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11 Ways on How to Show Appreciation to Your Sales Team

While most salespeople are self-motivated, it is nevertheless crucial to recognize their efforts. Proper appreciation is frequently what motivates your sales force to go far beyond. Apart from that, it’s just a lovely thing to do. It also contributes to the creation of a pleasant work atmosphere.

Different Ways to Motivate and Appreciate Your Sellers

Here are some excellent methods to thank or inspire your sales crew.

Give your sellers the necessary tools to succeed.

Sales professionals are frequently looking for tools to help them thrive independently. This can eat up critical sales time and resources. Providing sales teams with tools to help them succeed in sales, such as acquiring sales leads, is a beautiful method to inspire them.

Ways to Motivate and Appreciate Your Sellers

Encourage a level playing field.

What if the same member of the sales team continues receiving the rewards? This is a possibility, particularly with smaller businesses. It’s a good idea to establish a tiered reward system that supports varied skill levels to avoid any concerns. Junior sellers, for example, maybe in one subgroup and senior execs in another.

Congratulate your sales team for making successful sales.

Certainly, applaud your sales representatives on successful sales. It may be a long process with many peaks and troughs. Take the time to praise them on all sales, particularly tiny ones. While most of your B2B company’s revenue will most likely come from a few significant clients, modest transactions have worth and relevance. Small sales are a natural source of incentive. A seller will be motivated if they make a little transaction. They will feel appreciated and even driven to do it again if you congratulate them on short sales.

Ways to Motivate and Appreciate Your Sellers

Lunch on the house.

Who doesn’t enjoy getting free food? Food is always appreciated, whether you take your team out to lunch or order delivery. Snacks or sweets can be substituted for a complete meal if you don’t want to eat a full meal. If your company is now utilizing a remote setup owing to the epidemic, you might occasionally send free meals or even delightful sweets to your team members on their birthdays.

Organize an event for your team.

An event is a pleasant way to recognize your team’s accomplishments when they’ve been working very hard for you. It’s also a fantastic approach to foster teamwork. You may have a party at your workplace, a neighborhood restaurant, your house, or a rented venue.

Provide a flexible work schedule.

Don’t impose a rigorous timetable on your sellers as a sales rep. Instead, offer them the option of choosing their hours. Offering workers a flexible work schedule will drive them to achieve. They will value your confidence in them as their sales rep and go to great lengths to guarantee their success.

Allow for more vacation time.

While most businesses are unable to do so regularly, consider if you can offer members of your staff an additional day-off on occasion. Allow them to leave early on Fridays. Aside from feeling valued, an unexpected break is a great way to refresh and return to work feeling energized.

Motivate them with inspirational quotes.

Consider hanging banners or pictures with motivating slogans in the workplace of your B2B business. You don’t have to put them up on every single wall. Instead, post encouraging quotations in common areas of your office, such as the breakroom or meeting room. When your sales staff see these quotes, they’ll know you’re coming from a good place. This will assist them in remaining optimistic and maintaining a positive attitude in both good and bad situations.

Ways to Motivate and Appreciate Your Sellers

Incentivize.

Incentives are designed to encourage your team to achieve their objectives, including completing transactions and meeting sales targets. An incentive program may significantly improve their sales performance and bottom line, whether the incentive is cash, an expensive item, or a weekend trip.

Request feedback from your team.

Get feedback from your sellers to acquire insight into any issues or obstacles they face. A sales rep’s motivation may be harmed if they have met a difficulty they don’t disclose. You may fix and avoid problems by asking your sellers for input constantly, resulting in a highly driven sales force.

Show leadership.

Being a leader is perhaps the most crucial strategy for motivating your sales team. Sales staff can’t expect to succeed on their own. Instead, you must provide an example for others to follow for them to succeed. Put another way, demonstrate to your sales team what you demand of them by completing the same responsibilities.

It’s vital to have faith in yourself and your ability, too.  As the leader, your job is to hire, develop, teach, assist, and inspire sellers to perform better than you did in sales. Surround yourself with clever, driven sales reps if you want to be a great boss.

Conclusion

Boosting motivation and revenue is only the beginning. Successful motivational or appreciation programs may boost employee retention and recruit top talent. After all, they’re the ones in the trenches, answering phones, responding to internet inquiries, converting leads to sales, and assisting your business in achieving its goals. Showing your sales team some love and gratitude daily may go a long way toward keeping them motivated and on track to accomplish their sales goals.

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Sales Sales Advice Sales and Marketing

How Sales Automation Can Help Your Sales Team Be More Creative

Sales have gone a long way and taken on a new shape from the earlier years when they were overpowering and time-consuming. Selling has been more straightforward, precise, and fulfilling in recent years, thanks to the emergence of solutions that assist in streamlining the entire process.

The truth is, you will never be able to increase sales if you try to accomplish everything on your own. 

To compete at the top level, you must implement sales automation.

One huge misconception is that creativity and innovation suffer when a process is automated. But this isn’t the case. As you assign more difficult everyday activities to a sales automation tool, it stimulates creativity among your sales team. You’ll have more time to brainstorm, which means you’ll be able to develop more innovative methods to market your items and tailor your offers.

sales automation

What is the definition of sales automation?

A sales automation technology may increase efficiency, increase sales, and increase income by minimizing time-consuming and redundant work and saving you vast amounts of time. Then your sellers can focus on generating prospects and attempting to close deals instead.

Due to inventiveness and cutting-edge technology, nearly every company has exposure to automation tools and approaches that make marketing easier, smarter, and more efficient.

The advantages of sales automation

Never-ending improvement is one of the most significant traits of a successful entrepreneur. These businesses are always seeking new methods to maximize their profits. Spending money and effort in B2B sales automation is one of those investments that have the potential to transform a company for the better.

To help you get started, here are some ways your company may utilize sales automation to generate leads and increase revenue.

Improved client management

While some clients are concerned with product or service consistency, others choose a brand because of good relationship management, mainly when all stages of the buying process are appropriately managed. This is why businesses are increasingly using chatbots to manage client care.

AI-assisted support employees can manage customer service inquiries with ease. This allows you to free up your sellers to focus on more complex tasks and deal with more in-depth customer support issues.

Email marketing with a personal touch

Because they assist you in standing out from your rivals, personalization and customization are more crucial than ever. Personalization, however, can be pretty demanding. This is where email marketing automation can help you.

An auto-reply based on the data a sales automation tool has acquired can ensure that prospective clients receive a timely and tailored email response, resulting in a considerable increase in sales.

Artificial intelligence may also help you better understand your audience by analyzing your website visits. This will have an impact on judgments made in the future.

If you put up the correct automated procedures, you can maintain delivering personalized emails and answers even as your list grows. This sales automation saves you money and time and takes some pressure off your marketing team.

Faster document creation

Sales automation can assist you in generating the necessary documentation and contracts for your business. All terms and conditions and other details can be offered to the consumer and clarified on the spot without much effort. 

Contracts can also include electronic signatures. Quick data, such as periodic reminders, can be generated and provided to clients to notify them of any type of renewals.

Simpler client segmentation

It is possible for businesses to segment clients more simply with sales automation technology. The sales automation technology assists in identifying individual clients to cut marketing efforts and increase sales.

A more efficient lead generation process

The most significant advantage of sales automation is that it streamlines the lead creation process. Prospects and contacts are assigned to marketing automation software based on their selling readiness. It also boosts exposure, generates higher-quality leads, and automates follow-ups. 

When your business starts generating a consistent supply of qualified leads, a sales automation tool may update their sales-readiness ratings regularly and nurture the leads by sending out material targeted to their stage in the buyer’s journey, resulting in greater conversion rates.

Streamlined internal workflow

The ability to streamline internal processes benefits automation that is often overlooked in B2B selling. Internal workflows are created to improve the efficiency of current processes. For one, you may build up a workflow instead of having a seller constantly monitor the email every day after somebody completes a form on your webpage.  The system immediately tells the salesman when the form is completed, allowing for a quick response.

Conclusion

Before it’s too late, think about investing in sales automation technology to boost your sales and expand your company’s success. Sales automation will always aid in the development of more innovative brands. Many companies know positive outcomes within just the first six months of using automation effectively.

Remember: taking your company to the next level involves more than just putting in long hours at work. Sales automation will enable you to escape the drudgery and diversify your revenue streams. You’ll be able to build a long-lasting business with the efficiency that sales automation delivers.

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Blog Content Marketing digital marketing digital sales campaign Digital Selling Sales

How to Write the Perfect Sales Emails That Get Responses

With LinkedIn taking the top position among best sources of B2B prospects, sales professionals have massively turned their heads to a new way of reaching out to potential customers – LinkedIn InMail. Meanwhile, your old friend email will be handier if you need a cost-free solution for a sales outreach. What is more, with email outreach, you can send up to 1600 emails a day and track their performance, which InMail won’t cope with.

But, if you decide to use the potential of email marketing for your sales campaigns, you should be well-versed in all  “dos and don’ts” when preparing a sales email. In this post, we’ll talk about them and show you how to craft perfect sales emails that will bring you more responses.

Write a strong opening line

People spend only 12 seconds, on average, reading an email. This means – what you write at the beginning of the email, including the very first sentence after the greeting, should be engaging enough to make the recipient want to get in touch with you.

Image source: Tidio.com

There are 4 principal approaches to writing an opening sentence:

  1. Value offering

This approach is particularly common in eCommerce. Companies like Amazon or eBay send out thousands of newsletters daily. They don’t use redundant digressions and get to the point straight away.

Image source: Blogs Brighton

Although such an approach seems fairly utilitarian, it makes a lot of sense. Senders don’t have to invent ornate texts, while their recipients don’t spend a lot of time reading these texts, trying to extract the key point.

  1. Asking the question

This is a nice tactic to engage the recipient with email content. People like it when somebody asks their opinion or shows interest in their plans. You can ask a recipient about his/her business and slowly add a problem statement to that question. For example:

How does your company cope with an excess burden of taxation?

3. Praising achievements

Verbal applause isn’t flattery if it’s genuine. However, this kind of opening line requires preparations from the sender’s side, like skimming through the prospect’s recent news or publication on LinkedIn.

4. Introducing oneself

Finally, you can choose to write about yourself or the company. This approach is particularly justifiable for cold outreach when you should make a recipient acquaintance with the brand before any kind of offer.

There are several common tips to write an apt opening sentence:

  • if the line is too long, it’s better to split it into two shorter sentences
  • use numbers that add value to what you say, for example, “Want to increase sales by 10%?”
  • don’t make it too loud – avoid misusing all caps and exclamation marks
  • don’t add too many adjectives – give more credits to verbs
  • point to something that connects you with the lead – a background, previous experience (including negative), etc.
  • tailor statements – do not use common phrases like “we see you achieved much this year”; instead, add some personal touch, like “we see you’ve launched IPO this year”.

Create a helpful email body copy

The message you send should bring value to recipients, otherwise don’t expect they’ll respond to it. Winning sales teams are those that can connect their company’s proposal with the lead’s needs.

Say, you sell a full pack of digital marketing services to small companies. Instead of addressing their owners with a “We will help you to grow revenue” pitch, point that you know how to deal with exact constraints small companies face. For example:

If you want to promote your business on the Internet, but do not know how to do it and where to start, look at what others are doing.

We prepared success cases for you, based on what our clients told us about their SEO techniques and the results they have achieved.

By the way, until January 1, you have the opportunity to get a 40% for any services plan purchased for 6-12 months.

Another technique to write a sales email is to use social proof. People rely on other people’s actions and tend to copy behavior patterns. So, they will be more willing to get in touch with your company if they see others choosing it.

You can wrap up emails by politely asking for sales referrals. People like being asked for help, so if you show them a sort of dependency on their opinion or actions, they’ll be more engaged with your brand as a whole.

An apt sales email copy is not about the content alone. It’s also about text length and structure, wordings, and visual design. If you’re aimed to convert the lead with an email, follow these recommendations:

  • identify the action you’ll treat as a conversion

For example, if a company sells subscription-based apps, the target conversion may be either a purchased product or an application for a demo.

Long copies can provide the lead with more details, but the issue is – nobody has time to read long-drawn-out rationales. So, unless the email is “clean and neat” enough, it’ll probably be bounced by recipients.

  • use short sentences

A sales email isn’t a literary work. Put yourself into the recipient’s shoes – imagine you’ve opened an email in a hurry to quickly get to the point. Would you prefer complex sentences with difficult lexis or – short phrases with “easy-to-digest” words?

  • use conversational language

Of course, if you address government agencies or highly specialized clients like healthcare companies, you should use very qualified words. In all other cases, it’s better to simplify the vocabulary. The best approach is to write an email copy as if it was prepared for your friend.

  •  use active voice and avoid the “by” passive

Compare two sales email examples:

The increase in revenue was achieved by increasing the share of qualified leads (passive voice)

More qualified leads boosted the revenue (active voice)

The second example looks more conclusive, while the first is stuffed with prepositions. It’s better to add strong verbs in a sales email copy, like “drive”, “grow”, “start” –  to motivate leads to actions.

Wrap up the email copy with a CTA

A call-to-action isn’t a guarantee of getting instant conversions, still, it can create a chance to get them. There are 2 key rules regarding CTAs in sales emails:

  • there should be 1 per copy

Remember, the recipient should grasp further actions clearly, so don’t overwhelm him/her with asking for extra actions.

If the email is about to engage leads with content, add a single “Read the full story” button in the copy. You can, however, include links to socials, just make sure they don’t distract attention from the main CTA.

Image source: Sumo.com

  • a CTA should be specific

If you wrap up an email copy with a sentence, outline further steps with (tentative) deadlines. Like “Can we jump on a 15-min call on Monday?” or so. A good thing is to add the link to Calendly so that a recipient will be able to schedule the meeting straight away.

Add a professional signature

Employees’ email signatures demonstrate the company’s attention to detail. There’s nothing bad to construct a simple signature with, e.g. by using settings in Gmail. Still, by adding some pieces of design to it, you can stand out from the crowd and look more professional than your peers.

Image source: Mail-signatures.com

A photo in the signature will show you follow the human-centric approach and have nothing to hide. The website address, 2 or 3 social links, and contact information will be sources of extra information and allow leads to get in touch throughout the channel they prefer most.

Best Sales Email Templates

Different selling purposes require distinct outlines and wordings. Moreover, sales templates differ in B2B and B2C markets. Below we’ve listed 6 examples of the high-performing emails that one can tailor and use for the most common business purposes:

  1. To promote a free trial

SaaS companies usually promote their products by offering customers free access for a limited time. A corresponding sales email should briefly explain key terms of the subscription, including start day and duration. You can also wrap up the email by providing information on how to upgrade.

Image source: Snov.io

  1. To retarget prospects

People who’ve shown interest in the brand are “warm” leads, so try to convert them through retargeting. These kinds of sales emails usually start with a “We want you back” pitch and are commonly used by online stores. Retargeting emails should include an attractive deal, for example, a discount for the next purchase.

Image source: Sendinblue.com

  1. To get in touch after an event

Webinars or offline events are good to build brand awareness, but to be commercially justified, they should be followed with a proper sales email. Thank your prospect for the attention to the brand and then – list the benefits of the solution a company sells. And if you provide some examples, make them relevant to the lead by referring to his/her pain points.

Image source: Saleshacker.com

  1. To get in touch for the first time

Cold sales are tough yet essential to keep the pipeline full. Pay foremost attention to tailoring copies so that they don’t seem spammy or impersonal. Start with a brief introduction and explain how exactly you or your company can assist a prospect to resolve a particular issue. A good tactic is to also point to mutual interests, especially if a company operates on the B2B market.

Image source: Saleshacker.com

  1. To follow up after no response

Wait for at least 3 days before sending the first follow-up email, and increase the pause between all subsequent emails. To attract prospects with an offer, add some extra information or explain the benefits of the product in detail.

Be polite and never insist on answering. Still, make sure you’ve provided the recipient with a “go-to” instruction on how to get in touch in case he/she is interested.

Image source: Snov.io

  1. To nurture leads

The best tactic here is sharing interesting content. It takes months to build brand loyalty, so although nurturing emails don’t result in instant conversions – they are an essential part of any sales funnel in the long term.

Image source: a snapshot from Snov.io monthly newsletter

Wrapping up

While preparing your sales outreach, you should consider which communication channel will be most effective — phone or Zoom call, InMail or email — or you might wish to mix them.

And if you stop your choice at email, keep in mind that a sales email takes time to be prepared. The perfect copy starts with an apt subject line and is followed by a neat email body and good wrapping-up. If you doubt how to write a sales email, refer to the best sales emails examples and tailor them as required.

Author:

Yulia Zubova, Outreach specialist from Snov.io

Categories
video

How Important Is Video In Your Sales Strategy?

The past few years bore witness to the rapid growth of video marketing. According to a 2021 report by animated video company Wyzowl, 93% of marketers believe that video is an important part of their marketing strategy, and 86% of businesses are using it as a marketing tool.

The pandemic saw a drastic surge in video consumption, with 96% of consumers reporting that the amount of video content they’ve watched online had increased. With people isolated in their homes and teams stretching reduced budgets and resources, marketers have turned to video to sate our desire for human interaction, to impressive results.

The use of video is expected to keep growing well beyond 2021, with 96% of marketing professionals saying they’ll either increase or maintain their video spend.

This makes video a critical medium of communication that your revenue team should take full advantage of.

What can video offer that other mediums cannot?

  1. It can make complicated concepts easier to understand.
    Most people—around 60 to 80%—are visual learners who process information better when it’s presented using images, charts, maps, or other forms of imagery.

    This is what makes video so effective.

    In a two-minute explainer video, you can explain difficult concepts in a digestible format that cannot be replicated by an essay. You can use infographics and animations to explain what your product does, and how you can make the most of it. If you put all that into words, you’d spend hours on a long essay that readers would never read word-for-word.

  2. It humanizes the creator.
    A video proves to the viewer that they’re getting information from a real person. It allows you to show your personality and your interests outside of work, making it a good way to add that warm, human touch that’s missing in most marketing and sales communications.

  3. It’s an engaging medium.
    Video is extremely easy to consume. It can capture a wide target audience, and works on customers with varying levels of interest in your product.

    It also encourages social engagement, bolstered by social media platforms’ push of the medium.

  4. It can be tracked for buying intent data.
    One of the great things about video is that you can easily track its statistics: who has seen it, how long people have watched it, the amount of engagement it has received. This lets you gauge its effectiveness and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Using Video In The Sales Process

In the past, video was primarily used for product demos. But it can be used in all stages of the sales cycle, from prospecting all the way to closing.

During Prospecting

Video can capture a viewer’s attention more effectively than any other medium. Capitalize on this by using it to communicate with leads early on during the sales process. You can use video during prospecting to introduce yourself, explain what your product is all about, and encourage prospects to take the next steps. 

While Nurturing Leads

Once you’ve got a prospect in your pipeline, nurture your relationship with them using personalized video messages. It’s a great way to explain your product’s value proposition more clearly and connect with prospects on a deeper level.

Moving Deals Towards Close

Use video frequently throughout the sales process to get your prospects accustomed to you. This can help them feel like they know you personally, giving you an advantage over your competitors. Create micro-demos and explainers for them if they have concerns, and send personalized videos to remind them about meetings and updates.

When The Deal Is Won

Video remains useful after a deal is closed. Use it to answer any questions the client may have, as well as to ease their handoff to the customer success and support teams.

How To Get Over Your Fear Of Video

With video’s popularity at an all-time high, it’s the perfect time to use it in your sales strategy. It’s an affordable way of engaging your prospects, and it’s easy to share.

But despite video’s benefits, a lot of sellers and marketers are still hesitant to use it to communicate with prospects and clients. Their number one reason: They’re scared of putting themselves out there.

“It’s very hard to go on camera and expose yourself,” says Sales for Life COO Amar Sheth. “But something that I’d love to remind you of is, I have the same fear that you do. I’m also afraid of exposing myself on camera like this and being vulnerable. What will people think of this idea? Will they think it sucks, or will they think it’s okay? Will they think it’s amazing? I wouldn’t know. Until I’m out there, sharing ideas on a regular basis on this video medium, I simply wouldn’t have feedback.”

There’s only one way to get over this fear: Just start doing it and don’t stop until you’re comfortable with it.

At first, it’ll probably feel awkward to talk to yourself in front of a camera or a phone—and that’s normal. But the more you do it, the more natural it’ll feel, and the better you’ll be. Remember that you’re doing this to help your customers in the most efficient way possible, and keep that in mind every time you get your message out.

So go ahead and hit the record button—you’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

Categories
sales strategy

How To Increase Your Customer Renewals

New business is always great. In most situations, the more customers, the better. That’s why almost all revenue teams devote most of their time and resources to acquiring new customers. Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent annually on advertising and marketing each year—in fact, the United States saw over $240 billion in ad spend in 2019 alone.

But while a new customer is always a worthwhile pursuit, you shouldn’t forget that customer renewals are just as important. It’s imperative that companies allocate time, effort, and resources to put together a comprehensive customer retention or customer success strategy. Here’s what you stand to gain from a high customer retention rate.

The Benefits of Customer Renewals

1. Retention is cheaper than acquisition.

It’s more cost-effective to keep an existing client than to bring in a new one. According to this Harvard Business Review article, acquiring a new customer is five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. While retaining customers may not always be easy, it definitely pays off.

2. Existing customers are more likely to purchase from you again.

If a customer is satisfied by the value of your product or service, they’re more likely to purchase again. So it makes sense that retained customers have been proven to buy more often and spend more than new ones, and it’s estimated that almost 65% of a company’s business comes from repeat customers.

3. You’ll have a higher chance of getting customer referrals.

Happy customers are the best form of advertising. Despite the massive strides undertaken by the marketing and advertising industries in recent years, word of mouth still reigns supreme, delivering higher conversion rates while expending minimal resources.

4. You’ll have a ready market for new products and services.

When you’ve proven your value to a customer, they’ll be six times more likely to try a new product or service from your brand when it becomes available. This also gives your company wiggle room to develop new products, different messaging efforts, and other branding initiatives.

5. Loyal, engaged customers are more willing to provide feedback.

Satisfied customers will be more willing to share their thoughts about your products and services and thus, will be more likely to tell you how you can improve. And if they have a bad experience with your company, they’d be more willing to let the issue slide—as long as it doesn’t happen again.

These are just some ways a great customer retention program can benefit your company. So how can you increase your customers’ likelihood of renewing their contracts with you?

How To Increase Your Customer Renewals

Here’s something all sales professionals should know: The more contacts you have within an account, the more chances you’ll have of entering sales conversations—which can lead to customer renewals.

“Let’s assume that you’ve met an extra five, six, seven people [within an account], gone out, and introduced yourself proactively to them. You’ve told them about what you’re doing in that account, you’ve told them that you’re working with their peers and colleagues, and you’re starting to actively strike up more sales conversations,” says Sales for Life CEO Jamie Shanks.

“You can call this cross-selling, upselling—it really doesn’t matter. But having more contacts or stakeholders in an account will absolutely increase the likelihood of renewal and expansion of business in any account that you’re dealing with.”

To expand your network and enter new sales conversations, you need to go where your customers are.

“You’ve got to be on platforms like LinkedIn,” says Shanks. “You’ve got to deliberately, and with intentionality, go out there, find people in all the key accounts, start connecting with them, and start striking up conversations with them.”

Do this every single day, and set targets for the number of people you’ll reach out to per session. This way, you can increase your network size gradually and strike up more conversations with people in your target accounts. Your customer renewal rate will thank you for it.

Key Customer Renewal Metrics

To see if your customer renewal efforts are working, you need to know how to measure customer retention. This allows you to make more informed decisions concerning your sales strategy. Here are the most important customer retention metrics that all sellers should know:

Calculating The Customer Retention Rate

  1. Count your total number of customers at the end of a specific time period.
  2. Subtract the number of new customers you’ve acquired during the same time period.
  3. Divide the difference by the number of customers you had at the start of the time period.

Customer Retention Rate vs. Churn Rate

Some sellers confuse retention rate and churn rate. These two metrics, though related, are vastly different.

The retention rate refers to the percentage of customers that have returned to your company to avail of your product or service within a certain time period. The churn rate, meanwhile, refers to the percentage of customers that you’ve lost over a period of time. 

A high retention rate corresponds to a low churn rate, and vice versa. Customer churn is normal—but if it’s higher than five to seven percent, you should take a step back and evaluate your sales strategy.

Calculating The Repeat Purchase Ratio

The repeat purchase ratio refers to the percentage of customers that have returned to buy from your company again. It’s especially helpful for assessing the performance and impact of your company’s customer retention strategy.

  1. Get the number of returning customers.
  2. Divide it by the number of your total customers.

Calculating The Customer Lifetime Value

The customer lifetime value refers to the revenue generated by a single customer. Your customer lifetime value should ideally rise or, at least, stay constant—a shrinking number could indicate that you’re losing customers at a faster rate than before, and that’s not a good thing.

  1. Divide your gross annual sales by the total number of unique customers in a year. This is your average revenue per customer.
  2. See how many years each one of your customers has stayed with your company, and get the average. This is your average customer lifespan.
  3. Multiply the average revenue per customer by the average customer lifespan.

There are more metrics that you should track to get a clearer picture of your customer retention efforts, but you can start with these. The data you can collect from these metrics allow you to improve your customer experience and increase your renewals.

Conclusion

If your company doesn’t have a customer retention strategy in place, you’re missing out on several benefits. Not only is it one of the best investments that your company can make, but it’s also one of the most effective marketing strategies for your business.

There are many things that you can do to increase your customer renewals, but the easiest way to go about it is by increasing your connections within an account. This paves the way for more conversations, converts more champions for your brand, and, in time, increases your opportunities to upsell and cross-sell your products and services.

Categories
Social Selling

How To Make Your LinkedIn Profile More Attractive To Buyers

If you want to succeed in today’s modern selling environment, you have to accept that the power lies in the customer’s hands.

Our access to information has drastically increased in the last couple of decades, and customers are taking full advantage of the availability of objective data to form their own opinions and beliefs about the options at their fingertips. Buyers have never been more in control of their purchasing decisions, with the product being the only variable that sellers can adjust.

The impact of this change is especially felt by B2B sellers. In the past, buyers would, upon discovering a need for a particular product or solution, reach out to different companies to get information about their offerings, their features, and their prices. Conversely, sellers can easily cold call decision-makers and help them uncover a need they did not know existed.

But this isn’t the case anymore. In fact, most of the B2B buying process is performed out of the seller’s sight, with buyers doing their own research digitally via online content and social media, specifically on LinkedIn.

Social selling on LinkedIn: the key to B2B sales success

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social networking site, with over 800M members across 200 countries. This makes it the perfect platform for social selling, with nearly endless opportunities to generate leads and referrals, prospect efficiently, and build relationships with your customers.

Social selling success on LinkedIn hinges on the sellers’ application of both outbound and inbound strategies. This is the only way to achieve undisputable results that could be felt across the entire organization.

Outbound social selling strategies

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “sales”?

Chances are you’re probably imagining a sales rep reaching out to a customer to promote their product or service, maybe through a phone call or via a meeting. This is exactly what outbound sales is: The process in which the seller initiates communication with a prospective buyer via sales activities such as emailing, cold calling, or social selling.

While outbound selling methods are clearly effective—that’s how sales reps have been meeting their quota for years—it’s not enough if you want to surpass your sales goals. You can make the most of your outbound sales efforts by strategically targeting only the accounts with the highest likelihood of conversion.

Still, this isn’t enough to be successful in sales. The best sellers complement their outbound sales techniques with inbound sales methods. This turns them into lead magnets, attracting customers in their sleep.

Inbound social selling strategies

Turning your LinkedIn profile into a lead magnet requires a strong, carefully crafted personal brand. Your personal brand should show that you are an active participant in your industry, thus establishing your authority and knowledge. Do it right, and expect to reap its benefits—the most notable of which is an increase in the inquiries you’ll get from prospects.

To achieve this, the first thing you need to do is to optimize your LinkedIn profile.

How to optimize your LinkedIn profile

An updated, optimized LinkedIn profile can boost the reputation of any professional, but it’s especially helpful for people in sales and marketing. It adds credibility to both you and your company and helps you reach a broader audience.

Ready to revamp your LinkedIn presence? Start with the following areas of your profile

1. Your Profile Photo and Background Photo

Your photo is the first thing that people notice when they visit your profile. Upload a high-resolution, well-lit headshot, preferably one where you’re smiling to give a friendly, approachable impression. While you’re at it, update your background photo to indicate your professional brand. Remember, first impressions last—so you better make sure your photo creates a positive impact.

2. Your Headline

Your headline is where you can highlight what you do and how you can help your customers. Use action-based keywords to project confidence and authority, and use terms that clearly define your role and contributions.

3. Your About/Summary Section

Your summary should complement your headline, adding more details about how you can help your customers win. Use this section to position yourself as a thought leader in your field. Try not to exceed 150 words—any longer, and it’ll be tedious to read.

4. Your Recommendations

Recommendations serve as social proof of what you have written in your Headline and About sections. For customer-facing roles, a minimum of five recommendations would be ideal.

5. Your Activity

This is where your profile’s visitors can see your perspectives about your industry. Share relevant content, comment on your connections’ news, and engage with posts that resonate with you—these simple actions go a long way in showing that you’re an active, contributing member of your online community.

Conclusion

A strong LinkedIn presence is necessary to survive and thrive in today’s modern, cutthroat B2B sales environment. The sooner you accept this, the faster your revenue team can meet quotas, grow pipeline, and maximize profitability. 

The easiest way to strengthen your LinkedIn presence is by optimizing your profile. 

Upload clear profile photos that reflect your personality, write a headline that shows your professional capabilities and include a personal summary that sheds more light on your accomplishments. Don’t forget to post and share content regularly, and ask for recommendations from people whom you have worked with.

Categories
LinkedIn

How Can You Fully Utilize Your LinkedIn Sales Navigator Investment?

With nearly 800 million members worldwide, LinkedIn’s status as the world’s largest professional social network is indisputable. Though LinkedIn gained popularity as a way for job seekers to connect with hiring scouts and get potential recommendations, it has also become an international hub where global professionals can expand their networks and form industry-shaping connections. As time went on, sales professionals learned to leverage the platform to improve their bottom line.

With an ever-climbing percentage of companies using LinkedIn for sales and networking, can your organization keep up in today’s increasingly competitive social selling environment? To own your place in the digital sales ecosystem, you need to be serious about your LinkedIn strategy–starting with your usage of LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

All About LinkedIn Sales Navigator

The free version of LinkedIn can be used by any member of any company to find leads, reach out to prospects, and close deals. However, its capabilities are severely limited. If you want to take full advantage of what LinkedIn can do for your revenue, you should invest in Sales Navigator.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s roster of features is specially developed with sales professionals in mind. It allows users to search and reach out to more leads and companies, keep track of changes within your prospect accounts, and engage with your network in bold and different ways. 

The most popular function of LinkedIn Sales Navigator is probably Advanced Search, which makes prospecting on the platform a breeze. There are over 20 filters you can apply to narrow down your search to get the most promising leads. You can also perform boolean searches in keywords, title, and company fields, allowing you to find the people who fit your ideal customer profile to a T.

Let’s take a look at some other features of LinkedIn Sales Navigator:

  • LinkedIn InMail: InMail is an incredibly useful tool for any sales professional, but it’s not available on the free version of the service. However, the basic version of LinkedIn Sales Navigator comes with 20 InMails per month. The Team and Enterprise tiers of Sales Navigator add even more opportunities to reach out, giving you up to 50 InMails per month. The more InMails you can send, the more potential first connections you can make with prospects of interest. 

  • Extended Network Access: The free version of LinkedIn imposes a monthly commercial use limit on the amount and extent of the searches you can run. Only being able to search a limited number of profiles every 30 days can seriously impede your ability to generate leads and follow up with potential prospects. LinkedIn Sales Navigator gives sales professionals access to an unlimited number of profiles, increasing your potential to generate new leads. You can also save your searches and create alerts to keep track of any changes within your target accounts.

  • Integration with your sales tools: LinkedIn Sales Navigator is designed to integrate seamlessly with your revenue team’s daily sales and relationship workflow. That’s why it has certified integrations with the most popular CRMs in the market, including Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Hubspot, Oracle CX Sales, Pega, SAP, and SugarCRM. You can access Sales Navigator as a viewable embedded profile within your CRM, or you can actively sync it with your existing software to efficiently move important data like leads and accounts from one platform to another.

Given all these benefits, you might think that the next logical step is to get Sales Navigator accounts for your entire revenue team. Let’s get one thing clear: Sales Navigator is absolutely worth it—but only if your team knows how to properly use it.

What You Should Consider Before Investing In LinkedIn Sales Navigator

 Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator worth investing in? All signs point to “yes.”

According to data that LinkedIn has gathered from usage reporting, Sales Navigator users have reported experiencing the following benefits:

In an industry where connections are so powerful, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a worthwhile investment that can maximize your potential for lead generation. If used correctly, there is no doubt that this purchase can make your company’s sales strategy skyrocket in terms of efficiency. 

But just because you can afford it, doesn’t mean you should buy it for your whole team.

Process Before Platform

A lot of sellers would ask us if they should invest in LinkedIn Sales Navigator accounts for their entire revenue teams. Would it be a worthwhile investment, or would a mix of free and premium accounts make more sense?

The answer will depend on your organization’s unique situation. The key, says our CEO Jamie Shanks, is to remember that your process should dictate your platform.

“If your team does not have a process for using the tool, it doesn’t really matter. You’re going to have terrible seller utilization,” says Shanks.

He compares it to giving a sports car to every member of his team because they all need to get to work early, only to find out that not everyone can maximize it. Some people use different forms of transportation, so they can’t take full advantage of the car. On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who can’t even drive in the first place, rendering the car useless.

“If your own team is not socially surrounding your customers, not developing robust social networks, and not altering their own social platform profiles, then what is Sales Navigator going to offer them from an account-based sales development standpoint?” asks Shanks.

“Yes, you can organize accounts and create lists and save these lists in more structured ways, but if they can’t do the fundamentals…why do you need to give them a Porsche?”

That said, Shanks’ advice is to give Sales Navigator access to only the sellers who can really maximize the platform: your business development representatives and your key account executives with robust total addressable markets (TAM). Sales Navigator will allow them to efficiently analyze, segment, and contact the most qualified leads to speed up their sales process.

Conclusion

Always remember that an effective sales process is the key to maximizing LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Getting the most out of this investment is a whole process that requires dedication, attentiveness, and a perceptive eye for sales opportunities.

Sales Navigator offers tremendous opportunities for prospecting, so don’t be afraid to integrate it as tightly as possible with your existing sales strategy. When your sales goals are properly defined and aligned with your strategy and tools, your sellers can propel your company onto the top of the market.

Categories
b2b sales

How To Start Building Your Personal Brand

If you want to stand out from the rest of the sellers in the market, you need a strong personal brand that reflects what you stand for.

Your brand tells potential buyers what they can expect from you. It tells them about your personality, your processes, and your working style. And, depending on how well you build your brand, it tells them how reliable you are as an authority in your industry.

The Importance Of Having A Personal Brand

At Sales for Life, we believe that a strong personal brand isn’t just nice to have as a seller, but a must-have.

In fact, one of the first things we teach in our flagship course, The ScalePipeline System, is the importance of building a strong personal brand. We have a whole module about it: Modern Branding Fundamentals, where we teach sales professionals how to build their professional reputations and increase conversations by strategically creating and sharing content on LinkedIn. This gradually builds you up as an authority in your industry, making prospects see you as someone they can trust.

Build your personal brand well, and you’ll have customers reaching out to you instead of the other way around. You’ll have the power to draw in leads in your sleep. And that’s why having a strong personal brand is the best inbound sales strategy.

So how can you get started building your personal brand?

3 things you need to know when building your personal brand

The first thing you need to know when building your personal brand is that there are three things that will ultimately determine the results of your efforts. Think of these three factors as levers that determine the effectiveness of your engagement efforts: Many times, when your sellers’ messages aren’t resonating, they’re probably not manipulating some of these levers.

  1. The stories you tell people: the stories have to offer value for your prospects: You should be able to make them money, save them money, or mitigate their risk.

  2. The mediums through which you tell stories: The medium by which you engage with your prospects informs your message. Whether it’s email, video, text, snail mail, or LinkedIn—creative sellers will consider a variety of different mediums, recognizing that they can’t predict which medium is going to land with the customer. It helps to use an omni-channel approach, testing different engagement strategies to socially surround that customer.

  3. The cadence and sequence: This pertains to the order and operation by which you tell your stories. Key account selling is not for two-week closes. It takes several weeks and months to close deals—and that’s why you need to engage with your audience regularly and repeatedly in order for your brand to stick in their minds.

If you isolate each one of these levers, you’ll be able to develop an engagement action plan. But first, you need to recognize that a one-time approach doesn’t work. Sending one message and hoping you get a response is not a strategy.

Always think about how you can manipulate these three levers to alter the results and outcomes that you’re trying to achieve. As a seller, you should always think five chess moves ahead. That’s why the best key account sellers have at least five sales plays in their pocket, being delivered over weeks and months. This way, they’re constantly engaging with and nurturing their customers.

LinkedIn: The Best Place To Start Building Your Personal Brand

One of the most optimal mediums to build your personal brand is LinkedIn. It’s the most conducive platform for building a professional presence that properly showcases your work to your network.

 Below are the five basic things you can do to improve your LinkedIn profile—and, correspondingly, your personal brand.

  1. Add a professional profile photo: Pick an appropriate profile photo that corresponds with your role. It doesn’t have to be taken by a professional photographer, but it has to be clear with a non-distracting background and should showcase you in your best light. 

  2. Write a distinctive headline: Your default headline is your current employment position, but you can write your own to demonstrate your expertise or your role. Think of your headline as your personal tagline—include the words and phrases that you’d like to be used to describe you.

  3. Change your LinkedIn background photo: You can upload a LinkedIn background photo to tell your network more about who you are and what you do. You can use it to echo your company’s brand, or to share your own hobbies and achievements.

  4. Optimize your summary and experience sections: Your LinkedIn profile and your resume should not show the same things. Your experience should list your major accomplishments and the key positions you’ve held, along with brief explanations of each role. Meanwhile, your summary is where you can dive deeper into your vision for your role or company. Back up your achievements with statistics, and use keywords to make your profile easier to find.

  5. Ask for recommendations: The most effective kinds of advertising are those done for you by other people—and that’s exactly what LinkedIn recommendations do. Recommendations from trusted contacts whom you work or have worked with will be visible to your network, giving your reputation an instant boost.

Conclusion

Building your personal brand is necessary to boost your professional reputation. It’s doubly important when you work in sales. A strong personal brand can turn you into a lead magnet, thus functioning as your inbound sales strategy.

Being active on LinkedIn is one of the easiest ways to build your personal brand. Optimize your profile, network strategically, and publish content regularly. Keep in mind the three levers that will affect your engagement strategy: Your stories, mediums, and cadences. Adjust your sales plays constantly to get the results you want, and constantly engage your audience so your brand will leave a strong impression on their minds.

Categories
Social Selling

5 Things You Can Do To Fill Your Social Media Calendar

Social media is one of the most powerful tools in a sales professional’s arsenal. You can use social media platforms to build pipeline, gather information, communicate with prospects, and conduct research. But one of the most powerful ways to use social media is for establishing your and your company’s brand and authority—and the easiest way to do this is via content.

Posting content on a regular basis builds credibility and expands your reach, making it a reliable way to strengthen your brand. It makes your presence and authority known, allowing you to more effectively influence your network.

The best part is that your connections won’t even know that they are being influenced, because you’re doing so in a way that won’t register in their consciousness. Instead of blatantly appealing to their emotions to buy your product, you’re presenting yourself in the best possible light and establishing connections with those who are most likely to become your clients, leading their minds to realize that you’re a trustworthy seller.

3 Reasons To Post On Social Media Daily

Posting content regularly isn’t just nice to do—it’s a must-do. And it should be done on a daily basis, if possible.

You see, when you regularly post or share content, you’re telling your market that you have something substantial that they should consider. And the more people that you can educate, the greater the chances that they’ll do business with you. 

  1. You can anchor your brand to the messages you want to convey.

    First impressions may not always be correct, but they certainly last. This is explained by the concept of anchoring: Why our brains easily recall the first piece of information that we obtain when we have to make a decision or when presented with an unfamiliar scenario.

    By posting regularly, you can anchor your personal brand to a particular message, such as competence or creativity, that you want your audience to associate with you.

  2. You can make your brand easier to remember.

    Humans are naturally biased towards things that they can recall easily. That’s why the goal in advertising is to occupy the customer’s “top of mind”. You want your brand to be the first thing that pops up in their mind when they think about their industry.

    Every time you post on social media, the people who see your content are reminded of who you are and what you do, thus increasing the space you occupy in their minds. Even if they don’t engage with your post, you’ll still make an impact on them—and this increases the chances that you’ll be the first one they’ll think about when it comes to your product or service.

  3. You can benefit from the Halo Effect.

    The Halo Effect is the tendency for a positive impression that you may have about a person or a product to extend to other, unrelated attributes. For example, if you perceive someone to be successful professionally, you might think that they’re similarly happy in other aspects of their lives. Or if a friend frequently posts gorgeous photos on Instagram, it’s easy to conclude that their day-to-day activities are always picture-perfect (even if that’s not really the case).

    So by establishing yourself as an authority in your industry through your social media posts, your network would unconsciously extend your expertise beyond the topics of your content. You’ll be perceived as a competent, trustworthy person that can help them succeed.

However, posting content on a daily basis is much easier said than done. Can you really keep posting about the same topic every single day?

Our answer is a resounding yes.

The good news is that you don’t have to write thought-provoking essays or create engaging images every time. Here’s how you can keep a full social media calendar without thinking too much about it.

4 Things You Can Do To Fill Your Content Calendar

  1. Share stories and news that you find interesting. As we’ve mentioned earlier, you don’t have to write profound analyses of your industry every day. Simply sharing news and stories from reputable sources is also an effective way of demonstrating your expertise—it shows you’re up-to-date on the latest news and trends, and thus, can be relied on for legitimate industry knowledge.

  2. Share stories of client wins. The most effective forms of promotion are those made by other people. Showing how you played a part in creating positive experiences for your clients can sharply boost your personal brand and reinforce your expertise.

  3. Post about the people in your network. As the saying goes, your network is your net worth. Don’t hesitate to incorporate your connections when planning your social media calendar. Repost their content and add your own insights to establish your knowledge on the topic.

    You can also post happy photos from in-person events that you’ve attended, such as conferences and networking events. This shows your online connections that you have great offline relationships, and that you’re a person they should get to know. 

  4. Automate your posts. Most social media platforms allow post scheduling, which is a godsend for busy sellers and marketers. You can produce several posts in one go, schedule them on your intended days, and they’ll be automatically published.

  5. Ask questions and create polls. These types of posts demand engagmement from their audience. When they like, comment on, or share your content, the algorithm will be trained to show them more of your posts in the future, increasing the space that your brand occupies in their minds.
Categories
LinkedIn

How To Create Better LinkedIn Message Ads

At its core, social selling is about building relationships and helping others. You need to convey empathy, interest in collaboration, and a problem-solving mindset—and these characteristics can be reflected via LinkedIn and its message service, LinkedIn Message Ads (formerly known as Sponsored InMail).

What are LinkedIn Message Ads?

As most professionals know, LinkedIn is one of the best places to connect with other people in your industry. An active and helpful presence on LinkedIn can help you gain familiarity among B2B buyers, making it a goldmine whether you’re trying to expand your reach or generate new leads. It also helps that the platform provides plenty of tools to make your sales activities even easier.

One such tool is LinkedIn sponsored InMail, which has since been rebranded into LinkedIn Message Ads. Message Ads allow users to send direct messages to your prospects to spark immediate action. The service offers users a means to reach out to potential buyers outside their network and capitalize on opportunities. It’s a great way to reach industry experts and generate new leads, making it an indispensable communication channel for B2B sellers. 

There are three main reasons why LinkedIn Message Ads work:

  1. It delivers a targeted message with a single CTA: The straightforward, no-fuss layout allows you to communicate clearly and effectively with your prospects without worrying about character limits or broken email layouts. 
  2. It lets you see the impact of your messages: LinkedIn Message Ads, like any other digital ad platform, offers analytics to keep track of ad performance. Users can track campaign metrics such as sends, opens, open rate, clicks, clickthrough rate, cost per lead, and more.
  3. It drives stronger engagement compared to traditional emails: Message Ads are prioritized in the recipient’s inbox. They are highlighted and delivered in an uncluttered environment so your brand stands out. According to LinkedIn, more than 1 in 2 prospects open a Message Ad—and that’s a huge statistic.

Email vs InMail 

We often get asked if LinkedIn InMail should or has replaced email as the most effective communication medium for B2B sales. For certain buyers, certain markets, and certain companies, this is definitely the case. 

One of the biggest problems with sales prospecting emails is that they often arrive in your inbox from out of nowhere, with generic messaging that bears minimal relevance or value to the recipient. And since they are unsolicited (not to mention usually part of a sequence), they tend to be more annoying.

On the other hand, Message Ads are exchanged on a platform that your prospects are already using to converse and network professionally. The relevance and purpose are built-in. Plus, they can see your name and face and can click on your profile to learn more about you.

In an impersonal world of digital interactions, this goes a long way.

Another thing that makes LinkedIn Message Ads better than email can be attributed to the principle of double potency. When someone sends you a message on LinkedIn, you’ll also get an alert in the email connected to your LinkedIn account. The sender hits you in two spots because you’ll see the message in both your LinkedIn inbox and your email, increasing your awareness of the message.

Making Your Message Ads More Potent

how to send better LinkedIn Message Ads

Before you fire off another LinkedIn message, be mindful of the best practices you should follow in order to maximize the impact your message will make.  

  • Consider your first message to be a conversation starter. Don’t sell your service immediately at the first point of contact—that’s too much, too soon. Use the platform to build a relationship with your prospect the same way you would do so in a non-virtual world: By offering them something that will help them in their professional lives. This is the most natural way to get the recipient to warm up to you and your company.
  • Be brief and to the point. Keep your messages as simple as possible. The decision-makers who’ll be reading your messages (probably on their phones) don’t have the time to read too-wordy messages. Optimize your messages for mobile, try to limit the word count to around 100 words (less is best), use bullet points and short paragraphs to keep the reader’s attention, and have a written CTA.

    The same logic goes for the subject line. Keep your subject lines short and personal—aim for 5 words or less
  • Adopt a conversational, enthusiastic tone. It’s tempting to use a formal, overly polite tone when conversing on LinkedIn—you’re representing your company on the platform, after all. Shouldn’t you put your best foot forward?

    However, it’s highly recommended to keep your LinkedIn messages polite yet informal. Your recipient shouldn’t get bored while reading about the benefits of your products or services, and a soulless message that reads like a formal introduction can drive them away.
  • No credits, no problem: You don’t always need to buy more Message Ad credits to be able to send messages to the people you need to sell to. By joining the LinkedIn groups where your ideal customer profiles (ICPs) can be found, you’ll have access to everyone within those groups and you can send them messages for free.

Conclusion

LinkedIn’s promoted message service allows you to easily reach out to leads within your ICP, making it a B2B seller’s best friend. But if you don’t use it well, you’ll end up being ignored by potential leads, wasting time and money.

Take the time to build a worthwhile campaign. Craft messages that resonate with your audience, optimize them for maximum impact, and use the platform’s analytics tools to track your results.