The Marketer’s Guide to Collaborating with Salespeople

(In Part 1 of this series, we addressed the marketer’s needs vs. the designer’s needs. Part 2 explored the marketer’s needs as compared to the developer’s.)

Marketing and sales are two related, yet completely different, functions.

Marketers focus on theoretical strategies about buying behavior. Salespeople close the deal and bring in revenue.

Marketers experiment with various advertising techniques. Salespeople work directly with prospects to convert them into customers.

It’s important to understand your salesperson’s needs and how they compare with a marketer’s needs. And it’s even more crucial to understand how they can work together to help your business succeed.

What Marketers Need From Salespeople

Marketers are strategy oriented. Their job entails creating the advertising plan and discovering the most viable ways to implement it. They are responsible for exciting the target market and priming prospects for buying.

Marketers want:

  • Specific input and feedback from the sales field.
  • Materials salespeople can use to positively impact prospect conversion rates.
  • Technically sound marketing materials that salespeople can’t ruin. (You’ve probably heard horror stories about poorly modified PowerPoint presentations. A bad presentation negatively impacts your brand.)
  • Time to experiment and manipulate ad elements,and test their effectiveness.
  • Salespeople who recognize the difference between features and benefits.

The biggest challenge for marketers is to make their theoretical approaches timely, understandable and practical for salespeople  

What Salespeople Need from Marketers

Salespeople have face to face contact with your customers, and they have their own perspectives about what makes a prospect buy.

After your ad campaign has gone forth, your salesforce must represent that your marketing claims are true.  Then they must convince prospects to part with their cash.

There are sales quotas to meet and time is of the essence, so salespeople want:

  • Marketing collateral that comes ready-made. Salespersons like to hit the ground running. Just give them some sales sheets and business cards so they can get going. They’re in the moment and need great visuals to close those sales.
  • Specific information about the product. Your salespeople should learn all the details about your product. That knowledge offers solutions when prospects have questions. Product knowledge builds trust. People buy from you if they trust you.
  • The ability to create or modify sales products. Salespeople encounter many questions in the field. For example, a prospect may want to know how to use your product in a new way. Materials that can be adapted on the spot will show your versatility.
  • Current advertising media. Sales can be negatively impacted by ad materials that still carry your old logo. Your salesforce shouldn’t promote new products with old marketing materials. Your media should also keep pace with new software releases.
  • An understanding of features vs. benefits. Features are specifics like embedded social media or ecommerce solutions. Benefits are valuable results such as building social connections or reaching consumers globally. Your best salespeople recognize what’s most important to each prospect, features or benefits, and use that knowledge to close the sale.

Achieving Sales and Marketing Consensus

Marketers don’t want salespeople messing up their ad media, but they should be open to the feedback salespeople bring from direct experience with prospects.

Populr combines quality design, sound marketing and sales strategy, and solid development. It creates a winning solution from all points of view:

  • Marketing. Populr creates a multi-media platform in professionally rendered one-page formats. These pages can be branded and customized for any product, service, or marketing strategy.
  • Development. Our developers have worked hard to create a great user interface. The responsive layouts are simple to modify and adapt easily to your content.
  • Sales. Populr’s pages are technology’s exciting, mobile, and interactive answer to the printed sales sheet.

Selling your product or service will only see success when all of these perspectives can find harmony.

Luckily, Populr has something for everyone.

Each of your team members will have their needs met, while also creating seamless collaboration with their peers. That kind of teamwork will positively impact your business growth and make things much easier along the way.

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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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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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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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Free Unlimited POPs

By: Justin Chesney

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you, you read that title correctly. If the best things in life are free, imagine how great unlimited free things are! In addition to improving our free plan and the sign-up process, we’ve also added new functionality when sending POPs via email.

Here are the full details about what’s new…

Updated sign-up process

All new users now start with a 14 day free Pro trial so they can experience all the great features that make Populr, well… popular. This means access to POP tracers, private POP sharing, open notifications, and more. (more…)

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Pops look great on the go—Populr is now mobile optimized

Last week, we released a bunch of awesome updates to Populr. You’ve probably noticed our hot new homepage—check it out, if you haven’t already—but you might not know about the biggest & best new feature.

Published pops are now optimized for mobile devices! This means that your pops will look great whether your audience sees them on smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktops. More people than ever will be able to access and engage with your message—this is what micro-publishing is all about!

 

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Pops are specially styled to look great on mobile devices

 

As an added bonus, we polished up our email notifications. Now when you email a link to your pop from the Publish screen, that email will look much nicer on mobile devices.

This is just the first of many big features we have planned for this year. It’s going to be fun, and we’re glad to have you with us. Keep on poppin’!

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Big Props To Nibletz For A Great Write-Up On Populr :)

Nashville Startup Populr.Me Could Be A Game Changer

(Source: http://nibletz.com/) Check out article here!

Tennessee has some great startups. We saw a slew of them this past weekend during 48 Hour Launch, you can check out all of that coverage here.  Now we move our coverage of startups “everywhere else” east to Nashville.

There’s a startup in Nashville called Populr.me which is bubbling under the radar. Populr.me is a self publishing platform that the company dubs a “Personalized One Page” or pop. They were aiming for a Q1 release, right now they are currently doing a beta sign up on their home page.

From what we can tell Populr.me’s POP platform has a variety of uses. You can use it for your resume and include multimedia.  On the other end of that spectrum, companies can use it to build a one page for welcoming new employees, or a flier page for talking about a company event.

The company’s motto is “Richer than email and Faster than a website”. While there are plenty of self publishing platforms, Populr.me seems to offer simplicity and quickness as their top selling points. There isn’t a service out there that allows for this quick, one page publishing. Sure you can set up a Blogger blog or Word Press blog in just a few minutes but you have to fidget with themes, produce content, figure out what plugins you want for multimedia and then you can publish.

The Nashville based startup was founded by CEO Nicholas Holland and the rest of the team includes Jared Scheel (Chief Product Officer) and Daniel Nelson (Chief Technology Officer). A couple of weeks back the company tweeted that someone in their beta test had embedded a Starbucks gift card, pretty neat stuff.

Some folks around the web have compared Populr.me to popular site about.me. I think the concepts are inherently different. About.me is my one online destination site to link all my links in the world. Of course it can include my resume and other things, but it’s not the same. Populr.me is going to allow the user to make a resume page, or maybe a birthday party page, an invitation, all kinds of other easy to use tasks.

Nashville music and technology entrepreneur Mark Montgomery, is an investor in Populr.me because he feels that the service could be “a game changing venture that could boost Nashville’s position on the digital map” that according to Getahn Ward at the Tennessean.

Linkage:

Sign up for Populr.me mailing list and beta here

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” check out these stories from “everywhere else” (there’s a lot of Memphis in there right now)

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