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Sales_Funnel_X_-_249These days, the progression of sales is less funnel than maze – and the ability to retrace the path of leads back to their source is absolutely critical for businesses who strive to step up their game.

After all – if you don’t know what’s working, how can you improve upon it?

According to recent research by Aberdeenonly 39% of businesses currently have this ability – which means those who do are at an extraordinary advantage when it comes to nailing their outreach efforts.

In fact, those businesses who land in the top 20% when it comes to marketing performance are almost 2.5 times more likely to connect their leads to specific content assets. And it makes sense – by determining what is working (and what isn’t) they are capable of duplicating their efforts, or amending them.

This is definitely easier said than done – especially in the beginning. With so many points of customer contact, it can be difficult to determine where to start, what to research, and how to set milestones for measurement.

Still, the ability to track lead sources back to their origination point and connect them with specific content assets allows your business to construct its marketing strategy on a solid foundation.

Need some help getting started? Here’s a simple 5-step process:

  1. Avoid content paralysis – just begin by producing content designed for each stage in the sales funnel. In the top of the funnel, you’ll want to connect with your audience and offer content which introduces them to your products and services via value-added assets. Starting a conversation via social media is a great way to begin, as is offering informative content such as eBooks, How-To posts, and infographics.In the middle of the funnel, you’ll focus more on assets which help your prospective customers evaluate their options, such as buying guides, product demos, and case studies. And in the final stages, you’ll include deeper content, such as free trials, consultations, and customized estimates.
  2. Publish or promote your content. Push your messages out to your prospective audience’s preferred channels and platforms, and keep a close eye on the resulting conversations. (Yes – it’s that easy.)
  3. Pay attention to your results. Are you driving dialogue via social media? Are prospective customers lingering longer on any particular post or page? Have you seen a spike in traffic or interest following any particular campaign? Your key measurements will vary from one stage of the funnel to the next – but if you aren’t paying attention, you’ll miss the critical insights which help you hone your strategy.
  4. Ask for feedback (and referrals!). If you aren’t sure where your clients are coming from – ask. Collecting consumer feedback can be an enlightening experience, and it may help you uncover some interesting insights regarding your content marketing efforts. It also helps to track your referrals – it can help you determine who your best and most loyal brand advocates are.
  5. Hone your strategy. Take what you’ve learned, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Throw out any approaches which aren’t working to your advantage, and focus on your top-producing approaches. Your audience is unique, and honing your strategy to suit what works best for them will help you create deeper connections – and drive future sales.

Contact me today to learn more about how to find more selling time, through award-winning technology, in your weekly schedule:

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Mansion_335_shadowI recently spent an afternoon and evening with a dear friend of mine.

What people might notice first about him, if you met him at his home, is that he’s retired and lives with his wife in a house five or six times larger than most homes you or I have ever visited.

He’s done well for himself and is perhaps the most generous and gracious man I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

We were talking about when he had his big break in business and what he remembers most about it. This is how he explained it to me:

Once we finally took the advice of the company who would go on to become our largest customer, we made the suggested changes and the money really started to come into our business.

But what drove me crazy was that more money coming in meant there was more money leaking out of the cracks and the crevices in our business. It was like putting our hands under a faucet and trying direct the stream in the correct direction.

As we did that, water continued to leak out over our hands until we could develop a process for more effectively capturing and directing the increasing, and long-term, flow of revenue.

It wasn’t until we quit trying to construct solutions on the fly for short-term fixes, and we stepped back and prepared for revenue increases five or ten years in the future, that we become an efficient machine with consistent month-over-month growth.

That is why you and I are sitting here on the patio of this house today instead of one across town with 10,000 less square footage. We found the tools and reconstructed our processes to stop the leaks.

For us in sales, the faucet we need to mind first is the sales funnel. Some of you possess funnels with slow leaks. Others of you are using funnels resembling something more like a colander.

Thankfully, I found someone who can help us with this sales funnel problem. He will show us how to use sales enablement as a tool to fix our pesky sales funnel leaks.

Robert Wahbe (@RobertWahbe) is the co-founder/CEO of @Highspot and a former VP at Microsoft. Wahbe wrote a blog post for @OpenviewLabs last week titled: Plug the Leaks in Your Sales Funnel: A How-To Guide to Sales Enablement.”

The big idea of Wahbe’s post is this:

…best-in-class companies are twice as likely to be using a sales enablement solution that addresses major obstacles to driving sales:
> The time needed by a new seller to become effective (on average, 7 months)
> Seller turnover (typically 30%)
>Time wasted searching for and creating selling materials (3-4 hours per week, per rep)

This post isn’t any longer than it needs to be. It makes a strong case that best-in-class sales organizations are very likely to be effectively using sales enablement tools and that it’s a clear contributor to their ongoing success.

This gives you, a sales professional in a sales organization which that is not currently leveraging sales enablement tools to their full potential, the ammunition to make a case for this important investment.

And if you are currently using sales enablement tools and are seeing a strong ROI, you have in Wahbe’s post the information needed to continue the investment if some in your organization may oppose this spending.

Budgets for 2016 are closing soon, so ensure you’ll be using the best sales enablement tools for your business.

[Reading Time of Wahbe’s Post: 2:00]

Note: SalesFitRx is a web and mobile sales enablement app that helps you, the sales professional, discover more selling time in your week. It doesn’t encourage more hours each week, instead it helps you get more sales from your existing hours. Learn more on our Home page:

QUESTION ::: Which tools have given you the best ROI for your investment?

Let’s talk about it…

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