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What to Include in Handwritten Sales Follow-up Letters

What to Include in Handwritten Sales Follow-up Letters

Effective Sales Follow-Up

You have a prospect on the line, and now you just have to reel him or her in. Once you get him or her to shore, you’ll have money in your pocket and the admiration of your co-workers. While you could pick up the phone and beg the prospect to take the bait, handwritten sales follow-up letters are much more effective. Include the following components in your follow-up sales letter to increase your conversions, regardless of your industry.

Write About Benefits Instead of Features

Your handwritten sales follow-up letter should focus on the benefits you can offer instead of the features you provide. This is often referred to as selling the sizzle instead of the steak. Don’t tell people that the car you’re selling has an amazing engine. Tell them it will go fast. Don’t tell readers that your keyboard has low-profile keys. Instead, tell them it will speed up typing. Focusing on the benefits over the features will make your products stand out to the reader, which is a huge step in converting prospects.

Keep the Ball in Your Court

Control is an important part of sales. The person who has the control gets to take the lead. If you relinquish control, you will have to wait for the prospect to contact you, which might not happen. Maintain control by letting the prospect know what your next step will be, whether it will be a phone call, email, or another letter. Prospects can reach out to you before you take that next step, but if they don’t, you can follow up without feeling intrusive since they are expecting it. 

Reference Past Communications 

Personalization is key with sales. You will be more successful if you personalize your communications. With that in mind, reference past communications or interactions you’ve had with your prospects. If you make your prospects feel special, they will be more likely to take the next step and become customers. 

Your sales letter is possibly the most important tool you have in your sales arsenal. If you use the tool wisely, you will turn a high number of prospects into paying customers. Consider using a service for your handwritten sales follow-up letters so you will have ample time to handle your other sales duties. 

How to Make Your Mobile Marketing Work Harder

This article was posted as a Guest Blog Post relating to Salesforce.com.

Does your mobile marketing match your consumers’ use of their devices? If you’re like most companies, the answer is “Probably not.”

There are different types of mobile users—regular, super, addicts, all of whom can be affected by mobile marketing in some way. How you reach them depends in part on the individual setups they have—push notifications, for example. Of course, push notifications equals more times opening an app. But push notifications can’t and shouldn’t be random. They should be designed to create an experience and action, as should SMS marketing.

The majority of customers wouldn’t mind more contact from brands using SMS marketing. Those messages get the attention of customers in a crowded world, and they often result in very quick review of a message.

There is a great gap between how much time we spend on our phones, and how much (or little) companies are investing in mobile advertising.

How important is mobile marketing

 

How can you make your mobile marketing work harder and smarter? To learn more about the potential in mobile marketing and the various ways to engage customers, check out Marketing Cloud’s article Mobile Marketing Examples to Energize Your 2016 Campaigns.

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How to Prospect Using Handwritten Letters

How to Prospect Using Handwritten Letters

Get Ready to Prospect Using Handwritten Letters – Be Different

With technology, people are always looking forward. They constantly think of new ways to tackle problems or attract customers. Sometimes, though, you need to take an old school approach to get the job done. That’s the case when it comes to prospecting. Instead of letting technology get in the way of your prospecting success, use handwritten letters. Once you know how to prospect using handwritten letters, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been using this method all along.

Write Letters That Are Easy to Scan

People are used to reading on the web, where articles include headlines and are easy to scan. You can provide the same experience with your handwritten letters. Make the paragraphs short and to the point and include bullet points, if needed. People should be able to glance at your letter and pick out the main points without any problems. 

Use a Handwritten Envelope

Your letter will only be effective if the recipient opens it. People are more likely to open mail that has a handwritten envelope, so take the time to write the names and addresses out. If you don’t have the time, a service can do it for you.

Don’t Include Teaser Copy

Some people like to put what is often referred to as “teaser copy” on the envelope. They use words like “FREE” and “URGENT” on the envelope, thinking it will increase the open rates. Instead, it makes people think they have received junk mail. 

Use the Letter as Part of an Automated Sequence

Handwritten letters are an excellent way to prospect, but you can’t expect people to respond to them. People aren’t going to sit down and write a letter back to you, and many people won’t pick up the phone and call. That’s why you need to make them a part of a sequence. Follow your handwritten prospecting letters up with phone calls or emails so people can respond. Putting the letters inside of a sequence also makes it easier to nurture your leads.

Now that you know how to prospect using handwritten letters, it’s time to get started. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to write a great sales letter or if you don’t have the time to put into the process. You can use a service to handle the letters for you. Services can even include the handwritten letter as part of an automated prospecting plan.

Giving Salespeople a Lead Generation Tool with Visitor Tracking

Giving Salespeople a Lead Generation Tool with Visitor TrackingEvery Salesperson Needs a Good Set of Lead Generation Tools

When it comes to surviving in the world of B2B and B2C sales today, your business needs every lead generation tool available. Regardless of whether you actually sell services and/or goods online or have a brick and mortar business and are trying to attract more customers, you still need tools in place for generating leads. Visitor tracking is an incredibly effective tool for doing just that.

The reality is that you probably have more people who are primed to be excellent leads visiting your website than you know. Unfortunately, when you do not know about those leads, you cannot take action. Visitor tracking is designed to help you identify every possible lead and provide that relevant information to your salespeople, so you can ensure that there is never an opportunity lost.

What Exactly Is Visitor Tracking?

Visitor tracking works to provide your salespeople with the ability to monitor visitors to your website by name, company, and/or location. With this information, your salespeople will be better able to identify prospective clients as well as their needs. As the world of business becomes increasingly competitive, visitor tracking is beginning to form the crux of all online marketing efforts.

If your business has a sales team in place, you need visitor tracking. Most companies provide a number of tools to help their sales teams succeed, and marketing automation is an effective tool. Visitor tracking is another lead generation tool designed to aid your sales team in approaching potential customers intelligently and at the right time. When handled correctly, visitor tracking can help your sales team work more efficiently and effectively.

Visitor tracking can be particularly beneficial if your sales team travels to networking events, conventions, or tradeshows. Rather than having your team waste significant resources following up via phone with contacts, you can instead take advantage of visitor tracking to ensure that you make contact with prospects when they are ready.

As digital marketing efforts continue to evolve, it becomes incumbent upon businesses in every sector to make the most of every available opportunity. Visitor tracking can help your sales team stay competitive. Get out there and grab a great lead generation tool for your company!

Improve the Efficiency of Your Sales Team

Improve the Efficiency of your Sales TeamIf the primary function of your business is to provide a product or service to customers, you must ensure that you improve the efficiency of your sales team.  No matter how top notch your products or services may be, if your sales process is incompetent, eventually your business will suffer or fail.  We’ve collected and compiled some top ways to improve your sales processes.

Sales Pipeline Management: A Key to Success

Measuring your sales pipeline and its ROI are a challenging for any business.  But it’s the first step in the process of making sure your sales team is working smarter and not harder.  First, make sure you’re delivering attractive content to generate online traffic.  Keep track of metrics and data to track any stagnation and to calculate how long you expect each of your prospects to spend in your sales pipeline.  Identify each type of customer in your sales pipeline – this way you can tailor up-sell offers based on a prospect’s individual behavior.

Lead Sourcing

Make sure you’re spending time tracking which leads are likely to close.  Training your sales team on the three primary ways of calculating lead sourcing can lead to a more successful sales process:

  • A conversion rate will tell your team which sales sources are converting leads to opportunities.  Using a simple formula will assist you in comparing current sources with ones you hope to use in the future.  If you find that sources aren’t working for your leads – strategize with your marketing and sales team as to why this is the case.  Are you approaching the leads from this source in the wrong way or is this simply a case of the source being unattractive to the right customer?
  • Figuring out your lead to close length will give you information on how long a lead source takes to close.  Each source that you’re using will bring your company leads at different steps in the purchasing process.
  • Average value per lead calculations will tell you which sources provide you with the best customer fit, for the best value.  Do you want several smaller sales per month or one or two big sales?  Average value per lead will help you start devoting your time and effort into sources where the best leads are active, providing you with the type and frequency of sale that you want.

Sales and Marketing:  Working Together for the Best Leads

Collaboration between sales and marketing teams takes more than just a few monthly meetings.  Encourage your sales team to give marketing feedback on the leads received on a regular basis.  This will give your marketing team the chance to make adjustments to their marketing automation program.  Products marketers should share new product features with the sales team – this will make your sales team more knowledgeable on the products.

Pinpointing deficits in your leads funnels, using metrics to measure your lead sourcing, and ensuring that your sales and marketing team are working well together are all vital ways to ensure your success.

GPS Tracking for your Website

GPS Tracking for your WebsiteTracking teenagers is similar to tracking for your website.

Having children is a wonderful thing. As kids get older we create stronger bonds with them, and they become more precious than ever day by day. Then they become teenagers. They start to do whatever they want, or at least thing they can do. They begin driving and hanging out with the wrong crowd. How do parents control such rebellious behavior? You can’t. But at least you have options to monitor their behavior and when you see something that’s serious, you intervene. That one option is to track your kids. Nowadays you can buy magnetic vehicle tracking devices that you stick to the bottom of your car. Then you hop onto the companies software interface and monitor where the car is going. It’s all done via GPS and cell towers to monitor where the vehicle is going and at time it’s at different places. In this case, if you see your 17 year old at a bar at 11PM, you’ll know to have that conversation with him/her; otherwise, let them be a teenager.

The concept of the GPS tracking device can also be applied to business. Companies like us, Lead Liaison, smacks a GPS tracking device underneath the chassis of your company’s website. Every time you have a visitor, we’ll track their activity, their online behavior, to help you look for key events that indicate a call to action. Different from solutions like Google Analytics, website visitor tracking identifies businesses, not just internet service providers, that come to your site. Visitor tracking can also help you convert visitors into identified people. Kind of like scanning someone’s drivers license. When a visitor clicks a link in an email, watches a video, downloads a document, submits a form, etc. your visitor tracking solution grabs the persons email address and adds it to their profile. When the visitor comes back, the sales person gets a Buy Signal, indicating buying interest.

Learn more about how you can attach a GPS tracking device to your website. 

Five Things to Consider When Buying Visitor Tracking

Five Things to Consider When Buying Visitor TrackingPeople often ask me ‘What should I look for in a visitor tracking solution’?  Here are five things to consider when buying visitor tracking that will help you eliminate inadequate providers:

  1. Does the program have active or passive visitor tracking capabilities (or both).  Active visitor tracking will allow your sales and marketing teams to directly engage high value targets and identify their visits nearly 100% of the time.   Passive visitor tracking relies on people wandering onto your website and someone being identified (more on that later). Active visitor tracking offers the following advantages over passive visitor tracking:
    • Track prospects that you met outside of the website
    • View ongoing interest of existing customers
    • Understand the potential buyer’s true timing (as opposed to what they told you) and availability
  2. Is the program relationship based vs event based?  That means that someone that returns to your site 3 times in a week will appear to be three different people.   I don’t know about your sales strategy, but a client that comes to my “store” on a regular basis warrants a lot more attention than three lurkers that show no further interest. You should always select a program that gives you relationship based data.  Event based systems are way behind the curve, and will cost your company sales.
  3. Is the individual/company that visited your site provided?  It seems unbelievable, but there are still visitor tracking companies that won’t give you names (or company names) of your visitors.   If your goal is just to track generic traffic, use Google Analytics.  If your goal is to learn about individuals whom you hope to cultivate a business relationship with then use a platform like Lead Liaison.
  4. Will your data be shared?  The majority of visitor tracking companies use your data to help your competitors build a correlation between IP addresses and names.  We think that this is a dirty practice that results in errors and potential legal problems, let alone losing business that your company might be entitled to, to your competitor.   It’s a lazy approach to visitor tracking and we would never recommend using a company that shares data.
  5. Integration and reports:   Daily reports are a basic necessity of every company.  Real-time alerts are important to companies with high value sales opportunities.  I would also survey potential vendors to learn about how they can help you interface with your CRM and marketing automation visions. 

It also doesn’t hurt to explore what other solutions the vendor has to offer. If you go with their solution just for visitor tracking will you be “trapped” and not have a broader-based solution offering marketing automation that you can grow into? We’ve seen several companies spend thousands of dollars on visitor tracking to find out they still need marketing automation; then they find themselves investing in two disparate platforms. Costs sky rocket as companies pay for two separate solutions and have higher total cost of ownership managing two separate platforms. Why not have both visitor tracking and marketing automation tightly integrated into a single software platform?

The bottom line:  Visitor tracking programs can be an incredible asset for your sales efforts.  These tools are affordable, super easy to use, produce results day one, and show the most rapid ROI of any marketing investment that I’ve seen.  Make sure to remember these things to consider when buying visitor tracking and be sure your vendor gives you the right answer to all five topics above. If you do, then you are on your way to making one of the best sales & marketing investments in your company’s history.

Why Small to Mid-Sized Businesses Should Use Marketing Automation for Prospecting

I Love Prospecting with Lead LiaisonProspecting is a headache for most sales reps. Sales people get pressure from leadership to sell faster and meet the demands of the current quarter. As the day-to-day pressure mounts salespeople get distracted and lose focus on prospecting as they concentrate more on closing existing deals in late pipeline stages. What salespeople wind up with is more business at the bottom of the funnel but a very non-existent top and middle of the funnel. For small to mid-sized businesses these issues compound as smaller companies have less resources to work with.

It’s vital salespeople close deals and prospect at the same time. However, it’s unrealistic to think most salespeople will be consistent with their prospecting efforts. Using sales automation, salespeople can be ultra-efficient, almost like an assembly line, with a systematic and scalable way to prospect. Marketing automation software for small to mid-sized businesses helps salespeople use automated workflows to “chase” prospects once they’ve identified their targets. Prospect communication happens in the background using multiple touch points, something that’s imperative when prospecting, to connect with your prospect. Executing such a process looks like this:

  1. Add the contact to your CRM
  2. Add the contact to a Lead Liaison Workflow
  3. Boom! A series of 2-week communication automagically chases your prospect by sending them personalized communication
  4. When prospects engage, you’ll know about it in real-time and remove them from the Workflow

The flow chart below depicts a sample Chase Workflow that a small to mid-sized company might build to automate sales prospecting. I promise, we can make you love sales prospecting!

Let us know if we can help you build this awesome process into your sales organization.

Marketing Automation for Prospecting

2 Week Chase Workflow

Marketing Automation: You Still Need a Sales Strategy

Marketing Automation: You Still Need a Sales StrategyAnyone running a business comes to find out they need some type of sales strategy. While marketing automation executes a lead to sales flow seamlessly for many businesses, others find that the one-size-fits-all solution they were looking for simply isn’t present when employing their marketing automation.

As a small business, how can you make sure using marketing automation software benefits your operation at a higher level? The key is found in your strategy. Think of it this way – many business owners employ a CRM and find it absolutely necessary to the growth and success of their companies. Organizing the information and having an agreed-upon method for continuous and optimal use of the CRM isn’t something that necessarily happens overnight – it takes a deep understanding of the software and a willingness amongst team members to use an agreed-upon operations method.  Without these things, onboarding a CRM would be pointless.

Sales Strategy Development for the Small Business

Many small business owners develop their companies themselves and get caught in the undertow of change as the company grows. Small business owners can find their staff increasing by a dozen people in a year. Suddenly there are many workers without a clear sales strategy for how information will be collected and employed in marketing campaigns.

This is why growth strategy is crucial before growth even happens. Knowing where to allocate resources, how businesses will collect information and how the information informs marketing and development processes is 100% critical to keeping this organized and manageable. Starting out with tangible business goals based on calendar years or quarters is a great way to figure out what resources are needed and who will perform what task.

Using Marketing Automation for Sales Strategy

Many business owners are finding that sales strategy and marketing automation processes are inseparable. Marketing and directional decisions should be made on concrete data – and the right tools are necessary to ensuring any data collected is on point. Even the most advanced marketing automation systems may return data that’s incomplete or doesn’t work for the business. This is where good training and human monitoring come in – sifting through data in an easy, manageable way is possible. This allows companies the opportunity to work on data that is incomplete or isn’t really helping the business achieve end goals.

In order to sift through that data and make good decisions based on overarching business goals and sales strategy, the right marketing automation company and training for staff have to be in place. Lead Liaison offers training and marketing automation solutions for businesses of all sizes. Connect with us for a consult to determine what would best serve your business!

5 Ways Lead Management Automation Reduces Your Sales Cycle

5 Ways Lead Management Automation Reduces Your Sales CycleB2B sales teams look for ways to reduce the sales cycle with the goal of faster revenue generation (which, in turn, leads to higher annual payout). The challenge for many salespeople is to manage tasks in an efficient way so more time can be devoted to selling which should be expected to reduce time-to-close. Lead management automation provides the mechanism to shorten the sales cycle.

According to Gartner Research, B2B companies see a 10% or greater increase in revenue within 6-9 months of implementation of a lead management automation platform. Part of that increase is due to efficiencies that allow your salespeople to close deals faster.

Score Leads for Quality and Relevance

When sales agents are occupied with the most-suitable-and-potentially-interested prospects, the chances for conversion are greater. Through LMA, leads are automatically scored according characteristics that indicate suitability for your solutions and digital behavior that reveals how a buyer does research and how well-informed he is about your solutions.

A lead’s score will automatically update when new qualifying information is received or when a new online engagement has occurred. By automating lead management, your sales team can prioritize its focus on leads with the potential to close the earliest.

Distribute Leads Effectively

Do you want your fastest closer working on leads of the same quality as a new hire? Do you want your tech industry specialist getting leads from the manufacturing industry? NO! With LMA, leads can be distributed according to parameters you set. This way, once leads are properly qualified, they can be assigned ownership according to which agent can best convert the lead efficiently thus reducing the sales cycle.

Faster Response

Using an automated lead management platform, customized response and/or follow-up messaging is delivered according to a schedule that can be set once (theoretically). While a sales agent is busy with other tasks, an email can be sent immediately following a request from a lead. By eliminating delays associated with a busy sales team, the cycle can be reduced.

Better (and Faster) Intelligence Collection

An LMA collects, organizes, and segments digital lead activity faster and to a greater degree than your salespeople can do manually. As the article in the link above suggests, salespeople spend only 35% of their time actually selling. Often the non-selling time is consumed with business intelligence collection. With LMA, when a lead fills out a form or clicks on a certain link, your salesperson is provided with actionable intelligence immediately. Agents can use the intelligence to engage with prospects in a way that supports the digital path the prospect has taken when researching for a B2B solution.

More Efficient Lead Nurturing Across Media

LMA provides several channels of communication that can allow a lead to become familiar with your company and its solutions more quickly. As a lead moves through the marketing funnel, customized information flows that target specific needs can accelerate the lead advancement to a sales-ready status. Once the lead has become suitably educated and informed about your solutions, you sales agents can get involved and convert more quickly.