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Sales Asset Management Technology: A Sirius Perspective

| July 25, 2018 | Gavin Drake

Sales enablement has been a recognized term for decades and, since being coined “sales enablement,” is considered critical to the success of any sales-driven organization. However, never before have B2B organizations needed to focus more on facilitating actual sales enablement.

Why? For one, the proliferation of communication channels has forced an increase in the number of customer touchpoints required to make a sale. This has caused an increase in the volume (and type) of information needed to attract and interact with prospects. Sales teams today need to be able to access the best and most up-to-date information quickly – whether it’s internal training material, sales content for prospects or customer communications.

This is shockingly difficult for most enterprise B2B organizations. Add in customer demand for personalized content and sales teams are struggling. In fact, sales enablement research we conducted for Docurated shows that in 47% of organizations surveyed, sales reps each spend an average of 20 hours or more per month searching for and/or developing the content they need.

Recently SiriusDecisions, a leading B2B research and advisory firm, published “Sales Asset Management Technology: A Sirius Perspective.” The report details Sales Asset Management (SAM) as a critical element of sales enablement.

According to SiriusDecisions, “Sales asset management solutions facilitate the development, organization, delivery and tracking of content used by sales, often through multiple access point (e.g. dedicated sales portals, mobile applications) and integrations.”

The firm outlines the benefits of sales asset management and how SAM solutions can make a measurable impact on organizations’ success.” The report also outlines the evolution of SAM, core capability groups, and role-based priorities that SAM supports as part of a sales enablement strategy.

Download your copy of Sales Asset Management Technology: A Sirius Perspective.

Sales Enablement Q&A with SiriusDecisions

| June 25, 2018 | Gavin Drake

Peter Ostrow of SiriusDecisions recently joined us for an incredibly insightful webinar on Sales Asset Management (SAM). Peter explained how to identify the best sales asset management and sales enablement platform for your organization. As a quick recap, Peter delivered some essentials to keep in mind:

As part of the event, attendees asked thought-provoking questions about sales enablement and sales asset management and I think the answers are valuable for anyone creating a short list of sales enablement solutions:

How do you define sales-provided content?
Sales-provided content – meaning the content seen by the buyer that is impactful in the sales process – is content that comes from the seller. We know that only 25% of pipeline is generated by marketing and the rest is sales-generated. That being said, buyers see a lot of content from marketing. We are excluding the 1 to many communications that marketers are providing. Sales-provided content means it literally comes directly from the sales representative working with the customer.

Regarding the time and energy expended looking for sales content, outside of time sheets, how do you objectively quantify the wasted time, especially when you are not visually observing the reps?
With so many disparate sales organizations, with reps working from remote and home offices in different time zones, it’s an interesting question. What we suggest is to conduct a time-in-motion – or sales activity – study. That gives you the opportunity to get insight from folks on how they are spending their time. You can also look at some other inputs, such as engagement of employees with each other, turnover statistics, and watering-hole talk. Ultimately, associating content with a deal win, is what will convince sales reps that the rest of this entire journey is valid. Just be open and transparent and expose the methodology of your study.

Is there a correlation between the size of a company and the success (or failure) of a sales enablement platform?
I would say, no, there is not a correlation between the size of a company and the success, or failure, of a SAM. It all depends on whether the right resources are there to support it before it’s purchased. Also important is the recognition that no dramatic change is going to happen through a technology acquisition over a weekend in a plug ‘n play situation. So to that extent, we have a little bit of data. If there is a certain amount of resource you think you should apply toward supporting a sales asset management environment, apply more. The admin of a SAM is not really that much work, these are beautiful interfaces. Making a SAM as effective as possible over time is not an event, it’s a lifestyle. It takes care and feeding, which is a good thing. Any organization not focused on utilizing content as the tip of their sword for their sales and marketing activities should think twice about a SAM. But I can’t think of any B2B organization that is not heavily focused on content.

What techniques can we use to get low performing sales reps to learn more, earlier in the buyer journey?
That’s a great question. One way to answer that questions is to be realistic about low, medium and high performing reps. Most of the academic work out there says that you should leave your high and low performers alone. High just need a little care and feeding and let them do what they are doing. For your low you make assets available but they are either going to be up or out. You can have the most impact on your performance outcomes by focusing on your core and moving that needle a little bit. But more to the point, if people are rushing out to battle too soon and they are not learning the stuff they should learn before having a conversation with their buyer, how do we get them to do that. You can a) show them the data around content b) show them up a little bit carefully and cautiously and c) you have move away from carrots and move to sticks through required SAM processes. Fact tell, stories sell.

Click here to watch the entire SiriusDecusions Sales Asset Management Webinar featuring Peter Ostrow.

AI – The Customer Experience Panacea?

| May 1, 2018 | Quark Blog Team

The “consistent customer experience” has become the holy grail of B2B marketing. That being said, only 12% of marketers consider themselves “very effective” at delivering a great customer experience. Content lies at the heart of the customer experience, but many companies are still working with outdated content processes and tools creating a situation where relevant content is difficult to find and marketing leaders have no idea which materials are being presented to prospects.

The problem lies with the fact that there are so many different tools and repositories in use in the enterprise today meaning companies are operating in silos with minimal coordination between teams whose prospect interactions may vary wildly. According to CSO Insights, B2B companies have on average 17 different sales content repositories. With so many places to go for content, it is hardly surprising that companies are failing to deliver a consistent experience to prospects and customers. Many of these sales content repositories will provide analytics on what is going on in their own system, but users have no idea what is going on in the other systems. There is no unified view of prospect activity and nobody really knows what materials are being used. The end result is an inconsistent customer experience where the materials prospects consume do not provide reps with best chance of closing the deal.

The ideal state which companies are striving towards is one holistic, consistent, personalized, up to date customer experience across every touch point. This new digital age has so many possibilities in how your message can be experienced and how impactful it can be to drive the company forward. For marketing, there are so many customer touchpoints now including website and SEO content, social media, and advertising campaigns. These touchpoints come before sales’ involvement and is all valuable data which should be leveraged to figure out which materials should be presented to prospects who move through the funnel to meet with reps. With heightened customer expectations, companies need to figure out a way to deliver winning customer experiences across every channel.

Getting Sales and Marketing on the Same Page

Research from SiriusDecision has shown that there is an average of 17.3 pieces of content used per salesperson in each winning deal. The trouble is that most companies would struggle to identify all the materials used in each deal. Most activity happens outside the approved sales repository – no matter how well it is designed or maintained. Meetings, presentations, emails, attachments, phone calls, follow-ups, all this content and activity lives across email, laptops, drives, CRM, portals, learning systems, departments – all silos. Marketing leaders keep talking about the importance of a “consistent customer experience” but, in reality, vast amounts of customer experience data is being ignored and the actual customer experience is far from consistent.

As a result, sales and marketing are working in silos. Marketing has no idea which materials sales reps are using, while sales reps are either unaware of all the content marketing produces or simply choose to ignore it. Research has shown that a staggering 90% of the content produced by marketing gets ignored by sales.

The impact that this alignment failure has on the customer experience should not be overlooked. Customer-facing website content, invariably produced by marketing, is saying one thing, while the materials reps present to prospects is saying another. Worse still, marketing, at most companies, has limited visibility into the materials used by reps. As a result, they can not hone their underperforming materials, they cannot double down on the materials which are used successfully, and worst of all – companies become engulfed in a never ending cycle of mediocre customer experience.

AI – The Customer Experience Panacea?

At this time of widespread customer experience failure, it is only natural that companies would look for a “silver bullet” to solve the problem. Given the recent forays into artificial intelligence (AI) by leading companies like IBM, Salesforce, and Microsoft and the subsequent media coverage, it almost seems like AI is the cure for all enterprise ills – and it might well be. However, the type of AI put forward by Microsoft – where their machine learning technology is confined to Microsoft-only products, thus ignoring the unstructured data which makes up about 90% of enterprise data – is not the answer.

Microsoft’s walled garden approach to AI does little to solve the alignment issue at the heart of the customer experience failure. AI that provides content recommendations to sales and marketing, based on a limited view of enterprise activity is not the answer.

The only way companies can see and understand all their content is if they leverage an AI solution that understands the relationships between people, data, and information consumption. Then, and only then, can sales and marketing really get on the same page and start to deliver the consistent customer experience required to generate consistent revenue. For AI to succeed it must Include data from across the enterprise e.g. email exchanges, content sharing in Google Drive, new documents in SharePoint, Chatter messages and Opportunity Stage changes in Salesforce.com.

Introducing Content Automation for Fund Marketing

| March 13, 2018 | Sarah Rector

Today at TSAM London Quark Software launched Content Automation for Fund Marketing – a new solution that transforms how asset management companies produce and share fund marketing material such as pitchbooks, client review presentations, fund fact sheets, commentaries and other business-critical content.

Using Quark’s Smart Content approach to content automation, asset management teams deliver customized and compliant marketing material to clients and prospects across any channel (print, web, and mobile) – all from a single source of approved content. This allows firms to connect with customers and potential customers more quickly with fewer resources.

Out with the Old, In with the New

Unlike traditional methods for creating content (in static Word documents) and reviewing content (via email or outdated content management systems) Quark Content Automation for Fund Marketing enables analysts and other subject matter experts to create structured content (Smart Content) in a familiar authoring environment. Smart Content can be easily managed, updated, tracked, analyzed and reused across any number of channels.

With the Content Automation for Fund Marketing, fund marketers can:

Content Automation for Fund Marketing is just one way Quark’s content automation technology transforms how organizations create and engage with business-critical content. Other applications include standard operating procedures, investment research reporting, product data sheets, marketing and sales collateral, and government legislation. Visit www.quark.com or Contact Us to learn more about the benefits of content automation.

 

Marketing Effectiveness: 26 Experts Reveal Their Top Ways to Measure the Effectiveness of Marketing Campaigns

| February 27, 2018 | Quark Blog Team

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Gone are the days of Mad Men when marketers used to pump money into senseless, measureless and ineffective advertising. During those times, it was hard to be an informed consumer when media was limited. Now the tables have truly turned; the customer has full control over the buying decisions that they make each day. Marketers must adapt and embrace new technologies and tactics in order to attract leads or even delight their customers. And in order to make ROI, building highly effective campaigns is a must. There’s a plethora of marketing advice everywhere, but finding the right effective tools, metrics and formulas is overwhelming.

That’s why we asked a panel of 26 marketing experts the following question:

“What’s your #1 way to measure marketing effectiveness?”

We collected and compiled their advice into this jam-packed guide to the best ways to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

See what our experts said below:

Meet Our Panel of Marketing Experts:


D. Anthony Miles

D. Anthony Miles, is an entrepreneur, an award-winning researcher, award-winning professor, legal expert witness and best-selling author. Dr. Miles is a nationally known expert in the fields of Entrepreneurship and Marketing. He is CEO and Founder, of Miles Development Industries Corporation®, a consulting practice and venture capital firm. He has over 20 years in the retail, banking, and financial services industry. He was a Visiting Professor at Our Lady of the Lake University. He was recently invited to Harvard University by the Harvard Business School (HBS).

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“If I can say what is the number one way to measure marketing effectiveness it would be two things: Marketing Metrics and Predictive Analytics. First, marketing metrics is important because they tend to measure output things in terms of effectiveness. In the past marketing departments could not measure the effectiveness of ads, PR and events. So you could not justify the cost of the marketing efforts. With metrics, they can gauge related to the number of things you produce. For example, operational metrics that would measure sales per region or cost per customer and help you see what the cost per customer is. Also, you literally have to customize your metrics because they are only useful in your company. Based on a company I was doing some consulting work for, I know there are at least 100 plus different metrics that measure different things. You can’t just take a generic metric and used them in a company. There are different industries, different sales trends and different customer segments. So you need to be careful about applying metrics to your business.

The second is a new trend: Predictive Analytics. Predictive analytics involves using statistics to examine and determine patterns in data. As a researcher and statistician, now I have to use more predictive analytics and regression modeling in my consulting and research with companies. Predictive analytics is the “Moneyball” approach to measuring marketing effectiveness. Analytics help find patterns that companies can use to predict and understand customer behavior. For example, predictive analytics can help to understand and predict customer behavior such as shopping habits and purchasing trends. Data is the new gold! Lastly, now another trend is emerging with marketers and marketing departments.”


Joseph Hirschhorn Howard

Joseph is a Senior Marketing Manager at Masslight, a mobile and web app development agency in Washington, DC. He’s also the Founder & CEO of WordPress Buffs, an e-learning platform helping people build their personal and small-business websites on WordPress.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“The most important key metric to track when measuring the effectiveness of your marketing campaign is the cost to acquire a single new customer. This simple statistic will help you evaluate the overall rate of growth of your business. If the cost to find, convince, and onboard new customers is too high, your business won’t be viable in the long-term. There are other metrics that are also highly important, but this one will provide a telling view from 30,000 feet.”


Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards is the President, Founder & CEO of Volume Public Relations, a PR agency that specializes in utilizing scientific insights in their marketing communications strategy. Elizabeth’s work has been recognized with awards from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the League of American Communication Professionals
(LACP), PR Week, and the Denver Business Journal.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“In short, the answer is sales. As successful marketing practitioners, we share many metrics with our clients that prove success, but the true measure of marketing effectiveness is sales outcomes. A recent example is the 2014 BMW Championship, where we DOUBLED ticket sales in the first week, while breaking nearly every record for the event.

The BMWC had never in the history of the tournament sold more than $300,000 in tickets in the first week of sales. With the right message and promotion — created from our unique science-empowered communications strategies – we broke that record and achieved $600,000 in ticket sales, eventually
resulting in a SOLD OUT event.

The campaign was so phenomenally successful because it created red carpet feel of access and targeted the emotive drivers in the human mind.

The impact of our scientific approach, also helped raise the most money for the Evans Scholars Foundation, the sole beneficiary of the BMWC — essentially the sales equivalent for the nonprofit industry.”


Paul St-Jacques

Paul St-Jacques is the founder of Maverick ROI, the place marketers, entrepreneurs, and service professionals come to learn how to use modern direct mail marketing strategies to generate quality leads and customers for their businesses.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“My #1 way to measure marketing effectiveness is to figure out what is your customer lifetime value (CLV). By figuring out what is the projected profit your business makes from a customer over time, you can then figure out how much you can actually spend to acquire and retain a new customer. This is extremely powerful as more often than not you’ll realize that you can spend much more on your marketing campaigns than anticipated to acquire new leads and customers.”


Ramon Khan

Ramon Khan is a Sales and Marketing expert with a passion for helping businesses grow. He is currently the Marketing Manager of National Air Warehouse.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“There are several things that you want to take into account when measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, but one towers over all the rest, ROI. Click through rates or response rates are great information to look at but if they do not result in revenue for the business, then you might be spinning your wheels and not getting any real traction. The only way that you would focus on other metrics for a longer period of time is if your response rate is very high but just not converting well. This is when conversion optimization kicks in. Otherwise, I think the single most important measure of effectiveness is if it has an overall impact in revenue. Of course happy customers is the single most important aspect to any business. That said being said, businesses do not operate in a non-profit way so ROI should always be taken into account.”


Sean Si

Sean Si is the CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker and Qeryz. A start-up, data analysis and urgency junkie who spends his time inspiring young entrepreneurs through talks and seminars. Check out his personal blog where he writes about starting up two companies and life in general.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“I think that this is mostly validated by goals you’ve set for your marketing campaign. Whether it’s a lead, a sale, an acquired user, a converted customer, etc. Now we’re using a slur of tools including Google Analytics, Woopra, Customer.io and so on to track these goals for our SaaS business. It’s an online survey tool named Qeryz.  As far as formulas go, we’re only tracking CPA (customer per. acquisitions) and if those acquisitions convert to paying customers.”


Erin Wasson

Erin thrives in conceptualizing, creating and cultivating brands. Driven by a passion for all things creative, she’s led the marketing efforts for 3 Chicago start-ups. Helping grow a Chicago Real Estate Company- Homescout Realty; launching the brand and marketing of web-based hiring technology-Hireology, and now taking on the most recent venture of VP of Marketing for UrbanBound. Erin is thrilled to be part of the launch team, taking part in building a product and a brand that is reinventing relocation utilizing technology. As the leader of the Chicago HubSpot User Group and recurring guest speaker at Loyola University Chicago, she finds joy in helping others pursue their goals through effective marketing.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“At UrbanBound, we use HubSpot for all of our marketing automation, and frankly, I’m not sure how anyone effectively does their job in the Marketing field without a platform like this. HubSpot has been one of our greatest weapons, especially at a startup, as we’re going up against big companies with a strong and solidified groundwork. The data that HubSpot provides is simply unparalleled – any number you could possibly want to know, whether it’s website visits, page performance, blog hits, social media metrics, CTA clicks (and anything else you can think of), is all found within the portal. The easy to use interface allows you to aggregate all of your marketing efforts in one place, giving you numerical-proven insight into exactly what is and is not working. The depth that the information goes into in the platform is simply invaluable – it drives everything that our team does. Long gone are the days when Marketing was viewed as arts and crafts – and this is largely due to platforms such as HubSpot. Marketing has shifted to a completely data-driven industry, powered by conversion rates, click-to-open percentages, SEO, keyword analytics, and submission rates. HubSpot not only allows you to see all of these metrics, but it guides you through the whole process with a robust knowledge center. HubSpot has transformed our company into a marketing powerhouse.”


Robyn Tippins

Robyn leads community marketing and business operations for Mariposa. She has been managing online communities for 17 years. Her book, Community 101 is a primer on online *community management*. Over the years, she has worked with large and small companies, including Yahoo, Intel, MTV, AT&T, Behr Paints, Fleishman-Hillard, ReadWriteWeb, SAY Media, Mozilla, Cisco, Facebook and Current TV. She authored the Community Certification program at GetSatisfaction.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“For our clients, we try to keep it very simple. It’s cost of customer acquisition minus lifetime value. CCA would include advertising costs + marketing costs + sales rep salary (the number of them normally required to make a sale) for the length of time our sales process normally takes. In other words, if our client’s sales process (lead to close) usually take 3 months, we take the cost of those activities for 3 months, divide it by the number of sales made in that period by that sales team and we have our CCA. So, if we have a CCA of $235, and a LTV of $35,000, we feel like we’ve done our job.”


Michael Riley

Michael Riley is co-founder of Boxter and previously founded the startup Simplpost. He is active in the local community as an organizer for TechGirlz, Philly Startup Leaders, and also founder of PhillyStartupTech.org. Follow him on Twitter: @itsatechworld

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“ROI is the most important measurement for our marketing. Calculate the return on investment using three factors. The lifetime value (LTV) of a new customer. What call to action (CTA) converted them to a paying customer. And what it cost to get that customer into our funnel (CAC). Having those three pieces of data allows us to make smarter marketing decisions and gives us the entire big picture.”


Sharon Harry

Sharon Harry serves as Director of Marketing for Metropolis Technologies, a call reporting and telemanagement manufacturer that enables businesses to gain insight into their voice network communications through analytics. Since joining Metropolis in 2011, Sharon has led all channel marketing programs, communication, and product strategy. She is passionate about customer engagement and on-going improvement.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“At Metropolis, we operate a lean marketing department and our efforts come down to one deciding factor regarding effectiveness: the creation of a sales opportunity. Isn’t the point of brand awareness to generate market share, which directly translates to bringing in revenue? We use Salesforce CRM to record and manage our lead sources, and track their sales path whether they come from a trade show, email campaign, advertisement or inbound web lead. At the end of the day, it all comes back to ensuring the leads are resulting in qualified sales, which we easily do by running campaign reports out of Salesforce.”


Pratibha Vuppuluri

Pratibha Vuppuluri is the Founder & Principal at KeyInsite Inc, a data analytics company, and a Co-Founder of NariNetwork, a woman-focused digital media company.Pratibha has more than ten years experience in the financial services industry including seven years in the Healthcare, Private Equity Secondary Market and Technology Investment Banking space at both UBS and Deutsche Bank. She has also authored and published an economic thesis on “The Impact of Negative Economic News Coverage on Consumer Confidence”. Pratibha graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Applied Economics and Management with Distinction in Honors Research and completed her Masters in International Affairs (International Finance and Economic Policy) at Columbia University.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“The best way that KeyInsite, www.keyinsite.com, tracks marketing effectiveness is by gathering information of the number of unique visitors who approach your website. As a startup, it is important for your marketing strategies to be effective. Are we producing enough content to keep our visitors engaging? Unique visitors will help achieve our marketing strategy of getting our name into the market. We would like to see a significant increase in our unique visitors.”


Mike Shaw

Mike Shaw is the SEO specialist at Tower, a search engine marketing agency in Lancaster, PA. He helps to develop the client’s website authority, trust and positioning in the SERPs. Mike has worked with companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Travelzoo, Car Hire Market and Insider-Journeys.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns (for clients and ourselves) I pay heavy attention to engagement. Engagement is a significant indicator of how effective your marketing campaign is because it takes into account how your content has been perceived and used by users; it is also trackable.

Useful engagement metrics to track:

Brand Awareness – type your brand name into Google and Twitter and see what people are saying. Are there positive comments and reviews, or are there negative statements you need to address? Either way, it gives you a glimpse into how your brand is perceived.

Social shares (re-tweets, shares, likes, +1’s) – We have all heard the cliché saying, “sharing is caring”. Well it is true! People only share what they want to share and they share it because the content has something that is relevant to them in some way. Discovering who is sharing your content offers marketers great insight into demographics, target audience and reach.

Commenting – When people comment on your website, it give marketers the chance to engage with them. When you engage with your users by commenting back, it shows that there is a ‘real’ person involved, who cares to respond. If you compare two blog posts, one that has comments vs. one that does not, it is obvious which content had more impact.

Inbound links – The number of external links to your website from other relevant, authoritative sites indicates that other people have found your content and consider it a valuable resource or reference.”


Nima Noori

Nima Noori is the Founder and CEO of TorontoVaporizer, Canada’s largest eCommerce retailer of vaporizers and vaporizer accessories.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“Tools like ‘Optimizely’ allow one to AB test different elements on a website and let the users vote on the effectiveness of a micro-marketing initiative with their behavioral patterns. If the color of a sign-up button changes and the click through rate goes up by 1%, that may indicate that the new color is just more effective. This is the new era of marketing that is driven by real-time data and user’s voting with their behavior. So, it will boil down the measure of a company’s marketing effectiveness to how fast they can prove or disprove a hypothesis, and that is so clever that it doesn’t require any guessing game in the marketing process anymore.”


Dimitar Serafimov

Dimitar is the Marketing Manager at InPlayer, an ecosystem of products for video monetization.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“The best-case scenario for a marketing manager would be to manage a marketing dashboard and continuously track the pre-specified Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The KPIs report should give a clear picture of the dynamics of the crucial numbers to the business. I would like to point out a metric that we give a top priority to. It’s: *Number of conversions / Cost per conversion*. The following ratio gets the closest to Return of Investment (ROI), as the ultimate marketing principle. The conversions can be all the parameters that grow the visitor to a potential client: user sign-ups, video plays, contact form submission, purchases, etc. The cost for achieving that indicates if that conversion is acquired efficiently.

The metric can morph into sub-metrics like: Social conversions efficiency (Engagements+new followers / acquisition cost), PR conversion efficiency (Media mentions / acquisition cost) etc.”


Gary Brooks

Gary Brooks is the CMO of Urjanet– the world’s first provider of automated energy data that enables organizations around the world to make smarter, more profitable and eco-friendly decisions for energy management and sustainability. Gary is a B2B marketing addict, occasional blogger, innovator and change agent with an entrepreneurial spirit and a proven track record of delivering breakthrough revenue performance.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“The simple answer is sales pipeline and revenue. The more complex answer involves the tracking and measurement of other marketing metrics that are leading indicators of sales pipeline and revenue which include website visits, content and social media engagement, leads, lead conversion rates, sales meetings, qualified sales opportunities, etc.

Smart companies invest in marketing for one reason: to get more buyers to buy more product, more frequently for more money, but many organizations fail to quantitatively track and measure the effectiveness of marketing in terms of pipeline and revenue. This is simply irresponsible. Marketing is an investment, and as stewards of this investment, CMO’s and their teams have a fiduciary responsibility to deliver a positive return on this investment. Marketing ROI must be quantitatively measured in terms that are understood by leadership teams, investors and board members.

To ensure CMOs and marketing team members remain focused on delivering pipeline and revenue, their compensation plans must be tied to these goals and other metrics that are leading indicators of pipeline and revenue success. Quantitatively measuring marketing performance and aligning sales and marketing goals and compensation plans is a must do, first step to scaling revenue and maximizing marketing effectiveness.”


Ellie Mirman

Ellie Mirman is VP Marketing at Toast, an all-in-one restaurant management company. Prior to Toast, she held various marketing roles at HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales software company. Ellie’s specialties lie in lead generation, email marketing, sales & marketing alignment, and marketing analytics.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“The #1 way I measure marketing effectiveness is simply how many customers (and how much revenue) is driven by marketing. Of course, that can mean a lot of different things, but starting with that simple definition of success is key. For example, marketing can attract new leads through social media or email marketing. Marketing can attract new leads by running paid lead generation campaigns. Marketing can increase the number of customers by enabling sales with tools to be more effective. The customers and revenue that close as a result of these efforts are the most important metric of success. The simpler the metric, the clearer the impact.

In terms of tools, we use a combination of HubSpot, Salesforce, and Google docs / spreadsheets.”


Kunle Olomofe

Kunle Olomofe is the Founder/CEO, Adtwist Publishing Co and an award winning business executive, social media influencer and online publisher. He has almost 2 decades experience working in the digital marketing and online publicity space and is a renowned Speaker and Trainer who consults with individuals, SMEs and large firms worldwide.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“I do digital and publicity marketing consulting work for small, medium and large firms across various industries and the no. 1 way I measure marketing effectiveness is through certain core KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) which defer depending on the marketing projects I’m working on or clients I’m working with per time. For example, if I’m working with a client who is concerned about web site traffic, visitor engagement and also how many visitors are converted to customers per visit and which products they buy from a list of available products on their web site, then I trust Google Analytics to give me answers with point and click ease. If my client happens to be more concerned with web mentions and market reach online, I use Google search results, the Google Alert tool and good old regular web surfing to determine the effectiveness of such a campaign.

A recent client, for example, was most concerned about their brand’s image and local market reach online, so what we did was to determine which KPIs would best reflect the progress of their campaign.The KPIs we chose included how many times Google found their brand name mentioned online in a positive light and what kind of feedback (especially comments) they received via their social media channels. We were also keen on how many more enquiries they got from their new web site and if Google found their site worthy of the no. 1 spot after a reasonable period of time from when a re-design was launched, which leads me to what I consider to be the most important aspect of measuring marketing effectiveness…

Time Frame To Seeing Results: Like many consultants, I meet clients who are so eager to turn their situations around that they would be willing to pay handsomely for instant solutions.This is where I always step in with some firm advice that goes like this… If you want real, lasting, reliable solutions, you simply have to be willing to input necessary variables on a consistent basis, and most importantly, you have to be ready and willing to wait and see results over a reasonable period of time. In most cases, I suggest a waiting and measuring period of at least 90 days from the start of a project and we then carry out KPI analysis meetings every 30 – 90 days after that.”


Bryan Clayton

Bryan Clayton is the CEO of GreenPal, which is best described as Uber for lawn mowing.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“We measure our customer acquisition by calculating our net promoter score (NPS) We do this by regulatory running customer surveys using a tool called Get 5 Stars. Using this tool we solicit feedback from our customers, if good ask them for reviews for our site and also third party sites like Yelp, if bad we get out in front of the issue immediately. Then we ask, on a scale of 1-10 how likely would you be to refer a friend to use GreenPal. We then use that data to calculate our NPS. Doing this allowed us to capture some funny reviews. We have a mantra. Listen to your customers, otherwise you will have none.”


Andrew Davies

CMO and Co-Founder of Idio, Andrew fuses a deep knowledge of digital marketing with 10 years running technology businesses. He works with leading content marketers who use idio’s Content Intelligence platform to deliver rich audience insight, content personalization, and sales
intelligence.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“The number one way to measure marketing effectiveness is number and value of leads generated. The ROI formula we use at idio for evaluating all of our campaigns is: ROI =(Gain-Cost)/Cost. Let me show you how that works with a real life campaign. We created an ebook recently: The cost of that campaign was £4950. We calculated that by adding labour and design costs (£3200), technology costs (£650), and amount spent on paid promotion (£1100).

The gain was £10,200. We calculated that by ascertaining the number of marketing qualified leads generated (136) and the value of a MQL (£75). Putting that into the formula ROI = (10200-4950)/4950 = £106%. Or, put another way, for every £1 invested, we got £2.06 of value back. Marketing will forever battle with the presumption that it is a cost center, not a revenue driver. Us marketers do ourselves no favors when we validate our efforts with engagement/brand awareness metrics rather than the business metrics which show how marketing really moves the commercial needle.”


Michelle Stinson Ross

Michelle Stinson Ross is the head of Outreach at AuthorityLabs and an industry recognized authority on the outreach power of social media. She has worked with several clients not only to increase brand awareness and the visibility of special promotions, but also how to use the social space to connect with media influencers and the public.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“All of my marketing efforts are measured against business goals, and I use a mix of tools and metrics to do that. For instance, if brand awareness is a goal, I will track the reach and engagement of my social media posts in the platform analytics and in my 3rd party tools like Sprout Social. I will also track web traffic driven by those posts and shares in Google Analytics. If something more specific, like email sign-ups is the goal, then I will also track conversions against traffic driven by search, social, and PPC. We will also keep track of how those landing pages are ranking in search results with our own proprietary tools.”


Rick Whittington

Rick Whittington is the owner of Whittington Consulting, an online marketing firm based in Richmond, Virginia specializing in websites and lead generation for business-to-business companies.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“The number one way to measure marketing effectiveness is cost per lead. The combined cost of production costs, ad spend and team salaries divided by the number of leads you generate for sales will tell you how efficient your marketing spend is, how targeted your efforts are, and gauge how effective your total marketing efforts are. This metric is useful because a company can determine how much they can pay for a lead based on close rate, then determine if their marketing efforts are leading to profitable transactions. A close second best metric is conversion rate, which is a percentage that can be found by dividing the number of visitors coming to your website by the number of leads resulting from your website. While there is no benchmark for conversion rate — and it can vary by industry — this metric tells a story of how successful you are at bringing qualified visitors to your website and how successful your website is at convincing visitors that you have something to offer. A higher conversion rate means that you need fewer visitors to get the same number of qualified business opportunities from your website.”


Carolyn Wilman

Carolyn Wilman (aka @IdeaMajesty) is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Sweepstakes Specialist. Carolyn teaches SMB how to effectively use online marketing as well as social media management to maximize their digital presence converting to sales.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“This is going to sound really obvious, but its sales. ALL marketing activities should always lead back to sales. There are all types of tools to measure online analytics, impressions, engagement, etc. but all the connection in the world won’t make a lick of difference if your company isn’t making money. That said, you do need to trace back from sales to your marketing efforts to figure what is working and what isn’t so you are not wasting money and effort either. What specific tools you use will all depend on the marketing activity.”


Shekhar Deo

Shekhar Deo has extensive development experience in distributed, clustered systems and data storage technologies. He was instrumental in building EngageClick‘s advertising technology platform utilizing machine learning algorithms and rich data analytics to analyze consumer behavior in real time.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“1) Measuring marketing effectiveness is an art and science together. There is really no one #1 way to measure it, however, there are multiples of equally important measurement. I know most people want to track marketing effectiveness by sales. However, this only works if marketing is your product. Otherwise, that any product that’s being marketed needs to speak to the needs of customers itself. We’ve three measurements that are very effective:

– Measuring the marketing reach to the right audience – It’s important to measure if your marketing is reaching to out the right audience. Most marketers don’t measure it. They just use the info during planning time and then hand over to media execution team to reach them. It’s important to measure by several pixel tracking, campaign analysis, visitors analysis, etc to understand what type of audience the marketing is reaching out to. We call it persona metrics.

– Measuring the direct possible outcome of reach – We attach 2-3 goals to each marketing campaign such as social visitations, direct web visitations, lead generations, and conversions. We call them communication metrics.

– Measuring optimizations – Keep optimization metrics handy. It’s important to optimize to get better result, but it’s equally important to measure optimizations. We call it optimization metrics.

2) We use our own proprietary software that algorithmically builds out persona once the campaign is started on a frequent basis and provides great way to look to the audience, communication impact, and results visually. It provides all optimization metrics as well. We’ve built it to provide a unified view of all communications across all channels and devices so that us as marketers look at bigger picture and plan out tactical needs.”


David Ring

My name is David Ring and I am the Product Marketing Manager of MioDatos.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“Our number one way of measuring marketing effectiveness is the lead conversion rate. This shows the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns, the existing knowledge of prospects when talking with our sales team, and the overall effectiveness of both teams in general. This metric can be compared month over month to determine the success of both teams.

Secondary analytics related to this metric also include the average time our sales team speaks with a prospect before closing a deal as well as the number of products and total sale amount of the order. The more effective our marketing team is in educating prospects on our products, the less time our sales team spends explaining the product to them. The number of products and sale amount reflects our sales team’s ability to upsell on complimentary goods as well as their general effectiveness.”


Jacob Molz

Jacob Molz is chief communications officer for ISS 24/7, the nation’s leading provider in facility and venue management software. He is a UCF Alumni with a BSBA in Management and has an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Nova Southeastern University. He is both Inbound Marketing and HubSpot certified.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“My #1 way to measure marketing effectiveness is ‘authority’.. It might seem unconventional, but if we are telling our story “effectively” our brand awareness will increase, and the rest follows. For example, I know that as long as we are the thought leaders in our industry the ‘conversions’ will follow – and they do. We use HubSpot to measure our proprietary “authority formula” to determine how our story via content is being received and reciprocated. When you are sourced in top industry magazines without paying ad space, as a vendor, you know you are telling your story the right way.”


Victor Bilandzic

Victor Bilandzic is a Managing Consultant at Motava, a digital marketing agency in San Jose, CA. Victor and his team at Motava have worked with hundreds of clients in numerous industries ranging from talking parrot shows to high-tech electronics.

The best way to measure marketing effectiveness is …

“We first define the major business objectives for a business. For the types of businesses we deal with, that is almost always one of the following 2 goals:

1. Increase in sales

2. Increase in leads

From there, we define the average value of each sale or each lead with the client. We’ll then use a custom dashboard tool (dashthis.com), to define the sources of each successful conversion to track where the visitors came from and if they came directly from our efforts.

What’s nice about the tool is we can also integrate with apps or sources that don’t have direct reporting integration, like Yelp’s deals. We add the data to a spreadsheet then upload it to the dashboard using their CSV feature.”

Cathy McPhillips

@cmcphillips

Cathy is the Vice President of Marketing at the Content Marketing Institute, leading marketing efforts for CMI, Content Marketing World, Intelligent Content Conference, CMI University, CCO magazine, and other CMI properties. She works hard to get you to CMI events – online and off – and gets extra excited for opportunities to meet #CMWorld community members in person! Cathy is also a board member for The Orange Effect Foundation.

NOTE: The following information is excerpted from A Simple Plan for Measuring the Marketing Effectiveness of Content via Content Marketing Institute. 

“When putting your measurement program in place, start by deciding on…”

How frequently you’ll collect your data. A good schedule to start with is measuring marketing effectiveness on a monthly basis — we’ve found that this has worked well for CMI (though we may watch some metrics weekly just to make sure monthly goals stay on track — especially for metrics we can modify quickly). Then, you will want to create a spreadsheet that documents and tracks the following:

  1. Your marketing goals. If you have several, it may help to put them in order of priority. (By this point, you should have agreed on goals with your management team; but if you haven’t, now is the time to get on the same page.)
  2. The key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to measure marketing effectiveness of your content.
  3. Your plan for gathering this performance information.
  4. Who will be responsible for collecting and reporting this data.


Jim Joseph

@JimJosephExp

Jim Joseph is the chief integrated marketing officer and president of the Americas for New York-based communications agency Cohn & Wolfe, part of the media company WPP Group PLC. He is the award-winning author of The Experience Effect series, teaches marketing at New York University, and is on the board of directors for the number one branding school in the country, The VCU Brandcenter. Joseph’s new book, Out and About Dad, chronicles his unique journey as a father during a unique time in our cultural evolution.

NOTE: The following information is excerpted from To Track the Effectiveness of a Marketing Plan, You Need Modern Day Measurement via Entrepreneur. 

“You’ve outlined your strategies and identified your tactics, so now you must create your measurement protocol…”

It starts with your goals, of course, which was the first installment of this series on marketing plans. But then you need to identify the elements that will make up those goals, the interim steps that will tell you if you are on track.

The interim goals could be anything that will track your progress, be it social media followers, numbers of shares or coupon redemption. Your interim goals should prove whether you will make your annual goals, allowing you to do what’s necessary along the year to change the trajectory.

This is modern day marketing measurement — not allowing the entire year to go by before you know if you’ll succeed and doing everything in your power to stack the deck towards making your goals by using data to track your progress. Then, of course, also altering your marketing plan in response. I would suggest a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly dashboard to easily capture your results in a format that allows for easy decision-making.


David Court, Jonathan Gordon, and Jesko Perrey

@McKinsey

Since 1926, McKinsey & Company has been the trusted advisor to the world’s leading businesses, governments & institutions.

NOTE: The following information is excerpted from Measuring marketing’s worth via McKinsey & Company. 

“Marketers often hear that the answer to improving their judgment in this rapidly changing environment is…”

Data, and some companies have sophisticated analytical tools. Yet it’s difficult to integrate all of this information in a way that not only provides answers that you trust but can also inform smart marketing changes. We counsel a return to what creates great marketing judgment: start by formulating hypotheses about the impact of changes to your marketing mix and then seek analytical evidence.

One insurance company, for example, spent a year working on a complex demand model to try to understand the impact of its growing marketing spending in light of declining sales. Yet output from the model “felt wrong,” and the analytics were too complicated for business leaders to understand. It was only when the company articulated specific questions it was trying to answer, and designed targeted modeling exercises to prove or disprove them, that it was able to eliminate a lot of “noise” in the data and uncover a clear relationship between marketing spending and business results. That’s when the internal dialogue shifted from “should we be spending on marketing at all?” to “what’s the optimum marketing spending needed to hit our targets?”

We are excited by the possibilities that “big data” and advanced analytics create—no question. But data remain only as useful as the expertise you bring to bear, and good judgment will remain a hallmark of the best marketers.


Salesfusion

@Salesfusion

The Salesfusion platform is designed with the typical marketer – and the typical small marketing budget – in mind. Native integrations with the major CRMs help get sales and marketing on the same page and make it easier to work together. Built by marketers, for marketers, every component packs a serious punch, yet is easy to use; from initially attracting prospects, to crafting communications, to determining success and areas of improvement.

NOTE: The following information is excerpted from Measuring Marketing Effectiveness: 5 Metrics You Need to Track via Salesfusion. 

“One of the most important metrics to measure for gauging marketing effectiveness is…”

Marketing contribution to revenue. This is the big one — what percentage of overall company revenue can be traced back to your marketing team’s efforts? Obviously, the higher the number here, the more effective your initiatives. That said, there’s a lot that goes into telling this story and it doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story, as some areas of effectiveness, like brand awareness and website activity, may take longer to translate into revenue or may benefit the company in non-monetary ways.

7 Steps to Developing a Challenger Sales Model

| February 22, 2018 | Quark Blog Team

Consumers today continue to grow savvier meaning sales reps have had to adopt new sales tactics in order to survive. It is no longer sufficient for sales reps to present would-be buyers with detailed information on product features and benefits. Through a simple Google search, buyers can arm themselves with all the product knowledge they need. Case studies, whitepapers, webinars, and other freely available digital resources are regularly resourced by the modern buyer. Indeed, buyers today will complete 57% of the buying process before even engaging the sales rep.

With buyers more knowledgable than ever, a traditional solutions-oriented sales pitch with a focus on product benefits will no longer suffice. Today’s buyer will most likely know precisely how your product can solve business needs and will not appreciate valuable time being wasted. Research has shown that in order to succeed today, sales reps need to move beyond traditional sales methods and adopt a challenger mentality.

Sales challengers are sales professionals that use their deep knowledge of their customers’ business to disrupt their thinking and take command of the sales conversation. Sales challengers are unafraid to express even potentially controversial viewpoints and add value to the sales conversation by providing the buyer with unique insights into their own business needs. The influential book, “The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation” by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson popularized the concept of the challenger sales rep with its release in 2012.

Features of a Challenger Seller

There are 3 traits of challenger behavior that set challenger sales reps apart from the rest:

How to Develop A Challenger Sales Model

Research by the Sales Executive Council has shown that the most successful reps today are sales challengers. The other categories of sales rep are relationship builders, hard workers, lone wolves, and reactive problem solvers. 40% of top performers today are challengers. When it comes to complex selling, challenger sales reps are even more successful with 54% of star performers in the solution selling environment being challengers.

With every advantage counting in today’s hyper competitive business arena, it is unsurprising that many companies are choosing to implement challenger sales models. At Docurated, we are big believers in challenger sales. So much so that we have developed 7 steps companies can follow to successfully implement a challenger sales model in their organization.

1. Educate

The first step in implementing a challenger sales model in your organization is to educate your sales force. A straightforward step you could take here is to make “The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation” compulsory reading for all reps during the onboarding process. Sales training will also have to be adjusted to focus on challenger selling. Challenger sellers must learn to teach buyers new perspectives on their business needs. To take on the role of challenger, reps will need to be informed and up to date on all the latest industry trends and consumer needs.

2. Align Marketing and Sales

The challenger sales model requires a realignment of marketing goals in support of the sales organization. The role of marketing in the challenger sales model is that of an “insight generation machine”. Marketing must create content that supports the challenger sales rep. Content must be tailored to the specific business needs of buyers and challenge how they view their own company. Challenger selling is a cohesive process with tailored content at its core. Marketing must continually support the sales organization with the most up to date and relevant content.

3. Eliminate Content Retrieval Problems

Challenger selling relies heavily on the availability of tailored and unique content. While it is vital that marketing continues to produce unique content, it must be accessible to successfully implement the challenger sales model. The trouble today is that companies are creating such a high volume of content, much of it has become inaccessible due to aging file and folder structures unsuited to today’s big data. At present the average sales rep spends 6.5 to 8.8 hours per week searching for content. To successfully implement the challenger sales approach content must be instantly accessible. If content retrieval nightmares run rife at your company, the challenger sales approach will be less than effective. Ensure these issues are solved by introducing productivity solutions that eradicate content retrieval problems. The adoption of these productivity tools will help to develop a successful challenger sales model in your company.

4. Adjust Your Sales Metrics

The challenger sales model must be reinforced by a clear set of metrics that encourage challenger behavior. Assess your current metrics to see if they are aligned with your new challenger sales approach. Be careful not to create a metrics dashboard that is too large to be effective. Remove current metrics that do not work and support the remaining metrics with new metrics that encourage challenger selling. The creation of these new metrics may require extensive stakeholder feedback to clearly lay out the end goals.

5. Ensure Pipeline Accuracy

To provide unique perspectives on customer needs, the challenger sales rep needs to be sure of the accuracy of the sales pipeline. Without a strong infrastructure, the challenger sales rep will struggle to offer relevant insights to prospective customers. Help to ensure the accuracy of your pipeline by clearly defining each stage of the sales cycle. Examine the cause of any inaccuracies in your current projections and look to quickly eliminate these roadblocks. If you incorporate CRM technology to help pipeline accuracy make sure that the sales cycle on your system is an accurate representation of your sales process. If not, take the time to align your system and processes. Challenger sales reps rely on clean and accurate customer data to provide customers with tailored insights.

6. Redesign Your Hiring Processes

Maintain your challenger sales model by hiring reps that exhibit the traits most closely associated with challengers. Ask prospective hires questions that test their intellect, values, and motivations in addition to the conventional questions on experience and behavior.

7. Communicate Challenger Success

Reinforce your challenger sales approach by encouraging successful reps to share details of successful deals and how they applied the challenger technique. Needless to say, communication is key throughout the challenger sales model implementation process. Sales leaders should make time for regular challenger coaching sessions with underperforming sales reps and should also share specific insights with sales teams at meetings to help with the challenger approach.

 

55 Best Sales Management Tools: Top Sales Performance & Management Software Systems and Mobile Sales Tools

| February 20, 2018 | Quark Blog Team

Sales managers have so many tasks and responsibilities that they often feel as though they are being pulled in a million different directions. That’s why there are hundreds, if not thousands, of sales tools, software solutions, and apps for sales teams and sales management. Companies and developers want to make the sales management job more… well, manageable, but often the result is too many tools and not enough time to use all of them.

The best sales managers, though, know that some of their best tools are those that are designed for their sales reps. When sales reps have tools that enable them to work efficiently, sales managers enjoy knowing that they are achieving lean management and increasing profits. That’s why our list of the best sales management tools/software includes those sales tools and software solutions that truly help sales teams to work more efficiently by selling more in less time.

Of course, the list also includes sales management tools and sales performance software systems that are geared solely toward sales management. To make the list, the sales management software and mobile sales tools have to be proven and reliable in helping managers to streamline the sales process, manage their teams, and set goals to motivate their teams to use their CRM and increase sales. After scouring the internet for the sales management tools/software that meet all of our requirements, we have listed the 55 best here, in no particular order.

1. Ambition Sales Performance Management Platform

@AmbitionSales

Ambition is the only platform that scores overall user performance in real-time. Set weighted benchmarks for each role in your organization and give employees a continuously running, real-time score of daily, weekly, and monthly performance.

Key Features:

Cost: Free trial available

2. Sales Cloud by Salesforce

@salesforce

The best sales managers provide their people with software that helps them to sell smarter and faster, and Sales Cloud by Salesforce does just that. With a long list of features, Sales Cloud by Salesforce allows sales teams to do more in less time. What sales manager wouldn’t want that?

Key Features:

 

Cost: Free trial available

 

3. OnContact CRM 7

@WorkWiseERP

OnContact CRM 7 is a great tool for sales managers looking to support their sales reps from the beginning to the end of the sales cycle. OnContact software guides sales teams through everything from scheduling appointments to writing proposals to generating quotes. Streamline the selling process for your team with OnContact CRM 7.

Key Features:

 

Cost:

 

4. Yesware

@yesware

Helping teams work more efficiently is an important part of the sales manager’s job, and one tool that could not be any easier for sales reps to use is Yesware. Sales team members can track emails and work more effectively and efficiently from their Gmail or Outlook inboxes. When teams sell smarter, sales managers see more results.

Key Features:

 

Cost:

 

5. OnePageCRM

@OnePageCRM

For sales managers of small businesses, OnePageCRM is a great choice. An easy-to-use online sales solution, OnePageCRM keeps all contacts and sales information in one place and has a proven follow-up system. Small business sales managers will enjoy more time doing their own work because OnePageCRM allows for “almost zero admin sales,” by making it possible for sales reps to move on to the next action with prospects themselves.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Free 30-day trial available

 

6. Clari

@clarihq

A sales productivity platform, Clari combines mobile, design, and data science to help sales managers guide their teams through the selling process. Sales managers choose Clari because it works with existing enterprise systems and improves productivity and increases sales forecast accuracy.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Free trial available – Contact for a quote

7. Infusionsoft

@Infusionsoft

Built for small business, Infusionsoft is sales and marketing software that makes everyone’s job easier, especially the sales manager’s. Not only does Infusionsoft help mangers “get organized, grow sales, [and] save time,” but the company’s Small Business Sales and Marketing Scorecard serves as a tool that helps sales managers evaluate marketing methods, social media efforts, and sales techniques.

Key Features:

 

Cost:

 

8. NetSuite

@NetSuite

Known as “the #1 cloud business management software suite,” NetSuite is quickly becoming the go-to sales management software. NetSuite CRM+ especially is a smart choice for sales managers because it “is the only cloud solution that delivers a real-time 360-degree view of your customer.” The software solution helps sales team members work their way throughout the customer lifecycle and offers quotes, order management, commissions, and more to help managers streamline their organization’s sales process.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

9. DemoChimp

@DemoChimp

Sales managers need to help their teams streamline as much of the sales process as possible, to help teams stay lean and efficient. DemoChimp is a solution that sales managers absolutely should not overlook because it packs such a powerful sales punch by automating sales and marketing conversations and then measuring them.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

10. SalesExec

@TeamClickPoint

Managing sales teams that can “close more leads in less time” is the goal of most sales managers, and SalesExec is ClickPoint Software’s lead management software that helps sales managers achieve that goal. From getting leads to reporting on sales activity, SalesExec is a smart sales management software choice.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Free trial available – Contact for a quote

11. EDGAR

@SEC_News

The Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval system (EDGAR) of the United States Security and Exchange Commission is a searchable database that provides valuable information for sales managers and their teams. When companies file their required forms, they include information that is helpful for teams seeking information about them for sales purposes. EDGAR is the best-kept sales management secret.

Key Features:

 

Cost: FREE

12. Xceleration

@Xcelerationinc

Motivating sales teams is critical to sales managers’ success, and Xceleration’s sales incentive program makes the process easy for managers. With their scalable RewardStation technology, Xceleration is a perfect sales management solution for inspiring individuals and teams or organizations of any size.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

13. You Don’t Need a CRM

@NoCrm

At times, sales managers provide so many tools for their sales teams that they get bogged down in all of the technology. You Don’t Need a CRM is different because it is a simple and efficient software solution that gets sales professionals tracking and closing deals instead of spending hours filling out forms and inputting data. You Don’t Need a CRM is perfect for small business sales managers looking to see increased sales and productivity from their sales teams.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Free 15-day trial available

 

14. LevelEleven

@leveleleven

Sales managers see results with LevelEleven, “a sales performance platform that drives the behaviors that drive sales.” LevelEleven utilizes the competitive nature of salespeople, uses real-time leaderboards and performance recognition, and integrates with Salesforce data to make it simple for sales managers to increase sales with motivated sales professionals.

Key Features:

 

Cost:

 

15. Infor

@Infor

“One of the world’s leading providers of enterprise applications,” Infor provides flexible CRM with a “customer interaction hub concept.” With Infor CRM, sales managers provide a complete 360° customer view for their sales teams to turn their organizations into streamlined, efficient sales leaders.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

16. Hoopla

@hooplasoftware

With its cloud-based sales motivation software, Hoopla drives business results for sales managers and teams. Hoopla’s Sales Motivation Platform “combines modern game mechanics, data analytics and broadcast-quality video in a powerfully simple sales gamification application,” making it easy for mangers to create contests and competitions to motivate sales team performance.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Annual contract required, and you must have a Salesforce Enterprise or Salesforce Performance license to install Hoopla

 

17. Repsly

@Repsly_SalesPod

Repsly aims to “simplify field work” as a cloud solution for sales managers. Repsly allows sales managers to organize and optimize their field teams, as they can see exactly what their reps see. After using Repsly, sales managers will wonder how their sales teams worked effectively without it.

Key Features:

 

Cost:

 

18. Bunchball

@Bunchball

“The market leader and visionary in gamification,” Bunchball is a solution for sales managers who want to boost sales revenue and engage and retain employees. Bunchball Nitro for Salesforce integrates the advanced gamification engine with your Sales Cloud and Service Cloud to motivate your sales team to sell more.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

19. Yooba

@YoobaStudio

Most often, the best tools for sales managers are the best tools for their sales team professionals. By providing the right tools for their teams, sales managers satisfy their reps and help them sell more in less time. Yooba is one of those tools, because it turns sales and marketing materials into apps and adapts to your sales teams’ best practices.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

20. Brainshark

@brainshark

With Brainshark’s onboarding and training solution, sales managers have the capability of creating online and mobile video presentations easily. Brainshark results in more effective training and productivity because it enables sales managers to produce content tailored to their own teams every time.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

21. SalesLoft

@SalesLoft

Let’s face it: sales still is all about converting prospects to qualified leads and closed deals. SalesLoft is one of the simplest online solutions sales managers should provide for their teams to make it happen.

Key Features:

 

Cost:
– Prospector Pricing:

– Cadence Pricing – $30/user

22. FirstRain

@FirstRain

FirstRain is a comprehensive tool for everyone involved in sales. From sales management, FirstRain provides insights for driving company strategy. Diminished research time allows sales managers to spend more time taking action instead of looking for the information needed to make decisions.

Key Features:

 

Cost:

 

23. Enkata

@EnkataCloud

All sales managers strive to help their sales teams perform at top levels, and Enkata is a sales management tool that uses “data intelligence for performance optimization” to help sales managers achieve that goal. On average, Enkata increases sales effectiveness by 12% by helping “sales people see what’s important and take actions to improve outcomes.”

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

24. Contactually

@Contactually

Geared toward small businesses, Contactually is a great choice for sales managers who want to create a collaborative environment with “increased visibility, shared relationships, [and] total security.” This sales management tool especially is useful in monitoring the team’s progress and performance.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Free 30-day trial – Contact for a quote

25. Maximizer CRM

@MaximizerCRM

The “leading provider of simple, functional customer relationship management (CRM software) solutions for small and medium-sized businesses,” Maximizer CRM is an all-in-one solution. With solutions for sales management, customer service, and marketing automation, Maximizer CRM is a top choice among sales managers who want to streamline their organization’s sales process.

Key Features:

 

Cost: $55/user/month billed annually – account, activity, task, contact & calendar, full mobility, sales and marketing automation, unlimited support, and more

26. Achievers

@Achievers

Achievers is “the only true cloud-based Employee Success Platform™.” This invaluable sales management tool provides employee engagement and alignment, social employee recognition, manger tools, global rewards, achiever analytics, and more to help sales managers take their sales reps and organizations to a higher level.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

27. ReferenceEdge

@crinsights

For sales managers looking to ramp up business growth, Point of Reference offers ReferenceEdge, a solution that helps the organization “leverage customer references” to achieve that goal. Sales mangers choose ReferenceEdge to help teams spend more time selling efficiently and less time looking for customer reference requests and content.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

28. WiseStamp

@WiseStamp

Consistency, branding, and visual appeal help to make organizations memorable. And, everyone in sales knows that standing out from the crowd is one of the best ways to close deals and increase profits. That’s why sales managers choose WiseStamp, a Firefox and Google Chrome add-on, for creating consistent, branded, and appealing email signatures across their organizations.

Key Features:

 

Cost: 14-day free trial – Contact for a quote

29. AppGlu

@appglu

If you’re branding your signatures, why not create and customize branded ready-to-run mobile apps for your sales teams, too? AppGlu allows you to build apps yourself or builds them for you to “ensure that marketing and sales materials are professionally presented, consistent, and always current.” Sales managers need to be sure the right message and look are getting out to prospects and clients, and AppGlu takes the worry out of the process.

Key Features:

 

Cost: 30-day free trial – Contact for a quote

30. Salesforce Work

@workdotcom

Salesforce Work is a sales performance management solution that helps organizations to “sell better together.” Sales managers will appreciate Work’s features that allow them to align teams with their business goals and motivate them with recognition and real rewards.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

31. RAYNET CRM

RAYNET CRM quickly has become one of the top CRM solutions for sales managers because of its intuitive dashboard and simplified interface. Keeping things simple helps sales team members to work more efficiently and productively – two sales management goals that are met by RAYNET CRM.

Key Features:

 

Cost: FREE 30-day trial or Profi plan available

 

32. Reachable

@Reach_able

Sales managers select Reachable to empower employees “to work as a team to smartly leverage collective personal and corporate relationships to gain a competitive edge.” This unique tool uses the power of the employees to increase productivity and profits, which promotes intrinsic motivation and helps sales managers to inspire their teams without using gimmicks.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

33. TeamWox

TeamWox makes it possible for sales managers to foster team collaboration, promote transparency, improve productivity, and even reduce costs. An enterprise management system, TeamWox is a smart choice for sales managers of small and medium-sized companies who are looking to grow sales and team performance.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Free 2-month trial version available

 

34. Factiva

@DowJones

Having access to the latest news and information sources is a critical component of a sales managers’ position, and Factiva provides that access in one place. With its powerful search and alerting, Factiva is an invaluable tool for sales management.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote and additional services

35. Adobe Connect

@AdobeConnect

Keeping sales professionals up-to-date and knowledgeable is important to a sales manager’s success, and Adobe Connect is a web conferencing solution with a few options to help sales managers accomplish that task. Through online meetings, eLearning, and webinars, Adobe Connect is a sales management tool for connecting to sales teams and sharing pertinent information.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

36. C9 Sales Execution

@C9Inc

Sales managers can celebrate high-achieving sales reps and deliver personalized recommendations to those who are not performing well with C9 Sales Execution. C9 Sales Execution provides analytics and recommendations, plus a performance chart that details reps’ performance to motivate them. C9 Sales Execution does so much that sales managers will be able to do more to increase productivity and profitability and spend less time on the analysis and reporting that C9 Sales Execution does for them.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

37. Cornerstone Sales Commission Software

@CornerstoneSoft

Cornerstone Software provides its Sales Motivator software to help sales managers create and implement sales compensation plans. Cornerstone’s theory for sales management is simple: “The less time you spend planning and managing your sales commissions, the more time you can spend building revenue and driving business.” Sales managers love Sales Motivator because it is a simple, transparent solution for designing and managing sales commission plans that yield results.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

38. SuMo for Salesforce

@CloudAppsGlobal

SuMo for Salesforce helps improve sales management by increasing organizational performance through sales team member motivation and behavioral change measurements. Specifically, SuMo is a sales management tool that employs game mechanics to motivate employees to use your CRM with fidelity and remain engaged and focused throughout the sales process.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

39. Chaos Software

@ChaosSoftware

Chaos Software caters to micro business and individuals with their CRM applications, since their products function on a shared database on a network and do not require any server hardware or software. Chaos Software’s Chaos Intellect 4 is one of the most affordable sales management solutions available for micro businesses or individuals, but it includes a long list of features.

Key Features:

 

Cost:

 

40. LivePlan

@liveplan

LivePlan is made for managers, as it “simplifies business planning, budgeting, forecasting, and performance tracking for small businesses and startups.” The sales management software makes it possible for sales managers to do everything from set business goals to view critical numbers in the easy-to-use dashboard.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Free 60-day trial available

 

41. Right90 Sales Forecast Capture

@Right90

Right90 Sales Forecast Capture is software made for sales management, period. Designed for companies “with large, complex sales organizations,” Right90 Sales Forecast Capture allows sales managers to increase sales collaboration and promote accountability while driving more thorough and accurate sales forecasts. The result is sales management spending less time forecasting and more time increasing sales participation.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

42. Tactile CRM

@tactilecrm

Tactile CRM is web-based sales management software best suited for small businesses and departments. Most sales managers choose Tactile CRM because it is easy to use, keeps all of the important information and resources in one place, and allows them to share information within their organization virtually effortlessly.

Key Features:

 

Cost: 30-day free trial available

 

43. CampaignerCRM Pro

@CampaignerCRM

Sometimes, the hardest part of sales management is choosing a CRM solution that sales team members actually want to use. CampaignerCRM is “the next-generation suite of powerful sales tools for smarter sales management” and is known as being a CRM solution that sales reps actually use because of its integration capabilities and easy-to-use features. CampaignerCRM Pro takes many of the headaches out of sales management.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Free 30-day trail available

 

44. SalesProspex

@NetProspex

Top choices in sales management software empower sales teams, and that’s exactly what SalesProspex does: it helps sales managers empower sales teams to find the best customers in a snap. A different sort of prospecting tool, SalesProspex uses the power of its community of users to target potential buyers and influencers. Sales managers will appreciate knowing their teams are spending less time researching and more time contacting and selling with SalesProspex.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

45. Bananatag

@bananatag

By now, most sales teams are using some sort of an email-tracking tool to determine the effectiveness of their email campaigns. Bananatag is a sales management solution that allows sales managers to conduct team-wide email tracking and analytics. With Banantag, sales managers get an overview of the entire team’s successes and failures, too.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Bananatag Teams: $10/user/month after 14-day free trail – 200 email tags/user/day, team metrics, team reports, detailed notifications, team management

46. ConnectLeader Team Dialer

@ConnectLeader

Making cold calls remains an important part of the sales world, but it does not have to take an entire day for a sales rep to reach all of the available contacts on the call list. Smart managers strive to streamline the sales process and save their reps time (and their organizations money), and ConnectLeader Team Dialer is one proven way that sales managers can help their reps improve their outbound calling productivity.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

47. QuickBase

@IntuitQuickBase

QuickBase is a comprehensive sales management solution that also serves as a team collaboration tool. Overall, QuickBase is a “workspace for customizable apps.” Because sales teams create and use data everyday, QuickBase helps sales teams turn that data into a database with business apps that are shared safely, all in one place, and are accessible from anywhere, any time.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

48. Base

@getbase

Base is “the fastest growing sales management software on the market,” and it helps teams effectively manage business contacts, sales leads, and revenue direction. In fact, Base is a perfect fit for small to medium companies that want to streamline their day and save their sales reps time.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Free 14-day trail available

 

49. Wrapfire

@wrapfire

Imagine being a sales manager who knows which prospects are most likely to buy and when your sales team should reach out to them. Then, imagine that all of your salespeople reach out to those prospects with consistent, branded materials. Wrapfire is the sales tool that makes all of this possible for sales managers.

Key Features:

 

Cost:

 

50. RingCentral for Salesforce

@RingCentral

Nearly every sales team still conducts cold calls, but not every calling solution and tool has features for sales management. RingCentral for Salesforce is an exception, as it includes advanced features for sales managers and sales reps.

Key Features:

 

Cost: Both the Premium and Enterprise plans feature Salesforce integration

 

51. i-snapshot

@i-snapshot

i-snapshot’s software and services help sales managers to make sales teams more effective. It provides “unparalleled insight into sales activity” and the average increase in field sales productivity by teams utilizing i-snapshot is 21%. Sales managers have quickly made i-snapshot a “world leading sales management system.”

Key Features:

 

Cost: Contact for a quote

52. Pipedrive

@pipedrive

Pipedrive is a leading sales CRM for “small teams with big ambitions.” This sales management tool helps you take control of your sales process by making your pipeline transparent and enabling you to focus on the activities that lead to closed deals.

Key Features:

Cost: 

53. Anaplan

@anaplan

Anaplan, the Smart Business Platform, enables advanced decision-making for your business. This sales management platform enables sales teams to establish effective strategies that align objectives with behaviors across team members.

Key Features:

Cost: Contact for a quote

54. Pipeliner

@PipelinerCRM

Pipeliner is a sales management tool that offers a new look at the sales pipeline and how it drives CRM. Pipeline also fosters a consistent, predictable sales process that helps sales teams close more deals.

Key Features:

Cost: FREE trial available

55. Domo for Sales

@Domotalk

Domo optimizes your business by connecting you to data, people, and expertise for improving business results. Domo for Sales is the sales management tool that delivers sales metrics in a single dashboard so teams can see everything in context.

Key Features:

Cost:

 

Docurated’s Weekly Round-up of Top Marketing Trends & Topics

| February 15, 2018 | Quark Blog Team

"

How to Use Predictive Analytics to Engage Customers Throughout Their Journey:

“As consumers become more digitally connected, their buying journeys are becoming increasingly complex: The path to purchase is no longer a linear funnel; rather, it’s a circuitous journey that continues long after the transaction has been completed.”

Simplify Your Searching with Federated Search:

Salesforce strives to offer great features and advanced capabilities of search in Salesforce, such as instant auto-suggestions as they type, machine-learnt relevance ranking and an awesome new search results interface in Lightning Experience.

The Incredible Amount of Data Generated Online Every Minute:

Marketing Profs’ infographic on the massive amount data being generated online.

The Integration of CRM with Cross-channel Marketing Breeds Agility:

Leading enterprises searching for ways to bring agility to the market need look no further than cross-channel marketing.

Docurated Deepens Salesforce Partnership With New Federated Search:

Two years ago, Docurated introduced Custom Object Search for Salesforce, a tool to help uncover content in Salesforce’s Custom Objects. Today the company is extending the relationship, with the launch of a federated search product for sales and marketing.

How a Luxury Travel Brand Drives Personalization at Scale:

“As the hype machine behind AI roars on, one hospitality company that integrated Jetlore’s AI-powered service with Salesforce CRM software is seeing higher email open rates and increased conversions, plus they can derive near real-time insights into what customers buy – and what they don’t.”

This is the Way Your Reps Really Want to Learn:

“A recent survey, co-produced by The Sales Management Association (SMA) and Allego, suggests that many sales reps and sales managers have very different views about the fundamental issue of sales training.”

7 Tips for Writing Better Sales Content:

“Instead of the marketing phrase “click here,” use “read how now” or “you’ll want to read this before you send another prospecting email.” Doesn’t that sound much more intriguing? In sales prospecting, instead of “let me know”, use “click reply to let me know.”

How AI marketing can make the most of CRM data:

“Find out how enterprises can use CRM data to move from customer journeys toward AI marketing and engagement strategies.”

How to Create an Effective Sales Strategy Presentation

| February 13, 2018 | Quark Blog Team

"

A sales strategy presentation is a critical component of your company’s sales process. Sales strategy presentations are often used in client-facing scenarios for laying out your proposal and presenting the roadmap you’ll follow to produce results. Client-facing sales strategy presentations should always be customized to the prospect while including key elements for building your case and closing the deal.

Strategy presentations may also be sales representative-facing, such as for kicking off your company’s sales strategy for the quarter or the year. Or, if your company is undergoing a major transformation that includes a totally revamped approach to sales, a sales strategy presentation is vital for change management. Sales strategy presentations for these audiences are focused on company-wide goals, initiatives, and processes, although they often include the same key elements as client-facing presentations.

Building an effective sales strategy presentation is much more than simply typing up a few bullet points and talking your way through a slide deck. While PowerPoint is often utilized for sales strategy presentations – and are a useful tool for presenting your vision – the steps you take to create a compelling presentation can make or break closing deals or gaining employee and key stakeholder buy-in.

So what’s the secret? Like everything in sales (and management, for that matter), there’s no one-size-fits-all, but there are some important best practices. Following them means you’ll deliver a compelling presentation that inspires your audience.

How to Structure a Sales Strategy Presentation

While a sales strategy presentation should be customized to meet the needs of your audience, or for customer-facing presentations, specifically address the prospect’s or customer’s pain points and overcome objections. Groove Digital Marketing identifies several elements an effective strategy presentation must include:

Resources for Building Effective Sales Strategy Presentations

There are tons of valuable resources for building effective sales strategy presentations, but below we’ve identified a few particularly useful resources for presentation templates, step-by-step presentation-building processes, and more.

Examples of Effective Sales Strategy Presentations

What does an effective sales strategy presentation look like? While the resources above provide helpful guidance and serve as viable frameworks on building presentations, the following examples illustrate best practices in action.

Oxygen 2.0 

Overseas online sales strategy for Chinese Brands from Oxygen 2.0

Oxygen 2.0 lays out an overseas online sales strategy for Chinese brands, tapping into many best practices for effective sales strategy presentations.

Coca-Cola (by Mitsitgwalior Seventoeleven)

Sales and distribution management at coca cola from Mitsitgwalior Seventoeleven

This slide deck incorporates all the essentials of a sales strategy presentation, from market information to forecasting, performance management, and more.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Pre-sales Presentation Material from Aileen Gusni

Technically a pre-sales presentation, this slide deck from Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a comprehensive example of an effective sales strategy presentation with killer visual appeal.

Smartella

Smart Umbrella- Smartella Sales Presentation from Beyza Doğan

This sales strategy presentation from Smartella uses compelling visuals and minimal text, finding the right balance that encourages presenters to infuse personality into their oral presentations, relying on the slide deck as a guide and backdrop.

Gannett Local

gannettlocal Sales Presentation for Atlantic City from Josh Crafter

This sales strategy presentation from Gannett Local is the perfect example of a customized presentation targeted to the audience, with data and statistics relevant to the target along with key elements such as target demographics, background research, and “What’s in it for me?” information to hook the audience.

Whether you rely on frameworks, outlines, or clear-cut examples to create a sales strategy presentation, following best practices ensures that you convey the right information perfectly targeted to your audience for gaining buy-in and closing deals.

Which Sales Asset Management Solution is Right for You?

| February 7, 2018 | Quark Blog Team

"

Quark recently acquired Docurated, a leader in software solutions for sales asset management. Sales asset management, also known as digital content management for sales, is a booming segment of sales enablement.

Organizations across industries are actively seeking out solutions that will make their sales teams more competitive. Docurated helps by using artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics to arm sales teams with the content they need, when they need it, at any stage of the sales journey.

Need to get up to speed on the ecosystem of solutions for sales enablement? Start with Gartner’s Market Guide for Digital Content Management for Sales (DCMS). You’ll get a snapshot of the market and guidance on making the best investment for your marketing and sales organizations. The report includes:

Download your free copy of Gartner’s Market Guide for Digital Content Management for Sales.

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