The always stressful, most of the time entertaining, dread-inducing Black Friday is here. I will be in the trenches, helping out clients, getting a read on the selling situation and modifying battle plans. Your employees are the most important part of this arrangement so make sure they are trained and ready for Black Friday. Brush up on customer service. Make sure they have the flexibility to deal with situations as they arise. Make sure they have the support and tools they need. Here is a quick infographic to help with employee engagement on this big day!
There are tons of sales tools out there (too many in fact) and every single one of them “Revolutionized” sales. It’s hard to cut through the clutter and choose the right system for your needs. Here is a list of my top 5 sales tools and why you need them.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is the most important tool for managing your sales pipeline. Keeping customers needs and contact information at your fingertips, a good CRM is portable across platforms and easy to use. I have used many CRM’s and they all have their pros and cons. Of course, Salesforce is the big one out there but the price might be a barrier for some. Insightly and Zoho are a couple of free CRM’s but they don’t always have the functionality you need without paying. Even a bad free system is better than no system. You can always port your information to another system if you need to but try and avoid that as it takes time.
The worlds most popular social media platform dedicated to business is a must in the current sales environment. It doesn’t matter what type of sales you do from big medical deals to retail, LinkedIn is useful to everyone. If you are in B2B sales make sure to check out LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Use LinkedIn to make connections with suppliers or with potential clients or just to build better relationships whith those you already know. It really is a versatile platform and will be useful if you take the time to cultivate it.
From sharing information across your organization to giving information to customers you need a platform to make the flow of information easier. Getting a cloud-based service keeps your business agile and the information flowing. I use Dropbox but Google Drive has come a long way to being a useful cloud storage service. If I suspect I might need to share a bit of information it automatically goes on the cloud storage to make it easier.
Face to face selling is the ideal but not always possible. Invest in a decent camera for either video or conferencing. Selling in today’s market means you need video of one type or another. Use video to showcase a product or service, use it as an explainer or use video chat to sell. You can use your cellphone if the resolution and sound quality are high enough. I use a GoPro for most of my videos but a few are shot on my phone. For video conferencing the camera on a laptop is usually sufficient but don’t rely on your phone for such conferencing, it would be better to buy a dedicated webcam for your desktop if that is your only option.
Time is money and in sales, the golden hours are doubly important. Use a scheduler to keep on track and to schedule tasks around your golden selling times. In retail those are your busiest hours, don’t let small tasks or meeting interfere with making a sale. There are schedulers that can coordinate teams and ones that can automate setting up meetings with clients. Make sure whatever you use it is integrated with whatever calendar you use on a day to day basis to avoid double scheduling or worse, missing a meeting.
A Sales Pitch deck is pretty standard for certain types of selling. Even those who don’t use an actual pitch deck would benefit from considering these slides. This deck is focused on gaining investors in your business. I modified it from one I found on a site I frequent, put my spin on it and popped it up here for you. Stay tuned this week as I explore setting up your sales program. Do you use a pitch deck like this?
If you follow social media the big story is that Twitter increased the character count to 280, double what it used to be. So as marketers how do we use that? I have put together an infographic talking about how I intend to use the extra space without alienating my Twitter base by droning on. If it works correctly they probably won’t even notice my count went up, just that my content is clearer. Try not to fill up the 280 characters. We did fine with 140 for this long so keep it on the shorter end if you can.
Your Twitter profile is like your elevator pitch to those meeting you on Twitter for the first time. It tells people a little about you and hopefully makes them interested in learning more or at least listening to what you have to say on Twitter. Here are 4 tips to help you get the most out of the profile on Twitter and maybe a few more followers.
I see a lot of marketers scrambling to get as many Twitter followers as possible as quickly as they can. A large emphasis is placed on how many thousands of followers they can get so they can be seen as an influencer or so they can monetize their Twitter account faster. Of course, I see a lot of those marketers ending up in “Twitter Jail” as well and it doesn’t surprise me. The techniques used to get massive followers in a short time are shady at best and in a lot of cases outright dishonest which Twitter does its best to stop. I shake my head, make sure I am not following such accounts and I move on. My personal Twitter is coming up on the 1,000 follower mark and I am very proud of that number since it represents hard work and a well run slow growth campaign. The biggest difference between the slow and fast methods is the audience engagement. Fast growth only cares about the numbers slow growth cares about the people. I have close to 1,000 people following me that I didn’t have to chase and beg for them to be a part of my Twitter experience, they want to hear what I have to say. Original content delivered on a schedule about relevant topics. That is the secret formula for a slow growth Twitter campaign. Except it really isn’t a secret. It’s hard work over a long period of time that delivers results. If you decide the numbers are important and you just MUST have as many followers as possible as soon as possible then I am not the right coach for you but if you want followers that listen, let’s talk.
Email marketing is the cornerstone of a good content marketing campaign. If it’s done right the ROI is one of the best in the industry. If done wrong it’s a colossal waste of time. Out of all the tips I am giving this week the two most important are to be consistent and to be useful. People should know when your email will be coming and they should know there will be at least one piece of new and useful content. That is how you build your list and how you prevent subscriber drop off. Here is an infographic with more tips for you.