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The Inbound Sales and Marketing Blog

Fill the Sales Funnel: Capitalizing on Sales and Marketing Trends in 2019

There are only two types of prospects: those who are looking for your products and services, and those who aren’t. If you want to grow sales in 2019, you’ll need to find ways to connect with both groups:

  • Prospects who are actively looking for solutions to their problems need to be able to find your dealership online.
  • Prospects who aren’t actively looking for a solution need to be strategically interrupted by your sales team.

Building an Effective Sales Culture

As the manager of a sales team what is the biggest thing you can do to drive success? The answer may be to build a culture of success. Why? You can only be physically present with the members of your team for a small amount of time. The culture you create is always present.

Create a great culture is like a farmer nurturing the soil for a successful crop. Without proper cultivation, fertilizer, and watering, plants will struggle to grow. Create good soil and plants will thrive.

"Culture isn't just one aspect of the game, it is the game."
- Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Former CEO of IBM

Here are a few thoughts on enhancing your sales culture:

What is a Prospecting Sequence?

You need net-new business to hit your number. Net-new business requires appointments. When sales reps fail to consistently schedule appointments it shows up at the end of the month.

What does it take to get appointments? Could there be a way that is more effective, efficient, and measurable?

Salesforce.com research tells us that it takes 6-8 touches to get an appointment. When it comes to prospecting, the problem is that sales reps rarely get this many touches. Most prospecting is neither strategic nor systematic.

Fortunately there is a better way to make sure your sales reps get multiple touches with prospective clients. We call this a Prospecting Sequence. Here’s what this looks like:

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:

How To Recruit Great Players To Your Sales Team

As a VP of Sales or Sales Manager of a copier dealership, the number one driver of your success is recruiting a great sales team. If you don’t have great players, you’re going to struggle. A sales team is similar to a college football team. If the team recruits great players they are set up to have a good season. If they fail to recruit great players they are a in a lot of trouble. (With condolences to my friends who are Arkansas, Tennessee, or Nebraska fans this season!)

What can we learn from college football to help us recruit better reps? Here are a few ideas.

Want More Appointments? The Trend Is Your Friend

Sales reps and marketing professionals struggle to get attention with decision makers when talking about copiers since these products are viewed as commodities. Yet if we don’t get the attention of decision makers we cannot sell anything.

How do you get the attention of a decision maker? Talk about something interesting to them.

Position Your Dealership as a Team of Experts

Your prospects have a long list of business problems.  They also have many questions related to how technology could be used to solve these business problems.

Most business leaders are open to getting help in solving their business problems.  However, most people have been burned at one point because they have made a bad buying decision.  This is especially true in the area of technology where many promises are made but the actual results end up not delivering.  As a result, today’s buyer is very skeptical.

How do you earn trust in this skeptical environment?  

Getting More At-Bats: The New Way To More Buyer's Short Lists

Today as the Arkansas Razorbacks get ready to play in the College World Series there is one thing I know for sure: the more at bats they get, the higher chance they will get on base and score runs.  

Whether you are a business owner, sales manager, or sales rep, you need to be involved in as many deals as possible if you want to hit your goals. In sales, you want to make the short list of vendors under consideration. If you make that list, at least you have an “at bat.”

Here’s the challenge: the way buyers make their short list of potential vendors has changed. If you don’t recognize this, you will miss out on many opportunities for net-new businesses.

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?