July 6, 2015 10:13 AM
Sales and marketing professionals know that the bar for effective sales and marketing engagement has never been higher. We’ve responded with audience-focused campaigns, salesforce and marketing automation, and content targeted to each buyer who influences a sale. Many companies have invested in buyer personas, data mining apps and social media listening posts.
And yet it’s hard to find buyers who say that we’ve made their decisions any easier.
July 1, 2015 12:00 AM
In the ongoing battle for market share, brands pour over metrics and tweak strategies to increase customer loyalty. The stakes are high, customer acquisition costs are expensive and most businesses can’t afford to lose sales to competitors. With prices commoditized in many industries, today’s battleground is centered squarely on customer experiences.
July 1, 2015 12:00 AM
When you’re pregnant (or when your partner is pregnant), you start seeing pregnant women everywhere you go. Something similar happens every time we put together our annual summer issue, with its focus on technology’s impact on sales and marketing.
June 29, 2015 02:28 PM
Sales negotiations can go awry quickly, and in any number of ways. While there’s no surefire way to barter a positive outcome, avoiding a handful of common mistakes can decrease the likelihood of the negotiation getting derailed. In a blog post on HubSpot.com, sales management consultant Jeff Hoffman shared the four worst mistakes reps make when they negotiate.
June 29, 2015 02:41 PM
When people land on your website, you want them to do something — something that progresses your specific goals. Encouraging a prospective customer to take a desired action is one of the hardest tasks that markets face. “You need to focus less on beautiful design or amazing copy and more on creating a powerful and compelling call to action,” says blogger, author and social media strategist Jeff Bullas (jeffbullas.com).
June 29, 2015 03:13 PM
As technology continues its frenzied leap forward, you’ve never had more tools at your fingertips for reaching your market, engaging your customer, closing a deal or hitting your numbers. With so many products to choose from and limited time for research, you may be inclined to stick with popular, big-name solutions rather than trying something you’ve not heard of before.
June 29, 2015 03:19 PM
It’s easy to jump to the sales tool du jour in the hope that it will boost your numbers. Too many companies have discovered the hard way this is a mistake. Eric Estrilla of Sales Benchmark Index (SalesBenchmarkIndex.com) says the sales tools you implement across your sales operations should be defined by overall organizational needs, which are defined by your product, marketing and sales strategies.
June 29, 2015 03:16 PM
The emergence of new tools ultimately kicks technology that was once considered indispensable to the curb. Is it time for voice mail to hang it up? M.I.T. research fellow Michael Schrage posed the question in an in article for Harvard Business Review (HBR.org). “A communications medium that was once essential has become as clunky and irrelevant as Microsoft DOS and carbon paper,” Schrage states.
June 29, 2015 12:00 AM
By 2020, nearly 50 percent of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials. They are diverse, tech-savvy, socially connected, and more comfortable “job jumping” to find professional fulfillment. The way Millennials evaluate job opportunities is very different from past generations. Although they require new levels of flexibility, office perks and management styles, the potential return on investment is enormous.
June 29, 2015 02:49 PM
Used to be if a presenter constantly checked his watch it was a signal that things weren’t going so well. Now it can mean your audience is completely engaged.
MeetingPulse, a suite of web-based audience engagement tools for meetings, has introduced the first-ever meeting software integration with wearable technology, currently compatible with the Pebble smartwatch and soon to be Apple Watch-ready.
June 29, 2015 02:40 PM
“Leaders must start taking it personally that customers are departing from their business,” states Jeanne Bliss in her new book, “Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How To Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine” (Wiley). “They need to care about the ‘math’ between customers in and customers out — because that delta drives growth.
June 29, 2015 02:59 PM
If you’re uncertain about the popularity of consumer electronics in the U.S. and around the world — and we can’t imagine why you would be — spend a day at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show, which is held in Las Vegas each January. The show’s growth over the years has forced its expansion from “merely” filling up the Las Vegas Convention Center, to spilling over into several exhibit halls at nearby casinos. The numbers from CES 2015 are staggering:
• More than 170,000 attendees
June 29, 2015 02:33 PM
Video has immense potential in B2B marketing, but many companies have been slow to adopt it, states Chuck Kapelke in a story for B-to-B Marketer,a publication of the Business Marketing Association. He provides these quick tips for better use of video:
June 29, 2015 02:29 PM
If your salespeople think their prospects are hard to impress, try having them sell to venture capitalist David Wells of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “Within the first eight words, I’ve decided whether or not to keep listening,” Wells told Allison M. Shapira of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Communication Program when asked what he’s thinking when he hears a startup pitch.
June 29, 2015 02:26 PM
Formal teamwork is present in a majority of companies and, informally, every organization is in fact a large team of employees. But managers continue to focus their performance improvement efforts almost exclusively on competition rather than cooperation when designing rewards.
June 29, 2015 03:15 PM
Cloud computing comes with a number of great benefits, such as scalability, cost minimization and universal availability, that can help you and your team automate your sales efforts. Here are a few good cloud-based tips that can help your team distinguish itself from the pack — and do so quicker, cheaper and faster than ever before.
Keep social simple.
June 29, 2015 03:31 PM
Ben Parr, venture capitalist , startup coach, former coeditor of Mashable, author and public speaker, lives at the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship. In his new book, “Captivology,” Parr identifies seven “captivation triggers” that he says are the essential tools for capturing attention for your ideas and products.
SMM: You’ve been traveling the country trying to capture attention for your book about capturing attention. What have you found to be most effective?
June 29, 2015 02:54 PM
Mitra Sorrells of BizBash (BizBash.com) an online resource for event planning news, spoke with four social media specialists about what it means to go beyond quantitative measures to a deeper, qualitative analysis of online activity. Chris Kerns is head of research and analytics for Spredfast; Jady Manibusan is a social media analyst for Brandwatch; Jeff Ramos is a digital creative director and brand consultant; and Reb Carlson is a social media strategist. They suggest these tips to collect meaningful data from an event’s social media activity:
June 29, 2015 02:52 PM
Budgets, resources, innovation, ROI, and increasing delegate numbers and revenues are the top challenges facing corporate event planners in 2015, according to a survey of more than 100 corporate event planners by Conference & Incentive Travel magazine (citmagazine.com), a leading UK-based publication for corporate event planners. Here’s what CIT discovered about the top-five challenges that corporate planners face:
June 29, 2015 03:01 PM
In case you haven’t noticed, the business world is immersed in a technological arms race.
June 29, 2015 03:27 PM
Research supports the argument that in many situations, non-cash incentives are stronger motivators than cash. Non-cash rewards lock recipients into non-essentials, while cash tends to get lumped with the rest of one’s paycheck and goes toward groceries, utilities and other bills.
June 29, 2015 02:25 PM
Americans continue to fuel a fitness craze. By any measure — total health clubs, fitness trainers and sales of fitness gear — growth in the past decade has been astronomical as the general population increasingly embraces a more active and healthy lifestyle.
June 29, 2015 03:03 PM
If two sales reps meet with us on the same day offering competitive solutions, are we more impressed with whoever boasts both traditional advantages — who is better dressed, who knows our college cheer song, who shares our out-of-work interests in golf or steampunk — as well as who is armed with the coolest new tech products?
June 26, 2015 12:02 PM
Ashu Garg, general partner of Foundation Capital, recently remarked, “Technology today is both friend and foe for the CMO. The shift from art to science requires CMOs to reinvent themselves and their organizations or become irrelevant. The CMO of tomorrow is the data nerd of today.”