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David Fletcher

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How to Use Social Media Data to Have Better Sales Conversations

Posted by David Fletcher

Jan 18, 2017 12:00:00 PM

How to Use Social Media Data to Have Better Sales ConversationsI think it’s safe to say that most sales professionals know that it is imperative to be as prepared as possible during all stages of the sales process, in order to communicate in an intelligent fashion with prospects. Today we have so much data available that comes from a variety of sources and sales professionals are at a disadvantage if they do not utilize it. Data is playing an increasingly vital role in helping sales professionals know when and how to contact their targets, and ultimately become more successful at closing opportunities.

Using data in the sales process has become so important in leveling the sales and buyers playing field. Let's not forget, most buyers today are well informed before they even speak to a sales professional. To make data even more valuable, there are more decision-makers involved in a B2B purchase than ever before. Here are three ways your sales team should be using data to have better conversations, starting as early as the initial conversation conducted by the sales development reps.

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Topics: Sales Development, B2B Sales Strategy

How Sales Development Can Create Sales and Marketing Alignment

Posted by David Fletcher

Aug 26, 2016 1:00:00 PM

SD-Alignment-post.pngNo matter where you go or what you read, if you are in the sales and marketing profession, you have heard folks talking about sales and marketing alignment. While there are different levels of alignment and even different definitions of alignment, it is something demand generation teams are striving to achieve.

Did you know that highly-aligned organizations achieved an average of 32% year-over-year revenue growth - while their less aligned competitors saw a 7% decrease in revenue? (Source: Sales Enablement: Fulfilling the Last Frontier of Marketing-Sales Alignment, Aberdeen Group, September 2013).

With stats like that, who wouldn’t want to create sales and marketing alignment?

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Topics: Sales Development

Top 5 Sales Issues to Focus on During Q3 and Q4 for a Prosperous 2017

Posted by David Fletcher

Jul 13, 2016 3:00:00 PM

iStock_88944417_SMALL.jpgI know it’s hard to believe but we are already halfway through the calendar year! If you are like most sales organizations, the end of the second-quarter marks a huge benchmark for measuring your progress from the beginning of the year. This is when you begin to realize whether or not you are on track to hit your annual projections and goals.

If you’re on track to meet your numbers and your sales organization is running on all cylinders, save some time and move on to the next blog! However, if you’re like most B2B sales organizations today, you have a few problem areas that you need to address.

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Topics: B2B Sales Strategy

5 Lessons I Learned Building Imagine's Sales Development Team

Posted by David Fletcher

May 12, 2016 5:00:00 PM

build-sales-development-team.jpgA little more than two years ago, we set out on a mission to build a sales development team. We found ourselves in a position where our inbound marketing strategies were driving the results we were looking for in terms of lead generation but we identified a new problem. That problem was that the leads we were handing over to our clients were not sales ready. We decided that we needed a sales development team.

We envisioned a team of sales development representatives (SDRs) that would not only handle inbound leads for clients but also manage outbound campaigns that would be fully supported with fresh content. It’s this content that allows our SDRs to nurture their prospects into sales qualified leads (SQLs).

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Topics: Sales Development

Not Enough SQLs? What's Your Sales Cadence?

Posted by David Fletcher

Feb 24, 2016 6:00:00 PM

sales-development-cadence.jpgOne of the most important ways to keep your sales development reps (SDRs) focused on growing their pipeline is by using a sales cadence. Now, if you are not familiar with this term it simply means a defined schedule indicating when reps should reach out to the prospects that they are pursuing. Every sales organization has a slightly different approach depending on the tactics they are using but a typical cadence may include calls, emails, social media activities, webinars, or all of the above. The important thing is that a cadence exists. Defining your sales cadence and sharing it gives sales managers and executives a certain level of comfort knowing that the SDRs are taking the necessary steps to accelerate leads through the buying process.

Often, as we begin to talk to our customers and prospects about a sales development program, they ask how many times an SDR will contact each lead. There is no magic number. At Imagine, we design a sales cadence based on the client, their goals and the content that will be used to support the sales effort.

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Topics: Sales Development

5 Reasons Sales Development Teams Fail

Posted by David Fletcher

Jan 28, 2016 3:30:00 PM

charliebrown.jpegEvery company, or at least every company that we talk to at Imagine, is looking for ways to generate more leads. Not just more leads, but more qualified leads. Sourcing qualified leads is what a sales development team is all about. It’s what gets them excited to come in to work every day - cranking out phone calls to follow up with potential prospects and qualify them for the sales team.

Just to be sure we are talking about the same team, I want to talk a little bit more about the role of the sales development team. Sales development teams are responsible for identifying, connecting with and qualifying leads that get turned over to the sales team. In other words, they create sales qualified leads or SQLs. As SQLs are created, they are handed over to the sales team who is then responsible for managing the sale through the remainder of the process. Having this distinction between sales development reps (SDRs) and new sales reps allows each group to focus on what they do best. Sales professionals are able to stay focused on the very bottom of the funnel while the sales development team continues to build their pipeline.

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Four Reasons Marketing Automation Fails

Posted by David Fletcher

Sep 16, 2015 12:00:00 PM

reasons-marketing-automation-sometimes-failsEveryone who knows us knows that we are huge fans of marketing automation tools. More specifically, Hubspot’s marketing automation tool combined with their email tracking tool, Sidekick for Business. However, it’s important to understand that implementing a marketing automation tool doesn’t guarantee success on any level.

When we are working with a prospect, they often ask us how automation will impact them. The answer to that question is in some ways the same for every client but also unique. There are so many pitfalls and obstacles in the way of success, especially when it comes to dealing with sales and marketing teams.

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3 Ways to Keep Inbound Leads from Getting Lost in the Funnel

Posted by David Fletcher

Mar 26, 2015 5:00:00 PM

Keep_Inbound_Leads_From_Getting_Lost_in_the_FunnelFar too often, I hear about inbound marketing campaigns that have successfully generated leads but those leads haven’t converted to sales. There seems to be a misconception that inbound leads = SALES. Many business owners and sales and marketing professionals assume that the lead is ready to buy when they visit the website and download a piece of their content. In reality, many of those leads are just beginning their buyer’s journey. They need to be nurtured before they are ready to purchase.

Simply put, lead nurturing is the process of cultivating leads that are not yet ready to buy. A successful lead nurturing program anticipates the needs of the buyer based on their buyer persona and where they are in the buyer’s journey. Nurturing keeps prospects engaged by providing the most relevant content such as e-books, whitepapers or slideshares, for their particular situation. When done properly, lead nurturing can build strong brand loyalty well before a prospect is ready to buy.

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The 5 Keys to Building a Sales Development Team

Posted by David Fletcher

Mar 12, 2015 6:00:00 PM

Building_a_sales_development_teamA strong sales development team is a great way to quickly increase revenue. These reps focus on taking unqualified leads and contacts, putting them through a qualification process and moving them through the sales funnel.

What can happen when you have a strong sales development team nurturing leads for your sales reps? Studies show these benefits:

  • Nurtured leads generate almost 50% more revenue than non-nurtured leads.
  • Nurtured leads generate this revenue at 33% less cost.
  • Overall, companies focused on qualifying leads see an increase in revenue of at least 10% within only six to nine months.

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Topics: Sales Development, B2B Sales Strategy

Be Smart About SmartPhone Engagement

Posted by David Fletcher

Nov 6, 2014 6:00:00 PM

“There’s just a lot of things about mobile that are amazing opportunities for advertisers and for businesses. So I expect tablets and smartphones to revolutionize how people do marketing”

                                                            Larry Page, CEO @ Google 

Screen_Shot_2014-11-06_at_4.04.11_PMAs marketer’s, we must learn to engage at every stage of the buying process. Most recently, the use of mobile devices throughout the buying process has been the most overlooked, although not by design, it is having a negative impact on campaigns across the board. The statistics and data around mobile engagement point to smartphone in particular as the on the go communication device of choice. Yet, even with all of the data and excitement around our smartphones and capabilities, Marketers still haven’t embraced mobile ready campaigns and content. 

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