Marketing on defensive Marketing optimizes resources to deliver substantial ROI Leverages processes, technology and best practices to spur productivity, knowledge sharing Utilizes dashboards and metrics to make informed spend decisions Is recognized by C-team for its accountability and ROI contribution Dynamic, competitive market No, or disappointing, growth, super-growth, high customer churn, high employee turnover Marketing aligns with other functions to take responsibility for: Nurturing sales funnel Revenue targets Innovation process New market penetration Customer experience Under media or regulatory scrutiny for: Shareholder confidence Supplier to government High-profile industry Compliance pressure, impact of change on SOX compliance, media magnifying glass Marketing partners with Quality, Finance, IR to meet compliance requirements Maps key processes Documents best practices Applies LEAN, Six Sigma and other methodologies Demonstrates ROI through KPIs, dashboards, etc. M&A integration challenges Actual or Pending Duplicated efforts, loss of continuity, “everything needs attention” syndrome, difficulty getting buy-in for change initiatives Marketing leads M&A and other change initiatives Communications leadership “Walking the talk” More tactical than strategic Firefighting, CYA behavior Marketing is valued strategic partner to CEO and C-team Some or all of the content contained in this white paper was contributed by Gary M. Katz, CEO of Marketing Operations Partners (www.mopartners.com)
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Note: This eBook was created by our LaunchPoint partner, Annuitas. Read about the changing landscape of Demand Generation -- and learn what you need to know.
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Lessons for Transforming the Way Your Company Communicates
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Author: Chris Gillespie Fatigue can show up in a number of interesting ways and it’s up to both management and sales professionals to self-assess and realize when they’re overworking themselves. With my background in wilderness Search and Rescue, I liken this to going for a very long hike: You’d assume that by not stopping, you’d go faster and further. In reality, if you don’t take frequent breaks you’ll slow down to a crawl and then start making poor decisions. This is exactly how hundreds of people get lost in national parks every year and have to be rescued. The same exact principle is true in the workplace. If you are grinding yourself into the ground at your computer screen prospecting for twelve hours each day and not taking breaks, you’re going to do a very poor job. This can be tolerable for short stints, but as a salesperson, you really don’t have the luxury of redoing some things. You only get one shot at making a killer first impression. You only get one good discovery call. And you only get one presentation to the CEO. If you’re not performing optimally during these critical moments, your sales will suffer. Fatigue affects your performance in everything, but especially in sales: While it’s true that as a sales professional, you’re not at the helm of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker or the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, mistakes made when you’re tired can still be damaging to your career. The Canadian Organization of Health and Safety claims that the effects of fatigue are similar to being drunk: Reduced decision-making ability Increased errors in judgment Reduced communication skills Reduced reaction time Increased tendency for risk-taking (not the good kind, sales leaders) Irritability These effects kick in after the 9 th -12 th hour at the office and linger for days. In this state, you’ll make poor first impressions, retain less from your discovery calls, and get outmaneuvered in negotiations over and over again. You’ll address clients by the wrong name, miss obvious social cues that it’s time to stop talking, and get generally upset when prospects don’t do what you’d like them to do. Clients will avoid calls with you and your productivity will plummet. Your manager will be on your case to perform and you’ll get frustrated, compounding your problems. Keep this up for a sustained period and you’re going to make fewer sales and eventually start worrying about your job security. More importantly, the long-term effect of fatigue is burnout. Long hours at the office come at the expense of more than just sleep: it eats into your personal interests and your social life and deprives you of the inspiration to go to work in the first place. So how do you spot fatigue? Just look for bumbles, mumbles, and stumbles. This was our rule of thumb in Search and Rescue: When people start stumbling over rocks, mumbling their words, or just bumbling around with pointless repetitive actions, it’s your job, as a peer, to draw attention to it. Their brain and body are taxed and they’re not making great decisions. This is when hikers read the map upside-down and get themselves lost in the dark. In sales, this is when you misquote the customer by a full decimal point, put the wrong company logo on your slide deck, forget what you’re saying mid-sentence, and draw a complete blank on critical questions. Your clients will be incensed at your lack of thoughtfulness and in sales, perception is reality. You’re going to lose deals because you didn’t connect with people. And it’s up to you and your team to help keep each other out of this state. How can sales professionals avoid fatigue? Get eight hours of sleep. It’s simple but worth mentioning because while you already know this, you probably don’t do it. As a salesperson, you work long hours. You get in early and stay until the job is done. You’re especially unbalanced near the end of the month or quarter. There’s also generally pressure not to be the first person out of the office, which doesn’t help. Just know that no amount of coffee the next morning is going to make you the A-player that you otherwise would be, and your brain needs sleep to win those deals. The trick is to talk openly with your manager and team about what time is acceptable to leave the office. Maintain healthy outside interests. Maybe that actually is hiking. Maybe it’s the gym. Maybe it’s really heavy dubstep. Or dinner with friends. Whatever those things are, don’t deny yourself the fresh infusion of fun and excitement that will keep you balanced and motivated to tackle each day of work. I know many salespeople who never miss a day of the gym because they see a direct correlation to their performance. Find your thing, and find time to do it. For those reps on a monthly sales cycle, you may want to front-load these activities into the first three weeks of the month and accept that the fourth week is a work-heavy week. Don’t take work home with you. Let me ask you, how many times during this article have you checked your phone? As salespeople, we’re beyond addicted to notifications–we live for them. Do you ever find yourself checking your email, LinkedIn, phone, and then email in an infinite loop? I do. When these notifications follow you home, they prevent your brain from resetting. Do your best to designate no-phone times and turn off unnecessary notifications. Managers, tell your reps when it’s okay to go home. Research shows that employees that are forced to spend a fixed amount of time at work find ways to make that enjoyable by filling in the gaps with Facebook, Zynga, and ESPN. As a sales manager, create a culture where your sales reps manage their time wisely. Your goal is to help them sell and it’s in your best interest to guarantee that they’ll be on their A-game during those critical moments like break-up calls or negotiation. Otherwise, they’ll be left bumbling around like a tired hiker who’s slowly getting lost because he’s not thinking straight. As salespeople, it’s important to self-assess and understand that working smarter doesn’t mean running yourself ragged. It means getting a decent amount of sleep and prioritizing your key interests and hobbies. It means setting your phone down when you go home. And it means that the entire sales organization is working together to keep each other balanced so that you can each be your best self and go on closing deals and winning. Do you feel like you do a particularly good job of maintaining this balance? Share your story below.
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By: Chris Gillespie Posted: January 25, 2016 | Sales Have you ever photocopied a piece of paper so many times that the copies faded and became hard to read? This is called a transcription error, and it happens when little mistakes add up over time to make a big difference. This also happens in sales when you repeat your pitch over and over again until small details get lost, the delivery gets muddied, and your pitch loses its edge and effectiveness. Once a quarter, it’s important to reset your habits to make sure that you’re not falling victim to this process. Essentially, you need to get back to the basics and start fresh. A big part of this refresh involves motivating yourself. Do you remember the bright and shiny optimism that you felt when you first started your job? How absolutely certain you were about your product? How you looked up to the more tenured salespeople and picked their brains to find out what they were doing differently? To dial in on this energy, you need to do assess yourself to determine what you’re doing well and poorly. So use this checklist to see how you stack up. If you start to feel a little inadequate, that’s great! You’ve identified the key areas that you need to work on, and there’s reassurance in knowing exactly what you need to do. And if you’re not selling more than you want to be (who is, really?), then this gives you a clear path forward to start the quarter with a crisp, clean page. Goals 1. Are my goals written down and up-to-date? Goals change over time, so it’s a good idea to revisit them. Keeping them consistent is good so you can track your progress, but it’s okay to tweak them occasionally. People learn as they go, and you shouldn’t stick to anything that doesn’t still make sense. Write your goals down, keep them visible, and share them with peers to hold yourself accountable. Don’t have any goals written down from last quarter? There’s never a better time to start than now. Sample goals : Achieve a 35% closed-won opportunity conversion by April 1 Hit 110% of year-to-date plan by April 1 Generate 3 new outbound sales opportunities each month, 9 per quarter this year 2. Am I on-track with my goals? Did I reach them? If not, where can I improve? Keep yourself honest. Many people set goals, but very few people keep them (just look at gym attendance in January versus February). Make sure your goals are SMART (simple, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound). This is a great article if you’re interested in the specifics on goal setting. Process 3. Am I following a template for discovery calls, or have I gotten lazy and just started winging it? What about my emails? This is where those nasty transcription errors start slipping in. I’ve found that over time, I may forget to do basic things like set agendas for my discovery calls, and then run into issues where we don’t cover the right topics in order (or at all). If your company doesn’t have a defined template, try your hand at making one. Consolidating your tried-and-true best practices into a template can be a great team exercise. 4. Did I refresh my prospecting emails and content links? The content that you share with your prospects can become stale, and links can get broken or outdated. Make sure that you’re not sending around any whitepapers from 2011 or videos that don’t work. This is a great time to check-in with the marketing team to see what new and exciting content you can share. 5. Am I still looking for leads in the same places? It might just be part of the nature of being a salesperson, but there’s a certain sense of fear that comes over you when you feel like you’ve run out of leads. Either you’re account-based and telling your boss “I need the Glengarry leads!” or you’re territory-based and you’re convinced that you’ve already sold to every single company in the state of New Jersey. Whether you’re a small start-up or large enterprise, you’re probably wrong. The total addressable market of territories—even mid-sized companies—is tens of thousands of leads. What’s really happened is that you’ve “photocopied” the same prospecting idea so many times that it’s become a blank piece of paper. So get a new piece of paper! Refresh your approach by having someone else take a look at what you’ve done and poke holes in it. Have you tried looking at the competitors of companies you’ve sold to? Have you tried looking at companies that your current customers have previously worked for? I promise you, the issue is not in the number of leads available, but your mindset. If you are able to shift it, you’ll magically start seeing new lists and thinking up new sources. Here’s a good exercise to help you find your focus : List off all of the deals that you won in the last quarter. Did the majority of your deals come from one vertical, region, or account? If there’s a noticeable trend, prioritize your efforts in the new quarter on that. And don’t forget to ask your now happy customers for referrals! 6. Am I utilizing all of my tools? Are you utilizing all of your sales channels or have you defaulted to just sending emails when you could be calling? If it’s the latter, create a goal for yourself to rectify that. A successful rep uses every available channel, so optimize your outbound prospecting strategy. Don’t forget about the tools that your company provides that you may not be taking advantage of. Some examples include data sources, partner co-selling, and email marketing tools. If none of these exist, be an innovator and start doing your own. Find a list of partners and start building a relationship with them to see if you can pass each other leads or help each other close deals. And there are personal skills and tools—what about your company’s learning-reimbursement program? Most companies will pay you to take classes in related areas that can either deepen your current skills or prepare you for your next role. Sales Skills 7. Am I selling to the best of my ability? Your selling skill is another place where transcription errors come into play, so have your colleagues listen to one of your cold calls and provide honest feedback. As salespeople, we may stop doing things by the book over time, including important parts of a call like up-front contracts, agendas, and staying on client’s calendars. Identify which fundamentals you need to touch up on, and nothing helps you do this faster than an impartial outside perspective. If you’re truly interested in improving, show your colleagues your worst calls. Don’t be shy, your colleagues feedback can only help you and will encourage a supportive relationship. Only sharing the best ones is like inviting guests in through the back door because the front of the house is on fire. 8. What are the top skills that I need to work on? As a salesperson, you’re probably well aware of your strengths and use these to your advantage whenever you can. But it’s just as important to identify your weaknesses and improve on them so that you can truly become invincible. To identify the skills you need to work on, draw a table with two columns like I’ve done for myself below. In the left column, list off all of your lost opportunities, and then in the right column, list all of the reasons why they didn’t close. Which ones occurred the most? Other examples : Not qualified properly Didn’t build a relationship Competitor told a better story Pricing Next to each reason, list the frequency, and then come up with ways to improve. Team Building 9. Did I make time for my team outside of work? Team building is crucial to building and developing relationships with your peers, but when things get busy, group activities are typically the first thing on the chopping block. Change this by getting lunch with your team and making time outside of work to catch up with them. Strong team ties can help you close deals. 10. Did I get to know people outside of my department? It’s extremely important for your success in sales to be aligned with departments beyond your own; you never know when you’re going to have to approach engineering or support with a question. By building these relationships early, you can avoid bothering them at the eleventh hour of your deal cycle when you’re completely frantic and begging for help. Tackle all of these one-by-one to set yourself up for a fantastic quarter. Remember, no matter how good of a salesperson you are, all skills are perishable and fade over time. If you’ve just been photocopying the same pitch over and over for too many months now, it’s guaranteed to missing some key details. Do yourself a favor and turn over a new page. ­ What other things should be on this checklist? Let me know in the comments below!
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By: Kylie Ora Lobell Posted: February 1, 2016 | Content Marketing Great content should be at the core of your marketing initiatives, but to produce this content, you need to hire talented creators. If you own a small to medium-sized business, you may not have the budget to take on a staff of full-time writers, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, or developers. This is where freelance employees come into play. With freelancers, you can save money on operational costs since you don’t need to provide benefits or workspace. Plus, you can pick and choose whom you want on your content creation team from a pool of freelancers around the world. By not depending on local workers, you’re able to put together a diverse team from a variety of backgrounds and niches. However, if you’re going to be integrating a number of different freelancers into your company, you need the right tools to manage them efficiently. These are five types of tools that you can utilize to ensure that your content marketing campaigns stay organized and drive results : 1. Finding freelancers Doing a Google search or finding referrals for freelancers is a time-consuming process. Instead, you can look at job boards where top talent congregates. One example is the Upwork platform, which gives you the opportunity to find freelancers for every type of content creation. There are more than 10 million independent workers from over 180 countries on the site. Once hired, you can message back and forth with your freelancers, create milestones they have to meet, and pay them through the site. Another site for finding workers is MediaBistro, where you can either post jobs or browse through the talent on the site. All freelancers list their resumes, samples, and experience, which means you can vet them before making contact. To find freelance bloggers specifically, try ProBlogger, where you can list your jobs and gain access to bloggers who are actively looking to be hired. 2.Blogging Without a solid content management system in place, you’ll have a difficult time overseeing all your freelancers and their work. Going back and forth through emails and Google docs won’t cut it. Instead, you need to find a blogging platform that works for you and your team. WordPress is a classic choice for content creation. Aside from being free, it includes a variety of plugins that optimize your blog for SEO and promotional purposes. All your freelance writers have to do is log into your website’s WordPress account, copy and paste in their work, and fill in all the correct SEO information through the Yoast SEO plugin. Then, the post will show up in your queue. Once it’s submitted, you and your editors can go in, edit the piece, and hit publish. This way, your writers don’t need to email you their work, which ends up making more work for you because you have to manually load it in. Also, it’s much easier to organize all the work your freelancers have completed. An alternative to WordPress is Google’s Blogger, which is also a free and simple to use platform. It contains gadgets as opposed to WordPress’ widgets, and includes Google integrations like AdSense and Analytics, allowing you to easily monetize your company blog and monitor traffic. 3. Invoicing and tracking hours Working with so many freelancers can become complicated, and it’s important for you to evaluate how much money is being spent vs. how much is being generated through your efforts. Without a centralized platform, you’re going to be lost. One option is Due.com, which can assist you with the logistical side of overseeing your freelancers and their pay. This platform has time tracking and invoice tools that allow you to view how many hours your freelancers are working and what invoices you need to take care of. It also generates detailed reports so you know where you are in terms of your finances. Another platform for managing freelancers financially is Zenefits, which gives you peace of mind that your independent contractors are being paid on time. You can input how much time freelancers spent working and make sure they’re receiving their benefits (if you provide any for them). If you’re running a small operation, Zenefits eliminates the need for hiring HR talent. 4. Managing projects If you have multiple freelancers working on one project and there are many different elements to keep track of, you need a project management system. BaseCamp is a popular choice for project management. Through this tool, you and your team can upload files and store your collective to-do lists. It shows who worked on which project and when. Whenever a project is updated, those that are involved are sent emails so they can go in and complete their assigned tasks. You might also want to try Smartsheet, which is customizable project management software used by companies like Hilton, Groupon, and Netflix. It’s a great option if your business is utilizing spreadsheets in order to complete projects. Another option is Zoho Projects (pictured below), which comes with a timeline that’s similar to a social media feed. You can quickly scroll through it and see where you’re at with tasks. You can also integrate it with Dropbox and use it on your Android or iPhone. 5. Tracking blog posts and progress If a project management system is too complicated for what you want to do, you can work on a free or low cost tool that is strictly used to oversee your blog. Trello is a simple tool if you’re just getting started with freelancers. It’s also perfect for small teams. All you do is create boards for your freelancers and then make individual cards to ensure that each project is progressing. This platform lets you drag and drop files and include pictures and links, so it’s easy to use even for those who aren’t technologically savvy. You might also want to look into BamBam!, a platform that includes milestones and newsfeeds for your projects and is free for 10 users or less. If you’re a startup but you want project management that’s suitable for the corporate world, BamBam! may be the right choice for you. Of course, there are more robust content platforms that integrate with your marketing automation platform and offer two or more of these capabilities with one piece of software. These platforms often are an investment worth making because they will scale and grow with your business. Freelancers can greatly enhance your content creation campaigns. Once you have the best tools in your back pocket to manage them, you’ll be on your way to coming up with successful ideas that produce a huge ROI for your company. What other tools do you use to manage your freelance team of content creators? Let me know in the comments section below.
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By: Phillip Chen Posted: March 17, 2016 | Modern Marketing For marketers at growing companies who are ready to make the leap from a small marketing group to a larger-scale function, making their programs larger and more effective is almost always on their minds. But how do you grow with your programs so that you don’t get left in the dust? I started at Marketo when our marketing team was relatively small, and since then we have more than doubled. Throughout this time I have observed two types of marketers—the ones that have been able to grow with the company and the ones that weren’t able to punch above their original weight class. So how do you make sure that you’re growing with your company? Here are four ways to take yourself, and your marketing, to the next level: 1. Start Digging for Insights If you have no idea where to begin, start by looking at which of your programs are performing well and which could use some improvement. Indicators of program performance can include things like subjective opinion, pipeline attribution, or even something as basic as abnormal response rates. When you dig into this, you’ll find is that your original question will cascade into a series of additional questions such as “Is this an anomaly?” or “How can this be replicated?”. Ultimately, it’s the insights that stem from your curiosity that will lead you to a new idea to boost your programs. At Marketo, to gain insight into how we could grow our virtual event from 9,000 attendees to over 20,000 attendees, we put together a focus group of people with varying degrees of knowledge about what a virtual event was. Then, we asked them a series of questions, drilling into their answers looking for more insights. What we found were new ways of promoting the event, messaging around it, and other things our current event lacked. For example, we found that virtual attendees appreciate subtitles as not everyone can rely solely on audio. Another insight we found was that there was a misconception that a virtual event was a webinar, and that people didn’t realize it was very interactive and that they could interact with sponsors, network, listen to different sessions, download content, and also win prizes. Aside from focus groups, other ways you can uncover insights for your company include surveys, internal interviews, customer interviews, and of course reports. 2. Coordinate with Other Teams The difference between a small program and a larger program often comes down to cross-functional coordination. If you are effectively able to leverage other teams, you’ll have a greater impact with what you can do. The reason our field events at Marketo have grown so vigorously is because we have a buy-in process with sales and a coordinated effort of different roles and responsibilities to penetrate any given region. We start by showing our sales reps all the options available to them in terms of campaigns, events, and reports. Then, we have them request these options through a form or meeting. Doing this enables us to understand what our reps needs, which we can then translate into a plan. Our plans are reviewed by sales, so they can provide their feedback on whether or not it supports their objectives. As you can see, our program would be stifled if only handled by one group and not as a collaborative effort. Cross-functional coordination doesn’t apply to just sales and marketing alignment for B2B marketers, but extends to other departments as well as applies across marketing. Consider working closely with customer success, support, and other teams in your organization. 3. Plan Your Program Backwards Dream big, and then figure out what it takes to get there. This might seem intuitive, but in reality this is probably done poorly most of the time because of the considerable amount of effort it takes. Say for example that you want 1,000 people to register for your event. What do you have to do to get there? It will take a lot of brainstorming, and although you may not reach your goal initially, over time you will learn more effective ways to achieve the big dreams that you have. Remember that this is an iterative process. The first time you do this, your guesstimates or forecasts will probably be off. For example, you may think that sending one email can drive 100 people to a webinar, but it only really drove 10. While your assumption was off, the next time you go through this process, you will be able to better understand your investments and how to reach the numbers you are trying to achieve. 4. Obtain the Appropriate Resources I hate to tell you, but the honest truth is, if you want something to grow and scale, it will require resources in the form of time and money. What I will say though is that when there’s a will there’s a way. If you’ve done a good job of planning, you’ll be sharp and ready to handle any objections when talking to stakeholders—proving to them that what you want will help them achieve their goals. It’s unbelievable the number of times I’ve gotten my program invested internally over others, purely because I’ve put together a well-thought out plan of how the investment will be used and why it’s the right allocation of budget. At the end of the day, obtaining the appropriate resources is about creating a convincing argument as to why your program deserves more investment than another. To help you create a convincing argument, measure as many aspects of your program as possible to see where there may be outlier results that you can leverage to get your project funded. Things to measure may include pipeline, new logos, customer acquisition cost, new names, attendance rate, or number of marketing qualified leads to name a few. Growing with your marketing can be painful. It requires adaptability, a big dream, but also the willingness to learn and sweat to create something larger than yourself. Ask questions and get curious, bring in other teams to do something larger than just one function, plan a way to get what you want, and ask for the appropriate resources to get there with the right metrics to back it up.
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