72% of B2B marketers say creating engaging content is their top priority. – Alex Sobal, Content Specialist at Weidert Group
Content is expensive
Companies are spending increasingly more time, resources, and effort making the perfect content and promoting it.
But what are consumers going to do with that content? How should they engage? What is the next best action for them to take? How will your team be notified and follow up in real-time?
The most important part of a campaign is the call-to-action
What is a call-to-action? In marketing terms, the definition of a call-to-action (CTA) is:
An instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb
Common examples of call to actions include: “Call now,” “Find out more,” or “Visit a store today.”
A great CTA button can direct users, get them to take a desired action, improve conversion rates, and ultimately help your campaign (email, website, blog, landing page, banner, …) achieve its defined objectives.
Makes it easy for people to take action on your content
actionable.me allows you to design, test and deploy perfect CTA templates to all of your campaigns. This will allow you to standardise, manage, scale and measure your companies call-to-actions. Actions can be tracked, attributed and routed to the right teams to ensure the right level of follow up.
If your company has recently been forced to let a bunch of people go, you might start seeing negative reviews pop up on employee review sites like Glassdoor. This can and will happen naturally, even to the best organisations.
Negative reviews on Glassdoor have been proven to affect the hiring process. In one study, 60% of job seekers said that they would not apply to a company with a one-star rating1.
What to do with negative reviews
There are a number of best practices when responding to negative reviews. But as with most problems, prevention is better than reaction.
Asking your current employees for reviews & feedback can proactively prevent future negative reviews & increase the number of positive reviews.
Asking for reviews & feedback
actionable.me can help you ask for reviews & feedback to improve your Glassdoor rating:
Choose the best time to ask
Start by finding out how likely your employees are to recommend working at your company to their friends. actionable.me makes it simple for you to design and embed surveys into every day emails. This way you can chose the best time to ask this question (e.g. after positive news).
Receive positive feedback
If the response is that they would recommend working at your company, then this is the perfect time to ask your employees to rate your company on Glassdoor. actionable.me can suggest this to your employee after they clicked on “Definitely”.
Handle negative feedback
If the response is “Probably not”, directing them to Glassdoor might not be recommended. Instead you can ask for more details on why the employee is disastisfied.
Implementing changes based on this feedback can potentially change the trajectory for this employee. Rather than remaining silent and then possibly leaving a negative Glassdoor review in the future if they were to leave the company, you can now begin to implement changes based on their feedback.
In UserVoice’s survey of Product Managers, it was found that customer support is involved in product development only 58% of the time.
Customer feedback is critical for building better products
Product management is one of the most challenging roles in a company. Everyone you meet will have an opinion to share with you, or something they want your product to do: your colleagues, friends, customers and prospects. Not only do you have to listen to their opinions, but you also have to find a way to collect this feedback, log, prioritise and act on it (or not). This becomes exponentially harder the more you have customers.
Customer Success and Support teams can help
The good news is that the members of your customer success organisation spend 40 hours a week talking to the people you want to hear from. Your job now becomes to empower them with the tools they need to ask the right questions and then feed those answers back to you in a structured and actionable way.
actionable.me helps you get better feedback faster
“In this age of quick actions seen on all major social networks, actionable.me allows us to engage with our customers in ways they want and expect. This ultimately helps us understand them better and drive adoption of our product.” – Josh Sugarman, Senior Client Partner at Spredfast
actionable.me helps you ask for feedback in the right ways and at the right time. By inserting customisable actions into your Customer Success team’s day-to-day emails, these actions help you both gather feedback, and also help get your customers to use your new functionality in the first place by driving them back to your product.
These templates can be created by a product team whenever a new feature is released, and then feedback distributed to the entire team within seconds. Once you start getting responses, actionable.me allows you to automatically share this feedback with your entire team, in real-time, using our new Slack integration.
The evolution of content marketing as a discipline has made content creation a core marketing function. At the top of the sales funnel, effective presentations and web site content generate leads and build awareness. Farther along in the buyer’s journey, finely tailored content such as case studies and white papers can help specific buyer personas build consensus for adoption of a vendor’s solution – shortening sales cycles and increasing the likelihood of a successful close. – Kissmetrics
In Know Your Customers’ “Jobs to Be Done” (JTBD), Clayton M. Christensen outlines the importance of focusing on what an individual really seeks to accomplish in a given circumstance and how to focus your product and market it based on this. The JTBD approach helps align Marketing and Product teams. Your company will only target people that you know you can help better than anyone else and you will have the marketing content to prove it.
Why is this important for Sales Teams?
Content is a great icebreaker, and gives your sales team something of value to offer their prospects, long before making any ask or trying to close. – Karo Kilfeather, Content Marketing Lead at Crescendo Content Marketing
If your company has adopted the JTBD approach, that means that marketing will be generating leads that fit in the sweet spot of the products (or services) you have to offer. The sales job then become to make sure that your prospects understand the unique way in which you can address their needs. Your sales team will need to listen carefully, ask questions and reference the pieces of marketing content at the right time. This way they will be able to start nurture and building trust with prospects before they opt-in to email lists (read more).
Why isn’t it easy for sales teams to use marketing content?
Research by SiriusDecisions shows that sales teams don’t use 60 to 70% of marketing content.
Most organisations have a disconnect between product, marketing and sales. Marketing teams create high value content that shows your product in its best light. However, it is often complicated for sales teams to leverage or reference that content in day-to-day email or in a conversation at the right time. To do this, they would have to spend a lot of time keeping up to date with marketing content. The content sales teams end up referencing (when they do it) is often be out of date, too late or irrelevant.
actionable.me allows marketing teams to give sales teams super powers
actionable.me allows marketing teams to create, test and distribute email banners. This way, each key piece of content created by the marketing team is distributed to the right team in seconds. The next time that your teams are engaging with prospects or customers, they will be able to leverage the right piece of content directly from their inbox by using Twied’s extension.
Everything you do with actionable.me is measurable. This created a feedback loop for your content. You can track measure interest in the different elements your marketing team have created and understand what content resonates with different audiences.
Feedback on how content is performing can also be shared with the entire team (Product, Marketing, …) in seconds with actionable.me’s real-time slack integration.
When joining a new company, you generally get an onboarding session to welcome you to the team and get you up to speed. During this session, you learn everything about your new company, it’s products, successes and incredible customers. You leave the session feeling pumped, thinking to yourself: “We have the best product and services in the world and proven success with major companies. Loads of people will want to hear about this!”.
Time to get to work.
You build a list of people to contact and start reaching out. You send your first few emails and then wait… After some time, a few replies trickle in but not as many as you expected. You tweak your message and try again. Things get a bit better but you are still not getting the response rate you were expecting. The weeks start passing and the result is still the same. What on earth is going on? Does everyone have this issue or is it just you?
The good news is that this is more common than you think and most importantly, it’s not your fault. So stop beating yourself up, there are a few very simple things that can be done to fix this.
“No matter how great of an inside sales person someone is, rejection is part of the business.” – Claire McConnachie, Account Executive, SalesForce Search
What is your prospect thinking and why are they ignoring you?
Before we dig into how to fix this issue, lets look into some of the reasons that cause people to ignore emails:
Spam: Your email looks like it is spam or an automated email. People naturally ignore these emails out of habit.
Irrelevant: The email you sent doesn’t apply to the recipient or their function – “I don’t get it… why would I need SEO services? I work in a school”.
No time: They bookmarked the email for later but never actually get back to it because life gets in the the way.
Missed it: It went to their spam folder, they don’t manage their inbox well, they don’t open emails from people they don’t recognise.
Got side tracked: They started writing a response, got side tracked and your response dies a slow death their draft folder (read more)
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons why your emails can go unanswered.
Where to start and what can you improve on?
Sales reps can often feel frustrated, depressed and rejected when their emails get ignored. This is natural. You spend a lot of time and energy trying to connect with people. You know that have something amazing you want to share with the world. However, sometimes, there are a few tweaks you need to make to your approach before success comes knocking at your door.
1. Be Targeted & Relevant
Imagine a car salesman trying to sell a Porsche at a 99% discount to a 10-year-old. The 10-year-old will never buy. It doesn’t matter if it is the best deal ever. Even if he did buy, it would be wrong to sell to him. This example may seem silly, but we see the same behaviour all the time in SaaS sales teams. The key is to talk to people who 1) have a problem that you can solve and 2) are looking for a solution.
A good first place to start hunting for these qualified leads is with your customer success teams. Referrals sourced from existing customers tend to be more receptive (read more).
2. Be Personal
Make sure the person receiving the email can instantly see what is in it for them and that you understand their business. This requires research and a level of trust that can be built over time (read more) by showing them that you know their industry, understand their role and by sharing relevant content illustrating how you have solved similar issues that they are facing.
3. Be Short, Simple & Lovable
Your prospects have an attention span of around 8 seconds. So in 8 seconds they have to:
1) See that you are relevant
2) Understand what you are offering
3) Be willing to type a response
Reading your email cannot feel boring hard or painful. Keep it short and sweet to prevent being ignored.
4. Make your email easy to answer
Try and think about the last batch of emails you sent that remained unanswered. Did you make it easy for people to respond? Was there and a clear call-to-action?
actionable.me helps you figure out why you are being ignored
“actionable.me will make your outreach emails more personal. You will get instant feedback and get better every single time you reach out to someone.” – Mariia Sadovska, Market Researcher, Intellica Group
actionable.me makes it easy for people to take action when you email them. We do this by inserting smart actions directly into the content of every email you send. Your prospects will be able to answer your sales emails with the touch of a button. actionable.me will help you to ask your prospects the hard questions that will enable you to get better every day (read more).
Contact us to start increasing your email response rates: firstname.lastname@example.org
“63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least three months – and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy.” Robert Clay, Marketing Wizdom.
What is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel and through every step of the buyer’s journey.
The main goals when nurturing leads are to:
Stay top of mind
Identify interests and pain points
Educate people on your product and services
“The greatest hurdle that every sales pro faces is TRUST.” – Geoffrey James, Author, Sales Source.
Why can’t I do this with every contact I have?
In most companies, lead nurturing is something Marketing does by building lists of email addresses and sending them targeted email campaigns.
The issue is that the first step to building a successful list is to get permission from subscribers who want to receive your email campaigns. Permission is not only common courtesy, it’s required by most email marketing platforms. People who haven’t given you permission are more likely to report your email campaigns as spam. Spam reports can lead to aggressive spam filtering or blacklisting, which reduces the reputation of your email address and make it more likely for your campaigns to end up in spam/junk folders.
There is an entire prospect lifecycle before they actually opt-in to your email lists. You need to earn your prospects’ trust and convince them to join your mailing lists so that your marketing team can in turn earn their trust. See the problem?
Nurture prospects with actionable.me banners before they opt in for email marketing
Most companies have amazing marketing teams that spend a lot of time and effort putting together incredible content. actionable.me allows your team to leverage this content in conversations with prospects by choosing the right banner to fit the conversation.
You no longer need to send the same banner to everyone all the time!
Instead, actionable.me allows you to be very tactical with your messaging so you can put forward different product or service benefits at different moments in the sales process. This will make banners relevant and targeted.
Show them that you get them. Even better, be helpful! You know what problems they are stuck with and you know that your company has a solution. Use actionable.me banners to point them in the right direction rather than hard sell them.
Showcase customer testimonials
Remind your prospects that you have solved their problem before for customers similar to them.
Grow your community
Create more touch points with your prospects and customers by promoting secondary channels such as your customer community.
Share Industry Trends
Establish your credibility in the space and share useful information to help your prospects make better decisions.
Grow your mailing lists
High quality mailing lists are the lifeblood of many Marketing Teams. Use actionable.me to grow your mailing list by inviting your prospects to join at the right time.
“Referral selling has a minimum of a 50 percent conversion rate” – Joanne Black Owner, No More Cold Calling.
When starting to build a pipeline, very few sales teams look to existing customers to source leads. Instead, they often start with buying contact lists, hiring external consultants and going through industry event websites to see if there are any easy leads to pick up on.
While these methods can be very successful, a referral from an existing customer allows you be introduced to a person you want to meet. You will be contacting someone who expects your call and wants to hear from you. This will provide an existing level of trust and pre-qualify the meeting.
“Of all lead generation methods, referrals are the most likely to result in a sale. The reason is simple. The greatest hurdle that every sales pro faces is TRUST.” – Geoffrey James, Author, Sales Source.
Why doesn’t everyone do it?
Few inside sales teams contact their existing customer base for leads. Why? Because asking for a referral can be a hard question to ask and because if you are not the person who is managing the customer it becomes difficult to know the right time to ask. What if the customer hasn’t seen value from your product and service yet? Worse, what if that customer is currently unsatisfied? You could end up annoying them more than anything else.
Timing is critical when asking for referrals
Always be on the lookout for the best time to ask. Did you just get praised via an email? Did somebody just write a tweet or LinkedIn update about your service? If so, that could be the perfect time to ask them for an introduction to somebody who fits your customer profile. The ideal time is often when you have delivered the most value to your customer. But how can an inside sales team be present at that perfect moment?
Sourcing customer referrals with actionable.me
actionable.me helps you bridge the gap between customer success team and your sales team. We do this by enabling customer success teams to add real-time surveys into every email interaction they have with their customers. These surveys are extremely easy to add but most importantly, they are even easier to respond to.
Because you can add them to your everyday email interactions, you have complete control over the timing. This makes it effortless to attach a survey to an email or at the moment when you have deliver the most value to your customer.
Survey responses are then instantly shared with your (inside sales) team through instant notifications. Initial leads can be traced back and attributed to a specific customer and customer success team member, allowing you to reward your team members who have deliver high value leads.
“Reaching out to prospects through referrals is actually a lot easier! You know you are talking to the right person and you are sure that you can solve some of their immediate pain points!” – Rachael Seidenberg, Strategic Sales Director, Spredfast
Contact actionable.me to start building your pipeline with referrals today: email@example.com