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HubSpot Re-enrollment Triggers: What's Missing and What to Do About It

  Currently, users cannot set up re-enrollment triggers based on activity properties. Building an automated process on HubSpot for logging phone calls, meetings, completed tasks, or emails is imperative for anyone working in the B2B space. Here are some things that cannot be programmed and some solutions.  Things You Cannot Set Up a Workflow For Users cannot set up HubSpot workflows that activate when a call or meeting is logged, when a particular meeting outcome happens or when a meeting, discovery or demo call is logged. Businesses can miss out on a lot of information and data that can be difficult to automate. So, how can you get around it? Setting Up A Workflow Manually You can set up a workflow manually as an alternative to having a re-enrollment trigger. It is possible to set up workflows based on meeting and call criteria. However, contacts cannot be re-enrolled or reactivated automatically. Your best alternative is you can have a workflow that you manually turn on and off.  Manual Workflow Case Study For example, the goal is to set up a certain property once the call is completed. If there is property called “completed,” it can be set to “yes” whenever the call is completed. You could create a workflow reactivate manually that will only trigger on certain criteria and will turn on. Another option is to manually set a calendar event for yourself to re-enroll every contact that meets those workflows filters every week or during a set time period. Creating a Dynamic List Another option is to create a dynamic list based on activity criteria. HubSpot uses an active list that changes depending on which criteria is set. For example, the system can determine if someone engaged in a particular activity during a specified time period. If a contact has associated calls with a “completed” status in the last seven days, it could trigger the property to change. However, there are some challenges with this approach, even if you manage to create the criteria. With dynamic lists, you create a list of contacts that actively adds or removes people based on set criteria. Ideally HubSpot would allow users to build lists and create properties relative to the current moment. For example, if the activity date was less than one day ago the list would trigger a workflow based on the associated activity.  Right now, users cannot create a list criteria that is relative to the present or any point in time. HubSpot users can only create absolute criteria. Therefore, the data must be specified to be between two previous dates. You could manually create lists that were for a whole year or for one day of every year. However, users cannot create relative time-based entry lists which is essential for re-enrollment triggers. Trigger Automations Issue on HubSpot Users cannot easily trigger any time-based automations in HubSpot related to activities or that are activated after creating activities like calls or meeting logs.  How to Trigger Re-Enrollment Automation with Third-Party Options There are two ways to trigger re-enrollment automations using third-party software: Code your own webhook - You could use HubSpot’s API to code a webhook that accomplishes this Use Zapier - With Zapier, you can trigger based on time-based criteria Using Zapier to Trigger Re-Enrollment on HubSpot The alternative is to use Zapier since it can trigger re-enrollments from HubSpot engagements like a note, new task, meeting, or call. From there, you can code a Zapier “zap”—an automation that sets or changes a property every time you log a new call with an activity type. Zaps allow you to program modifications in HubSpot based on when activities happen. You can trigger based on the activity date, which is different from the create date of an activity. This is because users can create a meeting for the next week with different properties that HubSpot normally would not allow users to leverage. B2B partners want to build automations based on the calls and meetings logged due to their importance in the sales-marketing process. If you are a HubSpot manager or sales operations professional, you can go beyond HubSpot and use Zapier to build solutions. For example, you can find a system that allows you to create a custom attribution system that links to your custom attribution page. This would allow you to improve your sales-marketing workflows or set lifecycle stages based on when certain activities happened. Why is it impossible to trigger workflows based on engagement on HubSpot? The most likely explanation for this is because it would be expensive for HubSpot to allow users to trigger workflows based on engagement. Every time HubSpot offers a re-enrollment trigger, it is granting users access to their servers to perform an action. Servers cost. The more broadly you try to trigger something, the greater the opportunity to potentially impact your server load or the amount of cost. If HubSpot allows users to trigger a workflow every time someone sends an email, it could make a large impact. Some large companies receive hundreds or thousands of emails over short time periods. Retriggering could be extremely expensive for HubSpot and is unlikely to be scope limited like a property change trigger might be. 

What is the "First conversion" property in HubSpot?

HubSpot lets you know how your leads make their first conversion. A visitor likes your blog content and subscribes to it. This is the visitor’s first conversion and it's recorded in HubSpot.  The "First conversion" default property indicates the first landing page and the form that your contacts submitted on. In the contact record in HubSpot's free CRM, there are default properties below "Conversion Information." The "First conversion" field is read-only. The First conversion default property works by recording any conversion information when a website visitor lands on a page. In order for HubSpot to autocomplete this field, it requires someone to fill out a form on a page. "First conversion" then records information about the first form or meeting link that a contact completes. If you have a website built in HubSpot, this field will take the page name and connect it with the form name. It will enter that information in the following specific format: Page Name: Form name For example, if your page is called "Contact Us" and your form is called "Primary Contact Form," the First conversion field would record the following: Contact Us: Primary Contact Form Why is First conversion useful? First conversion gives you data you can use to trigger workflows by using "Is Exactly" or "Contains." It allows you to audit how your leads are converting for the first time. It's useful data if you're building a custom attribution system. If you need to create a list of people whose first conversion was on one of your forms, you can use the "First Conversion" contact property in a list. First conversion helps you to identify what content asset a website visitor converted on and if that asset converts other contacts.  First conversion will have as many variables as you have combinations of landing pages and forms. Because first conversion uses the page and the form, we suggest having as few different forms as possible. This ensures that you have consistent data for your contacts so you can easily group your leads types and any changes are easily rolled out to multiple pages. With the "First conversion" property you can see the first form submitted by any contact and use it to further segment your leads. HubSpot's CRM provides useful conversion information automatically.  

8 Best Practices for Optimizing Your On-Page SEO to Rank Higher

Analyzing and optimizing your website pages for search engines is important for getting the website traffic you need. On-page SEO includes all of the on-page elements that contribute to how your pages are perceived by search engines and therefore contributes to how well a web page is ranked in search results. Any improvement to your on-page SEO will result in better rankings and therefore an increase in how often your website gets found, directly translating to a boost in website traffic. The term, on-page SEO, refers to content as well as HTML code. Your website performance will impact your business success, so it is well worth the effort to optimize each page. You want to think of your website as a virtual storefront—increased traffic results in increased shoppers. Your website's pages should be considered like your best employees, working for you 24/7.  When blogging or publishing new content on your site, it is very important  to start out with a strategy. You should keep an updated tally of the views, keywords and inbound links for each of each page and optimize those pages accordingly. Monitoring your website's performance is crucial to inbound marketing success, because it helps with every step of the inbound methodology: attracting the right visitors to your website, engaging with those visitors, and delighting them into being customers and promoters of your business. You want to optimize your pages for search engines so they can understand who you are, what you do, and what you are writing about. At its core, website optimization is simply about ensuring that your website gives you every possible advantage by speaking clearly and effectively to search engines and in a language that search engines reward. You will also want to optimize your site for people and website conversions.  You may already have published a fair bit of content on your website or blog before establishing your SEO strategy. Don't worry. That content can be optimized into highly performing pages too. It will be necessary to conduct an SEO audit for the pages that already exist. Start first by optimizing your most visited pages, as this will give you the most benefit for your efforts. The audit will also help uncover other potential problems such as duplicate content. A proper SEO audit will check whether your site is being blocked by search engines, make sure that your XML sitemap is working, monitor and improve site performance, spot and remove internal duplicate content, and check your site's popularity and trustworthiness. With the correct steps, website optimization on your existing page will make your website as  functional and effective as possible.   TIPS to Increase ON-PAGE SEO   You have complete control over your on-page SEO. On-page SEO techniques work in alignment with your keyword strategy. In order to achieve high-performing website pages, you need to ensure that you are tracking the right keywords for your business. Keywords and SEO go hand-in-hand. Once you have determined what keywords you are trying to rank for, on-page SEO tells you where to add them. The techniques listed below helps you place  your keywords  where they need to be in order to maintain high-performing website pages.  1. PAGE TITLES  Titles are the HTML element used to describe the topic of a webpage. You'll find them in the title of a search engine result page and in the top bar of an internet browser. Search engines give your page titles significant weight in determining your ranking. They look at the title as an indication of what the entire page will be discussing and therefore you must include at least one keyword in the title. Your title should be less than 65 characters including spaces to ensure that it doesn't get cut off on search engine results pages. Place the keyword nearer to the beginning of the title. Technically, Google measures titles by pixel width, not character count. They recently increased the pixel width for organic search results from 500 pixels to 600 pixels which is approximately 65 characters. Every page needs a unique title. Also, titles have an impact on click-through rates (CTRs) so an optimized title is both search friendly and click friendly. 2. PAGE URL Keywords should always be included in your URL. The words in the URL should be separated by hyphens so that they can be found by search engines. Make them user friendly so a visitor has a good idea of where they are on your website. You can eliminate little words like "a" and "the." When it comes to blogging, the URL should contain your blog title in its entirety. This also makes it easier for both the user to find what they need in a vast database of thousands of blog posts. 3. PAGE HEADERS Using keywords in your headings is important as visitors are more likely to stay on the page if they can quickly see the words they were searching for. Keywords in headings also help with search engine rankings. Using H tags, or header tags, is also important for consistency. They are typically the largest font on a page and are what most people's eyes are drawn to first. If somebody is visiting your website via a Google search, this text is quite important for them, as it shows that they are indeed on the page that they intend to be on. Use H2 headers when your page has multiple sections and H3 headers for subsections. Separating text with white space and creating numbered and bulleted lists are also best practices for SEO optimization. 4. CONTENT OR BODY OF YOUR PAGE You want to make sure that the content in the body of your page is unique and relevant and that it includes keyword phrases. Do not overuse your keywords. Overusing keywords (keyword stuffing) results is being  punished by Google plus people don't want to read content that seems repetitive. Aim to use the keyword phrase no more than 3 to 4 times in a way that is natural. Also use some synonyms.  Make the content of your page easy to read. This helps with the user experience and is also rewarded by Google. Make your paragraphs 2 to 4 sentences long as lengthy paragraphs tend to lose readers. As previously mentioned, also use bullet points or lists where appropriate as readers prefer to scan information. Numbered lists help you rank for Google’s featured snippet which is the bolded top search result that comes up when users type in questions.  5. INTERNAL LINKS Use anchor text to link all new content to at least 3 other pages on your blog or website. Go back to older content and find relevant ways to link that content back to your new page. Anchor text are words in coloured font that form the link. Make sure you use keywords in anchor text. For example, if there is a link on your page about graphic design, the linked anchor text should be "graphic design" and not "click here" for examples of your graphic design. Internal links are important because they help strengthen the keywords used in the anchor text. The links also allows users and Google to navigate through your website, and tells Google that the linked page is relevant for that keyword phrase. 6. META DESCRIPTION Descriptions, or meta descriptions, are shown in search results right below the title and URL. Your meta description is important because it shows up in a Google search. It pulls traffic to your site by boosting click-through rates. It is easy to see how  a good meta description can increase your CTRs. Meta descriptions are key to getting users to click through from a search engine results page (SERP) to your website. Meta descriptions should use keywords wisely, but more importantly, your meta description should include a compelling pitch. It should describe what a user will find when they get to your website. Your meta description should be 50 to 160 characters. Lastly, avoid quotes and non-alpha characters in your meta description as Google will ignore those. TIP: Page-load speed also impacts your rank. You want your website page to load in less than 1.5 seconds. Google added page-load speed as a factor in its ranking algorithm. If your page takes more than 1.5 seconds to load, it will hurt your ranking position. The images you choose to include should have a low pixel count to reduce loading time. 7. ALT IMAGE text AND title TAGS An alt text tag is the description of each image that allows web engine crawlers to understand what the image is. All images should been assigned appropriate alt tags. Use hyphens instead of underscores to separate the words and never use non-alpha characters (such as $, %, &). Google uses alt text tags in the same way that visually impaired people use them—as a way to comprehend images. Google's algorithm is unable to see or understand the image itself without an alt tag. If someone is using a screen reader, they will be able to hear what that image is. An alt image title tag, on the other hand, is shown when a user hovers their mouse over the element—kind of like a pop-up. You should include a keyword phrase in the name of your image to make it SEO friendly. All alt tags should be both simple and descriptive. Image search is pretty common so you can pick up traffic from there. 8. CALL-TO-ACTION BUTTONS Make it easy for your visitors to contact you or to get more information. There should be a CTA on every page. This acts to engage and delight potential contacts with extra content.  If you have a marketing platform, such as HubSpot, you can use the Optimize option for on-page SEO. It will help by telling you what on-page SEO best practices you have met and what best practices are lacking. While search engine rankings are algorithmic, a good rule of thumb is to always think of the user experience.  The ultimate goal of search engines is to deliver the best possible results to their searchers. If you keep that goal in mind with your SEO strategy, you'll be more likely to make good choices.Think about humans first and search engines second and you will be rewarded. Getting found online is more than just creating relevant, useful content. Content that is properly optimized, keyword-rich and helpful enough to generate lots of shares and inbound links will help you rise to the top of search engine results, bringing you more traffic, more leads and more customers.  

What is Shopify?

Shopify has become one of the most important ecommerce platforms available. Despite its success, people still ask us "What is Shopify?" In simple terms, it is a cloud-based ecommerce store platform used by businesses and entrepreneurs all over the world to set up online shops. From the platform, it is possible to build a fully customizable website, an online store, and a blog without having to code.  The staggering numbers prove that Shopify is the ecommerce solution of choice. There are currently more than 800,000 businesses powered by the platform, with more than 1,000,000 active users generating revenues of over $63 billion. Shopify simplifies the process of getting your goods and services to the digital marketplace. It serves an increasingly growing market, ranging from solopreneurs through to major businesses to governments. Shopify Themes With versatility second to none, it is easy to build a store quickly from a theme and powerful enough to create a highly customized international, multilingual enterprise-level ecommerce operation. The platform offers  a selection of free professional store themes to kickstart your ecommerce aspirations. There are also themes that you can purchase. You can easily customize colours, imagery, and fonts with a few simple clicks. No design skills are required to get started. Further, all themes are fully responsive, which means that your customers will get a consistent experience regardless of how they browse your store. As we all know, nothing abandons a cart faster than shopping on a site that is not responsive to your mobile. Shopify Payments Shopify Payments allows you to accept credit cards instantly and without third-party accounts. In addition, the platform supports over 100+ external payment gateways. Regardless of how you want to get paid, it is likely to be supported by this platform. Shopify's comprehensive dashboard is intuitive and allows you to easily and instantly get a holistic and detailed view of your business. This allows you to better understand sales, orders, inventory and audience to better tailor your products and marketing and grow your business. Shopify Integrates with Facebook and Messenger If all of the above is not enough to pique your interest, get a load of this—Shopify is fully integrated with Facebook and Messenger. Customers can easily browse your products and collections using the new and always visible Shop section on your Facebook business page. It is now really easy to sell products on Facebook. More than half a billion people around the world access Facebook solely from their mobile device and the Facebook Shop has been designed with mobile users in mind. You can add your products and services to your Facebook business page with just one click. Product details, product images, and inventory will automatically sync as soon as you make an update. And it gets better. You can personalize the shopping experience with Messenger chat support on your online store and Facebook page. Customers can ask you questions in Messenger, buy your products directly in a chat, and track their orders and shipping updates in real time. The great thing about incorporating Messenger into your sales process is that you create a personal connection with each customer. All communication stays in one thread. The data shows that 40% of customers buy more if the marketing and sales outreach is personalized. There are many reasons to use Shopify on your Facebook business page. Shopify's Pros and Cons   Here is a summary of what we see as the best features of the Shopify platform: It is cloud-based. The merits of being cloud-based go without saying. You just need a web connection. Ease of use. Everything is done in few clicks. There are great beginner guides and extensive documentation. It has a wide range of themes and tools that can be used to create a website and set up your online shop quickly and easily. The quantity and quality of themes is exceptional.  It has integrations with most of the top marketing tools. It has seamless integration with Facebook and Messenger. Shopify payments offer vendors an easy way to set up a credit card clearing system and accept all sorts of different payment methods. Flexibility. Although knowledge of coding is not required to open your online store, basic knowledge of HTML and CSS can help you customize your shop. Shopify is built on Liquid and those with HTML and CSS experience can pick it up easily. You can use plug-ins to extend and customize online store functionality. It works with PayPal as well as a number of other payment platforms such as Stripe, 2Checkout and Authorize. It works with many different currencies. “Buy now” buttons can be placed into websites. You can use other sales channels. You can sell directly on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.  You can also connect your Shopify store to Amazon or eBay. Shipping is a breeze. Shopify connects your store with various carriers such as FedEx and UPS and provides accurate shipping costs at checkout. Note: live shipping rates are only available in some countries. Shopify offers enhanced security. There is even POS (point of sale) hardware if you want to sell the old fashioned way. It has a huge community of users that often act as support resources. Shopify has award-winning customer service. There are 24/7 support teams available to answer your questions. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial.   Here is a summary of what we see as the cons of the platform. Spoiler alert! Everybody hates additional fees and Shopify has a few if you want a highly customized shop. If you keep it simple, most of these fees can be avoided. Bottom line: a higher quality store will generate more revenue, so it is a matter of pay less/earn less or pay more/earn more. You need to make a financial commitment of at least $26 per month for the long term. This is for the basic subscription which is a good place to start. WordPress users can integrate Shopify Lite for only $9 per month. Some things cannot be edited or customized without Shopify Plus. And you guessed it, it is a bit pricey. There is a pretty limited supply of free themes to choose from. Some of the cool plug-ins require subscriptions to third parties. And you guessed it, they can be pricey. Higher end reporting is only available with mid-tier plans. Some of the coolest features such as "abandoned cart" are only available with the more expensive subscriptions. Currently, you cannot operate multiple stores under one account. Fingers crossed, this is expected to change. If you do not use Shopify payments, the additional fees can add up.  Setting up multilingual stores is not easy or cheap. On-page SEO could be better organized.   What does Shopify cost? As you would expect, there are a range of fees based on the subscription level you choose. Prices start around a US$29 per month for a small store and increase accordingly.  Basic Shopify: $29 per month Shopify: $79 per month Advanced Shopify: $299 per month Shopify Lite allows you to sell on social media and costs $9 per month. The enterprise level subscription, called Shopify Plus can cost thousands of dollars per month. If you do not use Shopify payments then there also transactions fees ranging from .5% to 2%. If you use Shopify Payments to offer credit card payments and to be frank, you should, then there is a fee assessed of 2.4% to 2.9% per transaction, plus a small flat fee per transaction. You are going to have to pay the credit card fee anyway and the flat fee is so small (30 cents) that the transaction fees are essentially break even and running the payments through Shopify will save you a lot of headaches. You can register for a free 14-day trial of Shopify to test it for yourself. Inbox Communications has an active ecommerce consulting practice and we would be happy to answer any questions you might have or build your Shopify store.     

What is social selling?

Today’s consumers are independent and informed. Moreover, they are more likely than not to use social media to research products and make buying decisions. According to HubSpot, 74% of B2B buyers conduct greater than half of their research online before making any purchase or even contacting a salesperson. The act of social selling is simply using social media to place yourself, product or service in a position of being able to provide value to prospective customers. Not dissimilar to lead nurturing, social selling is all about ongoing, long-term engagement. According to a study presented by LinkedIn, social selling leaders get better results. In fact, LinkedIn found that 78% of social sellers outsell in comparison to those who do not use social media. Social media can help you actively communicate with accounts and monitor your prospects in real-time. It also allows you to look for opportunities to reach out to. This will allow you to have a better idea of an appropriate follow-up message and when a follow-up message will be well received. What exactly is social selling? Social selling is the act of leveraging social media to find and nurture prospects. We know that huge numbers of people use social media everyday and social selling is just meeting them where they tend to visit. It is a fantastic way to develop relationships with potential customers so that you are their first thought when they are ready to buy. If you have a Facebook Business Page, a LinkedIn profile, or Twitter account, you may already be taking the first steps to social selling without even knowing it. Pushing out helpful content via social media is only the beginning. What you need to do is to start to listen because the key to social selling is social listening. Social listening is the act of using social platforms to listen in on conversations relevant to your industry. You need to listen for the right moment to join the conversation so that you can present yourself as a solution to their problem. Why is social selling important for your business? In a nutshell, social selling works. 1. Social selling lets your sales team build real relationships Nobody likes to receive cold calls. Nobody likes to make cold calls. However, social listening allows your sales team to identify new leads that are already talking about your industry, your competitors, or their needs so you can reach out to them with useful information when the time is right. Prospects share so much information about their needs and pain points online that even your first point of contact can be super personalized, relevant, and helpful, rather than cold and intrusive and perhaps unwelcome. Social selling can allow you to develop better relationships with clients and become a thought leader by posting relevant contact across your social media channels. 2. Social selling lends itself to network creation and new introductions Establishing networks across your social media channels allows you to seek out introductions to new prospects through existing mutual connections. These introductions come with an increased sense of trust and rapport which is incredibly important. How important? A whopping 87% of B2B buyers say they have a better impression of someone who is introduced through their professional network. 3. Your clients are already engaged in social buying Just as you can use social listening strategies to find out more about potential clients, those leads are already using social search to find potential vendors. These potential leads do most of their research online, explore their options and develop an opinion about which vendor is the best fit before making human contact. Research indicates that buyers are 54% through their buying process before even speaking to a sales representative. If you are not actively engaged in social selling, you are not even showing up during the beginning phases of the buyer’s journey. According to LinkedIn, 76% of buyers are ready to have a social media conversation with potential providers, and more than 62% of B2B buyers respond to salespeople who connect with them to share insights and opportunities relevant to their business. 4. The best-in-class companies are already using social selling A full 90% of top salespeople are already using social selling tools. While you do not need to follow everything your competitors are doing, it makes sense to adopt techniques that are bringing them success. A failure to adopt social selling will result in your competitors picking up leads that might have otherwise found their way to you.  

Choosing the Right Business Software

Deciding on the right software platform for your business can be tricky. There are so many options to choose from. Of course, you need to speak with vendors and do your own research but there are also a host of other considerations that are less intuitive. Whether you are looking at a new CRM or sales and marketing platform such as HubSpot or a video sharing platform such as Vidyard, it is important to look at project management, change management, and securing team buy-in for new ideas. Implementing new software not only presents changes to the network, but also poses as a challenge to staff that need to adopt it. THREE BEST PRACTICES WHEN BUYING BUSINESS SOFTWARE When making the decision to buy and implement new software for your business, here are three tips to ensure the process is both well-received and successful. 1. How does the new software fit into the bottom line? Before making a new software purchase, it is important to establish the reasoning behind the buy. First, consider exactly why the software is needed for your company and how it will impact your team. Determine how the new software impacts the company's bottom line by highlighting: Functionality reasons including boosting your operation efficiency, and increasing team productivity and capability Financial reasons including lower operational costs from a more broadly functioning software Time management reasons including faster functioning and easier to use software In addition to how a new buy-in impacts the team, the cost-to-value ratio should also be examined. With new software comes new training, new vendors to deal with, and new contacts to manage. 2. Encourage Feedback from Your Team Including your team in the early stages of any business software purchase can provide you with critical feedback, especially when it comes from your IT specialists. After all, they will be on the frontlines of any new software implementation. 3. Show Empathy and Boost Communication Bring in those with expertise, as well as those who will be most affected by the addition of new software. Asking for their input helps in gaining support for the buy-in, achieving broader insight on its potential impact, and ultimately, makes the roll-out process much smoother. Once you have selected new software, it is recommended to choose some key team members to assist with the software adoption. Designating people to help will minimize any risk, both in the beginning stages and in implementation. Once it has been determined that the new software will have a positive impact on the overall functionality and efficiency of your business operations, it is time to help your team jump on board. It might feel as though you have the support of your team, but it is important not to overlook the challenges the new software could pose for certain employees. During the implementation stage, it is especially important to keep lines of communication open. Show empathy towards employees who might be struggling with the transition. Encouraging your staff to be open with how the process is affecting them will ultimately make for a more successful transition period. One person could voice a concern that has been largely overlooked by others—and that concern might end up becoming a bigger problem for the whole team down the road. A cohesive team is a winning team, and encouraging open communication builds a stronger and more successful business overall. Pragmatic reasoning is just one aspect of software buy-in. Looking at the numbers, and listening to user feedback helps in making a well-rounded and knowledgeable decision. By looking at how the new software will impact all areas of your business—particularly in an interpersonal sense—is crucial to ensuring that your financial commitment reaps rewards.

How to Close Sales

Closing a sale can be tedious, nerve-wracking, frustrating and exhilarating all within 5 minutes. Closing skills are some of the most essential attributes to successfully working in sales. A solid pitch informs, engages, helps and tempts potential buyers. But it is the close that seals the deal. Approaching the close is often quite stressful, as there is a fine line between being persuasive and pushy. Finding the right balance between being encouraging without being aggressive can often make the difference. A well-trained salesperson will build both the level of enthusiasm and the level of trust with potential buyers, and will handle the closing in a manner that makes the buyer feel in control. Success Sales Reps A successful sales rep should endeavour to: Determine your prospects pain points, needs, and challenges Effectively communicate how their product or service is an affordable and satisfactory solution to their challenges. If both of the above are done successfully, the close will come naturally. However, even those deals that seem the most destined and obvious need a little nudge. Becoming a strong closer takes skill and practice, but there are some effective tips that the most successful salespeople will agree on. COMMON CLOSING SALES TACTICS The most common closing techniques use an element of psychological finessing. These tactics are formulated to trigger a sense of need and urgency in the prospects. 1. The Now or Never Close This is the most effective and most commonly used closing technique. It instills in buyers a sense of importance in making a quick decision--to strike while the iron is hot. Some examples of this tactic are: “We have a deal on this purchase at a discount for all new customers that sign up today.” “If you have been thinking of making this move, now is the time to do so. We have a special promotion on this product going on right now.” “This product/service is gaining a lot of interest, and it would be in your best interest to get on board now before the increased demand drives up prices.”   2. The Option Close The option close puts buyers in the driver’s seat. It basically encourages the sale, while giving them the control to choose an option that best suits their needs. This tactic not only encourages buyers to go through with the sale, but it also gives them a bigger part in the decision making. In this technique, the salesperson gives the buyer more options in the sale. For example: “We can give you the product/service for six months at a rate of $$/month, OR for a full year at the discounted rate of $/month.” “We can begin services on a monthly basis for a charge of $$, OR put you on a fixed term contract of your choosing for $.”   3. The Summary Close Ultimately, people will be more inclined to choose the option that saves them money, as well as time. This tactic uses repetition and confidence to secure the deal. By continually mentioning the product/service and the sale, the buyer often becomes more engaged in the process, and in turn, is more receptive to the close. This technique is often used in conjunction with the previous two tactics. An example of this technique is: “So with a purchase of this product/service today, you get the one-time-only discounted rate we discussed, ongoing service for 12 months, as well as our promotion for monthly payment installments on a one year plan. Can we schedule a time to deliver/install this product/service tomorrow or on another day at your convenience?   NEw CLOSING TACTICS Sales and closing techniques are constantly changing and expanding. While the previous tactics are effective closing techniques, they may seem a little too sales oriented, given the emphasis on inbound sales. Sales reps have now begun to employ other methods including the following: 1. The Question Close This technique is very effective as it takes into account the buyer’s needs. It requires great listening skills, and it helps to be quite knowledgeable about your prospect’s operations. With this closing technique, the salesperson asks a number of probing questions right from the start to uncover underlying challenges in the prospect’s operations, as well as eliminating the reasons they may be hesitating to close the sale. For example: “It sounds as though (this area) of your operations has hindered your overall functionality. Would (this service/product) help with boosting efficiency?” “What else would you need to increase the functionality of X in your business?”   2. The Assumptive Close This approach assumes from the start that you are going to close the deal. This technique focuses on the positives of your pitch, and highlighting how beneficial your product/service is to their business. It also requires you to keep checking in with the prospect to ensure that you completely understand the challenges they need to solve. For example: “Does what we offer align with your need to improve your company’s procurement efficiency?” “Would my offer be valuable for the future of your business operations?’   3. The Take Away Close If a potential buyer is hesitant on an offer, sometimes removing aspects of the sale will entice them to come back to the original offer. For example, if they are hesitant about the price, offer a lower price with some of the features eliminated. This often makes the prospects think of out was removed rather than the discounted price. For example: “All right, we can offer the package for XXX per month if we remove the 24-hour service guarantee.” “We can absolutely re-shingle your roof for that price but we could not include the new eavestroughs.”   4. The Soft Close This technique highlights the benefits of your product or service and asks a low-impact question. This technique focuses on increasing the prospect’s confidence in your offer. The prospect does not have to make any commitment and it also gives you more time to suss out their needs. For example: “If our product/services can increase your productivity by 15%, would that be something that would help you achieve your goals?”   Creating a basket of closing skills is one of the most important things a sales rep can do. In order to get the most out of your sales efforts, it is very important to provide training that covers both soft closing skills and training on more concrete skills like a mastery of sales enablement tools.  

How to Write a Case Study

Earning the trust of prospective customers is a critical first step to achieving business success. Case studies are a valuable asset when it comes to establishing proof that what you are offering is good quality. When shopping for a new product or service, you are likely to trust a customer who has already purchased from the vendor. That is because getting a real-life opinion from someone is seen as less biased and rooted in actual experience. A full 88% of consumers report that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Think of case studies as an extension of online reviews. Case studies add authenticity to your business. They provide credibility and social proof that your product or service has actually helped others overcome business challenges and achieve their goals. Your leads might be experiencing the same challenges and be seeking the same solutions. Alternatively, case studies might help your leads envision how your solution may act as that missing piece that moves them forward. What Is a Case Study? A case study examines your client’s specific challenge or goal, how it was solved, and the final results. Case studies can vary in length and focus on numerous aspects related to the: Challenge Solution Results Case studies can take the following forms: A brief snapshot of your client's health since working with you A long success story of the client's growth using key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the number of leads your client generated, customers closed, or revenue gained A client-specific problem addressed with a unique solution and the results How to Write a Case Study Regardless of the type of case study you choose to create, there are some common first steps to take.: 1. Determine the Case Study's Objective In other words, what do you want to prove to your future clients as a result of publishing this case study? This is your opportunity to shine. Any one of the following are fantastic objectives: Complying with government regulations Streamlining internal training Lowering costs Increasing website traffic Increasing social engagement Increasing profits Lead generation Increasing marketing reach Increasing customer acquisition / repeat customers Increasing revenue Increased market share Expanding into a new market Becoming more energy efficient Decreasing churn Increasing staff and talent 2. Determine the Case Study Medium While most case studies are written, this does not have to be the format. Case studies can be in video format or even an infographic. They should be on your website and shared via a social media channel. 3. Choose a Case Study Candidate Choose a former client that had a particularly successful experience with your company and who you think will be happy to get some exposure on your website. The case study will provide a backlink to the client’s website, which will help with their SEO. Well-known brands or larger companies will add credibility to the case study, but smaller companies may also have remarkable results. Clients that have achieved excellent results after coming to you over your competitors make for compelling case studies. Remember, not all clients will want to admit to having challenges. You may want their permission and some quotes. 4. Contact Your Candidate for Permission to Write About Them Make sure you confirm their permission in writing. This confirmation should be done via a case study release form or in an email referencing the manner in which they gave permission. At this point clearly explain your objective and outline expectations and a timeline. Make sure that you get permission from someone who is authorized to give permission. 5. Create a Questionnaire and Schedule a Meeting to Interview the Subject of Your Case Study Send a list of questions beforehand so that your client can gather information if need be. You will get your quotes from this interview. Make sure you ask questions that relate to the history of the company, the challenges, the solution, and the results. You will also want to be able to describe or measure the results over time. 6. Format Your Case Study Keep your case study simple and easy to read. There is not a specific layout that you need to follow but the format below is a good example. 7. Publish and Promote Your Case Study Once you have completed your case study, it is time to publish and promote it. Each case study can be its own page on your website and you can direct visitors there from a “Case Studies” or “Testimonials” link on your homepage navigation. You can also include your most recent case study on your homepage. Promote your case studies via your social media channels. Case Study Format Below is our recommended case study format. Title: Keep it short but interesting. Subtitle: Describe the results in 1 sentence. Executive summary: Provide a 2 to 4 sentence summary of the entire project. About the company: You can pull this from your client's website. Challenges and objectives: Write 2 to 3 short paragraphs about the challenges your client had before retaining your services. Also, set out what they hoped to achieve by retaining your services. Solution: Compose 2 to 3 paragraphs on how you solved their challenges. Results: Create 2 to 3 paragraphs that provide proof that your solution was beneficial to the client. Try to quantify the solution. This should include quotes from the client. Use supporting visuals and other quotes to increase the visual attractiveness of the case study. Remember, if it is not easy to read then it will not be read. You can also include a CTA if that makes sense. Be Proud of Your Work You work hard at what you do and should be proud to showcase your work to potential new clients. Case studies can take a lot of effort but if you follow the above steps you should be able to create a fantastic marketing and sales asset.  

Sales Connect Calls: Using the Science

Inbox was fortunate enough to be chosen to participate in HubSpot's Partner Pipeline Generation Boot Camp. The rigorous 8-week sales training course is the mastermind of Dan Tyre, HubSpot's 6th employee and the most senior sales coach at HubSpot. A highly knowledgeable sales expert, among the many valuable tools that Dan passed along to us was timing.   The best Dates and Times to make Connect Calls   Your positioning statement is perfect. You have done your research and know exactly how your company can help the prospect. This prospect is a perfect fit so just pick up the phone and make that connect call. Whoa, wait just a minute! Did you know that certain days of the week and certain times of the day are better for making sales connect calls? Why waste your perfect positioning statement and your precious research time by calling at the wrong time? Research has established that the best days of the week to call prospects are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and the best hours to call are between 3 pm and 5:30 pm. These date and time combinations are the best possible times to do your connect calls. Of course, it will not always be possible to fit all calls within those windows. If, for example, you need to make a connect call on a Friday, make sure to do it between the hours of 1 pm and 3 pm. If you have to make the calls in the morning, the sweet spots are again Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday between 8:10 and 8:50 am. As you can imagine every single aspect of marketing and sales has been analyzed, pondered measured and reported upon by research teams all over the world. The data exists and it just makes sense to capitalize on the science to guide your marketing and sales outreach. Other data you should keep in mind in order to optimize your sales outreach includes the following:   Data on Calls Responsiveness is golden. It is estimated that 30% to 50% of all deals go to the vendor who responds the quickest. Calls that are returned within 5 minutes of form submission are 100 times more likely to get on the phone. Ask questions during your discovery call. The best discovery calls include 11 to 14 questions. It takes an average of 8 attempts to connect with your prospect. These attempts include calls, emails, and social media connections. People are more likely to convert after 8 contact touchpoints. The initial connect call should never be no longer than 12 to 15 minutes. Sales reps spend 15% of their time leaving voice messages but voicemail response rates are as a paltry 4.8%. Get your leads on the phone and speak in real-time.   Data on Emails And while you are at it, here is some data on making your emails count too. Only 25% of sales emails are opened. Emails sent on Tuesdays have an open rate that is 20% greater than average. The next best days to email are Monday and Wednesday. If you can avoid it, do not bother emailing on a weekend. Emails sent at 11 am have the highest open rate. If weekends are disregarded, the best window to send your email is from 10 AM to 12 PM with 11 AM being the peak. An all caps subject line reduces open rates by 30%. Emails that contain 1 to 3 questions are 50% more likely to get a reply.   It just makes sense to use established research when making your calls and emails to give yourself every competitive advantage. Now, in the words of the illustrious Dan Tyre: Go, sales lions, go!