Advertising Channels: What your peers are using…

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As the survey results from the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends Chart shows Social Media Content and  eNewsletters are the top of the pack when it comes to media channel usage. The survey covered 14 media advertising channels in order of usage; Social Media Content, eNewsletters, Articles on your website, Blogs, In-person Events, Case Studies, Videos, Illustrations/Photos, White Papers, Online Presentations, Infographics, Webinars/Webcasts, Research Reports and Microsites.

Infographics as a tactic saw the biggest rise in usage (from 51 percent last year to 62 percent this year).

Another interesting fact was that 60% of B2B marketers with documented content marketing strategy say they are effective vs. 32% of those with a verbal strategy.

Is your CRM like your Spousal unit?

Is your CRM like your Spousal unit?

Before you start, No, I didn’t get my CRM a Valentine Day card. No chocolates, no flowers, no soft music. But maybe I should show my appreciation for all that it has done for me. I digress. Without my real life spouse, the bills would not get paid on time, birthday cards would not be sent, dinner engagements would not be met, and my socks would not match.

I am guilty of taking that for granted. I was at my employment and I thought, “Wow, my CRM is just like my spouse!” It tells me the important tasks that need to be accomplished to keep my sales goals. It allows me to create fancy looking emails to send to my leads. “Huge!” I am definitely not the creative one in the family. It helps me keep track of all of my leads in one place and with a few clicks I can find them, and send them an important announcement. I don’t even have to remember the address. “Thanks, honey!” Yes, in my house my office is a cross between a hurricane and a playground for the Tasmanian devil.

At a holiday party that just passed I had a friend ask me how I juggle all of my responsibilities and make it look so easy. I explained that 99% of that credit was due to my spousal unit and I cannot take the credit. His reply made me chuckle. He stated, “I know what you mean, I wish I could take my spouse to work. I need that organization so bad. I am missing appointments, phone numbers, and addresses. I am forgetting tasks that need to be done. I am losing business!”

The shallowness I felt for not expressing my gratitude to my CRM was sending me into bytes of depression. I escaped into my office, found my laptop and inserted a Thank you note inside the floppy drive. I had to do it. Tears started to form. The guilt was overwhelming. As soon as the note was read, a reply note flashed on my screen. It read, “look down, your socks still don’t match.”

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About the Author…

My name is Joe Hofman. I am the Technical Support Manager for Soffront Software. I have been in the Technical Support sector for over 25 years. Building and rebuilding top notch Technical Support departments is what I enjoy the most. Having and keeping the pulse of what users need is what my trained eyes and ears look for. I have worked in several different  types of companies which has allowed me to traverse the true spectrum of what is needed to provide World Class Technical Support.

Personally, I am also a formally trained chef. I love the Culinary arts. I have my own Spice business and I enjoy teaching others how to prepare the dish they always wanted to learn how to make. I enjoy fishing. Seeing that I am originally from Chicago, I am a rabid fan of Chicago sports teams (except the Cubs). I play the harmonica and get pleasure from listening to the Blues.

Yo! Reputation, Hug your CRM!

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And you thought your reputation was covered with that Jerry Garcia tie or that new Coach purse….Sorry…not here, not now, not ever.

All of the CRM’s that I have worked with do not have a custom field called, “Designer Shoes worn?” or “What kind of car driven?”

CRMs do not care about your Reputation, or do they? Does it matter if you drive the Rolls-Royce of CRMs but are not getting a positive ROI? Is it that important at cocktail napkin time that you can say that your CRM is like your Armani jacket but has the functionality of a crowbar?

So what’s in your Rep? Having a fully functional CRM that returns a positive ROI and is adopted easily company-wide is how your Reputation gets built. Closing more deals by utilizing the features in your CRM is what allows you to stand alone. A wise sports fan once told me, “the uniform doesn’t make the player, but the player makes the championship”

Choosing a CRM with a solid track record of easy adoption, positive return on ROI, and low overhead, is how your Reputation gets built.

Who knows, by utilizing your CRMs Reputation, you may be able to buy that Rolex you always wanted.
My two cents…

And You Thought You Were Ready For Your CRM?

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  1. Lay the proper foundation. Have your data records (Leads and Customers) all in one place; preferably on a .csv spreadsheet file ready for importing. Make sure that the information on that spreadsheet is as accurate as possible. Know what Groups they belong to. Prepare carefully to Import those records into those Groups. There is an age old adage in the computer world; GIGO. Garbage In Garbage Out. Putting the time in before your Import your data will help your CRM sleep well at night.
  2. Know your Workflow or Sales Process. This is where your efforts will be concentrated. A bullet-proof workflow will insure that the necessary Tasks that need to be accomplished in order for you to close the deal are accounted for. Make sure that all of your Workflow Stages have the adequate Tasks and they can be accomplished in the proper timeframe. When setting up the task timelines, find the fine line between couch potato and workaholic. Make sure they are realistic and can be completed.
  3. Create Templates. Your CRM should have the ability to create tons of various Templates. Do it! Create tons of Templates. Tailor your Templates to your business model. Everything that your company sells, offers, or can do, should have Templates describing them. They should be audience specific. Having them at your fingertips when the opportunity strikes will keep your sales gun smoking.
  4. Rely on your Calendar. If you have properly set up your Workflow or Sales Process that include the appropriate tasks, they should be tied to your calendar. In fact, you should also be tied to your calendar. Your Calendar should list all of the Tasks that need to be completed for each Lead you have. They show the appointments you have made. Do you want to be the one to forget a lunch date with Mr./Mrs. CEO? Keep your eye on the prize. Let your CRM work for you. That is what it is there for. You have worked hard to lay the proper foundation, create a bullet-proof workflow, and create your templates. Your careful design should have your calendar singing to you with all of the songs needed to get customer after customer after customer.
  5. You have a Friend. Your CRM vendor should have a program to help you hit the ground running. Take advantage of this. They know their product better than you. They will do all of the startup work for you. They will Import your records, create your Workflow, create Templates, and more important, conduct one on one training. Talk about an excuse free deal. A well designed program should include the Technical Support department initiated follow ups. These will help you get over any humps that you encounter after the training. An important relationship will develop between you and them. These Quick Start programs are your safety nets. They protect your investment and help you realize its value. You don’t need to be a Superman if you know one.