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Small Business Hacks to Help Boost Sales and Productivity

Productivity is critical for any small business. Large firms have whole departments for different functions, and have the luxury of moving at a slower pace due to their size and established nature.

Small firms, on the other hand, have no such luxury. Small businesses must look for every opportunity to improve productivity and sales.

Here are a few ways small business owners can do just that.

Small Business Hacks to Help Boost Sales and Productivity

3 Methods to Leveraging Content in Your Sales Approach

Companies, depending on their size and availability of resources, tend to either lump the sales and marketing functions of their business together or treat them as completely separate entities, funds allowing. In bigger companies, the two are usually separate with a distinct division in the duties and responsibilities of the sales and marketing teams. Despite this, the link between the two is undeniable and companies are more likely to benefit than not from recognising the potential gains to be made from crossovers between the two departments.

Content marketing is one such tool that is applicable in both departments and is often successful regardless of where it is applied. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a strategic approach targeted at creating and disseminating valuable, relevant and consistent content which is customized for individual customers in order to attract and retain the target audience and ultimately to improve profitable consumption.

3 Methods to Leveraging Content in Your Sales Approach

10 Ways To Improve Sales Through Effective Advertising

1010_4445288Closing sales is a crucial aspect of your business. Without it, you have no business. However, from a business perspective, the sales process actually starts with marketing.

Marketing can be defined as the business of generating good leads. However, savvy marketers do not rely on slick strategies, gimmicky tactics, or finding a perfect list broker to get a steady stream of targeted leads into a business funnel. Instead, they focus on things that have been proven to work for centuries: advertising.

Without marketing, there are no prospects, and without sales, there is no conversion of prospects into customers. So, think of good sales as a team sport where sales and marketing work together like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

With that in mind, here are 10 ways to generate more leads through advertising:

The Peanut Butter and Jelly of Your Bottom Line

Good sales is a team sport, and working together, sales and marketing can be a powerful force for your business. As a marketer, I’ve helped sales take a corporate account from non-existent to closed in less than two months. I’ve worked with sales to position a product at the forefront of a trend that continues to drive sales today. And I’ve seen the ugly consequences of sales disconnected from marketing.

But working together, sales and marketing are like the peanut butter and jelly of your bottom line, making revenue more frequent and more profitable. The real trick is coming up with effective, non-invasive ways for ensuring this partnership happens. So I’ve come up with a list of tactics I use to get marketing and sales better aligned to boost sales and profits.

The Peanut Butter and Jelly of Your Bottom Line

Extend an Invitation

The most powerful way I’ve seen sales and marketing work together is by inviting marketing to existing sales status calls to learn and ask questions. For example, a target who was a casualty of the Great Recession was mistakenly kept on the sales pipeline list and sales passed her by, since she was no longer at the company. As a relationship marketer, I asked, “Where did she land?” This question and a close partnership with a salesperson resulted in a new corporate client in less than two months that would not have happened otherwise.

10 Sales Lessons I’ve Learned From Running My Own Business

If you had told me 10 years ago that I’d end up in sales, I wouldn’t have believed you. Even now, seven years into running my marketing firm, I don’t consider myself a salesperson.

But that’s exactly what I am. And if you’re a business owner, you’re one too.

two businessmen shaking hands

As an entrepreneur, I’m constantly selling both my company’s services and myself. It’s my job to convince businesses to part with money, and to help them consider that expense a wise investment. So here’s what I, as one who once quit a sales job because she hated it so much, have learned about sales.

1. The Job of Selling Never Ends.

Fortunately, selling your own company’s services is more enjoyable than struggling to meet sales goals for an employer. But whether I’m guest blogging online, responding to questions on Twitter, or talking to someone in the grocery store, I’m always on. If there’s an opportunity to help a business with marketing, I need to be there, ready to propose how my company can help.

5 Situations Where You Shouldn’t Expect to Make A Sale

As the owner of a marketing firm, I’m always on and thinking about marketing. That means if you and I strike up a conversation about business over cantaloupes at the grocery store, I’ll probably end up giving you some advice about how to market your business (whether you ask for it or not).

Business man  

I am not, however, trying to sell to you.

There are places where it’s appropriate to try to sell to potential clients, and there are those where it is definitely not suitable. Knowing the difference can actually help you increase sales.

1. Social Media

Whether you’re tweeting or Facebooking, your goal on  social media  should not be to sell. You want sales, naturally. But here’s the difference: you’re working to build relationships with potential customers through valuable content and conversation. If you do your job correctly, they’ll want to buy from you anyway. But if you shove your sales message down your audience’s throats, they’ll run screaming.

2. Offline Networking

The same rules apply offline as on. You want to build and nurture relationships at networking events. Prove yourself trustworthy and valuable, and people will turn to you when they’re ready to buy. Ask questions. Connect people. But don’t center your message around how amazing your product is.

5 Ways to Promote Sales Through Social Media

You're already using social media to interact with customers and now you want to make some sales. Great. You've come to the right place. Here are some surefire ways to promote sales through sites like Facebook and Twitter.

5 Ways to Get to Yes

This is from my post on FutureSimple. You think you’re doing everything right. You manage your sales pipeline with a CRM and sales funnel app like PipeJump, you’re great at prospecting, you follow up with leads, and you give a…

5 Ways to Qualify Your Leads

This is from Future Simple. All sales leads are not created equal. In sales, we can spin our wheels working on the wrong leads, wasting valuable time barking up the wrong tree. Here’s how to save time by narrowing in…

Book Review: The Effortless Yes

Just finished reading Julie Steelman’s The Effortless Yes. It’s a great book focused on identifying your customer as a specific type of buyer, and you as a certain type of seller. By understanding more about the decision making process, as…

From GrowthUniversity: Melting the Cold Call

If you're like me, the phrase cold call sends chills down your spine. There's nothing scarier than the thought of having to call a complete stranger to try to sell my wares. But there are ways that you can be better at this skill. Read on.

How to be a Bad Salesperson

Here’s a story. I love sharing stories to illustrate a point.

I received a call from someone who consults for Facebook ( Honey! Facebook just called me! ). Since I didn’t recognize the number, I let it go to voicemail. She wasn’t specific about what she wanted, but it had to do with my husband’s startup. Did Facebook want to buy them? Integrate with them? The possibilities were interesting.

She said she’d email me too, so I went to my email to see what the deal was. She didn’t reveal a lot more in the email, but her signature screamed salesperson. Not interested.

So I emailed her back and told her politely that we weren’t in a position to advertise at this point.

Within the next week, she left three more messages.

Hi Susan! This is X from Facebook, just checking back with you! Blah blah blah.

Clearly, if I was interested, I would have responded by now, right? Plus I had emailed her.

By the third call, I was livid. I wrote her another email, this time with the subject: Please stop calling me. (How’s that for an attention getter?)

You’ve left me three voicemails after I emailed you back telling you I wasn’t interested in advertising. This is beyond persistent. Please take me off your list. Thank you.

 

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