Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

I write about the three topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in outside sales and marketing. My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual.

9  Key Strategies to Overcoming Sales Objections

In sales, everyone has to be able to overcome objections to be successful. The best way to overcome objections is to prevent them. This can be done by providing a thorough sales presentation that covers all the information about your products and services. Also, you must address any questions the prospect has immediately. However, objections will come up from time to time. Some of these objections are real buying signals and others are just stalls to put you off. As a Salesperson, you need to be able to tell the difference.

Handling Objections & Stalls from Prospects

1.I am happy with my current supplier.

When you call on a prospect they say we are happy with our current supplier, this can mean one of two things. The first is that they are truly happy and the second is that they want you to get lost. (A stall) Obviously, you need to be able to tell the difference. You should be able to tell by a prospect’s body language and level of attention.

If it is the first scenario, you should find out what supplier they currently use. When the prospect tells you it is your job to demonstrate how you are better. Once you feel that you have demonstrated how you are better, ask for a commitment or small order. By asking for a small order, you provide the prospect an opportunity to take a chance on you with minimal risk. I have had a lot of success with this approach.

If the scenario is the second one, the prospect will not provide you with any information or say that they deal with a company or person for 20 years and they do not want to change. In this case, I would still ask for the order. Should the prospect say he is not interested again, I would thank them for their time and leave. You should call on this prospect a few more times and then only call on them every two months. You need to focus your time on prospects that are receptive to you and your offering.

2. I want to think it over.

When you hear this, what the prospect is really saying is I am interested but I am not totally convinced. You should ask the prospect what specifically about this offer do you want to think over? Your goal here is to uncover the real objection. If the prospect gives you a specific answer, you are in business. Address the objection and ask a closing question. Say if I can handle XYZ, is there any reason why you would not purchase this product. Should the prospect say, no you covered everything, this means that they are either stalling, not interested in your offering, or will not tell you the real issue they have with your product. If this is the case, ask when they plan on making a decision and follow-up with them in that time-frame.

3. I need to consult another party

This can be a stall to put you off. You will need to determine this by the prospect’s body language and the level of attention you receive. When the prospect tells you this, you should ask for a meeting with the prospect and the person they need to consult. Should the prospect agree to this, you have a chance. If they will not agree to a meeting, it is a stall and they are not interested in your offering. However, I would still call on them a few more times. If you have no success, call on them every two months.

4. I am not the Decision-Maker- The Columbo Technique

During some cold calls to dental offices, I was not able to obtain the information that I needed to overcome prospect objections. This occurred because the person I was speaking to was not the decision-maker. As a result, they were reluctant to talk for fear that they would say the wrong things or give away too much information on their bosses’ business. Despite their reluctance, I would continue to talk with them, build rapport and bond. I would ask to speak to the decision-maker but many times they were not in the office, or the person I was speaking with would not want to disturb them for fear of getting reamed out when I left the office.

When this was the case, I would use the Columbo technique to get the information that I needed. I would turn to leave the office, put my hand on the doorknob and ask who their supplier was or when I could catch the boss. Usually, the person I was speaking with would provide me with a lot of information about the prospect. Even more, than I expected! This is because the person that I was speaking with put their guard down. After all, they thought I was leaving the office so one last question didn’t seem so bad.

During other cold calls, I was able to speak to the decision-maker. I would build rapport with them and try to obtain as much information as I could to overcome their objections. Many times the prospect would be reluctant to give me information; stating that they were happy with their supplier or they were too busy to speak to me. When they used the supplier objection, I would employ the Columbo technique; turn to leave and ask who their supplier was. Many times they would tell me and I would ask them for few moments of their time to show how my products were better. I would get the time and close the prospect on giving me a trial order. I developed some of my best customers this way. Other times, I was able to obtain a follow-up appointment with the prospect.

The key to the Columbo technique is to get prospects talking. Even if it’s about things not related to their business at first. You want to make them comfortable talking with you. Next, you want to save the question you really want to know for the end of the conversation because the prospect will most likely answer it thinking you are going to leave their office. In other words, their guard is down.

The Columbo technique is a great way to close sales and obtain information.

5. Your price is too high.

Emphasize the quality of your product along with the level of service you will provide. Next, you should demonstrate to the prospect how your offering’s total cost is less than the competitors over the life of the product. Testimonials from loyal customers can also help you here. By taking these steps you demonstrate that your product is valuable and increase your chances of making the sale. (Provided this is the real objection.)

6. We spent our budget.

If they say the money is not the budget, ask If I can offer delayed billing or a payment plan would you be able to take delivery? If the person needs approval from another person, ask to present your product to that individual with your prospect’s endorsement. Should the company really want and need your product, they will find a way to pay for it.

7. I had a bad experience with your company.

I would apologize to the prospect about the experience. Tell them you are the new rep and that you will not let anything bad happen on your watch. Ask them to give you a chance. This will not work all of the time.

8. Call me After the Holidays

During the holiday season, many people are in holiday and party shopping mode. from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and many other things. Also, everyone is thinking about going to parties. So the last thing on your customer’s and prospects’ mind is to make a year-end purchase; unless they receive a year-end tax advantage. As a sales rep, you are under pressure to close deals so you can earn that bonus. Unless your customer is in a buying mood, you are going to hear the objection “call me after the holidays”. If you have done business with this customer, you will have an easier time than if you are making a cold call.

To combat this objection. You have to attempt to get around this objection. If your offer is time-sensitive or if you can provide a break on pricing or payment through a special promotion for example no payments for 3 months; make your customer aware of them. However, at this time of the year, you will get customers and prospects who just don’t want to deal with you and your offering. As a sales rep, it is your job to be able to tell if the customer and prospect are telling you the truth. In other words, you need to qualify their objections. This means following up with every customer and prospect even when things look bleak.

Should your customers and prospects insist that call you after the holidays, I would find out which holiday they mean. Next, I would pin them down to a specific day and time to call back. I recommend sending your customers and prospects a holiday card with a little note reminding them about the appointment; stating how you look forward to speaking with them on the specific date and time. Once this time comes, I would hold them to their promise. Deliver your presentation and ask for the business.

9. Testimonials and Referrals

Showing Testimonials to a prospect can be a great way for them to trust you enough to make a purchase. If you don’t have any the sale is that much more difficult but not impossible. I have made plenty of Sales without them.

Once you have made a sale to a customer, it is important to follow-up with a customer. As a Salesperson, it is important to deliver on the promises you make to customers. This means checking in with the customer throughout the implementation of your product or service and staying in touch with the customer after the sale. In this post, I am going to discuss how to earn referrals and testimonials.

During my time as an outside sales representative in New York City, making sales was the highlight of my day. Once I made a sale, I was itching to ask for a referral or a testimonial. In other words, I wanted to ask the customer the question Do you know of anyone who could benefit from my product and services? However, once I made the sale my inner voice told me not to ask for a referral. Now many people would want to ask because they feel that the customer bought their products or services and this shows a sign of trust. But what did the customer really buy? Yes, the customer bought you and your products but the main thing that they bought was your promise to deliver value through your offering. How can you ask someone to put their credibility on the line when you and your solution are unproven? Yet many people do.

Asking for a referral right after the sale is a mistake because you have not delivered on your promise and you will seem ungrateful. The customer will think that you are not interested in building a relationship and that you just want to make a commission. Remember your job as a Salesperson is to build relationships with customers and to make sales by demonstrating the value of your products to the customer. Once the sale is complete, it is your job to deliver on the promises that you make to your customer.

Now you are thinking well this is great but when do I ask for a referral? How do I ask for a referral?

I would ask the customer for a referral when you know the customer is happy with the implementation of your product or service. In other words, ask when you have delivered on your promise. If you offer more than one product or service try to cross-sell or upsell the customer first. See if the customer will use more of your products or services or if the customer purchases more expensive offerings from you. Once the customer purchases more items from you, the customer is demonstrating that they like and trust you. This is the time to ask for a referral. I usually waited until this point to ask for a referral.

I would ask the customer for a referral by first thanking them for the business that they have provided and trusted me with. Then I would ask if they knew of anyone like themselves that would benefit from my offering. My experience has taught me that the customers were always willing to offer themselves as a reference. Customers who offered me a referral would let me use their names with other clients or pass my name along to their peers.

Testimonials are like referrals. Testimonials can come in a variety of forms. There are a testimonial letter and a testimonial video. The testimonial letter is when a customer writes a letter stating that you did a wonderful job for them and endorses you. The digital version of this letter is the recommendation feature on LinkedIn. The testimonial video is when a client speaks of your performance in a short video segment.

When asking for a testimonial, offer the customer the option to choose the option they feel comfortable with. Also, be sure to tell them what specific aspect of your service you want them to focus on. Once you receive a referral and/or testimonial, make sure to thank your customer. Should you get new business through a referral, provide great service otherwise your customer will not give you anymore! Keep your customer informed on the status of the relationship with the referral.

This is how to handle objections in a nutshell.

What objections did you face?

How did you handle them?

Comment and share.

Posted 35 weeks ago

Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

I write about the three topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in outside sales and marketing. My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual.

How to Gain Market Share with  Tech Products

During my time in field sales, I wanted to obtain the business of Dental Schools and Hospitals. After obtaining meetings and making presentations to prominent Dentists, I was informed that they could not buy from me. After handling objections, showing how my offerings were better than the competition, I found out why. The decision-makers explained that they were under contract with large manufacturers and distributors.

These competitors offered deep discounts to Dental Schools so their students would get comfortable using their products. When students would become licensed Dentists, they would use the products they trained on instead of the competitors. These competitors built lifelong customer loyalty.

When I called on certain Dentists, they said they liked a particular company’s product. I asked them why they liked the product and would they consider switching for something comparable with faster service. The Dentists said no saying that they learned on particular equipment in Dental School and it was the only thing they felt comfortable using.

The Technology Life Cycle

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Image via

http://www.matthewsonmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/chap-1-fig-2-geoffrey-moore-tech-adopt-curve1.png?w=580

Geoffrey Moore discusses the Technology life cycle in Crossing the Chasm.

Dental manufactures and large distributors used pricing to target the Innovators/Early adopters/which in this case was the dental students and hospitals. To increase market share, they offered discounted pricing in exchange for purchase and long service contracts. These manufacturers and distributors succeeded in targeting dental students right before they would become customers; earning them years of customer loyalty.

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Here is how this SAAS marketing program could be executed on the Technology Life cycle curve.

Innovators Preparation programs

Offer Preparation programs discounted pricing and free trials to try the product.

Have Pre-service Professionals get comfortable using the product.

Early Adopters Early Career Professionals

Offer them free trials and a lower discount.

Early/Late Majority Seasoned Professionals

Offer Trials and discounts to targeted staff and managers

Laggards Senior Staff Members

Continue to innovate the product and messaging to show how the product is being used.

Obtain Testimonials from satisfied staff and managers.

Show how the product exceeds competitors.

When appropriate, offer free and discounted trials to all appropriate prospects.

This is how Tech companies can improve their market share and generate life-long customer loyalty.

Tech Companies have the chance to improve business and generate life-long customer loyalty. This opportunity can be seized by offering discounted pricing and free trials to Innovators/Early Adopters which in this case are the preparation programs.

What Tech product do you want to try?

Comment and share below.

Additional Market Research Why & How People Buy Tech

When marketing and selling a tech product or service, it is important to ask two questions to understand your buyers.

1. What motivates people to buy a tech product or service?

2. How do people find a tech product or service to buy?

I surveyed my LinkedIn audience for answers.

1. What motivates people to buy a tech product or service?

People buy a technology product or service for many reasons.

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2. How do people find a tech product or service to buy?

People find and buy technology products or services in different ways.

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These findings suggest businesses need to create customer-centric offerings to survive in a competitive marketplace. Answering these questions will help businesses develop, create and, position offerings people want to purchase. I

Why & How People Buy

When marketing and selling a product or service, it is important to ask two questions to understand your buyers.

1. What motivates people to buy a product or service?

2. How do people find a product or service to buy?

I surveyed my LinkedIn audience for answers.


1. What motivates people to buy a product or service?

People buy a product or service for many reasons.

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2. How do people find a product or service to buy?

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People find and buy products or services in different ways.

These findings suggest businesses need to create customer-centric offerings to survive in a competitive marketplace.

Answering these questions will help businesses develop, create and, position offerings people want to purchase.

About Me

I’m a Strategic Marketer with Field Sales, Sales Enablement, Content Creation and, Classroom Teacher/Trainer skill-sets using Marketing to drive Sales/Growth.

As a Marketer, I’ve worked with Start-Ups, a Political Campaign, and a Digital Marketing Conference.

I’m certified in Inbound Marketing with classes in Marketing, Product Management, Product Marketing, SEO, SEM.

Before teaching, I was an Outside Sales and Marketing Rep. selling and marketing dental products to Dentists using consultative selling, trade show marketing, field marketing, and market research.

I publish Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today a blog covering industry events and trends.

Articles and insights have been featured, mentioned and, referenced in:

Tractica in the News

The Future of AI

https://medium.com/@DanGalante/the-future-of-ai-insights-from-the-ai-summit-ab6267eca70b

Digital Marketing World Forum

https://www.digitalmarketing-conference.com/key-insights-from-digital-marketing-world-forum-north-america/

Voice Summit

Compilation: Our Favorite Post-VOICE Coverage So Far

https://www.voicesummit.ai/blog/compilation-our-favorite-post-voice-coverage

Engage Bay

7 Steps to Align your Marketing Automation Strategy

https://www.engagebay.com/blog/marketing-automation-strategy/

Relay 42

The Role of Technology in Customer-Centricity

https://relay42.com/resources/blog/the-role-of-technology-in-customer-centricity

Databox

How to Improve Marketing and Sales Alignment (Gave background)

https://databox.com/how-to-improve-sales-marketing-alignment

Onalytica

Named as a Top STEM Influencer for EdTech and Education Industry Insights.

http://www.onalytica.com/blog/posts/stem-top-influencers-brands-publications/

The Arizona Republic

http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/handle-top-10-sme-sales-objections-24845.html

Twitter Ads Blog

https://blog.twitter.com/2014/how-smartphone-users-engage-on-twitter-three-key-findings

Paper.li’s Wall Of Fame via Scoop.it

http://www.scoop.it/t/all-things-paper-li/?tag=Dan+Galante

I’ve been honored for my Social Profiles

•LinkedIn SSI Score in the Top 1%

•SlideShare for being in the top 5% of profiles viewed in 2014

•LinkedIn Profile was in the top 1% of profiles viewed out of 200 million members in 2012

I’m seeking a full-time role in:

Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Product Marketing, Demand Generation, Social Media Marketing, Sales Enablement Enablement, Sales Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing.

Open on title, industry, company, location, and level. Reach out on LinkedIn or at dan@dangalante.com to start a conversation.

Posted 8 weeks ago

How & Why People Buy Tech

When marketing and selling a tech product or service, it is important to ask two questions to understand your buyers.

1. What motivates people to buy a tech product or service?

2. How do people find a tech product or service to buy?

I surveyed my LinkedIn audience for answers.

1. What motivates people to buy a tech product or service?

People buy a technology product or service for many reasons.

2. How do people find a tech product or service to buy?

People find and buy technology products or services in different ways.

These findings suggest businesses need to create customer-centric offerings to survive in a competitive marketplace.

Answering these questions will help businesses develop, create and, position offerings people want to purchase.

What motivates customers to buy your technology products and services?

How do your customers find technology products and services?

Join the conversation.

Posted 13 weeks ago

How to Create Marketing Sales & Service Teams Need

I asked my LinkedIn audience If the Sales and Marketing function merged and run by Sales, What would be your main focus? Why?

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As you can see, 68% of those surveyed said that increase lead generation and demand generation was a top priority. What this means is that people see Marketing as a vehicle to increase Sales and Revenue.

Marketing also serves as an Enablement for Sales Teams, Customer Success, support, and even employer branding. Many companies have created a dedicated enablement function. Companies sit employer branding and Recruitment Marketing in HR. However, there are still a lot of companies without dedicated enablment and employer branding functions.

Everyone looks to the marketing department. The lines between product, marketing, sales, and customer success are blurring.

Marketers do traditional work of branding, advertising, market research, content creation, and enablement, but these tasks support the larger goal of increased Sales and Revenue. Marketers impact Sales and by filing up the Sales pipeline, pre and post-sale. In the end, Marketers need to make a business case to justify their existence.

Sales reps can only be as good as the product and message they represent. Before companies can hire Sales reps, they need a great product with messaging that conveys the benefits to customers. Sales reps need support from marketing in the cross-functional organization of today. The messaging should be able to prevent customer objections. Unfortunately, this is where many Marketing departments fall short.

According to Salesforce.com, “studies show that 82 % of Sellers are out of sync with buyers.”

Many marketing hires lack sales experience; they do not know how to handle and anticipate customer objections. As a result, Sales and Marketing collateral designed to enable front-line teams like Sales are not helpful enough.

Research conducted by CEB Gartner found “80% of Marketing Collateral is trashed and 30% of Sales time is wasted creating the collateral just trashed.”

In addition, many people in Marketing lack the background and understanding of how people learn. Teachers and psychologists have this training. Understanding how people learn can make product messaging more effective because it can be presented in multiple formats. Many people in marketing lack practitioner experience and as a result, marketing is not as effective.

How can Marketing be improved?

Hire Sales Reps, Teachers, and Industry practitioners in marketing roles.

Now I will make a case for hiring Sales Reps, Teachers, and Industry practitioners in marketing.

Case for hiring ex Sales Reps

  • Knows how to handle objections which can be applied to message
  • Experience dealing with customers knows customer pain points
  • Sees how end-user uses the product
  • Can increase sales using Sales expertise to make messaging customer-centric
  • Can assist with Sales and Marketing Alignment as companies need to work cross-functionally
  • Understands the issues Sales Reps face and has the credibility of being a Rep when collaborating with Sales Teams

Experienced obtaining, qualifying, and converting leads to Sales ie Lead gen/demand gen

Hiring Industry practice experts

  • They are the customers and understand the pain points better than any market research -should be in leadership roles

Case For hiring Ex Teachers

  • understands how people learned
  • skilled at tailoring content for understanding based on learning needs
  • Today’s marketing is about educating customers and earning the right to market to them as they can educate customers

Why it is not Good enough to only place Industry practice experts and ex Teachers in the Sales Org

People in Sales are not involved in the creative process and cannot change their cards and company messaging.

They cannot address weaknesses in messaging and products.

The Marketer of Tomorrow

1. Understands Marketing as a Service or MAAS
2. Thrives in Data-Driven and Metric Driven Environments
3. Has Writing Ability
4 Has Sales Experience understanding Pain Points of Customer Facing Staff and Customers

My background

I have Marketing experience along with all of the above in my background.

Are you ready to increase Sales by improving Marketing?

Your sales and service teams deserve better!

Change today!

How have you increased Sales by improving messaging?

Comment and share below.

About Me

I’m a Strategic Marketer with Field Sales, Sales Enablement, Content Creation and, Classroom Teacher/Trainer skill-sets using Marketing to drive Sales/Growth.

As a Marketer, I’ve worked with Start-Ups, a Political Campaign, and a Digital Marketing Conference.

I’m certified in Inbound Marketing with classes in Marketing, Product Management, Product Marketing, SEO, SEM.

Before teaching, I was an Outside Sales and Marketing Rep. selling and marketing dental products to Dentists using consultative selling, trade show marketing, field marketing, and market research.

I publish Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today a blog covering industry events and trends.

Articles and insights have been featured, mentioned and, referenced in:

Tractica in the News
The Future of AI
https://medium.com/@DanGalante/the-future-of-ai-insights-from-the-ai-summit-ab6267eca70b

Digital Marketing World Forum
https://www.digitalmarketing-conference.com/key-insights-from-digital-marketing-world-forum-north-america/

Voice Summit
Compilation: Our Favorite Post-VOICE Coverage So Far
https://www.voicesummit.ai/blog/compilation-our-favorite-post-voice-coverage

Engage Bay
7 Steps to Align your Marketing Automation Strategy
https://www.engagebay.com/blog/marketing-automation-strategy/

Relay 42
The Role of Technology in Customer-Centricity
https://relay42.com/resources/blog/the-role-of-technology-in-customer-centricity

Databox
How to Improve Marketing and Sales Alignment (Gave background)
https://databox.com/how-to-improve-sales-marketing-alignment

Onalytica
Named as a Top STEM Influencer for EdTech and Education Industry Insights.
http://www.onalytica.com/blog/posts/stem-top-influencers-brands-publications/

The Arizona Republic
http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/handle-top-10-sme-sales-objections-24845.html

Twitter Ads Blog
https://blog.twitter.com/2014/how-smartphone-users-engage-on-twitter-three-key-findings

Paper.li’s Wall Of Fame via Scoop.it
http://www.scoop.it/t/all-things-paper-li/?tag=Dan+Galante

I’ve been honored for my Social Profiles
•LinkedIn SSI Score in the Top 1%
•SlideShare for being in the top 5% of profiles viewed in 2014
•LinkedIn Profile was in the top 1% of profiles viewed out of 200 million members in 2012

I’m seeking a full-time role in:
Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Product Marketing, Demand Generation, Social Media Marketing, Sales Enablement Enablement, Sales Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing.
Open on title, industry, company, location, and level. Reach out on LinkedIn or at dan@dangalante.com to start a conversation.

Posted 18 weeks ago

What makes Product Marketing Difficult? What Product Marketers do

What is the hardest part of Product Marketing?

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LinkedIn poll of my audience

Marketers need to develop and deploy a buyer-centric go-to-market strategy. It is time for marketers to ask better questions about buyers.

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What is the role of a Product Marketer?

I covered the Product Marketing Community workshop to find out.

Workshop Topics included how to:

  1. Build and execute go-to-market plans
  2. Develop actionable buyer insights
  3. Create effective Messaging and Content for buyers
  4. Enable Sales and Product Teams

Businesses should identify their ideal customer.

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Only certain target customers will buy due to internal and external factors.

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To grow revenue, businesses need to develop and use better competitive insights. Developing these insights entails examining everything about the competition to identify: strengths, weaknesses, competitor priorities, growing, and under-served markets.

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Product Marketing involves more than Marketing and Product Team support. Product Marketers serve Marketing, Sales, and Product teams. Each team has different needs and responsibilities. However, they all grow the business and serve customers.

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Product Marketers serve as market experts and translators for teams from across the organization.

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What is Product Marketing?

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Product Marketing is the discipline of bringing a product to market and nurturing its success. Businesses need to create and market products people want to buy. To do that, they need to use the Pragmatic Framework.

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Product Marketers are taking on some Product Manager responsibilities

Product Marketing needs a separate brief.

Just as Marketing has a plan or brief, Product Marketing does.

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SmartSheet.com Product Marketing Template

Here are nine things to address in a Product Marketing Brief.

  1. What does your company? Does your product offering align with your business goals?
  2. What are the features of your product? Do others understand what you are building and why?
  3. Does this Product address gaps in the Market? Include an overview of a Competitive, win-loss and, SWOT analysis.
  4. Who is your ideal customer or target market? Include an overview of findings of demographic, psychographic, and buyer persona research. Does your product solve customer pain points?
  5. How will you measure product success?
  6. What are can go wrong? Can failure be anticipated and corrected?
  7. What is the roadmap and schedule of the product? Who’s responsible and in charge.
  8. Who needs to be included in the project and who needs to approve deliverables?
  9. How will goals be tracked? How often will they be monitored? What insights are you trying to glean from the data?
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Johnathan Hinz of Seismeic shares his insights on sales enablement and its role in marketing.

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The lack of Sales and Marketing alignment is due in part to the inadequate amount of customer value mapping relating to the number of buyer types.

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Product Marketers, what’s the hardest part of your job?

How do you know if you are successful?

Share your thoughts.

Posted 22 weeks ago

How & Why People Buy

When marketing and selling a product or service, it is important to ask two questions to understand your buyers.

1.What motivates people to buy a product or service?

2.How do people find a product or service to buy?

I surveyed my LinkedIn audience for answers.

1. What motivates people to buy a product or service?

People buy a product or service to: solve a problem, meet a need, or fulfill a want or desire. 49% buy products and services to solve a problem, meet a need, or fulfill a desire. 27% wanted to solve a problem, 16 % want to meet a need, and 8% wanted to fulfill a want or desire.

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2. How do people find a product or service to buy?

People find and buy products or services through word of mouth, social media, online search, and,/or product reviews. Of those surveyed, none said they found or bought products from seller calls or emails. No one found or bought products attending trade shows or events; this can be because of the pandemic.

63 % found or bought products from social channels or word of mouth, and 37% found or bought products or services from online searches or product reviews.

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These findings suggest businesses need to create products and services that are customer-centric. Businesses need a great reputation to survive in a competitive marketplace.

Answering these questions will help businesses develop, create and, position products and services customers want to buy.

Your approach will vary depending on your industry.

What motivates customers to buy your products and services?

How do your customers find products and services?

Join the conversation.

Posted 26 weeks ago

9 Ways to Enable Sales Teams to Close More Deals & Make More Sales

Sales processes include the following: customer development,   prospecting, discovery calls, closing deals, cross-selling, upselling, post-sales implementation, customer experience, obtaining referrals, and testimonials.

What is the hardest part of the sales process?

I surveyed my LinkedIn audience to find out.

Survey Results

Of those surveyed, 53 % said closing deals was the hardest part of the Sales Process, followed by understanding market fit at 22%, Calling on buyers, and knowing their needs at 19% with the lowest being cross-selling, referrals, testimonials, or other reasons at 6%.

Based on these findings, I have included nine ways to enable sales teams to close more deals.

9 Strategies to Empower and Enable Sales Teams to Make more Sales

1.Have Sales and Marketing Management discuss Sales Cycle mapping out Sales, Marketing, and the Customer Journey.

2. Have Marketing go with Sales on calls to observe customer interactions regularly.

3. Take notes from Sales calls to develop answers to customer objections.

4. Role play with the Sales to get better at objection handling.

5. Develop an on-demand LMS for Sales including Decks, Videos, Sales Training materials, Product training materials, Scripts, and FAQs.

6. Use feedback from Sales calls and objections to improve Sales and Marketing Collateral.

7. Assign readings on sales strategy and techniques.

8. Conduct market research to show how is your products and services are better than the competitor. Present market research creating a chart that Sales can refer to when dealing with customers.

9. Develop buyer personas to understand customer buying motives. Share the buyer personas with Sales.

What is the hardest part of the sales process?

How did you fix your sales process?

Share your thoughts.

Posted 31 weeks ago

9  Key Strategies to Overcoming Sales Objections

In sales, everyone has to be able to overcome objections to be successful. The best way to overcome objections is to prevent them. This can be done by providing a thorough sales presentation that covers all the information about your products and services. Also, you must address any questions the prospect has immediately. However, objections will come up from time to time. Some of these objections are real buying signals and others are just stalls to put you off. As a Salesperson, you need to be able to tell the difference.

Handling Objections & Stalls from Prospects

1.I am happy with my current supplier.

When you call on a prospect they say we are happy with our current supplier, this can mean one of two things. The first is that they are truly happy and the second is that they want you to get lost. (A stall) Obviously, you need to be able to tell the difference. You should be able to tell by a prospect’s body language and level of attention.

If it is the first scenario, you should find out what supplier they currently use. When the prospect tells you it is your job to demonstrate how you are better. Once you feel that you have demonstrated how you are better, ask for a commitment or small order. By asking for a small order, you provide the prospect an opportunity to take a chance on you with minimal risk. I have had a lot of success with this approach.

If the scenario is the second one, the prospect will not provide you with any information or say that they deal with a company or person for 20 years and they do not want to change. In this case, I would still ask for the order. Should the prospect say he is not interested again, I would thank them for their time and leave. You should call on this prospect a few more times and then only call on them every two months. You need to focus your time on prospects that are receptive to you and your offering.

2. I want to think it over.

When you hear this, what the prospect is really saying is I am interested but I am not totally convinced. You should ask the prospect what specifically about this offer do you want to think over? Your goal here is to uncover the real objection. If the prospect gives you a specific answer, you are in business. Address the objection and ask a closing question. Say if I can handle XYZ, is there any reason why you would not purchase this product. Should the prospect say, no you covered everything, this means that they are either stalling, not interested in your offering, or will not tell you the real issue they have with your product. If this is the case, ask when they plan on making a decision and follow-up with them in that time-frame.

3. I need to consult another party

This can be a stall to put you off. You will need to determine this by the prospect’s body language and the level of attention you receive. When the prospect tells you this, you should ask for a meeting with the prospect and the person they need to consult. Should the prospect agree to this, you have a chance. If they will not agree to a meeting, it is a stall and they are not interested in your offering. However, I would still call on them a few more times. If you have no success, call on them every two months.

4. I am not the Decision-Maker- The Columbo Technique

During some cold calls to dental offices, I was not able to obtain the information that I needed to overcome prospect objections. This occurred because the person I was speaking to was not the decision-maker. As a result, they were reluctant to talk for fear that they would say the wrong things or give away too much information on their bosses’ business. Despite their reluctance, I would continue to talk with them, build rapport and bond. I would ask to speak to the decision-maker but many times they were not in the office, or the person I was speaking with would not want to disturb them for fear of getting reamed out when I left the office.

When this was the case, I would use the Columbo technique to get the information that I needed. I would turn to leave the office, put my hand on the doorknob and ask who their supplier was or when I could catch the boss. Usually, the person I was speaking with would provide me with a lot of information about the prospect. Even more, than I expected! This is because the person that I was speaking with put their guard down. After all, they thought I was leaving the office so one last question didn’t seem so bad.

During other cold calls, I was able to speak to the decision-maker. I would build rapport with them and try to obtain as much information as I could to overcome their objections. Many times the prospect would be reluctant to give me information; stating that they were happy with their supplier or they were too busy to speak to me. When they used the supplier objection, I would employ the Columbo technique; turn to leave and ask who their supplier was. Many times they would tell me and I would ask them for few moments of their time to show how my products were better. I would get the time and close the prospect on giving me a trial order. I developed some of my best customers this way. Other times, I was able to obtain a follow-up appointment with the prospect.

The key to the Columbo technique is to get prospects talking. Even if it’s about things not related to their business at first. You want to make them comfortable talking with you. Next, you want to save the question you really want to know for the end of the conversation because the prospect will most likely answer it thinking you are going to leave their office. In other words, their guard is down.

The Columbo technique is a great way to close sales and obtain information.

5. Your price is too high.

Emphasize the quality of your product along with the level of service you will provide. Next, you should demonstrate to the prospect how your offering’s total cost is less than the competitors over the life of the product. Testimonials from loyal customers can also help you here. By taking these steps you demonstrate that your product is valuable and increase your chances of making the sale. (Provided this is the real objection.)

6. We spent our budget.

If they say the money is not the budget, ask If I can offer delayed billing or a payment plan would you be able to take delivery? If the person needs approval from another person, ask to present your product to that individual with your prospect’s endorsement. Should the company really want and need your product, they will find a way to pay for it.

7. I had a bad experience with your company.

I would apologize to the prospect about the experience. Tell them you are the new rep and that you will not let anything bad happen on your watch. Ask them to give you a chance. This will not work all of the time.

8. Call me After the Holidays

During the holiday season, many people are in holiday and party shopping mode. from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and many other things. Also, everyone is thinking about going to parties. So the last thing on your customer’s and prospects’ mind is to make a year-end purchase; unless they receive a year-end tax advantage. As a sales rep, you are under pressure to close deals so you can earn that bonus. Unless your customer is in a buying mood, you are going to hear the objection “call me after the holidays”. If you have done business with this customer, you will have an easier time than if you are making a cold call.

To combat this objection. You have to attempt to get around this objection. If your offer is time-sensitive or if you can provide a break on pricing or payment through a special promotion for example no payments for 3 months; make your customer aware of them. However, at this time of the year, you will get customers and prospects who just don’t want to deal with you and your offering. As a sales rep, it is your job to be able to tell if the customer and prospect are telling you the truth. In other words, you need to qualify their objections. This means following up with every customer and prospect even when things look bleak.

Should your customers and prospects insist that call you after the holidays, I would find out which holiday they mean. Next, I would pin them down to a specific day and time to call back. I recommend sending your customers and prospects a holiday card with a little note reminding them about the appointment; stating how you look forward to speaking with them on the specific date and time. Once this time comes, I would hold them to their promise. Deliver your presentation and ask for the business.

9. Testimonials and Referrals

Showing Testimonials to a prospect can be a great way for them to trust you enough to make a purchase. If you don’t have any the sale is that much more difficult but not impossible. I have made plenty of Sales without them.

Once you have made a sale to a customer, it is important to follow-up with a customer. As a Salesperson, it is important to deliver on the promises you make to customers. This means checking in with the customer throughout the implementation of your product or service and staying in touch with the customer after the sale. In this post, I am going to discuss how to earn referrals and testimonials.

During my time as an outside sales representative in New York City, making sales was the highlight of my day. Once I made a sale, I was itching to ask for a referral or a testimonial. In other words, I wanted to ask the customer the question Do you know of anyone who could benefit from my product and services? However, once I made the sale my inner voice told me not to ask for a referral. Now many people would want to ask because they feel that the customer bought their products or services and this shows a sign of trust. But what did the customer really buy? Yes, the customer bought you and your products but the main thing that they bought was your promise to deliver value through your offering. How can you ask someone to put their credibility on the line when you and your solution are unproven? Yet many people do.

Asking for a referral right after the sale is a mistake because you have not delivered on your promise and you will seem ungrateful. The customer will think that you are not interested in building a relationship and that you just want to make a commission. Remember your job as a Salesperson is to build relationships with customers and to make sales by demonstrating the value of your products to the customer. Once the sale is complete, it is your job to deliver on the promises that you make to your customer.

Now you are thinking well this is great but when do I ask for a referral? How do I ask for a referral?

I would ask the customer for a referral when you know the customer is happy with the implementation of your product or service. In other words, ask when you have delivered on your promise. If you offer more than one product or service try to cross-sell or upsell the customer first. See if the customer will use more of your products or services or if the customer purchases more expensive offerings from you. Once the customer purchases more items from you, the customer is demonstrating that they like and trust you. This is the time to ask for a referral. I usually waited until this point to ask for a referral.

I would ask the customer for a referral by first thanking them for the business that they have provided and trusted me with. Then I would ask if they knew of anyone like themselves that would benefit from my offering. My experience has taught me that the customers were always willing to offer themselves as a reference. Customers who offered me a referral would let me use their names with other clients or pass my name along to their peers.

Testimonials are like referrals. Testimonials can come in a variety of forms. There are a testimonial letter and a testimonial video. The testimonial letter is when a customer writes a letter stating that you did a wonderful job for them and endorses you. The digital version of this letter is the recommendation feature on LinkedIn. The testimonial video is when a client speaks of your performance in a short video segment.

When asking for a testimonial, offer the customer the option to choose the option they feel comfortable with. Also, be sure to tell them what specific aspect of your service you want them to focus on. Once you receive a referral and/or testimonial, make sure to thank your customer. Should you get new business through a referral, provide great service otherwise your customer will not give you anymore! Keep your customer informed on the status of the relationship with the referral.

This is how to handle objections in a nutshell.

What objections did you face?

How did you handle them?

Comment and share.

Posted 35 weeks ago

Why People Use Marketing & Their Challenges

People do Marketing for different reasons and they have different sets of challenges concerning the Marketing they do. I conducted two surveys of my LinkedIn audience.

I asked the following: 

1.What do you hope to gain from your marketing efforts?


2. What is your biggest marketing challenge? Why?


Based on survey findings, 56 percent of people use Marketing for a mix of brand awareness, lead generation, and revenue. In terms of Marketing challenges, 70 percent said that Content Marketing was the biggest.

If you didn’t get a chance to vote, answer these questions in the comments.

What do you hope to gain from your marketing? What is your biggest marketing challenge?

Posted 40 weeks ago

Marketing New Product features to Prospects & Customers: What I'd Do

If I was going to launch a bunch of new product features and I was tasked with developing a social media marketing campaign to market these features to existing customers and generate new leads.

What questions might I have when starting to plan the campaign?

I would ask:

Which channels do customers use when making purchasing decisions?

I would work with the Product Team during beta testing to interview customers to gather feedback on the new features; taking the information to develop blogs and other related messaging. I would also ask customers to provide testimonials about the new features and include them in social media campaigns.

Also, I would survey customers about their learning style and which content format they prefer i.e. videos, blogs, etc. Based on the data from the survey, I would decide which channels I would use along with the type of content to develop.

With what I learned, what might my campaign look like?

The campaign would revolve around a series of Social posts based on customer feedback Including Customer Testimonials obtained from the beta testing and videos of customers using the product. I would build anticipation online using videos to announce the new features. I would have a contest online where users would need to submit an email address.

Which social platforms would I use?

I would use a blog, Email, LinkedIn, Slideshare Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube platforms to educate customers about new offerings.

Are there any emerging social strategies I would want to try?

I would like to attend industry events where I could interview experts in the space. I would want to create a group to reward loyal customers and develop an evangelist program where customers would tell their friends.

How have you marketed new product features to current and prospective customers?

Feel free to comment and share.

Posted 45 weeks ago

How to Create Content Customers Love

Creating content that engages customers is key. Another key element to creating customer-centered presentations and digital content is knowledge of buyer learning styles.

In other words, how do buyers learn best?

There are three learning styles, Visual, Auditory, and kinesthetic. 65 percent of learners are Visual but this is not everyone.

Survey Results

I surveyed my LinkedIn Audience to ask which types of content helps them to learn best and what type of content they value most.

As you can see, people learn best from a mix of written, video, audio, and content formats.

Of the types of content, people want to read, many want to read industry insights, how-to, insights from conferences, and a mix of all of the above.

Based on my findings, I would recommend that content be:

1.Created and repurposed in multiple formats

2.Content is about industry insights, how-to, and insights from conferences

The overall content strategy should be based on how your customers learn and the types and format of content based on their wants and needs.

Bonus Content

In the presentation below, I provide ideas and strategies to:

1.Collect information on your buyer’s learning style

2.Create presentations and content that will engage buyers with content that is optimized to their learning style making it more engaging**

3.Create differentiated presentations and content for all learners when buyer learning styles are unknown

** How to Customize Presentations & content to Buyer learning Styles **

from

Dan Galante

How do you learn best and which content format helps you most? Comment and share.

Posted 55 weeks ago

Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

I write about the three topics that I am most passionate about; Sales, Marketing and Social Media. These topics are covered from my experiences in outside sales and marketing. My objective is to use my expertise to help business and the individual.

How to Gain Market Share with  Tech Products

During my time in field sales, I wanted to obtain the business of Dental Schools and Hospitals. After obtaining meetings and making presentations to prominent Dentists, I was informed that they could not buy from me. After handling objections, showing how my offerings were better than the competition, I found out why. The decision-makers explained that they were under contract with large manufacturers and distributors.

These competitors offered deep discounts to Dental Schools so their students would get comfortable using their products. When students would become licensed Dentists, they would use the products they trained on instead of the competitors. These competitors built lifelong customer loyalty.

When I called on certain Dentists, they said they liked a particular company’s product. I asked them why they liked the product and would they consider switching for something comparable with faster service. The Dentists said no saying that they learned on particular equipment in Dental School and it was the only thing they felt comfortable using.

The Technology Life Cycle

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Image via

http://www.matthewsonmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/chap-1-fig-2-geoffrey-moore-tech-adopt-curve1.png?w=580

Geoffrey Moore discusses the Technology life cycle in Crossing the Chasm.

Dental manufactures and large distributors used pricing to target the Innovators/Early adopters/which in this case was the dental students and hospitals. To increase market share, they offered discounted pricing in exchange for purchase and long service contracts. These manufacturers and distributors succeeded in targeting dental students right before they would become customers; earning them years of customer loyalty.

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Here is how this SAAS marketing program could be executed on the Technology Life cycle curve.

Innovators Preparation programs

Offer Preparation programs discounted pricing and free trials to try the product.

Have Pre-service Professionals get comfortable using the product.

Early Adopters Early Career Professionals

Offer them free trials and a lower discount.

Early/Late Majority Seasoned Professionals

Offer Trials and discounts to targeted staff and managers

Laggards Senior Staff Members

Continue to innovate the product and messaging to show how the product is being used.

Obtain Testimonials from satisfied staff and managers.

Show how the product exceeds competitors.

When appropriate, offer free and discounted trials to all appropriate prospects.

This is how Tech companies can improve their market share and generate life-long customer loyalty.

Tech Companies have the chance to improve business and generate life-long customer loyalty. This opportunity can be seized by offering discounted pricing and free trials to Innovators/Early Adopters which in this case are the preparation programs.

What Tech product do you want to try?

Comment and share below.

Additional Market Research Why & How People Buy Tech

When marketing and selling a tech product or service, it is important to ask two questions to understand your buyers.

1. What motivates people to buy a tech product or service?

2. How do people find a tech product or service to buy?

I surveyed my LinkedIn audience for answers.

1. What motivates people to buy a tech product or service?

People buy a technology product or service for many reasons.

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2. How do people find a tech product or service to buy?

People find and buy technology products or services in different ways.

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These findings suggest businesses need to create customer-centric offerings to survive in a competitive marketplace. Answering these questions will help businesses develop, create and, position offerings people want to purchase. I

Why & How People Buy

When marketing and selling a product or service, it is important to ask two questions to understand your buyers.

1. What motivates people to buy a product or service?

2. How do people find a product or service to buy?

I surveyed my LinkedIn audience for answers.


1. What motivates people to buy a product or service?

People buy a product or service for many reasons.

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2. How do people find a product or service to buy?

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People find and buy products or services in different ways.

These findings suggest businesses need to create customer-centric offerings to survive in a competitive marketplace.

Answering these questions will help businesses develop, create and, position offerings people want to purchase.

About Me

I’m a Strategic Marketer with Field Sales, Sales Enablement, Content Creation and, Classroom Teacher/Trainer skill-sets using Marketing to drive Sales/Growth.

As a Marketer, I’ve worked with Start-Ups, a Political Campaign, and a Digital Marketing Conference.

I’m certified in Inbound Marketing with classes in Marketing, Product Management, Product Marketing, SEO, SEM.

Before teaching, I was an Outside Sales and Marketing Rep. selling and marketing dental products to Dentists using consultative selling, trade show marketing, field marketing, and market research.

I publish Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today a blog covering industry events and trends.

Articles and insights have been featured, mentioned and, referenced in:

Tractica in the News

The Future of AI

https://medium.com/@DanGalante/the-future-of-ai-insights-from-the-ai-summit-ab6267eca70b

Digital Marketing World Forum

https://www.digitalmarketing-conference.com/key-insights-from-digital-marketing-world-forum-north-america/

Voice Summit

Compilation: Our Favorite Post-VOICE Coverage So Far

https://www.voicesummit.ai/blog/compilation-our-favorite-post-voice-coverage

Engage Bay

7 Steps to Align your Marketing Automation Strategy

https://www.engagebay.com/blog/marketing-automation-strategy/

Relay 42

The Role of Technology in Customer-Centricity

https://relay42.com/resources/blog/the-role-of-technology-in-customer-centricity

Databox

How to Improve Marketing and Sales Alignment (Gave background)

https://databox.com/how-to-improve-sales-marketing-alignment

Onalytica

Named as a Top STEM Influencer for EdTech and Education Industry Insights.

http://www.onalytica.com/blog/posts/stem-top-influencers-brands-publications/

The Arizona Republic

http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/handle-top-10-sme-sales-objections-24845.html

Twitter Ads Blog

https://blog.twitter.com/2014/how-smartphone-users-engage-on-twitter-three-key-findings

Paper.li’s Wall Of Fame via Scoop.it

http://www.scoop.it/t/all-things-paper-li/?tag=Dan+Galante

I’ve been honored for my Social Profiles

•LinkedIn SSI Score in the Top 1%

•SlideShare for being in the top 5% of profiles viewed in 2014

•LinkedIn Profile was in the top 1% of profiles viewed out of 200 million members in 2012

I’m seeking a full-time role in:

Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Product Marketing, Demand Generation, Social Media Marketing, Sales Enablement Enablement, Sales Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing.

Open on title, industry, company, location, and level. Reach out on LinkedIn or at dan@dangalante.com to start a conversation.

Posted 8 weeks ago

How & Why People Buy Tech

When marketing and selling a tech product or service, it is important to ask two questions to understand your buyers.

1. What motivates people to buy a tech product or service?

2. How do people find a tech product or service to buy?

I surveyed my LinkedIn audience for answers.

1. What motivates people to buy a tech product or service?

People buy a technology product or service for many reasons.

2. How do people find a tech product or service to buy?

People find and buy technology products or services in different ways.

These findings suggest businesses need to create customer-centric offerings to survive in a competitive marketplace.

Answering these questions will help businesses develop, create and, position offerings people want to purchase.

What motivates customers to buy your technology products and services?

How do your customers find technology products and services?

Join the conversation.

Posted 13 weeks ago

How to Create Marketing Sales & Service Teams Need

I asked my LinkedIn audience If the Sales and Marketing function merged and run by Sales, What would be your main focus? Why?

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As you can see, 68% of those surveyed said that increase lead generation and demand generation was a top priority. What this means is that people see Marketing as a vehicle to increase Sales and Revenue.

Marketing also serves as an Enablement for Sales Teams, Customer Success, support, and even employer branding. Many companies have created a dedicated enablement function. Companies sit employer branding and Recruitment Marketing in HR. However, there are still a lot of companies without dedicated enablment and employer branding functions.

Everyone looks to the marketing department. The lines between product, marketing, sales, and customer success are blurring.

Marketers do traditional work of branding, advertising, market research, content creation, and enablement, but these tasks support the larger goal of increased Sales and Revenue. Marketers impact Sales and by filing up the Sales pipeline, pre and post-sale. In the end, Marketers need to make a business case to justify their existence.

Sales reps can only be as good as the product and message they represent. Before companies can hire Sales reps, they need a great product with messaging that conveys the benefits to customers. Sales reps need support from marketing in the cross-functional organization of today. The messaging should be able to prevent customer objections. Unfortunately, this is where many Marketing departments fall short.

According to Salesforce.com, “studies show that 82 % of Sellers are out of sync with buyers.”

Many marketing hires lack sales experience; they do not know how to handle and anticipate customer objections. As a result, Sales and Marketing collateral designed to enable front-line teams like Sales are not helpful enough.

Research conducted by CEB Gartner found “80% of Marketing Collateral is trashed and 30% of Sales time is wasted creating the collateral just trashed.”

In addition, many people in Marketing lack the background and understanding of how people learn. Teachers and psychologists have this training. Understanding how people learn can make product messaging more effective because it can be presented in multiple formats. Many people in marketing lack practitioner experience and as a result, marketing is not as effective.

How can Marketing be improved?

Hire Sales Reps, Teachers, and Industry practitioners in marketing roles.

Now I will make a case for hiring Sales Reps, Teachers, and Industry practitioners in marketing.

Case for hiring ex Sales Reps

  • Knows how to handle objections which can be applied to message
  • Experience dealing with customers knows customer pain points
  • Sees how end-user uses the product
  • Can increase sales using Sales expertise to make messaging customer-centric
  • Can assist with Sales and Marketing Alignment as companies need to work cross-functionally
  • Understands the issues Sales Reps face and has the credibility of being a Rep when collaborating with Sales Teams

Experienced obtaining, qualifying, and converting leads to Sales ie Lead gen/demand gen

Hiring Industry practice experts

  • They are the customers and understand the pain points better than any market research -should be in leadership roles

Case For hiring Ex Teachers

  • understands how people learned
  • skilled at tailoring content for understanding based on learning needs
  • Today’s marketing is about educating customers and earning the right to market to them as they can educate customers

Why it is not Good enough to only place Industry practice experts and ex Teachers in the Sales Org

People in Sales are not involved in the creative process and cannot change their cards and company messaging.

They cannot address weaknesses in messaging and products.

The Marketer of Tomorrow

1. Understands Marketing as a Service or MAAS
2. Thrives in Data-Driven and Metric Driven Environments
3. Has Writing Ability
4 Has Sales Experience understanding Pain Points of Customer Facing Staff and Customers

My background

I have Marketing experience along with all of the above in my background.

Are you ready to increase Sales by improving Marketing?

Your sales and service teams deserve better!

Change today!

How have you increased Sales by improving messaging?

Comment and share below.

About Me

I’m a Strategic Marketer with Field Sales, Sales Enablement, Content Creation and, Classroom Teacher/Trainer skill-sets using Marketing to drive Sales/Growth.

As a Marketer, I’ve worked with Start-Ups, a Political Campaign, and a Digital Marketing Conference.

I’m certified in Inbound Marketing with classes in Marketing, Product Management, Product Marketing, SEO, SEM.

Before teaching, I was an Outside Sales and Marketing Rep. selling and marketing dental products to Dentists using consultative selling, trade show marketing, field marketing, and market research.

I publish Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today a blog covering industry events and trends.

Articles and insights have been featured, mentioned and, referenced in:

Tractica in the News
The Future of AI
https://medium.com/@DanGalante/the-future-of-ai-insights-from-the-ai-summit-ab6267eca70b

Digital Marketing World Forum
https://www.digitalmarketing-conference.com/key-insights-from-digital-marketing-world-forum-north-america/

Voice Summit
Compilation: Our Favorite Post-VOICE Coverage So Far
https://www.voicesummit.ai/blog/compilation-our-favorite-post-voice-coverage

Engage Bay
7 Steps to Align your Marketing Automation Strategy
https://www.engagebay.com/blog/marketing-automation-strategy/

Relay 42
The Role of Technology in Customer-Centricity
https://relay42.com/resources/blog/the-role-of-technology-in-customer-centricity

Databox
How to Improve Marketing and Sales Alignment (Gave background)
https://databox.com/how-to-improve-sales-marketing-alignment

Onalytica
Named as a Top STEM Influencer for EdTech and Education Industry Insights.
http://www.onalytica.com/blog/posts/stem-top-influencers-brands-publications/

The Arizona Republic
http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/handle-top-10-sme-sales-objections-24845.html

Twitter Ads Blog
https://blog.twitter.com/2014/how-smartphone-users-engage-on-twitter-three-key-findings

Paper.li’s Wall Of Fame via Scoop.it
http://www.scoop.it/t/all-things-paper-li/?tag=Dan+Galante

I’ve been honored for my Social Profiles
•LinkedIn SSI Score in the Top 1%
•SlideShare for being in the top 5% of profiles viewed in 2014
•LinkedIn Profile was in the top 1% of profiles viewed out of 200 million members in 2012

I’m seeking a full-time role in:
Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Product Marketing, Demand Generation, Social Media Marketing, Sales Enablement Enablement, Sales Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing.
Open on title, industry, company, location, and level. Reach out on LinkedIn or at dan@dangalante.com to start a conversation.

Posted 18 weeks ago

What makes Product Marketing Difficult? What Product Marketers do

What is the hardest part of Product Marketing?

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LinkedIn poll of my audience

Marketers need to develop and deploy a buyer-centric go-to-market strategy. It is time for marketers to ask better questions about buyers.

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What is the role of a Product Marketer?

I covered the Product Marketing Community workshop to find out.

Workshop Topics included how to:

  1. Build and execute go-to-market plans
  2. Develop actionable buyer insights
  3. Create effective Messaging and Content for buyers
  4. Enable Sales and Product Teams

Businesses should identify their ideal customer.

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Only certain target customers will buy due to internal and external factors.

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To grow revenue, businesses need to develop and use better competitive insights. Developing these insights entails examining everything about the competition to identify: strengths, weaknesses, competitor priorities, growing, and under-served markets.

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Product Marketing involves more than Marketing and Product Team support. Product Marketers serve Marketing, Sales, and Product teams. Each team has different needs and responsibilities. However, they all grow the business and serve customers.

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Product Marketers serve as market experts and translators for teams from across the organization.

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What is Product Marketing?

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Product Marketing is the discipline of bringing a product to market and nurturing its success. Businesses need to create and market products people want to buy. To do that, they need to use the Pragmatic Framework.

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Product Marketers are taking on some Product Manager responsibilities

Product Marketing needs a separate brief.

Just as Marketing has a plan or brief, Product Marketing does.

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SmartSheet.com Product Marketing Template

Here are nine things to address in a Product Marketing Brief.

  1. What does your company? Does your product offering align with your business goals?
  2. What are the features of your product? Do others understand what you are building and why?
  3. Does this Product address gaps in the Market? Include an overview of a Competitive, win-loss and, SWOT analysis.
  4. Who is your ideal customer or target market? Include an overview of findings of demographic, psychographic, and buyer persona research. Does your product solve customer pain points?
  5. How will you measure product success?
  6. What are can go wrong? Can failure be anticipated and corrected?
  7. What is the roadmap and schedule of the product? Who’s responsible and in charge.
  8. Who needs to be included in the project and who needs to approve deliverables?
  9. How will goals be tracked? How often will they be monitored? What insights are you trying to glean from the data?
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Johnathan Hinz of Seismeic shares his insights on sales enablement and its role in marketing.

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The lack of Sales and Marketing alignment is due in part to the inadequate amount of customer value mapping relating to the number of buyer types.

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Product Marketers, what’s the hardest part of your job?

How do you know if you are successful?

Share your thoughts.

Posted 22 weeks ago

How & Why People Buy

When marketing and selling a product or service, it is important to ask two questions to understand your buyers.

1.What motivates people to buy a product or service?

2.How do people find a product or service to buy?

I surveyed my LinkedIn audience for answers.

1. What motivates people to buy a product or service?

People buy a product or service to: solve a problem, meet a need, or fulfill a want or desire. 49% buy products and services to solve a problem, meet a need, or fulfill a desire. 27% wanted to solve a problem, 16 % want to meet a need, and 8% wanted to fulfill a want or desire.

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2. How do people find a product or service to buy?

People find and buy products or services through word of mouth, social media, online search, and,/or product reviews. Of those surveyed, none said they found or bought products from seller calls or emails. No one found or bought products attending trade shows or events; this can be because of the pandemic.

63 % found or bought products from social channels or word of mouth, and 37% found or bought products or services from online searches or product reviews.

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These findings suggest businesses need to create products and services that are customer-centric. Businesses need a great reputation to survive in a competitive marketplace.

Answering these questions will help businesses develop, create and, position products and services customers want to buy.

Your approach will vary depending on your industry.

What motivates customers to buy your products and services?

How do your customers find products and services?

Join the conversation.

Posted 26 weeks ago

9 Ways to Enable Sales Teams to Close More Deals & Make More Sales

Sales processes include the following: customer development,   prospecting, discovery calls, closing deals, cross-selling, upselling, post-sales implementation, customer experience, obtaining referrals, and testimonials.

What is the hardest part of the sales process?

I surveyed my LinkedIn audience to find out.

Survey Results

Of those surveyed, 53 % said closing deals was the hardest part of the Sales Process, followed by understanding market fit at 22%, Calling on buyers, and knowing their needs at 19% with the lowest being cross-selling, referrals, testimonials, or other reasons at 6%.

Based on these findings, I have included nine ways to enable sales teams to close more deals.

9 Strategies to Empower and Enable Sales Teams to Make more Sales

1.Have Sales and Marketing Management discuss Sales Cycle mapping out Sales, Marketing, and the Customer Journey.

2. Have Marketing go with Sales on calls to observe customer interactions regularly.

3. Take notes from Sales calls to develop answers to customer objections.

4. Role play with the Sales to get better at objection handling.

5. Develop an on-demand LMS for Sales including Decks, Videos, Sales Training materials, Product training materials, Scripts, and FAQs.

6. Use feedback from Sales calls and objections to improve Sales and Marketing Collateral.

7. Assign readings on sales strategy and techniques.

8. Conduct market research to show how is your products and services are better than the competitor. Present market research creating a chart that Sales can refer to when dealing with customers.

9. Develop buyer personas to understand customer buying motives. Share the buyer personas with Sales.

What is the hardest part of the sales process?

How did you fix your sales process?

Share your thoughts.

Posted 31 weeks ago

9  Key Strategies to Overcoming Sales Objections

In sales, everyone has to be able to overcome objections to be successful. The best way to overcome objections is to prevent them. This can be done by providing a thorough sales presentation that covers all the information about your products and services. Also, you must address any questions the prospect has immediately. However, objections will come up from time to time. Some of these objections are real buying signals and others are just stalls to put you off. As a Salesperson, you need to be able to tell the difference.

Handling Objections & Stalls from Prospects

1.I am happy with my current supplier.

When you call on a prospect they say we are happy with our current supplier, this can mean one of two things. The first is that they are truly happy and the second is that they want you to get lost. (A stall) Obviously, you need to be able to tell the difference. You should be able to tell by a prospect’s body language and level of attention.

If it is the first scenario, you should find out what supplier they currently use. When the prospect tells you it is your job to demonstrate how you are better. Once you feel that you have demonstrated how you are better, ask for a commitment or small order. By asking for a small order, you provide the prospect an opportunity to take a chance on you with minimal risk. I have had a lot of success with this approach.

If the scenario is the second one, the prospect will not provide you with any information or say that they deal with a company or person for 20 years and they do not want to change. In this case, I would still ask for the order. Should the prospect say he is not interested again, I would thank them for their time and leave. You should call on this prospect a few more times and then only call on them every two months. You need to focus your time on prospects that are receptive to you and your offering.

2. I want to think it over.

When you hear this, what the prospect is really saying is I am interested but I am not totally convinced. You should ask the prospect what specifically about this offer do you want to think over? Your goal here is to uncover the real objection. If the prospect gives you a specific answer, you are in business. Address the objection and ask a closing question. Say if I can handle XYZ, is there any reason why you would not purchase this product. Should the prospect say, no you covered everything, this means that they are either stalling, not interested in your offering, or will not tell you the real issue they have with your product. If this is the case, ask when they plan on making a decision and follow-up with them in that time-frame.

3. I need to consult another party

This can be a stall to put you off. You will need to determine this by the prospect’s body language and the level of attention you receive. When the prospect tells you this, you should ask for a meeting with the prospect and the person they need to consult. Should the prospect agree to this, you have a chance. If they will not agree to a meeting, it is a stall and they are not interested in your offering. However, I would still call on them a few more times. If you have no success, call on them every two months.

4. I am not the Decision-Maker- The Columbo Technique

During some cold calls to dental offices, I was not able to obtain the information that I needed to overcome prospect objections. This occurred because the person I was speaking to was not the decision-maker. As a result, they were reluctant to talk for fear that they would say the wrong things or give away too much information on their bosses’ business. Despite their reluctance, I would continue to talk with them, build rapport and bond. I would ask to speak to the decision-maker but many times they were not in the office, or the person I was speaking with would not want to disturb them for fear of getting reamed out when I left the office.

When this was the case, I would use the Columbo technique to get the information that I needed. I would turn to leave the office, put my hand on the doorknob and ask who their supplier was or when I could catch the boss. Usually, the person I was speaking with would provide me with a lot of information about the prospect. Even more, than I expected! This is because the person that I was speaking with put their guard down. After all, they thought I was leaving the office so one last question didn’t seem so bad.

During other cold calls, I was able to speak to the decision-maker. I would build rapport with them and try to obtain as much information as I could to overcome their objections. Many times the prospect would be reluctant to give me information; stating that they were happy with their supplier or they were too busy to speak to me. When they used the supplier objection, I would employ the Columbo technique; turn to leave and ask who their supplier was. Many times they would tell me and I would ask them for few moments of their time to show how my products were better. I would get the time and close the prospect on giving me a trial order. I developed some of my best customers this way. Other times, I was able to obtain a follow-up appointment with the prospect.

The key to the Columbo technique is to get prospects talking. Even if it’s about things not related to their business at first. You want to make them comfortable talking with you. Next, you want to save the question you really want to know for the end of the conversation because the prospect will most likely answer it thinking you are going to leave their office. In other words, their guard is down.

The Columbo technique is a great way to close sales and obtain information.

5. Your price is too high.

Emphasize the quality of your product along with the level of service you will provide. Next, you should demonstrate to the prospect how your offering’s total cost is less than the competitors over the life of the product. Testimonials from loyal customers can also help you here. By taking these steps you demonstrate that your product is valuable and increase your chances of making the sale. (Provided this is the real objection.)

6. We spent our budget.

If they say the money is not the budget, ask If I can offer delayed billing or a payment plan would you be able to take delivery? If the person needs approval from another person, ask to present your product to that individual with your prospect’s endorsement. Should the company really want and need your product, they will find a way to pay for it.

7. I had a bad experience with your company.

I would apologize to the prospect about the experience. Tell them you are the new rep and that you will not let anything bad happen on your watch. Ask them to give you a chance. This will not work all of the time.

8. Call me After the Holidays

During the holiday season, many people are in holiday and party shopping mode. from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and many other things. Also, everyone is thinking about going to parties. So the last thing on your customer’s and prospects’ mind is to make a year-end purchase; unless they receive a year-end tax advantage. As a sales rep, you are under pressure to close deals so you can earn that bonus. Unless your customer is in a buying mood, you are going to hear the objection “call me after the holidays”. If you have done business with this customer, you will have an easier time than if you are making a cold call.

To combat this objection. You have to attempt to get around this objection. If your offer is time-sensitive or if you can provide a break on pricing or payment through a special promotion for example no payments for 3 months; make your customer aware of them. However, at this time of the year, you will get customers and prospects who just don’t want to deal with you and your offering. As a sales rep, it is your job to be able to tell if the customer and prospect are telling you the truth. In other words, you need to qualify their objections. This means following up with every customer and prospect even when things look bleak.

Should your customers and prospects insist that call you after the holidays, I would find out which holiday they mean. Next, I would pin them down to a specific day and time to call back. I recommend sending your customers and prospects a holiday card with a little note reminding them about the appointment; stating how you look forward to speaking with them on the specific date and time. Once this time comes, I would hold them to their promise. Deliver your presentation and ask for the business.

9. Testimonials and Referrals

Showing Testimonials to a prospect can be a great way for them to trust you enough to make a purchase. If you don’t have any the sale is that much more difficult but not impossible. I have made plenty of Sales without them.

Once you have made a sale to a customer, it is important to follow-up with a customer. As a Salesperson, it is important to deliver on the promises you make to customers. This means checking in with the customer throughout the implementation of your product or service and staying in touch with the customer after the sale. In this post, I am going to discuss how to earn referrals and testimonials.

During my time as an outside sales representative in New York City, making sales was the highlight of my day. Once I made a sale, I was itching to ask for a referral or a testimonial. In other words, I wanted to ask the customer the question Do you know of anyone who could benefit from my product and services? However, once I made the sale my inner voice told me not to ask for a referral. Now many people would want to ask because they feel that the customer bought their products or services and this shows a sign of trust. But what did the customer really buy? Yes, the customer bought you and your products but the main thing that they bought was your promise to deliver value through your offering. How can you ask someone to put their credibility on the line when you and your solution are unproven? Yet many people do.

Asking for a referral right after the sale is a mistake because you have not delivered on your promise and you will seem ungrateful. The customer will think that you are not interested in building a relationship and that you just want to make a commission. Remember your job as a Salesperson is to build relationships with customers and to make sales by demonstrating the value of your products to the customer. Once the sale is complete, it is your job to deliver on the promises that you make to your customer.

Now you are thinking well this is great but when do I ask for a referral? How do I ask for a referral?

I would ask the customer for a referral when you know the customer is happy with the implementation of your product or service. In other words, ask when you have delivered on your promise. If you offer more than one product or service try to cross-sell or upsell the customer first. See if the customer will use more of your products or services or if the customer purchases more expensive offerings from you. Once the customer purchases more items from you, the customer is demonstrating that they like and trust you. This is the time to ask for a referral. I usually waited until this point to ask for a referral.

I would ask the customer for a referral by first thanking them for the business that they have provided and trusted me with. Then I would ask if they knew of anyone like themselves that would benefit from my offering. My experience has taught me that the customers were always willing to offer themselves as a reference. Customers who offered me a referral would let me use their names with other clients or pass my name along to their peers.

Testimonials are like referrals. Testimonials can come in a variety of forms. There are a testimonial letter and a testimonial video. The testimonial letter is when a customer writes a letter stating that you did a wonderful job for them and endorses you. The digital version of this letter is the recommendation feature on LinkedIn. The testimonial video is when a client speaks of your performance in a short video segment.

When asking for a testimonial, offer the customer the option to choose the option they feel comfortable with. Also, be sure to tell them what specific aspect of your service you want them to focus on. Once you receive a referral and/or testimonial, make sure to thank your customer. Should you get new business through a referral, provide great service otherwise your customer will not give you anymore! Keep your customer informed on the status of the relationship with the referral.

This is how to handle objections in a nutshell.

What objections did you face?

How did you handle them?

Comment and share.

Posted 35 weeks ago

Why People Use Marketing & Their Challenges

People do Marketing for different reasons and they have different sets of challenges concerning the Marketing they do. I conducted two surveys of my LinkedIn audience.

I asked the following: 

1.What do you hope to gain from your marketing efforts?


2. What is your biggest marketing challenge? Why?


Based on survey findings, 56 percent of people use Marketing for a mix of brand awareness, lead generation, and revenue. In terms of Marketing challenges, 70 percent said that Content Marketing was the biggest.

If you didn’t get a chance to vote, answer these questions in the comments.

What do you hope to gain from your marketing? What is your biggest marketing challenge?

Posted 40 weeks ago

Marketing New Product features to Prospects & Customers: What I'd Do

If I was going to launch a bunch of new product features and I was tasked with developing a social media marketing campaign to market these features to existing customers and generate new leads.

What questions might I have when starting to plan the campaign?

I would ask:

Which channels do customers use when making purchasing decisions?

I would work with the Product Team during beta testing to interview customers to gather feedback on the new features; taking the information to develop blogs and other related messaging. I would also ask customers to provide testimonials about the new features and include them in social media campaigns.

Also, I would survey customers about their learning style and which content format they prefer i.e. videos, blogs, etc. Based on the data from the survey, I would decide which channels I would use along with the type of content to develop.

With what I learned, what might my campaign look like?

The campaign would revolve around a series of Social posts based on customer feedback Including Customer Testimonials obtained from the beta testing and videos of customers using the product. I would build anticipation online using videos to announce the new features. I would have a contest online where users would need to submit an email address.

Which social platforms would I use?

I would use a blog, Email, LinkedIn, Slideshare Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube platforms to educate customers about new offerings.

Are there any emerging social strategies I would want to try?

I would like to attend industry events where I could interview experts in the space. I would want to create a group to reward loyal customers and develop an evangelist program where customers would tell their friends.

How have you marketed new product features to current and prospective customers?

Feel free to comment and share.

Posted 45 weeks ago

How to Create Content Customers Love

Creating content that engages customers is key. Another key element to creating customer-centered presentations and digital content is knowledge of buyer learning styles.

In other words, how do buyers learn best?

There are three learning styles, Visual, Auditory, and kinesthetic. 65 percent of learners are Visual but this is not everyone.

Survey Results

I surveyed my LinkedIn Audience to ask which types of content helps them to learn best and what type of content they value most.

As you can see, people learn best from a mix of written, video, audio, and content formats.

Of the types of content, people want to read, many want to read industry insights, how-to, insights from conferences, and a mix of all of the above.

Based on my findings, I would recommend that content be:

1.Created and repurposed in multiple formats

2.Content is about industry insights, how-to, and insights from conferences

The overall content strategy should be based on how your customers learn and the types and format of content based on their wants and needs.

Bonus Content

In the presentation below, I provide ideas and strategies to:

1.Collect information on your buyer’s learning style

2.Create presentations and content that will engage buyers with content that is optimized to their learning style making it more engaging**

3.Create differentiated presentations and content for all learners when buyer learning styles are unknown

** How to Customize Presentations & content to Buyer learning Styles **

from

Dan Galante

How do you learn best and which content format helps you most? Comment and share.

Posted 55 weeks ago