Informative Articles to Grow Your Business
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0 comments | Posted by: Spencer on April 30, 2011 | Categories:
Inbound sales representatives stand at a business’ front lines, informing their customers’ first impressions (and second, and third, and fourth).
A business could have all its other external elements working smoothly—its brand, its website, its customer support, its policies—and then crash and burn if the wrong people represent it.
Any point of contact, even those that don’t overtly fall under the sales umbrella, should be considered inbound sales and should be staffed by sharp inbound sales representatives. Customers contact businesses for plenty of reasons—for advertising campaigns or marketing initiatives, order processing and e-commerce checkout, product support and customer feedback—all of which are opportunities for strengthened leads and closed sales.
“Sales,” to a lot of customers and companies, is shorthand for “outbound sales,” including cold calls and telemarketing. From a business perspective, that’s myopic. Every point of customer contact is a potential sale. Companies manning their gates with their best inbound sales agents intelligently close the sales loop that began with an outward push.
Not to beat a dead horse, but people expect human interaction. At one of their most basic roles, inbound sales agents give that interaction. They receive calls from customers, respond to live chats about support or e-commerce questions, explain products and sell new products, all while strengthening customer relationships.
Inbound sales don’t always follow 9-to-5 schedules. Given that sales teams can only manage so many calls, chats or emails in a working day, and given that the vast majority of customers prefer talking to a human than a machine, establishing a system that staffs real, live people on a round-the-clock basis pays off, especially for companies with a strong online presence.
At their best, these sales consultations with customers benefit both parties. Inbound calls transform into increased revenue, and companies enhance their brand. Customers feel taken care of. That’s a pretty important role to play at any company.
0 comments | Posted by: Jennifer on April 29, 2011 | Categories:
Your business needs a website. “A website today is as essential as the name of your business, your phone number, or the façade of your retail store. Every business — from a restaurant to a biotech research firm to an industrial laundry — needs one.” says Tim Stevens in an article posted on Technology.inc.com.
If you think all small businesses are on the web, think again. An Ad-ology survey found that 46 percent of small businesses did not have a website. What could be keeping half of you from taking the plunge? It is possible some of you don’t know where to start. By following this step-by-step guide, getting your website started will be a piece of cake!
1. Brainstorm: What type of company do you have? What are you trying to accomplish? What do you think of websites for your competitors? What makes your business different? How do you want your clients to perceive your business? Take these details and use them to shape the site you will create!
2. Optimize: Make your content work for you! See the tips listed on entheosweb.com for tips on writing your content. If you will be marketing with key terms, make sure these are embedded in your site. Wordle.net can help you easily display your data visually in a clear, accessible way.
3. Social Marketing: You have to find ways to drive traffic to your site! Social Marketing has become very popular, and according to Forrester Research, spending on Social Media Marketing will increase to $54 million in 2014, which will mark a major increase from the $11 milli0n spent in 2009, via eMarketer. There are many avenues for social marketing: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, For more information on why you should be tweeting, read our post.
If you would like assistance with any of this, talk to an AnswerConnect representative today about our Full Site offer, which helps to create new sites with beautiful designs, improve existing sites, and maximize results! Click here for more information, or call 1-800-525-1315.
0 comments | Posted by: Jennifer on April 12, 2011 | Categories:
Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com are very popular these days, and clones are popping up all over to cash in on the trend that is being called “coupon marketing.” They offer an extremely valuable service for business owners and consumers alike. For consumers, it allows them to purchase premium goods and services they might not otherwise be able to afford. For business owners, the deal can be more complicated, and working with them should be considered carefully. Groupon presents some enticing statistics, but there are a lot of things to consider before getting started with them.
Here are some quick tips on taking advantage of the social coupon craze:
1. The company promoting you takes a percentage of the profits from your deal as their fee. The rest is paid to you in three installments. You need to know this, and plan your deal accordingly. Offer your services with the highest profit margin to make sure you make at least some profit. That way if you get overrun with customers you won’t take a loss on top of it.
2. Any offer is a good offer. 35% off may not be as attractive as 50% to as many bargain hunters, but you’ll be just as attractive to people who need your service or product but need help choosing a vendor.
3. Seriously consider putting a limit to the number of coupons you’ll offer. Many of the “Groupon killed my business” stories floating around are from businesses that weren’t prepared to handle the surge of business it presents. If it’s successful, use your experiences to mount an even more successful second campaign.
4. Come up with a way to ensure repeat business or utilize the new customers effectively. One idea might be collecting email addresses for your mailing list. Make one if you don’t have one. You know these people are bargain hunters and have been interested in what you sell; offer them 10% off coupons periodically, or ‘special offers’ at the usual price. You’re bound to get at least some of them back.
5. Prepare your staff for an initial surge of business followed by a reduced increase over time. Make sure they know that these are people you want to come back, and should be treated with the utmost respect. Consider outsourcing, hiring temporary employees or scheduling more help than usual.
6. Talk to other local business owners who have used coupon marketing. Try to learn from their successes and failures.
Coupon marketing can generate a lot of business very fast, and it can bankrupt you if you’re not prepared. Follow these tips and you will be!
U.S. companies lose about $83 billion annually when customer service doesn’t measure up and loyal customers either choose a competitor or abandon their shopping carts. Is your company one that’s losing customers due to poor service or gaining them when your competitors misstep?
Over 2/3 of U.S. customers who participated in this international survey from Genesys claimed that poor customer service was the sole reason for ending their relationship with the company in question. Although it varies between industries, the study calculated that each lost U.S. customer represented about $289 in revenue. (more…)
1 comment | Posted by: Scott on January 27, 2011 | Categories:
Every year at this time, we have many Tax professionals call us looking for phone support during peak tax season. For most, extending from January through June with their elevated phone volumes. So with Tax Season upon us once again, we will undoubtedly have an influx of inquiries from tax preparation businesses searching for a viable solution. (more…)