Today’s connected customers easily keep pace with cutting-edge technological trends in their personal lives. With smartphones and computers being used for everything, this puts the onus on businesses to stay ahead of trend as well. Responding to emerging technologies quickly and capably is a recipe for success in an environment where best-in-class-but-late-to-launch is seen as less valuable than functional-but-first-to-market.

Innovative businesses that deliver a next-level customer experience stand to win the day.

 

“Everyone is talking about innovation in new ways…

and it’s really about the customer.”

TIFFANI BOVA

Global Customer Growth & Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce Innovation

Today’s Business Environment

  1. AN INCREASINGLY CONNECTED WORLD:

While thinking of ways to make your business innovative, take into account the technological landscape. Today’s consumer is more connected than ever: it’s predicted that by 2020, 70% of the global population will be connected. That’s 5.5 billion people.

Additionally, 72% of their devices and connections will be smart up from 35% in 2015.1 Cars, cameras, thermostats, and more will make the Internet of Things a reality. The implications, and pure potential, for the customer experience of tomorrow are enormous.

The future promises more customer interactions across more possible touchpoints. Innovative companies will leverage emerging technologies to deliver radically new and superior customer experiences – raising the bar for not only their industries, but others as well.

       2. DROWNING IN DATA:

One advantage of our connected world is that businesses have unprecedented access to customer data. 90% of the world’s data was reportedly created in the past 12 months alone yet half of all business’s decisions are currently made with incomplete information.2

This failure to leverage data is more than wasted opportunity. The connected customer can be turned off completely by a business’s perceived unwillingness or inability to use data to improve the customer experience.

      3. GREATER EXPECTATIONS

With big data comes big expectations. As leading businesses evolve their customer experiences, connected customers take notice. The result is increased demand for seamless experiences from every company across industries. Success depends on meeting that demand and high performers are responding.

The business of today needs to stay ahead of the curve to succeed. In Salesforce’s 2016 State of Marketing report, more than half of high-performing marketing teams reported driving customer experience initiatives across the business. Those same teams are 3.7x more likely to indicate that they stay ahead of tech trends. They’re also 1.8x as likely to say they’re increasing their spending on customer-facing apps, and 4.8x more likely to say they now engage digitally with customers.

 

Is your business making the investments in innovation that it needs to succeed?

We are here to help! > info@doblegoup.com

 

 

Source: salesforce.com

Photo Credits: <a href=”http://www.freepik.com/free-photo/businessman-pointing-graphs-and-symbols_985257.htm”>Designed by Freepik</a>

Change is always hard.  But sales presents unique challenges. Salespeople, by and large, are independent and entrepreneurial. Many have ingrained habits that have brought them at least some level of success or they would have found a different profession. Moreover, selling is a very transparent activity; it’s clear how you are performing and the numbers “don’t lie.” For salespeople, any change distracts them from their ultimate goal: driving sales and exceeding their quota.

So, what’s the solution?  3 Secrets for Getting Your Sales Team On Board With Change

1. Salespeople must be able to connect to the need for change. If there are no direct, visible benefits (monetary, territory, new clients, opportunity for advancement, overall growth, client retention, etc.), don’t be surprised if your sales team seems less than thrilled when you try to implement a transformation.

2. Be prepared to deal with skepticism. Everything sales reps hear from leadership is filtered through some degree of skepticism. So when you want to make a change, you’re up against opinion like the following:

● “I’m just going to keep my head down and stay out of the way.”

● “Why are we doing this?”

● “Who thinks this is needed?”

● “Did we ask our clients if they want this?”

Your role as a leader is to address these questions systematically and reverse the possible negative human behavior that may be emerging. You must let the team members know that what is good for the company is in fact good for them.

3. Be present.  The only way to demonstrate commitment to your sales team is to be present. Go on some sales calls, ask team members for ideas, create champions, uncover what motivates them now, and take the first step to being visible. Too often, leaders have not been in the field at all or only with very strategic customers. And now they want a major change? This drives sales reps’ skepticism—and often their resistance.

Demonstrate to your salespeople how the change will impact them directly, meet their questions head-on, and get down in the trenches with them so they know you understand their day-to-day.  Only then will you get them on board with change.

By: Warren Shiver and Michael Perla are the authors of 7 STEPS TO SALES FORCE TRANSFORMATION: Driving Sustainable Change in Your Organization (Palgrave MacMillan).

 

Source: Salesforce.com

This year has started on fire for us here at Doble Group and we would like to share with you 4 Sales and Marketing Predictions from Salesforce That Will Shake Up 2017.

 

1. Customer Service Will be Much More Than a Differentiator

Sales, marketing, and customer service are continuing to merge. It’s all about making customers successful from their first interaction.

Customers have greater expectations than ever. They expect the businesses they deal with to know who they are, and to deliver an amazing experience every time, without exceptions. Great customer service is no longer a differentiator — it’s table stakes to build a brand and a business that will thrive over the coming years.
James Gill, CEO at GoSquared

2. Marketing Goes to the Movies

No one actually wants to read anymore. Instead, everything is about binge-watching videos with kids and millennials glued to YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Live Feed videos for hours on end, liking, commenting on, and sharing video content.

Sure, video has been popular in the past years, but it’s practically taking over marketing in 2017 because it is a much more enjoyable way to get information sought without the hassle of trying to search through words to get to the heart of the matter. Plus, it appeals so much more to the emotions that your audience is bound to remember any video marketing you do for longer.

Part of the trend will be toward ephemeral videos — that’s short, temporary videos now populating Snapchat and Instagram. This is a way to generate excitement and need in your audience because they are now afraid they might miss that really cool video that all their peers saw.

John Rampton, Founder and CEO at Due.com

3. Closing Deals Via Text Will Be Totally Normal  

The sales team of the future will need to be comfortable communicating and even closing deals through newer media channels, such as text and Facebook Messenger. These channels, which were formerly reserved for marketing and customer care teams, will become the preferred means of conversational selling as consumers shift their everyday communication habits away from the phone and email and toward text and messenger apps.

There are two big trends driving this shift in conversational selling: First, for most people under 40, texting is every bit as intimate as talking on the phone, so the idea of making a purchase from someone you’ve merely “texted” is no longer strange. Second, thanks to the web and marketing automation, consumers are better educated than they’ve ever been, meaning that by the time they’re reaching out to a salesperson, they’re usually more than halfway through the sales cycle, and in some cases are ready to buy right now without jumping through the usual hoops and formalities that often come with phone calls and online demos.

For example, at DigitalMarketer.com, our sales team is closing more and more big-ticket deals through Facebook Messenger, without ever talking to the customer on the phone. Similarly, we now have our customer success team answering questions via text/SMS, and giving customers the opportunity to buy right then and there on their phones. And best of all, since chat and Messenger allow you to maintain multiple, simultaneous 1:1 conversations, we’re able to qualify and close more deals with less salespeople.

If you play your cards right and stay up to date, you can expect shorter sales cycles, shorter training cycles, and less experienced sales reps bringing in larger deals over less expensive and more efficient communication channels.

Ryan Deiss, CEO at DigitalMarketer.com

4. Ecommerce Will Rule 2017

2017 will be the best year yet for B2B ecommerce. I know it feels like ecommerce is anything but a phenomenon for most of us anymore, but there still is vast potential for expansion. Considered purchases characterize the B2B space much more than B2B’s impulsive B2C counterpart and, for that reason, the former hasn’t gotten much love, relatively speaking, during the meteoric rise of buying stuff on the Internet.

I already see it during my day-to-day at work and on my personal social feeds. Consultancies are investing more heavily in their online presences, accounting firms are advertising on my Instagram feed, and a business attorney friend of mine keeps me abreast of the cases he wins for his clients via Facebook.

Close your eyes and think of someplace you were five years ago. Now try to imagine those three things happening (more important, happening effectively) back then.

—Brandon Staton, Marketing Director, Transportation Impact

 

Do you want to add any other prediction? Tell us what you think!

 

 

 

Source: Salesforce.com

Photo Credit: <a href=”http://www.freepik.com/free-photo/applications-to-be-connected_902853.htm”>Designed by Freepik</a>

Is your current marketing strategy driving customer loyalty? Are you happy with your current strategy? How closely aligned is your digital marketing strategy to your business objectives? Are you collecting the right data about your customer? Or, are you saying, “what digital marketing strategy?”

Check out these 5 Digital Marketing Strategy Tips

Define Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Tip #1: Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes for Every Interaction

  • Identify how your prospects and customers interact with your brand.
  • Take note of the advertising, website and marketing messaging, content, call to action, process steps, data inputs, and duration between communications.
  • Uncover challenges your customers may face when interacting with your brand.

Tip #2: Inventory Your Existing Data Assets and Technologies

  • Identify the technology platforms (CRM, master data management, ad serving, etc) you already have in place. How do they impact your customer? How do they impact your customer’s experiences and interactions with your company.
  • Identify which systems store personal identifiable information (PII) and which don’t.
  • Record the unique identifies that exist in each technology. For example, customer ID, email—all of this information will be used to create data extensions and create your data model in the Marketing Cloud.

Tip #3: Prioritize Your Business and Customer Use Cases

  • Determine the level of effort, business impact, and customer impact for each of your customers’ challenges. Use a grading score of 1-5 to help score the challenges.
  • Identify quick marketing wins based on the challenges’ scores.
  • Identify any technology overlap and technology gaps.

Tip #4: Determine Your Success Criteria

  • Assign key performance criteria to each customer challenge. For example, clicks, opens, conversion, likes, shares, cost-per-acquisition, and cost-per-conversion.
  • Use and track your progress with SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) objectives.

Tip #5: Create a Single View of the Customer

  • Identify technology platforms that can be connected to use the most customer data possible. For example, connect your CRM platform to Marketing Cloud to track the effectiveness of your various marketing efforts on sales across customer segments.
  • Document the complete 360-degree view of your customer based on all the data you collect across platforms.
Source: Marketingcloud.com

Over the past several years, customer service has undergone a dramatic shift. Once, you might have had only one option for contacting a company: making a telephone call, within business hours, and waiting until an agent got to your call.

Now, following in the steps of marketers, customer service is taking an omni-channel approach, and providing service on every channel, everywhere. This shift was driven by customers who are reaching out via email, text message, social media, live chat, and apps. We can connect with anyone, anywhere, instantly.

Read More

This year we want to help you find the right track to success by telling you what not to do when growing your business. Here are 5 Mistakes to Avoid When You Want to Close the Deal

Sales Fail Tips:

1. Not Knowing Your Buyer

Trying to sell to prospects who don’t fit your ideal customer profile is a losing strategy. If your industry or product isn’t right for the target, they’ll likely just be annoyed that you didn’t do your homework and once irritated, they’ll be lost for any future business. So make sure you identify who your key customer is before you ever pick up the phone or send an email.

Read More

Technology has changed the game for small businesses. Where small department size was once a hindrance, it can now be an advantage. Where small, newly-established infrastructures used to mean less stability, they can now mean more agility and flexibility. The right technology can turn a small business from a niche player in an industry to a major threat to established enterprise companies. Organizing, supporting, and enabling a small business with a CRM solution like Salesforce can help that SMB punch well above its weight and harness the selling power previously reserved only for big business.
Read More