3 Ways To Personalize Your Sales Process

Most conversations about online sales and marketing revolve around the seller. How do we best present ourselves, our product, and our pitch?

Yet, the best salespeople aren’t thinking about themselves at all.

The best online salespeople are thinking about how to make a potential customer feel more like a person.

According to Monetate.com, “40% of consumers buy more from retailers who personalize the shopping experience.” This means that 40% of your potential customers spend their money with those who treat them like a person instead of just another faceless customer.

With that in mind, here are 3 painless ways to personalize your sales process for your customers that any company can execute. As you’ll quickly see, the key is to find small ways to improve every stage of your prospect’s experience, from the first point of contact to the last.

1. Take Your Sales Tracking To the Next Level

By tracking your prospect’s activity with Populr, you can easily see if they’ve opened the materials you emailed them and how long they’ve spent reading it. You’ll know if they read your emails and pages and if they downloaded any attached files. A tool like this makes your followup far more intelligent because you can tailor your responses based on where they are in your sales process.

Populr Overview

For example, you can easily track whether or not your prospect opened, viewed and download your proposal after a few days. If they haven’t opened it, you can send  them a quick reminder to review your proposal. If they did check it out, you can see exactly what they looked at on Populr Analytics and for how long. That way you know what they’re interested in and how to tailor your follow up email or call.

You’ll notice in the example of Populr’s analytics below, you can scroll over each email on the left and see the individual analytics for each person that visited the page. You can also see where they clicked how and much time they spent.

Populr Email analytics

2. Don’t Rely on the Contract to do the Selling

Prospects want to have a tangible picture in their mind of what they can expect from you.  Instead of including a list of deliverables in a proposal or contract, give them a peek of what’s on the other side.  Show them the deliverables they can expect as soon as they sign the contract. You can give them a standardized template that walks them through the first month of working together.

This positions you as a partner instead of a vendor, and it’ll also show your prospects that you are always a step ahead.

Here’s a simple, web-based onboarding template from Populr that you can easily personalize and share with new prospects.

Populr onboarding

3. Surprise and Delight

One way to improve your customers’ experience and create advocates  is something you can start doing right now.  And it doesn’t cost a penny.  Find small ways to go those extra couple feet, not even the extra mile. Even a small, meaningful interaction with the client can make all the difference. Or as Napolean Hill says it, “people buy personalities and ideas much more quickly than they buy merchandise.”

Here are a few examples:

Add a little personality to your emails. Check out this email below from Nuts.com. Notice all of the places they squeezed in their personality in what would have been a boring product delivery confirmation email.

Populr personality email

Give small and unexpected gifts to clients. You don’t have to be Zappos to empower your salespeople to make someone’s day. Something small like a $5 gift card to Starbucks (below) or an unexpected discount can turn a one-time buyer into a life-long customer and advocate.

Populr thank you page

Your documents and processes shouldn’t remove you from your prospects, they should free up time so you can focus on serving your prospects. If you’re looking to create deeper connections with your prospects, start with these three simple steps in your sales process. Then watch how they can spread throughout the entire lifecycle of the client.

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11 Free Templates To Make Your Work Faster and Easier

What are we really talking about when we talk about templates?

Processes? Leverage?

When we talk about templates, we’re really talking about ways we can make our business more efficient so we can scale and grow. We’re talking about spending less time on the repetitive tasks to enable us to focus on what matters.

Creating the right templates in your business will help your team to be more efficient and reduce the number of mistakes made throughout your entire organization.

Here’s three quick reasons templates accomplish that:

Keep priorities.

When working with a template, you can spend your creative energy and critical thinking on what needs to be done next, rather than the arbitrary craft of design and layout.

Scale quickly.

Once a template is created or copied, you and your team can repurpose it quickly to reach various audiences.

Increase professionalism.

Just as letterhead brands a company via snail mail, so does a shared template via the web. Sharing a template with your team will keep your brand consistency throughout the organization. Nothing will shred your credibility faster than inconsistent branding.

That’s why at Populr, our quest to put the power of the web in non-technical business people’s hands is so important.

Here are 11 templates that will help streamline your work. Look through each of the web-based templates below to see which one’s you need. Then, just click the image to start editing one of our free Populr templates and create your own!

1. Proposals

Proposals tend to get complicated quickly. They need to be updated constantly and you can have multiple variations for each of your services. That’s why it’s so important to have one central place for the different types of proposals your company uses to allow your salespeople to create variations of those templates while keeping brand consistency.

 

Populr proposal

 

2. Internal Updates

Internal updates are critical for keeping your team in the know. If you already use a project management tool, internal updates are helpful for creating a quick big picture view while your project management software deals with the weeds.

Populr internal updates

3. Profile pages

A profile page template  is a great way to position yourself if you work in multiple industries. You can create several variations of one template for each industry you work in, giving client specific examples and information in their niche. This is an excellent way to set yourself apart from the competition.

Populr profile page

4. Case Studies

Case study templates are simple outlines that anyone creating a case study knows what information they need to gather from a project. Don’t forget how your prospects read case studies. They never just read one, they are usually read several case studies at a time. Ensuring you have consistent information across each case study can be the difference between getting the contract and looking like an amateur.

Populr case studies

5. Press Kits

The Press Kit Template is especially important for brand consistency. This is a template that can be used over and over again for specific PR campaigns as well as generic press kits that only get updated occasionally. Be prepared to create these on the fly for PR opportunities that come up unexpectedly.

Populr press kit

6. Email Newsletters 

Newsletters are something we are all familiar with and hopefully have a template for. What we love about Populr is that you can send a POP as a newsletter which makes it extremely simple to update segment of your email list and at the same time, update your social networks with the content.

Populr newsletter

 

7. Thank you pages

It’s sad but a genuine thank you is a rarity in a lot of businesses these days. It doesn’t take much to  to express a small amount of gratitude with a customizable page and even something like a Starbucks gift card attached to it. How would you react if someone emailed you this? Use a Thank You Page Template as a follow up to prospect meetings and recognizing your best clients.

Populr thankyou

8. Job Descriptions

This is another template that can quickly get complicated if you don’t have a system to organize your different job descriptions. Your job descriptions can be the first impression to new hires you’re trying to recruit.  They should be organized in a place that makes it easy to customize, update and send them.

Populr job description

9. Events

If your customers don’t know about the events you are putting on, you probably have a bottleneck in your event promotion process. One commonality we’ve seen is that most of the event pages can only be created by graphic designers. That’s why we recommend taking that off their plate using something simple like Populr to create event pages so anyone in your company can do it.

 

Populr marketing event

10. Promotions

Promotional templates can vary across department and activity but one thing is critical. They need to be easily accessible anytime and anywhere for your company and your prospects. Creating templates for your promotions can give clarity to your marketing messages and reduce on necessary back-and-forth approval time.

Populr promotions

11. Onboarding & Next steps

What happens after your client signs a contract?  You may know but they probably don’t. Having a easy step-by-step template you can send them so they know what to expect can turn a new client into a lifelong customer in advocate for your business.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 2.47.52 PM

 

Don’t reinvent the wheel the next time you create a proposal. Spend your time and your colleagues time communicating more effectively and quickly with this set of free templates.

 

 

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3 Reasons Your Sales Emails Aren’t Being Read

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According to recent studies, email is still 40 times more effective for sales than Facebook or Twitter.

40 times!

Even in the face of Gmail’s inbox tabs and applications like Unroll.me keeping your mass emails at a distance, email for salespeople isn’t going away anytime soon.

However, the more we (at Populr) work with sales professionals, the more we realize that very few people have mastered the art of using email to turn a prospect into a customer.

So, let’s talk about 3 reasons your sales emails are being ignored.

1. LONG & BORING EMAILS.

According to studies, the average recipient will spend no longer than 20 seconds reading your email. This means that you have 20 seconds to either inform and direct them or bore them into becoming just another failed statistic.

Here are a few suggestions to immediately catch their eye and hold their attention:

  • • Captivating subject lines
  • • Readable in 15 seconds or less
  • • Direct calls to action | For more info, read Increase click-thru rates.

Of course, a shorter email often means you can’t say everything you need to say. And, as we are about to find out, attachments aren’t going to help either. (more…)

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How To Become a Better Salesperson

Whether it’s a pair of shoes or a personal reputation in your community, everyone is selling something. Some get paid for it. Some don’t. However, if you want to succeed in the marketplace, theres one thing that is non-negotiable: you must learn to sell better.

Here are nine bonafide ways to become a better salesperson.

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1. Don’t be a salesperson. Be a consultant.

Change the way you see yourself. You’re not an employee trying to earn commision. You’re not a salesman trying to get a sale. You’re a consultant – a good one at that – trying to solve client’s problems.

If you can go into your prospect’s business with the mindset that you are going to help them solve their problems instead of sell them something, your focus will be completely different.

You will listen more than you talk.

You will probe to fully understand the prospect and their situation before offering any advice. You will give them objective advice instead of merely focusing on your company’s specific solution. (more…)

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Send Easy to build Newsletters with Populr

The process of setting up a newsletter can be daunting. Deciding on the right template, formatting the message for the best results in specific email clients, web email, and mobile devices, can be a giant barrier to someone who wants to just email regular content to a set of contacts.

Web pages have so many uses and you know creating one using Populr is so simple — we’ve now made it easy to send an email of your Populr page to a group of people.  Let’s look at how that’s done.

Step 1: Create & Publish a Populr Page

If you’ve been using Populr, you’ve probably already got this step covered, so feel free to skip ahead to Step 2.  Need a refresher? Let’s watch the video below:

(more…)

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Sell Your Stuff in an Easy to Setup Online Store

Do you have stuff you’d like to sell or market?  Maybe you’re in a band and you want to promote or sell your music downloads, or your self-screened t-shirts?  Maybe you’re crafting and you want to sell your knitted cosplay-inspired winter cap?  Maybe you’re marketing a new service and you want to give away a PDF-information sheet in exchange for a potential customer’s email address.

Making your stuff available online can be easier-said-than-done.  Let’s change that right now. 

Quick Setup:

If you’re already signed up with Populr.me, follow these quick steps:

Step 1: Watch this video:

(more…)

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Our Intern Uses Populr to Land Highly Competitive Interviews

Our Intern Uses Populr to Land Highly Competitive Interviews

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Capture Information with Populr

Micro-publishing isn’t just about distributing content; you can also use it to collect feedback. Deliver surveys, capture emails, and receive files in a more professional way. Populr allows you to capture all sorts of feedback from your audience with a personalized one-pager.

Capture Emails. Use Populr as a squeeze page or splash page for the purpose of capturing emails. Refer to this POP for tips on capturing emails using Mailchimp, Googleforms, and Jotform.

Leverage the flexibility of Google Forms. Use it to deliver a survey, plan your events, and collect other types of information (learn more about the edit options). From here all you need to do is copy the embed code and paste into Populr ‘embed’ item. I know, pretty darn easy :).

Receiving files in a web page has never been easier. Allow your audience to upload directly to your Dropbox. Way more professional than receiving files in an email.  Learn more in this POP.

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Software Development as a Game

Behavior driven development (BDD) has a lot of benefits (less developer time spent context switching, automated regression test suites, etc.), but by far the biggest benefit is what it does for developers tackling daunting problems.

As I started tackling a sprawling problem yesterday, it could have felt overwhelming. But BDD provided a systematic process to isolate subsets of the problem and to break those down into discrete steps. And because of the red-green-refactor discipline, I immediately started receiving positive affirmation.

BDD essentially creates a game wherein the developer sets an achievable goal—by writing the next few specs—and then achieves that goal—by writing the code that makes those specs go green. The goals are discrete, they are measurably achievable, and they naturally lead the developer through the various strata of specificity, so that the depth of a particular problem is gradually discovered:

  1. I need to be able to do X
  2. write specs that describe what I will see when I have X
  3. write the code to make the specs pass
  4. while writing code, encounter something X needs to know about or do in order to achieve the behavior defined in step 2
  5. in X’s specs, mock the behavior discovered in step 4 so that X’s specs can pass without that new functionality
  6. step 4 revealed the next need…plug that into step 1 and repeat the process

BDD is a process that tackles complex problems by breaking them down into discrete sub-problems. It draws the developer on a guided path of discovery about what is needed to solve those sub-problems. It solves each discrete problem along the way. And it rewards the developer at every step with the satisfaction of goal achieved. As far as “gameification” of work goes, that is hard to beat.

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