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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Brian Hasenbauer

Author, Speaker and expert on all things digital including: social media, inbound marketing, online video trends, etc.
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Recent Posts

One Small Change on a Contact Page, 294 New Leads

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The contact page is one of the most important pages on a company's website. But it's also one of the pages that receives the least attention from the company's marketing team. Several months ago, I wrote a post about how to optimize a website’s contact page to increase the number of leads it creates and to improve upon tracking contacts. Little did I know that the client that I had specifically recommended this approach to would have almost three-hundred new leads over a five month period from this new contact page.  

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Topics: lead generation, websites

Top 5 Sales Challenges Companies Need Their Marketing Effort to Solve

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LeadG2 has been working with sales and marketing teams for the last five years to help them overcome important business needs. We've learned about the challenges of over 100 companies in the process.

We recently analyzed our data on these companies and learned that certain challenges rise above the rest as consistent and pervasive. Here's what we learned about these top five challenges that companies say they're facing in today's business environment. 

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Topics: inbound marketing, sales enablement

Selling Integrated Solutions is Easier With Inbound Marketing

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It seems like a lifetime ago, but I was once the Associate Publisher at Competitor Texas magazine, a 80,000 circulation endurance sports magazine. Most of my clients were either running, cycling, or triathlon events or retailers and had a website but hadn’t started to build up a sizeable presence on social media. Most hadn’t even considered using digital ads to get visitors from related fitness websites to their own site.

It was a great time to be in the media industry, and we were just beginning to see the potential of integrating digital, social, email, event marketing, grassroots campaigns and print all together into one campaign. But we had one BIG challenge: how to effectively explain this new way of thinking to potential advertisers when many of these race directors still had event registrants filling out paper registration forms and mailing them in. They were certainly not embracing new technology or uses of media very quickly and were quite resistant to any change. So how to get through to them and show them how integrated solutions work? That’s where inbound marketing came in.

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Topics: integrated media solution, inbound marketing, media

How to Increase the Quality of Your Sales Leads

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There are certain movies and shows that you have to watch if you want to be able to contribute to the water cooler talk on Monday morning or discuss the latest happenings on the show with a client. If you are in advertising, Mad Men was a must-watch for several years. For computer programmers, it might be Halt and Catch Fire. If you are in the business of sales or lead generation, Glengarry Glen Ross is that movie. If you are a sales manager or salesperson and haven’t seen it, you need to spend some time next weekend and catch up on this classic movie.

When I recently re-watched Glengarry Glen Ross, it made me think about how frequently the salespeople in the movie complained about the quality of the leads and made such a differentiation between the “good leads” and the “bad leads." If you are in sales or sales management, at some point in your career you have probably made a similar statement about the quality of leads being provided to you or your sales team. Soon after making a judgment on the quality of the leads, most sales managers start to focus on how to improve the quality of leads for their sales team.

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Topics: lead nurturing, Sales

The Compound Effect - Start With the End in Mind

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In a former life, I was a professional triathlete and triathlon coach. I helped athletes with a wide range of athletic backgrounds accomplish one of the greatest physical tests of endurance known to man: completing the Ironman, a combined 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run. When clients would first come to me and ask for advice about their training plan, they would inevitably ask, “What do I need to do to be able to finish the Ironman?” The answer was the same for each client: “You need to be able to swim 2.4 miles, ride 112 miles and run 26.2 miles in one day." That was a very definitive end goal, and the goal had a definitive date. The challenge then became how to take them from where they were physically on that first day, to that end point several months (or for some, years) away, ending at the Ironman finish line.  

Maybe I’m a little late to the party, but I have just been turned on to the book “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. I wanted to share a few thoughts on its relevance to sales managers and leaders—and how it relates to my story of someone training to complete an Ironman. You might not realize it, but some of the challenges that sales managers face when building a sales organization are similar to what triathlon coaches are up against when training an athlete for the challenge of the Ironman. These challenges are: defining the goal, creating the strategy to accomplish the goal, and taking the required steps needed to accomplish the goal.

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Topics: Sales, sales training, coaching

How is Your Website Doing Compared to Your Competitors'?

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Let’s face it. If you are managing a business and you don’t have access to data regarding how your business is doing, you are essentially flying blind. Without benchmarks and numbers to indicate how you are doing, it’s tough to know what the score is and who is winning. That’s why analytics and data have become so important to business owners and marketers over the past few years. Knowledge is power, and the same now can be said for understanding and being able to analyze and interpret data.

HubSpot understands the need that businesses have to analyze large amounts of data for the purpose of making sound business decisions, and they have recently launched a new Research blog. The HubSpot Research blog provides in-depth insight and information for marketers and business owners that are looking to make data-driven decisions.

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Topics: digital marketing, metrics

A 6-Step Process to Increase Your Media Sales Team's Productivity

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You've probably seen umpteen lists of ways to increase a sales team's performance. Trust me, I know. I have probably written a half dozen of those myself.  

But the more I work with sales teams, the more I've realized that what a sales manager needs is not another list of productivity tips and tricks, but an integrated process for increasing their sales team's productivity. This is particularly true for media sales, where custom solutions can require more involved sales funnels. Here's the process I've developed and implemented with success.

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Topics: Sales, media, productivity

3 Things Every Sales Manager Must Do to Become a Sales Leader

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Next week I am going to speak at my children’s school for career day and am excited to tell them about how I work with clients around the country to help them achieve results for their businesses. No, I’m not a brain surgeon or a trial lawyer, but what I do as an inbound marketing and sales consultant has an impact on those I work with. I know that each of my clients is better educated about sales and lead generation through our weekly calls and that I am truly making an impact.

As a former sales manager myself, and now working alongside sales managers to help with lead generation, I know that a sales management career is one that can really make an impact. Sales managers are not just the face of most companies and sales organizations, but are also the heart and soul of them, as far as I am concerned. A good sales manager does more than just keep track of sales and new accounts garnered each month. A sales manager that’s interested in becoming a sales leader helps to grow and develop each team member. This goes beyond making sure each member of the sales team knows the company’s products or services and extends to providing each salesperson with a mentor and role model. Let’s also be very candid about this… if a sales team likes their sales manager and the organization they work for, they will work harder and care more about their work and produce greater results every time. 

How can you further your career and make even more of an impact? Here are three things that will take you from being a manager to also being a leader.

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Topics: sales management, leadership

How Sales Managers Can Keep Profits Up and Headcount Down

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The topic of sales productivity was introduced to me early on in my career when I was a Senior Financial Analyst at EDS (now HP). I can remember putting together the quarterly Strategic Business Unit (SBU) scorecards and having to come up with the sales headcounts and revenue per salesperson. I was always impressed by one business unit in particular that was able to keep their sales headcount down while maintaining a higher profit margin than any other division. The division was headed by one of the younger SBU leaders, and one late evening after reviewing his numbers I asked him how it was he could keep headcount down and sales up. His answer was very revealing.

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Topics: Sales, marketing automation

Does it Pay to Invest Resources in Bottom Performing or Top Performing Salespeople?

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For most sales organizations, your sales team most likely represents a wide range of personalities, experience levels as well as performance levels. Organizations typically have top performers or “all stars” as well as those that struggle each month to meet their sales quota or budget for the month. If your organization has determined there are some areas where your sales team can perform better and resources of time and money are available, where do you invest these limited resources? Do you focus on coaching up your bottom performers, do you bring in new talent, or do you focus on maximizing the performance of your top performers?

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Topics: hiring salespeople, Talent, sales training