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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Dani Buckley

Dani Buckley

Recent Posts by Dani Buckley:

How Those Typical Questions From Prospects Can Help You Generate More Inbound Leads

iStock-874031176-692953-editedEvery sales organization could probably use more quality leads for their salespeople to set appointments with. This is one issue we deal with day in and day out with our inbound marketing clients. We help them generate new traffic to their website and convert that traffic into qualified, sales-ready leads. 

What it (inbound marketing) boils down to is creating unique, compelling content pieces that solve a problem, entertains, teaches, or answers a question that your best prospects are searching for online, asking their colleagues/network, or simply wondering, and oftentimes not telling you, in the sales process. These blog articles are published to your website via a blog (typically) and then guide readers to access even more in-depth content (like eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, etc.) in exchange for a little bit of information about themselves via a form.  This is the simplest way that you generate a website visitor into a lead. 

Topics: inbound marketing Sales

The Power of Asking Questions as a Leader

leadership - power of asking questionsIt’s easy to assume that as a manager, we’re expected to make all the decisions, give directions, and generally just be sure that things are getting done by our team. While there is a little bit of truth to that, the best leaders know that in order to truly be effective and successful you must do one thing really, really well… Ask good questions. And it doesn’t stop there. You must not only be asking great, thought-invoking questions, but then be ready to shut up and listen. This certainly sounds easier than it is.

Topics: sales management leadership

My Confession as a Salesperson

my confession as a salesperson

I have a confession to make… I absolutely hated cold calling. It’s been a few years since I was in outside sales, but I still have flashbacks to some of my worst cold calling experiences. You know the ones where you’re treated like a complete nuisance, talked down to, or hung up on. 

Necessary Evil

Like most salespeople, cold calling for me was a necessary evil. It was evil because of those nightmare experiences, though pretty rare, but it was necessary because sometimes cold calling actually worked – especially if you did it often enough. Some of my best clients started with a cold call, or 10. While it was a numbers game, I found that the better I got at identifying the potential of a prospect and utilizing valid business reasons, the more success I would have. 

However, despite the “wins” that occurred on occasion – I spent a lot of my precious time cold calling, and if you’re in media sales or many other B2B sales industries then you probably do too. The downside to that was the fact that I wasn’t great at cold calling, I was great at selling. I was great at identifying needs, creating customized solutions, developing integrated marketing campaigns, and building relationships – yet I had to spend at least a quarter of my time doing the former. 

Topics: sales performance Sales

5 Reasons to Give the HubSpot CRM a Try

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We talk to businesses all the time who don’t have CRMs, but know they need one. I’ve written about this exact topic in the past (read 5 Reasons Salespeople Aren't Using CRMs Effectively here). While there are many obstacles to overcome when choosing any kind of new technology, the CRM seems to be an exceptionally tough one. This is due to a huge variety of options in the marketplace, a lot of previous bad experiences, fear of new technology, costs, and the potential risks involved like lack of adoption, technological barriers, training, and so on.

I get it. These are all great reasons to take this decision very seriously, but that shouldn’t get in the way of taking action.

There are just far too many benefits to having and using a CRM that can’t be ignored. Luckily, our partner, HubSpot, has made the decision a heck of a lot easier. And to help you even further, I’ve put together these five reasons why you should consider giving the HubSpot CRM a try right now:

Topics: sales pipeline HubSpot crm

Is Inbound Marketing the Uber of Media Advertising Sales?

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These days, everyone wants to be the “Uber/Amazon/AirBnB of {insert industry}” and even if they aren’t, they certainly like to say they are. While I don’t want to be like those other guys… I kind of can’t help myself here. So bear with me on this one.

It started the other day, while I was riding in a Lyft (the other Uber, in case you aren’t familiar) to a meeting here in Seattle where I live. I noticed how my driver asked me if I had a preferred route; “Do you want me to take I-5 or the viaduct? Do you have a preference?” he asked. I didn't. 

He then offered me a bottled water and asked if I had a favorite music genre to listen to, which he could turn on for the ride. The car was really clean and smelled like a pina colada, and I could tell the driver was reading my energy and mood to determine how chatty to be with me that day. 

I flashbacked to 10 minutes prior when I was wrapping up something in my home, running a few minutes behind schedule, and with a couple clicks on my phone I had a driver on the way. I could track how close they were and head out the front door to meet him almost exactly when he was pulling into my driveway. I didn't have to worry about being late because I knew exactly where my driver was and the app even provided an ETA. Plus, when the ride was over I didn't have to exchange a dollar or fumble for my credit card. I said goodbye and was walking into my meeting in seconds. 

Immediately after exiting the vehicle, my mind started to wander about how the needs that cab drivers filled 10+ years ago have drastically changed, which is obviously why companies like Uber and Lyft are so incredibly successful today. Like this (just to name a few):

Topics: digital marketing integrated media solution inbound marketing danibuckley

How to Stop Cold Calling and Get Your Salespeople Out Selling

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research study by McKinsey Global Institute reported that salespeople on average spend less than 13 hours a week actually selling.

Considering that going out and selling solutions is what salespeople actually are best at, and what is most profitable for them and the company they work for, it’s a little disheartening that so much time is spent doing other things like office tasks, answering emails, researching leads, and internal communication (I’m guessing this includes one too many meetings a week).

However, I’m not so sure we can eliminate those other tasks and give salespeople back another 20 hours a week. And even if they had that extra time, I’m not sure they’d be spending it in the most effective way. It’s not about how much time we have to actually sell. It’s about how much time we waste on trying to get to that point of the selling process.

Topics: Sales danibuckley

5 Things You Can Do to Get More Leads

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If you’re a B2B company, then it’s probably safe to guess that you are looking to generate more leads. Not just more leads of course, but better leads. The type of leads that you are excited to send to your salespeople, that your salespeople are thanking you for, and that are consistently converting into new customers.

However, sometimes your efforts can get a little stale. You're doing everything you're supposed to be doing: blogging two to four times a week, sharing on social media, and nurturing the leads you do have. But it’s not enough. While traffic might seem to increase, your leads aren’t.

Here are five things you can do today that will help you get more leads tomorrow!

Topics: lead generation danibuckley lead intelligence

Three Must-Know Social Media Practices for B2B Lead Generation

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There is a plethora of research out there on why social media is such an important component of your inbound marketing, but what I want to share with you today are some specific ways to get started engaging and connecting with your social media audience. These will help you increase your B2B lead generation, and ultimately convert more customers. 

Topics: Social Media digital marketing Digital integrated media solution inbound marketing

How a Local Radio Station is Using Inbound Marketing to Generate New Revenue for 2016

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From the moment I started working with the team at Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group, I had a feeling they were going to do a stellar job with inbound marketing. Then, once I met with them at their office in Columbia, Missouri for our Inbound Marketing & Sales Strategy Workshop, which kicked off our partnership, I was convinced.

Collectively, they “got it” and understood that because the advertising buyer’s experience has changed, the role of the media salesperson had to change too. As a LeadG2 and The Center for Sales Strategy Consultant, it’s always exciting to work with a company who not only wants the results but is also willing to invest their time and money to get the job done. And in this case, not only because they want to grow new revenue, but also because they care about their advertisers and the people they work with. They believe in educating them and being a true partner to small and large businesses alike. They understood that inbound marketing is more than a campaign here and there or a great keyword strategy. It’s about creating a conversation with potential and current customers. It’s about being a thought leader, making an impact in their industry, and reaching buyers appropriately in the sales process.

I’m not writing this article to simply brag about my awesome client (though they are pretty awesome). I’m writing this to let other media companies know they can improve the way they communicate with prospects, and they can get real, tangible results by implementing the right strategy and the right tools.

Topics: case studies inbound marketing media

10 Reasons Why Every Media Company Needs a B2B Website. . . Yesterday

Content_Marketing

All we talk about as marketers in the media industry is integrating digital strategies, the power of mobile, the online buyer’s journey, and everything in between. We tell our advertisers how important an online marketing strategy is in conjunction with their TV or Radio campaigns, and why taking ownership of your online presence is absolutely critical. We even teach our salespeople the power of social selling and personal branding in the increasingly digital world.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales