How Customer Objections are Sales & Marketing Tools

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Many people who are new to Sales think that if a Customer does not ask questions or raise Objections during a Sales call; the Sale is moving forward. They find themselves surprised when the customer does not want to buy when they ask for the order. This assumes the Sales person has the courage to ask for the order.

Why Customer Objections are Sales Tools

When the Customer does not ask questions about a product or service it demonstrates a lack of interest. Sales objections are sales tools because the customer shows interest by asking questions. These questions allow the Sales person to build rapport and trust with potential customers. They get to demonstrate their product knowledge and expertise. Without any customer objections or questions, reps have no way to measure their progress during the sales call; making it impossible to pivot. This makes it hard to make sales and build a relationship with the customer.

Why Customer Objections are Marketing Tools

There are certain things that come up when customer raise objections. Over time, Sales people will be able to see patterns of these objection. Objections are raised about pricing, bad past experiences, budgeting, being happy with a competitor and product inferiority. While Reps need to be able to handle objections; if they keep losing the sales for the same reason, they need to share this information with the marketing and product development teams.

How Marketing can Help Sales

Based on the feedback from Sales, Marketing Teams can Create and improve Sales/Marketing Collateral to address potential objections.

On issues of one product being better than another, the product team can: see how the product can be improved, or help provide Sales with Market researchposition materials to illustrate how the product is better.

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image from smartdraw.com

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image via justworks.com

Customer objections are Sales and Marketing tools because they provide customer intelligence that can be used to sell more/improve products.

Do you think Customer objections are Sales and Marketing tools? Comment and share how you have handled and used customer objections.

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How to use Market Research as a Digital Sales & Marketing Tool

Most businesses will not necessarily be creating new product categories. As a result, they will be entering into a market place that already exists. This is true if you are a re-seller or distributor of products and services. Once you decide that there is a market for your products and services; you need to study your competitors.

Image via smartdraw.com

You will need to perform a SWOT analysis by assessing your strengths and weaknesses compared to your competitors on the products you offer, the price, quality, the service, reliability, stability, expertise, company reputation, location and appearance of your business along with how important it is to the customer.

Traditional Uses of Market Research

Most companies use Market Research for internal purposes IE education of Marketing and Sales teams on features, position in the marketplace and product descriptions.

Examples of Market Research as an Online Sales & Marketing Tool

What if companies could use Market research as an online sales and marketing tool, putting the analysis on their website? Justworks is doing just that. Justworks offers seamless payrolltax filings, HR support, and access to affordable benefits in an all-in-one solution.

Visitors to the Justworks site are able to access the information quickly without providing their information. Also, the company presents the Market Research in a quick and visually appealing format.

Justworks invites users to compare them to the competition; showing that they believe in their product and service.

The company allows visitors to compare fees and pricing along with each of the services they offer. When visitors click, they get to see a drop down menu of how Justworks compares to the competition.

At the bottom of each menu, Justworks supports its claims with customer testimonials in the form of user case studies. Users are invited to Read more in a call to action.

This is an innovate way to use Market Research as an Online Sales and Marketing tool because it helps build trust with prospects. Sharing Market Research as seen above helps position a company as an industry resource. Prospects have access to more choices and information than ever before; making it essential for companies to provide information in a quick and easy to understand format.

Have you used Market Research as an Online Sales and Marketing tool. Comment and share below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including: Start Ups, a Political Campaign and a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to serving as a Classroom teacher, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing and Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 18,000 followers on LinkedIn and over 17,000 on WordPress.

Dan’s articles and insights on Sales, Marketing and Social Media have been featured, mentioned and referenced in major Business Publications such as:

The Arizona Republic

http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/handle-top-10-sme-sales-objections-24845.html

Twitter Ads Blog

https://blog.twitter.com/2014/how-smartphone-users-engage-on-twitter-three-key-findings

Yahoo! Finance Blog

https://es.finance.yahoo.com/blogs/fintechnologiayredeses/cueva-arma-secreta-obama-110427857.html

Paper.li’s Wall Of Fame via Scoop.it

http://www.scoop.it/t/all-things-paper-li/?tag=Dan+Galante

Dan has been honored for his Social Profiles & Content

•Recognized by Klout for having a Score putting him in the Top 10 % of Social Media Users

•LinkedIn Social Selling Index Score in the Top 1%

•Honored by SlideShare for being in the top 5% of profiles viewed in 2014

•Honored by LinkedIn in 2012 for being in the top 1% of profiles viewed out of 200 million members

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content ans Social Media Marketing. He is willing to be a CMO to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. Contact him to set up interviews. dan@dangalante.com

EdTech’s Growthhacking Guide

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Trends in Education are changing. This will provide a great Opportunity for EdTech Companies to improve Education while increasing Sales and Revenue. If you are in EdTech, looking to get into this $13,190,456, 456,848 K-12 Market not to mention the opportunities in Higher Education; read my LinkedIn post to find out more.

 

Marketing a Start Up to Prospects & Customers

For a start up to have any success in generating sales, you have to know four things:

1 Who can buy your product or service?

2 Who are the decision makers?

3 Where are these decision makers going to make buying decisions?

4 How do these people make buying decisions?

I covered the first two questions in a previous post. Let’s focus on questions three and four. To find out where the decision makers go to make buying decisions you need to do following:

Ask them, how did you decide on buying product XYZ? This will be easier to with your existing customers but prospects will respect you for asking questions that other people don’t. Another place to see where decision makers go to buy your products is trade shows. You could attend as either an exhibitor or an attendee. Try to get a booth at the show. Exhibitors are provided with demographics of who attends the show and have a chance to interact with buyers directly. Does your customer base have a specific incentive to make purchases at a certain time period? For example, when I was a sales rep in the Dental industry, the IRS allowed dentists to write off capital equipment purchases they made up to a certain amount. If you cannot afford to go as an exhibitor then go as an attendee. This way you can see what goes on first hand.

Now on how these people make buying decisions. This information could be obtained by asking them or it could be obtained by looking for published research. If none exists, conduct a survey and offer a free gift to fill it out. You could even include questions on how they came to a decision to make a purchase. SurveyMonkey is a good way to do this.

Social Media Marketing

Marketing your business using social media is a great way to build your business and reach potential buyers. Before I discuss more about this, I want to ask you some questions?

Do you have a website? If not, why not? Websites are easy to put together. I put mine together rather quickly. Having a site helps your business come up in searches. When I Google you and your business what comes up? Go ahead and try it now. If nothing comes up, that’s not good!

Now you’re asking what do I put on my website? I would put basic information that sells who you are and what you do. I would also upload information on your products and services. You should include a resume, testimonials and a blog. A website is like fashion, it is never finished. You can look at my site as an example. I also write a blog and publish online newspapers. I use my blog to give my followers a value massage. This blog is published on WordPress and Tumblr. I share the content throughout my social networks. I will cover how to build a website and a blog in future posts.

The Social Networks that I would have a presence on are the following: LinkedIn,Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. I also have social sharing buttons on my site and blog. Pinterest is also a good network; however I have focused on the first four.

I would try to build a following on each these networks. Your best bet on how to do this is to share good content with people. When I started, I shared other people’s articles, and then I wrote my own. However, I still share others content that I find interesting. You can market your business with these updates. Search for people who are have an interest to what you have to offer. I have provided links to articles I have written on how to do this on these networks.

These are the basics on how to market a start up to prospects and customers.

Additional Resources

http://www.slideshare.net/Dgalantenyc/small-business-marketing-101-56503388

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 17,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 13,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to be a CMO to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

How Brands Can use Cultural Diffusion to Sell & Market Products Abroad

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image via marketing 91.com

The United States is an established country with a built up infrastructure. Depending on the product and industry, brands may see product sales hit a plateau based on a high market saturation rate.

Go to Market Strategy

One go to market strategy that brands may use to increase product sales is to sell into new markets. Chances are that brands have exhausted all markets and customers based in the United States. Upon reaching this conclusion, brands need to decide if they want to sell and market their products abroad based on the principle of cultural diffusion.

Cultural Diffusion

Cultural diffusion is the spread of one civilizations ideas, customs and beliefs from:

1. one nation to another

2. from another area or region to another.

To see if international marketing makes sense for brands, they must list the positives and negatives of this go to market strategy. Positive benefits include the chance to increase sales and gain revenue from a new source. A negative of this go to market strategy is that it will require a large outlay of operating cash to implement and execute. This may drain resources from other programs in the organization.

Contacting Local Authorities

Before brands can start selling products abroad, they need to check with the commerce division of the Foreign country’s government. The Commerce division of the government can guide brands on the proper procedures needed to sell and market products abroad.

Market Research

image via smartdraw.com

New Market research needs to be conducted for the international markets brands intend to sell into. This research includes, new buyer personas, competitive analysis, cost of customer acquisition, pricing, promotions, understanding local laws and customs.

Product Development

Product specifications need to be aligned with the customs and laws of the country. These products may need to be re-branded with a different name. Outside of the US, product measurements need to be converted to the metric system; triggering a change in the product packaging.

Examples of International Brands

A few examples of Global brands are Starbucks, McDonalds, Auto makers and Oil companies.

Starbucks

image via http://chinaexpat.com/wp-content/uploads/u659/starbucks.jpg

Starbucks operates stores abroad and follows local customs.

McDonald’s

A McDonald’s in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Businesses as well as people can exemplify cultural diffusion.

Image via http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/grade3/geoimages/Image16.gif

McDonald’s uses local ingredients to make its food. For example, in Greece they fry french fries with olive oil. McDonald offers alternative sandwiches in countries where citizens are not allowed to eat beef and pork.

Exxon Mobil

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Exxon Mobil, operates under the brand name ESSO in Europe and uses the metric system to measure gasoline.

Auto Makers

Image via Dan Galante

Global Automakers , use the metric system when making cars and trucks. Also, these cars and trucks are made to the specification of local laws. Vehicle models made for foreign markets have different brand names. In England and other UK countries, the steering wheel is on the opposite side of vehicles made for the US market.

Deciding What an International Go to Market Strategy will look like

Once brands have an understanding of customer needs and competitive analysis, they need to decide what channels to use to sell their products. Brands can set up stores and offices that sell direct to the end-user. They may decide to partner with distributors who sell to the end-user directly or through licensing and/or use an e-commerce model. Brands may decide to use a combination of the above channels. They also need to decide how many people will need to be hired to execute the go to market strategy.

Using Data to Make a decision about whether or not to Implement an International Marketing Strategy

All the numbers and projections need to be calculated to see if International marketing is right for Brands. Each brand need to examine its financial health, and come up with an investment amount needed to execute an international go to market strategy. This amount needs to be measured against: financial health , potential sales, revenue, profits, cost per customer acquisition, market research, procedure to enter the market and opportunity costs. Based on these numbers, brands may decide to enter the market or use their operating cash for other programs.

CMO’s are you selling your products abroad? Why or Why not?

Comment and share below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including Start Ups, a Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.
Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 16,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 10,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. He is willing to create and build out the Marketing function of your organization if it does not exist. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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Steps to becoming your own Sales Manager with Activity-Based Selling

Image via Salesforce.com

In order for Sales Reps to be successful in sales, they need to think like a Sales Manager. To be able to do this they need to be able to track their own numbers and activities in the Sales pipeline. Using a system such as Activity-Based Selling, it is now possible to see your numbers in real-time along with pending deals and actions needed for the next step. This kind of Sales analysis will help you be successful.

There are five tasks in the Activity-Based Selling system that you need to master to become your own Sales Manager which includes: 1.Meeting and Exceeding your Monthly quota, 2. Creating and implementing a daily sales plan 3. Prospecting for new leads and customers, 4.Turning in timely reports, 5.Using Sales CRM to aid in accomplishing the above.

Below, we will see each of these steps in more detail.

1.Meeting and Exceeding your Monthly quota

To be successful as a Sales Rep, it is imperative that you meet your monthly sales quota. In order to meet this quota or goal it is important to know what it is. To achieve this goal it’s important to have a conversation with your manager about how you will be evaluated and what numbers you will need to hit.  The monthly sales quota that you receive may seem overwhelming at first.

Image via http://salesmanagement.org

Therefore, you should break it down into smaller parts. For example, a $100,000 per month quota divided by 20 working calendar days means that your sales must be a minimum of $5000 per day on average. To exceed the monthly goal, double the daily goal.

Now before you can dive head first into calling on customers and prospects you’ll need to have belief in yourself and the products you offer, product knowledge, competitive analysis of how your product measures up to competitors and at least a basic understanding of how to handle objections; if you are new to sales.

Image via http://smartdraw.com

Common objections voiced by prospects include: pricing, loyalty to a competitor, bad prior experience, not being the decision maker and wanting to think it over.

Images via www.scpgr.com, www.areyouresourceful.com

2.Creating and Implementing a Daily Sales Plan

 Once you are assigned a Sales territory, it is important to understand its demographics. As a Sales Rep in a new territory, you want to know: the number of prospects, the geography of the territory and the locations of prospects on a map. Using this information, the next step would be to divide the number of prospects by the 20 calendar working days in a month to come up with the amount of daily calls needed to visit everyone in the territory. Use a map to determine the order of people you will call on. As a Sales rep, you will want to call on people near one another to manage your time effectively. Write this plan out and go over it with your manager and most importantly make sure to use it every day.

3. Prospecting for New Leads and Customers

 

Image via www.nateleung.com

Now that you are executing your sales plan, it’s important to get in front of the people who could say yes to your offering. To be able to do this effectively, it is essential to be able to handle objections during sales calls. To have success, handling objections are the key to obtaining more sales from appointments. As you hone your selling skills, you will find it easier to make presentations and ask for the order. Once Sales are made it is important to make sure customers are satisfied with their purchase. You have earned the right to ask for more business, testimonials and referrals only after the sale and successful implementation of the product.

4.Turning in timely reports

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As a Sales Rep, it is easy to get lost in the details when you are running a sales territory as there are many things to manage at once. However, you are still responsible to turn in your reports and update your records for customers and management; incomplete records can hurt your sales and your performance evaluation.

5.Using Sales CRM to aid in accomplishing all of the above

Sales CRM software allows you and your Manager to track all Sales pipeline activity which allows you to make informed decisions on all actions for all required interactions on pending deals.

Sales CRM enables Sales Reps to become their own Sales Manager, tracking their numbers and comparing them to other time periods gaining valuable insights on what is going well and what they can do to improve. This kind of Sales analysis and reflection enabled by Sales CRM is essential for sales success.

Major Sales CRM providers are:

Salesforce,

Image via Salesforce.com

ACT!,

Image via FlexAct.net

Oracle and

Image via docs.oracle.com

HubSpot

You can sign up for free trials and/or product demos by clicking the links above.  

What Sales CRM are you using? Comment and share your experience below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 15,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 10,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.