5 Things That Can Really Influence How Others Perceive You

This is a repost from Inc. Great article we thought worth sharing.

By Marcel Schwantes Principal and founder, Leadership From the Core

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There are several ways to make a great first impression on someone you just met. Here are five proven strategies to get you started.

1. Be curious.

Want to be the most interesting person in the room? In a previous article, I offered seven questions a person can ask to ignite a captivating conversation. But for that scenario to happen, curiosity is the social prerequisite. Albert Einstein famously said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Perhaps there’s an Einstein in all of us.

2. Ask: “What’s your story?”

When meeting someone for the first time, forget the typical questions like “What do you do?” and “Where are you from?” Asking “What’s your story?” will take the other person by surprise. It’s open-ended enough to trigger an intriguing story–a journey to a foreign country, meeting a famous person, a special talent used for making the world a better place, etc. It’s also a question that immediately draws in the other person and lets him or her speak from the heart.

3. Be intentional about learning from the other person.

The best conversations in life are initiated by wanting to learn about what other people do: how they do it and why they do it. You will benefit from asking, and the other person will appreciate the gesture and pay it forward. To take it to another level, seek out someone younger and less experienced who brings real value to your work or life in an area unfamiliar to you, and learn from that person. This will garner an immediate and positive first impression.

4. Follow through.

To make a good connection with someone new in your personal or professional circle, offering to help the other person is certainly a good strategy for a positive first impression. However, only a small percentage of people actually deliver on their promises. People will value your connection even more when you actually provide what you’ve suggested: a contact, a resource, a referral, or some coaching. When you do, the law of reciprocity kicks in and you’ll benefit from that new relationship.

5. Listen before you speak.

Want to create a great first impression? Let the other person speak without interruption. Let’s be honest: How often do you find yourself trying hard to avoid jumping in and finishing someone else’s sentence? You see, magic happens in a conversation when active listening takes place. This is being content to listen to the entire thought of someone rather than waiting impatiently for your chance to respond. That’s when both parties know real listening is taking place. When you speak to other people today, eliminate your distractions in the moment. Then give the speaker your full attention. What you’re communicating nonverbally is “I am interested in what you have to say.”

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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
Published on: Feb 21, 2018,
Inc.

6 Tips To Increase Sales Growth

SalesBelieve it or not, the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t mix well with businesses. What may have worked wonders a few years ago just won’t work today. You need to be able to improve your sales in order to ensure the survival of your business. One day something may be popular or trending, and in the blink of an eye the world has moved onto something better. I want to share 6 tips with you on how to improve your sales performance.

1. Know your mission. Find out what makes your business different, and what sets you apart from the competition. Who are you targeting with these services/products? How much are they willing to pay for these services/products? How much do these customers make? What are other competitors offering and at what price? The most important question you should ask is, how do you go about making these changes? When you know the answers to these questions, then write them down and give yourself goal times. Specify things like sales you’d like per month, amount per sale,and profit for
sale. Setting time limits for goals allows you to measure your progress.

2. Sell to consumer needs. Your job is to convince your customers that they need what you’re selling. When you know your target market, it will be easier to see your customer needs. Highlight those specific features that reduce costs and make life easier for the customer. What problem does your customer have that you can solve? Make sure that your products is something people will need, and capitalize on those needs.

3. Listen, Ask and Act. If you practice these three things in your company you will be successful. You must have highly developed listening skills. Take time to really listen to the questions/concerns mentioned. Make notes as to which you can actually make happen, and if they would benefit other customers. Ask direct questions that are creative, and relevant to your product sales. Then after all this, you must act. Show your customers that you are actively listening, taking their input(when plausible) and want the sale. Get into the habit of following-through with customer service, and success will follow.

4. Take advantage of Social Media. There are so many social media platforms, that are extremely beneficial to businesses. By building your relationships with customers on these platforms, you are able to connect with many people. These platforms are beneficial because you have access to certain leads on product trends, and you also will have more platforms to sell your product through. On social media sites your product can generate sales by trending. If you’re trending, that causes more traffic through your site and attention to potential customers.

5. Promotions and Inside Scoops. Think about having a free trial period of your product. Let customers sample your product if possible, and they will be more likely to purchase your products. Give them an amazing snippet of content for free to get them looking forward to the premium benefits of the product. Along with this, take care of your current customers. Let them know about any promotions and new products that may be approaching. By doing this, you are building trust with them and hopefully building sales.

6. Change your attitude. Change those beliefs in which limit your success. Your thought habits control your commitment, persistence, resilience, happiness, and confidence. Recognize them and decide which ones are unproductive, and then make a commitment to change. Be accepting to change, even when it may not be your idea originally. Always look for ways you and/or your team can improve. Maximize your time, and apply it to those changes you want to make.
What are some strategies you’ve found successful for sales growth?

Written by: Dee Caples

 


 

4 Changes to Boost Your Conversion Rates

It’s rare that a visitor approaches your site completely ready to purchase. Most people need to be nurtured, helping them see the value and benefits of your company before reaching the point of conversion. Here are 4 ways to guide your prospects towards becoming sales qualified leads (SQL).

Target Your Content

When your leads are targeted with opportunities that appeal directly to them, sales see a 20% increase for many businesses. Forrester Research reported that a third of marketers believe targeted content is one of their biggest challenges in lead nurturing.

  • Get to know your buyer personas and pinpoint your audience
  • Create an assortment of targeted content to meet the needs of your prospects at varying points in their buyer’s journey
  • Use content that is based on personas’ interests, goals, marketing triggers, and objectives to draw in more leads and cultivate the individual’s understanding of your brand
  • Automate marketing so that content is delivered in real time based on the activity of your lead
  • Segment your list to deliver more relevant content to your leads based on interests, location, previous purchases, position, demographics, and more

Use Multiple Channels

Don’t just rely on email to get your message out. Most marketers (80%) say they aren’t able to get their open rates above 20% when they send out content via email. Try to publish content on various platforms and tools to increase the influence you have with leads. Use sms marketing, for example, to deliver content right to your audience’s phones with much higher open rates. You might also use social media, paid search, and other methods to find places where you can increase the traffic of your leads. Multi-channel lead nurturing will help improve the dynamic content and outreach strategies you can implement to increase engagement levels.

Respond Quickly

The majority of your leads will expect a fast response from the brands they reach out to. While the average first response time of most B2B companies was 42 hours, according to Harvard business Review, the average customer expects a response within an hour. Make sure your team responds quickly and accurately – even if the temporary answer is a polite response of needing to seek further information. Automated marketing will help free up your team to only respond to the truly individual questions, concerns, and complaints.

Align Sales and Marketing

Your teams and branding should go hand-in-hand. Your marketing team and strategies should be supporting the efforts of your sales team. Your salespeople should be able to rely on marketing materials to support their efforts, but they also need to align their work mentality with the marketing direction for the brand. Marketing should be able to sort your prospects into SQL for your sales team, allowing them to spend time on the leads most likely to have a high conversion rate.

With inbound marketing, one of the great benefits is the ability to nurture consumers without extra efforts on the part of your team. By increasing the conversion rates and lifelong loyalty purchases of your leads, you will be able to reduce your CPA (cost per acquisition), ROI (return on investment) and ROE (return on effort) for a strategy that improves your revenues and efficiency.

 

Author Biography:

Joel Lee

Joel Lee is the SEO marketing specialist at Trumpia, a mobile content delivery service that allows users to customize their one-to-one marketing efforts by interconnecting and optimizing all digital platforms.

Get Your Complimentary Customer Creation Consultation

Connects Marketing Group has launched a new service for prospective clients – the Customer Creation Consultation.

If you are interested in building your B2B business through a robust system of research, qualified lead generation, customer creation and retention, please take a moment to read through how Connects Marketing Group can help. We are now providing free consultations to companies that feel they might benefit from our services. Recipients are under no obligation to Connects for this free service; It is simply our way to demonstrate to you how we can help you reach and exceed your sales goals.

The three-phase consultation process is high-level, designed to provide you with a clear understanding of your current situation, challenges and goals, along with specific recommendations for overcoming those challenges to reach those goals. Our consultation will help you accelerate your sales by identifying strategies to attract new customers and expand the ones you already have.

Assessment

In this phase, we will conduct an in-depth discovery interview with you to identify your ideal customers and markets, along with your present-day close rates.  We will also explore your current sales and marketing initiatives, pinpoint the results you are looking to achieve and determine the gaps in between.

During this process, we will create for you a Total Customer Profile—a graphic that captures in a single page your key goals, values, challenges and opportunities.

Recommendations

In the second phase, our goal is to help you chart your course and actually begin your journey to greater sales. To do so, we  review your Total Customer Profile, ask clarifying questions and confirm we understand your needs.
Next,  we will provide you with specific recommendations that we believe will help you realize your sales goals and accelerate your sales cycle. Your Recommendations Report  will contain those recommended actions and next steps.

These recommendations may or may not  include utilizing Connects Marketing Group programs. Connects programs are not for everyone. We only invite clients to participate IF we are confident we can have a big impact. If we are not confident that we are a good fit for you, we will suggest alternative programs we know well in the industry.

Mutual Commitment

In the third phase, if we mutually agree that there is a strong basis for us to build a long-term relationship, we will schedule a meeting, called the Mutual Commitment Meeting. This meeting will take place only after you’ve had time to study the written recommendations we offer and review the details of the programs we suggest. It is important for you to collect your questions or concerns about the fit and take time to reflect before the meeting.

We are excited to offer this free consultation and look forward to meeting with you! Please contact us today to get started!

Connects Marketing Group
PO Box 1027
Langley, WA 98260
360.222.2043

Click here to read what our clients have to say!

Is Big Data a Big Flop or a Big Win? You Decide.

“Big Data is the biggest game-changing opportunity for marketing and sales since the Internet went mainstream almost 20 years ago.”

Big Data this. Big Data that. The term has been bouncing around the marketing universe for a few years now, even more so in the last year. But, what IS Big Data? Well, not to be obtuse, but Big Data is just that: big data. It’s data analytics- the collection and examination of information- on steroids. It’s the ginormous sets of data that are created in today’s world of digital and social media. For my own sanity, we’ll just say data for the rest of this post.

This data is coming at B2B marketers harder and faster than ever before. It comes from things like:

Your company’s website

  •  Number of visits per month
  • Number of visits per page
  • Names, titles, employers of those who visit your site (if you’re smart enough to have a website member area)
  • Number of minutes someone spends on your site
  • What’s being downloaded

Search Engines (Google, etc.)

  • The words that are driving people to your site
  • The most popular search terms in your industry

Social Media

  • Number of fans, followers, etc.
  • Analysis of these fans, followers (Who are they? Where are they from? What companies? What industries?)
  • Who’s commenting?
  • What’s being shared?

I could go on and on, but I’m preaching to the choir. If you’re reading this, you know that there are almost unlimited ways that you can gather data on prospects and customers. The question then becomes…what are you doing with all of this information?

Now What?

“Those that use Big Data and analytics effectively show productivity rates and profitability that are 5 – 6 percent higher than those of their peers. McKinsey analysis of more than 250 engagements over five years has revealed that companies that put data at the center of the marketing and sales decisions improve their marketing return on investment (MROI) by 15 – 20 percent. That adds up to $150 – $200 billion of additional value based on global annual marketing spend of an estimated $1 trillion.” (Forbes)

What you do with your data depends largely on two factors: the size of your data pool and the size of your marketing team, but here are some things that companies of all sizes should consider.

1.      Map your top prospects’ behaviors: Map your prospects by tracking their digital interactions with you. What do they open, click on, link? What pages do they visit? What do they download?

2.      Identify your purchasers, and then branch out: Identify prospective purchasers, and use this as a starting point to map out his or her sphere of influence.

3.      Don’t wait!: If a prospect is nibbling, contact them sooner rather than later. And don’t, under any circumstances, send a generic email. Pick up the phone!

4.      Know the B2B Customer Decision Journey: Contact, nurture and delivery sales-ready prospects to your sales team.

Here’s a real-life example.

Platform: Website

Tool: Online Member Area

Specifics: In order to access e-tools, users are required to register their names, emails, locations and company names. They also have the option to give specific application or industry information.

Result: Company has database of more than 20,000 members, broken down by sign-up date, location and whether or not theses members are current or prospective customers.

For this particular real-world example, the company is a part of a multinational corporation and offers complex e-tools and services targeted at engineers.

Now ask yourself: if this situation existed in your company, how would you go about converting these leads?  Sure, you could set up some sort of automated system where anyone who signed up would receive an email and a kind of ‘we are aware of your interest’ letter.

But what if these leads require immediate action? Do your sales engineers have the resources and time to make that happen? More honestly, do they even care about these leads? Let’s be blunt. A lot of sales engineers are territory-driven, so they don’t want to spend their already stretched-thin time focusing on leads that won’t affect them.

Here’s how Connects can help:

Your new members are downloaded and contacted via phone within 24 hours of registration. Through a well-thought-out conversation based on a pre-determined set of questions, your inbound web leads are qualified (either in OR out) and turned into hot, actionable sales leads ready to be handed off to a sales engineer.

The bottom line: Big Data can almost be overwhelming, but to not have a system in place to take advantage of it is almost a criminal waste of marketing dollars.

 

 

Lead Generation: Strength or Weakness?

61% of B2B marketers say that generating high-quality leads is their biggest challenge. (Source: B2B Lead Generation Marketing Trends Survey 2013)

I hear it all the time. Year-in and year-out, in trade article after trade article, B2B marketers lament that their biggest hurdles are generating high-quality leads. Lead generation is the biggest weakness in their otherwise successful marketing efforts. So why not put everything you’ve ever been told about B2B lead generation out of your head and try something new this year? Read on to find out how you can turn lead generation into your biggest strength.

First Things First

The most important aspect of a B2B company’s marketing program, especially in today‘s digital marketplace, is the people delivering the message. The human component is an unquantifiable element of greatest priority because it is in the chemistry between those delivering a company’s message and the potential customers where the relationships are developed- or lost. Because real people make business decisions on the customer end, every point of contact you have with them makes or breaks the potential connections you stand to create.

While more and more purchasing decisions are in fact being made online, your customers and prospects should have a real-live person, face-to-face or over the phone, to discuss their particular needs. This is especially true in most B2B scenarios, where complex engineering or technical situations are critical.

For instance, an engineer designing an aircraft engine isn’t going to spec in your part simply because he interacts with your company online. He should have a good feel (read: brand awareness) for your company, and hopefully have been given all of the technical information he may have needed, but at the end of the day, he‘s going to want to speak with an actual person, probably R&D and sales, to get to the meat of his product needs. The same is true for a vast array of highly technical, engineering-based industries.

Do you have the dedicated sales staff at your disposal to accomplish this? Do they have the time to cultivate and nurture each prospect or existing customer in their territory? Or are your salespeople bogged down with too many other things?

But I Don’t Need All That; I Have Inbound Marketing!

Inbound marketing is the process of creating quality online content that draws your target audience to your company, where you can convert them to loyal customers over time.

Inbound marketing is definitely where it‘s at. It outperforms outbound in most categories. But alas, there is no such thing as free marketing.

So many marketers get swept up into the social media and content creation wave, thinking they‘ve found the golden ticket- the loophole that will allow them to market like the big boys, but on a shoestring budget. Companies should be completely honest with themselves about the true costs of these activities.

In considering inbound marketing, there are two aspects that warrant special attention: the cost of content creation and actual online traffic numbers.

Companies today are expending huge amounts of energy creating content and marketing in the digital space. We believe that digital media is very passive. The content is great, but really puts the onus on your customers and prospects to find the information that is most valuable to them.

But, at the end of the day, your prospects and customers, especially in the B2B arena, want to talk to a PERSON; their projects are too important and often too complicated to base their product decisions on daily emails or a great website, no matter how functional.

Build Your Lead Generation Machine

B2B industries are generally more technical and more in-depth than those in the B2C space. We believe that if you can figure out in a B2B world how to give someone a B2C experience, you will own your marketplace. It is our job at Connects Marketing Group to help you achieve this goal.

The heart of what we do is B2B lead generation. We keep your pipeline filled with highly qualified leads so your sales people can spend their time closing deals. Our team has the ability to understand your business and complex technology and then take the right action to ensure your sales success.

We begin by:

  • Engaging the right point of contact within the targeted company
  • Having a candid dialogue that supports future communication
  • Identifying true opportunities for your sales team
  • Determining the logical next steps for your sales team
  • Establishing a firm foundation for a long-term business relationship

Typical types of lead generation campaigns might include:

  • New customer creation
  • Email or direct mail campaign follow-up
  • Territory expansion
  • Web-based inquiries
  • Trade show registrations or inquiries
  • Webinar registration or follow-up
  • New product launches

We believe B2B lead generation should be about the Three C’s: Contact, Communication and Connections. They are the foundation of our success. They matter. We do them right, each and every time.

So why keep on doing the same thing, rehashing the same marketing tactics, with the same results? Why not let Connects help you increase the number of quality leads you hand off to your sales team exponentially?  In the same way you wouldn’t make a purchase on Amazon without checking the reviews, have a listen to what some of our clients had to say about us.

“Connects Marketing Group has exceeded my expectations. The quality of their employees is unparalleled. They have learned our business and pivot quickly offering us valuable feedback from our customers and prospects. The effectiveness of our campaigns came from Connects taking the initiative to learn our industry, when we did not have the time to train them. They are an integral part of our sales process. I highly recommend them.”

Roger Parks, VP Business Development & Co-Founder, doxo, Inc.

“CMG as a partner is tenacious and always deliver what they promise. They can take a complex concept or sale, break it down methodically, and have a targeted message to share with the prospective customer while speaking the party line of our company. Working with CMG gives us the ability to turn up or dial down activity in a program offering without additional sales and marketing costs being incurred. We‘ve utilized them for lead generation and are pleased they offer so many additional relevant B2B Business Development services. We see them as an extension our on-staff sales teams.

CMG‘s greatest strength is their smart and highly engaged people and how quickly they get a sales management program launched. It takes a special breed of people to pick up the phone and clearly communicate the marketing message. If you are going to spend money on a tradeshow, you have to take advantage of the leads and do the follow up. The best way to get ROI of any tradeshow is to utilize Connects. Within a day or two they will literally touch every lead received from a tradeshow. CMG leaves no stone unturned and that is key in turning prospects into customers efficiently and quickly.”

Jeff Heier, Security Solutions Strategist, CA Technologies

The Bottom Line: Generating quality sales leads doesn’t have to be your biggest weakness. Let Connects make it your biggest strength.

B2B Customers Need Lovin’ Too

One of the most vital components of any successful marketing strategy is customer feedback. Or, more to the point, finding out what is NOT working for your customers.That’s right, leads that are qualified OUT are just as important as leads that are qualified IN and pushed along through the nurturing pipeline. Great companies always want to know how they can improve.

Backing up just a bit..

Just a few short years ago, most B2B companies were still completely averse to the customer-centric philosophies that their B2C peers have long since embraced. Today, however, the B2B world is firmly seated on the customer service bandwagon.The problem remains, however, that most B2B marketers are still missing the mark when deciding where and when to focus their budgets.

To right that train, B2B organizations need to develop a much deeper understanding of the modern Customer Decision Journey (CDJ). Where the old sales funnel assumed a linear purchasing path – customers take in information; narrow down their choices; kick the tires, and submit the purchase order – the CDJ moves away from the “funnel” way of doing things. It recognizes that the decision process, in fact, is anything but linear. (Forbes)

The B2B Customer Decision Journey

It’s not enough to identify the decision makers in an organization. For marketing and sales activities to be effective, companies need to focus on those points in the decision journey where they can be most successful in influencing those decision makers. For some that might be procurement or finance. For others, it might be the CMO or even the end user. And for others still they might be a specific set of segments. (McKinsey & Company)

If you want to read more about the Customer Decision Journey, there is an outstanding article here from The Harvard Business Review.

Beyond the CDJ

What marketers need to remember, however, is that just because the way in which we look at the B2B buying and decision-making journey has changed, our customers’ feelings have not. An unhappy customer is an unhappy customer, no matter what our fancy marketing charts and tactics may entail.

These are still facts that any good marketer should be able to deliver to his or her CEO:

  • What do our customers think about us?
  • What is it about our company that disappoints our customers?
  • What can we do to improve?
  • Are our customers happy with our customer service?
  • What isn’t working?

You may be asking yourself, “Can’t I find that out with some sort of customer survey?” Well sure you can, but a good quality survey takes time and money and usually only happens once per calendar year. “OK,” you say, “but that’s what my sales engineers should be telling me.” In a perfect world, yes, but let’s be honest- do your sales engineers have the resources and time to make that happen?

The Connects Component

With Connects, you get instant customer feedback through daily reporting. This feedback is infinitely invaluable to a CEO and can help companies immediately put more dollars on the top line.

  • What products work in certain industries and not in others?
  • Are there product features that need to be adjusted?
  • Are there business practices that need to be improved or changed?
  • Are you happy with your level of service and support?
  • Which marketing tactics work and which don’t?
  • Should you invest in that industry event or not?
  • Do you customers find your e-tools helpful?
  • Are there functionalities that would change that opinion?

Markets change so quickly. Your competitors change their products and product positioning so frequently that it can be difficult to keep track.There are too many things in terms of technology and methodologies impacting the market today, and economic struggles impacting your customers as well, to not invest in a daily customer feedback mechanism.

Salespeople usually aren’t frank enough to give you this kind of information. They tend to blame lost opportunities on products, be it price or features, while this may or may not be the case. The truth is that most sales engineers aren’t trained to ask the right questions and actively listen to get this information from people.

Due to time constraints, most sales engineers unfortunately drop the ball when it comes to service and support after a deal is closed. Customer service is so, so important, and Connects does this for you.

Failure is a strong word. It brings on visions of loss and defeat. In business, failure is just as important as success. Companies lose and gain market share all the times. It’s a constant battle to be the best or have the best product. That’s a good thing, competition means everyone has to be working hard to succeed. But for every winner, there are many losers. Failure is important because it helps companies and individuals to identify their weaknesses.
(Source: Mike Fisher, examiner.com)

The bottom line: 

No matter how you look at your customers’ decision-making journeys, always remember to find out your customers’ pain points.

Telemarketing May Be Your Missing Link

Whether your company is a small start-up, a well-established brand or something in between, chances are you’re not doing all you can in terms of creating and moving leads through your pipeline. As a result, you’re missing out on untold dollars in sales. Telemarketing may be your missing link.

Last week we talked about the importance of lead nurturing. I touched on telemarketing in that piece:

Whether automated or manual, a message should go out letting your prospect know you are going to contact him or her. Better than an email is a phone call. If you don’t have in-house telemarketing, invest in a high-quality, professional telemarketing firm that can speak to prospects on your behalf.

Yes, we’re going to talk about lead nurturing again! Because it is that important. This week, however, we’re going to focus solely on the advantages of using telemarketing to create and move leads through the sales pipeline.

Right out of the gate, let’s define what we mean when we say telemarketing. Just as you wouldn’t hire just any Joe off the street to head up your sales team, you should put time and care into selecting a top-notch telemarketing team. We’re not talking about your typical call center telemarketing. We’re talking about high-quality, professional telemarketing.

The company you choose will essentially be an extension of your brand, so you want a group that will take pride in and ownership of the projects they are given. In other words, this should be a true partnership, with your telemarketing team working earnestly towards your company’s goals. And remember, you get what your pay for.

Must-Haves for Your Telemarketing Team:

  1. Callers should know your brand as well or better than you know it yourself.
  2. Callers should immerse themselves in your products/services.
  3. Callers should be knowledgeable about your target industries.
  4. A given, but callers should be friendly, outgoing and great listeners.

Your telemarketing group should be industry pros in the following core competencies:

Lead Generation/Qualification

Take all of those leads from trade shows, advertising, your website, etc. Most of these will be qualified to some extent, some may be totally green. Throw them all into the mix.  Let your group help you sort through all of your data and refine these into highly qualified sales leads ready for follow-up.

Additionally, if you have any special programs, marketing initiatives or want to break into a target industry or company, your team should be on task.

Typical campaigns might include:

  • New customer creation
  • Email or direct mail campaign follow-up
  • Territory expansion
  • Web-based inquiries
  • Trade show registrations or inquiries
  • Webinar registration or follow-up
  • New product launches

Lead Nurturing (Did I mention how important this is?)

79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. (Marketing Sherpa/ KnowledgeStorm)

One of the most critical aspects of your sales cycle is keeping leads warm until they are ready to purchase.  Sales teams don’t have time to nurture the pipeline, they need to close deals. Enter your telemarketing team. I almost want to call them your nurturing team, because really, all of these core areas are or relate very closely to nurturing.

Your team should keep you connected with your prospects, handing them over when the prospects are ready to take the next step. Your ROI will be maximized and your pipeline kept active with well-paced ongoing dialog and direct communication.

Lead nurturing means:

  • Staying in front of your prospects with new developments and offerings
  • Connections will be deepened with relevant decision makers
  • New sales opportunities will be identified
  • Your sales pipeline is up-to-date and always active

Brian Carroll, founder and CEO of InTouch says, “Imagine your marketplace is like a field of banana trees. Your marketing people are those who nurture and pick the bananas. Bananas are harvested when they are green, and they turn yellow as they ripen. Fully 95 percent of your leads are like harvested green bananas, and, off the top, your sales team needs only the other 5 percent, those that are ripe.”

It’s those 95 percent that need to be nurtured.

Account Mapping and Expansion

Sometimes the easiest way to increase your sales is to leverage your current customers and grow these accounts organically so they meet their full potential.

  • Identify new contacts and decision makers
  • Discover new projects and programs
  • Understand the needs of your customers
  • Identify other locations or divisions to replicate success

Appointment Setting

Imagine breaking into a territory for a new product launch with a full week of appointments. Whether you are looking for face-to-face or phone-based appointments, your telemarketing group should help your sales team keep their calendars full- not just hand over leads for future follow-up, but work directly with your team to coordinate next steps. Ensure that you:

  • Maximize your sales team’s time while out in the field
  • Increase ROI for sales travel costs
  • Leverage investments in trade shows or conferences

So, confession time- all of the best-in-class core competencies I listed above are things that we offer here at Connects Marketing Group. In fact, I’m confident in saying that we are experts in all of these areas. I try to keep the blog here non-“salesy,” but I’ll make an exception with this one. 

In my previous life as a Marketing Communications Manager, I worked with Connects Marketing Group for six years, so I have the benefit of having partnered with CMG before I actually worked for them. Basically, I’m telling you this piece is not just me toeing the party line.

During those six years that we used CMG, we used all of the services listed above and then some. We saw an ROI that far outpaced all of our other sales and marketing activities.

“In my term at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, we were able to sustain double digit, year over year, growth for over seven years.  Connects Marketing Group was an essential part of that growth performance.  They were able to connect our sales professionals with key decision makers or product specifiers with pre-meeting knowledge of our offerings, improving our sales meeting effectiveness. I always considered them to be our ‘secret weapon’ for growth.”

– Tim Callison, President Marketing Americas, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions

The bottom line: If you’re not taking advantage of a high-quality, professional telemarketing group, you should be. It’s more than likely the missing link in your quest to turn sales opportunities into dollars.