5 brilliant sales and marketing tools you need to know about

I’ve probably got one of the best jobs in the word. Honestly, I love it!

I have a business that allows me to spend my days working with companies to help them find smarter, quicker, more sustainable ways of growing their business. Sure we may use different terms of reference, we may call it new business generation or key account selling or proposition development or any and all of those things. And the company I work with could be an SME or a start-up, but it can just as easily be a household name enterprise. Guess what…they all have broadly the same problems and face roughly the same sorts of challenges.
That’s all great and it keeps me very busy indeed, but so what?

Well it also means that I work with and come across no end of absolutely brilliant companies, great new tools and fantastic content and ideas that I think you, my prized and highly valued reader (stumble across(er)/stalker/passing interest(er)/competitor) really ought to know about.

So I thought I’d take a few moments to share a few of them with you now. I hope you find them useful.Oh and for the cynical among you, you will notice no affiliate links here…no money changes hands…this is all just honest goodness!

1. Pipeliner Sales

This is a fantastic new Pipeline monitoring and management solution that (for once) was designed with the sales person in mind. Really easy to use for both the sales teams and those that manage them, this simple system uses drag and drop inputs to provide easily understandable and configurable dashboards and reports. I use this with a growing number of my clients. If you want to know more, get hold of Richard Young, he’s the UK MD and a thoroughly decent chap too…richard.young@pipelinersales.com

 2. Digi-Products.Com

An easy way to build, personalize, send, track and monitor digital content of pretty much any kind.

Digi is deceptively brilliant. I’ve been using it and recommending it for years. Over that time the wonderful founder and CEO, David Boyland (officially the nicest bloke you’ll ever meet) has developed it into one of the cleverest tools on the market today. Don’t make the mistake many marketing people do of thinking you can already do this stuff…you’re missing the point. Digi is great for lead generation and supporting the sales dialogue, for managing internal communications and even for tracking proposals and invoices. For the marketing team, it’s brilliant for giving everyone access to standard collateral that they can personalize to suit each requirement without messing with the brand guidelines! Oh….it may save you a fortune on creative costs too!

 3. Salesformics

Be quick to get in on the beta deal for this one. I have to say I predict a riot with this product. It should turn the CRM and Marketing Automation world upside down. Guess what…it was designed to be easy to use by people like you and me. It does everything you would want it to do….but it’s really easy to use. Better than that, it’s not some old-time, clunky CRM tool that’s had a few knobs and whistles added to bring it up to date. This is a product built and designed specifically for the market we all work in today. Stewart Rogers is the Head of Product, he too is a top chap and he’d be happy to give you a demo! Ask him to show you the segment marketing and workflow processes…it’s so easy even I am interested enough to do it…and I really hate using these things.

  4. NearDesk

NearDesk is as genius as the man who founded it, Tom Ball. A really simple card, internet site and soon to come app, that provides you or your sales team with access to a desk and office facilities by the hour pretty much where ever you are in the UK. What’s better still is that it strips out all that wasted time and resource invested in processing expense claims for desks, space, WiFi and coffee! Each person simply swipes in and out and all the invoices are consolidated and itemized and sent to your office once a month for processing. It’s growing like Topsy and so it should, it’s brilliant. I’ve got a NearDesk card, have you?

  5. CopyBlogger

Without doubt the most informative and well constructed resource for anyone interested in content and digital marketing. It’s (mainly) free so I suggest you check it out. And if you blog for a living or if you want to improve the effectiveness of the content you produce, I’d recommend you look at their Scribe solution too.

I hope you find the time to check them out…and I hope you find them useful. Let me know.

Next time I’m feeling philanthropic I’ll pick some more to tell you about.

Meantime, you can check out one of mine.

Buzz Building

 Along with a very talent friend of mine Rick O’Neil of Look Touch Feel, I have created a completely free 12 week course in digital marketing. So far it’s going really well. We’ve even got a well-known TV celebrity as one of our first thousand subscribers..I don’t suppose he needs much help, but it’s fun to have him along for the ride!

So if you want some really practical tips and advice on how to get your digital and content marketing going then you’ll find it here. Of course some people prefer a one to one workshop on site…we do that too and for those that aren’t quite sure what they need we’ve put in an easy and honest self-assessment. Finally, there is of course, the option for those who are just far too busy to do it themselves…so we do it for them.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Small Businesses need help with Digital Marketing

Too many small and medium-sized businesses (SME) run the risk of being left behind simply because they have no idea how or indeed if, they should be embracing things like content marketing, digital marketing and social media marketing.

Traditional and more established businesses and professions have resisted the temptation to get drawn in or to jump on what looks to be a bandwagon, but the truth is that today customers find, research and select the people and companies they choose more often than not based on some sort of internet research.

Sure that “internet research” might mean a simple Google search or a recommendation from a friend or colleague via Facebook or LinkedIN but it’s just as likely to mean reading a well placed and well written article on a subject they’re interested in.

With such a wealth of information, advice and opinion at their fingertips, prospective customers can arm themselves with product or service knowledge, supplier and price comparisons and pretty much everything the need to know to narrow down their search to just a few potential providers.

On that basis how would you or your organisation fare?

A well designed and consistently and competently executed Digital Marketing program will act like a magnet, positioning you in prospective customers’ minds and pulling informed and qualified buyers to your website.

It can be confusing. It looks like there’s a lot to learn, a lot to achieve and potentially even a lot of money to be wasted if you don’t know what you’re doing.

So where should you start?

Could you do it yourself and when is it right to outsource it to the professionals?

To help you address those very questions, I’ve teamed up with a technical and creative expert in the space, Rick O’Neil and together he and I have developed a completely free and entirely comprehensive on line course for anyone looking to develop their own digital marketing, content marketing or social media marketing program.

You can sign up for it here

For those who would prefer a workshop to discover what it all means and how to do it yourself, you can find it here

If you think “Sod it, life’s too short and I want the experts to do it” you can find the outsource option here

AND…if you really don’t know what you should do….here’s a ready reckoner to help you decide.

I hope it helps!

Who are you trying to convince?

In today’s hyper-connected society we are beyond noise. As individuals we are already learning to filter out distractions and irrelevant information and there are new tools coming out everyday that help us filter our filters…(!) – Take a look at www.nimble.com for example, a very smart initiative that enables you to first aggregate your connections (of all flavors  and then filter them). It changes the way people like me work, research, think, reach-out and communicate. Strangely and rather brilliantly it means I am able to comfortably work and engage with ever-increasing volumes of data, resources and links and yet almost by the day, be more focused more informed and more in-depth.

So like most people I am one of those who will miss anything mass but will instantly engage with anything that is tightly aligned to my immediate needs interests or requirements.

In any one hour I can be working across any number of industries, be in and out of tens of news sources, drop in and out of myriad “conversations”, transact business with multiple clients, work in multiple guises and progress multiple projects…and still find time to comment on a funny Facebook post, update Twitter, accept another LinkedIn invite and maybe even speak to someone!

So what?

Well I am like most people today. We are all actually more focused than we’ve ever been. We are better at cutting out the noise than ever before.

So how do you actually reach, engage and convince decision makers today…if we all agree mass marketing is dead…how do you get focused?

Seth’s latest blog is (annoyingly as ever) spot on: Marketing is about Change

It’s really (really) tough to get businesses to move away from the perceived comfort of “doing lots of stuff”. Most will pay lip-service to the idea of niche focus but on the whole there is still huge fear about being the first person to suggest…doing a lot less….

Of course this is about being seen to fail, fear of missing “something”, fear of looking stupid.

Funny though…if you say “people buy from people” everyone will yawn and mention “Motherhood and Apple pie” …and yet few companies have worked out that perhaps that means we need to communicate with and to people rather than AT JOB ROLES  if we want them to buy….

I use the Business Model Generation /Canvas process a lot in my work and thinking. The Customer Empathy Map is part of that. You may find it useful too. Check it out here.

Knowing when people will buy…that’s cool

Imagine if you could predict when a person or a group of people are likely to buy something. Or perhaps do something, specific. What if you could have a real-time view of how your company, your product or your offering was being received in the market right now. What if you could know when to place a trade or sign a deal or launch a new initiative.

What could you do with that information?

Put yourselves in the shoes of an online retailer looking to get one step ahead of the competition and achieve sales before anyone else.

Or a Global brand that wants to understand how it’s prospects and customers are likely to react to the launch of a new product or service.

How about a PLC or a Government body who wants to know how and when to make an announcement and then to understand immediately how it’s being received and specifically what people are doing about it.

Brands who want to see who the counterfeiters are, retailers who want to know where to place their next shop, or where and when to launch their latest product.

Better still what about an investor or trader looking for that critical few seconds head start on the market to place the right trade.

Cool isn’t it.

There are myriad tools out there today that offer some kind of “media monitoring”….but I think I may have stumbled across something very special indeed. Something I think could blow the market wide apart and certainly sets a new standard for helping organisations make decisions on real-time sentiment and intent data.

I’ll tell you about them because they’re new and interesting and very very clever and frankly, I think you deserve to know about them.

Check out www.augify.com  or give me a call/drop me a line if you’d like to get connected or learn more..