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The Inbound Sales and Marketing Blog

Buyer’s Don’t Buy Products, They Buy Outcomes

What you sell and what your clients buy may be two very different things. We think we sell products and services. What our clients really buy is outcomes.

Theodore Levitt, the father of modern marketing put it brilliantly: “People don’t buy drill bits, they buy holes.” 

Your prospects don’t want to buy products, they want outcomes. For example, business owners don’t buy color printers, they buy color printouts. If you boil that down even further, they don’t really buy color prints. If they are printing invoices, what they are buying is the ability to collect money faster from their customers. If they are printing marketing material, what they are buying is competitive advantage and business growth

Why the Inside Sales Model Makes Sense For The Office Technology Industry

Every dealership wants to grow net-new business. However, using field sales reps as the sole source of prospecting leads to inconsistent results. That’s why most technology companies outside the office equipment industry have inside sales teams with Sales Development Reps (SDR’s) focused exclusively on developing new business opportunities.

As we’ve been coaching and equipping inside sales teams with the latest automated prospecting strategies combined with monitoring market triggers, I’ve become more and more convinced that inside sales team are an effective strategy  for dealers who want to grow new business. Here’s why:

These 2 Simple Steps To Connect Your Message to the Right People

One of the culprits of slower-than-they-could be sales is ignoring the many opportunities of social media. Every day, there’s an audience of millions consuming thoughts and ideas that help them choose products or get their jobs done more effectively.

This is an audience you can and should tap into. I’m going to focus on two simple steps you can take to leverage your sales reps’ LinkedIn connection. We’ve found that sales reps have an average of 500 Linkedin connections. So, if you have 10 reps, you have an audience of 5,000.

Selling Technology That Requires Change? Two Overlooked Essentials You Need To Consider

What do you sell?

Every business owner, sales rep, and marketing professional needs to ask this question on a regular basis.

The answer to this question is typically different than the actual products, services, or solutions you sell. Essentially, you don’t sell a product, you sell results.

Today's Buyer: What Can You Do?

Last month’s blog Today’s Buyer: What Are They Thinking?, looked at the mindset of someone making a relatively calculated thinking.  To summarize, there were 3 progressive thoughts behind a decision:

  • Thought 1: I have a problem to solve or an opportunity to take advantage of.  
  • Thought 2 (days or weeks later): I need to start to think about taking action.  
  • Thought 3 (Days or weeks later): I need to take action

Given this thought process, what can you do at each step to ensure you have the opportunity to help those that you can help?

Be Wary of Misleading Stats on Email Marketing

At a recent industry trade show, I saw some ridiculous statistics about the effectiveness of email marketing. Yes, email can be highly effective. However, done the wrong way, it can be destructive. How do you take advantage of email to get results without the risks?

Today's Buyer: What Are They Thinking?

You’ve probably heard this before: a CEB study revealed that buyers are 70% towards making a decision before they want to talk with a sales rep.

Whether you believe the number is that high given the product or service that you sell, unless there is a glaring emergency to make a decision to fix something that stops working, buyers go through a gradual process before reaching out to talk with a rep.

So, how can you become part of that process to increase your chance of winning? I’ll share a few ideas in a second post. Today, let’s get inside our buyers’ heads and see what they’re thinking before they pick up the phone or fill out a contact form.

Marketing Isn't a Brochure or Leave-Behind

True confession – I used to think marketing was a load of BS.

Yep, before I got into content and inbound marketing, I was an editor. Marketing to me was an endless barrage of crappy email pitches and product press releases.

My job as an editor was to separate the wheat from the chaff to educate my readers. Oddly enough, that's almost exactly what I do now when creating content for clients – with the additional goal of also driving the audience to take an action.

I saw more than my share of bad marketing, brochure-ware websites and other marketing “strategies” focused on the glory of the vendor.

We still see too much of that for copier dealers and managed IT provider sites. No one cares about you. They care about how you can help them solve their business problems.

It’s Time To Face The Dial Tone - Cold Calling Doesn’t Work Anymore

Ok, that might not be entirely true. But it’s so true it might as well be.

Don’t believe me?

InsideView previously held a survey in an attempt to end the debate - is this the death of cold calling? The answers aren’t surprising to me as a millennial - according to the study, more than 90% of decision makers claimed they “never” responded to a cold call.

If you’ve read my previous posts, this isn’t a surprise -- I hate the phone. It’s true - I’ve written about cold calling before (and ignored four calls from numbers I don’t recognize today alone). My last post about phone calls - Call Me Maybe? Actually Please Don’t - detailed an undeniable personal fact : I literally will not answer my phone if I don’t know your number.

It’s easy to shrug that off, though, isn’t it? I’m one mid to late twenty something, surely I don’t speak for everyone, right?

Does Your Dealership Resonate With Buyers?

As competitive dealer principals, sales leaders, and sales reps, we all want to win. But in our highly commoditized industry it can be hard for buyers to differentiate between products that seem to have the same features and dealerships that all promise to deliver great service.

How do you differentiate in this marketplace? You need to resonate!