Understanding how your customers buy is the first step in increasing sales and profits.
In this excellent blog from B2BLeadBlog, Andrea Johnson relates a great story about understanding customer needs. In this story, the needs are of channel partners - and the requirements they have to make it easier for their customers to buy: How Reversing the Funnel Increased Sales by 14% for a Sales Incentive Company
Take a read - the principles apply across all industries. And call us at 905-847-6342 if you would like help in building your digital business framework to maximize sales.
Manufacturing is not an industry that loves to write. A lot of senior people that I run into in Manufacturing run at the thought of writing a blog post. But they're always passionate about their products - and love talking about them and showing them off.
Maybe it's time to consider a branded YouTube channel.
According to Youtube, small businesses stand to benefit the most, but the uptake is slow. With a decent digital movie camera from BestBuy, a tripod, and a headset microphone, you have the opportunity to create decent quality videos that customers will readily watch. And by creating a customized channel - you can add your own branding - and take visitors back to specific products on your store or catalog.
In the world of E-Commerce, great images produce great results. For many people, learning how to shoot and prepare great images for their online stores is a huge challenge. Unless you have a full time photographer or agency doing it for you - then someone on your team is taking pictures.
Send them this article from Shopify: 10 Must Know Image Optimization Tips.
They cover great topics around naming, optimizing alt tags for SEO, file types, file sizes and a lot more. Worth bookmarking.
The team at Copyblogger has created a great post: 11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing
They discuss the notion than in order to sound smart, you must stop trying to sound smart. Brilliant writing is simple writing, a relevant idea delivered clearly and directly. My writing has changed because of what I have learned from them. Worth a read - maybe you'll follow suit.
Systems of Engagement vs Systems of Record. An insightful look by management guru Geoffrey Moore (author of Crossing The Chasm). In the report, he addresses how core value chains within organizations are changing, how users can better leverage their systems to improve operating flexibility and engage customers; and a path for implementing, sustaining, and managing social technologies. The white paper can be downloaded here - http://www.aiim.org/futurehistory
You've built your intranet. It has a great taxonomy, all your libraries, all your documents, a gzillion metatags, but people aren't using it as much as they should. Want to drive more adoption? 5 ways WIKIS can help.
1. Everyone Know & Loves Wikis
Like so much of the change happening today in technology, people are using wikis in unprecedented numbers in their personal lives. A February 2012 study indicates that Wikipedia appears on page 1 of Google for 99% of searches.
Wow! That's a huge number. If that's how people like to get information about topics - wouldn't a wiki on your intranet make sense?
Check out www.idea.org. Their great blog promotes the role of technology in advancing scientific & cultural literacy - discussing new ways to innovate with business and interactive experiences. They are totally focused on systems of engagement!
Who is idea.org? They're a nonprofit organization committed to enhancing the public’s knowledge of science and culture. They believe that it's an exciting time for public education, as traditional business models and methods of delivering information to the public are rapidly evolving. In this new world, IDEA draws on some of the best practices of museums, publishers, software developers, and research labs to deliver a variety of programs via the web and mobile devices that are free to the public or very inexpensive.
Today, an article in Apple Insider by Neil Hughes discussed how Apple wants to make it easy for non-programmers to build iOS apps. They have filed a patent for a new digital content authoring tool that will make it simple for people without a background in programming to build their own iOS applications for the iPhone and iPad.
Entitled "Content Configuration for Device Platforms", the application notes that computer programming languages are a "hinderance to content creation," as many content creators and designers simply lack the skill and knowledge to work on the technical side of computer programming.
This is great news for the Apple community. Wonder how long before the Android community follows? Read the full article.
Do companies really understand how the client buys? Companies everywhere invest large amounts of dollars training their sales teams to follow impressive sales methodologies. Yet sales cycles are long and closing ratios in solution selling is abysmally low.
In her book - Dirty Little Secrets - Sharon Drew-Morgan asks "What is stopping you from closing all of the sales you deserve to close? Hint: it's not you, not your solution, and not the buyer. It's the sales model itself."
She goes on to define "Facilitating Buying Decisions" as helping buyers recognize and manage all of the internal, off-line, behind-the-scenes decision issues they must manage so they can align all of the people, policies, partners, and rules, and enable them to buy-in to making a purchase.
In solutions selling, her wisdom is excellent. Just because a customer has a need, doesn't mean they are ready to buy. The internal systems often drive sales to a halt. She provides very interesting insight to something that isn't often defined in sales methodologies. She also provides a very good suggestions on how to help prospects manage their internal systems so they can eventually buy from you.
Interruption based, outbound marketing and sales strategies are becoming less effective every day. In it's place, industry focused, inbound marketing and buying enablement philosophies are winning customers over everywhere.
The best discussion on this topic happens in the book Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs. Authors Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah are also the owners of Hubspot, a software / services company that has a comprehensive inbound marketing system.
How comprehensive is your inbound marketing system compared to your outbound marketing system?