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Skincare and beauty products should make your life better.
You’d think that would be obvious. But unfortunately, it isn’t.
Most mainstream skincare products are full of harmful chemicals. They might provide a short-term lift. But more often than not, they do so at a long-term expense.
Bethany McDaniel set out to change that. She started experimenting in her home, creating products like lip balm from all natural ingredients.
This once-side passion has flourished since then, selling almost 4,000 products in a single month less than three years after debuting.
Here’s how Primally Pure has exploded by combining content, SEO, and social media.Why Your Product Is the Best Form of Marketing
Primally Pure officially started in February 2024.
McDaniel literally did it all at the start. Designing, creating, bottling, selling, and shipping dozens of products.
Fast forward 18 months to November of 2024 and they had 970 sales. The humble home-based startup was outgrowing its roots. Fast-forward another year to November 2023, and that number rose to 3,733 orders.
How on Earth is that possible?
First and foremost, the product is the marketing. All the distribution hacks in the world can’t make up for a poor product, brand, or service.
Once the foundation was in place, the growth was sudden but natural.
“We just worked with influencers. That’s all we’ve done up until pretty recently,” McDaniel said.
Marketing is simple but difficult. It’s simple in that there are no great mysteries. Everything works to a certain degree. But consistently executing at a high level is extremely difficult.
Here is the seemingly simple, yet difficult formula McDaniel stuck to:
Find like-minded influencers and their offshoots (think: cookbook authors, health-focused food blogs, etc.)
Continue producing awesome products.
Offer to give them some.
Be a nice person.
McDaniel would work with each influencer to create contests, exclusive discounts for their readers, or even affiliate deals to share in a cut of the revenue.
And then she kept at it.
Google “Primally Pure.” Underneath the main site and Neiman Marcus (more on that later), you’ll see something that looks like this:
Dozens of positive reviews from high authority sites in niches that her customers frequent.
What do you call this? “Influencer marketing”? “Social media”? “SEO”?
How about just “lucrative.”How to Work with Influencers to Grow Your Brand
We’re ‘banner blind’: X’ing out or completely ignoring anything that remotely resembles an ad.
75% get the 411 from family, friends, and acquaintances. And as many as 92% trust individuals over brands (even if they don’t know these people personally)
In other words: Influencers.
We look for hyper-consuming, trend-setting niche celebrities to pave the way.
Ideally, you know the space. You know exactly who influences your customers and where to find them. If not, though, you have marketplaces.
The Tribe Group, BrandSnob, and Whalar are a few that specialize in connecting Instagram influencers with brands.
They’ve formalized the relationship, allowing you to enter campaign data, search influencers, or get matched by internal experts with the best fit.
You can browse key metrics, view sample content, get more insight into the influencer’s background, and even see potential costs for each relationship.
These marketplaces provide an easy way to dip your toe into the waters.
Facebook has also opened up an official “Branded Content” ad type to formalize influencer relationships.
For example, many brands get burned on influencer marketing when the scope, terms, and ROI is ill-defined. Facebook’s Branded Content allows influencers to essentially ‘tag’ the brand.
So they can get real-time data on the reach, engagement, and ROI of each sponsored post.
But these options are just scratching the surface. You can (and should) escalate the relationship when possible. Because while influencers and content creators often have large audiences, they don’t always have a way to monetize that reach.
Primally Pure took the next logical step, creating an affiliate program so their partners receive a cut of the revenue when their audience buys. And the affiliate program quickly made up 25% of Primally Pure’s sales.Adding PR, Events & Retail to Brand Partnerships
But they still haven’t gone away from the well.
Each month, Primally Pure will partner with a complementary brand to do an Instagram giveaway.
They’ll create a simple email sweepstake with Rafflecopter to increase awareness, generate followers, build their email list, and drive sales.
Then, they’ll rinse and repeat.
They partnered with a natural, clean wine company. They’ve partnered with a local jewelry marker. They’ve partnered with Vital Proteins (“Really good for us.”). And even a Kombucha company.
And they’re working with Neiman Marcus.
They don’t drive a lot of sales, she admits, the opportunity for a strategic partnership like that is too good to pass up because it “gives them a lot of credibility.”How to Use a Content Strategy to Increase Perceived Product Value
Most small, new-ish companies make the same marketing mistakes over and over.
They get an intern to manage social media. They post on a whim, whatever feels good that day works.
There’s never a rhyme or reason. And then they can’t figure it out when results don’t materialize.
Primally Pure isn’t like that.
Content mapping is a technique that describes what to publish, where, when, and why. It lines up your content strategy with the customer journey.
In the beginning, people aren’t even aware of a need for your product or service just yet. That’s what all your Realtor friends on Facebook don’t understand.
You need to focus on problems or pain points they do get, first, before you’ve:
Developed need-awareness in their minds.
Earned their attention to bring up potential solutions.
Content type differs at each stage, too.
People lacking need awareness don’t want long, technical, in-depth stuff. Only the people who’re actively researching product alternatives are.
This trickle-down effect extends to the words people will use when searching for different types of information. “Risks” work better at the top, while “Evaluate” might work better towards the bottom.
Why is all of this important?
Because Primally Pure also side-steps another common mistake: Pricing.
Their stuff ain’t cheap. Individual items are often more expensive than generic, synthetic alternatives. Store-brand deodorant might set you back $5 while theirs might be three times that.
The prospective customer has to understand why that’s the case. They need to grasp the significance behind the higher price point. They need to recognize the value.
Content is used to educate and sell that difference.
That’s why creating ROI-producing content is so tough to create. But that’s ultimately also why it sticks out above the competition when it works.
These blog posts will be distributed to existing customers through their email newsletter to continue reaffirming the changes they’ve made.
Primally Pure has also been repeating this formula with videos. Not everyone will take the time to read several thousands of words of text. But videos allow you to condense delivery to speed up consumption.
Value means many things to many people. It directly applies to the ingredients in the product itself. However, it also goes beyond that, to the indirect experience someone has with your product.
“Unboxing” refers to the moment you literally open up a product’s packaging, capturing both the moment and the unboxer’s reaction.
Google’s findings say that “the magic behind unboxing videos might be connected to the feeling of anticipation we get in watching them.”
Their work with TNS and Ogilvy shows that “66% of recent purchasers of beauty products said YouTube allowed them to visualize the product they’re going to buy.”
“A lot of customers post Insta Stories with our products,” confirms Courtney O’Connor, Primally Pure’s marketing director (and licensed holistic esthetician). “People share their own videos of unboxing, using the products for the first time, and more. We get an influx of those every day.”
That makes it easy to help educate new customers and re-use it on their website. “People like seeing how others are using the product.”
Primally Pure continues working with influencers and engaged customers.
O’Connor will look at who is already engaging with their stuff or sharing these experiences. She’ll see who’s showing interest in their product or consistently interacting with them online.
They’ll partner with other brands for email list building sweepstakes, including monthly Instagram giveaways.
Good PR hits are instantly re-shared through each social platform, in addition to the more info-based content designed to help customers understand the potential pitfalls of their current skincare regimen.
Every eighth post or so, they like to share a few behind-the-scenes shots, like featuring someone from the team, which “get the most likes by far.”
All of the images shared on social platforms are created with something like Canva or through a designer.
They’ll take product-focused shots every other month or so. These will be used to promote new products, like the recent activated-charcoal deodorant.
If they do share text-heavy images, like quotes, they’ll “send them over every few months so that they will last three or four months. The designer will take care of all formatting to keep fonts consistent across the board.”
Courtney will go inside each platform to respond to messages. “It’s easier to reply right inside, add emojis, and get around the restrictions from other tools.”
Community management is more reactive and responding day-to-day as needed to the conversations they already prompted.Conclusion
Every company says they want loyal customers.
Every company says they want word-of-mouth marketing.
And yet few companies do what it takes to create either of those things.
They continue to churn out copycat products instead of creating truly unique visions. They focus more on promotion and PR instead of doubling-down on product quality. And as a result, they get similarly watered-down results.
Primally Pure has a concrete vision based on a concrete passion.
Product promotion becomes simple when product quality is emphasized.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy. A lot of time, energy, and effort go into doing things a certain way to produce the best results.
But the chances of success are significantly higher.
All screenshots taken by author, April 2023
You're reading How This Skincare Brand Used Influencer Marketing To Explode Sales
The right influencer can help you get a lot of exposure for your business, so what do you need to consider when working with influencers?
You’ve got your small business chugging along nicely, but you want more. You’ve decided that it’s time to take things up a notch or two. You’ve got good traction on social media, and are getting decent traffic to your site.
Clearly, your marketing efforts are paying off. How do you scale them up and extend your reach even further? Have you considered pairing up with an influencer? The right influencer can help you get a lot of exposure for your business.
In this post, we’ll look at how you can make the process as cost-effective as possible.What do influencers do?
Influencers have a reasonably extensive fanbase and regularly communicate with their followers. This can be done through blog posts, social media posts, and videos, to name a few. Their fans trust them and are more inclined to take the influencers’ recommendations to heart.
Influencers typically give your company a shout out over social media, post links to your website, like and share your social media posts. Research demonstrates that small business owners seem to be aware of social media’s marketing potential, with 48% planning to use these platforms for marketing in 2023.What are the benefits for a small business?
If you’ve chosen the right influencer, you can expect:
Better brand recognition
To grow your follower base
An ROI of between $5.20 and $18.00 per dollar spentHow much do influencers charge?
That depends on the individual influencer and how many followers they have. Generally speaking, the more followers, the more you can expect to pay. Check out the chart below to get an idea of what the rates looked like in 2023.
The costs will also depend on the type of work they’re going to do. Most people in this industry value a longer-term contract. This means that they might be willing to give you a better deal if you provide them with more business down the line.How to save money on an influencer campaign Choose someone with a smaller following
Start with an influencer who has between one thousand and ten thousand supporters. As the number of followers increases, the level of engagement decreases.Get to know more about them
This is an essential step. The more you know about an influencer, the better. What are they passionate about? What do they consider interesting? Say, for example, that they love dogs and are passionate about rescuing animals.
That’s something you could use. Why not host a fundraiser for an animal rescue organization and invite them to attend? They might come, and, even if they don’t, they’re bound to let others know about the event.
Another reason cyber-stalk your chosen influencer is to get more insight into what they say and what they post about. You can then learn to create posts that center around topics that interest them. Include a quote from a piece that they’ve written, and let them know about it.
They might decide to share your post if it’s well-written and of value to their followers. After all, the influencer’s business is to keep their followers happy. They’re likely to be posting frequently, which means that they need a lot of content. Provide this content, and your site will get a boost.Give them freebies to review and offer discounts for their followers
Freebies are a tried and tested method to get some low-cost publicity. The downside is that you don’t know when, and if, they’ll review your product.
Perhaps you could offer free shipping off the first purchase or a discount on all purchases for the influencer’s followers. Make it something that the fans would appreciate, and you’ve got a good chance of getting some great publicity.Final notes
Influencer marketing does not always have to be expensive. If you choose the right partner and make them the right offer, you might even get away with giving away a few products or throwing a fundraiser.
Find out more about influencer marketing today by taking a look at the 84 stats included in this great infographic from Smallbizgenius:
51% of marketers believe that influencer marketing helps with quality customer acquisition but how else could it benefit your digital marketing strategy?
Influencers are trusted to give honest reviews, recommendations and tips to their followers, which means they can make a difference to which product or brands consumers ultimately buy from. The ultimate form of social proof, influencers have a degree of credibility in their niches, which makes them a go-to source for information.
Beyond this, influencers do something that many brands still struggle to do – they build relationships with their customers. A large part of their appeal is the fact that they talk to their followers, answer questions, create content that is requested and build communities around their channels.
All of this shows that brands could make an impact on their bottom line by utilizing the power of online influencers. If you still need a bit of convincing, here are a few more reasons influencer marketing could be the right addition to your digital marketing strategy:Influencer marketing can mean better customers
More than increasing ROI and sales, high-quality customers are more likely to talk about your brand, recommend your products and create social proof of their own that helps boost your digital presence and bring more people to your site or social profiles.Influencers delivers solid ROI
We all know that every part of your marketing strategy needs to be designed to deliver return on investment. After all, wat’s the point in activity that doesn’t bring something to the company and help you achieve your goals?
Luckily, influencer marketing delivers really strong returns. On average, for every $1 that a business spends on influencer marketing, they are making $6.50, meaning that the returns really do make it worth it.
In fact, influencer content can deliver an ROI that is 11X higher than traditional digital marketing tactics.Influencers aren’t just on Instagram
Instagram seems to have become synonymous with influencer marketing, but it isn’t the only social media platform where influencers work. Twitter can also deliver great returns when brands work with influencers, meaning there are a lot of options for marketers.
In total, 68% of marketers believe that Twitter us a key channel for influencer marketing, which is likely helped by the fact that 40% of users of this platform have made a purchase as a direct result of an influencer tweet. On top of this, purchase intent increases by 5.2 times with Twitter users see influencer content on the platform.A mix of content types
A big plus of content marketing is that influencers often create various different content types. From blogs and social media to podcasts and videos, you can easily find an influencer in your niche who creates the type of content that is going to best suited to your target audience.
However, video is a particularly influential form of content – especially when combined with the power of influencers. Video is highly engaging, delivers information in a easy-to-digest way and can be used across different channels. When you consider that 18% of consumers are influenced by YouTube videos from influencers, there is a lot to gain from mixing up your influencer content.Utilizing influencer marketing
There are many ways that you can incorporate influencer marketing in your digital marketing strategy, but there is also a lot to take into account. To help you assess whether you should use this tactic and the various ways you can utilize influencers, take a look at the influencer marketing statistics included in this helpful infographic from Milk Whale:
Meme coins have shown to be potentially high-growth cryptocurrencies and are drawing in many investors
Despite the volatility, the cryptocurrency market continues to grow in popularity. One aspect of the cryptocurrency market that seems to be gaining traction is meme coins. After meme coins showed their potential to create millionaires in the last Bull Run, many investors are more interested in them than ever before. The only challenge is an explosion of meme coins in the market. This makes it difficult to tell which ones are worthy investments and which ones are not. To simplify the process for you, we have compiled a list of the best meme coins to buy for 2023.Top 10 Meme Coins to explode in 2023
Dogelon Mars (ELON)
Floki Inu (FLOKI)
Kishu Inu (KISHU)
Gamerse (LFG)A closer look at the best memes coins set to explode in 2023 and beyond:
Planning to invest in meme coins now? With more than 1000 meme cryptos, choosing the best meme tokens to rally is not an easy thing to do. Fear not, I have put a list together of the best meme coins in 2023!Dogecoin (DOGE)
Dogecoin is the king of meme coins and was the trigger of the meme coin rally of 2023. Dogecoin has more potential than most altcoins because it is Elon Musk’s favorite cryptocurrency. Musk got Dogecoin accepted as a payment by Tesla and recently proposed that Dogecoin be accepted at Twitter, where he is now a majority shareholder. Given how popular Elon Musk is in crypto, there is no doubt that Dogecoin is a meme coin that could give exponential gains in 2023 and outperform other meme coins.Shiba Inu (SHIB)
Shiba Inu is one of the best performing meme coins of all time. Over the past few months, Shiba Inu has been working towards moving beyond the meme coin tag. For instance, it launched a Metaverse after launching a DEX in 2023. Given the high excitement around the Metaverse in crypto, Shiba Inu is a meme coin that could perform well this year.Dogelon Mars (ELON)
Dogelon Mars is gaining popularity amongst cryptocurrency investors, and it’s all got to do with its association with Elon Musk. After Elon Musk’s tweets saw the Dogecoin rally by over 12,000%, many cryptocurrencies rose to ride the Elon wave. Dogelon Mars is one of those successful on this front by linking itself to Elon Musk’s space ambitions. So far, it has been a success, and with Elon Musk getting more aggressive in his goal of taking humans to Mars, Dogelon Mars is a meme coin that will likely explode in 2023.Floki Inu (FLOKI)
Floki Inu is another meme coin that could rally in 2023. Like Dogelon Mars, Floki Inu has been riding Elon Musk’s support for meme coins, and so far, it has been a success. Floki Inu’s success comes from the fact that it is named after Elon Musk’s dog. This connection has helped Floki Inu build a strong community, and as long as Musk keeps hyping up Dogecoin and crypto in general, Floki Inu will likely rally too.GamingDoge (GAMINGDOGE)
GamingDoge is one of the meme coins that have been shown to have utility in the market. Like the other meme coin, GamingDoge was designed to ride the Dogecoin wave of 2023. However, the GamingDoge team has worked towards improving its core fundamentals, including launching an NFT marketplace and an exchange. GamingDoge has now become quite attractive to gamers, and once alt season returns, it could be one of the meme coins that explode in 2023.Samoyedcoin (SAMO)
Samoyedcoin makes it to the list of meme coins that could explode in 2023 for its tokenomics. Unlike most meme coins, Samoyedcoin is deflationary and has already done three-coin burns. Since this means demand is continually chasing a reducing number of tokens, the price is likely to go up over time.MonaCoin (MONA)
MonaCoin is another of the older meme coins in the market. One interesting aspect of MonaCoin is that it is one of the most decentralized meme coins today. It was not pre-mined, meaning everyone got a fair share right from the word go. This has inspired investor confidence in MonaCoin in the past and is likely to make it even more attractive going into the future. For this reason, MonaCoin is a meme coin that could make you rich in 2023 and is worth keeping an eye on now.Kishu Inu (KISHU)
Kishu Inu is one meme coin that tapped into the meme coin market way before meme coins were hot. Kishu Inu was created in 2013, making it almost as old as Dogecoin. The Kishu Inu has, over the years, worked on adding value beyond the appeal of being a dog-themed token. As its fundamentals improve, Kishu Inu easily ranks among the top 10 meme coins that could do well in 2023.Safemoon (SAFEMOON)
Safemoon is already gaining upside momentum, an indicator that it is a meme coin that could go parabolic in 2023. Safemoon’s biggest strengths are its vibrant community and its targeting of the DeFi and NFT markets, two of the fastest-growing aspects of the crypto market.Gamerse (LFG)
Gamerse is another meme coin that combines the market appeal of meme coins with a real-world use case. Gamerse aims to bring together gamers from all over the world under one platform. Through the Gamerse platform, gamers get a sense of belonging and can share everything, including the latest trends in the gaming world. Given how passionate gamers are, this is without a doubt a meme coin that could perform well in 2023 and beyond.How to Buy Meme Coins – Beginner’s Guide
The four easy steps below will show you how to buy meme coins in a matter of 5 minutes using one of the top exchanges. 2. Deposit: Deposit at least $10 into your trading account/Ways of Buying Meme coins
The next step in the process of how to buy meme coins is deciding how to facilitate your investment. Discussed below are two of the most popular methods you can use to purchase meme coins today:Buy Meme Coins with PayPal
Investors who prefer to buy meme coins with PayPal may also wish to use this payment provider to facilitate their other crypto investment. You can make instant deposits into your trading platform using PayPal and then use these funds to buy meme coins or any crypto assets. eToro also allows users to make FIAT deposits using PayPal and the fees are free.Buy Meme Coins with Credit Card or Debit Card
One of the easiest ways to purchase any meme coin instantly is by using a credit or debit card. All of the exchanges will allow clients to make payments using major card providers. Some platforms enable users to buy meme coins using a credit or debit card but with a high transaction fee. eToro, on the other hand, allows deposits from only $10 with no deposit fee, this process is ideal for beginner investors.Best Meme Coins Wallet
Another critical thing to consider when researching how to meme coins is where you will hold the tokens after your purchase. Since some of these meme coins could be invested for the long term, it’s important to set up a crypto wallet that can store your meme coins holdings safely for an extended period of time. There are several crypto wallet providers at the moment, each one offering a slightly different set of features, benefits, and services. But, we recommend using the eToro wallet, as the number one money and crypto wallet for both beginners and experienced investors. The eToro wallet is available to all eToro users and can be downloaded for free.Conclusion
In summary, this guide has taken an in-depth look at the top meme coins to explode in 2023 and beyond, exploring the coins’ features and use cases before providing a detailed walkthrough of how to buy any of them. If you’re wondering where to buy meme coins today, we recommend partnering with eToro. The exchange has recently streamlined its fee structure, which has ensured a low-fee environment for crypto investors. What’s more, since eToro’s minimum deposit amount is only $10, the platform is ideal for crypto investors.
Microsoft to end Lumia smartphone sales by the end of this year
Nokia Lumia production will cease by the end of 2024 reports WinBeta.
It’s no secret that Microsoft has been trying to liquidate its remaining Lumia assets by offering giveaways, buy-one-get-one offers and discounts as of late. Microsoft also slowed the release of Lumia handsets down over the years because of faltering sales and lackluster market performance.
The most recent Lumia releases range from a low-range model, a mid-range model and two flagships:
Lumia 950 XL
Lumia rolled out as a Microsoft phone back in 2011 and stood out with its clean, smooth UI and display of information without having to open several apps. The first phone released in the range was the Nokia Lumia 800 which ran Windows Phone 7.5. Lumia phones running Windows 8 were released in 2012, Windows 8.1 in 2014 and Windows Phone 10 in 2024.
The phone thrived somewhat under Nokia’s supervision and generated notable market revenue but in 2013, Microsoft bought Nokia’s shares and assimilated the Lumia brand into a bigger company name. Lumia handsets began rolling out with Microsoft brand logo in 2014 while the Nokia logo was left on production models. Though the merger didn’t go so well after new CEO Satya Nadella fired several employees, it ultimately ended up deteriorating the brand.
Microsoft started offering its Lumia devices on its Microsoft Store website and in physical stores at more than reasonable prices and offers, which is kind of worrying. Several people have stated the physical Microsoft Stores have been moving their sale of Windows phone collections into smaller areas and out of the way from customers. As for the online international website, all links to the Lumia range have been removed from the homepage in the US, and the company replaced Lumia with Windows phones on other regional sites. When Winbeta sources tried reaching out to the company for recent developments on the matter, they refused to give away anything, saying that they “have nothing to share” at the moment. This also suggests to keeping you eyes open for latest Windows phone releases at the Microsoft Store.
Lumia phones, powered by Windows OS, were only able to attain a total three percent market share in Europe. The Lumia series produced a few bright stars with models like the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Nokia Lumia 1020 with its 41MP Carl Zeiss primary camera with OIS. It was an attempt by Microsoft to breathe new life into the brand that had been lifeless for so long. Principally, the entire OS was built from scratch and ran a lighter version of Windows 10. It was also bundled with the Universal Windows Platform which made scaling on mobile, desktop, tablet, and Xbox One possible. With the introduction of Continuum support, users could plug-in their Windows 10 devices to a screen and run a lighter version of the OS.
What is Microsoft planning next? Is it the end of Windows phone era? Luckily, there is still a ray of hope for Windows phone lovers. With the end of Lumia declared in December 2024, Microsoft is planning to release its two major updates, Redstone 2 and Redstone 3, both of which are focused on Windows mobile phones; the former in early 2023 and the latter after a breach of a few months. Windows phone lovers are firmly grasping on the hope for the rumored Surface all-in-one release, a superior replacement for the previously terminated Lumia phones.
Between the discontinuation of Lumia and the release of the Surface device, Microsoft’s Director of Engineering Laura Butler, who was recently involved in several Windows Insider planning meetings for Redstone 2, has left some hints on Twitter about a Surface phone. The tweets might not be a solid confirmation, but are certainly enough to raise some speculation.
@TehJackuh @itsmichaelwest @zacbowden Surface Phone not NOT confirmed. 🙂
— Laura Janet Butler (@LauraCatPJs) September 7, 2024
The use of a double-negative, “not NOT,” doesn’t help much either. This is one of a few tweets, though:
@itsmichaelwest @zacbowden Surface iPhone. 😉
— Laura Janet Butler (@LauraCatPJs) September 6, 2024
We must say it is a little astounding to see a senior Microsoft authority figure stating the term Surface phone directly.
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blog / Sales and Marketing How to Build a Robust Sales Team for Long-Term Success
Persistence, everlasting optimism, empathy, and an always-on demeanor are pretty potent weapons in a sales professional’s arsenal. They are rather useful, too, in shoring up courage and shrugging off the resignation that must set in when you have to face the proverbial door-closing-in-face phenomenon. The go-getters who populate the world of sales certainly don’t have it easy in a highly competitive world high on expectations and short on patience. That is why it is important to invest in building a strong, robust, and skilled sales team to succeed.
Just like Rome was not built in a day, a reliable sales team that can deliver results in the long-run also cannot be put together at once. There are many steps and stages to building a sales team that is going to give you stellar numbers consistently. And they are:Step 1: Recruiting a Sales Team
Finding the right people for the job is a delicate undertaking. It requires a lot of patience while researching applicants, and a meticulous detail-oriented mindset to do a thorough search. As a team leader, no one knows what kind of talent you’re looking for better than you. So working with the Human Resources (HR) teams to hunt through job portals and resumes, contacting references, and sitting in on interviews are all essential. But more importantly, focus on what kind of skill sets your team needs and if the resource you are interviewing is bringing that to the table.
Sales, for instance, is a huge function that is spread across industries. So, when putting down a job description, you can focus on someone who has industry experience or someone with transferable skills (to get a fresh perspective). The key is to have the good-to-haves and must-haves criteria cleared sorted.Pro Tip
Spend those five extra minutes for pre-screening candidates. Firstly, you will be better prepared for the interview. Secondly, you will be able to root out any candidates that might not be a good fit. It saves your time and that of the candidate’s.Step 2: Familiarizing New Team Members
Every organization has its own way of working and the members of your sales team need to be keyed into the company’s particular aims and objectives, goals, work culture, etc. It is important to create a cohesive environment where team members identify with the business they represent to the outside world and the clients.Pro Tip
Sales is all about people skills. So, to familiarize your new sales team members start with a social occasion like a town hall or a team meeting.Step 3: Training a Sales Team
Getting the right people in the right spots is just the beginning. Training them is as, if not more, important. Expecting them to do the job without some amount of hand-holding would be a fallacy and only serve to alienate them from the team and the business. Continuous training and helping sales reps reach their full potential will play a big role in the success of an organization. Not to mention, taking interest in training your team members will make them want to stick around too. Given the high attrition rate in this field — and the fact that 47% reps cite poor training and onboarding as the reason — this takes on even greater significance.Pro Tip
Having rock solid processes help in getting through the basic training quickly. However, it’s best not to treat the training process like an assembly line. Every member of the team is unique in terms of skills and needs help with specific areas of their function. Be open to customizing the training as and when required.Step 4: Upskilling – Is it a Question of ‘If’ or ‘When’
Related to the training that sales teams must receive is the clear and present need to upskill available talent. We live in a rapidly changing, highly competitive world and upgrading skills is totally necessary. According to a study, 42% of employees have pursued training on their own after the coronavirus outbreak. This shows us that there is an increasing need to stay relevant in all industries, particularly rapidly changing industries like sales and marketing.
Organizing masterclasses with sales leaders or recognized online courses like the Kellogg Sales School program (Professional Certificate in Sales) that will help up their sales game. This seven months program helps sales and business development professionals and entrepreneurs of smaller enterprises to finesse their sales skills and learn new ones. Designed by Professor Craig Wortmann, who is known to have helped some of the world’s largest organizations in developing successful sales teams, the program will also have other industry leaders share their knowledge. This program helps to build sales knowledge, skills, and discipline as a salesperson. It also creates a roadmap to fast track your sales career and personal success in current and future rolesPro Tip
Continuous learning is the only way to stay relevant in this highly competitive sales ecosystem. And learning as a culture comes top-down in any organization.Step 5: Enabling and Empowering
There is a tendency to believe that throwing your sales team into the deep end of the ocean is the best way that they will get the hang of sales operations. While true, it would be a good idea to dive in after them and help them navigate uncharted waters. A sales enablement program will play a big role in driving the success that your sales team achieves in the field. This program refers to comprehensively prepared content that is developed particularly to help the sales team focus on their objectives. This, in turn, will lead to revenue generation and have a positive impact on business, and that’s a good look for everyone.Step 6: Setting Goals
Clear, smaller objectives are a good way to break down the job of sales professionals so as to not over-burden them with high-pressure expectations. For instance, annual revenue goals are more intimidating than breaking them down into quarters, or even monthly or weekly targets. Taking small steps is the best way to ensure your reps are motivated and not buckling under pressure. Also, it’s important to not lose sight of the larger picture; so having a waterfall goal is a must.Pro Tip
Setting goals is probably one of the important aspects that determine a sales team’s success. And it is dependent on the Chief Sales Officer or equivalent position. Kellogg’s Mastering Sales Program is a great scope for sales leaders to up their game. This program gives you access to 30 different tools that are invaluable for sales professionals. It also helps you learn the best practices for recruiting, training, building and managing high-performing teams.Step 7: Demarcating Responsibilities
Sales is an intense, many-sided job and every sales professional brings something specific to the table. It is, therefore, important that their roles and responsibilities are well defined. Someone in the field whose job it is to pull in new clients should not be burdened with the task of following up with older and long-term clients, for example.Step 8: Retaining Talent in Sales Teams
It is one of the biggest bugbears that businesses face, specifically in the sales team. Attrition rates in sales were 39% in November 2023, according to the LinkedIn Economic Graph. There are many reasons this happens, and sometimes, people simply move on. However, there are those jobs that can be saved too, if sales leaders truly engage with their team members. From explaining their role to providing encouragement and training, and creating a positive work culture (in short, all points discussed above) — it all plays a significant role in retaining talent. Keeping open channels of communication, adapting to a work culture that is fast changing, making your team members feel included, and of course, rightful compensation are very important to keep your reps with you and flourishing. Afterall, it is always more efficient to retain talent instead of hiring new talent.
To create the best possible atmosphere for a sales team to flourish, the leadership needs to understand how sales as a function fits into the overall marketing mix. Columbia Business School’s Building a Sales Team is just the program for such an endeavor. This six-month long online course helps sales leaders understand brand voice and the building a team that stands the test of time. Watch this space for more online courses for building a sales team.
By Gauri Kelkar
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