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.

4 Essential Tips for Powerful Marketing Asset Management

4 Essential Tips for Powerful Marketing Asset Management

By | Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Leadership, Sales Productivity, Selling Tips

You already know that your company’s marketing materials are like gold when it comes to hitting your sales numbers.

If you have effective deliverables in the ideal formats, they can have an incredible impact in getting your points across to a prospect.

And, if you’re smart, you’re steadily producing marketing assets that address the questions clients and prospects may have in researching your services and products. They likely include case studies, white papers, videos, tutorials, webinars, slide presentations and research.

But here’s a good question to ask when determining the effectiveness of all those marketing assets you worked so hard to produce: How effectively are they being used?

If you don’t have a solid marketing asset management system in place, you could be missing out on opportunities to move your sales figures to the next level.

We compiled a list of 4 essential tips for developing a powerful marketing asset management strategy.

1. Assess where you are.

4 Essential Tips for Powerful Marketing Asset ManagementTake the time to gauge your team’s ability to quickly locate and leverage your marketing materials. As part of that review, take an inventory of everything — deleting the materials that are no longer useful but continue to take up space.

Next, check for any gaps. Is there marketing collateral that is under-utilized? If so, identify the reasons why. Is it difficult to find? Are fees, policies or other relevant material regularly updated? Is your sales team even aware certain materials exist?

It could be that you are lacking a marketing asset management system that could identify as well as resolve any of these issues.

2. Clearly define goals.

Before undertaking any changes to your marketing asset management, figure out what you’re trying to achieve.

A simple tweak may not give you the results you’re ultimately going after. For example, you may not simply want to create a better system for categorizing marketing assets.

How about making it easy for a sales rep to quickly perform a search based on a prospect’s specific question? Get input on all of the challenges that are facing your team in using those assets and envision the ideal situation.

3. Compare the tools.

There are hundreds of tools you can use for your marketing asset management — from traditional file folders and cloud services like DropBox.

You also could opt for customized digital asset management tools that give you the flexibility of gaining instant access to your marketing materials without worrying about having an Internet connection.

Also, check into options that provide you the ability to automate updates as well as provide CRM integration, as well as those that are user-friendly.

Think long-term. You don’t want to be in the position of re-evaluating the effectiveness of your tool a year from now.

4. Thoroughly train your team on digital asset management tools — until they get it.

What good are power digital asset management tools if few people are even bothering to use them? If you did your job well in Step 3, your team should be able to quickly adapt to your new marketing asset management system — especially if it is an intuitive tool designed specifically for your team.

If you did your job well in Step 3, your team should be able to quickly adapt to your new marketing asset management system — especially if it they are intuitive digital asset management tools designed specifically for your team.

Make sure you get plenty of input beforehand to ensure that you have team buy-in about how it can transform results.

With digital asset management tools that are working for you — not against you, you’re equipping your team more effectively get the results that lead to better sales. It can be the start to a beautiful alignment between sales and marketing, ensuring consistency, organization, and collaboration.

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.

How Do You Measure Up? 5 Essential Qualities of a Great Sales Leader

How Do You Measure Up? 5 Essential Qualities of a Great Sales Leader

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

While you constantly measure the performance of your sales team — checking their ability to hit goals and manage their pipelines, you often take the time to measure your own performance as a sales leader.

Of course you do.

Well, OK, maybe you don’t.

One of the most essential traits of a great sales leader is actually taking the time to assess his or her own performance.

That would be the No. 1 quality of a great sales leader. Looking within.

Let’s take a look at five more.

1. You’re constantly aware.

Mobile Sales StrategyGreat sales leaders are not only looking at and stressing over numbers; they’re in tune with where each of their sales reps are with their individual performances. Are they struggling in one particular area? Is there a mental roadblock? Are they overwhelmed? Stressed? A great sales leader can pick up on those cues and take measures to help their sales reps overcome obstacles to move on to better performance.

Are they struggling in one particular area? Is there a mental roadblock? Are they overwhelmed? Stressed? A great sales leader can pick up on those cues and take measures to help their sales reps overcome obstacles to move on to better performance.

A great sales leader can pick up on those cues and take measures to help their sales reps overcome obstacles to move on to better performance.

2. You invite feedback.

“What do you need?” “How can we make this better?” “What challenges do you face?”Are all good questions to ask your sales reps. A great sales leader is willing to get input from their team without feeling attacked. This is also a great way to build trust

Are all good questions to ask your sales reps. A great sales leader is willing to get input from their team without feeling attacked. This is also a great way to build trust

A great sales leader is willing to get input from their team without feeling attacked. This is also a great way to build trust with your team.

3. You motivate.

While you hold everyone accountable for reaching their goals, you still find ways to recognize milestones — both large and small.

Just pointing out the top performers based on sales numbers can get repetitive. Find creative ways to recognize people on your team who also are discovering new approaches to the same old challenges.

Also, it’s a good idea to find ways that will help build the core 60% of your sales team. A small percentage in their percentage could be a big driver in top-line revenue.

4. You’re honest.

If things are not going well, your team can count on you to be direct and honest. You openly talk about challenges — avoiding the need to put a positive spin on any discouraging updates.

When you get to this point, your team will be more likely to help you solve any problems.

5. You remove roadblocks.

PD4_3629Along with assessing their employees for cues that could indicate stressors or frustrations, a great sales leader is analyzing ways to remove roadblocks that get in the way of the team’s performance.

Are inbound sales materials inadequate? Do they have the information they need at any given time?

A great sales leaders will be able to provide all of these to their team so they can focus on what they do best: selling.

Want to take that one step further?

Provide teams with the right tools they need to streamline the process.

A good sales team can go out and sell, but they can only do so much if they have to do everything manually.

A minimal increase in sales from the core 60% of your sales team could be a HUGE driver in top-line revenue.

Imagine what a mobile sales tool, specifically designed for them, could do for your numbers.

Frankly, it’s a no-brainer.

Give teams the tools they need and they’ll be able to make themselves and you look better.

So… where do you start?

View our article, “What Kind of Mobile Sales App is Best for Your Team?”, to learn more:

What Kind of Mobile Sales App is Best for Your Team?

 

What Kind of Mobile Sales App is Best for Your Team?

By | B2B Sales, Business Mobility, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Leadership, Sales Productivity, Selling Tips, Video Tips

Making the decision to invest in a mobile sales app is easy.

Figuring out which type of tool is the best for your sales organization? That’s a bit tougher.

The reality is determining which type of sales enablement app is best for your sales teams depends on a couple of factors:

For your team – it depends on how they sell and your offering mix.

For you – it depends on how much bandwidth you have to manage the tool.

The decision can be a little daunting and overwhelming. So how do you get an app for sales teams right the first time?

The Three Different Types of Sales Enablement Apps (And The Hybrid)

First, you need to learn about the different types of mobile sales tools that are available.

The most common mobile sales apps include:

1. File Sharing App

As the name indicates, these mobile sales apps are designed to share static files like PDFs, PowerPoints, videos, Word documents, etc.

This app for sales teams typically highlights files that have been created by the marketing team or the advertising agency that can be easily shared via the app, which can then be shown to a customer or prospect in the field.

2. Catalog App

The next type is a catalog app, which, as you can imagine, is similar to a catalog. Think of them like those giant paper catalogs you’d print up and ship out to your customers so they can buy something.

A catalog app for sales teams contain SKU-based information, like pricing, product specs, and general information. Some even allow you to create a soft quote or may even talk to your ERP system so you can actually create an order.

3. Presentation App

It’s important to differentiate this type from the file sharing app because this type of app facilitates long-form presentations, like PowerPoint or Prezi.

The presentation app allows you to give a pitch in front of an audience by presenting various slides or information.

4. The Hybrid App

Many times, companies need something that is not “one-size-fits-all”.

Your teams may sell with a combination of static files, catalog information, and by giving long-form presentations. You may have some divisions that need a static file and some divisions that need a customer-facing app. It all just depends on what’s right for them.

In short, your teams may need a hybrid of the three main types of mobile sales apps available.

Having a hybrid app provides flexibility to your team based on their needs. Plus, it doesn’t box you into one solution, limiting scalability and growth.

Regardless of how your team sells, it’s important to figure out which tools can help them the most. To learn more about the different types of apps for sales teams available, request a demo of our mobile sales app solution:

Request a Demo

3 Effective Ways to Onboard New Sales Reps in Less Time

By | B2B Sales, Business Mobility, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Leadership, Sales Productivity

Over the past 3 years we’ve had the pleasure of working closely with some of the most talented VPs of Sales in the world as well as great coaches like Craig Elias – the million dollar quota smasher.

One thing that we’ve spent a great deal of time talking about is getting new sales reps up to speed faster. Since I manage a few talented sales people myself these days, this hits even more close to home!

onboard new sales repsHere’s why. According to a report by Accenture and CSO Insights, nearly 50 percent of new sales reps took ten months or longer before they were able to contribute to company goals. By some estimates, that can translate into missed opportunities at an average rate of $50,000 to $200,000 a month.

As the manager, you can actually visualize the dollars passing you by — sort of like a bad version of sheep hopping over a fence keeping you up at night.

But, as the leader you’ve got it to take ownership – Extreme Ownership.

Put that monkey on your back and get to work.

Here are three tips to help you get sales reps onboarded — in a lot less time.

1. Use mobile sales tools. You know I had to go there. We build these things for just this reason all the time.

Why you should care – You’ll be able to get new reps up to speed much quicker with mobile sales tools that are configured to address the challenges they typically face.

By using a mobile sales tool that allows reps to easily access documents with the tap of a button — no matter where they are — you’re eliminating the barriers that can make sales transactions more cumbersome. Not only that, with mobile access to training materials as well as company sales sheets, presentations and collateral, they will be able to study your products and services during downtime or off hours.

2. Train with visuals. Studies show that 65 percent of us are visual learners. They also say most of us retain more information when it’s presented visually. Make liberal use of videos and highly visual learning materials to get your new team up and running sooner. It’s also a great idea to pair tips #1 and #2 by integrating those visual sales materials in a mobile app.

By making the training materials easy to digest — through visuals — as well as easily accessible, you’re providing new sales reps the ability to use them as quick references in between and during appointments.

3. Look beyond the sales department. Of course, you likely have a process in place that provides new sales reps the opportunity to join senior reps on sales calls. You more than likely will give them plenty of your own time.

However, it can be even more effective to talk to employees in other departments, including Customer Success and Product Development, to gain further insights into opportunities, case studies and product details. The sooner they can understand your products and services, the more quickly sales reps can confidently explain them to prospects.

We first wrote about this topic in our in-depth series on mobile hacks used by marketers to ACTUALLY drive revenue with a mobile sales tool.  You can access the first part of the article here.

How to Cure Your Employees’ Resistance to Adopting New Technology

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

Sales enablement strategies are clearly helping to fuel the success of top performing sales teams, according to a recent report by Forbes Insights, in association with Brainshark. In fact, 59 percent of the surveyed companies that surpassed their revenue targets — and 72 percent that exceeded them by 25 percent or more — had a defined sales enablement function.

When you compare that to the 30 percent of underperforming organizations that had a defined sales enablement function, it’s not difficult to see the advantages of these types of strategies.

But what if you’re among that group that has a strategy, but is continually underperforming? Or if you’re considering moving to a sales enablement strategy but are concerned that your team may resist change?

To get your team on board with using tablets and accompanying tools, such as sales enablement apps, you’ll need a strategy to ensure that the technology is being used. If not, you run the risk of your office being clutter with unused tablets — just sitting there like expensive paperweights.

Here are 4 things to take into consideration to ensure successful adoption of technology and sales changes.

  1. Understand the sales reps’ reluctance to change. Resisting change is part of human nature. Especially when it comes to performing a job day after day. In some cases, your employees may feel they’re getting along just fine without making any changes. Be sure to convey relevant statistics on how tablets and sales enablement apps can help them gain efficiencies and boost productivity and, as a result, increase their sales.
  2. Provide plenty of support. Training must include plenty of follow-up to ensure the employees are familiar with the new tool. While some employees may be familiar with iPads and other tablets, others may not readily admit that they’re having difficulties adapting. Make sure that you provide one-on-one feedback along with the group training.
  3. Invite feedback on how the transition is going. Without real-life examples of how the new sales enablement strategy is working among team members, others may not be so reluctant to change. Encourage discussion about successes during a weekly sales meeting. Better yet, ask each sales rep to share how the tool is working for him.
  4. Use it yourself. What better way to demonstrate the benefits of the tablet and apps by demonstrating it yourself? First, make sure you have been trained in its use. Then, during a ride along, show how you use the tablet to engage a customer. Show and tell is a sure-fire way to gain converts.

When you and your sales team start realizing the potential gains of using sales enablement tools, adoption may steadily increase — right along with your sales.

The Top 3 Ways Organizations Are Accelerating Their Sales Cycles

By | Sales Leadership, Sales Productivity

We’re in the last quarter, and the pressure is on. When you’re stretching your sales team to hit higher sales targets, it shouldn’t be considered a painful process — especially if you’re equipping them with the training and tools to make your sales cycle faster and more efficient.

Here are three key ways you can get things moving more quickly for your sales team:

  1. Upgrade your sales tools. More than likely, you have print sales collateral that looks great and paints an excellent picture of what your products and services can do for your prospects. You have well-designed slide presentations. While that’s to be expected, keep in mind that prospects are expecting a more personalized approach than they did in years past. And chances are they have already thoroughly researched what you (as well as your competitors) have to offer.

Meet prospects where they are by equipping your team with mobile sales enablement tools that deliver a more customized experience. Not only are you paving the way for your sales reps to get their message across more effectively, but you’ll also likely realize an increase in sales.

According to the Sales Management Association, research shows that [tweetthis]70% of executives in sales organizations that are using mobile devices say they have realized ROI[/tweetthis] after their adoption.

  1. Set realistic expectations. Hard sales approaches are a thing of the past. Be sincere, and don’t over do it. While you may think this could counteract your attempts to gain a sale quickly. By setting specific expectations of what the product or service can do for the client, you’re setting yourself up for satisfied customers. And satisfied customers can lead to case studies and referrals — which, in turn, effectively close the next deals.
  1. Increase accountability. When setting goals for your sales reps, make them challenging, time-sensitive and clear. By doing so, you can be more proactive in taking measures to address techniques that may not be working so well for the sales rep and help them make adjustments, according to Andrew W. Sallay of Demand Gen Report. At the same time, you also can quickly identify low performers and high performers, making terminations or promotions as necessary.

 

Sustaining High Performing Sales Amidst Constant Change

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

With customers’ purchasing patterns in a constant state of flux — sometimes shifting from year to year and even month to month, it can be challenging for even the most experienced sales teams to keep up.

Part of keeping up lies in your ability to maintain an effective sales strategy that can be quickly adapted to changes in your industry and among your prospects. Follow these three tips to plan a strategy that will allow you to close deals — no matter what you’re up against.

  1. Refine your value proposition. While you should always have a core message about the value of your products and services, it’s important to make sure you’re staying up-to-date on how it’s performing for your existing clients. Gather feedback from your company’s client success representatives on any challenges or successes clients are experiencing. Regularly train your team on how to communicate those values, as well as how it can be used to address certain pain points.
  1. Use tools that allow you to adapt. Every person on your sales team should be equipped to address prospects’ concerns and issues quickly. They should be able retrieve sales collateral, documents, contracts, and other paperwork instantaneously. Sales enablement tools are an investment that are paying off among top-performing sales teams, according to recent statistics. [tweetthis hashtag=”sales”]Teams averaging higher close rates than the average 20% spend 17% more per sales rep on tools[/tweetthis]. Tools like tablets and content management platforms.
  1. Know your competition. As part of your strategic planning, never take your eyes off the competition. That’s advice that every company needs to heed, according to sales management consultant Michael Carter. “Unless you have a market all to yourself, understanding how the competition operates and functions is key to your success and the success of each of your salespeople,” he says. That includes detailing who the competitors are, and how they’re comparing with you in amount sold and what they were selling their services and products for.

Include customizable mobile sales tools as part of your sales strategies to get the results you’re going after. Contact FatStax to see how we’re building comprehensive mobile sales tools to meet the specific demands of our clients.

Use of Aggressive Goals to Will Motivate Your Sales Teams

By | Sales Leadership

Most sales managers face a constant dilemma: Do you set high sales goals at the risk of discouraging your sales team? Or set those goals at a level that motivates them to hit or surpass expectations.

It can be a fine balance, but the failure to set higher than average goals could be killing your results, according to research recently released by Heavy Hitter Sales and Velocify. Steve W. Martin, founder of Heavy Hitter Sales, says those types of goals can take guts but they can also pay off if you have a structured sales process.

So, what’s the formula?

According to the study, 75 percent of the top-performing sales teams raised quotas by at least 10 percent or more each year. Another 15 percent raised their quotes by 50 percent or more year over year. In contrast, 65 percent of organizations with low-performing teams kept the quotas the same each year, or even lowered them.

There’s one interesting thing to note. Managers of the high-performing teams did not expect everyone to meet quota. However, about 50 percent of them reported if 60 percent or fewer of their team members didn’t hit the quotas, they would consider the strategy less than ideal.

Here’s how setting aggressive targets can help you boost your sales outcomes.

  1. Boost morale. According to the survey, respondents from top-performing teams reported feeling positive about working with their teams. Even if all team members aren’t hitting goals, there was feedback that working among top performers was a motivating factor among those who weren’t quite at the same level.
  2. Increase collaboration. With clear leaders on the team hitting goals, you have the opportunity to identify clear paths for encouraging collaboration and team building. Perhaps, an underperforming sales rep or newbie can accompany a high performer on a sales call to learn techniques.
  3. Identify opportunities for downsizing. It’s not pleasant. However, if you have a team member who just isn’t able to cut it month after month, you clearly have a standard to determine whether it’s time to let him or her go. As respondents to the survey indicated, many high-performing teams would decide to let an underperformer go at a much faster rate than leaders on under-performing teams.

Ready to improve your sales team’s performance? Contact Fatstax for the solutions that can help you hit higher goals. Fatstax helps leading brands develop the ultimate mobile sales tool. Request a free demo to find out how.