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Category Archives: Business

Get Leads To Grow Business

Advertising is another way a business owner can generate a lead. Understanding how to leverage the strategic side of marketing can help achieve phenomenal results. Too many business owners are quick to say direct mail, social media, radio or TV doesn’t work. It was not the medium (tactical side of marketing) that failed you; it was what you said and how you said it (the strategic side) that failed you. Once the business owner understands how to effectively convey the value they provide, generating a lead is a breeze.

Prospecting is the act of generating leads without advertising. Prospecting could involve calling a target list or foot canvassing in a specific area. Do you have marketing materials? Prospects need time to make an informed decision at the speed their brain can process information. You telling them everything during a sales visit will not always be enough. A marketing piece (leave behind) that can support the prospects decision-making process will move them along the sales process and ultimately compel them to buy.

Having sales collateral allows your information to be shared with someone the prospect knows who may need your product or service right now. Where I see small business owners over look an opportunity in their marketing material is their business card. Offer more than just your contact and website info. Provide a link on your business card that leads to a video or free report that can educate and move a prospect along the sales process.

Discovering Target Market

Evaluating your competition and their marketing strategies is another way you can define your own target market. Looking at how they market and who they seem to be marketing to will give you an idea of your industry’s ideal customer.

As you probe deeper into your target market, you need to determine whether or not you can effectively reach those people. Study your target demographic and their purchasing patterns. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, also look into your target market’s geographic location. You can use this information to find out if the people that live closest to your store are the same people who want to buy from you. If you are solely operating online, learning about your potential customers’ location and shopping habits can help you reach those customers.

As your business grows, so should your marketing efforts. Over time you may have to redefine your target market and change up how you are marketing to them. You will need to consider if the direct marketing methods you’re using now will still be effective later on down the line. You also may decide to expand your current target market to include other newly discovered prospects. If you want to grow your business you constantly need to be working your marketing plan.

The best way to succeed at selling your products is to market directly to those who are genuinely interested. Once you figure out who your customers are, what they need and how they shop, you will have a good idea of who you should be focusing your marketing efforts on. By arming yourself with as much information about your ideal customer as you can, you can push your sales over the top.

About Main Street between Middle Market

Main Street & Middle Market transactions are most often delineated by the size of the business either in terms of revenue or earnings. There is not a universally accepted definition of size and, most often, a business intermediary firm will adopt a specialty formula. The majority of lower middle market companies fall in an area where they are too small for investment banks and too large for the average business broker. Engaging a business intermediary firm who has the capabilities to properly represent your company will be critical. Often the business size is not the only distinguishing characteristic defining Main Street from Middle Market businesses. The industry, the complexity of the transaction, the depth & breadth of management, the presence of intellectual propriety or private brands, as well as the type of buyer that is targeted will also have an impact on the methods used to package the business for sale. The chart below details some of the typical differences in how the two types of businesses are defined, valued, packaged for sale, and confidentially marketed. It is important to note that the chart is only a guideline as many businesses will reflect similar attributes. Please consult with your local business intermediary to determine how your business should be treated.

Main Street:

•Business Revenue: Less than $3,000,000
•Business Earnings: Less than $1,000,000
•Type of Sale: Asset Sale
•Buyers: Entrepreneurs or Displaced Corporate Executives
•Business Valuation: Based on Sellers Discretionary Earnings (SDE)
•Financial Statements: Owner, CPA Compiled
•Business Management: Acquirer is buying a job. Existing management is less critical.
•Complexity: Transaction can often be accomplished with less complicated “boiler plate” agreements.
•Confidential Marketing: Marketing to a very broad buyer base.
•Marketing Package: Confidential Business Review
•Pricing: Marketed with a specific asking price.
•Broker/M&A Fee Structure: 10-12%
•Retainers: Minimal Retainer

Lower Middle Market:

•Business Revenue: $3,000,000 – $75,000,000
•Business Earnings: Greater than $1,000,000
•Type of Sale: Asset Sale or Stock Sale
•Buyers: Corporate Buyer or Private Equity Group (PEG)
•Business Valuation: Based on EBITDA
•Financial Statements: Reviewed or Audited Financials
•Business Management: Current management is often a key driver to the acquisition
•Complexity: Deal structure can be very complex requiring customized legal documents.
•Confidential Marketing: Highly targeted direct marketing to strategic & financial buyers.
•Marketing Package: Comprehensive Offering Memorandum
•Pricing: Asking price is rarely listed in the Offering Memorandum
•Broker/M&A Fee Structure: Double Lehman/Negotiated
•Retainers: Monthly Fee

Rotate Seasoned Sales Manager

Don’t assume your current sales manage will be a permanent fixture. Many marketing experts feel the best way to keep a sales team fresh and productive will be renting your sales manager.

Most of the time, the person you currently have hired as your sales manager is someone who you pulled off your sales team. Chances are pretty good you made them manager because they showed strong leadership skills, and also put up high sales numbers each week. If this is the case, by permanently putting them in a managerial position, you’re depriving yourself of a good sales person. By rotating them back into the sales team, you make it possible for them to stay connected with their clients, the sales process, and continue to generate sales.

You never know what the future holds. By making the managerial position a rotating one, you’ll have multiple staff members ready to step in and take over if things go awry and you find yourself in desperate need of a good sales manager.

By making the position of sales manager a rotating position, you’re giving the rest of your sales team something to work towards. This often encourages them to stay motivated and to keep in contact with old clients while constantly reaching out to new prospects.

Managing a sales team can be tricky. Sales people tend to respond best when they have a close relationship with the person managing them. By routinely making sure that you send your current manager out on calls, you remind the rest of your sales team about the connection they share with the individual.

Developing Sales Forecast

If you operate an established sales business, then the best data that you have access to in order to run a sales forecast is historical data. The sales figures for over the last few years will provide you with a good indication of how the business is going to perform over a given quarter.

Historical data should give you an indication of how many new customers you are likely to acquire and how many will drop off. This will in turn feed into how much marketing and sales activities you will to do in order to win new business.

You should look to break down historical data into customers and product lines, to understand which customers bought what products and how many of each were sold. By focusing on more profit product lines this will enable you to generate more revenue with the same amount of effort.

If you are starting a new business, then sales forecasting can be a bit more difficult, as you do not have access to historical data. However, you can analyse the following in order to try and estimate sales figures for a given period:

• Analyse competitor sales data (If its available)

• Carry out market research

• Seasonal trends in the market you operate

All of this data will give you a good indication of the likely sales figures you can achieve in a quarter. It’s important that you make conservative estimates about the growth of the business, as overestimating could cost you down the line.

Affiliate Marketing Business

Time Management

When you work out in this brick and mortar world, other people determine the deadlines you have to meet. They also can push you to do and accomplish a certain amount of work during a given period of time. Those you sign your paycheck decide what your due dates will be.

When you work at affiliate marketing — or any other online business — only YOU set the deadlines. Nobody will tell you what tasks need to be completed, or when.

When you are first starting out, you’ll be building your business gradually, most likely in your spare time. So you’ll need to develop skills for managing your time wisely, and getting as much done as possible in as little time as possible.

Good time management can really help you get anything off the ground faster — not just your affiliate marketing business, but many other aspects of life. Time management includes the coordination of many important skills:

  • Setting goals – short, medium, and long term.
  • Determining priorities, urgencies, and deadlines.
  • Doing things in the right order, at the right time.
  • Grouping similar tasks and not doing the same thing twice.
  • Taking advantage of your “peak performance” times.
  • Being organized (not losing things means you don’t waste time looking).
  • Delegating (eventually) to others.
  • Not wasting time.

Being in the Business of “Selling” and “Pre-Selling”

To some extent, affiliates don’t actually “sell.” But they do connect customers with products – and they certainly are “in business.”

Sometimes affiliates engage in “selling” by purchasing advertising, such as in the pay per click (PPC) business model. These affiliates buy ad space online. Visitors click their affiliate links in these ads or on the web pages these affiliate create to promote products.

In other cases, affiliates engage in the creative use of a process called “pre-selling.” These affiliates develop websites or email newsletters filled with information – called “content” – which inspires visitors to click on affiliate links and purchase products.

But in either case, if you want to really succeed as an affiliate, you must be willing to develop a businesslike mindset. You need to think in terms of profit and loss, and you must enter into it with the mindset of always getting a good Return On Investment (ROI).

Also, you need to learn how to outsource everything properly, so that other people do everything you need for you.

What Is a Businesslike Mindset?

Some of the realities of being in business (ANY business) are:

  • There really IS no business until sales are made. You don’t have to enjoy being a face-to-face salesperson, but you DO have to be okay with the idea of selling something to people!
  • There are a great many business-related tasks associated with affiliate marketing – and you WILL have to do them. These include advertising, selling, keeping records, calculating profit and loss, and taking care of tax issues.
  • Affiliate marketing is a “hands-on” business that will require your time and effort. So it’s important that you are willing to learn to enjoy at least most business tasks.

Alienate Sales Team

To assist in this quest I have constructed the major behaviours to adopt which will ensure that your team will a) be alienated, b) have contempt for you, and c) will at the first opportunity leave. The numerical sequence does not indicate a ranking. The behaviours are:

Spend as little time as possible accompanying your salespeople on customer visits. A good ratio would be 5% of available time – or once a year with every team – whichever is the lower. The most important thing for sales managers is to focus on manipulating spreadsheets of sales data so you can work out who to fire next.

Whenever you’re on an accompanied call make sure the customer knows that you have more knowledge and experience than the salesperson. In this way the customer will tend to talk mainly to you. Obviously, when the opportunity presents itself, close the sale. The salesperson will then know how it’s done and will appreciate the lesson learned.

When you do go on calls with the salesperson try not to spend a full day as the salesperson might think you have nothing better to do. It’s a good idea to arrange for someone in the office to call you at a specific time so you can say that something more important has come up and you’ll have to leave in order to deal with it.

It’s important to keep your mobile switched on all of the time – whether you’re out on calls with a member of your team; whether you’re in a meeting; if you’re on a training course or at a conference; or in the toilet. If you put the phone on silent no-one will know it’s switched on. As a sales manager it’s vital you are able to be contacted at every minute of the day. You should consider leaving your mobile switched on 24/7. Your boss might try calling you during the night or at weekends just to check out your commitment.

Have a brainstorm session at every sales team meeting to generate ideas for increasing sales. This is important whether the team is on target or not as there will always be someone who is behind target. Make sure you pick on underperforming individuals to pick out the best idea for increasing sales and have them commit to a specific target to achieve between sales meetings. You don’t need to do anything with the ideas as they will probably come up again next time you do brainstorming. The act of doing this at every meeting shows how important increasing sales is.

Publish a league table of results which should be updated each week. It is important for those salespeople who are falling behind others to see the gap increasing each week as they are probably not aware of their poor results in relation to others in the team.

Be sure to support the idea that managers always have a superior benefits’ package to salespeople, no matter how successful they are. Whilst many members of your sales team might not be able to determine how much you are paid, one way of making them feel inferior is the choice of company car, on the assumption that your company still provides company cars. When your new company car arrives, and hopefully it’s a superior model and specification than for salespeople, either arrive early at the next meeting and pretend to be unloading something from the boot as they arrive. This will give you the opportunity to say loudly ‘sorry I’m running a bit late – I haven’t got used to the new features on this car yet’. If your company gives you a car allowance, be sure to bring up how much you’re saving every month because of the new policy.

Brands Need Invest in Event Marketing

The biggest drawback of digitalization is that its impact is not long lasting and it has a low recollection value when it comes to making an image in the minds of the consumers. You can remember the image of any product, its specifications and features but you fail to remember the brand name of the product. You usually forget about the online ads that you visit. The brand recall is much more in traditional markets, particularly when there is a substantial brand experience.

So as to make a difference in the market and earn a desired place in the minds of customers, brands and agencies desperately need viral connect and they need to have a long lasting experience and impactful activities. This strategy is all about enabling the personal connect between brands and customers by various methods. They create real life experiences that are worthy of sharing. Such experiences merge digital and real experiences so as to craft strong memories and make an impactful connection between brands and its consumers. Event marketing makes such an experience for the consumers that are worth sharing and you can later share it in the newsfeed and among all your networks.

The idea of experiential marketing is not a very fresh concept. There have been many high impact activation brands that have created a perfect connection of experience with the development in technology and improvement in digitalization. Experiential marketing takes better care of ads and circulates them evenly on social media platforms for getting better publicity and enough advertisement. We have channels like Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn that offers rational ways to contact with the kind of audience that you they are going to target.

If you keep in mind the advantages of each of these strategies and create a campaign playing on the strengths of these strategies, it is equivalent to a job that is done perfectly. Even if you are not sure about how to start such marketing policies, you need to start things and you need to have perfect guidance from the experts. This way you can get in contact with your targeted consumers and your marketing strategies will work out perfectly.

Sources of Sales Leads

The customer who let your contract lapse or failed to include you in their selection process did so for any number of reasons. Yes, sometimes your company made an unforgivable mistake or did something equally fatal. Often, it’s subtler. Either way, if you give up on them, they’re likely to remain former customers forever.

If you take the initiative and reintroduce yourself, you might find out-

Your company was perceived to be unsuitable for a reason that is not currently valid. (Your prices weren’t competitive; now they are. You didn’t offer a one-stop-shop experience; now you do. The salesperson who used to cover that territory was abrasive; his/her replacement is well-liked.)

Or the decision-maker who blackballed you or was unshakably loyal to your competitor is no longer there.

Or the person who used to routinely include you in the company’s selection process has moved up or moved on, and the new person doesn’t know you to include you.

Possible outcomes: a renewed relationship, news that you truly aren’t a match anymore, or a frosty shoulder.

WHY YOU SHOULD REVISIT FAILED SALES

Similarly with failed sales, they may not have chosen you when a particular decision was made. That doesn’t mean they’d never consider you again, but it’s your responsibility to stay on their radar. If they are marketed to by a sufficient number of companies in your category, they might not include you the next time they open their selection process. By writing them off, you turn “no” into “never.”

WHO SHOULD REACH OUT?

Some companies are very good about asking departing customers for an exit interview and asking failed sales for a post-selection debriefing. Unfortunately, many of these companies assign this task to the salesperson or account manager the customer or prospect just rejected. That’s cruel! Think about it:

It’s very difficult for one adult to say directly to another, “This is how you disappointed me,” or “This is where you fell short.”

If a former customer or failed sale is willing to be candid, the average salesperson or account manager is likely to get defensive in response. In other words, they reward candor with an argument.

Instead, feedback from lost customers and failed sales is better solicited from the VP of Sales or Account Management (or Operations). What at first blush sounds like an unwise use of very valuable time turns out to be the best way to isolate root causes and reduce the number of future lost customers and failed sales.

Info of Reliable Solutions to Plan Inventories

A different set of environment is required for forecasting which includes inventory optimization, planning for supply, demand planning and lot more. There is a workflow which different companies follow. Some make their own rules and plans and some follow a different set of rules already planned. A lot of patience and energy is required to get the job done but it’s a different experience which these online companies are giving people now a days. With all these things there are a few more things that can be done. Such as leading time can be reduced, the expanding cost can be reduced, proper management for co/by products and even raw material levels and safety stacks need to be optimized.

When it comes to planning your ideas you need to synchronize eyes with your brain so that everything is crystal clear with a single blink. There are different expectations like demand factors, volatile supply, planning and thinking environment and lot more. Focus is the key to plan any idea you have in your brain on every key point and essential data. Many things have changed such as plan utilizations which are optimized, reduction of overtime and lot more. The supply chain planning and multiple locations can be achieved after synchronization.

Online companies give you a whole new experience of learning they tell you about the on-going strategies in the market and give you a fair chance to try it in the real market. Different companies have different resources and different planning strategies. A plan is set on different stages, reduction of inventories, enhancing responsiveness and many more only by strategizing with small and productive plans and ideas. Various ideas can be synchronized and can be worked on by taking different time frame. It is very important that the total plan only contains essential and very vital details to be worked on.

Design to work upon an idea:

• Plans should be made quickly and only the constraint-based ideas should get the focus.
• Reduction of lead time is very important.
• Open work orders, excess inventory and overtime should be reduced.
• The planning for equitable inventory should me made easier by simplifying the idea.