Three Ways Sales Reps Can Be More Productive and Increase Efficiency

By | B2B Sales, Sales Productivity

It’s very true – many of the best companies are struggling with the amount of time their sales reps spend in front of prospects.

Great field sales reps are horrible admins. Don’t believe me?

Ask any marketing director in charge of providing marketing support to a sales team. Ask a VP of sales that’s charged with herding the cattle. At any tier, the response is the same.

I’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds of field sales reps over the years and the absolute best sales reps are coin operated.  If a task gets in the way of selling, they don’t do it.  Why should they?!

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[Case Study] Simple Tactic For Marketers To Impact Dealer Sales

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools

“What are we really getting for our marketing spend?”

I cringe every time someone in sales asks this question!

Actually it’s not a question, it’s statement that sales does not believe in marketing’s contribution.  It is also a sure sign that sales needs someone to blame for missing their number.

Maybe there is also a bit of misalignment or internal chaos between marketing and sales.

I think we all know the impact of marketing on sales performance, but sometimes it is difficult to quantify. Wouldn’t it be really nice if people stop asking this question all together?

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10 Mobile Sales Tool Etiquette Tips to Maximize Sales Meeting Success

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools

Nowadays every field sale person uses some kind of mobile sales tool to do their job.  More companies then ever are rolling out mobile devices for their sales teams to use during sales meetings.

In fact IDC predicts that by 2020, mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total U.S. workforce.

Those in-person conversations are critical for closing opportunities and using a mobile sales tool is proven to be an incredibly effective way to increase your odds of closing that important deal.

Great – right?

Absolutely, but there is one major problem I need to point out. Read More

Fix 5 Common Mobile Device Mistakes at Trade Shows and Boost Your ROI

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

Mobile devices, included iPads, Android tablets, phones and iPhones are being used more and more at trade shows these days.

Whether it’s as a mobile sales tool in a sales reps hands, a tablet on a stand showing videos, or even just a mobile tool for scanning badges, Trade Show Managers need to prepare their sales teams appropriately. Read More

ipad sales app

#1 Reason Reps Only Use 35% of Digital Sales Collateral Marketers Create

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

Marketers spend a ton of time, money, and effort creating digital sales collateral for our sales teams.

In fact, I would argue it has never been easier or more cost effective to generate videos, images, PDF brochures, mini-apps, etc.

Never!

Yet, despite all the systems and repositories…time and time again salespeople ask us if we have a brochure for X or case study that is an example of Y.

Are you kidding me?  Yes, we gave you that 6 months ago.  Why are you emailing me? Read More

Most Effective Way to Launch a Distributor Mobile Sales App

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools

We’d just gotten the biggest opportunity in our career – the chance to deliver a distributor mobile sales app to 1000s of plumbing dealers across the US and Canada for the top manufacturer in the industry.

For our fledgling company, this represented the largest single purchase of seats in our history.  A great distributor mobile sales app meant huge long-term value to us and our shareholders since 1000s of people would be benefiting from its use.  Failure to create the right tool Read More

Effective Conference & Leads

By | B2B Sales

I’ve gone to a lot of conferences in my day. Most of the time I’m appalled by the booth management and the flurry to scan my badge without ever having any real intention of engaging with me. I’ve become surly in my old age telling the bright-eyed marketer that comes gleefully to scan my badge that, “I’m a terrible lead” or worse, “I’m going to blacklist you if you send me an email.”

Nothing dissuades them, nothing.

Then I saw the entire process turned on its head and ran ruthlessly effectively. This lead capture system was the most organized, successful, and effective conference campaign, which despite the cost, they more than covered expenses even before the packed up and left.

I was in awe. Such awe that I’m pitching my boss to do this lead capture system next year and ordering a chartered jet home to haul all the cash we will make.

It was that woefully efficient.

Here’s the story, as best I can remember it.

I’m wandering the conference floor, and I get accosted by a rep, “Hey have you sat in on our demo?”

That is so wrong on so many levels, yet it was perfect.

The rep didn’t care who I was, what I wanted out the conference, nothing about me (and I’m narcissistic, I’m all about me). All he cared for was if I sat through his demo.

“No”, I responded and made note of the company, Curata, and went on my way.

A while later I bumped into the rep, possibly on a coffee break, and again he asked, “Hey have you sat in on our demo?”.

Ok, I’ve seen this play before, this is the Green Eggs and Ham play. You know, you wear the person down until they comply, then the prospect might, just might have a change of heart and see things your way. Ug, am I going to have to deal with this guy all week?

After a few more interactions, I got dribs and drabs of more information about the product, always followed with the monotonic request to sit in their demo. No, I could not have a private demo, no I could not get a trial, I had to sit in on their demo. If I wanted more than the 60,000 ft view of the product, I’d need to sit in the demo.

To sweeten the deal, for attending the demo I’d get a Bluetooth speaker. Not the best conference swag, however, I could do far worse.

Like the character in Green Eggs and Ham, I finally relented.

The Conference Czar of Curata had a small room on the conference floor. Inside the meeting room, there were 20 chairs packed close together with just enough room for a monitor and presenter. Ward Perry stuffed 20 of us in that room then, in walked Randy Bernard, Director of Sales. He quickly introduced himself, asked a couple of questions and pitched for 15mins straight.

Captive audience.
That was amazing.

At the end, each of us got our Bluetooth speaker and sent on our way.

Not all of us, there were a few that had other questions and showed genuine interest.

What the Curata team did was cast a ridiculously wide net that guaranteed themselves at least a few qualified leads every time that net went out.

I’m pretty good at making connections at conferences. When I have a booth, I pull in a bunch of qualified leads. Nothing compared to the Curata method.

By my estimations, they ran two demos per hour, 20 people per demo, at least 5 hours a day, for three days. They managed to ram their message down the throats of at least 600 people. One person. Granted it took a team to stuff the room for every session, but they had their best pitchman pitch to 600 people over a three day period.

AMAZING.

What’s more at the end of the conference I spoke with Ward, and he already had in his hand four inked contracts from leads that were nowhere in his funnel. He wouldn’t tell me how many pre-qualified leads closed, but they pulled four brand new leads out of thin air.

Ok, those numbers aren’t great, 4 out of 600, by any rubric, those are TERRIBLE NUMBERS. However put them in context, put them in the funnel. 4 of 600 entered the top of the funnel and closed with three days.

Three days to close.

How many deals have you had that closed within three days? Now imagine what the rest of the funnel looks like? I’d guess it is bursting at the seams.

Sure some folks will fall out of the funnel.
Sure some folks will get educated and move to a competitor.

Now just think about how much you spend for a conference and how many leads, qualified leads you leave with, that know your message.

Dollars to donuts when a Curata sales rep follows up with those leads, they will remember the Curata experience, and if they engage with the sales rep, the rep should get ready to bang that gong.

In B2B sales, BANT and Handshakes are Out. Tech Is In.

By | B2B Sales, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Leadership

In the not-so-distant past, a B2B sales team could rely on a solid strategy like BANT and marketing funnels to identify a good lead.

They could count on soft skills and in-depth knowledge of their product to get them across the next couple of hurdles.

Today? Not so much, according to Pete Caputa, an executive with Hubspot.

As you already know, technology has changed everything for the average buyer who’s in the market for your product. One of the first keys to adapting to this new buyer is to get a full understanding of where she or he is coming from.

The next step is figuring out how to best approach them at the right time — not an easy proposition.

But the effort is well worth it, according to the McKinsey Institute, which conducted research that revealed that the B2B sales process is, indeed increasingly complex. But figuring it out and adapting can lead to a significant boost in your bottom line.

After interviewing more than 100 B2B sales organizations that implemented digital tools and better allocated sales to meet the demands of more Internet-savvy consumers, McKinsey Institute had this to say:

“While the change required is significant, so are the benefits: an up to 20 percent increase in customer leads, 10 percent growth in first-time customers, and a speedup of as much as 20 percent in the time that elapses between qualifying a lead and closing a deal.”

Here are 4 ways you need to adapt with an approach that integrates technology and mobile etiquette without losing the human factor.

1. Realize your prospect already knows about you.

digital tabletWhen approaching a prospect, you’re not starting at ground zero. 

Research shows that, because of the wealth of content available on the internet, the average B2B buyer is quite informed, already having completed anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of the buying journey by the time they contact you.

2. Your prospect already knows about your competitors.

With all that research, don’t think the prospect is content with your options. It’s a shopper’s market.

It’s a shopper’s market. If you’re not looking at how you’re stacking up against the competition in providing answers to prospects questions through content and collateral, you could lose out.

3. You prospect still wants you to engage.

Maybe it’s not a matter of picking up the phone that will get you connected with your targeted audience.

Think social. According to the McKinsey study, B2B consumers also are checking reviews and consumer opinions online about your business. Keeping your current customers engaged and following you online can provide another path of influence in the buyer’s journey. It’s an endorsement of sorts.

Boost that presence with blogging, speaking and writing as an expert in your industry. Earn trust through social outlets.

4. You need to understand where your prospect is in the cycle.

Meeting your prospects where they are in the discovery process requires checking inbound marketing data.

That means that, more than likely, you will need to approach each one with a customized approach. Having those answers readily available is key to delivering that experience — and making the sale.

Finding the right sales enablement tools to provide those answers can be key to keeping prospects engaged.

Today’s B2B prospect is constantly evolving. The company that adapts to keep up with their needs wins.

FatStax provides the customization you need to accelerate your sales. Contact us to find out how it can deliver results for your team.

Making Case Studies a Part of Your Sales Strategy

Making the Case for Using Case Studies in Your Sales Strategy

By | B2B Sales, Business Mobility, Sales Leadership, Sales Productivity, Selling Tips

What’s behind every great sales team?

That’s the million-dollar question for sales managers who are comparing their performance with that of their competitors.

More than likely, it’s not as complicated as it seems.

It could be a combination of supportive managers, ongoing training, and substantial bonuses. But don’t forget your sales collateral. It could give your team the competitive edge they need to bring in more sales.

And nothing seems to do the job as well as case studies. They give you credibility simply by showing that you can actually deliver the results you claim you can.

Consider them your top sales collateral for turning sales prospects into clients. But don’t just settle for the same old case studies you’ve been relying on. If you haven’t changed them recently, it could be time for a complete overhaul.

Here are 6 ways you can transform your case studies into powerful pieces of collateral.

1. Tighten them up.

Back in the day, marketing and sales teams sort of went with “more is better.” That doesn’t work anymore.

You can count on the fact that your prospects are bombarded with tons of content in all sorts of forms. Try to keep your sales collateral as simple and condensed as possible while getting the point across effectively.

There’s no need for a 5 to 10-page case study. Get all that information into 1 to 2 well-designed and engaging pages.

2. Tell a story.

Every single case study should tell a story, from beginning to end.

The beginning should clearly explain the challenge a client was facing and how your company was able to resolve it.

The middle should provide more information about the solution that was implemented and how it impacted the organization.

And the end should demonstrate the results of implementing this solution, providing the reader with a clear picture of your customer’s experience.

Case Studies as a Sales Strategy3. Add customer testimonials.

Customer testimonials don’t have to be super long, but they certainly need to be powerful.

Ask your current and previous clients for feedback on what their experiences were in working with you as well as how your solution made a difference for their company.

Use their feedback to incorporate some personal feedback into your case studies, which will help “humanize” the content.

4. Try different mediums.

Think outside the box when building case studies.

One-sheets are great, but a two-minute video or a slide presentation could be even better. Getting a previous client to agree to a video interview not only can provide you with a great case study, it can give you the extra leverage of a solid customer testimonial.

Bonus tip: Make sure the most updated versions are easily accessible at all times. Include them in your digital catalogs or asset management system.

5. Develop numerous versions.

Step back and consider the different types of clients you’re serving.

Do you have a mix of medium to large businesses? B2B as well as B2C?

When developing your case studies, go for a good mix of different scenarios and challenges as well as client profiles. You want an assortment so that your team can choose those that are most similar to their prospects.

6. Get creative.

Whether you’re developing print collateral, video or slide decks, don’t be afraid to show off some of your company’s personality.

Dare to be different in design, format and tone.

Likewise, ask your clients to be extremely candid about any steps in the process — from any doubts they had beforehand to any hiccups along the way. It can go a long way in coming across authentic and hardworking in exceeding expectations.

Case studies can be powerful tools in your sales arsenal, and you should give your case studies a close look. Investing the time to upgrade them could give your team what it needs to show that your company can deliver what it promises.