Last year LinkedIn was great for finding customers.
In 2016, you could do an Advanced Search that would allow you to put in the Job Title of your ideal customer, the ideal industry and a radius within which they were located. Press a button and LinkedIn would search through your 1st, 2nd and 3rd connections plus any Groups that you had joined and produce a list of likely candidates. It would even allow you to save that list and automatically update it for you when anyone new joined LinkedIn who met your criteria.
However, that feature is now severely curtailed in 2017 for free accounts.
But all is not lost - you just need to be a bit more industrious and innovative. And, in some ways, the lack of automation will actually improve the way you select your list of potential prospects. It forces you to be more selective about who you add to your sales pipeline. Read on to find out how to use LinkedIn to find customers in 2017.
Not just for Sales, this CRM actually manages your Orders too!
What makes Hubspot the best CRM for small business is its simplicity and versatility. As well as providing a great sales pipeline, the Deal Stages work just as well for running the process of taking a customer from their initial purchase through the manufacture of their order to their final sales payment and delivery.
So you've got your new free Hubspot CRM, downloaded our guide on how to use it, imported some of your existing contacts and now understand the concept of the sales pipeline.
It's time to dig a little deeper and set up your pipeline correctly so you can manage your leads efficiently and effectively. This post explains how to do so.
Setting up Deals or Pipeline Stages on a CRM
We had a call this week from a customer looking for a simple CRM that could be shared with her sales team.
She wanted to get a system where ANY member of the team could talk to ANY prospect or customer and know exactly what the state of play was - and what had happened previously.
One of the main reasons for investing in a website in the first place is for it to generate sales leads or enquiries. Without a steady stream of leads, businesses of any size will struggle to grow. Even the best sales team with the most effective sales tactics will fail without leads.
In the latest State of Inbound report for 2016, 74% of those surveyed have their sights fixed on converting leads into customers over the next 12 months .
And, because sales people have been told that they need to stop cold calling and invest in social selling, 83% of those in EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Asia) are going to be using LinkedIn to do it.
The recent Hubspot State of Inbound 2015 data highlighted a couple of interesting stats relating to salesmen, spreadsheets and technology.
Unsuccessful sales teams are 2x more likely to use Excel, Outlook or Physical files to store lead and customer data
A couple of people from the manufacturing sector have asked questions on LinkedIn about what people think of their new website.
The responses from their connections were all very positive about the look and feel - except for mine which was "Do you have Google Analytics on there?"
In both cases, although the owner of the website said yes, I could see no Google Analytics tracking code showing in the source code of either site.
Ah, Jo, I hear you cry, I don't want to be bothering with all that stuff. And my response would be But you have just spent a fortune on a website, why would you not want to know that it was working to help you achieve your business goals?
No analytics means no data. No data means you have no idea how many visitors are coming to the site.
Change the way you view your website and turn it into a 24/7 marketing tool for your business that doesn't need a pension or take holidays. Read on to find out what you need to be measuring.
How do you know if your website is working?
The thing is, it's not all about look and feel - although that is still important. There are actually 5 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which will give you the answers you need to see if your website is working for your business. These should be monitored carefully.
Reading this great blog post about whether Inbound Marketing will work for Traditional Markets in the US, I was reminded of some of the manufacturers and engineers that we have spoken to recently here in the UK.
Many of these old-school businesses have been around for decades but have only just upgraded their websites to more modern, mobile friendly versions.
However, the majority are still just using them as an online static brochure. A place on the internet where they can send ANYONE who might be interested.