In Business-to-Business Sales, Contact Intelligence Is Vital

If you know your customers’ daily challenges, you can easily explain how you can help them, whether that’s with a product or ad inventory. Most sellers, when they find a business opportunity, lead with email outreach. But a one-size-fits-all approach might not be the best way to identify the best way to reach the most valuable opportunities. What can you do with a name and a business email address? There’s a ton of information you can find out about your prospects if you can get a business email address for them. At the very least you’re going to have their company name and website URL. Once you visit that URL you will probably get a sense of what your prospect’s business is and how you might help them achieve their goals. Everyone email in a company’s business email address directory will tend to follow the same format, too, so once you know one person in an organization, it’s not very difficult to extrapolate that out over the people in the organization you want to reach. Usually you’ll be looking at some combination of first name (or initial) and their last name (with or without a dot separator). Some companies limit their name-side of the email address to a specific number of characters so there might be some truncation involved, but you don’t have to be Wikileaks to figure out the pattern. This knowledge is particularly useful if you’ve heard about a promotion or new hire in your target organization and want to get on their radar before anyone else. Unlock their social media accounts Business email addresses will also...

Free vs. Paid: Marketing and Business Intelligence Tools

If you’re in business as an entrepreneur or small business owner, your mailbox is probably full of offers trying to sell you marketing and business intelligence tools. The trouble is, how do you know which services are worth the money, and which ones have a free competitor that will work for you until you start generating revenue? We’re looking at eight marketing and business intelligence tools in four areas — CRM, CMS & inbound, project management and sales intelligence — to give you the scoop on which ones are Harry Kane and which ones are Wayne Rooney. Customer Relationship Management Tools Tracking your sales opportunities is vital for timing outreach and knowing how long your sales cycle is, not to mention pipeline volume and velocity. If you’re selling anything you need a customer relationship management (CRM) system to stay on top of your sales efforts. Consistently rated as a top 10 place to work in the UK, Salesforce is also the leading product in customer relationship management. Salesforce uses a “per user, per month” pricing structure with tiers ranging from £20/user/month for tracking opportunities and some prebuilt dashboards, to £240/user/month for the Unlimited Edition, which offers forecasting, rules based workflows, custom dashboards and a ton of other functions. But with 10 users, that’s £2,400 per month in expenditure. ZOHO CRM, on the other hand, is free for up to 10 users, and the top tier of pricing (CRM Plus) tops out at €50/agent/month. The free version offers tracking at lead, contact, account and opportunity levels; email templates, lead forms and some limited workflow functionality. Upgrades across a wide array of functions are available...
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