Tag Archives: class

How to improve sales – tips from a former salesforce exec

6 Nov

Elay Cohen, the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at salesforce.com, shared his proven communication-based sales techniques at an AlleyBoost class on Tuesday, October 28 at Mercy College. 

The entrepreneur and author urges companies to bring humanity back into sales – internally and externally. Cohen injected this personal, relationship-focused attitude toward sales into the culture of salesforce.com, which grew from $500 million to $3 billion in revenues while he was there.

“People would ask how we hit our numbers so fast,” Cohen said. “It has to come from the heart and soul of the company.”

Cohen’s sales philosophy comes from his experience learning sales from his father, a furniture storeowner, selling products door-to-door, and working in sales at various companies, including salesforce.com. He wrote a book called Saleshood and started a SaaS sales-solution startup with the same name. Founded less than two years ago, the company is already breaking even without any VC funding. Cohen said they are starting with a limited amount of customers so they can get the product right before they scale.

Salesforce

At salesforce Cohen created an environment where the entire team shared a single sales vision, which encouraged both results and relationship building with customers. When salesforce started in 1999, Microsoft and Oracle were competitors in the space. Sales reps met with customers, told them how salesforce could solve their pain faster and for less money than the bigger companies. Salesforce surprised the big names by expanding rapidly.

The company is known for its boot-camp training for new employees. The sales team continues to communicate with weekly and monthly meetings where they share success stories and allow for peer-to-peer learning.

Cohen’s formula for SUCCESS…

Read about his formula and more at Office Lease Center’s blog: http://bit.ly/1vqANez.

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Twitter marketing secrets revealed at AlleyBoost class

3 Oct

By now, most of us know how to do the basics on Twitter – send a tweet, use a hashtag, follow another user. In an AlleyBoost class at Mercy College, entrepreneur and freelance web developer Max Savin taught how to scale those personal interactions that make Twitter such a popular social media platform to benefit business. Here is a recap of Savin’s class, where he revealed advanced methods to optimize Twitter to market business and convert social media to customers.

Google ads and SEO have become the traditional, conventional methods in online marketing. Savin said Google is actually ineffective because ads are expensive – each click costs $1 to $5. Plus, it can take up to three months for the site to update its index. Small companies don’t have that much time to test if their online marketing strategy works.

Twitter is a better ROI, the investment being time and some money for outside services (listed below) that help with targeted marketing. Savin says with his strategies, each day business can gain 200-500 real, targeted “followers”, receive 50-150 website visitors, acquire new customers and build a community.

Twitter is a personal, effective and – best of all – free way to reach a targeted audience. To every Twitter action, “favorite” or “reply,” the person on the other end receives emails and notifications. Even the emails look like an advertisement. And what other type of “advertisement” is as gratifying for the consumer as a notification of a social like?

Before reaching out to customers, Savin says to ensure your businesses’ profiled and header photos, description and first three tweets are perfect (you can edit this in settings → edit profile). Keep up to date with the account so “followers” see the business as credible and relevant. Also, push out good content that is curated for your followers.

Then you can start reaching out to potential customers.

1. Find potential customers
Use Twitter’s advanced search feature to find the people who could be interested in your business. Twitter hides this, so Google “Twitter advanced search,” or click here. With this search, you can find exactly who you want – people that are talking about something relevant to your business, in a certain location, speaking a certain language, etc.

2. “Favorite” their tweets
“Favoriting” a tweet is Twitter’s equivalent to a Facebook like. It’s really simple and people like it. Savin calls it a powerful tap on the shoulder.

When someone’s tweet is favorited, they receive a notification, which not only feels good but also tells them your business exists. The conversion rate is “favorite” is 1-5%.

Splurky uses information from the Search query to automatically favorite new tweets every hour (To write this article I accidentally signed up and it worked – maybe too well). The TurboClicker plug-in will favorite tweets for you.

Twitter allows 2,000 favorites per day. Unlike Facebook, Twitter doesn’t push that information in your newsfeed and it’s a bit harder to find (if you click more on the header of someone’s Twitter profile, favorites is an option). It’s unlikely that other users will notice you’ve gone on a favoriting spree. However, this technique is best for small companies, since you could accidentally favorite stupid tweets. That would look bad for a public company.

3. “Follow” people
A follow basically means you’re subscribing to someone’s tweets and their tweets will now show up in your Twitter newsfeed. It’s more involved than just a “favorite”.

You can also follow the people found using Advanced Search. Another way is with an app like Tweepi, which automatically follows other user’s followers that are active on Twitter. So if you want to reach out to all the people that follow a competitor, or another company with the same demographic, use this. Flutter also does this more accurately, and Turbo clicks for you. Twitter allows a maximum of 1,000 follows/day and has a ratio rule – for every follower you can follow 1.1 people. These apps will help you unfollow people that don’t follow back within 24 hours or who are not active on Twitter.

4. Direct message
A direct message is private like a Facebook message or an email, but users view it on Twitter. If you want to thank someone for a follow, a DM is a good way to do it so your feed isn’t filled with @whoever thanks for the follow! It looks spammy.

If you’re going to send a DM, use it as an opportunity to add value. Example, “Thanks for the follow, come in to our store by the end of the month and receive 10% off.” If you’re getting a lot of followers, you can use SocialOomph.com and AutoDirectMessage.com, to set up automatic response.

5. Measure results
Twitter analytics keeps track of which tweets have been read and by how many people. (You have to sign up for Twitter’s ad program, but it is free). followerwonk.com checks demographic data and bufferapp.com will send out Tweets based on when most people are looking.

With these tricks, you can get the most out of Twitter’s functions and make friendly online interactions that can turn into real business.

[Also published on Office Lease Center’s blog: http://bit.ly/1CucGkW.]