Tag: Marketo Marketing Blog

Introducing The State of Engagement

If you’ve been following our latest posts on engagement and marketing, you know that marketers need to change the way they engage prospects and customers. We have entered the Engagement Economy, and to survive and thrive, organizations must evolve their marketing strategies and tactics accordingly. Simply put, we must stop saying that what we have been doing is “engaging” buyers. And instead, we must take steps to truly engage.

What most marketers have done with all the new digital tools at their disposal is put a new spin on traditional tactics of marketing to their audience. What’s needed is a wholesale change. It starts with truly understanding what it means to engage with today’s buyers.

I’m not blaming marketers. But I am advocating for a shake-up—starting with the mindset and going all the way down to the tactics—at most organizations.

To validate that marketing leaders need to adopt and execute new strategies and approaches, Marketo undertook the first-ever engagement focused study. Surveying more than 2,000 global consumers and marketers in order to surface valuable insights, the results should serve as a guidepost for marketers intent on succeeding.

Marketers Are Missing the Mark

The survey data revealed significant gaps between consumer expectations and marketers’ abilities to satisfy them. Consider this: the vast majority (82%) of marketers believe they deeply understand how their buyers want to be engaged. But half of buyers disagree.

A key reason for buyer dissatisfaction? Receiving irrelevant content from brands. In fact, this is the top reason consumers say they choose not to engage with vendors.

Irrelevant content

Part of the problem is likely due to the fact that the majority of consumer engagements with a brand are primarily transactional in nature. But it’s virtually impossible to deeply understand and build a relationship with someone purely through transactions.

It also doesn’t help that marketers are struggling to best use the tools available to them. It’s no small feat trying to unite data from the multiple—and often disconnected—point solutions used to manage engagement across different channels. In fact, it’s the biggest barrier to successful engagement, according to the marketers we surveyed.

And They’re Lacking Executive Support

The misalignment between marketers’ perceptions and buyer experiences is troubling. But what may be even more disturbing is the lack of critical support available to forward-thinking marketers. Those marketers that recognize the need to better align with buyer expectations are not getting essential executive sponsorship. In my experience, I know it’s nearly impossible to shift organizational priorities and strategies without support from the powers that be. As marketing leads the charge in defining true engagement for buyers, it’s more critical than ever that their executive team buys in.

It’s Time to Close the Gap

Ultimately the survey data indicates that marketers who make a priority of keeping the pulse of consumer expectations and interests will be the marketers who truly stand out, offer value, and engage to win in the Engagement Economy. The key to succeeding just may lie in moving beyond single-purpose tools to technologies, solutions, or platforms that facilitate the seamless flow of data across the marketing stack.

Marketers around the world agree that a top challenge is demonstrating return on their technology investments. It stands to reason that if their current tools are falling short in enabling the engagement that buyers expect, they are unable to deliver on their organizations’ core strategic goals. Executive leadership tends to reserve their support for initiatives that are driving a measurable impact.

With the right technology, marketers can satisfy consumer expectations, leading to better engagement, which in turn yields a higher return on marketing investments. This paves the way for executive support—and continued success.

Download The State of Engagement report for many more insights into what it means to truly engage consumers, employees and partners in the Engagement Economy.

Insights on Engagement from Consumers and Marketers

The post Introducing The State of Engagement appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog http://blog.marketo.com/2017/08/introducing-state-engagement.html

How to Measure Social Selling to Improve ROI

Social selling can be described as the art of connecting with sales prospects and building meaningful relationships with them, typically through your brand’s chosen social media platforms, to position your business at the forefront of their mind. The CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study found that effective social selling sales training services could improve win rates and quota attainment by 14.9% and 10.9%, respectively. In simple terms, social selling involves using social networking sites to identify the right prospects and connect with them, establish trust, and nurture these relationships to achieve better sales performance.

In this blog, we will take a look at three ways that businesses can measure social selling to get the most from it.

1. Individual Engagement Rates

Success in social selling involves making personal contact with potential clients through social media sites and sharing interesting or useful articles, blog posts, or infographics, in an effort to build trust. As a result, one very simple social selling metric involves monitoring engagement rates for each sales rep. To measure this, you can start by looking at the number of content pieces each rep shares over a particular period of time, in order to assess their commitment. From there, engagement can be measured, providing you with an idea of each sales rep’s social media influence.

“Once your sales reps have developed a habit of sharing relevant content…start measuring the engagement of their network,” says Alex Hisaka, writing for the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog. “[Track] how many people like, comment on, and share each piece of content.”

2. Sales Training and Sales Coaching ROI

In order to maximize social selling, it is important to invest time, effort, and money in the necessary social selling training and sales coaching to encourage the most successful behaviors. Therefore, a good way to measure the effectiveness of your social selling is simply to measure your ROI on any social selling training you carry out.

However, in an article for Sales for Life, Amar Sheth, a social selling trainer, points out that it is important not to focus entirely on the financial aspect of ROI, but also on other aspects of the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model:

  • ROI: Did the training investment provide a positive ROI?
  • Results: Did the training have a measurable impact on performance?
  • Impact: Did the learners’ behavior change as a result of the training?
  • Learning: Did knowledge transfer occur?
  • Satisfaction: Did the learners enjoy the training?

Unfortunately, many businesses are guilty of providing poor quality training, focusing entirely on tools like LinkedIn and failing to address necessary changes to sales processes, methodologies, and systems. This is why CSO Insights found that social selling training is ranked highly for needing improvements and major redesigns.

3. Second Degree Connections

Finally, second-degree connections provide an incredible opportunity for sales reps pursuing a social selling strategy, so it makes sense to pay attention to the number of secondary connections each rep has. This is a metric which will largely need to be self-reported, but make sure reps know to monitor it.

On LinkedIn for example, which is the most popular social selling platform, this can be done through the ‘Get Introduced’ feature. Being referred by a mutual connection makes a sales prospect five times more likely to engage with a sales rep, according to LinkedIn Sales Solutions, so this should be an area of particular interest for prospecting.

Social selling has the ability to drastically improve your sales team’s win rates. In essence, you are putting your sales team where your customers already live and turning them from Joe Salesguy into a trusted, personal connection.

How have you used social selling to increase your sales? How did you measure it? Tell me about it in the comments!

The post How to Measure Social Selling to Improve ROI appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog http://blog.marketo.com/2017/08/measure-social-selling-improve-roi.html

Perfect your Post-Click Experience to Boost ROI

Imagine you’re a restaurant and you hire a sign spinner to stand out front and welcome guests inside. And let’s say that you invest your whole year’s budget in them—you hire Jerry Seinfeld. He’s witty, he’s gregarious, and he talks hordes of people into coming through your doors … only for them to find out that the food’s no good and walk right back out. What would you have on your hands? The exact same problem as many modern marketers when they ignore the post-click experience.

In this blog, I’ll give you some tips to help boost your post-click experience to maximize your ROI.

Post-Click Matters

Visitors always want to know that they’ve made a good click. It’s an attention-based economy out there, and nobody has a moment to spare. If a potential customer is given any reason to think the place they arrive at isn’t as promised, they’ll bail. That’s why 63% of all new web visitors bounce instantly according to Kissmetrics and why most landing page conversions are so low. (To see how your landing page performance stacks up to your closest competitors, see the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.) So, what qualifies as a good click? When visitors find precisely what they came looking for. “The closer the ad matches the page and terms of the offer, the greater chance of conversion,” says Finge, CEO of ConversionLab, a conversion rate optimization agency.

If you’re a marketer spending bazillions on optimizing your advertising spend, but are just directing people to your main website or to convoluted landing pages, you’re essentially hiring Jerry Seinfeld to push people into a restaurant with bad food. For both your pre-click and post-click success, you can help yourself by getting more specific.

What Makes a Good, Soft Landing?

First off, stop sending PPC traffic to your website. Websites are for general exploration while PPC campaigns are for directing visitors to take a very specific action such as downloading or making a purchase. Send your traffic to multiple PPC landing pages that each match your various PPC calls to action, images, and keywords. This gives you what is known as message match and visitors can make an instant connection. With this in place, do all you can to boost your conversions, including:

  • Strip the site navigation from your landing pages: Isolate them so that you know precisely where your traffic is coming from.
  • Use directional cues: Guide your visitor’s gaze to the CTA with images. For a great example, see this landing page by Vidyard.

Directional Cues_Vidyard example

  • Get to your unique selling proposition right away: People don’t read anymore, they skim. Get right to the good stuff.
  • Sell benefits, not features: Tell visitors how converting will make them feel, such as elated, secure, or proud.
  • Forget colors, focus on contrast: Landing page colors are a bit like UFOs: Everyone has a theory. In our experience, the colors are irrelevant as long as there’s high contrast between them.
  • Tailor it to your industry: Above all, know thy customer and the activity of your direct competition within your industry.
  • Keep it simple, keep testing: One of the biggest mistakes marketers can make is not continually testing and developing new and simpler ways of getting that conversion.

These changes are shown to result in increased conversions which can be tremendously impactful to your ROI.

The chart below shows the mean and highest conversion rates for lead generating landing pages in 10 different industries.

Lead Generating Landing Page in 10 Different Industries

Source: Unbounce’s Conversion Benchmark Report

If you’re a travel company with a 5% conversion rate who brings your landing pages up to par with the highest performers in your industry, you’ll see a 5x increase in ad ROI.

And, we’re not even finished. While most users already know that landing page improvements boost ROI, did you know that they also impact how AdWords and Facebook Ads themselves treat you? When these platforms get word about your optimization your ads will also become automatically less expensive to run—further boosting your ROI—with this often overlooked benefit.

Perfecting Your Post-Click Experience Reduces the Cost of the Ads Themselves

Ad platforms like Google and Facebook give priority to ads that provide what the user is searching for. They gauge if the searcher is satisfied by whether or not they converted. If everyone who saw an ad clicked and converted, it’s a pretty safe bet that the ad provided a good and relevant experience.

 Boosting ROI 

AdWords offers some insight into how it judges your ad experience with its Quality Score which you can view for each of an ad’s keywords. That score is based on three factors and the higher it is, the less AdWords charges you to run ads:

  • Expected click-through rate (CTR): How likely does Google think users are to click?
  • Ad relevance: How closely does your ad match the user’s search intent?
  • Landing page experience: Wait, really? Yes, really. This metric is based on how relevant, transparent, and easy-to-navigate Google’s web crawler finds your landing page.

The digital marketing agency Workshop Digital went through the trouble of exporting and analyzing 1.7 million data points from its AdWords account and verified that using offer-specific, well-designed landing pages led to a 26% increase in conversion rates for its clients.

Higher conversion rates lead to higher Quality Scores, which give you more traffic (and thus, a higher ROI) for the same level of spend. 

Facebook works in a similar, albeit slightly more mysterious way. Unlike Google’s ads, Facebook’s (often) include both images and text, and there are more variables at play in determining how users find value with ads. What is clear, however, is that it ranks them with a Relevance Score and charges less for ads with a higher score. That score is based on two factors:

  • Negative feedback: Facebook encourages users to tattle on brands by hiding or reporting ads (using that “x” in the upper-right hand corner). These punish your score heavily.
  • Positive feedback: Facebook rewards ads that are relevant. Depending on the ad’s objective, this could be video completions, clicks, or, if you’re a savvy advertiser using Facebook’s pixel, conversions.

That is, “if your landing pages in any way result in higher conversions, you’ll increase the Relevance Score of your Facebook ads,” says Matthew Weller, Director of Performance Marketing at AspireIQ. “A higher relevance score means that you’re rewarded with a lower CPC, resulting in more efficient delivery given the same ad spend.” Again, high-converting landing pages are a key factor in boosting traffic, and thus, ROI.

Rescuing your Restaurant 

When you invest in your post-click experience, you are essentially hiring Robert Irvine of the reality TV series Restaurant: Impossible to come whip your eatery into shape. He’ll leap into action simplifying your menu (just one CTA per landing page), adding tastier dishes (talking benefits, not features), and adding some consistency to the decor (true message match). Suddenly, having your highly-paid sign spinner out front is totally worth it because far more of the diners who enter, stay, and eat.

If you’re driving good traffic but aren’t seeing the conversions you expect, optimize your landing page. Get more conversions with the same budget.

How do you maximize your post-click experience for your customers? What other tips have worked for you? I’d love to hear about what you’re doing in the comments.

The post Perfect your Post-Click Experience to Boost ROI appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog http://blog.marketo.com/2017/08/perfect-post-click-experience-boost-roi.html

3 Tips to Successfully Integrate Your Paid and Organic Social Media

When it comes to high growth areas, social media marketing fits the definition in terms of both the percentage of your budget it consumes and in the ROI it generates. But the path isn’t smooth or simple.

All too often, marketing teams are drawn to paid or organic social media strategies based on past successes or failures rather than as part of a comprehensive social strategy. The control of each channel might even rest with separate departments, which sets you on a potentially dangerous path where the messaging isn’t coordinated. Many companies fail to properly integrate their social media marketing strategies.

As investment bankers are often fond of saying, past performance is no guarantee of future success. While a single channel strategy might have worked for you in the past, modern social strategies experience greater social media amplification and ROI benefits because they utilize multiple channels and communication styles. The key to success in your social media marketing is to strike a balance between paid and organic social media efforts.

In this blog, you’ll find three actionable items to help you integrate your paid and organic social strategies successfully.

Know the Purpose Each Channel has for Your Marketing Efforts

Paid social has incredibly powerful targeting options, and it is an amazing tool to have in your lead generation toolbox. However, paid social media alone does not let you maximize the ROI that you can generate from your social media efforts.

On the other hand, organic social media can be an equally powerful tool for reaching your audience and building a community. While not as straightforward as paid social media, organic conversations can lead to deeper engagement and social media amplification with clients and influencers that money can’t buy.

Paid and organic social media both have advantages and drawbacks. Achieving the greatest benefit while minimizing disadvantages requires you to integrate both approaches into a larger, comprehensive social media marketing strategy.

Align Your Messaging

While paid and organic social have different purposes and different advantages, they are still both aspects of social media marketing, and they share the same end goal of growing your business. It is entirely possible that potential clients will encounter both your paid and organic messaging in their customer journey.

Look at social media from the customer’s perspective: While your message may come in the form of an advertisement or in a conversation, your audience is likely to come across varying communications across multiple channels. Your messages should be consistent enough to reflect that they come from a single company.

If your messages conflict, you might undermine your own marketing efforts on one or multiple social media channels. Even if there is no conflict across platforms, failure to align paid and organic social media efforts will waste time, opportunity, and marketing dollars.

Make Your Messages Complement Each Other

Aligning your paid and organic social media efforts is the first step to garnering the maximum advantage from your online efforts. However, the work does not stop there.

Knowing that paid and organic media have their own advantages, you should craft a marketing strategy and messaging for the two methods so that they complement each other. This does not need to be complex—it can be as simple as ma the ching tone and then having complementary messages on paid and organic posts.

This can pay additional dividends, as successful organic posts can be cheaper to promote on social media channels like Facebook because they have been proven to have a higher engagement rate. This makes it easier and more cost effective to achieve the social media amplification you desire.

While paid and organic social media are fundamentally different tools, your prospects should experience each of them as a smooth step in your overall social media marketing funnel.

Integrating your organic and paid social media strategies can help you generate increased social media amplification, fill your marketing funnel, and increase your ROI. Don’t do one or the other. They are both needed for success. I’d love to hear about how you’re integrating organic and paid social media strategies in your own business. Tell me about it in the comments!

The post 3 Tips to Successfully Integrate Your Paid and Organic Social Media appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog http://blog.marketo.com/2017/08/3-tips-successfully-integrate-paid-organic-social-media.html

What Personalized Search Results Mean for SEO

Google first introduced personalized search results in 2005 for signed in users with Google accounts. In 2009, personalized search was expanded to all users. However, new research on consumer sentiment on Google shows that 43.5% of respondents do not realize that their search results are personalized.

In this blog, I’ll cover the key factors you need to succeed with personalized SEO results as well as the best way to optimize.

Personalization Factors

In reality, it has been almost ten years since all search results were the same for everyone. There are a number of factors that influence a user’s search engine results page (SERP).

  • Country: Location is a major factor. Users from different countries will see different results for the same search terms. One example often given here is that if a user searches for “football” in the U.K., they will be shown results that relate to what the United States refers to as soccer and the English Premier League. If a person in the United States searches for “football”, they will be presented with results that relate to American Football and the NFL.
  • Locality: Google goes much deeper than simply country level. Results are tailored to the user’s location right down to local city level. Most people will be familiar with searches like “best pizza near me” making it somewhat surprising that our recent research showed nearly half of respondents were unaware that Google personalizes their search results.
  • Web History: The goal of Google’s personalized search results is to provide users with the most relevant and useful information possible. By factoring previous searches and viewing history into account, Google can present users with results from their preferred sites which they are most likely to visit.
  • Device: People who use Google to search on their mobile device will see different results than the same search on desktop. Google uses a different algorithm for mobile ranking with increased focus on user location.

Keyword Tracking

One way personalization has changed SEO is that it makes keyword rank tracking more difficult. Personalized search results mean that tracking where your site ranks for keyword search terms is not always crystal clear. Depending on the personalizing factors we have outlined above, users will see different results for the same search terms. That means you can never really get a 100% accurate representation of your keyword ranking.

Rank tracking your non-personalized search can help you establish a baseline, and this data can help you see how changes on your site have impacted your ranking. However, it is not advisable to spend too much time obsessing over keyword rankings. Your site traffic is a much more important data point than your keyword rankings.

How to Optimize for Personalized Search Results

The fact that 43.5% of respondents to our survey didn’t realize their search results were personalized leads us to believe that many businesses are not optimizing their sites for personalized searches. There are some steps companies can take to give them the best chance of ranking today.

  • Think Local: Make Google’s location settings work in your favor. Take care as you compose your meta descriptions and title tags. If you get onto page one of Google, you have one chance to impress so make it count by using your allotted characters wisely. If you want to dominate the local market, it is a best practice to put the name of your locality into your meta descriptions and/or title tags. You should also make sure that the most up to date and accurate business details are added to all online directories like Yelp and, most importantly, Google My Business (GMB). Claiming your GMB page is easy, but the business owner must claim it. Simply log on and verify your business. Remember to make sure your details are added to all online directories and not just the major players like GMB and Yelp. Bing Places for Business and others are low hanging fruit that can really help your site’s performance in local search rankings.
  • Focus on Long-Tail Keywords: It is estimated that up to 80% of searches are long-tail keywords. The reason that SMBs should focus on long-tail keywords is that competition is lower so they are easier to rank for and user intent is much more targeted. By working out the long-tail keywords that can drive conversions and revenue, you can start to see real ROI from your SEO efforts.
  • Mobile Optimize: It goes without saying that you need to optimize your site for mobile visitors in 2017 and learn to thrive in Google’s mobile search index. Having a low click through rate can harm your ranking. If you manage to get onto page one, you don’t want to undo all your good work with a site that does not meet user expectation on mobile.

How have you used personalization to appeal to your target audience? What do you plan on adding to your SEO to improve your personalization? Tell me about it in the comments!

The post What Personalized Search Results Mean for SEO appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog http://blog.marketo.com/2017/08/personalized-search-results-mean-seo.html

How to be a Superstar: Tips to Succeed in a New Role

Whether you’re an intern or a new hire, it’s important to make a name for yourself in your new organization. I had the privilege of interning at Marketo this summer, and it was an incredible experience. I’m heading into my Junior year at NYU, majoring in Business. I’m starting to narrow down exactly where in the business world I want to work. My experience working for a Demand Generation team has been terrific, and I’ve learned a lot about how to succeed in the business world. In this blog, I’ll outline a few key tips that I’ve found can help you succeed in a new role.

Find a Mentor

Right off the bat, I found a mentor who was able to guide me through Marketo during those first few awkward, and somewhat scary, days at a new organization. She gave me a run-down of the marketing department and how things function within the company. Through her guidance, I set-up meetings with all of the marketing team managers to get a better understanding of their role and their experiences in the field of marketing. I highly recommend doing this at the beginning of an internship or new job. It’s a great way to meet the people you’ll be working with, and it helps you to get an understanding of how everything works. For me, it was great to see potential aspects of marketing that I would want to be involved with in a potential future career.

Take on a Variety of Projects

After getting a better understanding of how marketing works at Marketo, I was open to any and all projects given to me. I think the best thing to do when you’re just starting out is to take on a variety of projects. It not only expedites the learning process, it allows you to showcase your talents and strengths to a wide variety of people and makes you a reliable and multi-faceted employee. And perhaps most importantly, it helps to build trust; your team knows they can trust you with any type of project. This increases your credibility and allows you to work on projects that aren’t mundane or boring. I did just this, and before I knew it, I started owning certain tasks and started completing high-impact projects that were for the head of my department.

Meet with your Managers

Since Marketo is a big company and my managers were busy, it seemed tough to schedule any time to meet with them. It’s very important to not ignore this problem; make sure to have weekly or bi-weekly 1:1 meetings with your managers. If you reach out and ask to schedule these, they won’t say no. They want to see you take the initiative. 1:1 meetings are useful to go over expectations, new projects, and review the work you’ve already completed. It’s also an opportunity to get to know your managers a bit better.

Go for Coffee

When it comes to getting to know your colleagues better, don’t be afraid to reach out and schedule coffee or lunch. I found that everyone was incredibly receptive to meeting with me for coffee or lunch. It allows you to get to know others on a more personal level and gives others a chance to see the real you, as cliché as that may sound. You never know when you’ll need help from your colleagues or work with them on a project, so it’s a good idea to get to know them before that happens. You truly get what you put into it, and that can be applied to relationships and the overall experience in your new role.

Work Hard but Enjoy the Experience

I followed this motto religiously during my time at Marketo, and it paid dividends. My team really valued my work and time and came to see that I was committed to the company and the internship. It was sad for them to see me go and sad for me to leave. But I end my internship knowing that I’ve learned more than any year-long college classes could have taught me, and I know that I have made contacts who can help me in future pursuits.

I’d love to hear what you’ve done to be a rock star at your new job or internship in the comments below!

The post How to be a Superstar: Tips to Succeed in a New Role appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog http://blog.marketo.com/2017/08/superstar-tips-succeed-new-role.html

How Inside Sales Enablement Can Help Increase Revenues

Are you tired of the ups and downs of sales? You likely want to be able to forecast future revenues predictably, but sometimes have a hard time getting a handle on what’s driving success and failure.

No doubt, it’s frustrating.

Sales leaders’ lack of clarity around what drives sales performance is partially due to a large number of variables, both in their business and in the market, that affect conversion rates. How do you gain more control of them?

That’s what sales enablement is all about.

By providing the training, coaching, processes, content, and tools sales people need to do their jobs, sales enablement makes it easier for them to close more deals. It also makes it simpler to foresee sales results. Sales enablement takes away all the constraints to success, creating a predictable process, and empowering reps to do what they do best—sell. So whether you have a team dedicated to sales enablement or it’s a tight partnership between sales and marketing, you stand to gain by enabling your sales team.

Here are five essential building blocks of inside sales enablement that can put your team on track to make or exceed their quotas.

1. Training—Knowledge Transfer

Sales training is foundational for providing reps with the skills and confidence they need to do their jobs. Your reps must have a solid understanding of the market, your customer, and product knowledge as well as knowledge of sales best practices.

Fortunately, because inside sales people are generally centrally located, you don’t have to fly them in from all corners of the country or globe to attend the training function. That means you can set up a training program that delivers information in bite-sized chunks. To maximize your impact, serve lessons one at a time and reinforce as necessary, making it easier for your salespeople to digest what they learn.

Today, online learning-management systems provide course builders that simplify e-learning program set up and enable you to present information that’s visually appealing. Such solutions make it easier to scale your inside sales team as necessary while also ensuring that everyone receives the same training.

2. Coaching—Knowledge Enhancement

Just providing an inside salesperson with the knowledge they need to do their job is not enough to help them to maximize their performance. Yes, practice will help, but to accelerate their learning curve, they need tips and tricks from an expert.

When you coach, you provide ongoing feedback to your reps individually. For example, perhaps you’ve listened to some of the calls and have some advice based on what you’ve heard. Alternatively, you might just stop by and ask what challenges a rep is facing and how you can help.

The best way to coach is to deliver it frequently, once or more a week, but just a small dose at a time. For instance, you might chat with a salesperson for five minutes to offer a suggestion on how they could have overcome an objection on a call they just completed. Because the information is relevant to an experience that’s fresh in their mind, the information is more likely to stick with the rep.

Another learning opportunity is to have reps listen to their own calls. When they’re not actively involved in the call, they can reflect and determine what they could have done better. The bonus is that it doesn’t take up any of the manager’s time.

3. A Proven Sales Process

Sales should not be a hit-or-miss activity. Take the time to design, use, and optimize a marketing and sales process that gives your reps the opportunity for peak performance. A sales process provides a map from the first contact with a prospect to when you close the sale. It should lay out how you’re going to generate leads, qualify them, convince them how you can help, overcome objections, and close the sale.

When you first develop a process, it likely won’t be the ideal one; however, you have to start somewhere.

The magic for perfecting your sales process is to use marketing automation and a customer relationship management solution to track, measure, and optimize your process so it delivers the best results.

4. Use Tools

Technology is a powerful enabler for inside sales, which can help you maximize your team’s results. Here are some tools, or solutions you may want to consider:

  • Marketing Automation to orchestrate, track, and optimize campaigns that support sales
  • Market Intelligence Software, which provides information on markets and companies, helping reps to connect with the right people
  • Business Directories that give details on businesses by size, industry, and geographic segments.
  • Virtual Conferencing to connect and communicate with prospects around the globe and share product demonstrations
  • Automatic Dialing to sequence calls, ensure frequent follow-ups and relieve reps from the busy work of dialing
  • Customer Relationship Management to manage customer data and record reps’ interactions with them
  • Online Learning Management to, as mentioned previously, provide a customized and scalable e-learning solution

All of these tools empower reps to spend more of their time engaging with prospects and moving them through the buying cycle, more professionally and more quickly.

5. Content that Answers Buying Questions

Your salespeople should not have to do all the communicating themselves. In many cases, it’s more efficient and effective to have content at their fingertips that answers the questions buyers ask as they move through the buying cycle. This content includes information that helps prospects to solve a problem and to build a business case internally.

Formats for content that reps can send to customers include ebooks, white papers, case studies, blog posts, videos, webinars, data sheets, infographics and more.

Also, salespeople should have access to information that they can use in their conversations and direct communications. These can comprise of:

  • Talking points for structuring phone conversations
  • Statistics that add credibility
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • At-a-glance competitor comparisons
  • Guidelines on how to overcome objections
  • Customizable sales email templates for personal outreach

As you can see, there are many aspects to enabling an inside sales team to produce sales predictably day after day. Don’t expect to be able to conquer them all at once. Start by developing your priorities which should include a formal training program, coaching guidelines, and sales process that you can shape over time. Then empower your reps with tools that make them smarter, and more efficient and effective. Finally, give them the content they need to answer buyers’ questions and reinforce your message.

I’d love to hear about how you’re enabling your sales team. Be sure to comment below!

The post How Inside Sales Enablement Can Help Increase Revenues appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

from Marketo Marketing Blog http://blog.marketo.com/2017/08/inside-sales-enablement-can-help-increase-revenues.html