Posts in Sales

31 Customer Service Stats to Know in 2020

January 3rd, 2020 Posted by Marketing, Sales, Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) 0 thoughts on “31 Customer Service Stats to Know in 2020”

“Price and quality are still important, but according to these stats, the customer experience may soon be king.”

– Glenn Baruck, The eDot Family of Companies

It’s a new year and a new decade. If you are in the business world, depend on customers for the success of your company and have approximately four minutes to spare this article is for you! We all know that excellent customer service is traditionally viewed as one of the essential ingredients to business success but has often taken a backseat to competitive prices and product quality. However, as we move forward into the ’20s, statistics indicate that customer service and the overall customer experience are gaining importance as customers focus on brands that provide additional value beyond the initial purchase.   This short article by Swetha Amaresanand for HubSpot takes a look at some thought-provoking customer service statistics that every customer-focused business person should be aware of moving into the new decade.

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How In-Store Music Affects the Retail Experience

November 14th, 2019 Posted by Marketing, Sales, Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) 0 thoughts on “How In-Store Music Affects the Retail Experience”

“Before you switch-on the music in your store, you need to know your audience. What may be good for some might not be so inspiring for others.”

– Glenn Baruck, The eDot Family of Companies

Today, retailing is as much about the shopping experience as it is about the product. One way retailers strive to enhance that experience is through music. That said, decisions about in-music are a bit more complicated than one might think. Check out this infographic from Ayaz Nanji of MarketingProfs for a bit of insight into the do’s and don’t of playing music in your store. Better to be informed than potentially alienate customers.

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Customer Satisfaction 101: A Guide

June 7th, 2019 Posted by Marketing, Sales, Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) 0 thoughts on “Customer Satisfaction 101: A Guide”

“Business 101 sometimes needs revisiting. Without a satisfied customer base, you have no business.”

– Glenn Baruck, The eDot Family of Companies

As business owners, many factors influence sustained success. One major component that is the undisputed champion of successful companies is customer satisfaction. In most markets, the essential truth is that if you do not satisfy your customers, someone else will. Also, if your customers are not happy, there is a high likelihood that they will tell someone else about their bad experience. Finally, even if you have outstanding closers when making the initial sale, if you cannot sustain a high level of customer satisfaction odds are that your customers will not return to buy from you again.

Therefore, if you are a business owner or a marketer, it is critical that you make sure your customers stay happy with your business. However, how do you do that? Well, that’s where this helpful infographic guide from knowledge base software provider Helpjuice comes in. Initially shared by Vahe Habeshian for MarketingProfs, this quick and easy read will provide useful insights on satisfaction impact, drivers, measurement metrics, and principles.

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Digital Marketing: Not Just For Big Business In 2019

April 19th, 2019 Posted by Marketing, Sales, Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) 0 thoughts on “Digital Marketing: Not Just For Big Business In 2019”

“Digital marketing is not just for big business. This recent study provides insight on current marketing trends for SMBs and how investment in digital marketing is increasingly important to their success in 2019.”

– Glenn Baruck, The eDot Family of Companies

As traditional marketing methods trend down, digital marketing has become an essential tool for the growth of SMBs. In a recent study by The Manifest, almost all of the small businesses (95%) surveyed said they would be increasing their spending on digital marketing in 2019. If you want the full 411 on what SMB owners had to say, check out this recent article by Emily Clark.

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Stop Begging For Business: Align Sales And Marketing For Today’s Customer

February 8th, 2016 Posted by Marketing, Sales 0 thoughts on “Stop Begging For Business: Align Sales And Marketing For Today’s Customer”

“Is Your Sales Team Begging For Business or Strategically Integrated?”

– Glenn Baruck/Chief Marketing Officer

The following article written by: Ian Altman, Forbes

Kelly runs a business services company. They provide exceptional service for their clients across industries. After initial meetings, Kelly and her team noticed that their potential customers would often stop returning phone calls or emails. Kelly commented that their follow-up seemed to sound like begging. They send a note or leave a message that says “Just checking in to see if you’ve made a decision yet.” Kelly asked me what they could do to stop begging for business. I explained that they needed to adapt their sales and marketing for today’s customer.

I am honored to work with companies across industries on how to grow their business. We follow a specific, consistent process to achieve results. One of the most surprising steps for many of my clients is that I insist that they align their sales and marketing organizations to ensure sharp and consistent messaging and content. The shame is that in most organizations, businesses overlook the importance of a tight connection between the two parts of the organization. When you recognize how today’s customers have evolved in their buying habits, the sales and marketing connection becomes obvious.

How We (As Customers) Buy

Research shows that more than half of the buying decision is made before actively engaging with the seller’s organization. Some research suggests that the number exceeds 70%. As a customer, when you are looking to solve an issue, do you start at a store, or do you perform a search? Over the past several years, we’ve been conditioned to search first and ask questions later.

When we find information, we seek to understand our options, uncover the expert in the field, and ultimately reduce the risk associated with our decision. If you boil those elements into a single concept, customers are seeking someone they can trust.

Sales Is Marketing – Marketing Is Sales

We used to think of marketing and sales as having two distinct roles: The Marketing Team was there to create interest and awareness. The Sales Team was supposed to build customer confidence and urgency. It doesn’t work that way anymore. As more of the buying process continues to shift online, you have a huge opportunity to build customer confidence and uncover urgency through content.

Marcus goes on to say that when companies resist the notion of embracing content marketing, it’s often because someone internally seeks approval for “content marketing.” There are likely very few CEOs waking up thinking “We should do more content marketing,” adds Sheridan. Being the most respected teacher in the space, on the other hand, might help get people on board.

Where Do You Begin

What are the questions your ideal customers might ask that would indicate they would need your help? If you sell regulatory services, your ideal customer might wonder “How do I know if I am in compliance with certain regulations?” If you sell web design services, your ideal client might ask “How to increase web traffic to your business website?” These questions become great headlines for articles. When you seek information, do you want biased information, or unbiased? If you said “biased,” stop reading and turn in your secret decoder ring. Since you want unbiased information, so does your customer. Where do you get the questions?

Your sales and customer service teams are regularly in front of customers. They receive multiple questions per day. Ask them for the questions they hear most often. The good news is that those same people on your team regularly answer those questions. With a brief discussion, you’ll have the information you need for valuable content.

How To Integrate Marketing And Sales

Once you have created great content, you are now armed with great tools for follow-up. This means that instead of saying “Hey, just checking in to see if you’ve made a decision, yet…” You can send a note that says “When we met, you asked a great question about driving traffic to your website. I’ve included a link to an article that might be helpful. Once you’ve had a chance to review the article, please let me know if you have questions.”

Great content helps to not only attract the right customers, but serves as a valuable tool for maintaining a conversation and building confidence and trust with your potential clients. The key, however, is to ensure that your sales organization is feeding relevant topics to marketing, and then using that content as part of a follow-up strategy with clients. Marcus Sheridan and I are conducting a joint half-day workshop at Content Marketing World in Cleveland on September 8, 2015 on this very topic. If you are attending, please send me any topics you’d like to discuss in advance.

Next Steps

Pull your team together to brainstorm on the top questions customers are asking. Think about what concerns your clients might have about doing business with you. Be sure to create content (text, or video, and/or audio) to address each issue. Once you have the foundation for content, be sure to arm your team with the links to share with your customers. You’ll be amazed at how much trust you can build just by addressing common questions with honesty and transparency. If you decide to ignore integrating sales and marketing, then invest in cardboard signs, markers, and tin cups since you’ll be doing plenty of begging for business.

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The Technology Trends That Matter to Sales Teams

February 8th, 2016 Posted by Sales, Technology 0 thoughts on “The Technology Trends That Matter to Sales Teams”

“Has Your Sales Team Embraced Technology?”

– Glenn Baruck/Chief Marketing Officer

The following article written by: Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer, Harvard Business Review

The convergence of mobile, analytics, context-rich systems, and the cloud, together with an explosion of information, is transforming sales, and enabling buyers and salespeople to engage with each other in more effective and efficient ways. Recently, information technology research and advisory company Gartner compiled a list of top 10 strategic technology trends. At least five of these trends have significant implications for sales forces, including:

1. Computing everywhere. Through the proliferation of mobile devices, buyers and salespeople can reach each other anywhere and anytime.

2. Advanced, pervasive, invisible analytics. By layering analytics seamlessly on top of linked data on customers, sales activities, and salespeople, companies can deliver the right decision assistance to the right salespeople and customers at the right time.

3. Context rich systems. Data and analytical insights can be tailored and targeted for the specific situations faced by customers and company personnel. The extreme customization aligns perfectly with how salespeople think and work.

4. Cloud Computing and 5. Software Defined Infrastructure: These enable fast deployment and at-will scaling of systems to keep up with ever-changing business, customer, and sales force needs.

Consider three examples.

A telecom company developed a collaborative filtering model, similar in concept to predictive algorithms used by companies such as Netflix and Amazon, to help key account salespeople. The model used advanced analytics to make specific recommendations about which products and services to offer to each customer based on analysis of past purchases within that account, as well as purchases in other accounts with a similar profile (i.e. “data doubles”). The model also forecasted the size of the opportunity and the likelihood of purchase at each account. This information improved marketing campaign targeting, as well as sales force targeting. Through a mobile app, salespeople could get the information when and where they needed it. Cloud computing and a software defined infrastructure enabled the system to seamlessly keep up with ever-changing sales force and customer needs. The data and technology enabled the sales force to better understand customer needs and target the right products for the right customers, driving stronger uptake of new product lines and improving the realization of cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.

In the pharmaceutical industry, technology is transforming the sales process. A few decades ago, pharmaceutical companies promoted their products almost entirely through personal contact by salespeople with physicians. In 2014, almost half of all physicians put significant restrictions on the time they would spend with salespeople, and approximately two-thirds said they prefer to get information through digital methods. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies now look beyond the sales force to reach physicians. Computing everywhere and context rich systems allow pharmaceutical companies to get the right product information to the right salespeople and physicians at the right time, using communication channels that include email, social media, microsites, online video, and mobile apps.

In the financial services industry, a company had an outbound inside sales team that sold credit and lending products to small businesses. The company examined millions of phone records and listened to dozens of calls to identify ways to improve customer targeting and sales process execution. Using advanced, pervasive, and invisible analytics, the company performed tests, quickly producing simple, but breakthrough insights. First, by focusing on just 7 of the14 target industries, salespeople could increase profits by 16%. Second, by shifting calls to the right time of day, salespeople could triple the probability of a sale and increase profits by 20%. Third, by using specific consultative sales techniques employed by top performers, salespeople could further enhance their effectiveness and performance.

Interestingly, the use of technology to improve sales processes is not new. The first “traveling salesmen” used the railroad and then the automobile to broaden their geographic reach. Subsequent generations of salespeople have embraced innovations such as telephones, computers, and cell phones to build stronger customer connections. As today’s technology trends continue to have an impact, and as new trends emerge, sales forces must constantly and creatively adopt and adapt new technologies to improve sales processes and better serve customers.

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