Why you should take up the role of an industry thought-leader

Content marketing is all about sharing content with your potential customers that is useful, valuable and accurate. Not only does consistently sharing this type of information keep you front-of-mind when your customers are ready to buy, but it cements you and your business as an authority in the market. Bubble wrap, jacuzzi, yo-yo, onesie, super glue. What do all these words have in common? They are all brand names that have become generic terms for everyday items. The way to reach this height of true authority is to either be the first in the market, or if that’s not possible, be the best in the market. And have a kick-ass marketing campaign that puts your brand beyond anyone else's. With great power comes great responsibility Basically, you want your customers to see you and your business as a leader. This can be achieved by releasing [...]

Is a sales pipeline the same as a sales funnel?

Any marketing professional or business owner worth their salt knows the importance of a sales funnel. A sales pipeline, however, is perhaps more important as it creates a specific process of how to nurture individual prospects and successfully moves a greater number into the purchase stage. Keep reading to learn the secret to how you can manage your sales pipeline successfully. Every business has a sales funnel, whether they manage it or not. But a sales pipeline is not inherent and it should be managed vigorously and consistently by the whole team to ensure maximum benefits to your business. The sales funnel represents the buying journey from a prospect to a customer. It is called a funnel because the initial phase attracts potential clients, which at first are many. But inside the funnel is a maze; as prospects go through some will drop [...]

Nimble competitors are moving ahead of you

Your relationship with your customer starts long before they hand over their money, or at least it should if you’re a good businessperson. Clever businesses know that the relationship they build with a prospect prior to a sale not only impacts the outcome of that transaction, but also the chance of further sales down the track. It’s a marathon, not a sprint For many industries, particularly in business to business (B2B) transactions, the sales cycle is a long one. When dealing with high priced items, you don’t see customers googling what they need and instantly hit the buy now button. Customers for these items like to research first, so if your competitors have a great online presence your potential customers are reading all about them and not you. Cultivating relationships over a period of time is what gives your competitors the edge. People spend an [...]

Stop chasing investors and start chasing customers

Having run a startup company of sorts the last few years, there’s still a whole startup world that’s completely alien to me. I had the good luck, and yes I do mean that, to start up a business with no funding. A lot of the blogs I read about entrepreneurs and start-ups seem to focus on this other world, with tips for attracting investors, managing their expectations and getting through to the next round of funding. I appreciate that some projects must have capital costs higher that what I’ve dealt with, but it also seems that this focus can distract you away from your far more important and ultimately the only source of funds that matters – your customers! In the end, start-up funding is a temporary situation to give a business sufficient time to test and perfect its business model. But there’s something refreshingly [...]

Are the best sales reps unmanageable?

There is a piece of wisdom as old as sales itself, and that is that the best salespeople are impossible to manage. But with print revenues declining and publishers offering an increasingly diverse range of options, the need for a well-structured sales team is more important than ever – so how do you get the best results? Motivations Everyone knows sales people are motivated by money, that is the basis of the commission system. There are conflicting views on how this should be structured though, with many companies preferring a commission only and others finding they get a better team attitude from their reps if they also reward them well with a base salary too. Whatever you choose, it’s important to know what you are reinforcing and why. At its simplest, people will do what you pay them to do. Some commission structures reward results, [...]