Know Thy Customer: Buyer Personas

Only .75% of B2B leads generated become revenue through a traditional marketing strategy (Forrester). Why? One of the many possible explanations is due to a batch and blast email campaign approach where marketers don’t take the time to identify who their audience really is. We may think we know our customers and be able to give a good generalized idea of who they are, but generalizing will get us in trouble. Generalizing is one of the main reasons for this statistic on B2B leads. Your clients expect personalized marketing these days, and if you don’t know who your customers really are, you won’t be able to personalize the content to what they’re actually interested in. While you may still be sending generalized content, your competitors are doing their research and using personalized content. That personalized content is seeing 6x higher of a transaction rate than content that is not personalized to the prospect (Marketing Land).

To beat out your competitors, you need to start personalizing your content based on who your prospects are and what they’re interested in.

Do you really know your customers?

Knowing your customers’ industry, # of employees, annual revenue, geography and similar characteristics isn’t exactly knowing your customers, it’s knowing who their company is. To get to know your actual customers, buyer personas are the way to go. Buyer personas are representations of your ideal customer built through market research and real client data. What personas do is reveal what your prospects are doing and thinking as they make a decision on your product or service. Buyer personas are not descriptions of your clients, they go beyond that and include pieces such as actual decision-making criteria that your client went through when reviewing your solution. Utilize Buyer Personas to help build personalized emails that drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails (Market Research). Expand that into your website and more to see even more of an impact.

Buyer persona
Section from a Buyer Persona

What are your customers actually interested in?

Using a marketing automation tool such as Pardot can give you insight into which product/service web pages of yours they’ve visited, for how long they stayed on the page, which whitepapers they downloaded, and much more. You can use this data to then create dynamic content based on who your prospect/client is and what they’re interested in. This way, when you send out email campaigns, you’re not sending the same product/service value props to a sales rep that you are to a CMO. Instead, you’re sending content about your product/service that would specifically benefit the CMO with their everyday tasks and sending different content to sales reps on how it would benefit them with their tasks.

Buyer Personas + Client Interests

Buyer Personas and personalized content based on the client’s interest fall under the umbrella of Account-Based Marketing (ABM); a strategy for B2B companies that is reported to have a higher ROI than other marketing activities, according to 97% of marketers in a survey (Alterra Group). Buyer personas are one of the pillars of ABM as your entire strategy is centered around these personas. ABM is a strategy combining Sales and Marketing principles to target key accounts and deliver hyper-personalized messaging to the decision makers through the channels they communicate on.

If you’d like to learn more about ABM or buyer personas, please submit our form below to receive our Account-Based Marketing Guide for B2B Marketers where we dive into what it is, how it’s different from traditional marketing, how to start, and more.

Salesforce Campaigns versus Pardot Campaigns: Which one to use?

If you’ve used Salesforce’s Sales Cloud prior to using Pardot, you’re most likely familiar with how Salesforce campaigns function. They are objects used to manage and track outbound marketing campaigns, ranging from a simple email campaign to large, in-person conventions. Contacts and leads can be associated with multiple Salesforce campaigns as part of a multi-touch outreach. Pardot campaigns are similar but think of them more as the first outbound marketing campaign that the prospect (contacts and leads are called prospects in Pardot) interacted with from your company. Prospects can only be associated with one Pardot campaign; acting in more of a ‘source’ field type of way here.

So when should you use a Salesforce campaign? When should you use a Pardot campaign? The truth is you should use both, but the takeaways should be different.

Let’s take a look at an example where ACME Corporation is planning their annual convention expecting thousands of attendees, inviting both existing clients as well as new prospects. We’ll see how they could incorporate both Pardot and Salesforce campaigns. On the initial event registration form, there are completion actions to add all event registrants to a Salesforce campaign, “ACME 2017”, whether they are new prospects or existing clients. The form also assigns new prospects to a Pardot campaign, “ACME 2017”, but does not overwrite any current client’s Pardot campaign. The reason why you do not want it to overwrite anyone currently associated with a Pardot campaign is that the existing Pardot campaign is the true first touch they had with your marketing efforts. And since leads/contacts can be associated with multiple Salesforce campaigns, there is no overwriting of Salesforce campaigns, just addition of new ones.

The Pardot campaign. This object will allow you to keep track and manage where your clients are coming from marketing-wise while allowing you to take either manual or automated action with them. Since those associated with this ACME 2017 Pardot campaign are new prospects, ACME automatically has a list for new prospects compared to existing clients. Additionally, any opportunities that become associated with these new prospects at any time will be automatically tied back to this campaign for immediate ROI reporting.

The Salesforce campaign. This object contains most of your campaign information including information such as costs, ROI, leads/contacts and more. This campaign will contain everyone who registered for the ACME convention, both existing clients and new prospects, which can be grouped by attending status. All Salesforce campaigns associated with each lead/contact can be made viewable from the lead/contact record, allowing instant insight into any marketing-assisted opportunities that are created.

Salesforce Campaign
Salesforce Campaign

Take it further. ACME could then utilize Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics to view one dashboard to show which leads and contacts are associated to which Salesforce campaign(s) in addition to showing their Pardot campaign, or marketing source. If ACME were to add Opportunity information onto this dashboard, they could use the created date field to see which recent Salesforce campaign was run that may have greatly influenced this opportunity to be created. This can greatly assist anyone using, or wanting to use, a multi-touch attribution model. Einstein Analytics makes it easy for users to add/remove insight onto the dashboards between objects that previously were not able to cross and display this type of information.

At the end of the day, the question isn’t “which campaign should I use”, it’s “what do I want to know”? Salesforce continues to add to the answer of this question with new products and feature updates. That’s why it is critical to fully understand what the Salesforce platform can do for your entire company, not just one department. Understanding this will not only help your company internally and externally but also help maximize your Salesforce investment.

Overnight ROI and Sales Alignment with SalesHood

Imagine an environment where sales managers don’t have insight into how each individual on their sales team makes the company pitch. Managers don’t have the time to attend every sales call, leaving them to only hope that the company’s onboarding program paid off. This causes problems such as disconnected sales, overall company value not being communicated effectively, and many others.

Enter SalesHood, a sales enablement tool that reinforces your sales team’s knowledge by allowing them to share and collaborate on content, including their sales pitches. SalesHood allows you to train, test, and certify your team to ensure everyone is on the same page. It even has a large library of videos to view ranging from Sales 101 to advanced selling techniques. In addition to the video library, SalesHood allows your team to create their own videos to enable feedback from your entire team.

Take a look below to see what our team has to say about SalesHood!

Management

“One of the biggest challenges most high-growth firms encounter is managing onboarding new Sales and Support staff. Ensuring your branding and value proposition is consistently delivered can be challenging and costly when staff is deployed in remote locations. SalesHood has delivered a mobile solution that delivered ROI overnight! Their templates for Sales best practices allowed my complete sales staff to either learn or refresh their knowledge immediately. Our Sales and Sales Operations staff has been adding collaborative content hourly as collaboration and feedback have been in real-time. I would highly recommend this solution for companies who struggle with consistent solution selling while decreasing your cost to train new staff“. Jack Corrao – Managing Partner

Sales Department

“This is an awesome tool because after 30 years of sales experience, you can always learn new techniques and SalesHood provides those. You can also mentor others on your team that may need help or guidance. Every sales team should be using this tool“. Tom Bersch – North East Sales Manager

“The collaboration and team building are huge for me. Being able to increase our unified story across our sales team has lead to better pitches, and a better closure rate. The mobile app lets me listen to my peers’ sales pitches and general training while on the road from client to client”. Adam Grandle – Eastern Reginal Sales Manager

“Being able to record myself, gain feedback from my peers, and be able to watch myself give my pitch is eye-opening. It’s one of those tools where you ask yourself, “Why didn’t I have this before?” Nick Samouris – Marketing Cloud Sales Manager

Nick SalesHood
         Rating Nick’s sales pitch and providing feedback

“As a sales manager, finding time to onboard new sales reps was extremely time-consuming. With SalesHood, we have a training, testing, and certification program that each new member of my sales team goes through, saving me time every week”. Ellis Murrow – Sales Operations

“Having a collaborative platform to practice our pitches and stories have helped make them more natural and holds the team accountable. The team building aspect SalesHood provides is second to none, not only across the sales team but including other departments as well”. Vincent Velasquez – Western Sales Manager

“It’s those tiny cracks in the sales pitch that I’ve seen people struggle with and it can ruin the overall pitch. SalesHood’s training videos focus on each stage in the sales cycle patches those cracks right up. Visiting a prospect on the verge of signing? There’s a training video for that. Visiting a lost prospect? There’s a training video for that too!” Tyler Keil – Sales Operations

But it doesn’t stop at Sales…

Marketing

“SalesHood allows me to ensure that our company shares the same mindset as I did when creating product sales sheets. I love being able to record my in-depth sales pitch for each sales sheet only once and hear our sales team build on it with their expertise. SalesHood not only helps align sales and marketing but it also helps reps become more knowledgeable on our services“. Jack Corrao III – VP of Marketing

If you would like to learn more about SalesHood, or go further with how Corrao Group uses the tool, please fill out the form below.

Dashboards that Boost ROI: 6 Examples and Characteristics

The Benefit of Dashboards

A Dashboard is a data visualization tool that displays real-time metrics and executive KPIs for a company. They’re implemented company-wide, displaying data from your Sales Cycle, Marketing Campaigns, CSAT scores, and much more. Dashboards are crucial for a company to grow and succeed as they give real-time insight into how your departments are performing, aligning some departments along the way (e.g. Sales and Marketing).

Great dashboards take time and patience to perfect as they require collaboration within your company. At the end of the day, you’ll want your entire company to love these dashboards so much that they keep them open all the time. This post contains dashboard characteristics that will guide you towards doing just that.

1) Departmental Dashboards

These types of dashboards consistently remind your departments of their performance, allowing for adjustments to be made wherever necessary. You may be thinking of Sales and Marketing at this moment, but don’t forget dashboards for your Administration, Accounting, Production and other departments too!

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Tracking invoices with Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics

For example, our Accounting Dashboard tracks and displays outstanding invoices by their age, amount, and expected payment date. We utilize a fully automated AR solution, EZ-AR™ to automatically follow up and collect expected payment dates and actual payments until they are received.

2) Aligned Dashboards

In addition to their individual dashboards, you should have one single dashboard for Sales and Marketing specifically for tracking revenue. It will keep them both aligned and should be reviewed on a weekly basis with everyone in those departments. Add key metrics to have insight into those opportunities that were driven by marketing campaigns to see which ones are working, and which ones need optimization. With everyone looking at the same dashboard, they are more prepared when entering a meeting.

In Account-Based Marketing (ABM), alignment is everything! So much that “70% of ABM users report that their sales and marketing organizations are mostly or completely aligned, compared to 51% for non-ABM users” – ABM adoption report, Sep. 2015. Whether your team utilizes ABM or not, dashboards are a stepping stone in completely aligning your teams.

3) Sales Cycle Dashboards

Take the stages in your Sales cycle and track them through a dashboard. There are multiple ways you can display this information; by each stage, you can populate it with the opportunity’s amount, the number of leads/contacts, and even the number of opportunities. Then display metrics for opportunities or leads/contacts that were closed-won, completed, closed-lost, etc.

Go even further with an advanced reporting analytics solution such as Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics to drill down into these metrics. Drilling down saves you time and provides you with additional insight into the progress throughout each step of your sales cycle. It allows you to be proactive instead of reactive.

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Sales Cycle tracking with Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics

4) Task Management Dashboard

These types of productivity dashboards give you insight into any open or closed tasks by project, project owner, etc. Rather than going through open projects one-by-one to view the tasks associated with it, have a dashboard that visually lays out all the projects assigned to a user, with the perspective tasks underneath each one. This dashboard keeps your project managers extremely prepared, and usually turns into their new best friend.

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Project Management with Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics

5) Dashboard Optimization

Your newly created dashboards won’t be perfect when you first roll them out, they never are. Work with your team to receive feedback and optimize their dashboards. This process will be ongoing as dashboards are a continuously growing platform, with new reports to add and adjust. More feedback from your team means they are consistently using them!

After deploying your dashboards, these updates are usually minor tweaks that take a few minutes. The Salesforce platform has easy to create dashboards where you can quickly drag and drop reports around to best fit the viewer. You’re also able to add visual components to each report, displaying them in tables, pie charts, funnel charts and much more.

6) Make it enjoyable

No one wants their new, exciting dashboards to look like replicas of what they were using in spreadsheets. If you really want your team to use these dashboards, you need to add some design to it. Aesthetically pleasing dashboards will see a higher use rate and get your team excited about reporting. Add some color, and we recommend using graphs, pie charts, and more when utilizing dashboards.

The bottom line is, the more your teams use dashboards, the greater your ROI will be.

If you’d like to learn more about how dashboards can benefit your company, please contact us below:

Stay Ahead in Account Based Marketing with Einstein Analytics

84% of Marketers are seeing higher ROI with Account Based Marketing (ABM) than other Marketing programs. Source: ITSMA

What is ABM?

Account Based Marketing applies time-tested B2B Sales and Marketing principles to the selling cycle by going after company accounts, or decision-makers instead of individual sales leads. This results in spending your time with more qualified prospects. If you would like to learn more about what ABM is, or how to take it a step further, view our past blog post – Go Beyond ABM with Account Based Management.

Why you should use Einstein Analytics with ABM

With the name, Einstein comes a few keywords: genius, brainiac, intelligent. Salesforce’s Einstien Analytics allows users to supercharge their ABM with artificial intelligence to create more personal interactions with every key account. Integrate it with the #1 CRM, Salesforce, and display ABM statistics on your dashboard, uniting your Sales, Marketing, and Service teams even more. Let’s take a look into some of the main highlights of using Einstein Analytics with ABM.

Identify Optimal Accounts and Reveal New Ones

Allow Einstein to do all the digging for you. Use predictive lead scoring to gain insight into which accounts are most likely to close. Go a step further and configure Einstein to develop and target lookalike accounts of your top customers, revealing new audiences to reach out to.

Personalized Customer Engagements

Develop personalized campaigns for your audiences to show the right ads with the right messaging, on channels your audience actually frequents. Combine that with account-based email journeys based on their role and interactions, and provide them with content they’ve shown interest in. Tie it all together with using dynamic content to provide personalized experiences based on the information you have on your accounts.

Aligning Sales, Marketing and More

Marketing is required to generate leads while Sales is required to turn those leads into clients; however, those two goals are not 100% aligned. Sales and Marketing need to share roles and goals to ensure that ROI becomes one of the organization’s top goals. With Einstein Analytics, it makes everyone at the company a marketer by utilizing marketing-approved email templates that are ready to send. Once the email is sent, keep Sales involved with real-time alerts when their clients open and interact with each email. Einstein Analytics goes the extra step and develops trends based off of your data to reveal new, qualified opportunities.

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Real-time alerts when your emails are opened, tracked links are clicked, pages are viewed, and more.
Report and Optimize Marketing Campaigns

In the Marketing world, almost everything is outdated. The article you posted a week ago is most likely outdated now. That’s why it is important to constantly track and optimize your campaigns. Einstein Analytics will visually show you how well your ABM campaigns are performing, highlighting the most successful ones. For your more qualified leads/contacts, track where your targeted accounts are moving throughout your Sales Funnel.

View Einstein ABM in action here.

5 Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing

Despite what many bloggers may say, we can confirm here at Corrao Group that email marketing, in fact, is not dead- it’s actually growing. According to the The Radicati Group, worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020. Not only is email marketing growing, but also it delivers the highest ROI over SEO, SEM, and content marketing (Econsultancy)

This just means it is going to get harder and harder to grab ahold of your audience’s attention. This means your email marketing strategy is going to become a critical key in how you run build your marketing campaigns. Let’s take a look at what email strategies you can start implementing today:

Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing

  1. Segment your list

Segmenting your lists allows you to send emails that are more targeted to your audience. Not only does it allow you to be more target, but segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. (The Direct Marketing Association, 2015)

Here are some ways to segment your lists:

By Sales/Marketing Funnel – New Leads need to receive different content then a contact that is about to make a purchase. Segmenting by what stage they are in your journey will allow you to help them move through the journey

By Location – This allows you to send content for events or store locations to people who actually live in that area

By Industry: Different industries have different needs and wants. You also can tailor different customer stories to people in those industries

  1. Personalize your emails

Personalizing your emails is proven to work. The open rate for e-mails with a personalized message was 18.8%, as compared to 13.1%  without any personalization in 2016. (Source: Statista 2016)

Here are some way to personalize your emails:

Gather accurate data from your audience: The only way to personalize emails is by having the correct data. Some data fields to get:

  • First Name
  • Email
  • Interest
  • Source
  • Location

Dynamic Content: Sending the right content to your consumer based on the data you have acquired on this. This allows you to create one email that dynamically displays the content your audience wants to see

Merge Tags – Bring information you have on your client into the email like first name, company name,etc

  1. Test when to send your email

Do not send your email at the same time every week. Test to see when your audience is opening your emails and engaging with them. You want your message to get your target at the optimal time that they will read it. According to SeoPressor, the best day to send your email is on tuesday and the best time during the day is from 9-11am.

  1. A/B Testing

At the end of the day opens and click throughs are what you looking for with your email strategy. A little tweak to a subject line or a call to action could make a difference to your bottom line. When A/B testing remember to only make one little change at a time so you can quantify what is actually making that change. Here are some parts on your email you can A/B:

  • Subject Line
  • Call to actions
  • Personalizations  (Hi There vs. Hi John)
  • Sender ( Marketing@company.com vs. John@company.com)
  • Images
  • Offers ( Free Trial vs. 10% off)
  1. Automations

Setting up automations can save a whole lot of time for you while increasing your customer lifetime value and increasing conversions. By setting up lead nurturing campaigns and other marketing campaigns, you could have personalized email on autopilot with different stages and/or events triggering them. Marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. (CMO.com) and Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects see a 451% increase in qualified leads (The Annuitas Group).

Here are some ideas for marketing automation campaigns you can be running:

  1. Welcome Series triggered from a blog subscriptions or account creations
  2. Abandoned Cart Series triggered when customer leaves the shopping cart without buying
  3. Gated Content download triggered email

Pardot Webinar: How Corrao Group Boosted Sales by 40.3% for Avalon Shutters

Corrao Group invites you to join us for our free webinar hosted by our CEO Jack Corrao on May 22nd 11am PST. For this webinar, we have put together an in-depth case study examining one of our manufacturing clients, Avalon Shutters, and the process behind how we helped them optimize Pardot to achieve the following results:

  • increased email CTR’s to 30.7%
  • aligned internal Sales, Marketing, and Operational teams
  • uncovered and implemented a new revenue source
  • set up email automation for long-term success

This 1 hour presentation will reveal how we generate success for our clients every day while maintaining the professionalism of being a Salesforce Silver Certified Partner. Enroll Today!

Corrao Group Family Tree – New Website Launch 2017

 

The Corrao Group Legacy

What is the definition of a family? To the Corrao Group, this means more than just blood relation. “We run our company like a family and our customers like our extended family” says CEO Jack Corrao.

Jack has spent collectively 35 years in both the public and private sectors, and 15 years running his own business allowing him to fully understand what universal truths that impact businesses the most, ultimately giving him the competitive edge over most Certified Salesforce Consulting Partners.

Realistically, not many businesses have the roots required to withstand the harsh, fast-paced, ever-changing environment quite like the Corrao Group does. With their headquarters located in historic Sorrento Valley, this national consulting firm has persevered through 15 years of the elements serving 720+ clients and completing 1300+ projects and counting. They have adjusted to the turn of the century with the emergence of Web 2.0, thrived through the economic recession of 2008, and continue to lead by example, delivering business management best-practices for their clients each and every day.

While Corrao Group has undergone a series of transformations, some underlying themes remain deeply rooted throughout the years, such as their dedication to giving back to the community.  

In addition to donating to local schools in the community, the Corrao Group also hosts office space to ENF, who help children with cancer get the products and services needed when finances fall short.  They understand with great success comes great responsibility so they adopt the practice of goodwill into their daily lives, serving the community in which they live.

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What’s their secret to longevity?

We take the time to listen to our customers,” says Jack Corrao II, “It’s this 15-year dedication to our client relationships that sets us apart from most (business) partners.

The Corrao Group has demonstrated time and time again their dedication to their main goal – solving the issues that keep business owners awake at night.

From conducting Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) to defining company-wide KPI’s, from addressing business strengths and weaknesses, to teaching successful operations practices, Corrao Group has proven their passion for internal growth since they were founded in 2002.  They even ventured so far as to create their own SaaS – EZ-AR – to solve their client’s common issues surrounding Accounts Receivable and invoicing.

Unlike most consulting firms, “We don’t sell anything we don’t use”  explains Jack Corrao II. No product or service will be recommended to clients if the Corrao Group hasn’t implemented and scaled it successfully on their own.  Because of this, the Corrao Group has gained a reputation in the industry for taking products and applying them in new and innovative ways, essentially breathing new life into businesses and their products.  

This is also what makes them such great marketers for their clients. On top of building a deeply-rooted yet flexible company foundation, the Corrao Group has a secret weapon – attention to detail.  Seeing as how most clients tend to overlook and prioritize assets as they see fit, Corrao Group has managed to make large scale differences with minor yet critical optimizations.

Lastly, what truly separates Corrao Group from the competition is their faith in the nurturing -or pruning- phase of the business lifecycle.  No matter where your business may lie along its journey, the Corrao Group understands the sometimes tedious yet necessary steps required to advance to the next stage. They are able to provide a purely objective outsider assessment without putting your business’s security at risk. With 15 years of business consultation experience under their belts, they function as the best business partner you never had.

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Why now?

As the Corrao group celebrates 15 years of serving its clients, they are also celebrating their new and improved website with a timely refresh of branding and service updates. Corrao Group is extending an olive branch to large scale companies that are now abandoning outdated business procedures and sluggish development processes for the adoption of newer technologies and internal operations software.  Corrao Group has produced and reproduced success by implementing a number of strategies and applying products with their current clients at a growth rate worth sharing.  The Corrao Group is now promoting their abilities to scale and meet the heightened demands of the industry- all starting with yours.

The Corrao Group promise: To nurture and grow your business no matter what state in the business lifecycle process so that you are positioned for sustainable success and long term growth.

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