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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

5 Priorities for Every Demand Generation Executive's List in 2017

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Jan 3, 2017 4:00:00 PM

5 Priorities for Every Demand Generation Executive's List in 2017The fresh air of a new year. Anything is possible and confidence is running high. I’ve always found the New Year to be exhilarating. Days are getting longer, and there’s a “clean sheet” to build upon. There’s also something extremely powerful about the next five months, where holidays are minimal and people are focused.  

Unfortunately, by the time we get to May, most organizations and executives will be back to feeling overwhelmed, consumed by the daily news cycle, with worries about the future of the economy or any number of distractions that are outside anyone’s control.

Over the years (I like to think I’ve gotten wiser through the years) I’ve come to learn that while excitement and energy feel really good, the key to advancing one’s agenda is the focus on a limited number of priorities.  As our Operations Manager likes to (constantly) remind me, “If everything is important, then nothing is.”

If scaling revenue growth is at the top of your agenda, here are five priorities that need to be on your list:

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Topics: Sales Development, B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Cycle

3 Criteria to Assess the Effectiveness of Your Sales Process

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Dec 6, 2016 3:00:00 PM

3 Criteria to Assess the Effectiveness of Your Sales ProcessI was talking with a prospect a few weeks ago about his (lack of) sales process. He took exception with my comment, saying that they did have a process and that it was defined by their pipeline stages.

Those stages won’t shock anyone who has been in sales anytime in the last three decades. Here’s how it was set up:

  • Initial Contact Made
  • Qualification
  • Demonstration
  • Proposal
  • Negotiation
  • Closed/Won
  • Closed/Lost

While those are certainly steps in the sales journey, they don’t meet Imagine’s definition of a sales process or sales methodology. As I explained that to my prospect, he asked a very insightful question, the answer to which I share here. His question: “Why Not?”

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Topics: Sales Development, B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching

[Video] What You Need To Know When Launching or Revising Your Growth Playbook

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 30, 2016 4:30:00 PM

successful-business-growth-strategy.jpgA few weeks ago I shared an article here on the Six Stages of a Successful Growth Strategy. The launch of such a strategy is an exciting time for everybody. You deal with possibilities, address limiting obstacles and emerge with a strategy that creates clarity and confidence...two necessary and powerful ingredients of success.

There's a downside to the excitement however. It's easy to underestimate what's involved in transforming that clarity and confidence into real prospects, sales opportunities and revenue. This often leads to a deadly mistake in execution.

In the video below I share this secret, and highlight the keys to successfully navigating it.

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Topics: Sales Development, B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching

3 Reasons You Need Focus on Your Sales Development Playbook

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Sep 16, 2016 4:00:00 PM

focus-sales-development-playbook.jpgWhere has the time gone? I put my head down at the end of the 2nd quarter and suddenly it’s almost the 4th quarter. I always try to make sure that I stop at least once a quarter and really assess what I, and my organization, have learned.

Change is a frustrating - yet potentially powerful - force. The key is to harness its power and not let it overwhelm you. I admit, that’s something that’s much easier said than done.

This year has represented tremendous change - and opportunity - for Imagine. We’ve grown considerably, done some great work and (frankly) struggled in some areas as well. One of the areas that has undergone the biggest shift is an area we’re becoming quite well known for - integrating sales efforts with inbound marketing. The biggest lesson we’ve learned (or relearned) is how critical dynamic process is to success.

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Topics: Sales Development

6 Reasons Marketing and Sales Development Should Be BFFs

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Aug 30, 2016 1:00:00 PM

sales-development-marketing-best-friends.jpgFriends make life so much fun. If you’re lucky enough to have a BFF or seven, you know first hand the impact friends can have on your life. Good friends are there for you through the fun times and the not so fun times. They provide support, help and advice along with lots of adventures and laughter. Everyone needs friends.

Marketing needs friends too. Within your organization, there are groups of people you work with directly. Sales, leadership, accounting, IT…everyone plays a role in your marketing life. But perhaps the most important “friend” marketing can have is sales development.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Sales Development

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

17 Quotes to Inspire an Olympic Gold Finish to 2016

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Aug 8, 2016 1:00:00 PM

gold-medals.jpgIt’s hard to believe four years have passed since the last Summer Olympic Games. Yet, here we are. The best athletes in the world have gathered in Rio to compete at the very highest level.

History will be made during the next two weeks. People all over the world will be inspired by the athletes…by their poise, their grit and their pure determination. The stories of how they have achieved greatness will be shared throughout the event and the next generation of athletes will be motivated to keep reaching for the highest goals.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Sales Development

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

Sales Operations: A Day in My Life

Posted by Matt Polashuk

May 6, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Sales-Operations-Day-in-the-life.jpgImagine Business Development is a demand generation agency. We take an integrated approach to helping our clients grow their businesses. In case you’re not familiar with our approach, our inbound marketing team helps clients increase lead generation through implementing inbound marketing strategies. Simultaneously, our sales development team prospects and follows up on the leads generated by the inbound marketing team working to close the chasm that has always existed between sales and marketing.

We have a saying here at Imagine; inbound marketing without sales development is charity. Sales development without inbound marketing is cold calling.

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Topics: Sales Development