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Monthly Archives: July 2016

About Social Selling

A couple of weeks back, I had an opportunity to talk with Mario Martinez Jr., CEO of M3Jr Growth Strategies and one of the main specialists in Social Selling. He said something that delineates the present battles business people face.

“The cutting edge purchaser has changed, however deals strategies and pioneers have not,” he said. “Purchasers are currently socially, digitally, and versatile empowered. They investigate, assess, and will participate in an altogether new way.”

From at a very early stage in his profession Mario knew he had a one of a kind capacity to identify with individuals. Amid his 18 years in deals, he has seen a movement as his industry moved far from frosty calls, splash and implore email impacting, post office based mail pieces, and held onto long range interpersonal communication as another approach to draw in potential clients clearer, speedier, and better. Truth be told, somewhere in the range of 57 percent to 75 percent of the purchasing adventure is presently done on the web.

Mario formed M3Jr Growth Strategies to teach social sales skills that caters to the evolving behavior of buyers. “I provide the leadership needed to help people and businesses of any size, develop and implement a Social Selling strategy, which creates quantifiable sales results,” said Mario. “I also help organization’s sr. leadership to drive top performance out of themselves and their teams through Social Selling.”

As a Sales Leader, if you are turning your back on the concepts of social selling, this may be the reason your phone isn’t ringing. Here are things you are doing wrong and how you can make it right.

# Don’t rely on a conventional approach to achieve unconventional goals

Achieving your sales goals often requires a fresh approach. “Ninety-nine percent of the time when I speak to a sales leader, they haven’t brought in a sales lead in months or even years, and they have little to no social engagement with buying communities,” said Mario. “But social selling can allow sales leaders to manage their teams and get to the modern buyer while enabling a social army of salespeople.

As a man not known for his convention, Mario’s approach to building relationships starts with a different perspective. For him, this business isn’t about collecting contacts. It requires more than that. Rather it’s about nurturing those contacts and establishing a feeling of trust. Mario positions himself not only as a fan of potential buyers by sharing comments about their published work, but he presents plenty of content of his own on LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social platforms, thus establishing himself as a reliable source on sales, leadership, social selling and management. This strategy also invites others to share viewpoints based on his content too.

Because of his Social Selling expertise and the above-mentioned advice, Mario was asked to be a Keynote Breakout Speaker at LinkedIn Sales Connect in Oct. 2015, where he showed 100′s of other sales & marketing leaders how to develop a strategy, launch, and drive 100% rep adoption of Social Selling within a sales organization. What’s notable is that he was able to drive over $2 million in revenue attributed to social selling in four months. Within eight months, the program was able to drive a 50% increase in company social shares on LinkedIn alone.

Now is the time to activate your social sales routine. Show your teams or peers the way to engaged social selling by redefining your networking strategies, taking ownership of social selling, and exploring unconventional strategies that cater to unique customer relationships. Then watch your sales numbers skyrocket as you connect, engage, and provide insightful content to the modern buyer. If a five year old can understand Social Selling, so can you!

# Networking is more than just hitting ‘Likes’

The name of the game in today’s sales arena is knowing the contact before you engage with them. Much of Mario’s success in achieving a 99 out of 100 score on LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index is because he uses LinkedIn to socially engage or connect to his buyers by understanding their positions, viewpoints and / or questions which they may post via this social networking site.

“It’s not just about hitting ‘Like’ on a post. I’ll add comments that provide answers to their questions, and I will often refer them to other contacts that may be able to help with a concern,” said Mario. The goal is to help. When Mario has potential buyers in mind, he reads their published articles and follows their profile, then he comments on that post and refers to a particular point he enjoyed, can expand on or attempts to add value to the discussion. “That comment sets the stage for future contacts and puts me ahead of the competition whose pounding away on the buyer’s phone or email with next to no response,” he said. Mario says “the idea is to be seen as a resource or thought leader to your buyer.”

To “new school” for you? Think again. LinkedIn performed a study that showed 92 percent of B2B buyers would likely engage with a sales representative who is a known industry thought leader. Mario’s own personal story of how he formed M3Jr Growth Strategies, is a perfect example of how establishing yourself as a thought leader can lead to amazing opportunities!

# With social selling-yes, it’s personal.

Throughout his career, Mario has discovered a way to embrace the changing trends in selling. What makes Mario so good at what he does is that he combines leveraging Social Selling with the “old school” personal touch that buyers still seek. Buyers enjoy sharing tips about their hobbies, and they like it when someone takes an interest in them and or their family. These are the types of conversations, which contribute to a strong business relationship.

He added, “The sales leadership team needs to own social selling. They need to own how they grow the business and drive adoption of techniques and cadences through the organization. Sales Leaders need to be front and center in both engagement and connecting with buyers. Sales Leaders need to lead by example in not only building their brand but that of the company.”

He reminds us to keep our ultimate goal in mind. “Remember, your goal is to take every online conversation to offline. Make sure you are not just ‘liking’ and ‘sharing,’ but connecting and mapping valuable content so the modern buyer can get to know you and the business problem you help solve.”

 

Guide to Starting Business Online Tips

Whether you possess a current block and mortar business or you’re building an ecommerce brand, legitimately setting up your web nearness is a standout amongst the most critical duties you’ll ever be entrusted with. Tragically, numerous entrepreneurs either don’t realize what they’re doing or neglect to take after best practices.

In this article, we’re going to investigate a modest bunch of the essential strides you have to take with a specific end goal to put your business in a position to be effective. Right away, here are five particular things you ought to concentrate on:

# Find a CMS Platform

Next comes the CMS platform. While there are a number of ways to build websites, a CMS platform makes it easier on those who don’t want to deal with all of the coding and technical aspects. You can research as many CMS solutions as you want, but the following three are the most popular:

  • WordPress. By far the most popular and easiest to use for beginners, WordPress is perfect for small and medium sized businesses. Not only are there thousands of gorgeous templates available, but finding a WordPress designer is easy.
  • Joomla. If you’re running an ecommerce site and want something other than WordPress, Joomla is a great solution. It does require more coding knowledge, but this shouldn’t be a problem, assuming you’re hiring a freelance designer/developer to handle the site.
  • Drupal. Finally, there’s Drupal. This is by far the most technical CMS, but it’s also extremely powerful. If you plan on building a large website and can find a developer with Drupal knowledge, you may want to consider this option.

If you want a side-by-side comparison of these CMS solutions, then check out this handy infographic. As you’ll see, each comes with its own pros and cons.

# Design Your Website

Think of your website host and CMS solution as the foundation of a house. You can’t build a strong home without a foundation, but the foundation itself doesn’t make the structure a house. You also need walls, windows, doors, siding, and thousands of other elements to create a visually pleasing home. This is where design comes into play.

Start by deciding the purpose of your website. Will it be a static website with the main goal of providing a reputable front for your business, or will you actually use it to sell products? You can always pivot in the future, but deciding the purpose of the website up front will help you choose a design.

Once the purpose is established, you’ll either need to find a pre-designed template or hire a web designer to create the site from scratch. Both options are suitable and your choice will likely depend on cost and experience.

# Choose the Right Website Host

For businesses that are just getting started online, the process of developing a website is often confusing, but it’s really not a difficult concept. Simply put, you’ll need two partners to develop a site: a website host and a content management system (CMS).

As the name suggests, the host is the company that provides the technologies and services needed to store and display your website for the world to see. The CMS platform–which will be discussed in the next section–is used to actually develop and design the site.

Finding the right website host (e.g. HostGator) is all about determining which service provider meets your needs. There are three basic types–individual plans, dedicated servers, and reseller accounts–and you should research the details of each to find out which will work best in your situation.

# Invest in Content Marketing and Social Media

With your website squared away, you’ll want to expand your online footprint by investing in content marketing and social media.

  • Content marketing. In the world of internet marketing, content is currency. Content is what attracts search engine traffic, facilitates social sharing, and establishes your brand’s reputation in your respective industry. You’ll need a strategy for creating and disseminating onsite blogs, guest blogs, press releases, articles, and more.
  • Social media. As you know, social media is a massively important catalyst for small business success. It allows brands to reach millions of prospective customers without having to travel around the world or invest major resources into global marketing campaigns. Establish profiles on major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to get started.

Content marketing and social media should be your major focus in the months to come. They frequently work in unison to engage your target audience and direct them to your website.

# Develop an SEO Strategy

With your website built, it’s time to start driving traffic to the site. Since most customers aren’t going to type your website URL directly into their browser–at least in the early days–you need to put your site in front of them. Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a vital role in this.

“Search Marketing is vital for any business trying to succeed online,” says expert Chris Alley. “Potential customers are looking every day on Search Engines like Google and Bing for the products and services that you offer. Getting your website in front of this audience will undoubtedly lead to new customers for your business.”

SEO is a very complex topic–and it would be impossible to even scratch the surface in this article–so you’ll either want to spend some time researching the ins and outs of the industry on your own, or hire an expert to develop a strategy for you.

# Give Your Business a Strong Online Foundation

Virtually all modern businesses and brands have some form of an internet presence. However, only a small fraction of these businesses have a strong foundation that’s conducive to long-term growth.

If you want to position your business for the future, then it’s critically important that you gather your key decision makers and develop a concerted plan for getting started.

By outsourcing certain tasks and handling others internally, you can develop an online presence that you’re proud of.

Actionable Data of Business Intelligence

Essentially characterized as the “change of crude information into important and helpful data for business purposes,” business insight (BI) is basic for your organization to comprehend where it stand now and later on. With a strong BI program set up, you’ll have the capacity to pinpoint any remarkable zones of achievement and disappointment – both similarly imperative to advancing and enhancing your item or administration advertising.

Be that as it may, the information needs to move well past fundamental data that is pleasantly bundled as a dashboard or other comparative visual stage on the off chance that it will produce real esteem for your business.

The New Wave of Business Intelligence Providers

While it may have previously been an enterprise-only domain–think of resource-rich giants such as IBM and SAP–business intelligence capabilities are now being offered from the ground up, including from cloud-based startups that cater to both small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as well as some larger companies.

These smart solutions are helping managers understand what’s really happening in their companies, going beyond traditional data points related to sales and past transactions on a surface level only.

With new players entering the business intelligence scene, it will be necessary to determine whether the data-driven insights revealed are any good–or, in other words, if they have the potential to generate actionable insights that can guide your future business decisions. There are a couple of things to look out for in order to fully understand the potential of BI reports and their role in generating actionable business insights.

Timely Access to Information

According to a detailed infographic on unlocking competitive advantages using business intelligence, prepared by Boston University citing data from Gartner, “47% of business professionals report dealing with slow or untimely access to information which impedes their ability to make decisions–which could be improved with better business intelligence.”

This suggests that nearly half of business professionals are falling behind competitors due to outdated data. Therefore, while there is much hype surrounding Big Data, sometimes ensuring streamlined access to raw, smart data is of more urgency. In fact, BI data can also help drive immediate decisions that can impact companies, their employees and additional stakeholders.

For instance, by examining purchase histories or other customer behavior, managers can make informed business decisions regarding customer service on the fly.

The Right Visualization for the Data at Hand

Often enough, large amounts of data collected by BI companies will be condensed in the form of some type of report in order to be easily digested by the report’s audience. But advanced technologies can help visualize even complex data intuitively and according to custom requirements and indicators.

The type of data visualization required will depend on the type of analysis you’re looking to perform, whether it’s comparing a specific metric to last year’s benchmark or more complex trends that will involve more data points, from multiple sources and multiple structural models.

For instance, Sisense, a leading business intelligence software company, recommends–as an example of data visualization–using a scatter map (such as the one below) specifically when looking to “visualize geographical data across a region.”

For many data tracking needs, a straightforward dashboard which allows you tocompile website analytics data from multiple sources in one convenient view is sufficient.

However, today’s sophisticated business intelligence software helps makes sense of simple and more complex data. By providing data on various areas of business operations, both back-end and front-end, BI helps individuals and companies to grasp where they stand now–and to provide insights into the future market by revealing patterns and data-based trends.

To make the most out of the benefits provided by these types of platforms, business leaders need to perform extensive internal audits. This process helps to determine what data areas they are looking to focus on, from sales to finance and other pertinent departments in between. It’s a need that will continue to grow as more and more emphasis is being placed on data and results-based decision-making.

However, no matter what the scope of your BI program is, it will make sense to narrow down your efforts based on the potential for greatest ROI.