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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Alina McComas

Recent Posts by Alina McComas:

How to Create the Right Digital Solution for Your Client

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I am often asked by salespeople, “How do you know which is the right digital capability to pull into a solution?” or, “What is the right budget to recommend for a prospect or client?” The answers to both of these questions stem from the same place – understanding the client's challenge and their goals.

Topics: digital marketing selling digital advertising Sales

Five Tips for a Successful Digital Needs Analysis

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You finally got an appointment with a strong prospect. Now, it is time to prepare for a successful needs analysis to make sure that all the effort you spent getting the appointment isn’t wasted. You want to make sure that you have a strong and thorough needs analysis—because understanding your prospect's business, their specific needs, challenges and expectations is imperative to developing a solution that will achieve results.

Topics: Needs Analysis Digital integrated media solution

Shopping for Solutions: Delivering the Perfect Digital Advertising Target

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Mid-February is an interesting time of the year. The stores, malls, and grocery stores are jam-packed with people shopping for Valentines Day. If you like to shop, this may be paradise… heading out with all of the other crazed shoppers, trying to find that one special thing for that special someone. But if you're not into shopping, you probably want to minimize the places you have to go.

Imagine if you only gave yourself one opportunity to find that special gift—you're determined to go to only one store. Some of you would get lucky. Others might find that is it out of stock, while others find that the one store chosen never even carried that special something. So what do you do if you weren’t lucky? Since you only gave yourself one shot, you have two options—find another gift or go home with no gift.

Don’t like those options? Me either, but when it comes to digital marketing, I see salespeople and marketers do just that all the time when using ad targeting to reach their target consumer—their someone special if you will. Instead of using multiple targeting options available to them, they make the decision to hyper-target… using just one behavior, age group, or a small geographic area. Doing that is the same thing as just going into one store to find your target gift. You might get lucky and generate results, but more often hyper targeting minimizes your chances to deliver results.

Topics: Digital selling digital advertising integrated media solution understanding target audience

3 Tips to Use Google Analytics to Help You to Spot ROI

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As digital marketing continues to grow, so does the demand for demonstrating an ROI. Marketers want to know that the dollars they are spending are making an impact on their business. They are looking for ways to use all of the available data in the digital space to help them correlate the dollars spent to tangible results. 

While there are a variety of website analytic tools that businesses can use, a good number of them are using Google Analytics. And why shouldn’t they? A free tool that can provide some great insights into how potential customers use a business website… seems like a no-brainer. 

Topics: selling digital advertising

7 Basics to Selling Digital Advertising Creative

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Like most people nowadays, I spend a lot of time online. Due to my profession, a lot of that time is spent looking at the ads on the screen. I find myself analyzing and critiquing the message, the look, and the layout of the ads, without even realizing that I am doing it. I have seen some good and some bad. 

Topics: Digital selling digital advertising

How Measuring Success is Different in Digital

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Measuring the results of an ad campaign or a marketing push is important. How else will you know if the effort was a success, and if the investment produced a profitable return? In the old-media days, it was often tough to measure, causing uncertainty and frustration among both buyers and sellers.

In the digital age, I could argue that it’s gotten too easy.

It's Not All About Clicks

Clicks are insanely easy to count. The click-thru-rate quickly became a new gold standard, and the abbreviation CTR made it seem so official and valid. But what was it really measuring? And what does that metric have to do with the marketer’s goals? These are the issues I often find myself discussing when I lead digital-media workshops, but these questions are not discussed as often as they should be with prospects.

Topics: digital marketing metrics measurement

The "Buy Now" Button Comes to Pinterest and Instagram

Why_Did_You_Buy_ThatAs Social Media continues to mature, they continue to search for new ways to engage consumers and drive revenue. Two weeks ago, Pinterest and Instagram introduced similar features aimed at accomplishing both goals and these new options could be game changers for businesses and consumers.

The first "buy now" button is the Buyable Pin that was introduced by Pinterest on June 2nd. The new feature will allow users to purchase products without ever having to leave Pinterest—when they see a blue Buy It button. If you live in the United States and use an Apple device, you will begin seeing the new feature in a couple of weeks. According to the company’s blog, you should be able to discover over 2 million Buyable Pins on your iPhone or iPad by the end of June. Android users will have to wait a little longer to see the new Buyable Pins. 

Topics: Digital

Which Is More Important—Product Training or Sales Training?

Product focused training and sales skill training - both are important to increase the knowledge and expertise of a sales team, but which is more important? Which has the larger impact? Before I answer that question, let me define the differences between the two to make sure that we are all on the same page.

Product Training

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Product training focuses on the nuts and bolts, on educating your sales force on the features and benefits of what you sell. What the product (or service or solution) is, what problems it’s intended to solve, how it actually works, what it costs in its various configurations, how you handle it internally to ensure the client gets what they bought, and everything else you might need to talk about the product. Most product training is delivered in a classroom environment where the facilitator is doing most of the talking and answering questions along the way. 

Sales Training

Topics: Digital Training Topics

12 Essential (and Mostly Free!) Digital Resources for Salespeople

The ever-evolving world of digital media can be challenging to stay up-to-date with all of the changes, but if you are selling digital media and want to do it effectively, it is a challenge you must take! 

So where you do you start? There is so much information available and it can feel overwhelming. I would recommend that you find a handful of different resources that you turn to on a regular basis. I like to think about resources in categories – those that help keep me up to date on what is coming and what is changing in digital media, tools to gain insight about a company’s website and those that help me stay current on consumer trends.

Below are 12 of my favorite digital resources:

Websites:

websites

Topics: Digital

Numbers or Narrative? Making Google Analytics Tell a Powerful Story

Numbers_or_Narrative_Making_Google_Analytics_Tell_a_Powerful_StoryWhen I was about 10 years old, I was chosen to represent my school in a storytelling festival. I spent weeks rehearsing a story about a terrifying gorilla. I can still remember that nervous feeling as I began to tell my story to a room full of strangers. As I told my story, that feeling quickly turned to excitement and a sense of accomplishment. It was at that moment that I first realized the tremenous power of storytelling.

That power is more relevant than ever today—when salespeople are challenged to explain Google Analytics to their clients. And to make those analytics tell a powerful story.

Over the past few months, I have had a lot of questions from salespeople regarding Google Analytics. They want to know how website analytics can help them show the performance of the campaigns they’re running for clients. The answer is not just in the numbers, but also in how you use the numbers in a narrative that makes the performance come alive.

Website analytics are loaded with information, and with thoughtful analysis, insight as well. Simply communicating numbers from a client’s Google Analytics report might put your client to sleep, but you can strike gold if you can draw them in with a story of how the campaign is achieving results. In order to tell your story, you need to gain access to their analytics, of course, but equally important, you need to have a clear picture of what they want to accomplish with their campaign.  

For some clients, you can look to the basic metrics like site traffic, time spent on site, or bounce rate. These can provide a general understanding of the traffic that you might be driving to a website, or if visitors are spending more time on the site as a result of a campaign. But the lines begin to blur if there are multiple resources directing potential consumers to a website. 

So where do you start?  

Topics: Digital