5 Tools my Sales Team Could Not Live Without

As a Sales Director, my goal is to provide tools and resources to my team in order to make them successful and more efficient.  My team spends a good chunk of their day on prospecting and finding new contacts and information for the inbound leads. These tools below make their lives a lot easier:

Ghostery shows you the invisible web – cookies, tags, web bugs, pixels and beacons—and gives you a roll-call of over 1,900 ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers and other companies interested in your activity.

Ghostery allows my team to quickly understand what technologies are being used by the prospective company, specifically any CRM or Marketing Automation tool, just by viewing the website.  The widget in the browser makes it easy to always be top of mind. Knowing this information before calling or sending emails allows us to better understand the value we will be able to provide the prospect.

LinkedIn the world’s largest professional network with 300 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe.

LinkedIn is one of the most valuable prospecting tools that my team uses on an hourly, daily, and weekly basis. The accuracy of the data for the companies and individuals, recommendation of similar title decision makers, and the ability to send in-mails are few reasons why this tool is an essential to our sales organization.  However the biggest asset may be the updates.  For example, as a company, ReadyTalk does a great job of retaining customers.  So when a customer changes companies, we want to know.  Referrals are our best lead source.  We love when our customers take us to their new companies!

 

SalesLoft searches through social profiles on the web to find you the exact prospects you’re looking for.

SalesLoft is the newest weapon in our prospecting arsenal.  So far, we have been more than ecstatic with the time it saves us to add data to salesforce.com, determine correct emails and find correct phone numbers.  In addition, it provides an advanced search function for us to locate target companies and allows our reps to spend their time focused the right prospects.  As company we focus on three different personas and it is important that we target all three of them.

 

Eloqua Engage alleviates the need to constantly re-create emails that are frequently used throughout the sales process.  Ensuring sales professionals are using marketing-approved messaging, branding and content, it also allows for personalization and tracking of each email template sent. 

Eloqua Engage gives our Account Executives have the ability to either create and/or store their own emails, or access emails already created by marketing.  As everyone knows the cold call alone is not going to open the door to an opportunity. So it is essential that the team has an easy way to send out well written emails to one contact or 100 contacts at one time.  In addition, the ability to track the email(s) and have a view of the recipient’s actions allows us to determine next steps.

 

web demos for sales repsReadyTalk gives you the confidence that’s been missing in online meetings and webinars. Our platform delivers serious collaboration technology, supported by expert service you didn’t think was possible. Our passion is perfect meetings and presentations.

Yes this is a shameless plug for my company. But let’s be honest, my team does use this product every day and I am in sales!  At a high level view, ReadyTalk allows participants to join easily without a download, offers the choice to present slides or show individual applications, automatically logs activity into salesforce.com, and easily distributes recordings as marketing collateral or as follow up to a meeting.

 

What tools does your sales team use?

 

Cost of a Webinar: Is it a good investment?

Cost of a Webinar Is it a good investment image 1

With today’s technology, there are an overwhelming number of ways a marketer can generate demand and capture new customers. Filtering through all of the noise and deciding which mix of marketing tactics is right for your organization is the tough part. Working for ReadyTalk, I am biased and think webinars should play a part in every organization’s marketing tactics. Here is why:

1. Educational webinars drive a lot of registration from large groups of people that you might not normally get to fill out forms. The extra bonus is that the information (at least email) is always correct since confirmations and reminders need to be sent. And, if you use a marketing automation program to collect registration you are getting a chance to cookie a significant amount of people.

2. The very act of registration indicates interest in the topic. Therefore, you are collecting a lot of valid email address (see #1) from people who have expressed interest in a topic you created. If you titled your topic correctly, your registrants are basically self qualifying.

3. It is permission marketing at its best. Attendees are voluntarily watching your webinar (usually over lunch) and are giving you permission to market to them during that time. Polling, surveys and chat all help further qualify your attendees.
4. The ROI on your webinar goes up and your marginal cost goes down with each additional registrant/attendee you get.

You can check out the infographic for some more reasons why webinars are awesome!

You might also be interested in:

Common Webinar Myths Debunked

9 Tips to Promote and Increase Registration for Webinars

Does Your Webinar Measure Up? [Infographic]

How to Actually Measure Your Content Marketing

Today’s guest post comes from Jesse Noyes,Senior Director of Content Marketing for Kapost. Kapost is a leading provider of content marketing software and services

By now you’ve witnessed the rise of content marketing.

Ninety-one percent of B2B marketers use content marketing and 78% of CMOs think custom content is the future of marketing. Meanwhile, in the present day, marketers are struggling to measure how their content is moving the needle.

In fact, 73% of marketers say they aren’t effectively tracking metrics. There’s a good chance you’re in that number.

It’s not that there aren’t metrics to track, it’s that we don’t know which metrics are worth tracking. We’ve seen this kind of analysis paralysis before. Hell, we’ve experienced it firsthand.

But through many trials internally, and through our work with hundreds of customers, we’ve come up with a guide to content marketing analytics. Our goal was to distill the metrics that can be measured into four critical areas of a healthy, functioning content marketing operation.

Here’s the short and sweet version of our guide.

 

Content Marketing Production

1. Production

This might seem simple, but it’s easily overlooked. If you want to thrive in content marketing, you need to keep track of how much content your team is producing so you can address bottlenecks and gaps.

First, look for patterns in the number of content assets you produce, the time it takes to produce those assets, and how often you’re hitting—or missing—deadlines. Get granular. Break out these numbers by content type and contributor so you know which assets are taking the longest to produce and which members of your team hold up progress.

Next, track how those individual content pieces align with your buyer personas as they move through the sales funnel. Content at the top of the funnel should be more buyer-centric, focused on their interests and challenges. As they’re ushered down the funnel and near a purchase decision, content should become more aligned with your product. If you’re not tracking how much of your content addresses specific personas, you won’t be able to identify—and fill—the gaps.

 

Content Marketing Engagement

2. Engagement

We use a simple but broad definition here. Engagement is when buyers take measurable actions that signal they value your content. In other words, it’s the signs of your content sparking activity among your buyers and your market.

To get an overall engagement number, you’ll want to track the following things:

Social shares: These signal that those potential buyers see enough value in your content to pass it onto their network.

Inbound links: These drive not only longtail traffic and increased authority to your content, but show that the market you serve is engaging with it.

Repeat visitors: These are important signs that your content is seen as a real resource that supports the needs of your audience.

 

Content marketing performance

3. Performance

Performance metrics track at a high level how your content is stacking up against your larger marketing goals. Really, they measure the pool of potential buyers drawn into the top of your funnel and how they flow into your pipeline.

To get at an overall measurement of performance, we recommend tracking the following metrics:

Unique visitors: This metric tells you whether your content is building a growing audience. That might sound trite, but this pool of people will become your active pipeline.

Page views: This is valuable to track because it’s a measure of how much of your content is being digested. You can start to find patterns as you see which content is getting the most views, and apply that knowledge to your content creation.

Organic search, direct traffic, and referral traffic: These are the pathways to your content, the organic channels that will—except in rare instances—deliver the most qualified audience to your content.

Keep in mind that whenever possible you’ll want to apply conversions against these metrics. That allows you to see how better performance ultimately leads to a healthier pipeline.

Content scoring

 

4. Content Scoring

The final, and perhaps biggest, piece of the content analytics puzzle is content scoring. This is a deeper dive into your funnel that measures how content influences a buyer’s journey from stage to stage, then assigns content assets and campaigns a score based on that influence. The result is an actual, verifiable score that proves the business impact of content marketing.

Content scoring works by combining the behavioral data within your marketing automation system with the stage progression data captured inside your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

In its simplest form, content scoring looks at every content asset that a buyer interacts with as they move from one stage of your pipeline to another—say from a prospect to a Marketing Qualified Lead. You then divide that one MQL by the number of content assets that buyer touched, which provides even content scores across each influential asset. A more detailed process might include an attribution formula for particular assets. For instance, you might give the first and last touches greater weight for the MQL generated.

Content measurement

Content scoring is most valuable when applied across all the buyers and stages of your pipeline. The score you calculate directly corresponds to number of conversions generated, right down to closed deals. (Note: This becomes highly manual and difficult without content marketing software to automate the process.) This enables marketing teams to assign actual value to the content produced.

Put these four areas of measurement together and you’ll have a dashboard to monitor—and help you improve upon—the health of your content marketing operation. Grab your copy of the content analytics guide to dive into more detail, including which tools you need to collect and analyze all these metrics.

 

Jesse Noyes, KapostAbout Jesse Noyes

Jesse is the Senior Director of Content Marketing for Kapost. In this role, he’s charged with producing overseeing the company’s content marketing strategy and delivering high-value educational experiences for the industry. He is aware of how meta churning out content marketing for a business that sells to content marketers sounds. Jesse is the former Managing Editor at Eloqua (now owned by Oracle), where he ran the company’s award-winning blog and produced plenty of other stuff. You can follow him on Twitter at @noyesjesse if you’re interested in content marketing and dogs.

The Cost of a Webinar Lead: Getting the Most out of Your Webinar Investment

The Cost of a Webinar Lead Image 1

Webinars are growing increasingly popular in the B2B marketing world. According to Content Marketing Institute, about 62 percent of all B2B marketers are now using webinars as part of their promotional strategy. While this is a strong approach in today’s business world, the cost of producing a single webinar can be rather expensive. However, is it really so much about the total cost of the webinar, or is it more about the total cost of a lead?

First, let’s break down the cost of producing a single webinar:

• Technology Required to Produce a Monthly Webinar: $5,000 a year
• Equipment Necessary to Construct/Host a Webinar: $6,000 a year
• Grand Total: $11,000 a year to produce one webinar a month
o $11,000 / 12 = $915 for a Single Webinar

You might be thinking, “Hey, that’s not too expensive. Let’s give it a try!” But wait, there’s more. Yes there is more. Being able to produce the webinar is a great first step, but people actually need to know about it in order to generate an audience. Promotional costs are a necessity. Remember that not every company uses the same type of promotion, so these numbers are a rough estimate of how much your company will personally spend.

In order to calculate the expense of promoting a single webinar, we included the costs of:

• Banner Ads ($500)
• Google Ad Words ($750)
• Direct Mail ($0)
• Email ($1,000)
• Social Media ($500)
• List Buy ($1,000)
• Partners ($2,500)
o Total Cost = $5,500 per webinar

It is important to note two things. First, these costs are for ONE webinar. Second, not all companies use the same type of promotion. Because of this, we will divide the total in half to generate a number closer to what most companies spend: $2,750 per webinar.

Now, you certainly cannot forget the final expensive of creating a webinar—the staff. Someone has to make/host the webinar and that someone usually would like some compensation for doing it. To finish the cost of creating a webinar, we will estimate that a company will pay about 200 dollars to compensate the staff for all of their rigorous work.

Before we continue, let’s recap the total expense of a single webinar:

• Technology: $417
• Equipment: $583
• Promotional Costs: $2,750
• Staffing Expenses: $200
o The total cost of a webinar = $3,950.

At the moment, you might be thinking more along the lines, “Wow. That is a rather expensive investment especially if webinars only generate about a 38% attendance rate. Is it even worth it?” The answer to that question: It absolutely can be worth it, as long as you wring out the webinar and get the most out of it.
Before we begin deciphering the cost of a webinar lead, let’s look at some average webinar statistics:

• Average Webinar Registration Rate: 260 people
• Average Webinar Attendance Rate: 35-40% (38%)
o Average Webinar Attendance = 98 Attendees
• About 30% of Attendees = Qualified Leads
o Average Number of Qualified Leads = 29 People Per Webinar

In order to determine the cost of a webinar lead, we simply have to divide $3,950 by 29, which equals $136 per lead. If you are still asking yourself whether or not it is worth it, consider this, if you turn your webinar into a recording, you can increase the number of qualified leads from 29 to 69 people per webinar. By increasing the number of qualified leads at NO additional cost, you actually decrease the cost of a webinar lead. Let’s recalculate.

• $3,950/69 = $52 per webinar registrant qualified lead

By making your webinar a recording, you can actually cut the cost of a lead in half! That is an investment worth making. Don’t let the price of producing and promoting a webinar deter you from the idea of creating one because in reality it is the cost per webinar lead that is more important. Learn to take advantage of all the features that a webinar offers, such as a recording, and get the most out of both your money and your content.

To learn more about the cost of a webinar lead check out our webinar clip: “The Cost of Using a Webinar to Generate Leads.

For the full webinar, check out our slide deck: “The 84% You’re Missing: Rethinking Your On-Demand Webinar Strategy

Using Webinars to Train Volunteers for International Work

Training volunteers with webinarsToday’s post is provided by Kait Yankello is the Senior Program Coordinator at United Planet. Kait is a ReadyTalk power user and member of Summit Club, ReadyTalk’s advocacy community.

As a non-profit organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, United Planet provides culturally immersive volunteer abroad programs that promote cross-cultural understanding. Because we accept volunteers from countries around the world, we rely heavily on the use of technology and new ways to train and engage volunteers before they depart for their volunteer “Quest” in-country. Webinars are one such way that we are able to accomplish this: United Planet uses ReadyTalk to provide pre-departure webinars to volunteers who will soon be traveling abroad.

Traveling to a different country can be a bit nerve wracking and we want volunteers to feel as prepared and comfortable as possible before departing for their Quest. Our pre-departure sessions are one such way that we provide training and useful information to volunteers who will soon be experiencing a culture entirely different from their own.

Each month, United Planet provides anywhere from 2 to 4 pre-departure sessions, with varying dates and times, allowing volunteers to register for a session that is convenient for them. Led by myself, and two other Program Coordinators, the sessions cover a range of topics such as tips for adjusting to a new culture, how to access money while abroad, and ways to stay healthy and safe while in-country.

At the scheduled time, volunteers are asked to log-in and view our online presentation while also dialing in to the audio portion and speaking with the Program Coordinator leading the session, as well as the other volunteers. This is a great way for volunteers to hear the questions that others are asking and perhaps connect with those who will also be traveling to the country where they will soon be volunteering.

Not only does ReadyTalk provide a platform for providing pre-departure trainings, it allows us to connect to individuals from all over the world. Regardless of where a volunteer is located, they are able to easily join a session and instantly be connected to other volunteers from all over the world. Through this, we already begin to see cross-cultural relationships being formed, even before a volunteer has departed for their Quest abroad!

ReadyTalk also incorporates key features that have made our webinars more successful. First, ReadyTalk provides the option to include online polls into the sessions, which provides a more engaging and interactive experience for our participants. Rather than merely listening to the presentation, volunteers are able to provide their own feedback, answer questions based on information provided in the session, and learn more about the other volunteers through these polls. We have nothing but great things to say about this feature!

Additionally, the online chat option is also regularly used by both presenters and participants throughout the sessions. Throughout each session, volunteers regularly turn to the chat feature to ask questions as they arise. Further, not only do we, as the presenter, have the option to chat to all participants at one time but each individual participant as well. This is something that we use frequently and makes communication between presenters and participants that much easier.

Overall, United Planet is extremely happy with our experience with ReadyTalk. Our pre-departure sessions run seamlessly, making it that much easier for volunteers to feel comfortable and prepared for their time abroad. Thank you, ReadyTalk!

Kait Yankello is the Senior Program Coordinator at United Planet – a non-profit organization based in Boston that provides culturally immersive volunteer abroad programs. Kait regularly uses ReadyTalk webinars as a way to provide pre-departure training to volunteers before their volunteer experiences abroad.