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Sunday, 8 August 2021

How to Sell Without a Unique Selling Proposition Measure

It's important to know the business impact of what you sell. This goes without saying how much more a difference this will make. It shows how your prospective clients decide when choosing your products or services. However, many companies just don't quantify the true value proposition the business delivers through its products or services. And sometimes, quantifying it seems nearly impossible.

There's an argument, however, that if there aren't any metrics to measure the strength of a value proposition, your business is already losing out.

Everyone's been here. For years, many companies focus their resources on jumpstarting new product sales. And during this process, not many have ever quantified what's the value proposition on offer. They're often too busy with new strategies. Trying to find one that would work better than the one before.

But here's the gap. When the going got tough, good hard data was lacking. 

Although that may be the case, it didn't stop new clients and did not discourage new prospects to identify that a company was a good fit for their organisation.

We found that good hard data although important does not necessarily mean better sales prospects. And the common factor found was that there were commonalities in the strategies used by various companies to help prospects to feel more confident when engaging in a new product or service:

1. Talk the talk

Start by talking like a businessperson. Rather than giving exact figures or percentages, there's an emphasis in prospecting for new client conversations to go along these lines:

  1. Product launch vs achieving the projected sales result
  2. The critical need to shorten time-to-revenue
  3. High costs of sales rep downtime prepping for presentations and proposals
  4. Lost of opportunity
  5. The inconsistent message being delivered to channel partners and customers

These are value propositions which are extremely attractive to senior sales leaders and it has led to many profitable transactions. These show competency as you've just quoted business terminology to which they can relate.

2. Use industry stats

It isn't easy and sometimes nearly impossible to measure the value of your proposition. If there's a time when specific data is required, you can lean on and off industry statistics.

The idea and perspective of these "outside experts" give you more credibility. For example here are examples:

CSO Insights found that organisations with random or informal approaches to sales coaching had significantly lower quota attainment and win rates.

Consultants do this very often. This can be a great proof of sources for the need for your product or service in the market.

3. Engage Your Customers in the Measuring Process

Think about how you might demonstrate your value with your upcoming sales prospects. Don't just talk about how fun your engagement is, but focus on the client's business objectives for lead generation. You should jump in early on. Talk to buyers about what to measure and how your company can do it. Some examples of easy metrics for tracking include:

  1. Who received the product/service
  2. Does the seller have an appointment
  3. What happens when a new sale has been made
  4. What is the initial value of the sale
  5. What is the lifetime value of the client

This helps customers to know if their investment has been worthwhile. These will also lead to future success stories which you can leverage for future prospective sales engagement.

Start now because these efforts will have huge paybacks for you.

4. Collective Wisdom

The last way to clarify your value proposition is actually relatively easy and right where you least expect it to be. Brainstorm with your colleagues. The collective wisdom and experience of your peers will provide a broader view on the value you are offering to your customer.

It would be good to review marketing materials and think about what ways you can pique their interest and stoke excitement in their hearts.

  1. Here are some questions you can use during your discussion:
  2. What problems do you think we solve?
  3. Does any of these problems also affect other parts of the company?
  4. How does our solution impact our customer's bottom line?
  5. Is there a positive impact our solution has brought to our clients?

Conclusion

If you're struggling with the above and still remain stuck, consider setting you and your team's mindset in the following. Keep asking each other, "so what?".

  1. So what if it's inefficient
  2. So what if communication has been improved?
  3. So what if we reduced the turnaround time by 2 days?

Keep asking "so what?" over and over again. It'll only help you to get much closer to the real value of what you bring to your potential customers.

This is an internal analysis. But beware, it can be dangerous. Don't take it to the letter because no matter what outside validation always takes more precedence. Also, don't just think of your solution in isolation because you're much too close to it to discover what problems or values your company is offering without help.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

A Unique Way to Drive More Sales

Disaster struck. After spending hours updating your work. It disappeared after you hit save. In most cases you would jump and reach out quickly to the nearest person you feel might be able to help you and more often than not, the person would reply, "Mmm. That's interesting".

The way your solution expert responds is actually fairly interesting. Most people in similar situations would react with curiosity when something went wrong.

The Secret Power of Getting Interested

When we're selling, we often react. Instead, you should stop to consider how we might have created that problem instead. And more often than not, the reaction is actually what would make the problem worse.

Think about the last time a sales conversation went bad. How often do you actually stop and say, "Mmm. That's interesting?".

Now think about what could happen if you were actually constantly curious about why your prospects actually reacted the way they did.

Let's analyse this

If a prospect was rude and just "didn't understand you". Rather than react simply stop and think, "Mmm. That's interesting..."

  • Could it be because of how you explained the value of your service?
  • Did you not ask enough questions?
  • Were you pushing the prospect to make a decision he wasn't ready to make?
  • Perhaps he wasn't the right person?

There's a trend here

Whether you're an experienced pro or new to selling, you get better faster by continually questioning and evaluating your results.

You should always maintain your curiosity and you will improve. Pay attention to the times when the conversation was challenging for you. Why you might have lost to a specific competitor?

Make note of things when they both go according to plan or does not. And if it turned out better than you expected, it's important to recognise what's working well too.

Conclusion

Observing your own sales interactions and experimenting with new approaches is the fastest route to driving more sales.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

How to Make Your Value Proposition Stronger?

How do you know if your value proposition is weak? An easy telltale sign is that virtually no one responds to your emails or gets back to you on the phone.

One other key indicator is that prospects quickly brush you away with statements such as:

  • We've already got that handled
  • We're working with someone else already that's handled this for X years

It's already hard to sell after getting through the door, but it's even harder to sell if you can't even get through the door. The top salespeople always quote, "you can inspire buyers to take action unless you focus on what's important to them".

Without the right approach, sales would be downright impossible.

Is there such a thing as a strong value proposition?

Here's a case study. A large corporation is introducing a new system into the printing market. The place was buzzing because of the extraordinary capabilities it had that far exceeded anything else out there.

They were thinking that with these which printer company wouldn't jump in to order it? But as life would have it, nothing comes easy. Sales stalled after the early adopters have converted over to this new feature.

Here's what some research found:

  • One printer had metrics on every aspect of their business, and it was able to:
  • Cut the prepress staff by 33% while still handling the same amount of workload.
  • It helped to cut overtime costs
  • Reduce turnaround by 2 to 3 days
  • Balance their workflow and enabled them to delay the purchase of an expensive new press machine.

These were the true value propositions. And these were really strong, as it related and focused on what was important to the customers.

The secret to your value proposition is with your customers

The case study above has shown that one of the best ways to discover the value proposition of your product or service is to actually ask your customers.

When you're struggling with sales, working with a new industry, or talking to different buyers this will be your golden ticket to finding out what value you actually offer.

Beware because this does not apply to all customers. The worst customers to interview are your long-term customers. Because they can't remember the issues and challenges they faced before they switched over to your company.

Choose more recent customers. Because they would know about the difference you've made and share with you exactly how it has impacted their business results.

When you go into these conversations always remember that you are there just to ask questions and to learn. Do not sell under any circumstance, because this would result in future opportunities being lost.

Conclusion

Knowing your value is essential to your sales success. Don't underplay it.

Remember no one wants to buy whatever product or service you offer. They're only interested in what problems they are facing and if you have anything that you can do for them.

The more clearly you can articulate your value proposition, the easier it will be to set up meetings, create momentum and close more deals.

Friday, 11 June 2021

How to Write Catchy Headlines Customers Can't Resist [6 Secrets]


Writing great content is a good starting point, but getting it to be read is another. This is where a good title comes in. 

Titles are what helps to sell the content that you spend hours painstakingly creating. Titles are represented in search engines, email, and social media. It comes as no surprise that searching for ways to write and craft titles is on everyone's list as their number 1 concern.

Here are some of the frequent questions that are asked. How long should my headline be? What words should I use? What words should I avoid? Should I optimize it for search or for social or both?

Here's where this article comes in. We've come up with a quick formula that makes this method easily repeatable. This is a valuable resource for our team and it will be a valuable resource for anyone who's just starting out.

The secret to writing catchy headlines your customers can't resist.

1) Start with a working title.

Start with an idea / a rough draft. This is your working title. This is a stepping stone for you to come up with your perfect title.

Don't confuse a working title with a topic. Topics are general ideas, and how a writer chooses to tackle the direction of the topic can affect the outcome.

A working title on the other hand is very specific. It serves the purpose of guiding the creation of a single blog post. 

Here's an example

A topic covering:

  1. Sales. 

You can come up with the following working titles:

  1. How the Right Tools Can Help You to Sell More
  2. The Ultimate Guide to Sales Tools
  3. 5 Crazy Tips to Help You Close Sales Quickly

You would have noticed by now that each of these working titles are different, it also shows that none of those titles is perfect. But it does serve as a specific enough guide for your upcoming content.

2) Stay accurate

Accuracy is extremely critical. Don't downplay this. It sets the expectations of what a reader expects to see. Don't do this. Don't overkill and overwrite a claim in your title. Unless, of course, you have evidence for it in your content.

For example, 10 Crazy Solutions That Give you Instant Sales, All Other Sales Methods Fail to Compare. Unless, of course, you really have the suggested 10 crazy solutions, if not you're likely to create more distrust in your brand and organisation than what was initially intended.

One way to be accurate is to add a bracket with the following few words [New Report], [Latest for 2021]. This sets a clear expectation and readers know exactly what they are getting themselves into. 

3) Make it sexy

Being accurate does not mean you can't find ways to make your title pop. There's an art to language and you should not be afraid to use it.

  • Have some fun with alliteration
  • Use strong language
  • Make values clear
  • Make it visual
  • Focus on the "who" not the "why"

4) Keep it short

There isn't a one-size-fits-all solution to how long or short your title should be. All we can suggest is it depends on what your goals are. Knowing your goals will guide how and where your headline would appear.

There are many suggestions as to how title length will have an impact on email / social / search / etc. So it really depends on what your objectives are. A great way to learn what works is to run a few tests to see what works best for the particular audience you are targetting.

5) Try to optimize for both search and social at the same time

It's very hard to optimize one asset for everything. But there's nothing stopping you from being able to deliver for both.

The secret? Focus on keywords you know your audience is already searching for and find what works across different channels.

One great tip is to make sure that your headlines are tweetable. Try keeping it within the 120-130 character range if possible because this leaves so much space for people to include a short comment if they choose to manually retweet and cite you.

6) Brainstorm with someone with a fresh outlook on your title

Sometimes looking at things too long can lock you into a perspective that is sometimes difficult to break out of. The goal is to get another person to mutually agree on a title for that content that you are publishing. This doesn't need to belong. All you need to make sure is that you have a few ideas on a list for you to discuss things together.

Conclusion

Titles are integral to sales. It leads the person's interest in content to allow for information to be communicated.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

The 8 Best B2B Marketing Content That Will Help You Generate More Leads















There's something magical when we get to take new product features for a test run. It's the ability to transform something that's imagining into something more. We squeal with excitement typically reserved for new Netflix series, or iPhone launches for new product features instead.

This is something we're really excited to share with you and with other marketers as well. I'm sure you've probably come across some form of content at least once in your internet life. The point is marketing content can be uninteresting if you tackle it from one angle but if done right, your B2B content marketing can certainly match -- or even rival -- the creativity and appeal of some of the best B2C campaigns.

Here's a list of some of our favourite. Examples below:

1. CB Insights Newsletter



2. Mattermark: Raise the Bar



3. MYOB Tax Time



4. Deloitte Insights



5. First round magazines



6. NextView Ventures: Better Everyday



7. Zendesk Engineering



8. Hexagon: Annual Report



Tuesday, 25 May 2021

3 Proactive Value Driving Revenue Operation Projects

For years, revenue operations have been largely determined by immediate customer needs. And typically projects address a problem that's already happened with the goal of ensuring that it never happens again.

The reactive approach is natural and necessary, but as the organisation matures, shifting to a proactive approach promises to deliver a strategic advantage and even more value.

To ensure continued success, teams must deliver ongoing value by anticipating and addressing roadblocks. And sales, marketing teams must work more closely together. 

It's not easy to get out of being reactive to becoming proactive

With no clear role dedication, independent teams will work exclusively which will result in common challenges

  1. Inconsistent process
  2. Insufficient data
  3. Disparate systems

The friction and inefficiency of these internal problems will result in a disjointed customer experience. Which leads to an impact on revenues.

This, however, is a double-edged sword as it serves as a perfect catalyst for decision-makers to look into this matter further.

How to make the proactive approach a priority?

1. Develop and deliver an insightful RFP template for customers

There's one thing that all departments can agree on. RFPs tend to be poor. They're time consuming and repetitive. This can be a roadblock to closing a deal, and it can be difficult to scramble, review and revise required collaterals while verifying brand consistencies. But it's important to the customer.

To ensure that the RFP is relevant, all departments should work together to develop and issue a comprehensive RFP template. With this in mind, your team has an opportunity to make a big impact and lead the conversation by proactively providing customers with an RFP template.

2. Bring customer success into the process

A customer journey for most businesses looks like an assembly line. This linear process often creates a disjointed and disappointing experience for customers.

Often prospects have specific questions related to any one particular topic. For example,

  • onboarding
  • implementation
  • customer use cases
  • and more

Salespersons usually only provide the surface information and often moves on too quickly. This leads to the inability to develop a stronger connection with the customer. The opportunity to provide them with helpful insight has been missed.

Involve the customer success earlier in the process. This will help you to demonstrate your unique proposition and position your company's competitive advantage right in the minds of the customers. This will help to build rapport, and it will provide an invaluable mix of insights, use cases and deep product knowledge which will boost your organisation's reputation.

3. Conduct regular reviews

Sales direction that drives growth is important. And it's the responsibility of the team to receive input from various members, to interpret the information, understand the impact and make a plan to address it.

Don't make the mistake of operating independently because these processes are interelatted and making decisions without understanding the interdepartmental dependencies can prove to be a very expensive mistake.

Set regular strategy sessions to help you get ahead of any issues and provides a forum for feedback to improve. This platform will give way to potential changes, chances for brainstorming of ideas and a clear way to address concerns early and cohesively.

Conclusion

Shifting from reactive to proactive supports sales growth. Which results in an improved customer experience. This, in turn, reduces churn and increases customer referrals.

Make a positive impact to be the bottom line, because it will ultimately result in a positive sales result.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

How to Make Sales and Marketing Meetings More Effective and Impactful

There's a common misconception that both sales and marketing are not equally important. But in reality, this is can result in marketing and sales realignment. When aligned well, there will be a special cohesion that will allow a business to flourish.

How to ensure effective sales-marketing meetings

Now with the new normal, and the internet becoming more mainstream, buyers have more information at their fingertips. This wasn't the same previously.

This makes it even more necessary for marketing and sales to be aligned so that buyers can efficiently buy without any messaging misalignment.

Initial prep

When planning for a meeting between sales and marketing teams, it's important to prepare. First, think of the items which need the most priority and what role each person will play in the meeting.

To filter down on how to do this, you can consider what type of meeting is currently taking place. For example, would this meeting be taking place to analyse competition or to focus on revenue?

Second, organise your topics. Do this by asking all the attendees to submit any questions prior to the meeting. You will want to filter questions to see if there are any overlaps. This also helps you to manage the meeting to avoid any unexpected concerns to arise spontaneously.

Third, manage time, by placing a length of time on each segment to avoid the meeting taking unnecessary amount of time, and appoint someone to keep track of time.

Fourth, appoint someone to take notes. This represents key items discussed during the meeting and will serve as a good reference and follow up to the meeting.

Sales-Marketing = Smarketing

Foster an environment for exchange of ideas to be freely exchanged by everyone. Always remember that neither department carries more weight. Every contribution carries equal weight to the collective goal the company wishes to achieve.

First, ensure space of contribution for each attendee. Show everyone that your ideas are valuable. And this will foster a proactive and positive collaboration amongst team members.

With a positive environment, meetings can be used to identify weaknesses and blindspots without affecting the overall morale of either team. With an honest and open discussion you will be able to promote the ability to close gaps between marketing and sales. Which will result ina seamless customer experience

Facts not just perceptions

Don't spew perspectives. Be objective and only cover meaningful data. This will help to keep the meetings in line and manage expectations on the delivery of solutions that are not skewed towards a personal opinion.

Keeping the goal in the forefront will ensure the right focus.

A tip to do this is to go back to the customer. Understand the persona. This will serve as a good reminder to both teams on who they are reaching out to, and how they can agree on a solution together.

Conclusion

Although there are various tips discussed above, the common thread for a more effective sales and marketing meeting is communication.

Improving morale of both teams will ensure that customers benefit from an overall better experience.

Plan, communicate, discuss, and be open about meeting topics to discover great ways you can increase sales and conversion to help both teams deliver on their expected results.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

The Most Shocking Statistic That Affects Sales

This has shocked many. And you should be shocked too.

When you get a big alert, do you always open your email for a quick look?

No big deal, right? Wrong! This is a big deal.

Here are the stats

According to Judy Wajcman, 70% of emails received are usually attended to within 6-seconds of arrival.

There's a compelling feeling to check it out. 

This is because we are addicted to our email. We just don't want to miss anything. Especially when the potential message could be from a very important prospect.

Why is this such a big deal? 

According to Jonathan Spira, a person's recovery time from any interruption is 10-20 times the length of the interruption.

Now let's extrapolate to see what it mean for you. If you check an email once every 10 minutes, 6x an hour. 

"You will end up with 30 minutes of distraction!"

Shocking isn't it? When you're distracted you can't do your best job. It's impossible. You won't be able to function at full capacity. You're less able to adjust to changes. And this is a study that's widely agreed to by Neuroscientists.

The worst part is everything will take longer. And in today's business world where everything is moving at a tremendous pace, you know you can't afford that.

What's the answer?

It's simple, just do these two things:

  1. Turn off email notifications on all your devices.
  2. Check your email only at pre-arranged times.

Conclusion

Over time, I suggest you extend the intervals. See if you can go without 30 minutes without checking messages.

Because there's absolutely no reason whatsoever to check email every time it comes in. Even if it feels good doing it.

It's actually hurting us. Take action on this today, right now. It'll make a big difference on the quality of your thinking and your productivity.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Fixed Sales Slides Are Losing You Sales

Slides are meant to serve as a guide. Flexibility is key to conversational sales. And it's one of the main drivers to how you can transform stale business presentations into visually engaging stories.

Corporate slideshows are not designed for best practice sales techniques. They are designed to be corporate slideshows.

Stale presentations actually hurt your chances of success. Because they're long, and they only talk about your company and your products. 

It doesn't talk about what your customers find important to them.

What if slides could be more flexible?

You've been in a meeting before, where the PowerPoint was linear, prescripted and did not align with the dynamics of a consultative sales meeting. Didn't you want out? Didn't you feel like it was a waste of time?

Precisely.

To beat this, you will need to reimagine your corporate slideshow. From one long narrative into a series of bite-sized mini-presentations that can be selected based on a prospect's interests.

Don't go through your slides in order. You can add navigation options to help you to jump to different parts of your presentation.

The goal of your slides should be to ...

Deliver the best of both worlds:

  • Highly relevant
  • Engaging slides that complement the sales conversation

Here are three great examples of how you can do this:

  1. Does your company offer three services? Show a slide with all three and ask which slide your prospect is interested in and jump into that.
  2. Have a success story that would address your prospect's question? Show the slide with all your success stories.
  3. Is your prospect running out of time? Jump straight to the section to close the deal!

Great news! Any presentation software can do this

There's the hyperlink function. It helps you to move quickly to the desired slide with a click.

How do you create content optimised for this dynamic approach?

Consider how your sales consult flows. A great way to start is to start with a list of what you offer and see where the customer chooses to go.

Other possible pivot points include:

  1. Deeper dives
  2. Decision-maker types
  3. Industry insights
  4. Success stories
  5. FAQs

Conclusion

You'll notice once you start building corporate presentations using the Flexible Slides approach your value proposition becomes even clearer. This helps you to go beyond relying exclusively on a pre-meeting discover because you can adapt the slides to your prospect's interests on the fly.

This will also help you to deliver the right presentation iteration without having the need to reassemble one for every opportunity.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

The Buyer's Journey from a Malaysian Perspective


Today's day and age is far more advanced and informed than ever before. This is thanks to the vast amount of information available on the internet. Because of this, the balance of power has indefinitely shifted from the sales rep to the buyer in most sales scenarios. This is why guerilla sales tactics are no longer as effective as they used to be.

Instead, to be successful in sales today sales reps must adapt their mindset from sales to helping. The best way to start this process is by becoming intimately familiar with who the buyer is and what is the journey they are taking on their way to making a choice.

What is the buyer's journey?

This describes the buyer's path taken to complete a purchase. In other words, buyers go through a process to become aware of, consider, evaluate, and decision before making a purchase of any product or service.

By understanding the buyer's journey, the pains and the problems they experience along that journey, and the influencing factors that mold their thinking, sales professionals can better empathize with the buyer and position their offers along that path.

To help this process here's the basics of how a buyer's journey can be broken down for you to be able to better grasp what is going on. Here are the 3 stages that describe roughly how advance a buyer is along their path to making any purchase. 

Here's how to conceptualize each stage:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision

What's going on during the awareness stage?

The buyer is experiencing several things at the same time. There may be a problem or symptoms of pain and their goal is to alleviate it. At this stage, they may be looking for informational resources to more clearly understand, frame, and give a name to their problem.

What is the buyer doing during the consideration stage?

Having clearly defined and given a name to their problem and they are committed to researching and understanding all of the available approaches to solving the defined problem or opportunity.

What is the buyer doing during the decision stage?

The buyer has already decided on their solution. This could include a strategy, method, or approach. Now they will compile a list of available vendors and make a shortlist.

Conclusion: Tailor your sales process to the Buyer's Journey

Always remember, buyers, don't want to be prospected, or demoed, or closed when they're not ready. These steps add zero value, from their perspective when offered at the wrong time. This is where you can shine as a sales professional in Malaysia as you are well informed of the instances when buyers are looking for additional information about your product.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Secrets of Cold Emailing That Delivers Results


Being aware of strangers is nothing but human nature. Therefore striking up a conversation with someone you don't know can be awkward regardless of the situation - especially when the conversation is likely to meet a financial end.

Cold sales outreach can be exhausting and ineffective when you don't know what you're doing - and that's not specific to active communication like face-to-face meetings or phone calls. This applies to email too.

Sending cold emails with the hope of a better conversion of results can be difficult to pull off, but not impossible. If you have some understanding of the practice and how to do it right, you would have a better chance of succeeding.

Let's review what cold emailing is, its effectiveness, some tips and compare the practice to its vocal equivalent - cold calling.

What is cold emailing?

It's a subset of email marketing where usually a sales representative sends unsolicited emails to prospects without having previously contacted them. 

You might even have a few cold emails sitting in your inbox - some of which might be unopened, gathering dust. It's fairly common practice that several companies still employ, but just how effective is Cold Emailing?

Does cold emailing work?

It definitely can because this is a core strategy for a lot of companies. Statistically however cold emails don't convert particularly well.

It's easy for the recipient to shrug off a random email from someone they've never spoken to. After all cold emailing is similar to cold calling.

If you want to get the most of your cold email efforts here are a few pointers you should consider when you write your future cold emails.

Cold Emailing Tips

Cold emails need careful consideration and thought process. If you are targeting consistently and have put enough thought into it your cold emails are more likely to consistently deliver results.

  • Perfect your subject line
  • Make it clear why you're reaching out to them specifically
  • Use social proof and point to results
  • Keep it short, simple, and written like a human
  • Make sure your email is written with a clear intent
  • Touch on a real pain point.

Conclusion: Differences between cold calling vs. cold emailing

Cold calls have their own place and the same with cold emailing. Neither should replace the other as both offer different benefits and suit different situations. Cold calls can be more dynamic but cold emails can be more convenient and can be easily automated, tracked, and forwarded - generally more time effective.

Ultimately, you should look at these few factors before making any allocation such as timing, content, prospect's professional level, and the decision-making authority.

The best cold emails take time, research, understanding, and personalization. If you are willing to put effort into your emailing strategy, you'll more likely be able to see the results you are aiming for.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Beginner's Guide to Demand Planning


Demand planning helps you to make sure your shelves are stocked, but not overflowing. A way to ensure this is well managed is to manage sales planning and operational tactics to get the job done.

This is where demand planning comes into play.

What is Demand Planning?

Demand Planning is a way to anticipate the volume of upcoming sales. This forecast predicts and prepares sales to be prepared in what to expect as a way to ensure proper resources are available to successfully fulfill those sales.

Demand planning is an integral way to support the sales of physical products. Ways to do this include the fulfillment of purchase orders, extension of labor services, or ensuring adequate staffing.

Demand Planning vs. Demand Forecasting

Demand Planning and Demand Forecasting are two different scopes. Demand Forecasting is a necessary function of Demand Planning however, Demand Planning encompasses a much wider scope. Which includes a cross-functional collaboration between the forecast analysis, adjustment of inventory, and customer support requirements. 

Why is Demand Planning important?

Without Demand Planning, customers may have to wait much longer than expected for their products or wait too long to get help from your understaffed team. This is directly attributed to a poor customer experience. Which leads to customers being less likely to becoming repeat customers or avid referrers.

Other problems that you may face include overstaffing and overstocking which are very costly mistakes even in the short-term. 

The Process

Your most important step: Hire someone with forecasting experience

Demand Planning always carries uncertainty. No one is able to predict the future with 100% accuracy, but the big question is "by how much?".

Here are the 3 basic steps you can take to compensate for any experience that you may not have at your disposal:

  1. Collect and analyse data
  2. Define business goals
  3. Collaborate across teams

1. Collect and analysis of data

Collecting data isn't difficult but collecting 'clean' data is important to support the foundation of a strong demand planning strategy, but that data can come from a variety of different sources. This is part of the process that is also known as demand forecasting.

  • Historical Data
  • Contextual Data
  • Sales Forecasting

2. Define business goals

After analysing your data, you might come to some actionable conclusions. 

Customers will be taking more online courses this fall, and fewer in-person workshops

Historically customers have a tendency to take more classes during the winter and there are fewer in-person classes due to COVID-19. Forecasters would have already seen a drop in the in-person workshops pipeline and an increase in online sign-ups.

This would help to develop clearer business goals.

This winter, we aim to drive 90% of would-be in-person workshop attendees to our online courses.

3. Collaborate across teams.

To realistically accomplish these goals would require teamwork which requires a buy-in from leadership across multiple different departments. It's important to make sure all key stakeholders are briefed on the demands, and what their part is in meeting those demands.

Conclusion

Building for a strong sales funnel is important for any small malaysian business, but make sure you plan for your demand. Strong sales with inadequate demand planning could lead to a detrimental sales delivery.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

10 Big Steve Jobs Quotes That Will Help You Through Any Tough Spots

Regardless of whether you find Steve Jobs prophetic or poralising, Apple's late CEO had a swagger about him that not many can match. He did what not many other business leaders could. He touched many with his passion and creativity for creating beautiful and functional products. Until today his products continue to live through the legacy of Apple and the many lessons he's left the world. Here are 10 of the biggest Steve Jobs quotes that will change your life.

1. "The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do"

2. “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful...that’s what matters to me.”

3. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

4. “We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So, it better be damn good. It better be worth it.”

5. “I'm convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

6. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

7. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

8. “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

9. “My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each others’ negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts.”

10. “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.”

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

5 Ways to Find Out to Call Or Email When Selling to a Prospect in Malaysia


Your first impression will set the tone for your entire sales and negotiation outcome. There are conflicting pressures to productively make first contact with a prospect. You want to reach out enthusiasticly but you don't want to do it in an obstructive manner. Productively making first contact with any prospect is a delicate art for sales reps.

How you reach out to your prospects during the first connect makes a significant difference in response rates. The key to deciding which method to use depends on which method you feel your prospect will be most responsive to.

What's the difference between a cold email vs. a cold call?


Cold emails vs. cold calls are both effective. The difference is a matter of volume, convenience and directness. Emails are easier and less time consuming than calls, but calls are more effective when gathering a direct reponse. It's also easier to convey emotion during a call compared to a written email.

A call is inherently more personal than an email. It gets an immediate response and let's you address a prospect saying no. Calls are also more dynamic as it allows you to adjust your strategy to fit a prospect's needs as your conversation with them progresses.

However, calls do have some downsides. They are by nature intrusive. People are usually not receptive to receiving them and many will get frustrated when you use one to reach them. There's also a chance that you may get frustrated / impatient during a call when it isn't going smoothly.

Emails on the other hand lends a different strategy. They are more efficient and make it more scalable. In the time it would take to make a single call you could distribute several emails to several people. There's also an opportunity to be more visually appealing and informative with targeted content. Emails are also less intrusive and recipients tend to be more polite in their response. Emails can also be automated, tracked, and forwarded, making it easier to distribute and keep tabs on.

Emails have a downside as well. It's the risk of having your emails ignored. Some prospects receive many emails every day, and in some cases your email may also get blocked. 

To help you decide if you should reach out through phone or email, here are 5 tried and tested ways to find out whether to use a call or email when selling to a prospect for the first time in Malaysia.

1. Time / Day of the Week


Statistically phone connection rates increases as the day progresses and as the week progresses. In other words a prospect is more likely to answer their phone later in the workday and workweek. If someone doesn't reply leave a voicemail. Calling late usually is a great strategy.

2. The Ask


What's your objective for your first outreach? Is it to set up a meeting? Get some more information? Receive a referral? Categorize what you are asking for as "weak" or "strong" will help you to determine to choose between a call or email.

Strong asks require commitment and if it's a strong request you should always pick up the phone. This requires more from the prospect and you may need to employ sales skills to secure a "yes". On the other hand if the ask is weak. Draft an email. Don't let fear block you from connecting with a buyer. Reverse this equation and watch your response rates climb.

3. The Level of the Prospect


Do individual contributors have assistants? Not usually. but do C-level executives? Almost always. That is why the higher up your prospect is in an organization the more likely you are to reach a live person when you call. If individual contributors don't answer their phones, no one else is going to pick up - and they're not likely to return a call from an unknown number.

4. The Buyer Persona


Some buyer personas favor a different communication style than others. Preferences are dependent on multiple factors such as, age, nature of job, their industry, and more. Millennials prefer to communicate via email but professionals in customer-facing roles are more amenable to speaking on the phone.

5. The Deal Momentum


Are things moving along at a swift cadence? If this is so then you should not stall your deal an email will not get in the way. However, if your prospect is unresponsive or on the fence it might be faster and easier to pick up the phone.

Conclusion


Follow up. If you follow the criterias above you should be able to choose between email and a call. In our opinion, the beginning and the end of each sales engagement should be phone-heavy, since that's where the strongest asks are and in between email should work as a rule of thumb.

Friday, 19 March 2021

5 Tested Tactics That'll Get People to Buy Product


Selling to people who are already interested in what you have to offer should be straightforward. These are people we call warm and they would have likely done some initial research and have more a less decided that what you have an offer can solve that. This leaves the final push to your sales team. It's the ability to answer their questions, overcome any objections they have and bringing to light the solutions you are helping them to solve.

The best salespeople know how to quickly distinguish between prospects who are interested vs. those who are uninterested, quickly. This is an entirely possible and repeatable process. With sufficient practice of relevant skills, the empathy to understand people and well thought through plan it's likely that you will be able to get people to continue to purchase from you.

In order to persuade anyone to buy from you, first solve a problem that they have. Sell how your solution can help them from their perspective, how it can provide a valuable resource and emphasize the positive experience they will encounter. There's no right balance, but there is a fair balance between logic and emotion - which will help gently move them towards a decision.

1. Sell the dream

Not everyone you sell to will be immediately captivated by the product's features. However, one thing is certain. People always care about themselves. Help them to envision what their prospects of life might be like when they purchase from you.

Let's have a look at this. "Hi! I'm Adam from Sales Group, and I sell sales training and consulting products. I'd like to introduce my services. Is this a good time?"

Compared with this. "Hi. I've got you live on my first dial, and when you hire me, I'll teach your sales reps how to do the exact same thing."

If you sell copywriting services, you might look for errors on their website and add, "As your copywriter, I'd ensure your site (and other materials) will be 100% typo-free at all times."

2. Pique their curiosity.

Here's how you can keep their attention.

At the beginning here's what our sales reps usually say, "Before I forget, I want to ask you something related to our last conversation. Let's get into the agenda now, but will you remind me?"

At the end of the call, they'd usually respond, "Hey, what was that thing you wanted to talk to me about?" or they won't mention it. This is a great way for me to know if they were engaged and present.

3. Use past successes as your guide.

Look for trends in past successes and repeat those successful approaches with future prospects. The best answers for how to sell can usually be found from the people you have already closed.

4. Enlist your prospect as a teacher.

One of the fastest ways to earn engagement and interest is to understand the fact that your prospect wants to be respected and heard. Learn the opinion of the person you're speaking with and take that opinion seriously.

If you look at it from the perspective that we generally agree that we do not speak to strangers. However, this would not be the case if a stranger approaches you to ask for help. Use this to your advantage and find a way to get them to speak.

5. Create a sense of urgency.

We don't encourage you to use scare tactics to make a sale. There are other ways you can create urgency to get your prospect to consider your offer quickly.

  • Offer a short-term discount or incentive
  • Emphasize the immediate benefit of your product
  • Communicate scarcity

Conclusion

Make what you sell irresistible to who you sell to. There are a few different ways to sell your products and services to people who are ready to make a decision. The common thread that ties these tactics together is usually customer empathy. Appeal to your prospect for help, and you'll satisfy their desire to be heard and earn their interest in helping you close the deal - yes, it's really that straightforward, just ask for it.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

7 Steps on How to Create an SEO Strategy for your Malaysian Small Business for 2021


Search engine optimisation (SEO) isn't what it used to be. Keywords should no longer be your focus, these days the basics of SEO has changed and it's important to understand it to help your small business to thrive on search engines.

Here we'll explain the latest 2021 SEO Strategy you should adopt and how you can create your own version to boost your content marketing goals.

What is SEO Strategy?

An SEO strategy is a process of organizing a website's content by topic to improve the likelihood of you appearing in search results. This is a process you implement in order to maximize your opportunity to obtain organic search results from search engines.

It's difficult to stay focus and to stay on track, and this is where the SEO strategy will help you. It helps you to solve how your content will come to be seen in search engine result pages (otherwise known as SERPs). If your content is not organised, search engine bots will have a hard time to decipher your content and therefore make it hard for your website to be found (your page rank wouldn't be good).

Don't Forget Mobile

In today's age, there are numerous studies that have shown that more and more people today use mobile in their everyday interactions with the internet. Optimise your content and webpage to ensure that it is easily accessible through mobile. How is this important? Google now practices mobile-first indexing.

This isn't a separate process, however, there are distinct considerations for mobile SEO like page speed, responsive design, and localisation. Regardless high-quality content is a mainstay no matter which device you target for.

Here are some steps you can go over to ensure your SEO Strategy is geared for success

1. Make a list of topics

Although keywords form the foundations of SEO, however, they are no longer the only step to achieving organic growth. Today it's important to create content that is truly useful and valuable.

To start compile a list of 10 words and use an SEO tool. Do this to find out popular slightly longer keywords (short-tail keywords).

2. Make a list of long-form keywords

This is a step to take when you begin to optimize your words for specific long-form keywords (otherwise known as long-tail keywords). For every short-tail keyword identify 5 to 10 long-tail keywords that dig deeper into the original short-tail keyword.

For example, rather than just talking about SEO we write about how to conduct keyword research, optimize images for search, and other subtopics under the SEO universe.

3. Build pages for each topic

Websites rank better when they have a focus. Getting your webpage to rank for a handful of keywords is next to impossible. Ultimately the number of topics you create should coincide with your business needs and products. This will make it easier for people to discover you when they conduct a search.

4. Set up a blog

In item 3 it was noted that websites rank better when they are focused on delivering one topic per page. Blogging can be a potential game-changer for you as it is an incredible way to rank for long-tail keywords and engages with your webpage's visitors. After all, every post is a new web page and an additional opportunity to rank better SERPs result. 

5. Create a consistent blogging schedule

Every blog post or web page you create does not need to belong to a specific topic. There's value in writing about topical ideas your customers care about, and this has surprisingly helped build authority with search engine algorithms.

The secret formula is to make it a point to write an article a minimum of once a week.

6. Create a link-building plan


The first 5 steps above represented all the ways you can attract traffic on your own webpage (on-page SEO). Link building on the other hand is the process of attracting other web pages to guide visitors to your website.

7. Compress your medial file sizes


This is an often overlooked step in the SEO process and is especially important for mobile optimisation.

As your web page grows this means you will have more images, videos, and other related media. Although these assets help to retain your visitor's attention but these large files affect your page speed. Make sure you control the size of the files you upload to your site.

Conclusion


SEO is an ever-changing mechanism as search engines continue to improve on their algorithms and customers need change. Here are 5 great resources to stay up-to-date with SEO:

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Top 7 Skills Every Sales Rep in Malaysia Needs to Master in 2021


One thing about sales development has become increasingly clear. The standard process for sales reps of sending out sequenced emails, calling, leaving voicemails has developed into a dreadful rinse and repeat process - and we've noticed that this is no longer working well.

If you're new to this role, or if you're leading a new team, let's start by going back to the basics - what is sales development?

A sales development rep is a member of the sales team whose role is to focus on external prospecting, moving leads through the pipeline and qualifying leads they've connected with. Most times they don't close deals, but they help other members of the team to determine if a lead will be an ideal customer fit - or not.

Their role or measure of how well they carry out this role is often measured on their ability to move leads through the sales pipeline. Their focus is to nurture lead quality, not close deals.

Here's an ideal scenario:

The marketing team shares lead information to Sales Development reps to qualify and nurture leads until they're ready to make a purchase and Sales reps then take over to offer the right products at the right time in order to close the deal.

This is the simplest sales workflow and forms the basic operational foundation for most sales teams. 

What does this mean?

Sales development rep roles can be challenging as you navigate your way through different obstacles. And with a clear understanding of the role, here's what industry experts have cited as the top 7 skills that are essential for every sales development rep.

1. Video prospecting

Currently the buzz of the world for the past few months for food reason. This is a customized outreach in a short, two-minute max, video format. Unlike a phone call or an email, prospects get to connect with you on a more personal level without the hassle or time commitment of scheduling an online call.

You don't need to be a tech-master or an Oscar-worthy movie to star to this. Just practice being comfortable on-screen and show a genuine interest to have a meeting with the prospect.

Here's a tip:

Create a script, practice to deliver a short and engaging clip, introduce yourself, deliver value with a quick tip, and end asking to schedule a call.

The more videos you make the more efficient your workflow will be.

2. Customised Outreach

Balancing quantity and quality when prospecting can be tricky. There are two sides you want to build and maintain a healthy pipeline but on the other, you know you have to connect with the leads and this requires time. Research at Hubspot shows that there seems to be a shift - the most successful reps are actually slowing down spending more time on outreach and connecting with fewer prospects.

Here's a great balanced outreach example:

Hi [name],

I hope this email finds you well! I wanted to reach out to you because based on my research on LinkedIn, it seems you're heading marketing initiatives that focus on the overall growth strategy for [company name].

After doing some research on [company name], a bunch of things stood out to me as reasons to have a conversation about how inbound marketing & Hubspot cold help.

  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3

Any interest in connecting sometime this week? Feel free to book 15 minutes with me here.

Thanks in advance,

[Your name]

3. Active listening

Here's the biggest distinction between you and a chatbot. A chatbot may be able to qualify a lead. It's the interaction between you and a prospect that's genuine, helpful, not robotic and not forced.

It does not matter what you sell, it's how highly attuned you are to certain phrases that indicate whether a prospect could be a good fit for your product. You should focus on gathering valuable information that will help move your prospect further along your sales pipeline as opposed to just ticking off lead qualification boxes.

4. Follow-up

Ideally speaking on the phone is the best option, but we've found voicemail to be the next-best option. If you leave quality voicemails you'll at least have a chance to receive a callback but if you don't leave any voicemails your probability of getting any callback diminishes significantly

Here's a great example:

Hi, I'm [name] from [company]. I would like to speak with you about [strategy]. Give me a call back at [number].

5. Organisation

The process can vary from person to person, but the key is to stay organised. Whether you choose to write out your to-do list or to use a calendar management tool to create your schedule, creating a strict schedule will help you master the cadence for outreach and keep you in line with your prospects.

6. Relationship-building

Your primary objective is to prime a prospect for the sale before turning them over to the closer for a close. Build genuine relationships with prospects and build trust. You must be able to communicate with a wide variety of people across multiple different channels. The key is you want to make sure that you communicate your points and ideas while keeping them engaged.

7. Overcoming objections

This is one skill that has survived through the times and is a great asset for any sales development rep. Overcoming objections is a skill that most reps get better at over time because they've come to understand all the solutions their business provides and have seen them work in creative ways. This skill is very critical but a great way to go around this is to prepare some basic objection answers and help you along the way.

Conclusion

We're confident that these skills will improve your performance. It's simple to understand but the key is to put this into consistent practice. 

Monday, 1 March 2021

5 Benefits of Finding an Ecommerce Niche in Malaysia


Online retail giants such as Lazada, Shopee, Mudah.my sell everything from books to diapers. Seeing their success, it's difficult to imagine how specializing in one category can make your online business more profitable.

Lazada and Shopee are successful because they have extensive resources and strong funding. Everything from staffing to warehousing, they have the bandwidth to efficiently manage a very large inventory.

Selling only one product helps you to save significantly on operational costs while allowing you to focus your resources on building a unique brand. Below, let's take a look at the benefits of finding a niche - with real-life examples to help you visualize how you can do the same for your ecommerce business too.

1. Extract more value from your marketing and advertising.

Targeting a specific audience usually results in a lower ad spend. This is because the smaller your audience the less you'll spend as a whole. A great example of this is when you create any Google Ads campaign. You can either choose more expensive, highly-searched keywords or more specific long-tail keywords. "Shoes" have approximately 1.1 million global monthly searches whereas, "women's shoes" have approximately 25,000 global monthly searches. Knowing your customer identifies great opportunities because if anyone who's searching for "shoes" could end-up with results they are not likely looking for.

Great long-tail keywords should be specific and answer key questions people are looking at (depending on where they are in their purchase journey). In our example, this would mean, "women's waterproof hiking boots" which have approximately 450 global searches. 

2. There is less competition

Here's one way you can beat Lazada / Shopee at their game. Do this by focusing on a key niche, because there are generally fewer brands in your space. This means more people will focus on you instead of a general "have-it-all" competitor.

For example, in the hair accessory niche, products can be very specific and wooden hair forks are a great example of an extremely niche marketplace. These generally do well as there are little to no competition within this niche.

3. Your customers will be more loyal to you

You can inspire brand loyalty with little effort, because you're solving specifically for your customers' needs with your product, meaning they will automatically feel loyal to your brand. Rather than appealing to a mass audience, you're appealing to that specific buyer. And if your product is the only one of its kind, your buyers will continuously look to you as a supplier.

Consider large online retailers such as Lazada or Shopee. It's common to switch from one to the other depending on what's most convenient. There's very little loyalty, but this wouldn't be the case if you find a niche for your online business because your value proposition is unique to your brand and product, customers are likely to come back to you, not to your competitor.

4. You can charge more for your products

Being in a niche usually means you have a unique product that solves a specific problem. This means you can charge more for it - especially if it's produced in small batches, by hand, or in a sustainable manner.

5. You can operate on a lean budget

Most tasks can be automated or run with limited staff. With a smaller inventory you'll be saving in storage and operational costs.

Conclusion

Choose the right ecommerce niche and with the new normal it's essential for retailers to be flexible, adaptable and prepared to pivot as and when necessary to ensure their current and future success. Whatever niche you ultimately choose, take your time to study the market and understand your target audience before you dive in.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

3 Recap Email Templates to Use After Connecting with Your Prospect


You've just had a productive call with your prospect. But what are your next steps? Do you register your meeting notes in your CRM and move on to your next task for the day?

A fundamental step in your post-call routine that you might be missing is sending a recap email. A recap email after a connection with your prospect is one way to keep the conversation/discussion you've had with your prospect at the top of your mind and reinforces the next steps in 3 important ways:

Emails crystalize the highlights of your meeting. This is a great way to reinforce the key takeaways from the meetings and increases the likelihood of the prospect remembering the main points of the discussion.

Gives you the chance to confirm the next steps. This is a great way for you to reference a specific date and time for your next meeting. This serves as a way to remind the prospect and motivates them to add this to their calender. 

Add value. You can dive deeper into your prospect's situation, goals, and pain points to get a better sense of how you can help them. Every recap message is an opportunity to provide a tip or offer a relevant resource.

3 Recap Email Templates to Use After Connecting with Your Prospect

1. Call recap

Connect calls are typically used to establish a relationship with the buyer and are relatively brief. In your follow-up email reiterate the main challenge or objective you have identified and some relevant advice. Attach a useful piece of content if you have one.

Template example:

Hi [name]

Thanks for sharing about your role at [company name] earlier today -- not to mention, speaking about [rapport building point]

To recap, you're currently [struggles to achieve what goal]. I'm suggesting [strategy or quick tip]. Here are some resources attached that cover [this topic], which may also be of help.

Let me know if I can answer any questions about this content and/or my recommendations. I'm looking forward to speaking to you again on [date and time].

Best,

[Your name]

2. Touch base recap

You're not always going to be following up with a prospect after a lengthy call or pitch meeting. However, it is still equally important to send a follow-up email after the call to answer questions or see how they're progressing in the process.

Don't skimp on these emails. Offer as much content and value as you would after a demo, and reinforce that you're always happy to answer more questions.

Template example:

Hi [name],

I really enjoyed answering your questions this morning and taking a deeper dive into how we can help you overcome [challenges discussed].

Here's [resource #1 and #2] that demonstrate how we can help you boost [goal] and solve [your challenge].

Looking forward to our next meeting on [date and time]. In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions.

Regards,

[Your name]

3. Meeting recap

Your post-discover email should tell the buyer you're on the same page so they feel confident enough to move forward. Summarize the most important things you've learned from the conversation: their high-level challenges, the tactical suggestions you've provided and the mutually agreed-upon next steps.

Template example:

Hi [name],

Thanks for a great conversation today. We discussed the [obstacles you're facing in X area, progress you're hoping to make with Y initiative, changes you're implementing to Z], specifically:

  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3

I'm linking to more information on these points and potential solutions.

As mentioned the next step is [recommendation]. I look forward to our next meeting on [date and time].

Regards,

[Your name]

Conclusion

A concisely well-written recap email helps buyers to keep track of the main points of your sales discussion and it also looks more organised. Which may boost your prospect's confidence in you. And this doesn't take much time or money to do. Just 10-minutes to improve your prospect's sales experience with you.

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

3 Creative Chinese New Year Marketing Ideas


This is the year of the ox. Happy Chinese New Year from everyone at EVERWORKS. ‘Niu’ (which is Chinese for ‘Ox’ for us non-native speakers) ushers in unconventional ways of celebrating the Lunar New Year. For many, red money packets are replaced with online transfers, family reunions are smaller and held in private, and traditional yee sang’s are delivered by Grab riders instead of waiters in restaurants. Yet despite these changes – the excitement to leave a year marred by a global pandemic remains high. While the Year of the Rat was fast, hard and active; the Chinese Zodiac foresees the year of the Ox to bring positivity, honesty and hard work. According to Chinese astrologers, the traits of the Ox, such as diligence, persistence, and altruism will be greatly rewarded in the coming year. Here are some of the ways the traits of an Ox can carry us through yet another uncertain year.

Here are 3 creative content marketing ideas to boost up your marketing campaigns

1. Encourage user-generated content

Celebrate Chinese New Year with your audiences by encouraging the to create and share festive-themed content. 

This can be a related challenge for the first Chinese New Year in Malaysia that's from home and without visitations!

If developing a website or app is beyond your budget you can try some of these ideas:

  1. Come up with a social campaign through your owned social channels or
  2. You can trigger a Chinese New Year-themed email campaign or
  3. You can plan for an SMS Marketing campaign

2. Create an Awesome Live Video

Did you know that live video is one of the biggest trends moving forward into the #newnormal?

Businesses used to deliberate the relevance of producing videos due to the heavy costs of production, but with the dawn of the internet and ever-increasing tools from apps the cost vs the popularity of video has proven to be an avenue that most businesses can explore now.

In fact, people appreciate raw, in-the-moment footage. Take that self vlogs covering everyday life to be one of the biggest trends in YouTube currently. You can show how your business is going about festivities amidst the pandemic situation. Also, a great way to showcase your company culture!

3. Provide useful content for your customers

Festivals can be stressful occassions. The 15 days of Chinese New Year, and all the preparations that lead up to it, especially during the pandemic of COVID-19. From not knowing where to get food to having to juggle the kids while working from home!

Your customers will surely appreciate the content that will make their lives easier and your customers with their Chinese New Year planning by offering tutorials, guides, and templates! You can even take it one step further by preparing custom made sets that make it easy for them to prepare for Chinese New Year.

Conclusion

Get creative and your customers will remember you for it. In this ever saturated advertising market place festive discounts and promotions are nice to have but predictable and not very exciting. If you want your marketing campaign to stand out this Chinese New Year, get creative and try one of these holiday marketing ideas!

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

5 Important Sales Metrics You Should Track


In today's age, there's an abundance of data. And even with today's latest tools helping us to measure everything there's a lot to digest. Just which metrics should you be focusing on when there is an endless list of metrics, reports and data points collected.

This can be overwhelming, and when you're overwhelmed, it can be difficult to analyze the data, interpret it and make the right decision. So here's where things take an interesting turn. Is there a solution to the overwhelming data. Rather than tracking everything it would make the most sense to track only the important things.

Performance metrics are a measure of a business or employees' tasks and activities. They are often quantified and measured over time. These metrics are tracked and ranges are selected to identify what is an ideal performance.

Businesses use performance metrics to determine if their outcomes align with the goals that were set. Usually if a performance metric falls below the range that was set, this may indicate underperformance, whereas, if the outcome falls on the range or above it the business is deemed to be meeting its goals or exceeding them.

Metrics are important because they help you to evaluate your performance and inform your decision making.

Choosing the "right" metrics depend on various factors such as your sales organization, industry or company. We've found these 5 metrics to have the tendency of holding impotance to sales leaders across the board.

Here are the 5 most important sales metrics you should definitely be tracking to skyrocket your sales.

1. Percentage of sales teams hitting their quota

Attainment of quota means that the percentage of salespeople meeting or exceeding their targets tell you whether your quotas are set too high or low. As a general rule of thumb, your quotas may be unrealistic if less < 60% of your salespeople are hitting their allocated quotas. On the flipside it could also mean that you need to hire better salespeople. One other area that is often underlooked isn't the target or the team, but it could be the compensation plan. 

2. Average deal size

Average deal size is calculated by dividing total number of deals by the total dollar amount of those deals.

When measuring this metric on a monthly or quarterly basis tells you whether your contracts are getting larger, smaller, or staying the same. If you're trying to move upmarket, you want the average deal size to increase. If you're trying to land more small businesses you want this number to go down (however your number of customers to go up)

Average deal size can also help you to spot potentially risky deals. Let's say one of your salespeople adds an opportunity which is 4x larger than the normal ones you usually track, you should expect the probability of closing to be lower and the sales process will likely take longer.

3. Conversion rate

This measures how many leads that actually convert and ultimately become customers. For example if you have 500 leads per month and on average 50 buy your product your conversion rate is 10%.

This metric will help you to calculate how many leads you need to make to reach your revenue targets. Historical conversion rates also show whetther your reps are becoming more effective. Keep in mind that your win rate will probably reduce as you move upmarket but will increase as you shift to small businesses.

4. Revenue

Revenue is your most important KPI. Although gross income might seem to be a relatively simple metric, it can be often be overlooked.

On the other hand for subscription businesses you should track revenue based on a recurring basis either monthly or annually. 

Break down in these 3 ways to see more about your revenue metric:

  1. Percentage of new business
  2. Percentage of upsell/cross-sell/expansion
  3. Percentage of renewal

Depending your goals, growing each of these will differ from time to time.

5. Sales funnel leakage

This tells how many prospects have dropped out of your funnel. To determine your leaky points track stage-by-stage conversion rates. At different stages of your sales process you can learn different areas to improve.

For example, if 40% of new prospects agree to a discovery but half of these make it to the demo stage, but just 5% end up buying. This difference between the demo and buying can lead to a few different inferences. 

  1. Your salespeople are not qualified enough
  2. Your salespeople are giving bad demos
  3. Your salespeople are negotiating poorly.
  4. Your product does not meet the demands of the market.

Conclusion

By finding and improving on these weak points you can dramatically improve your sales results by at least 50%.

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

6 Ways to Ask for a Referral from a Potential Client


New customer acquisition remains a big problem of the sales puzzle that all salespeople are hard at work prospecting for. You have an opportunity to do this by asking for customer referrals. Multiple studies have shown that customers acquired through referral require less investment and have a higher potential for retention and loyalty.

Here are the big questions how do you go about breaking the ice with your customers to ask them for help? Is there a way to network to them to help you without being awkward? In this blog post you'll learn how to identify potential referral opportunities by asking for customer feedback and how to ask for those referrals once you've identified good candidates.

How to Use Customer Feedback as a Way for You to Identify Referral Opportunities

Knowing which clients are happiest with you will increase your likelihood of winning a referral. Here are some tips for going about it:

1. Identify your advocates.

One of the best ways to identify potential customer advocates that's commonly practised by the marketplace is to use the Net Promoter Score survey to help make the process a little easier.

2. Follow up with your promoters.

Sending a survey isn't enough. You need to follow up with potential advocates and keep the positive momentum rolling along. Best way to engage with your promoters are to get in touch with them personally and to understand what they are currently going through.

3. Use feedback and testimonials for referrals

Customers are more likely to trust your brand early on if they have social proof of your expertise and your testimonials. Case studies are one of your most powerful assets. A great way to gain feedback is by just asking.

4. Build Value first, then ask

There is nothing wrong with asking for customer referrals immediately after closing the deal, however we wouldn't recommend it. Rather we recommend to wait until after you've successfully completed your service and delivered unparalleled value to your customers.

5. Don't treat referrals like cold calls

Referrals are not cold leads. We recommend entering into a conversation with a referral with a much friendlier tone. Play up the relationship with you have with the referrer and act like you're already in your inner circle.

6. Offer incentives for referrals.

Performing great customer service, but sometimes it's still not enough to convince them to do referrals. It's time to incentivize your customers. 

Conclusion

Often small businesses overlook the option of focusing their sales efforts into referrals. This is a viable option and can be a source of sales that draws the highest retention rates and at lower costs.