You might need to hire a marketing agency if…

Let’s face it-- not every business needs a marketing agency. I know, it may seem counter-intuitive because every business needs a marketing strategy, but not everyone needs to go out and hire a professional to do the work. Whether you are just starting out or have decades of experience, marketing professionals aren’t free and when investing your time and finances you need to be sure that your business is ready.

That being said, there comes a point that professional support is what will take your business to the next level. Here are just a couple of signs that the time has come:

  1. If your parents don’t know what you do. You have no idea what your “brand” is and no idea how to talk about your business. You don’t need to be able to explain the intricacies of what you do, but you should be able to narrow it down to a couple of sentences. Marketing will help you to refine your message and give you crystal clear direction on how that gets expressed. Everything from colors and fonts to your voice and values needs to get expressed in a consistent manner that is easy for others to understand.
  2. If it gets pushed off your plate due to time or procrastination. You didn't open a business because you feel the joy of writing a good newsletter, or perhaps you avoid social media like the plague. Writing blogs, posting on social media and making website updates not only take valuable time but to do well it takes years of experience. Calculate your hourly rate by the number of hours you spend on marketing activities and see if you have some wiggle room to hire someone else to do it. Chances are when you leave it to an expert it will be done better than if you keep trying to do it yourself, and you may even save yourself some money & time along the way.
  3. You're ready for more business, but you don’t know how to ‘make’ it happen. If you've ever been asked "where do you get business from?" and your only answer is referrals, you are not in control of your sales... Let’s face it, hope isn’t the most effective strategy. If you are looking for more business, your marketing team should lay out a clear path to success and a pro will be able to recommend the right channels, strategies, and tools to get you there.

Agencies are great at providing the tools, resources, strategy, and implementation of marketing, but if you don't know your market, this is all a guess. Marketers work best when you know your business, and they help you communicate it. So go out there, talk to your customers, find out what they want more of and get clear on where your business is going. Then find a marketing firm that knows how to listen and provide great insight - they go hand in hand.

Although marketing might seem like the next step to growth, let’s not leave out it’s best friend: SALES! These two disciplines work hand in hand to drive more revenue. If you are out of balance, you will waste time and resources going down the wrong path. Schedule a complimentary consultation with our team @revenue to learn the best direction for your organization.


Personal Branding: 4 Rules to help you Rule

Personal branding - the term is everywhere in the marketing world and experts and owners alike are diving headlong into creating a magical personal brand of their very own. As part of a larger strategy, personal brands can be a powerful way to establish expertise and connect with new audiences, but on it’s own a personal brand is not a revenue generator. Turns out, people don’t want to give you cash for just being they you-iest of yous!  And at the @revenue office, the motto is: if it doesn’t help generate revenue, then it’s not for you.

One of the biggest questions you should be asking before you embark on creating a personal brand is: Do I know EXACTLY what I am going to be selling to the leads generated from this? If the answer feels ambiguous take a step back and map out what your offering will be. Even if the answer is products or services from within your current business, what it will take to fulfill them, and where you can create economies of scale to help you make more money in less time? (you get bonus points if it has a Monthly Recurring Revenue stream built into it). Know what success looks like before you start so you have a direction to go, because no matter how many likes, follows or watches you get, you are not going to be happy about the investment you make if it never pays you back.

As an expert, crafting and rolling out a personal brand will give you certain flexibilities that should happen outside of your business brand. Using your personal brand to reach out and create more one on one conversations, put you on stages, and increase your social media reach are all great goals to have. What then becomes important is how you will expect it to turn into income. Typically we will want to see a sales model with a personal brand that includes the following things:

  • Paid speaking engagements
  • Direct leads for your business
  • Digital courses or materials like books, podcasts, etc.
  • Advertising dollars for your YouTube Videos and podcasts
  • Partnerships that will boost your business

Personal brands also take a long time to take root - this is no quick win. And what’s worse, is that a back-fire in your personal brand will follow YOU around, not the name on the company. So…. how can a personal brand backfire? Oh, let’s share some stories, shall we?

1. It’s not you.

Personal brands are all about authenticity. If your goal in crafting a personal brand to make people think things about you that aren’t true. This is where those idiosyncracies will come crawling into the daylight. Allow me to present Exhibit A: the photoshop fail.

2. It’s all about you.

This sounds contradictory at first, but your personal brand should include your thoughts on other things besides yourself. If every image you post, a comment you make or video you produce is part of a conversation then make sure you are talking to and about the world around you. You will exhaust your audience if every image is a hyper-filtered shot at exposing how fabulous your every moment is.

3. That’s right. You tweeted it and it was dumb.

We don’t have to reach too far into our consciousness to pull out a news story or two about an ill-timed tweet or tone-deaf message. And thanks to that cool little screen grab gadget it can live forever! If you are combining your personal brand with your private life brand be sure that you know that what you say will reflect on you and could possibly damage your business. 

4. Repping Products

If you do have a personal brand that lends itself to promoting products, you must ask the question, are they aligned with MY brand? I shudder at the term ‘influencer’ because of how much it’s been abused, but the things you recommend will become part of your reputation. As an expert in your field, you do not need to hashtag every cute cupcake unless your personal brand aligns with supporting that business or eating cupcakes like it is your job. Which it may be - and if that is your real job please call us immediately, we want in. 

Building a personal brand should be purposeful, strategic and hopefully a lot of fun.

If you want to learn more about building your own brand and how @revenue can help you integrate it into your marketing strategy let’s have that chat. marie@atrevenue.com 

 


The Click to Purchase Myth.

When small brands roll out big dreams.

There are billions of marketing books, articles and gurus all claiming they have a silver bullet to generate leads while you sleep and get you that beach house in a matter of months. Like most things, what you read will rarely transform your life. Why is that? One word: execution. So, after a couple of attempts on your own, you hire a marketing agency, armed with the knowledge by experts and prepared to make an investment that will generate high returns.

This may seem like an exaggeration, but in reality, it isn’t too far from the truth. Businesses see the opportunity and desire a “click to purchase” product or service. This is where you build your digital marketing machine with paid ads to generate leads and a website to purchase. Sounds simple and the books will give you formula after formula to make it happen. And then they hit the wall- where are sales?

Assuming that marketing will be your sole driver for revenue is one of the biggest mistakes we see business owners make.

If you are ready to launch a product or a click to purchase service, here are a couple of things you should keep in mind and be prepared for. Consider this your reality check:

  1. If you want to build a digital empire be prepared to have deep pockets. It takes a lot of money to get enough traction and analytics to make a dent and even that first sale will take time and refinement. Know that you will learn lessons along the way, and they will be expensive.
  2. It will take time. Nothing worth having comes easily or instantaneously. It takes a lot of testing, refining and optimizing to get your targeting and message right. It takes at least 3 months to create baselines, understand the market and get a good feel for where you want to go. Even those digital marketing gurus had thousands of things that didn’t work out until they found their golden goose; even if that’s all they talk about. Know that it will take you time too.

If that sounds unappealing, know that there is another way to get your click to purchase solution launched. Take the uncertainty out of the equation and build a business that lasts, not just until the next Google algorithm change.

You are going to need to sell the first several solutions or products. Yes, it’s true. You will need to talk to people, understand what motivates them and how your digital solution solves their challenges. By skipping these early sales conversations you will need to invest much more time and money in marketing proving out different hypothesis. By having the conversations and connecting with these customers, you gain valuable insights and feedback that will help your business exponentially.

Let’s face it, a consultative sales process where you get to understand your customer, build a relationship and find solutions is at odds with a digital play. On the internet, you have to guess at what their challenges are,and feed them information, facts, proof that you are awesome. When you have a consultation you build connection and learn about your clients. This just can’t be done authentically digitally until you understand it in the real world.

What this boils down to is sales process. The more complex the offering, the more complex the sale. Make sure you aren’t just building a marketing machine, but a sales process that aligns with your values, your business, and your customers needs.

Depending on marketing to solely drive your revenue from the get-go is a risky business. We believe in creating sustainable programs that support elevate and grow businesses, not that ARE the business. If you would like to learn more about what a sales and marketing strategy looks like for you- it's time for us to talk! info@atrevenue.com


The difference between a marketing plan and a sales plan

Business plans often glaze over sales and marketing very quickly. They want to know what the overall revenue goals are sure but the HOW is grossly underrepresented. That’s the problem of setting targets, goals, and dreams without understanding what it will take to get there.

We often find that sales and marketing are still the wild west of strategic planning. They get some top-level attention to help define key principles such as your target audience or your core values, but rarely include any of the actionable items. So how do we blend the strategy and plan to achieve that ultimate goal: more revenue?

Before you make the goals, check to make sure that you are incorporating all of the below:

Your marketing plan should include:

- Your key messaging concepts: What are you going to say that will capture your audience’s attention? What problem do you solve, what are the motivating factors, why does your customer care Your marketing plan should clearly and concisely be able to articulate your core message.

- The channels you plan to use: Once you know what you are saying, where you will say it is the next step. Each platform, channel, and community might need a different message and a different way of expressing it.

- Your investments (financial, time and frequency): Marketing is going to cost you one way or another, even free channels on social media are becoming more of a pay to play platform. Your marketing plan needs to map out your commitment.

- Your goals and KPIs. For each channel: It is critical that your plan includes clear expectations so you can measure your ROI, make adjustments and improve.

Your sales plan should include:

- Prospecting: where are you going to find new prospects and leads? Where and how are you networking? How does your personal brand show up on social media?

- Strategic Partners: Who are your business friends who send you more business?  Building and developing great strategic partnerships is not only good business sense, but great for your pipeline.

- Your process. Creating a sales strategy takes careful process mapping. How do leads go through your pipeline? What are the critical steps that need to be taken? How can this process be repeatable across your entire team? If sales are the first ambassador of your brand, it is critical that you have a brand congruous process.

- Your KPIs and goals. You need to track your activity just as much as your results. As a sales professional, you need to put in the calls, work, and effort into finding your leads and building the business. Once you are able to hone in on those key metrics you will be able to calculate how much you make every time you pick up the phone.

Building both your sales and marketing muscles is critical to developing more revenue for your business. To help achieve maximum impact, many businesses are hiring a CRO (Chief Revenue Officer) to ensure both of these departments are achieving their shared goal, reducing processes and investments that aren’t paying off and holding the team accountable to growth. If it’s time to see more revenue come in your business we are here to get you there! Contact @revenue today and let’s create a plan for your next milestone.


The Times They Are A-Changing: Managing Fear

By Emily Lonigro

Do you feel something is changing? I do. It’s everywhere and I can’t quite name it yet. It feels deep and systemic, something much bigger than just me or you. Are you feeling it too?

During the past 2 months, I’ve been feeling this big change coming and I’ve been working on managing fear. It’s like an undercurrent to every conversation I’ve had. Usually, I can turn up my entrepreneurial mojo and crank out a ton of work and just blast full steam ahead with a singular goal, and I’ve been doing that for about 4 weeks solid now. I’ve done it a million times over the past 15 years — you know how exciting it is to think up a new plan and start the wheels in motion. It’s the part of my job that I love the most.

This time, something is different, and it’s not just me this time. I’ve been talking to foundations, our competition, partner agencies, B Corp CEOs, women in my network, clients, and really anyone I can get for 15 minutes. Everyone is saying the same thing: something feels different and we’re not sure what it is.

I’m not sure either. But here are a few things I do know and I’m hearing from everyone else:

1. There is a clear shift to bring more purpose and intention into our day.

We don’t separate work and life. It’s one big thing and it can be overwhelming. The things we do and say make us who we are, so when one of those pieces doesn’t jive with the rest, we face big problems like self-doubt, anxiety, and anger. When you’re in charge of things, like a business, this can become extremely messy. Finding the right people to talk to, whether a network or a paid advisor is the way through. Because the only way out is through.

I’m seeing more consultants and small advisory practices focusing on self-care, mindfulness, and bringing intention and meaning to clients’ lives. There has been a big focus on the rise of the entrepreneur and the startup, the leader who grinds all day and has a singular vision of success through disruption. Are we getting burned out? Are we spending all of our time working and forgetting about what binds us together as human beings? Or are just spending too much time on Instagram?

I hear a collective need for coming back to mission, purpose, intent, and meaning, especially in the business world. There’s a desire to work less and experience more.

2. We are getting used to working and living in a climate of uncertainty.

The uncertain political climate destroys my business. When we didn’t have a budget in Illinois for a few years, almost all of our work dried up with our biggest client. We know the same happened for a lot of our consultant friends and nonprofits lost funding and resources across the board.

This new political uncertainty that we are all witnessing every day is something else. It is changing our spending habits; we’re less likely to sign up for something for a longer term. We’re hoarding cash because we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. We are hearing about a coming recession, and we’re all wondering what’s going to happen.

Most of my competitors are talking about this. Some of them are digging in, some are getting out, and some are changing. We’re wondering what’s going to happen to our business and a lot of us are making pivots in our service lines and pricing structures to get ahead of it. We’re taking bets.

What does this mean? It means we’re realizing that business, as usual, isn’t working as usual and it’s up to us to keep things moving and for the betterment of our communities. This climate of uncertainty is designed to separate us and keep us alone and scared. I think a lot of us are at the point where we recognize: “yes, those people in charge of policy and big business are bananas crazy, but I need to keep my enterprise going to support my staff and family, so I’m going to keep going and do what I need to do to do that.” We recognize we are part of a system and we’re better of joining forces than going it alone. So let those crazies be crazy and let’s stand for something more.

3. We are slowly getting over being afraid.

I don’t know about you, but I used to be afraid almost all the time up until maybe a few months ago when I got to a breaking point. I finally realized that all of this worrying about uncertainty and what I SHOULD be doing wasn’t making my life any better. In fact, it was killing me.

Thinking back to when I started my business in 2004, I did that because I was tired of selling people crap based on the fear of not being good enough, or having some “other” person take everything away, or the fear of not keeping up or missing out. I rebelled against that idea in marketing, but most of everyone else didn’t. And marketing embraced it. So part of the issue why we’re all feeling like we’re falling behind because we let the marketing get to us.

This fear and anxiety is created by marketers, either deliberately or accidentally. It’s why we love and hate Facebook and why we are addicted to knee-jerk spending on Amazon. It’s a quick fix to a bigger problem: we’re afraid. We’re buying things that fix it for a moment, but in the long term we’ll just end up deeper in debt and at the mercy of the 1%.

I’m seeing a new trend emerging: one of fearlessness. Slowly, I’m seeing more honest questions, more support networks, and more authentic marketing that’s about creating real conversations.

I’m not sure what will be the result of all this, but I do know there is a new way and an old way. The old way is based on exclusion, fear, and profit. The new way is based on collaboration, honesty, and impact.

This is where I’m really excited. I know that the methods of design thinking, when used deliberately and inclusively are perfect for getting at the heart of the matter. It’s not always easy, but the results are always honest and insightful. This has been our practice for a long time now — extending far beyond branding and web development — and I think we’re in the right place at the right time to help more people make real change.

For us, this is the path that’s unfolding: our practice is about uncovering truths, defining a path forward, and inspiring and including. It’s less about the things we produce and more about teaching the tools and practices that help make the world better.

I created this model for to you get a sense of where you are in this uncertain time. Is your org or business responding or reacting? Is it from fear or inspiration?

 

[button style="red" float="left" margin="" size="small" link="https://www.limeredstudio.com/download/6779/" target=""]Click here to download my FEAR or INSPIRATION, RESPOND or REACT Worksheet[/button]


6 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a CRM

Still using Excel to track your networking connections? That might work, to a degree -- but it isn’t scalable. You easily lose track of contacts, you miss follow ups and you can do better. Do you dream of a tool that tracks your pipeline, stores all your notes and automatically reminds you to follow up, or even does it for you?

That tool exists. Enter the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system of your dreams.

You might be thinking, “Oh, great--another piece of technology to learn.” I hear you--technology is always changing, so it’s hard to keep up. Then, there’s the risk that picking up a new tool will just add complications, rather than clarity. Let me help you out. Here are six questions to ask yourself. Take the time to answer them, and odds are you’ll find the perfect CRM for you.

  1. What is your digital culture? Take a moment to list the email service, project management software, inbox and other programs you’re using. Are you a Microsoft Brain, or do you get down with Gmail? Tools like Zapier can help make the connections seamless.
  2. What does your network look like? Make sure that your CRM will allow for different sales pipelines and tagging structure so you can store all of the necessary data. A good CRM will track not just your leads, but your strategic partners, vendors and more. Avoid systems that consider everyone to be a ‘lead’.
  3. What kinds of automation will you be using? Look at what process flows you have.  Are you automating? Where might there be opportunities to automate? Things like email messages, task assignments, and reminders are critical for lasting CRM success.
  4. What do you need to track? Priorities vary from sales pro to sales pro. Consider what you truly need to measure and track in the future. Then, check to make sure the CRM you’re considering will accommodate. Things like weighted pipelines and varied sets of activity can help make your choice easy.
  5. How much time are you willing to dedicate to your CRM? No matter what platform you choose, a CRM is only as good as the information you put into it. If as an owner you aren’t the championing your CRM as part of your culture your team will not make it a priority.
  6. At the end of the day, does this make my business better? Simply put, if the answer is “no,” time to consider another CRM.

Now that you have been able to narrow the field by asking these questions, it’s time to take that new CRM out for a spin. Take advantage of a free trial to see how you like the interface. Once you settle on a perfect match, customize it.

Intimidated by the thought of putting together a sales process, automation, and contact structure? You’re not alone. It can seem even more daunting than choosing the CRM., Contact @revenue to get started.


What My DiSC Profile Taught Me About Myself

By Kevin Drolet

Recently, I retook my DiSC Profile test. It’s been over 12 years since my last one and my hopes weren’t too high. In the past, profile tests like DiSC have made me curious but also seemed like too much work to apply in real life. I remember the last time I took the assessment, it was only briefly gone over by the trainer. Our group had a laugh at finding out “who we really were” but didn’t go much deeper than that. My manager even hid his because he didn’t want us to learn how different his behavioral styles were inside and outside of work. In reality, we laughed a bit too much when this test really could have improved our team's communication. Including and especially my manager’s communication challenges!

This time the experience was not the same. To go through the profile was like stepping out of myself and looking back into how “Kevin” behaves. So much of it was dead on the mark it was scary. Granted it wasn’t perfect, but having this kind of honest feedback was eye-opening. Feedback is something we crave as growing professionals but rarely get. Here is what happened from looking at my reflection in the DiSC reality mirror.

I changed. After many years of success in sales and digital marketing, starting my own successful digital media company, raising a child and dedicating myself to consistent martial arts - I had changed my behavioral style. While I had thought of myself one way - I had really transformed into another behavioral style. Thinking that I was communicating as a S (Supportive style), which tends to be calm and steady, when really I was more of a D (Dominate style), someone that can be more blunt and to the point. These are totally opposite and I can immediately think of several examples where I got myself into trouble.

I had to let go. Understanding how I thought about myself and how others perceive me was illuminating. Let’s face it, our ego and self-identity is important but when in a sales situation it’s all about the other person. By highlighting where I had some challenges in my communication style, I’m able to adapt and adjust.

It reminded me of a recent experience when my agency client called me to say the client we were doing work for didn’t appreciate my tone in a meeting. In fact, the client was really mad and I was in jeopardy of losing an account. In the meeting, I told a truth about the shortcomings of the client’s website and acquisition strategy. I thought I had been the supportive “S” in that meeting - helpful calm and providing good information. In fact, I was a high D, insisting they change their silly ways and stop wasting money. To make matter worse I didn’t understand the behavioral styles of the clients - including know what would set them off. I was lucky enough to be able to apologize and my agency client forgave me.

Using the right key to open the right lock. This is the most powerful lesson I learned through DiSC training. We all have different personalities and views of the world. When looking at it through the eyes of DiSC, you are able to identify and understand someone else’s perspective and communicate to them so they will best receive that information. Let’s face it, the golden rule is dead. You don’t need to treat others how you want to be treated but instead how THEY want to be treated.

Remember, there is no “right” profile. Instead what is right is the better we understand ourselves and understand each other, the better we communicate and have successful conversations, relationships, and clients. That’s why we use a powerful tool called CrystalKnows. It allows us to identify and understand someone’s DiSC type before we go to a meeting or send that email. With templates customized by personality, powerful insights to help plan your meetings and tools to clarify your communication, CrystalKnows takes our DiSC communication to a whole new level. Start your free trial today.


Setting up your YouTube Channel

We’ve all heard how important it is to create video content that supports your business strategies. There is a ton of overwhelming information out there about what to create and where to post it. Diving into video content creation can be complicated and we want to let you know that there are some simple steps to take that will get you moving in the right direction.

Whether you have an existing YouTube channel or are setting one up for the first time, here are our best practices, tips and steps you can take that will ensure you get the most out of your video producing efforts. We will discuss the optimal setup of your Youtube Channel so you can be found by the estimated 1.8 Billion users who search YouTube monthly. Once you know the steps to take, the process can be relatively easy and fun. So let’s get started!

Beyond this quick blog, there are many tools to help you along the way, namely Google. But remember, you will need to have a Google account to set up and sign in to your YouTube Channel.

Once you have signed into YouTube, you can begin setting up your YouTube channel. As you dive into this process, remember that you want to stay consistent with your YouTube page branding. This means having strong branding on your channel as well as for the videos you post.

When you sign into YouTube, you will be taken to your home page.  From there you will want to click on your icon in the top right corner and select “My Channel” so that you can start customizing the channel settings. The two first items to address are the Channel Icon and The Channel Art Banner, shown below. Here are the steps and places you need to update to make your YouTube page your own and put your best face forward.

Channel Icon and Channel Art Banner Locations
  • Channel Icon: This is the icon that displays to other users for your videos and comments.
    • Use a clean and crisp logo image used in your channel icon.
    • The Icon is generally displayed in a circular shape, so make sure that your logo is sized correctly to fit into the circle without aspects of it being cropped out.
  • Channel Art Banner: This is the header background image for your page.
    • This should be a high-resolution image that is big enough to be seen on HDTVs and Monitors. Many users go to YouTube on their home televisions, gaming consoles and streaming entertainment devices.
    • Youtube will scale this image to fit an appropriate screen size depending on what type of device is being used. Preview how the channel art will look on the 3 major devices before finalizing the design:
      1. Computer
      2. Mobile
      3. HDTV
Channel Art Banner Preview on Different Devices

The next item we want to highlight is the Playlist. Playlists are created for recurring content or content that addresses a specific marketing strategy. Creating playlists will help you sort your videos inside your channel. When uploading videos to YouTube, you will be able to select which playlist they should be part of. Think about it like songs on an album, chapters in a book, or collections of art.

  • Customize your playlist Privacy settings. Sometimes it’s useful to create private playlists for content that you want to discreetly share with clients or team members. Some companies use this for internal versioning of videos, client reviews or for proposals made for specific sales opportunities. Here is what the different settings mean:
    • Private: Only those you invite to view the video can view it (they must have their own Youtube accounts and the maximum number is 50 usernames). Your video will not come up under any search results or your channel list. If you try to share it with someone who wasn’t invited, they will not be able to connect to it.
    • Unlisted: The video will not come up in search results or on your channel either. Only those who know the link can view it, and you can share the link with anyone, even those who do not have a YouTube account/username.
    • Public: Anyone can search for and view your video.
  • Ordering: Choose the order of how the videos are presented in your playlist. These options can include ordering them by date added, date published, popularity or a custom order decided by you.
  • Embedding: You can choose if you will allow other people to embed your video on their sites and pages. This means they can use your videos on their websites and make the videos more public.
  • You can also add rules to automatically add videos that meet specific requirements to your playlists, but this is more for YouTube pages that have a lot of content that are produced and regularly uploaded.

While customizing your channel, note that you are able to view the channel as yourself, new visitors and returning subscribers.  You should use this option to see how your channel will look for the various visitors as you make updates. Always keep your subscribers and video watching audience top of mind when making changes, update and even creating content.

And don’t forget to update the “About” section of your channel so that you provide important details about your company, specifically: why you created the channel, an email to contact you and your business website. A well-written Channel Description can convert visitors into subscribers and including keywords in your Channel Description can help your channel’s YouTube SEO.

Remember that your channel should be created with a purpose, not because someone on the management team wants to have a YouTube account. Take the time to set it up right, so that you can focus on the main reason for having a YouTube channel: Sharing the compelling videos that you create!

 


The Impact of Values on Small Business

Value Statements, mission statements, retreats, and branding exercises are often considered luxuries that small business owners will simply slide off of their radar. After all, there are so many more important things to do, right?!?

The short answer is, yes. There are many important things to do. Until there is a crisis, conflict….or even a client interaction. Then, this collective verbalization of what is important to us, what we strive for, and what we can expect from our leaders and peers becomes the foundation for success.

There are always metrics that are analytically trackable: sales, financials, all the numbers, right? But when it comes to measuring the alignment of organizational values in a small business what are you supposed to look for?

Here it comes….feelings.

OH, YOU KNOW HOW I LOVE TALKING ABOUT FEELINGS!

Check in with your team, and at different times:

To understand the adoption of values in your business it’s critical to check in with your team and learn if what you thought would be important about your values is resonating with them. As a leader, when you set the values for your org you set them through one filter - yours. But your values, have no guarantee of aligning with the person across the table. When we asked our new admin, who had been with us for about 90 days, Song said, “The concept of professional love was completely new to me. very few of my past employers have been as kind and invested in me and my goals in life, not just professionally but personally as well.”

Wow. After 90 days one of our team members knew that we cared about her as a whole person. Professional Love. Check.

When we asked another team member how he was impacted, Ben’s response was, “I am excited about the creativity that I have experienced with how @revenue works with clients. Developing ways to creatively collaborate with clients fuels innovation and brings excitement to the marketing strategies that we provide.”
This felt like a completely different view of the same question, but it gave us an understanding of how he was absorbing what we thought we were communicating clearly.

Having those conversations and getting feedback gives you a place to open yourself to getting better. Speaking better. Professionally loving them better. So what is the impact of those values? They are a measuring stick for the leadership of your organization and an opportunity to openly communicate over more than just ‘is the task complete?'.

The deeper the understanding and engagement your team has around your values sets the tone for how they care for and communicate with your clients. Give them something to believe in...and then believe in them.

We would love it if you would share your organization’s values with us! Visit us on Facebook or LinkedIn and share your vision - we are all ears!


Sales Sabotage: How Internal Communication is Hurting Your Bottom Line

In an ideal world, your sales and marketing teams would be best friends. Sadly, they don’t always see eye to eye--sometimes, they go head to head. The truth is, only 8% of companies report a strong alignment between their sales and marketing departments (source).

What’s the deal with this disconnect? As we discussed previously, sales and marketing can benefit and learn a lot from each other when they’re in sync. Heck, they both have the same goal--to drive revenue! Let’s take a look at just how disjointed these two efforts are, and what we can do to turn the situation around.

LEADS:

Did you know that sales reps ignore 50% of marketing leads (source)? WHAT!?!? It’s true--half the hard-earned leads sent their way are going to waste.

Do you wanna guess what the team is doing instead? About 50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting (source) Not only are they tossing aside the leads marketing is providing them, but they are wasting time on bad leads!

So if sales is only taking 50% of your leads, and wasting 50% of their time, that’s 100% failure. The sales team has reasons for passing on those leads--instead of ignoring the problem or guessing why, the marketing side should ask them what they want and need. Why aren’t they using these leads? What about these leads doesn’t appeal? How can you shift your strategy to ensure you are providing more qualified prospects into the pipeline? Making that shift means way more to the bottom line.

CONTENT:

We can’t lay the blame solely at the feet of the sales teams. Marketers could stand to make some changes to improve their impact.. Approximately 60-70% of B2B content created is never used. In many cases, this is because the topic is irrelevant to the buyer audience (source). Isn’t that just great? Writing for the sake of writing. If you are wondering why your content isn’t getting any traction, consider bringing in the sales team. They talk to your customers all the time and know exactly what their challenges and pains are. Make sure to address those and craft compelling and valuable content.

And let’s face it, content is still king. 47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (source). Be sure to engage your sales team so you're putting the right 3-5 pieces in front of them.

TOOLS:

If it seems that sales and marketing teams are speaking a different language, sometimes it’s because they are. All too often, marketing reporting and systems aren’t in line with sales processes and leads, and each team uses applications, tools and processes the other is unfamiliar with. In fact, B2B companies’ inability to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies eats up 10% or more of revenue per year (source). I bet you don’t spend 10% of your revenue on tools.

To get on the same page, consider bringing together both departments to your results meetings. When the marketing team learns where the sales are coming from, and sales learns about what’s working in the market, both parties produce better results. Don’t let the communication gap go on, because it’s only going to be more critical that you are in lockstep. By 2020, B2B buyers won’t contact vendors until 80% of the way through a purchasing decision. That’s going to put more and more pressure on the marketing team to reach, engage and convert more qualified buyers.

If your sales and marketing teams keep butting heads, it’s time to bring in outside help. Contact @revenue to look at both your sales process and marketing strategy to align everyone's efforts and create the revenue you deserve.