There's no better time than now to get ahead and stay on top of business essentials. Not doing so could result in continued losses or eventual failure. Everyone wants to win, but the only way to do so is by confidently moving forward without hesitation or fear. Even if your last computer class was in high school, there are plenty of resources to guide you where you need to be. There's no need to get lost trying to understand modern technology. Every business needs organization, timing, an up-to-date website, knowledge of current trends in technology in order to survive and thrive in today’s competitive world of blaring ads and incessant marketing ploys.
One of my favorite childhood memories also happens to be an excellent analogy for success in business (and in every area of life). My great-grandmother loved playing a game with me and my younger sister by hiding a thimble among her many accumulated trinkets. In order to find the thimble, she would tease us as we searched by saying, “Getting warmer.” Or, she would exclaim, “You’re so hot your hand is on fire!” Business success is similar to that tiny-hidden-thimble-game, and getting warmer becomes simpler with a few tools and skills to speed up the hunt. The following accessories and strategies are geared toward heating up your business and setting your sales—not your hand—on fire.
Having the organizational power of a CRM is essential for orchestrating complex and sensitive touchpoints. CRM's allow for the creation of dynamic marketing campaigns that contribute to building better relationships with your existing customer base. Every business needs a CRM, because this flexibility allows data to be more accessible and maneuverable. In addition, centralized, searchable data saves time, and time is money. Believe it or not, many business owners continue to manage their inventory with pen and paper! With a combined integration, a CRM or ERP (enterprise resource planning software) could handle that task as well.
According to research by George K. Amoako, Emmanuel Arthur, Christiana Bandoh, and Rachel Kafui Katah from the Central Business School of Central University College, there are seven primary advantages to utilizing a CRM.
- Improved ability to target profitable customers
- Integrated offerings across channels
- Improved sales force efficiency and effectiveness
- Individualized marketing messages
- Customized products and services
- Improved customer service efficiency and effectiveness
- Improved pricing
With a CRM, contacts can be placed in categories according to their phase in the sales cycle. If the contact is not currently a customer, then they can be designated a lead status. Or, if they are an existing customer, then they can be labeled with a “closed deal” status or tag. By using these tools marketing and relationship management become super-charged.
For example, leads can be sent automated marketing emails at specified times, or they can be contacted based on their actions or reactions. For instance, a lead opens an email but doesn’t respond, then another email or process can be triggered for that exact scenario. For existing customers, emails can be sent after one or two weeks in order to follow up after a sale. Then, three to six months into the relationship an email can be sent to your new customer in order to up sell services or products that correspond to what was already purchased.
These methods are essential to creating a high-touch experience for customers. Such steps are important, because the average consumer is no longer satisfied with simply buying a product and moving on. Now, customers expect companies to build a relationship with them, including interacting with them via social media. Without having a CRM, businesses can become “disorganizations” rather than finely tuned, income-generating machines.
Did you know that the appearance, loading time, and user experience will either cause your site to sink or soar? The 90's were great, but let's leave our nostalgia here and here. According to his 2014 Time Magazine article, Chartbeat CEO Ken McCarthy explains that 55% of people will spend a mere 15 seconds or less on any given site. So, this means that your site has one quarter of one minute to capture the attention of an average visitor to your page. Perhaps it’s a symptom of an over-stimulated generation that was (and is) bottle-fed technology and gaming, but it is what it is - capturing the attention of the modern audience requires engaging, interesting, and lightning-fast websites.
Not only are websites important for capturing the attention of potential leads in the sales process, but they are also great tools for capturing data such as email addresses, names, phone numbers, and company information. Any website can become a lead-generating tool that constantly refreshes your list of prospects. This causes a great website to become a key step in the sales process, because it can fuel sales better than buying a list from a lead generation company.
An excellent way to use your website to gather information is by creating a landing page. This is a webpage or link that directs the consumer to a page on your site or a standalone site that displays information for achieving a goal, such as lead generation or customer education. It also typically features options to sign up to receive emails, to purchase a product or service, or to schedule a demo or meeting. Having a landing page is an excellent feature for showcasing important information or for funneling traffic wherever you like.
Investing in a dynamic, engaging site will pay off in the long run. Bill Gates was right in saying, "If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business." Current marketing professionals would add, "And you better have an amazing online presence as well!"
Turning Cold Emails into Hot Conversations
Ideally, emails should be personalized in order to appeal to unique individuals and businesses, but this is not possible when emailing thousands of leads daily. So, an appropriate email template should be created that encompasses the fundamentals of your business' services, and the following tips concerning content should be employed. In order to create a masterfully orchestrated campaign, timing is key. Automation allows time-sensitive emails to reach leads and current customers (as mentioned in the CRM section).
Believe it or not, but email marketing continues to lead in ROI. According to an article released in January, 2016, Campaign Monitor stated that the email marketing " is the king of the marketing kingdom with a 3800% ROI and $38 for every $1 spent." That's an impressive number, but in order to cash in on cold emails, those emails must be effective, professional, and precise. There are numerous resources that offer templates and tips on sending the best cold email, but here are a few tips.
Marketing emails that sound desperate are considerably unappealing. Emotional appeals are effective, but if the tone of your email conveys desperation or weakness, then no one will believe in the strength of your business. In order to succeed in scoring leads and sales it is essential to portray your business as healthy, strong, and confident.
According to Perdue University's Online Writing Lab, "You can feel confident if you have carefully prepared and are knowledgeable about the material you wish to express. The manner in which you write should assume a confident tone as well. As you prepare business documents, you want the reader to do as you ask or to accept your decision. In order to make the document effective, you must write confidently."
Carefully assess the quality of the content. Check for grammar, spelling, syntax, and tone. A possible win can easily be turned into a lost opportunity due to a simple spelling error. Remember, no one is amazing at everything. If editing isn't your forte, then hire a professional to review your cold email templates before they are sent publicly. This could prevent both embarrassment and a lost sale. For more tips on how to become a better proofreader, check out Lynn Gaertner-Johnson's blog post on the subject.
Emails should be brief, direct, and concise. The person receiving your email is probably as busy as you are, and they have likely received hundreds of sales emails on the day you sent your correspondence. Treat sales emails like line-items on a resume. They should be easily scanned for essential information, and they should take no more than thirty seconds to comprehend the message and to glean the key points.
Following these key points can enable a more successful email marketing strategy. Consumers receive dozens of emails each day (and sometimes more), so be considerate of their time. Professional, effective communication could be the one thing that impresses a prospect and leads to a sales win.
One final consideration concerning email marketing campaigns: if the goal is to increase your customer base by one thousand new customers, then only send 1100-1250 emails. Being realistic about the scalability of your business is important. Explosive, unexpected results could be either a huge win or a devastating failure, so be equally prepared for successful campaigns!
Leading the Pack
Technology is rapidly changing, and it is incredibly important for businesses to keep track of the latest developments. One example of this is the iPhone. Apple releases a new product each September, such as the latest in the popular line of smartphones, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. With such swift advances from one version of technology to the next, and with the continued introduction of new software and gadgets, businesses must become technologically savvy. Otherwise, they will become as obsolete as Apple's first smartphone, the iPhone First Generation.
So, how do entrepreneur's and companies stay ahead of the game? The key is to remain ahead of the curve. There are great resources available online, such as Product Hunt that showcase the latest and greatest technologies and services as they become available. This offers a great way for businesses to discover new ways to improve efficiency and "wow" customers. Having great tools makes for awesome relationship moments with both existing customers and prospects alike.
Another excellent resource is TechCrunch. The site displays trending news from all across the tech world, ensuring that readers are able to stay up-to-date on what is happening in this fast-paced world with ease. It's important to keep up with the latest news, because, if for no other reason, consumers expect businesses to be informed.
Having the necessary information in order to remain relevant isn't always easy, but by regularly researching new technologies and products anyone can act and sound like a pro. Being informed also increases competitiveness, because you never know when you'll stumble upon the one tool or service that will give your business an advantage over similar companies sharing your market. So, follow trends, be knowledgeable about new technology and products, and employ what you discover. That's the best way to stay ahead of the competition and to continue offering excellent service to existing customers.
Hiding and Guiding
Access to consumers has grown exponentially with the advent of the internet, and in turn, social media. There are few limitations to future growth and lead generation other than what business owners set for themselves by not keeping up with marketing strategies and trends. By utilizing a CRM, acquiring a powerful website, tapping into the potential of email marketing, and researching the latest available tools and products, there is more room for expansion than ever before.
To draw once more from my childhood memory, I once asked my great-grandmother, "What do I win if I find the thimble?" She replied, "You get to hide the thimble!" Becoming an efficient expert in your field will allow you to move from the being one constantly seeking for success to becoming the successful leader who helps guide others in the right direction. The process isn't always speedy, but after some time things will begin to "click" and fall into place. It's about understanding the answer to that all-important question, "Am I getting closer (warmer) to my goals?" An honest answer could immediately shift your entire business to a new level. Try it for yourself today and see what happens. You might just find what you were looking for all along—lasting success.
For help getting started with your online presence, creating automated solutions for your processes, or for marketing strategy consultations, visit CodePilot.io or TwinEngineLabs.com today. We are ready and willing to help give your business the boost it needs!