Companies that are attracting traffic to their websites but having trouble converting visitors into buyers by creating useful custom tools or allowing for customer reviews of products and services, writes Parker Davis. Personalized marketing and a virtual receptionist that can answer questions during all hours of the night and day can also help drive online sales, Davis writes.
The idea for Airbnb initially received a chilly reception from investors, says Leigh Gallagher, author of "The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions … and Created Plenty of Controversy." Two key points in the company's history were when the founders rented out their own apartment to make extra money and when they were accepted into Y Combinator, she says.
When employees who have delivered stellar results suddenly start to struggle, it's important to meet with them or their managers and offer your assistance, entrepreneurs say. Review their workload to make sure they aren't overburdened, and check on when they last took a vacation.
Thomas Cook went from religious and temperance messaging to being an early version of a global travel agency, leading tours from Europe to the US, the Suez Canal and other areas starting in the 1850s. He leveraged technological and transportation advancements, as well as a growing middle class with disposable income, to build a business that was iconic for decades.
Sales organizations must stop using marketing techniques based on the old sales funnel developed by Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898, writes Joseph Dager. Instead, sales teams should embrace practices such as account-based marketing that reflect modern organizational structures and marketing techniques.
By promptly answering customer questions and understanding what drives initial purchases, companies can ensure that first-time buyers become repeat customers, writes Richard Shapiro. Think about additional information that can be helpful to customers and try to make purchasing an individualized, stress-free experience.
The US economy is more fragile than most experts think and is "terminally ill," with no chance for improvement aside from extremely low interest rates, according to economic analyst Marc Faber. "I'm actually amazed that people are so optimistic," Faber said.
Signs continue to point toward slow economic growth in 2017, with the Atlanta Federal Reserve and private economists predicting 0.5% and 1.1% annual growth, respectively. "What we're seeing in this first quarter is the beginning of some genuine skepticism that all that optimism was overdone," Economic Outlook Group chief economist Bernard Baumohl said of recent confidence in the US economy.
SEO PowerSuite and Awario are among the top digital tools available to sales and marketing departments today, writes Pratik Dholakiya. SEO PowerSuite offers a rank tracker for keywords and phrases and website auditor feature, while Awario tracks social networks for relevant mentions and tracks potential customers for sales opportunities.
Customer-relationship management systems must be recalibrated regularly to continue to meet customer expectations and adapt to changing sales environments, said Danny Estrada, founder of E Squared. "We need to get everybody on the same boat -- sales aligned with marketing on board with service and the management team ... to reach business objectives," Estrada said during CRM Evolution 2017.
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