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Inaccurate Pipeline Forecasting

Sales-Forecasting

Sales Forecasting

Most sales managers wish they had the ability to accurately predict what the future is going to look like for their companies. Members of the sales team wish that their sales managers can accurately provide advance warning of any potential issues that may impact their sales.

As with the weather, sales forecasting can be unpredictable at times; even inaccurate. This has a huge impact on the sales team. A sales manager who optimistically predicts that the future is bright may inadvertently set the sales team up for disaster if the prediction doesn’t come to fruition. On the same hand, if a sales manager pessimistically predicts a less than stellar sales future, the sales team may lose motivation and drive and essentially create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What is a sales manager to do then?

Dave Kurlan in his Understanding the Sales Force blog offers reasons why forecasting may be inaccurate for sales managers.

  • They lack a formal, staged, criteria-based pipeline.
  • They lack a functional, sales-specific CRM or Pipeline Management application.
  • Their sales process is not integrated into the CRM/Pipeline Management application.
  • Salespeople have the power to suggest the likelihood of closing.
  • Salespeople have the power to override the application’s weighting of an opportunity.
  • Salespeople fail to LIVE in the CRM application, providing infrequent updates, causing most report and dashboard data to be outdated.
  • There is a lack of accountability for keeping the application up-to-date – not weekly, not daily, but in real-time!
  • The data being entered is not being inspected by management.
  • Nobody cares about getting it right.
  • The concept of pipeline management has not been integrated into the culture.

If a weather forecast is inaccurate, we chalk it up to changing patterns or unexpected obstacles. However, we still move forward and do what we need to do. We just grab an umbrella “just in case” or keep a jacket in our car.

For the sales team, it isn’t that simple. Sales Managers need to tackle their obstacles head on and work to have a more accurate pipeline forecast. If the obstacle is the sales force, then sales coaching may be a good solution.

In order to get sales forecasting moving in the right direction, Kural cites the following issues that sales managers may want to address during their coaching sessions:

  • Laziness
  • Fear of Rejection
  • Need for Approval (Need to be Liked)
  • Fear of being wrong
  • Pressure to find new opportunities
  • Consequences of removing an opportunity and its related value from the forecast and/or pipeline

Unlike the weather, pipeline forecasting can be accurate and can improve the sales of a company, as well as the performance of the team as a whole. It requires commitment from all involved.

Einstein Marketing Group can help Sales Managers work towards more accurate pipeline forecasting. Contact us today! We guarantee that you will see results in the first 30 days!

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Have a New Small Business? You Need to Market it!

It doesn’t matter how great your small business is.  If no one knows about it, you’re effectively dead in the water.  Case closed.

That’s why you need to market your small business to the hilt!  Fortunately, in our hyper-cyber era, you don’t have to spend all your pennies to do so.  Here are some great small business marketing ideas that you can implement quickly and on a shoestring budget:

1.  Get Yourself a Website       Just do it.  We’re serious.  It doesn’t even have to be an expensive process.  Choose your domain and get yourself out there.

2.  Okay… So You Don’t Want a Website… What about a Blog?                You’re avoiding our other suggestion.  We get it.  We really do.  You’re not ready for a website for your small business.  So start a blog.  Tonight.  Go to WordPress.org  or Blogger.com and begin to blog.  Talk about what you do, set up your page and go live.  Within an hour, you’ll at least have somewhere to direct people when they ask, “What’s your web address?”

3.  Get Out There and Network!                 You need to have human-to-human contact in order to make your small business known.  And that can come in the form of Chamber mixers, LinkedIn socials, Meet Up events and all sorts of inexpensive get togethers.  Heck, if you have a brick-and-mortar place, just set one up yourself and host it!

Just because you’re small doesn’t mean you deserve to make nothing!  Start your business off in the best possible way – market your small business to success!  If you’d like additional information on how to market your new small business, contact us.

 

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What Kind of Marketing is Right For Your Business?

Do you know what kind of marketing you should be doing based on your business model, goals and culture?

It’s definitely not an easy question; in fact, it stumps many business owners.  For instance, should you be engaging in online social marketing?  (Chances are good the answer is yes, by the way… although you may have to vary the frequency, locations, etc.)  Should you add print marketing?  How about radio/television marketing?  What about grassroots marketing or guerilla marketing?

If you’re not certain what kind of marketing to choose, it’s time to begin putting together a comprehensive strategy.  And if you don’t have a marketing plan, we suggest you avoid doing any marketing until you know which method is going to work best for your organization’s needs.

And, as always, if you’d like to learn more about how marketing can work for you, contact us.  We’d love to help you bring your ideas to life with great marketing tactics!

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Maximize Your Radio Campaigns with Smart Marketing

When you’ve decided it’s time to try a radio campaign, it can be tempting to simply allow your target radio station to put together your commercial.  After all, they know best, right?

Well… not always.  Although it’s their business to understand certain aspects of radio advertising, they probably don’t know (nor do they have time to investigate) what you truly need to get the most out of your radio campaign and – ideally – rapidly propel your company toward its goals.

That’s one of the reasons that it pays to invest in a well-written and thoroughly researched radio advertisement created by a third party like the experts at Einstein Marketing Group.  As your partner, Einstein Marketing Group will help you develop a radio campaign that dovetails with your desired marketing outcomes.

For instance, Einstein will evaluate your entire marketing strategy and see how and where a well-placed radio campaign can fit into the mix.  Einstein may even encourage you not to invest in a radio campaign if other media campaigns will make more sense.  (Most radio station sales personnel will never do that because it’s not in their financial interest.)

Before you sign on the bottom line and allow your radio campaign to be driven by the station to whom you’re handing over your hard-earned dollars and cents, contact a professional marketing team.  The results will end up being music to your ears… and wallet!

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9 Ways to Make the Most of Your Internet Presence

Be honest with yourself – are you really making the most of your Internet presence?  If you’re like most companies, you know that there are opportunities you’re missing practically every day.

That’s why we’ve developed this list of 9 ways to make the most out of your Internet presence.  Try some (or all!) for the impact you need.

  1. Create a blog and keep it updated at least three times a week.  Remember:  Unique content with SEO flair sells!
  2. Send out an e-newsletter to your prospects and clients.  Choose a regular interval that you know you can commit to, such as once a week, biweekly, monthly or quarterly.
  3. Launch video campaigns.  Videos have the power to reach through the Internet and make a strong impression.  So why not use them in your business?
  4. Join the social networking revolution!  If you’re not on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites, you’re missing out!
  5. Try pay-per-click (and similar) advertising.  Believe it or not, it can be a fast and reliable way to garner new clientele or generate warm/hot leads.
  6. Create landing pages specific to different audiences.  Afterwards, track them for a powerful way to evaluate how well your marketing strategy is working.
  7. Offer other businesses the opportunity to become your company’s affiliate.  It’s like having a sales force that’s working for you 24/7!
  8. Think of your website as a resource.  Add articles, news items, fact sheets and case studies so it’s more than just a sales tool.
  9. Start following other people’s blogs, sites, social networking posts, etc.  This will begin a “thread” that leads back to you… and may generate interest!

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Good Websites Aren’t Good Enough

When there are literally billions of webpages and millions of websites floating around cyberspace, how in the world are you going to get people to come to yours?

In an Internet era, it’s a question you have to ask yourself before you ever invest funds into your website design and development.  After all, good simply isn’t good enough when you need your website to garner you clients right out of the gate.

There’s nothing wrong with using templates, but you have to consider other aspects of your website design, including:

  1. Whether or not you’re going to have a blog AND, if you are, how often (and by whom) it will be updated.
  2. Who is going to learn about search engine optimization (SEO) AND make sure all your website design copy is attractive to search engines like Google.
  3. Will you need an e-commerce package for your site?  (The answer is YES if you intend to sell anything!)
  4. Will you have a variety of landing pages for target customers?
  5. Who will host your site once the website design is finished?

If you’re confused by all these details, it’s time to relax.  Einstein Marketing Group can help you create a website design that works with your organization’s goals.  Whether you’re a nonprofit or a Fortune 500 corporation, Einstein Marketing Group will help you stand out in a (very large!) cyber crowd.

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How to Keep Your Blog Rolling Along

Have you ever wondered what the best ways are to keep that blog of yours rolling along?  We know we have!  It’s definitely a commitment and we’ve tried a combination of many different methods that we’d like to share with you.

1.  Obtain Material from Guest Bloggers:  Not only does this keep the blog fresh, but it also gives readers something different to think about.

2.  Hire Someone to Write Some Posts for You:  Crunched for time?  That’s why they have ghostwriters out there!  They’ll provide you with content (either in part or full) to minimize your time investment if it’s “one of those weeks”.

3.  Grab Some “Free Copy”:  There are plenty of sites that offer free articles as long as you don’t change the text and you properly attribute the copy to its source.

4.  Set up a Google Alert for Keywords:  You know you have industry keywords and items about which you blog on a regular basis.  So set up a Google alert (or dozens of them if you wish).  That way, you can find out what’s hot and share the links with blog visitors.

5.  Keep It Short!:  Your blog articles don’t have to be the length of a Tolstoy novel.  Sometimes, just a few sentences is all you need.

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12 Reasons Why You Need A Business Plan

Inexperienced or foolish businesspeople will argue that their marketplace changes too abruptly for a business plan to be useful. But shrewd entrepreneurs will exclaim that’s simply not true!

Click here to get a break-down of 12 reasons why you need a business plan.

A business plan is an essential element of a successful business and sets the plan in motion so you may become a thriving entrepreneur.

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What Does Your Company Name Say About You?

Names can potentially tell us a lot about people.  They can tell us which TV shows a person’s mom and dad watched; they can give us a hint as to the decade in which the person grew up; and they can sometimes even provide clues as to the ethnic origins of the individual.

Company names can be similarly revealing.  They can deliberately (or unwittingly) give customers clues as to the organization’s heritage and direction.  Unfortunately, business names can also sometimes be misleading.  That’s why it’s so critical to choose a name wisely.

Whether you’re looking to create a new company or you want to essentially rebrand an existing one, it’s imperative to get help from a trained marketing professional.  He or she will be able to walk you through the scenarios regarding what your business’ possible names could “say” to the public.

For example, let’s suggest you want to open a coffee shop that serves quick, hot beverages to coffee freaks.  How about “Expresso” (a blend of the words “express” and “espresso”)?  Or perhaps “Caffiend” (caffeine + fiend).  Either of those could be contenders.  What you wouldn’t want to call your place is “Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe”; after all, a generic name like that one doesn’t necessarily give much info.

As a business owner, you must be very, very prudent about your moniker choices.  Even if you have to invest in working with a marketing agency, it’s worth every penny to know that your name will be telling consumers everything they need to know.

Now here’s a question for you:  What’s the worst company name you’ve ever heard?

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