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3 Ways Salespeople Can Use Social Media to Sell Better

Posted by Doug Davidoff

May 9, 2017 4:00:00 PM

3 Ways Salespeople Can Use Social Media to Sell BetterTake a quick minute to think through your last online purchase…how did you hear about the item? Was it while talking face-to-face with a friend? Or because of picture your co-worker posted on Instagram? When was the last time you made a purchase because of an article posted on Facebook?

If you had any doubt about the impact that social media has on purchasing decisions, let it go. According to Nielsen, heavy users of social media spend more than three hours a day on social media. In addition, 39% of heavy social users believe that finding out about products and services is an important reason for using a social network.

Is social media a part of your sales plan? Maybe you’ve been on the social media bandwagon for a long time, but it’s not generating the results you’d expect? Following are three ways that your sales team can use social media to sell better and in turn, create new, more engaged customers for your business.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Lead Nurturing, B2B Sales Strategy

The Importance of Blogging: 6 Keys to Writing Effective Blog Posts

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Apr 25, 2017 1:00:00 PM

The Importance of Blogging: 6 Keys to Writing Effective Blog PostsHave you started blogging yet? No? You may be the only person left. I recently learned that 6.7MM people publish blogs on blogging websites, and another 12MM write blogs using their social networks. (Source: Nielson Social)

That’s a LOT of content floating around on the web. Is it even worth your time to write a blog? (I’m sure you’ve got a million other things on your marketing “to do” list.) BUT the answer is yes - blogging provides the opportunity for you provide a clear and consistent message about how you can solve your customers’ problems. Add to that, when businesses blog, they have 97% more inbound links. (Source: Hubspot)

How can you wade through the blogosphere clutter and make sure your information stands out? Following are six key points to writing effective blog posts.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

Checklist: 4 Reasons that Marketing & Sales Emails Are Failing

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Mar 30, 2017 5:00:00 PM

Checklist: 4 Reasons that Marketing & Sales Emails Are FailingThere’s a lot of talk about the death of email as a marketing or sales tool. Everywhere I go, I hear people talking about how no one reads emails anymore, that there’s too much noise and that marketers/salespeople must give it up and find other tactics to succeed.

From my perspective, however, I think the death of email is much like the announcement of Mark Twain’s death...greatly exaggerated. Email is still a very important tool in the demand generation toolkit.  

While it is true that email trends are not good for most organizations, that does not mean that email is dead (or even near dead), or that preparation for its ending should be high on your list. What it means is that you have to up your game.  

Frankly, the primary reason that emails are losing their effectiveness for most organizations is because they’re too easy (and inexpensive) to use. The plethora of email marketing automation options has been joined by an explosion of email sales automation tools. While these tools make it much easier to send out exponentially more emails, it also means that more time and effort - not less - needs to be invested to make them successful.

If you’re looking to get more from your email efforts, be sure you’re not making these mistakes:

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Lead Nurturing

Five Reasons Good Sales & Marketing Messages Fail

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Jan 12, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Five Reasons Good Sales & Marketing Messages FailMessaging gets a lot - A LOT - of attention from both marketers and sales executives. For good reason too. An effective message is like a large lever (give me a lever long enough and I can move the world). Conversely a poor message will thrust you into a thorny patch of commoditization and irrelevance.

As you’d expect with something as important as a company’s messaging, significant time and money is spent on the effort. But stop for a moment and do the following:

  • Look at your website
  • Review your sales and marketing collateral
  • Think about how sales conversations are started with prospects

Now, ask yourself, “what is the message we’re conveying?” Are you happy with it? Does it stand out and resonate with customers and prospects? Is it a competitive advantage?

I know the answer for most of you is, “no!” I know this because in workshops I conduct across the country when I ask executives, marketers or salespeople to share their message, almost all of them start off stuttering and blathering about themselves. I can also look at the results of marketing and sales efforts and see that the message isn’t working.

Having been directly involved with the assessment and development of hundreds of companies’ messages, I’ve learned five key reasons that good messages fail.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, B2B Sales Strategy

How to Assess the Effectiveness of Your Sales & Marketing Content

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Dec 16, 2016 4:00:00 PM

assess-content-effectiveness.jpgSales and marketing organizations create a tremendous amount of content, virtually everyday. In addition those items like website, blogs, white papers, ebooks, etc. that we consider “content marketing,” emails are being constantly written, brochures and sales collateral are being created, proposals are developed and delivered and more. Yet despite the time and money expended, for decades there were no means to be able to assess the real effectiveness of the content.

You were left to debate what was or wasn’t working based upon feelings and beliefs. Of course, one of the biggest problems with this approach is that what sellers see as important is often quite different from what the buyers perceive as important.

The good news is that today there are many tools that you can use to assess how your visitors, leads and prospects are engaging with a variety of your content. In addition to tracking key performance indicators, it’s important you pay attention to more qualitative items as well.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Performance

4 Ways to Inspire B2B User-Generated Content

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Dec 8, 2016 3:00:00 PM

b2b-user-generated-content.jpgWe recently returned from a family vacation in Orlando, Florida. Like everyone else who goes on vacation, I spent lots of time online researching what to do, where to stay, where to eat, etc.

Of course, the big attractions all do a pretty good job with inbound marketing. There is a lot of content available on their sites to help potential visitors do a large part of the planning and booking.

However, what I found most valuable when planning the vacation and again while we were there was not content from the companies themselves. The most useful content was user-generated.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

5 Key Takeaways from Inbound 2016

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 23, 2016 2:30:00 PM

Inbound2016-cropped.jpgAnother year, another Inbound conference. This year’s gathering of inbound marketers and salespeople topped the 18,000- person mark, making it clearly the largest marketing conference in the world. Once again HubSpot did a great job of putting on a show, building the community and enabling great conversation to occur.

In an earlier post, I shared the product announcements HubSpot made. Today, now that I’ve had some time to ponder the event, I’d like to share my key takeaways from Inbound 2016. Overall, I was struck by the growing maturity of inbound marketing and how fresh and new it remains at the same time.

It is increasingly clear that inbound marketing and demand generation are becoming core disciplines to the modern growth playbook. While the importance is clear, the success formulas are still being created.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation

5 Reasons for B2B Marketers to be Thankful

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Nov 18, 2016 12:00:00 PM

B2B-marketers-thankful.jpgThanksgiving is next week. It brings a day of food, family, football and friends. It also is a time to reflect on things that we are grateful to have or experience.

At our house, we create a thankful tree. It is simply a few branches stuck into a jar with some small rocks to hold them in place. Beside the tree is a stack of leaves made out of cardstock. As guests arrive, they write things on their leaf that they are thankful for and hang it on the branches.

I’m assigned to cutting out the leaves this year and I was working on it, I started to think about what the leaves on a marketing-focused thankful tree would say.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

The Traditional Revenue Growth Playbook is Broken

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 15, 2016 3:00:00 PM

The Traditional Revenue Growth Playbook is BrokenIf you’re a reader of this blog I’m going to assume that revenue growth is important to your company. Stop for a moment and consider the investment of energy and money your company has made in these efforts. Now consider this question, “How well is it working?”

  • Is revenue growth predictable for you?
  • Are the costs required to sustain decreasing?
  • Are more of your salespeople beating their number (quota) consistently?

According to the research that’s out there, less than 10% of companies can say “yes” to all three questions, and the vast majority of companies would respond “no” to at least two of these questions.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, B2B Sales Strategy

The Big News at Inbound 2016

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 10, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Inbound_2016.jpgSo I just saw my fourth keynote from Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, founders of HubSpot, at this year’s Inbound conference. Listening to Brian and Dharmesh is always a bit like looking into a crystal ball on the History Channel. You get a tremendous viewpoint of what’s going to happen, all within the context of what has happened.

It’s also an opportunity to hear about the big product updates that HubSpot is rolling out. While I’ve never been to an Apple product launch event, I like to think of Inbound as a slightly less popular version.

This year two things were different. Where it’s typically Brian and Dharmesh that share the product announcements as a part of the keynote, their Inbound 2016 keynote did not have any product announcements. Instead they made the product announcements a breakout session where their Products VP, Chris O’Donell, announced the news. And the big news is...well there wasn’t any really. And, while I like the excitement of major product announcements, I think the lack of them is good news and an important lesson for marketers, demand generators and sales executives.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing