The Peaks and Troughs of business. How to turn it into constant, steady growth

How has your sales and marketing activity gone this year? Has it been peaks and troughs or a steady stream of income?

A typical SMEs income cycle may look something like this:

typical_growth

You’ve just set up your business and you have been focussing your time on marketing to get your product/ service seen by your audience. Naturally, customers start to buy and you see sales increase. Your focus now shifts to handling these sales, processing the orders and sending out deliveries which leaves no time for lead generation and marketing.

As there is no active marketing going on, business starts to slow down.  So you kick off your marketing again. Now all your attention is on getting more people buying from you, as income has hit on all-time low. Your efforts work  but just like before you need to stop selling to get customers’ orders processed and delivered as promised…. And so it continues…. Marketing activity increases, customers buy, sales reduce, and income reduces and so on….

Is there a way where your business can get steady income from steady sales which are constant throughout the year? So your income looks something like this:

desired_growth

This would be achievable if you are able to concentrate all your time on business and not worry about lead generation and sales. Nett Sales could help. We  run your lead generation campaigns for you and find the people that are interested in buying from you now.

To learn more about the Nett Sales process and how this can generate you the business you deserve as well as giving you time to focus on business itself. Call us for a friendly chat on 01672 50 50 50 or read more about us here.

Channel Sales: Do leads really equal ££s?

7K0A0246Channel sales can be a great way to get your product/service the most exposure to your audience. You don’t need your own sales department and you can leave it to the expert dealers to sell your products/services for you.

But how well do you know your dealers and resellers? Do you know what they really care about? We have researched online and through LinkedIn to find out what resellers care about most.

Resellers want to sell more and the more leads they have the more sales they can generate. It’s a no brainer right?

Leads are great but resellers don’t want hundreds of dead end leads that don’t go anywhere.  What they really care about are hot leads that they know will convert into sales.

As Bob Segal argues ‘resellers place the highest value on leads, but they are rarely satisfied with the volume or quality of the leads they receive’. The leads they want need to be good quality that they can quickly turn into sales, and they want plenty of them. They want, as Brian Seelinger suggests “when they say lead; they really mean sales. They are talking about the low hanging fruit being directed to them.”

Your resellers want to be able to make a sale quickly and without much effort.

Nett sales comment

All leads are not equal!  Your resellers want business they can close, not leads that you have given to three other dealers over the last month then passed on down the chain till someone sells them something.

If you want to get your resellers closing great business for you, giving them great leads that they turn into business is a sure way to secure their loyalty.  Here’s how we suggest generating great leads for your resellers:  http://nett-sales.com/no-trust-bye

The perfect email

It’s not often that I get the perfect email – one that beautifully illustrates all of the various different points we go on (and on) about in designing effective emails that sell.  But I got one this morning!  And here it is.

So let’s look at this from the top…

  1. SpigenSubject line.  Arguably the most important part of the email, the subject line should entice the recipient to engage with the message and, if you are not viewing the content in your preview pane, to open the message. Fail.
  2. Sender name.  Different commentators argue that the sender name is now more important than the subject line in getting engagement.  At least this sender has included an alias but just the company name???  Surely something a bit more personal…  And take a look at the email address.  I don’t know about you, but that does not look to me like someone I know or would want to trust.
  3. Sent to.  I’ve not got the first clue who =?utf-8?Q??= is, but I don’t know how to pronounce it and I certainly don’t answer to it.  Is this personalisation gone wrong?  Who knows.  big fail.
  4. Content.  Finally!  Lets have a look at the message… Oh well.

Careful how you segment your database

crewI received promational emails from Crew Clothing today.  I’ve bought from them regularly, so straight into my inbox – great let’s have a look.

But for some reason I’m on their mailing list twice and to one email address they are offering me 15% off and the next 20% off PLUS free delivery.  Just makes them look a bit foolish…

So, before you test messages to different parts of your mailing list, check that you have de-duplicated on something other than email address – mailing address or phone number would be good.

Why marketing sometimes fails

What Robert Says

customerThere are many different reasons why your marketing might fail.  Robert Craven has identified 2 seemingly obvious and simple reasons in his best-selling book “Customer is King”. First he suggests that by focusing on the needs of the customer above the needs of the business you will have long term loyal customers. ‘If you’re going to fall in love try not to fall in love with your product. Rather, try falling in love with your customer, because then you will do all you can in your power to keep them happy, and they’ll appreciate it in the long-run’.

Secondly he identifies that we are living in a culture where everything is increasingly the same and that your business must try to be different, otherwise why should people bother to buy from you? ‘Blandness and sameness seem to have become the trademark of our time and yet it takes so little extra to make a product or service genuinely personalised or individualised.’

Applying this to Nett Sales

Nett Sales helps its clients get more customers. We work closely with our clients to create compelling campaigns using a blend of email and telephone work to ensure we pass our clients well qualified leads that they can turn into customers.

Robert’s advice helped us to help our clients to focus on their customers and potential customers rather than their own products.  So we run campaigns for our clients that help their customers – either by sharing knowledge or offering advice, hint or tips.

What does this process look like?  After sending out an email message for a client, we analyse the click through rate to gauge interest. We then call the prospects that have engaged with the message, not to sell to them or tell them how great our product/service is. We simply ask for feedback on the message they have received and ask how it is relevant to their business now. We have a conversation with the contact and listen to their response to understand their needs and wants.

Contacts that are ready for a conversation with our client are passed to the client as leads for follow up.

The concept of putting the customer’s needs before our own has been essential to helping our business grow. We build strong relationships with our clients which in turn builds a strong relationship with their customers and prospects. And of course our clients get great new customers from the campaigns – which always helps!

Are you looking to do something a bit different with your marketing? Want more sales and to engage more customers? Contact us on 01672 50 50 50 for a friendly chat and to discuss your requirements.

Who are you?

An email has a couple of seconds at best to catch the readers attention before it is deleted or ignored.  Conventional wisdom was that recipients checked the email in this order:

  1. Subject line
  2. Sender
  3. Email body in preview

But I would argue that the first thing most people now check is the sender.  We all get so many emails that the sender name tells us more than anything else about the email.  So when I receive and email from this sender, what do I think:

unmonitored

 

 

 

Clearly not a “listening business”!  Delete.

So, be creative when sending your emails, don’t just put a name in the “from” box, give a hint of the benefits of reading more or use some special characters – within reason…

Getting full value from your business control and sales systems

IMG_3310_lgRecent years have seen many improvements and developments in the market place for MRP, ERP, sales tracking and CRM systems, but a new system still represents a substantial investment. Deciding which system will be best and getting full value from it remains a complex and sometimes daunting task.

Over the next couple of months you will see help and advice here to help your business select, implement, and succeed with business, manufacturing control and sales systems.

Choosing the correct software and having a proven process for creating value and getting sales and profitable business is critical for a successful project. A structured approach will help to protect your investment and get good returns on it.

If you are about to embark on a new system or wanting more value from an existing one, there are a few things to consider on this Preparation Checklist before you start:

Preparation check list:

• Do you have the right level of board commitment to the project?
• Is the project in line with your corporate growth strategy?
• Is there enough funding in place?
• What other initiatives are already underway?
• Do you have the right skills level available internally to support the project?
• Is the business resistant to, or supportive of, change?
• Once the system is built, how will it help you get more business or control time and costs?
• Is your head of sales supportive. Do you have a mobile interface and buy in from the sales team?

Nett Sales believes your business and sales needs should be the absolute priority when choosing a new ERP, MRP, CRM or sales system for your business. And if you’d like an independent review of your business systems and help to realise their full potential, email us on enquiries@nett-sales.com or call  01672 505050

4 step process to turn your contacts into customers

goalDo you struggle to turn contacts in to customers? Nett Sales specialises in providing hot leads for businesses through distribution channels.

Here is our 4 step process to help you turn your contacts into customers:

  1. Decide who your whole market is: There are lots of businesses you COULD send to but who SHOULD you be sending it to?
  2. Send a series of emails to this contact list: It is important to build trust with your contacts; this can be done by sending bits of your knowledge and your experience. The aim is to build your credibility over a period of months.
  3. Qualify: Just because contacts have shown interest doesn’t mean they want to buy from you. There are a few reasons that people click, they are generally interested in what you have to offer or just nosey and bored. Telemarketing is an important part of the process. This allows you to remove all the just being nosey and board contacts so you can get to the ones who are interested whether it is today or at some point in the future.
  4. Repeat: Once the contacts that are ready to buy are passed to your sales team, it’s important to repeat this process. This allows you to build trust over a period of time with contacts until they are ready to be fed to your sales team.

In the past we have helped many businesses like yours to boost their sales process. You can see some examples here.

What does a typical campaign schedule look like?

We plan client campaigns 3 months ahead in detail and 6 months forward in outline.  This requires a structure and careful control to make sure that nothing gets lost.  This is a typical schedule we may use:

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Month 1 Knowledge share email sent Follow up email sent to contacts that engage with email in week 1 Telephone follow up with best engaged contacts from both campaigns
Month 2 Knowledge share email sent

Call back contacts from last month

Telephone follow up from last week’s email Direct, single issue email sent to all contacts

Telephone follow up 20 minutes after contact clicks on key link

Month 3 Knowledge share email sent Follow up email sent to contacts that engage with email in week 1 Telephone follow up with best engaged contacts from both campaigns
Month 4 Knowledge share email sent

Telephone follow up 20 minutes after contact clicks on key link

Follow up email sent to all contacts engaged to date Telephone call backs for all previously called contacts
Month 5 Knowledge share email sent Telephone follow up with lapsed leads Direct, single issue email sent to all contacts

Telephone follow up 20 minutes after contact clicks on key link

Month 6 Knowledge share email sent Qualification email to non-respondents Telephone follow up with best engaged contacts to date

As you will see from this schedule, each month has key activities with a different focus depending on the month in question.  In this case, the client identified external events in their market to reference in the campaign that would make contacts more likely to engage at that point, so the campaign and phone activity in those months was skewed accordingly.

Should the DMA know better?

We’re all human and make mistakes, but if you set yourself up as the arbiter of correct behaviour in a market, should you not live up to some sort of minimum standard?  Or am I just being a grumpy git? 🙂

Got this email from the Direct Marketing Association today:

dma1

So it looks pretty reasonable without images loaded, although I do think that they could use a wider template.  I suspect they are trying a “one size fits all” to work on mobile devices as well as email clients – responsive design guys??

dma2

So the primary link is clearly the blue URL right at the top of the email.  That’s what they want me to click on as it’s at the top of the email – right?  erm no…  This is where the link takes me:

dma3

Ok so they’ve put in a bad link.  I’ve done the same (more than once) so can forgive them that.  But the story looks interesting so I read on and click the link in the body of the email and it works – I get to the DMA’s website.

Excited to read the content, I’m frustrated to find I now have to register with the site to view the content.  Oh well, I’m sure I’ve registered before, so I eventually have to register again as I can’t find the login.  I get sent an email that needs me to click on a link (yes, double opt-in, good practice in action).  So now to view the content I’ve tried so hard to get to…

dma4

What!!  I’ve just registered.  Now I’m told that the registration I was offered was not enough to give me the content I was offered in the email they sent me.  I give up…

However there is an important message here.  If you have content to share with a segment of your newsletter audience, create a segmented list and only send articles that the recipients can access to them – or risk royally upsetting them.