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Every manufacturer is challenged with accurately forecasting demand and adjusting prices to anticipate and respond to market fluctuations. With nearly two-thirds of the 86,000 employees at Seagate in manufacturing, the company counts on information from internal sales staff, OEM partners, and distribution partners to closely manage prices and correctly forecast demand to ensure that products are profitable and manufacturing resources are used efficiently.
The sales force, OEM, and distribution partners access timely and accurate information on product availability and pricing through client/server applications that are available from Seagate’s intranet and secured extranet for their sales partners. Seagate relies on Marimba®’s Castanet™ to deliver and manage these applications, which are critical to realizing both profitability and productivity.
Serving Up Sales Applications
Seagate delivers 15 client/server applications to its own internal sales force and to external OEM and distributor partners to support its forecasting, quoting, and order management activities. There are up to 1,000 users in the extended audience for these applications including sales, management, sales support, OEM customers, and distribution partners. Internal intranet users are delivered applications for sales planning, sales forecasting, information on distributor programs and promotions, and more. External partners use the secured extranet to obtain applications that access credit information, check on shipments, get current pricing, and help them conduct business with Seagate. OEM sales account for 70–80% of Seagate’s revenue, which makes it critical for the company to closely interact with these partners and manage the relationships.
The IT group at Seagate delivers applications to both the Seagate sales force, who is primarily using laptops occasionally connected to the company’s intranet, and OEM and distribution partners, where Seagate has no control over the workstations used. According to Joe Peichel, Sales and Marketing IT Systems Architect, this means the company has to take a platform-agnostic approach to developing the applications. “The lack of control over the user’s platform is one of the reasons we chose Java, and subsequently why we chose Castanet. This approach allows us to include a broader user community than electing to do something for specific platforms, like using Win32-specific tools.”
The Seagate applications provide database connectivity from the client and access the corporate data centers. By implementing this access through specific and direct database connections to the central warehouses, Seagate is able to provide the requested information without allowing general access to Seagate’s corporate network. Moreover, Castanet supports SSL for security-enhanced delivery of information that satisfies both the users’ need for timely and accurate data and the company’s requirements for network security.
Delivering with Efficiency and Elegance
Client-side system resources are also a consideration. Seagate’s sales force is equipped with laptops generously configured with disk and memory, but these resources are heavily utilized. And in the case of OEM partners, the configuration of client machines is not able to be mandated by Seagate’s application requirements. Castanet ensures that disk space is optimized and download time is further reduced by the ability to identify and appropriately share files duplicated among the applications. For Seagate this means that a single set of Java class libraries are correctly shared on the clients, thereby reducing both the footprint required and downloading delays.
Maintaining Market Leadership
By developing a wide selection of applications for keeping its sales staff and partners up-to-date on stock, inventory, pricing, and sales volumes Seagate has significantly improved its sales process. Easy-to-use interfaces and direct connectivity to critical information has replaced days of phone tag. Access to competitive pricing and the tools to develop accurate forecasts is leveraging the effectiveness of sales efforts, improving OEM and partner relations, and helping Seagate maintain leadership in the volatile storage media market. And by using Castanet to deliver and maintain its Java applications, Seagate is able to focus on developing even better tools to support these critical activities and effectively respond to marketplace demands.
Reprinted with permission from The Aventail Corporation
You're reading Seagate Automates The Sales Process And Improves Sales Productivity
What is sales productivity?
Examine how you increased sales productivity and how much effort went into achieving that objective. For instance, if a deal takes your sales team 10 hours to make and close, perhaps you’ll concentrate on decreasing that figure so that your team can earn more sales.
To optimize your efforts, you should aim for greater output and a lower input. Simply put, the sales productivity formula is a ratio of how many sales you close to how much labour you put in to make those sales.The Importance of Productivity in Sales
Being busy does not always require being productive. Also, a large sales volume or a high yearly sales figure does not automatically imply productivity. Your business may be successful, but you’re squandering more time than you know. Even if you aren’t wasting time, there may be a number of strategies to improve your sales performance.
Even if efficiency and saving time and money are important, productivity is more than that. It might also mean improving your sales team’s performance through further training or giving more value to customers through a better sales experience.
Perhaps your sales team’s productivity is low because your personnel doesn’t devote enough time to high-value tasks.
Alternatively, they might be dissatisfied with unproductive jobs that have no significance for them, or they could be burned out from chores that take away from their sales time.
Learning how to increase sales productivity can lead to the following benefits −
Employees who are happier
Customers that are loyal to you
There will be less time squanderedWhat Can You Do to Boost Your Sales Productivity?
Make Use of the Correct Technology − Your sales processes can be more orderly if you use the correct tools and technology. This can boost your team’s sales productivity. CRM software eliminates needless procedures, automates processes, and helps salespeople make the most of their time.
Create a Workflow that is Consistent − To increase staff efficiency, you must precisely outline each stage of your sales process. One of the quickest methods to enhance sales is to have a repeatable procedure. A comprehensive sales strategy may also assist you in identifying and eliminating any sales cycle roadblocks. You should also give adequate documentation and guidance to assist salespeople in overcoming any difficulties that may arise throughout the selling process.
Take a look at your current sales results − To establish your baseline and begin your sales productivity study, you must conduct an audit of your present procedures. So, before you start preparing for the future, take a thorough look at how your current process works.
You may keep track of your workflows by having your salespeople write down the stages in a sales process, such as −
acquiring new customers
Deals are being closed.
Keeping track of sales
Customer on boarding
Get Your Employees’ Opinions − Simply ask your staff if you want to learn more about your company’s sales productivity. Employee input can save you time instead of guessing at sales methods that could work.
Maybe you think that early am meetings are a fantastic way to keep the team motivated. However, they may obstruct your employees’ ability to sell, so a brief afternoon catch-up may be preferable. Asking is the greatest way to find out.
Keeping in touch with your salespeople allows you to support them better. For example, your sales crew may be overworked due to a lack of resources. Other sales productivity issues they’re dealing with include squandering time on cold calls.
Set realistic objectives − Setting realistic goals is the most significant strategy to boost salesman productivity. You must be certain of what you want to achieve and how you intend to achieve it. Setting particular performance measures to track the progress of your sales operations is also critical.
Make the switch to virtual selling − We’re living in an era where the sales game is developing at a breakneck pace. Traditional sales strategies, unfortunately — or luckily for some — may be holding you down in the digital era. Virtual selling is the future, and knowing how to do it today will keep you productive and ahead of the competition.
Each company’s sales procedure will be different when they go online. Rather than having salesmen teach how to use your items, your marketing department may create a video series that does so. Alternatively, instead of bouncing multiple “What time works for you?” emails, your team can benefit from using a scheduling application to optimize how they find time for meetings.
Provide sales training − Every stage of the sales cycle must be understood by your sales staff. This can assist them in identifying areas where they can improve and better use their time to increase sales success. As a consequence, sales training is critical in order for your team to achieve more consistent outcomes. You must teach salespeople to employ the most effective selling tactics and to contact prospects at the most appropriate moment with the most effective pitch. This training should not be restricted to on boarding and should be carried out on a regular basis. As a result, you should spend on retraining on a regular basis to keep your personnel current.
Hiring – The Meaning
Hiring, or recruiting, is a process of appointing an appropriate candidate after inviting several applicants and selecting the right one amongst them. The entire procedure of appointing the right candidate involves a number of calculations in terms of business, recruitment cost, organization reputation, and much more. An employee is the first stakeholder of any company, as they form a base and lays a strong foundation for the smooth functioning and operation of the company.
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Every organization has something to sell; this can be either goods or services. Depending on the sales or strategy type, the HR, the company’s human resources department, selects and appoints an employee to sell. Unlike other available resources, human resource is extremely critical and sensitive to handling; hence, recruiting or appointing an employee must be done with utmost care and efficiency.
When recruiting for sales, the hiring team wants to ensure that the newest employee is efficient enough to work under pressure. The employee must be able to meet targets, keep the policies and procedures of the company in mind, build relationships with clients and co-workers, maintain ethical values, etc. However, unlike other employees, the sales team is the first representative of the company, which means he needs to be presentable, strong, and smart enough to sell.
Management would not want to compromise on the quality and quantity of the business received. To ensure the proportion is appropriate, they would not compromise on hiring the perfect sales employee for their company. Below are a few sales management approaches to appointing the right sales representative.Follow Hiring Decision Process
Increasing business targets and pressure usually mislead you to choose an inappropriate candidate. Inappropriate does not mean that the candidate is not good; however, the candidate is not necessarily good for the related domain or not good at selling. Selecting an incorrect candidate will not only pressure the employee, but it will also pressure the management. Management has set a few policies for hiring in certain domains. These policies are regarding the company’s business and meeting the ethical standards of the industry and the company. Hiring under these policies and not under sales job pressure is considered correct.
Asking the employee after recruitment to leave or resign from the services of the company is a difficult task for both the management and the immediate supervisor. Neither can the company hold on to an employee who is unable to perform nor can they ask him/her to leave the organization. In most cases, the company would not want to spend on the non-performing employee and would ask them to resign from the services.
Apart from the sensitive issue of dealing with the employee’s emotions, the company also loses many recruitment expenses for hiring the employee. The hiring decision process includes expenses like recruitment, training, technical and non-technical costs, etc. A new hire means going through the entire procedure again and spending the same amount of money on another employee.
Management needs to save on the employees’ and the company’s time and money. To avoid the wastage of important resources, the recruiter must take his time to decide and choose the correct applicant before onboarding the employee.Say NO to Hiring under pressure
It is not always easy or convenient to get the right candidate as required by the company. In such cases, it is important to be patient. Once you lose your calm in looking for the right candidate, you might end up hiring someone not really apt for the position. In such a situation, you might encounter a candidate who can cope with the pressure and perform. However, you cannot guarantee such a candidate as you might have to face a vice-versa situation.
Creating a shortcut to hiring and pressuring the system to accept an inappropriate candidate by omitting a few important steps of hiring is a huge compromise. It impedes the company’s standard of superiority and professional excellence, which is not bearable for any organization. Compromising on a few monitory grounds is fine and acceptable; however, no organization would ever want to compromise on their quality of excellence, which could harm their reputation.Must have qualities for a sales hire to evaluate better
To start with, before having or creating a vacancy in the company, the HR department needs to ensure the roles and responsibilities that the new hire will conduct and be responsible for. This applies to every hiring and not only sales hiring. The following points can help you evaluate better:
You would want to finalize a role/designation to recruit for without having the right role; you will not be able to decide the responsibilities for the required or hired employee.
The next responsibilities will be described based on the conditions and situation. The conditions can be described as normal and special. For example, what will be the responsibilities under normal situations, day-to-day work, and responsibilities under emergencies?
Assign the responsibilities or work to be executed on a day-to-day basis. The company should also assign extra responsibilities that are the can-do responsibilities to the employee based on the employee’s skills, education, and knowledge level.
While you select or set a hiring decision process for evaluating the right candidate, you must consider the candidate’s qualities. Jot down a few requirements important for hiring a candidate. These requirements have to be no compromise requirements, which means mandatory requirements for hiring for the required designation. Evaluation based on these essential requirements will help select the appropriate candidate easily.
You can also add good-to-have requirements. Additional requirements like having additional knowledge or qualities always add to the hiring value of the candidate, benefiting the company.
Once you have your requirements ready, circulate the same amongst necessary sources. Review the resumes as per your company policies and your requirements. Select the correct resume, invite the selected candidates, prepare for the interview, and finalize your selection.Take the candidate for a test drive
The traditional hiring jobs method involves huge risks related to hiring a new employee. The company makes the mistake of liking a candidate before the candidate has performed and proven himself and his performance.
Skills assessment job hiring decision process helps you from making a bad hiring decision. This simple test drive can help you in avoiding the mistake of recruiting someone who is not fit for the designation. In the same way, it also helps the candidate from falling into a pit of a wrong job-taking decision. In this process, experiencing the candidate’s skills comes into consideration first, followed by the traditional interview secession. Given below is a glance at the skill assessment hiring decision process.
Set a few exciting activities for candidates involved in interview secession. Clearing these activities should be mandatory in order to attain success and get closer to winning the job. The entire secession will give you a gist or a clearer picture of how the candidate will perform. The evaluation should evaluate a candidate’s ability to handle phone calls and face customers, think and execute, interact, work and perform in a team, and overall ability to fit in a team. Candidates considered as good potential employees on paper might not be able to perform appropriately when it comes to selling. The skill assessment hiring decision process helps us with a way out.Conclusion
When you hire to fill in the gap for maybe your top performer who has recently left the organization or increase your team strength, you would want to make sure you add winners to your team who perform well to add to your and the company’s value. To have successful recruitment, you would want to make sure that you:
Make the right hiring decision to reduce the risk of adding a non-performer to the company resource.
Minimize the company’s recruitment cost by choosing the right candidate and maximizing his potential.
The new sales recruitment hire reaches his maximum potential within a short span of time.
Choosing the right candidate cannot just add to the company’s value; it will minimize the risk of adding a non-performing employee to the company’s valuable resources. Choosing the right process of hiring tips will drastically reduce the risk of poor hiring. Yet again, a non-performing employee does not really mean that the employee is bad; it only means that the candidate is probably not fit for the job he has applied for. Maybe the candidate can perform much better in another job under another domain.Recommended Articles
Here are some articles that will help you get more details about the Hiring Decision Process:
Hey there, fellow hustlers and go-getters! You and I both know that sales is the lifeblood of any business, right? But man, it can feel like a slog sometimes. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but the haystack is the internet and the needle is a lead that converts. If you’ve ever felt like that, don’t sweat it. You’re not alone and more importantly, you’re in the right place.
Together, we’re going to explore the best sales engagement and lead generation platforms that could change your business game forever. I’ll show you the good, the bad, and the surprisingly effective. We’ll delve into the standout features, the benefits, and even the potential drawbacks. Because that’s what it’s all about, right? Making an informed decision that helps our businesses grow.
So whether you’re a start-up genius ready to take on the world or a seasoned sales pro looking for a fresh approach, this is for you. We’re about to unlock the power of modern sales and lead generation tools. It’s time to shift gears from manual slogging to streamlined success. Ready to embark on this game-changing journey with me? Let’s get cracking!HubSpot
If you’re looking for a comprehensive sales engagement and lead generation platform, HubSpot is a top contender. With its robust set of features, intuitive interface, and seamless integration with other tools, HubSpot offers a powerful solution for businesses of all sizes.
Now let’s dive into the key features that make HubSpot stand out among the competition:Key Features
CRM Integration: HubSpot’s CRM is at the core of its platform, allowing you to manage your contacts, track interactions, and view detailed analytics. This integration ensures that your sales and marketing teams are always aligned and have access to the most up-to-date information.
Email Marketing Automation: With HubSpot’s email marketing automation capabilities, you can create personalized email campaigns tailored to specific segments of your audience. The platform also offers A/B testing functionality to optimize your email performance and maximize engagement.
Analytics and Reporting: To measure the effectiveness of your sales engagement and lead generation efforts, HubSpot offers powerful analytics and reporting features. You can track key metrics like conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, and revenue attribution to make data-driven decisions that drive business growth.Why We Picked It
We chose HubSpot as our top pick for sales engagement and lead generation platforms due to its comprehensive feature set, seamless integration with other tools in the HubSpot ecosystem (such as marketing automation and customer service), and its reputation as a leader in the industry. HubSpot’s user-friendly interface, extensive knowledge base, and dedicated customer support also contribute to its appeal.Who Is It For
HubSpot caters to a wide range of businesses, from startups to enterprise-level organizations. Whether you’re a small business owner looking to streamline your sales and marketing efforts or a large corporation in need of an all-in-one solution, HubSpot offers the scalability and flexibility to meet your needs.Pricing
HubSpot offers various pricing plans tailored to different business sizes and requirements. Their pricing model includes free options for basic functionality, as well as tiered plans with additional features and support. For detailed information on pricing, it’s best to refer directly to HubSpot’s website.Salesforce Sales Cloud
Salesforce Sales Cloud is a powerful sales engagement and lead generation platform that empowers sales teams to streamline their processes, close deals faster, and drive revenue growth. It is a comprehensive solution that offers a wide range of features and tools to help businesses effectively manage their sales pipeline, track customer interactions, and optimize sales performance.Key Features
Opportunity Management: With Salesforce Sales Cloud, you can manage your sales opportunities effectively from initial contact to deal closure. The platform enables you to track deal stages, forecast revenue, collaborate with team members, and automate routine tasks for increased productivity.
Contact Management: This platform offers a centralized database for storing all customer information. You can easily access contact details, communication history, and activity logs to gain valuable insights into customer preferences and behavior.
Sales Analytics: Salesforce Sales Cloud provides powerful analytics tools that enable you to measure sales performance and identify trends or patterns in your data. You can create custom reports and dashboards to track key metrics such as conversion rates, win/loss ratios, and revenue growth.
Integration Capabilities: Salesforce Sales Cloud integrates seamlessly with various third-party applications such as email clients, marketing automation tools, customer service platforms, and more. This allows you to streamline your workflows and ensure data consistency across different systems.Why We Picked It
Salesforce Sales Cloud is one of the most popular sales engagement platforms in the market for several reasons. Firstly, it offers a comprehensive set of features that cover the entire sales process from lead generation to deal closure. Secondly, it provides scalability and flexibility to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, from startups to enterprise-level organizations. Additionally, Salesforce Sales Cloud has a large and active user community, which means there are abundant resources and support available for users.Who Is It For
Salesforce Sales Cloud is suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries that require a robust sales engagement and lead generation platform. Whether you are a small startup looking to streamline your sales processes or a large enterprise managing complex sales operations, Salesforce Sales Cloud can cater to your needs.Pricing Outreach
If you’re looking for a powerful sales engagement and lead generation platform, Outreach is a top contender. With its comprehensive suite of features and user-friendly interface, Outreach empowers sales teams to streamline their processes, increase efficiency, and drive better results.
Here are the top key features of Outreach:1. Multichannel Communication 2. Personalized Outreach 3. Sequencing and Cadences 4. Analytics and Reporting
To optimize your sales strategies, it’s essential to have access to actionable insights. Outreach provides robust analytics and reporting features that give you visibility into key metrics such as open rates, response rates, conversion rates, and more. This data-driven approach allows you to identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions.5. Integrations and Ecosystem
Outreach integrates seamlessly with popular CRM platforms like Salesforce, enabling smooth data synchronization between systems. Additionally, it offers a wide range of integrations with other tools such as email clients, calendar apps, analytics platforms, allowing you to leverage existing technologies within your sales stack.Why We Picked Outreach
We selected Outreach for its comprehensive set of features, user-friendly interface, and proven track record of driving results. Its emphasis on personalization, multichannel communication, and automation aligns well with modern sales strategies. Furthermore, its strong integration capabilities make it a versatile platform that can seamlessly fit into your existing tech stack.Who Is It For?
Outreach caters to sales teams of all sizes, from startups to enterprise-level organizations. Whether you’re an individual salesperson looking to streamline your outreach efforts or a sales manager aiming to optimize team performance, Outreach provides the tools and insights necessary for success.Pricing
Outreach offers different pricing plans tailored to various business needs. For specific pricing details and options, it is recommended to visit their official website or contact their sales team directly.SalesLoft Key Features of SalesLoft
Cadence Builder: SalesLoft’s Cadence Builder allows users to create customized sales cadences, which are a series of touchpoints (calls, emails, social media interactions) designed to engage prospects at the right time and in the right way. This feature helps sales teams automate their outreach efforts while maintaining a personalized approach.
Email Tracking and Analytics: SalesLoft provides detailed email tracking and analytics capabilities, enabling users to monitor prospect engagement with their emails. This allows sales reps to gauge the effectiveness of their email campaigns and make data-driven decisions to optimize their outreach strategies.
Sales Dialer: The built-in Sales Dialer feature in SalesLoft enables sales reps to make calls directly from the platform, eliminating the need for manual dialing or switching between multiple tools. It also offers call recording and transcription functionality for easy note-taking and collaboration.
Sales Intelligence: SalesLoft integrates with various data providers to offer robust sales intelligence capabilities. This includes enriching prospect profiles with relevant information such as job titles, company details, social media profiles, and more. Having access to this data helps sales reps personalize their outreach efforts and tailor their messaging accordingly.
Analytics and Reporting: SalesLoft provides comprehensive analytics and reporting features that allow users to track key metrics related to their sales activities. From email open rates to call duration, users can gain valuable insights into their team’s performance and identify areas for improvement.Why We Picked SalesLoft
SalesLoft stands out among other sales engagement platforms due to its user-friendly interface and extensive feature set. It provides a seamless experience for sales teams, enabling them to effectively engage with prospects, automate repetitive tasks, and track their performance. The platform’s robust analytics and reporting capabilities also help businesses make data-driven decisions to optimize their sales strategies.Who Is SalesLoft For?
SalesLoft is an ideal solution for sales teams of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises. It caters to both individual sales reps looking to enhance their outreach efforts and sales managers seeking to streamline team collaboration and performance tracking. Whether you’re in B2B or B2C sales, SalesLoft can help you drive revenue growth by improving your lead generation and engagement processes.Pricing
SalesLoft offers various pricing plans tailored to different business needs. The exact pricing details can be obtained directly from the SalesLoft website or by contacting their sales team.Marketo Engage
Marketo Engage is a leading sales engagement and lead generation platform that empowers businesses to drive revenue and build lasting customer relationships. With its powerful suite of features and intuitive interface, Marketo Engage provides a comprehensive solution for businesses of all sizes to streamline their sales and marketing processes.Key Features
Email Marketing: The platform includes a sophisticated email marketing tool that enables you to create engaging email campaigns and automate personalized communications at scale. From designing visually appealing templates to segmenting your audience for targeted messaging, Marketo Engage helps you deliver the right message at the right time.
Analytics and Reporting: With comprehensive analytics and reporting capabilities, Marketo Engage allows you to measure the success of your marketing efforts accurately. Track key performance indicators (KPIs), monitor campaign performance in real-time, and gain valuable insights into your audience’s behavior to optimize your strategies.
Integrations: Marketo Engage seamlessly integrates with a wide range of third-party tools such as CRM systems, social media platforms, content management systems (CMS), webinar platforms, and more. This integration ecosystem enables you to centralize your data, streamline workflows, and enhance the overall efficiency of your sales and marketing operations.Why We Picked It Who Is It For Pricing
Marketo Engage offers customized pricing based on individual business requirements. To get detailed pricing information tailored to your specific needs, it is recommended to contact the Marketo Engage sales team directly.Pardot Key Features of Pardot
Lead Nurturing: Pardot enables you to build automated lead nurturing campaigns that deliver targeted content at each stage of the buyer’s journey. By providing relevant information and resources to prospects, you can guide them towards making a purchase decision while maintaining engagement and building trust.Why Choose Pardot?
Pardot stands out among the best sales engagement and lead generation platforms due to its comprehensive feature set, seamless integration with Salesforce CRM, and its focus on delivering a personalized and targeted experience for each prospect. The platform’s user-friendly interface makes it easy for marketers and sales teams to collaborate effectively, resulting in improved lead quality and increased revenue.Who Is It For? Pricing
Pricing for Pardot varies based on your specific requirements and the size of your organization. As part of Salesforce’s suite of products, Pardot offers different pricing tiers designed to accommodate businesses of various sizes and needs. For detailed pricing information, it is recommended to reach out to Salesforce directly or visit their website.Zoho CRM Plus
Are you looking for a powerful sales engagement and lead generation platform? Look no further than Zoho CRM Plus. With its robust set of features, intuitive interface, and seamless integration capabilities, Zoho CRM Plus is an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes.Key Features of Zoho CRM Plus
360-Degree Customer View: Zoho CRM Plus provides a holistic view of your customers by aggregating data from multiple touchpoints. This comprehensive view allows you to understand your customers better, tailor your sales strategies, and deliver personalized experiences.
Sales Automation: With Zoho CRM Plus, you can automate repetitive sales tasks, such as lead assignment, follow-ups, and deal tracking. This automation not only saves time but also ensures consistency in your sales processes.
Marketing Automation: The platform offers powerful marketing automation capabilities to streamline your lead generation efforts. You can create targeted email campaigns, track website visitors, and analyze campaign performance to optimize your marketing efforts.
Omni-Channel Engagement: Zoho CRM Plus enables you to engage with prospects and customers across various channels, including email, phone calls, social media, live chat, and more. This omni-channel approach helps you build stronger relationships by offering multiple touchpoints for interaction.Why Choose Zoho CRM Plus?
Zoho CRM Plus stands out among its competitors due to its comprehensive feature set and affordability. Unlike other platforms that require separate subscriptions for different modules or functionalities, Zoho offers a bundled solution that includes all the essential tools for effective sales engagement and lead generation.Who is Zoho CRM Plus For? Pricing
Zoho CRM Plus offers different pricing plans based on the number of users and required features. The pricing starts at $50 per user per month (billed annually). Zoho also provides a free trial so that you can experience the platform’s capabilities before making a commitment.ActiveCampaign
Here are the key features of ActiveCampaign:
Email Marketing: ActiveCampaign allows you to create personalized email campaigns that can be segmented based on various criteria such as demographics, behavior, and interests. You can easily design visually appealing emails using their drag-and-drop builder and track the performance of your campaigns through detailed analytics.
ActiveCampaign is an excellent choice for businesses looking for a comprehensive sales engagement and lead generation platform. It offers a user-friendly interface, powerful automation capabilities, and integrations with other essential tools. Whether you are a marketer, salesperson, or business owner, ActiveCampaign can help you streamline your processes and drive revenue growth.
As for pricing, ActiveCampaign offers different plans based on the size of your contact list and the features you require. Their plans start at $9 per month for up to 500 contacts and go up to customized enterprise plans for larger organizations. They also offer a 14-day free trial so you can try out their platform before making a commitment.SharpSpring
Now, let’s dive into the key features of SharpSpring that make it stand out among other sales engagement and lead generation platforms:1. Marketing Automation
SharpSpring’s marketing automation capabilities allow you to automate repetitive marketing tasks, such as sending emails, managing social media campaigns, and creating landing pages. By automating these processes, you can save time and ensure consistent messaging across your marketing channels.2. Lead Scoring 3. CRM Integration
SharpSpring seamlessly integrates with popular customer relationship management (CRM) platforms like Salesforce and HubSpot. This integration allows for smooth data transfer between systems, ensuring that all customer interactions are tracked and accessible in one centralized location.4. Dynamic Forms
Dynamic forms are an essential tool for capturing lead information on your website. With SharpSpring’s dynamic forms feature, you can create personalized forms that adapt to each visitor based on their previous interactions with your site. This level of personalization helps improve conversion rates by providing a tailored user experience.5. Analytics and Reporting
SharpSpring provides comprehensive analytics and reporting capabilities that give you valuable insights into the performance of your sales and marketing activities. You can track key metrics like website traffic, email open rates, conversion rates, and revenue attribution. These insights enable data-driven decision-making and allow you to optimize your strategies for better results.
So, why did we pick SharpSpring as one of the best sales engagement and lead generation platforms? The answer lies in its robust feature set, seamless CRM integration, and powerful marketing automation capabilities. It offers a comprehensive solution that caters to businesses of all sizes and helps them effectively manage their sales pipeline.
Who is SharpSpring for? Well, SharpSpring is suitable for any business that wants to streamline their sales and marketing efforts. Whether you are a startup looking to scale or an established enterprise seeking better lead management, SharpSpring can provide you with the tools you need to succeed.GetResponse Key Features
Email Marketing: GetResponse provides a robust email marketing solution that allows users to create and send professional-looking emails, automate campaigns, segment subscriber lists, and track email performance metrics. Its drag-and-drop editor makes it easy for even non-technical users to create visually appealing emails.
Automation Workflows: GetResponse’s automation workflows enable businesses to create personalized customer journeys based on user behavior triggers. With its intuitive workflow builder, users can design complex automation sequences that include actions such as sending targeted emails, adding or removing subscribers from lists, and more.
Webinars: GetResponse’s webinar functionality allows businesses to host live webinars or pre-recorded webinars for lead generation and engagement purposes. It offers interactive features like polls, surveys, chat rooms, screen sharing, and more to enhance the webinar experience.
CRM Integration: GetResponse seamlessly integrates with popular CRM platforms like Salesforce and HubSpot, enabling businesses to sync contact data and streamline their sales processes. This integration ensures that all customer interactions are captured in one place for easy tracking and analysis.Why We Picked It
We picked GetResponse as one of the top sales engagement and lead generation platforms because it combines robust features with ease of use. Its intuitive interface makes it accessible for both beginners and experienced marketers alike. Additionally, GetResponse provides a comprehensive set of tools that cover every aspect of the sales and marketing funnel, from email marketing and automation to landing pages and webinars. The platform’s integration capabilities with CRM systems further enhance its value, allowing businesses to align their marketing efforts with their sales processes seamlessly.Who Is It For
GetResponse is suitable for businesses of all sizes that are looking to optimize their sales engagement and lead generation efforts. Whether you are a small startup or a large enterprise, GetResponse offers the scalability and flexibility needed to drive results. Marketers who want to automate their email campaigns, create personalized customer journeys, build high-converting landing pages, and host engaging webinars will find GetResponse to be a valuable tool in their arsenal.Pricing
GetResponse offers flexible pricing plans based on the number of subscribers. The plans start at $15 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers and go up to custom enterprise plans for higher volumes. The platform also provides a free trial period for new users to explore its features before committing to a paid plan.FAQ
Sales engagement platforms are software solutions designed to facilitate meaningful interactions between sales teams and potential customers. These platforms include various tools that enable efficient, data-driven, and personalized engagement with prospects. They might include features like email automation, call tracking, activity tracking, performance analytics, and AI-driven insights.
When choosing a sales engagement and lead generation platform, look for these key features:
Automation and integration: The platform should automate repetitive tasks, like sending follow-up emails, and integrate seamlessly with your existing tools, like CRM or email software.
Personalization: The ability to personalize communications at scale, based on various parameters like a prospect’s role, industry, or interaction history, is a valuable feature.
Analytics: Good platforms provide in-depth analytics to help you track performance and identify areas for improvement.
Scalability: As your business grows, your sales engagement platform should be able to scale with it.
Ease of use: User-friendly design and intuitive interfaces can make the transition smoother for your sales team.
A sales engagement platform can drastically improve the efficiency of a sales team in several ways:
Automation: By automating repetitive tasks, the platform frees up sales reps to focus on more strategic activities.
Consistent Messaging: The platform can help maintain consistent messaging across all communications, ensuring the brand’s message is conveyed clearly and effectively.
Data Insights: Real-time analytics and insights can guide your sales team in refining their approach and improving their selling techniques.
Absolutely. Small businesses, in particular, can benefit greatly from sales engagement and lead generation platforms. They often have limited resources and these platforms can automate a lot of time-consuming tasks, which can improve productivity. Additionally, these platforms can provide valuable data insights that small businesses might not have the resources to gather on their own, allowing them to make more informed business decisions.
Online sales over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend topped the best sales numbers to date this year. For the holiday season-to-date, $16.4 billion has been spent online, marking a 16-percent increase over last year. Cyber Monday reached $1.465 billion in online spending, representing the heaviest online spending day in history, according to a report released this week by comScore.
“The term ‘Cyber Monday’ was coined by chúng tôi in 2005 to refer to the significant jump in e-commerce spending that occurred following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as consumers got back to sitting in front of computer screens at work,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “At the time and for several years afterward, Cyber Monday was often misconstrued as the heaviest online spending day of the year, when in fact it barely cracked the top ten days of the season. However, with the passage of time, the day grew in importance as a result of an increasing number of retailers offering very attractive deals on the day and extensive digital media coverage making sure that consumers were aware of them. As a result, Cyber Monday has assumed the mantle of top online spending day for the past two years – a trend we expect to hold once again in 2012.”
“Consumers shopped in store, online and on mobile devices simultaneously to get the best bargains. Overall 58.1 percent of consumers used smartphones compared to 41.9 percent who used tablets to surf for bargains on Cyber Monday,” according to a report released by IBM.
This trend creates a great opportunity for mobile app developers as well as retailers looking to capture customers in the very moment of a buying decision.
Social Media trends are also indicative of the growing US holiday tradition of spending the Thanksgiving weekend shopping together. Social shopping referrals from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube peaked on Friday as women gathered with mothers, sisters, daughters, and extended family to seek out the best holiday deals in the stores. Those same social referrals actually dropped a little over last year when it came to seeking out online deals on Monday. That seems to jive with American social habits. Black Friday has become a social event and certainly a natural fit with social media posting habits. Online shopping still tends to be a solitary endeavor with more focus given to making the purchase than sharing the experience.
Even though the holiday shopping season is far from over, there are already plenty of lessons to learn. With mobile use on the rise, there is plenty of room to grow for referral traffic from things like the new Pinterest pages for business. Count on Facebook to make Offers more and more mobile friendly. Thanks to the marketing power of Amazon and their new pages for independent retailers, small businesses will be more able to ride the Small Business Saturday wave right into Cyber Monday with online sales.
As always consumers want to ensure they get the best deal, but more and more they are indicating that they place a high value on making an informed decision.
How to Talk so Sales Wants to Listen… and Learn Sandra Nangeroni
Senior Director, Marketing & Sales Enablement
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I recently came across a Ted Talks video by Julian Treasure, a top-rated international speaker on “How to talk so people want to listen” . It got me thinking about ways Marketing can communicate with Sales effectively so sales is receptive to listening and taking away something concrete they will retain that will help them sell better.Building the Bond
Marketing and sales have an organizational bond with strong inter-dependencies and need to be closely interconnected. Both are highly invested in each other’s success and influencing and driving revenue and growth. Marketing wants to enable and support sales to maximize their selling potential while sales, in turn, wants to utilize marketing and ensure their efforts are utilized and not wasted. While there can be differences of opinions on approaches or tactics, one thing is for certain – effective sales and marketing communication is an essential building block for both teams in reaching their respective goals.
As a marketer, you need to make sure your communication is solely focused on adding value to sales and giving them only the most important information they need to be successful. In other words, it’s not about conveying what you think they should know about what you know. It’s about delivering what they need to know – period. It’s not always the easiest distinction to make, but staying mindful of this is a good way to cut down on the extra noise.The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Good sales and marketing communication can help cultivate strong workable relationships and reinforce the value each group has for one another. Regardless of the team you’re on, success is largely about working together collaboratively to impact growth and revenue. In the end, working together will produce far more than either could accomplish working individually.
That said, sales can be opportunistic listeners and learners and wants information when they need it. With that in mind, marketing has to communicate in a way that sales won’t tune them out. If what you’re communicating isn’t relevant to what sales is selling today, chances are they will quickly stop paying attention. So as you deliver that next slide presentation, email a sales communication, or post to chatter, ask first if what you’re communicating is relevant to what sales needs to know now and pertinent to what they are selling today.6 Tips how to communicate so sales’ wants to listen and learn #1 – Be Brief: Assume the 5 second rule
When communicating with sales, say it in the opening sentence. Forget long lead-ins or rambling on with a build-up. Assume you have 5 seconds to grab their attention. Don’t leave it up to sales to interpret or figure out what the key takeaway is or what action you want them to take.
Tell them what you’re going to tell them in 5 seconds, tell them what they need to know, then tell them again what you told them.#2 – Keep it Simple
Sales get barraged with requests. Sales people, like most of us, don’t retain lots of information at once. Say what you need to say very succinctly and net it out in bulleted points. Relate it to how it will help them sell better.
Keep your message to the point, and on-point if you want salespeople to follow…otherwise it ends up TLDR.#3 – Make it “cut and paste” friendly and customizable
Don’t just be an informer when it comes to communication, give sales the necessary tools to take quick action. For example, craft an email template they can easily customize to their accounts to send, share a link to post in twitter, write the testimonial quote you want approved (and the email to request approval), or consider creating an infographic to visually tell the story. Make it so easy, they’ll feel crazy not to use it.
Sales sells because it’s what they do best; make it simple to help them follow through.#4 – Be an active listener
By listening you can get valuable insights that should be heard and considered. Listening is not waiting for your turn to talk, interrupting or redirecting the conversation. It’s about being attentive and showing interest in sales challenges. Sitting in on sales calls is another great way to hear sales in action firsthand to get more real life perspective. Be sure to encourage feedback throughout or consider hosting mini sales focus groups to find out if the marketing you’re delivering is in fact positively influencing their sales cycles.
If you’re willing to listen to sales, they are more inclined to listen to you.#5 – Use “sales speak”
If you want sales attention, keep the communication digestible and say it in a way they’ll remember it. Put customer pain points at the forefront and how your marketing message will help guide customer conversations and engage customers productively. The goal is to connect firmly with what sales is motivated by and connecting or impressing their customers is one way of doing that.#6 – Sales peers are your best channel
The same way the voice of the customer speaks volume with buyers, the voice of sales peers carries a lot weight within sales teams. Showcase a rep using a new marketing tool or content piece and let them share in their words how they used it. Be sure to acknowledge and share their successes.
Internal sales champions can help facilitate broader sales adoption.
B2B marketing, b2b sales, b2b technology buyers, Customer Engagement, marketing and sales alignment, marketing intelligence, sales and marketing alignment, sales intelligence
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