Technology for Successful Sales Enablement [Infographic]

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There’s that term again: sales enablement. While the sales process is important, it’s also important that we have the right tools in place to facilitate the process and drive conversions. Having the right technology is imperative to making sales enablement work.

We worked with the team at TinderBox to develop an infographic that dives into the different tools at each stage of the sales process, including:

♦ Lead Nurturing
♦ Lead Prospecting
♦ Lead Qualification
♦ Sales Support
♦ Sales Positioning
♦ Closing the Deal
♦ Capturing Payment
♦ Capturing Feedback

All of these different steps need to be facilitated by a sales enablement process, but also a tool that will integrate the different steps so that everyone is on the same page. Tracking is important, capturing is essential, and workflow is the foundation for a successful sales enablement model.

Which of tools do you use in your own organization? Share your experience and thoughts in the comments section below.

Technology-For-A-Successful-Sales-Enablement-Model-mod

How to Build a Data Center [Infographic]

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I absolutely love working with Doug Theis, VP of Sales, and the team at Lifeline Data Centers. Knowing nothing about how a data center works, their team has helped educate us at DK New Media and other businesses in the Midwest on what model is right for you to protect your data.

When we began working with Lifeline, we thought it would be a great idea to explain how to build a data center so that people, like me, could have a better understanding of how it works and why they’re viable. We even developed a virtual tour of the Lifeline Data Centers facility, courtesy of our awesome developer, Stephen.

Check Out the Virtual Tour of Lifeline Data Centers

Do you house your own data? Or do you have an outsourced solution like Lifeline Data Center? Share your thoughts below!

How to Build a Data Center Infographic

Closing the Gap Between Sales & Marketing Through Sales Enablement [Infographic]

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The sales process is continually changing with the dynamic nature of technology and marketing. Over the past decade, the idea of sales enablement has come to light, and, as marketers and sales people, we have to change with it.

Before we can change our process, we have to identify the current problems with it. Our client, TinderBox, created a list of problems that enterprise businesses face every day:

♦ 70% of respondents said that there greatest sales challenge when closing the revenue gap is developing an effective sales process and having it executed properly.
♦ 53% of respondents said it was problems with consistent messaging.
♦ 41% said it was organizational alignment.

What’s worse is that the sales cycle is 22% longer than it was 5 years ago. Seriously? We have more technology and software than we ever had before, and now we’ve extended the sales cycle? We really need to step up our game, folks.

Why Sales Enablement is the Solution

Sales enablement helps us define and refine the process to eliminate costs. Get rid of duplicate content. Have an effective training program. Create content that speaks to your messaging. We can create great content all day long, but if sales and marketing aren’t speaking, then what’s the point? Let’s drive conversions instead of just visits.

How have you implemented sales enablement within your organization?

The State of Mobile Content Marketing

The State of Mobile Content Marketing [Infographic]

Posted by | Email Marketing, Infographics, Internet Marketing, SEO, Social Media | No Comments

Content is consumed is many different ways, including viewing on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. Over the past couple years, the verdict has been clear: mobile content marketing has become the big player, and if your aren’t paying attention to it, you will lost out on ROI. Did you that open rates have increased by 300% on mobile devices from October 2010 to October 2012? That’s huge!

I worked with the teams at Compendium and Exact Target to compile and present the data they’ve collected into a story about how people are using mobile devices to search and purchase. Here are some interesting findings on the state of mobile content marketing:

  • Mobile email creates twice as many conversions as social activities or search.
  • 51% of US mobile users browse, search, and purchase on mobile devices at home.
  • Web visits on a mobile or tablet device are highest on Thursday at 15.7%.
  • SMS marketing messaging is becoming more popular, with 31.2% of agencies using this tactic to increase click through.

Individual Mobile Content Marketing

I, personally, don’t like purchasing items on my mobile devices; I prefer a desktop to search and browse. But clearly, this is not always the case. People are moving towards mobile devices for a lot of every day tasks, and mobile content marketing optimization is a key player in driving conversions.

After reading the data, what do you find compelling?

Mobile Content Marketing Infographic

Confessions of a Project Manager

Posted by | Internet Marketing, People, Personal Branding, Personal Marketing, Personality, Random, SEO | 2 Comments

The day in the life of a project manager is crazy – emails and calls, meetings and conferences, assigning tasks internally, marketing efforts, content production, strategy consultation, managing timelines and priorities – the list goes on and on and on. My bossman, Douglas Karr, always says that my job is literally “herding cats.” Trust me, he’s not far off.

While there is a lot to do on a day to day basis, I absolutely, positively, without a doubt love being a project manager for a number of reasons. You get to be involved with every aspect and individual within the business, you meet new people everyday, you get to become a “voice” for the company, and you are constantly challenged to learn more and be better at what you do. But being a project manager isn’t all cupcakes and rainbows. It’s actually very humbling.

Why Project Management is Like Serving Tables

When I was applying for jobs after I graduated from Butler, within my portfolio, I created a short article on why being a project manager is like being a server. Waiting tables for almost 4 years through college, I learned a thing or two about customer service and managing multiple projects at once, which I thought would help me in my quest for project management glory. Granted, serving tables is a shorter engagement and has more clear cut responsibilities, it has similar concepts. Think about it – if I have a section of 10 tables on a busy Friday night, I have to prioritize the tasks at those tables to make sure that my customers are happy and that, ultimately, I get a good tip. If I can’t do that efficiently, I’ll be left with 10 dirty tables and nothing to show for it.

project management and communication tipsDo all the tables have their drinks? If a drink takes time to make, does that patron have water in the mean time? Did I let a parton know if a specific dish takes longer to make than others? Did I ask them if they’d like their side salad with their meal or as an appetizer? Did I ask them if they’d like an appetizer? Did I try to up-sell with a desert or after-dinner coffee? If they had a problem with their food, did I fix the problem in a time efficient manner? These questions are not far off from what I have to ask myself on a daily basis with clients – just switch out food for project tasks.

Let’s compare scenarios, shall we?

  • Theoretical Problem: Customer waits 10 minutes for their drink. Client waits a week for an email response. Outcome: Both are unhappy with the timing and expectations have not been met. Their trust has faltered.
  • Theoretical Problem: Customer receives a dish that wasn’t made properly. Client receives a strategy document with recommendations that do not make sense for their business. Outcome: This shows incompetency and the incapacity to do one’s job.
  • Theoretical Problem: Customer waits 40 minutes for a dish that takes 40 minutes to make, but was not told. Client requests a task that takes two weeks to complete, but wants it within an unrealistic timeline and was not notified. Outcome: Both are not aware that their expectations are not realistic from an internal timeframe and are dissatisfied with the timing.

Overall problem in these scenarios: lack of communication. 

Overall outcome: opportunity loss of tips and a client account.

A business relationship should be mutually beneficial, but it cannot be if realistic goals and expectations aren’t communicated on behalf of both parties. A customer or client can’t respect you if you don’t tell them what to expect and when to expect it. Even if you are scared of upsetting you customer/client, letting them know that you can’t get a task done until X time is better than promising something you can’t deliver in their timeframe.

Being a project manager is not just about doing your job. It’s about being able to take the heat when things get messy. You’re the main point of contact for your clients, while you’re also the main point of contact for your internal team. You’re the middleman between the client and your colleagues. If I don’t gather enough information from my clients in order for my team to do their respective jobs, then I’m not going to be able to provide enough information for my team to get things done. And I’m going to feel the pressure. Just like I would if a customer’s sandwich came out with tomatoes when they specifically said “no tomatoes.”

But enough with the analogies. Let’s get to the good stuff.

Being a “Team” Project Manager

When you’re in an uncomfortable situation with a client, it’s tough to not get defensive and emotional, not taking the complaints personally, and the worst of all, blaming it on someone else. This is a team effort – we are all responsible for the outcomes. We all have to look at the bigger picture and make sure that things are communicated properly and look at where we can improve workflow.

<rant> And that is why, as a project manager, there is one underlying truth that I believe you have to respect in order to be successful:

Everyone on your team is your colleague and your equal. Treat them as such.

how to be a good project managerJust because you get face time with the clients doesn’t mean that you’re better than anyone else on your team. My developer, Stephen, is capable of things that I can’t even comprehend or ever be able to do. My designer, Nathan, creates beautiful designs that I could never come up from scratch or even begin to conceptualize. Marty, our social business strategist, understands the depths of how content and social play together in ways that blow my mind. Nikhil, our SEO analyst, provides these complicated and intricate SEO audits with findings about things I didn’t even know existed. And of course, my bossman, Dougie Fresh, has by far one of the most complex and best grasps on search engine optimization in the industry (and that’s an understatement). Respect, appreciate, and praise them for what they do on a regular basis. You are not capable of doing your job without them.

I don’t care if you’re the CEO or on the support team. Every position within your company is needed and viable. That’s why they exist. Fancy titles aside, respect the people you work with. We’re in this together! Your success is my success and vice versa.

When things get messy and heated, a project manager’s true colors come out. A project manager’s job is to handle the situation the best they can. A good project manager will do this by putting their emotions aside, finding the best possible solution for everyone, and fixing the problem as quickly as possible without placing blame. </rant>

Reasons for Unfollowing People on Twitter [Infographic]

Posted by | Infographics, People, Personality, SEO, Social Media | 4 Comments

Above all other social networks, my favorite social media network is Twitter. While there are many reasons, the main reason is because it is socially acceptable to connect with people that you might not know, but want to know. It’s a great way to also curate and promote content.

Twitter is also fickle. People can follow you and unfollow you with one click. If you want to retain a following and create engagement, then it’s important that you keep a couple of things in mind. Specifically, pay attention to the top 15 reasons as to why people unfollow you on Twitter described in the infographic below.

Twitter Tips & Tricks

It seems that the #1 reason why people unfollow others is if the tweeter is”too noisy.” Tweeting all day every day is not going to retain followers. While you should post on a consistent basis, just make sure that it’s reasonable. A way to combat this is to check Twitter during different times in the day. Reply and post what’s really important to you, and engage when appropriate.

I’ve found that a great way to retain a following is to retweet and respond to content that others’ post. It shows that you took the time to engage them and that you cared to respond. This will start forming a relationship.

Another thing to avoid is too much automation. I know it’s hard, especially in our busy world, but it’s important to post personal items and be engaged in real-time.

What are some other reasons you can think of for unfollowing people on Twitter?

Reasons Why People Unfollow You on Twitter

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