CALLING MASTERS | First Impressions: How to Engage on a Cold Call

 

Struggling to make a strong impact on calls with your prospects?

In this third episode of our Calling Masters series in partnership with Lead Forensics, we’ll equip you with the skills to craft powerful first impressions that turn cold calls into warm conversations.

You’ll learn:

  • How to bypass gatekeepers with powerful introductions that grab attention.
  • How to craft a personalized pitch that resonates with each prospect.
  • How to develop confident communication skills that instill trust and command attention.

Our panel features:
Marco Alfano-Rogers – Sales Director at Air Marketing
Maria Vanezi – Director at Ezicomms Marketing
Gracie-May Bryan – Campaign Operations Manager at Air Marketing

Host:
Joe Duccarreaux – Brand Awareness Manager at Lead Forensics

Who is it for?
Founders & CEOs
Sales & Marketing Leaders
Revenue Leaders
Sales & Marketing Managers
Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)
Business Development Representatives (BDRs)

Sync or Swim: Mastering Sales-Marketing Alignment

Discover the secrets to successful collaboration in Sync or Swim: Mastering Sales-Marketing Alignment, a practical guide to enhancing cooperation between sales and marketing teams for improved revenue and efficiency.

Contents:

  1. Sales and Marketing Teams: Unveiling the Colourful Characters of the Trade
  2. Bridging Brilliance Between Sales and Marketing Teams
  3. What Happens When Sales and Marketing Are Not Aligned?
  4. Syncing Success: Aligning Your Sales and Marketing Tech Stack
  5. Alignment in Action: Success Stories
  6. Building a Culture of Alignment
  7. Your Smarketing Checklist
Get your FREE copy of the E-Book by completing the form below.

CALLING MASTERS | Getting Connected: How to Improve Contact Rates

 

Struggling to connect with decision-makers on cold calls? Spending hours leaving voicemails that never get returned?

If your skills need sharpening on bypassing gatekeepers, leaving compelling voicemails and connecting with real people, then this webinar is for you.

In this second episode of our Calling Masters series in partnership with Lead Forensics, we’re discussing the key elements of getting connected with your prospects, so you can dramatically improve your contact rates.

You’ll learn:

  • How to identify and navigate common gatekeeper tactics to reach decision-makers directly.
  • How to support phone calls with multi-channel messages and the importance of personalization.
  • The importance of Active Listening and how you can use it to your advantage in the early stages of the call.

Our panel features:
Marco Alfano-Rogers – Sales Director at Air Marketing
Erik Pollitt – Training Consultant at Air Sales Academy
Amy Cooke – Global Development Director at Lead Forensics

Host:
Joe Duccarreaux – Brand Awareness Manager at Lead Forensics

Who is it for?
Founders & CEOs
Sales & Marketing Leaders
Revenue Leaders
Sales & Marketing Managers
Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)
Business Development Representatives (BDRs)

CALLING MASTERS | Pre-Call Research: How to Prep

 

Tired of wasting time on unqualified leads and getting stuck in voicemail jail?

If you want to increase your closing rate over the phone, you need to understand who you’re selling to. 

In this webinar, the first in our Calling Masters series in partnership with Lead Forensics, we’re discussing the key elements of pre-call preparation to ensure that you’ve packed out your cold call toolbox.

You’ll learn:

  • How to quickly gather relevant knowledge about your prospect’s business, their specific needs, and the key players you need to connect with.
  • Which essential tools will help inform your approach during your call to the prospect.
  • How to apply the information you find during your research on the cold call and ensure your sales success.

Our panel features:
Marco Alfano-Rogers – Sales Director at Air Marketing
Fran Hall – Account Director at Air Marketing
Jamie Beaumont – CEO and Founder of Playter

Host:
Joe Duccarreaux – Brand Awareness Manager at Lead Forensics

Who is it for?
Founders & CEOs
Sales & Marketing Leaders
Revenue Leaders
Sales & Marketing Managers
Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)
Business Development Representatives (BDRs)

How To Get Your Go-To-Market Strategy Right – What You Should Be Considering In Your Launch Plan

Every new product or service starts with an idea, an idea to disrupt the market and solve real-world problems. But these ideas can take a long time to come to fruition. Your idea will go through concept development and creation, through new product development (NPD) and research and development (R&D), and through rigorous testing, trials and feedback processes before the final product or service is ready to launch.  

But before you can successfully launch, you need to devise a well thought out go-to-market-strategy (GTMS). It’s imperative that you get your GTMS right, because it’s not just about having a great idea or a great product, it’s about creating the right plan to bring your product to the right people in the right way.  

Without a clearly defined GTMS on how you will deliver your new product to your audience – your launch will likely fail to gain traction in the market.  

There are many different components of a successful GTMS, let’s explore some of them below.  

Target Audience: 

Defining your Target Audience (TA) is the building block to a successful launch, because it is the core foundation of your GTMS.  

Undertake research into your TA to understand their pain points and challenges, what media and marketing they consume and where they spend their time. Develop your ideal customer profile (ICP) and create buyer personas to help you craft messaging and tailor your offering to their exact requirements. If you don’t understand and define your TA from the outset, you will miss opportunities to resonate with them. 

Setting Clear Objectives and Goals: 

Do you know what your objectives are for launch? Are you looking to build brand awareness or lead with sales straight away?  

Having clearly defined objectives and goals will help inform your ongoing activity and where best to place your efforts, they are fundamental to your GTMS. SMART objectives are the best framework to use for this. 

Once you have determined what your objectives are for launch, use this information to set benchmarks and KPIs that denote success. These can be tracked throughout launch and beyond to determine how your GTMS is delivering. 

Product Differentiation / USPs: 

To successfully launch a new product or service you need to identify what makes your offering unique, especially if you are operating in an already crowded marketplace. What does your product do better or differently to others on the market and why should your TA buy from you? 

Spend time upfront understanding what your USPs (unique selling points) are and what differentiates your product, so that you can craft unique messages and value propositions that will resonate with your TA and highlight why they should pick your product above others.  

Marketing Plan: 

Once you know your TA, your objectives and goals and what your USPs are you need to create a robust marketing plan with the information you have gleaned. 

Make sure you leverage the channels that you know your ICP / TA consume and use and you tailor your messaging and comms in a way that resonates with them. 

Consider the different stages in the buyer journey, from awareness to consideration through to purchase, and craft a strategy that resonates with your TA at every stage of their journey.  

Final Note:

A successful GTMS is all in the planning and research. It will help you to understand your audience and their perceived needs and interests in your product or service and the value they place on your offering. Allowing you to create a GTMS that directly answers that need.  

Remember to stay agile in response to market feedback – continually monitor, review and optimise your activity to ensure that the GTMS is successful and continues to be aligned with your TA’s needs.  

Want to position yourself for success in the marketplace? Get in touch with our marketing team to discuss launch plans for any new product or service in your offering!  

Opinion piece by Account Director, Jess House

A small rocket takes off from a laptop

Stock photo by Vecteezy

The Resurgence of In-Person Events In a Post-COVID World

Our lives changed drastically during the pandemic. Businesses shut their doors, schools closed, gyms became an empty, lifeless space for fitness enthusiasts, and our worlds were reduced to the square footage of our homes. Locked away in our support bubbles and making the difficult decision of who to spend Christmas with.

We had the time to reflect on what and who is truly important. We thought about our families, careers, relationships, and survival. This became our new ‘normal’, getting used to our own space, seeing fewer people, and being told which way to queue in the supermarket, ensuring we were 1 metre apart.

As we reached the end of the pandemic and having been so isolated, anxiety hit. We were desperate to reconnect, rebuild civilisation and get back to the ‘normal’ we were all used to. Gathering face-to-face uncovered newfound significance. Conferences, concerts, festivals, and events were no longer mere activities; they served as catalysts for renewed inspiration.

But, the benefits of in-person gatherings extend far beyond just good feelings; they are underpinned by research:

  • Forbes Insights surveyed more than 750 business executives about their thoughts on in-person versus virtual meetings; 85% said they build stronger, more meaningful business relationships when they meet in person.
  • Research by the Harvard Business Review found that 95% of people say face-to-face meetings are a key factor in successfully building and maintaining long-term business relationships.

The return of in-person events is not just a sign of recovery; it’s an opportunity to redefine the foundations of B2B and B2C success in an era hungry for human connection and authenticity. As we navigate this new normal, the irreplaceable value of face-to-face interactions has become abundantly clear. These gatherings are not just about reclaiming lost time or celebrating our return to physical spaces; they are integral to fostering deeper, more meaningful business relationships that are the backbone of many successful B2B marketing strategies. In a world that’s rapidly advancing in digital communication tech, the power of personal connection stands unmatched. Businesses that recognise and leverage the unique opportunities presented by in-person events will not only strengthen their existing relationships but also forge new ones, setting the stage for innovation, collaboration, and growth. As we look to the future, we should embrace the lessons learned during these challenging times and continue to place a premium on the human element in all our business endeavors.

Opinion piece by Senior Digital Marketing Executive, Nicola Roberts

Group of people sipping champagne at an in-person event

Are Whitepapers Dead?

Whitepapers have long been hailed as an indispensable tool for B2B marketers and an important part of your marketing arsenal. Originating as a traditional, academic report in higher-education settings, marketers swiftly leveraged them to become a lead generating magnet. Simultaneously helping to establish brands as credible and authoritative industry-leaders within B2B sectors.

Whitepapers remain the longest form of content you can create. They are more formal and are backed by research and offer an in-depth analysis into a specific industry topic or problem – typically signposting the reader to the solution at the conclusion.

But, with brands experimenting more and more with short-form content; the rise of snappy posts and videos; and an ever-decreasing audience attention span, it begs the question…

What value does a whitepaper still hold in the current digital landscape?

Credibility and Authority: Whitepapers are synonymous with expertise and thought leadership. Businesses can demonstrate their industry knowledge and establish credibility among their target audience by educating them about a topic, challenge or solution in their industry.

Lead Generation: Well-crafted whitepapers that are strategically promoted continue to be effective lead magnets. By offering valuable insights and solutions, businesses can attract quality leads interested in solving specific problems.

Sales Team Resource: Whitepapers can act as an additional resource for your sales team when speaking with prospects – allowing them to offer an interesting and valuable piece of content to further move prospects down the funnel.

Long-Term Value: Unlike blogs or social media posts, whitepapers have a longer shelf life. They can serve as evergreen resources that continue to attract and engage prospects long after their initial publication. Your whitepaper can be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy and approach for the next 6-12 months if strategically curated and promoted effectively.

Whilst it is true that content types have diversified because of the audience’s preference for bite-sized, easily digestible content, the benefits you can achieve with a cutting-edge, thought-provoking whitepaper highlight that they still hold a well-deserving place in modern marketing strategies. But they must be written and promoted effectively, and with relevancy, with the audiences’ changing behaviours and preferences in mind.

So, how can businesses navigate this shift?

  1. Interactive Elements: Incorporating interactive elements such as quizzes, calculators, or assessments can make whitepapers more engaging for modern audiences.
  2. Visual Enhancements: Integrating attractive and creative visuals like charts, graphs, and infographics can break up dense copy and make complex information more comprehensive and retain the reader’s attention span.
  3. Ongoing Promotion: Your marketing activity to promote your whitepaper is equally, if not more important than the content piece itself. A strong, digital marketing strategy that is aligned to your audiences’ preferences will ensure optimum opportunity for lead capture and downloads.
  4. Focus on your Audience: Will they download and read a whitepaper? Can you offer valuable insights and information that provide them tangible solutions and next steps? The whitepaper has to go above and beyond just promoting your brand or service – it needs to be a content piece that they will find interesting and valuable.

The digital marketing landscape is constantly transforming, yet whitepapers hold their ground as a pivotal resource for businesses aiming to cement their status as thought leaders, educate their audience, and drive lead generation through effective creation and promotion.

As we navigate through this evolution, it’s clear that while the environment and our audiences are constantly developing, whitepapers are far from dead and remain highly relevant. To stay alive, however, they must adapt to keep pace with these ongoing developments.

Opinion piece by Account Director, Jess House

Did you know we offer a comprehensive whitepaper campaign package, that actually delivers results?

Expertly crafted to drive downloads and gather critical prospect data, our service includes concept creation, the whitepaper itself, data purchase, direct mail, and the core components of a successful campaign: email, social, paid social, phone outreach, and dedicated account management. Benefit from regular reporting and a segmented database of your target audience to track engagement levels, including whitepaper downloads.

Contact us today to discover how our tailored whitepaper campaign can generate leads and grow your business.

Maximising Sales Performance: Should You Go In-House or Outsourced for Training?

It’s not your imagination, sales development is definitely getting harder. Outbound prospecting is certainly getting harder. Doing the same thing, applying the usual techniques, won’t cut it anymore. More than ever, there’s a need to be coaching and training your SDRs regularly, particularly in the early part of their career.

But what’s the best way to train your sales team? Should you have an in-house trainer or send SDRs to external training courses? Here, we’ll look at the pros and cons of in-house and outsourced sales training and enablement.

Benefits of in-house sales training

Awareness of the business: A trainer who works within the business knows the internal values, processes and systems. You can work through real life situations and confidential case studies.

Ongoing support: In-house trainers are able to train and coach consistently, and provide ongoing support. They’re not simply providing a one-off session, never to be seen again.

Accountability: Working in-house, the trainer can hold participants to account and follow up on the training with them. 

Challenges of in-house sales training

Expensive commitment: There’s the ongoing cost of hiring trainers rather than the variable outgoing of paying for external training courses.

Repetition of content: In-house trainers tend to teach the same things again and again. Being ‘in the bubble,’ they’re less exposed to new, external content and ideas. As Albert Einstein wisely pointed out, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Colleagues as fellow students: Training alongside your team mates tends to mean that you’re bringing similar experiences to the table. You’re not learning about different environments, challenges and case studies.

Benefits of outsourced sales training

Experts in their field: External trainers tend to be subject matter specialists. They’re constantly learning and updating their knowledge to pass on to their students.  

Established programs: Outsourced training is generally a one stop shop. Participants follow a program over a set time (e.g. a one day or half day training session). It’s a well-established and prepared program with specific processes.

Diversity of participants: External training providers usually hold sessions for people from different companies. They’ll bring varying levels of knowledge and understanding, and differing experiences. You’ll learn from each other as well as the trainer. 

Challenges of outsourced sales training

Cost of training courses: Outsourced sales training can be a costly option. Some providers charge £5000+ per day, for example.

Lack of accountability: After your training course, you go back to work and carry on. All too often, you drift back to old habits instead of the new ideas that you learned about. Without anyone to hold you to account, it’s easy to stick with what you know.

Finite learning experience: Once your six hour or six week training program ends, that’s the end. There’s no follow up to check your understanding of the topic, to build on it or to see if you’re successfully implementing the new approach. 

Introducing a different approach – The SDR Academy

We believe The SDR Academy offers something truly different.

The SDR Academy’s unique offering involves both learning new things as well as topping up and refreshing existing knowledge. We hold SDRs accountable for what they’ve learnt with regular sessions every single week. It’s the best of both worlds – a continuous learning journey combined with external expertise and learning from other people with different experiences.

We believe that sales training doesn’t have a beginning and end. You don’t have one session on ‘objection handling’ and then handle every instance perfectly. You don’t attend a session on ‘writing cold emails’ and then compose winning emails every time. You never complete your learning around sales. It’s an evolution; a process of continuous improvement.

The SDR Academy is an ongoing subscription to virtual training sessions. Run in live, virtual rooms, the courses are created and facilitated by leading industry experts. It’s comprehensive, affordable and impactful.

How To Effectively Convert MQLs From Gated Content

Acquiring Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) is just the beginning when it comes to Digital Marketing. Next comes the trickier part: effectively nurturing and converting those leads into loyal customers.

In this blog, we’re looking at how to effectively convert MQLs from gated content downloads, with a strategic approach that guides prospects seamlessly through their buying journey.

Here are 10 strategies to effectively nurture and convert MQLs into valuable customers:

  1. Segment and Personalise

Segmentation is key. Group MQLs based on demographics, behaviour, and where they are in their journey. Then, personalise your content to cater to the specific pain points and needs of each segment.

  1. Lead Nurturing Campaigns

Gradually introduce relevant content and take advantage of a multi-channel approach by engaging leads across various platforms like email campaigns, social media and webinars.

  1. Content Mapping

Align your offerings with the different stages of the buyer’s journey. Provide informative content at every step to guide leads closer to conversion.

  1. Engagement and Interaction

Use interactive content tools such as live webinars, polls, calculators and ROI tools to engage leads and gather valuable insights. Encourage prompt interaction and respond swiftly to inquiries.

  1. Qualification

Define clear criteria for when a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) becomes a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).

  1. Continuous Analysis and Optimisation

Keep a close eye on your metrics. Monitor KPIs such as conversion rates and engagement metrics. Continuously experiment through A/B testing to optimise your nurturing campaigns.

  1. Sales and Marketing Alignment

Ensure strong collaboration between your marketing and sales teams. Foster open communication and create a feedback loop to refine MQL criteria and nurturing strategies.

  1. Customer-Centric Approach

Focus on value. Showcase how your product or service resolves specific pain points rather than just its features. Offer educational resources that empower leads to make informed decisions.

  1. Lead Follow-Up

Timing is everything. Ensure swift follow-ups and sustained engagement with your leads. Automate reminders within your CRM to maintain the conversation flow.

  1. Retargeting and Remarketing

Utilise retargeting ads and personalised offers to re-engage MQLs who have shown interest but haven’t converted yet.

By applying these strategies with precision and dedication, you can effectively nurture and guide MQLs through their journey, transforming them into loyal customers. This approach will not only boost conversions but also foster long-term relationships with your audience, driving sustainable growth for your business.

Opinion piece by Digital Marketing Manager, Becca Duckering

All You Need to Know About Using Data in Outbound Sales | Blog

At the close of last year, our exclusive roundtable, hailed by viewers as ‘the event of the year’ and one of our most successful yet, brought together the leading minds from all major data providers in the industry to discuss everything you need to know about using data in outbound sales. Offering key insights across strategy, intent data, data accuracy and the best practices for utilising data – it’s an absolute must-watch for anybody involved in the sales process.

Hosted by Air’s Founder & CEO, Owen Richards, our expert panel featured:

Here, their insights are revealed:

Everything Starts with Your ICP

“Many clients don’t know what their TAM (Total Addressable Market) is” says Liz Fulham. One of the common pitfalls of outbound sales is the spray and pray approach.

Ringing everyone on a list with no process or targeting strategy in place is what Paul Gilhooly calls a sure “revenue and productivity killer.”

The best way to lift your revenue line is to know who to target, what their pain points are and “how your solution fits into your prospect’s organisation” as Saif Khan offers.

Have an Efficient Operating Model

The importance of having a clear and efficient operating model within sales cannot be overstated. After all, data and outbound go hand in hand.  A good operating model will tie into that strategy and allow you to maximise your data for success. Paul Gilhooly informed us that 5-10% of your TAM will be in-market at any given moment. Ensuring that you have a process of capturing those accounts will help you to prioritise the most important accounts that are in-market for your solution. As he is says “In this economy, missing out on opportunities is the worst, so if you don’t have a process for that you’re missing a trick.”

Saif echoes and elaborates on the importance of having the tools and a blueprint of how you’re going to reach your goals. “The two biggest things are alignment and resource allocation” he says. With everyone in the team being asked to do more with less these days, it’s important that sales and marketing teams communicate and that you are providing for the accounts that have the highest yield. It’s not enough to focus on the leads generated at the top of the funnel anymore, so leveraging data from all departments to inform how you approach sales is fundamental. 

Using Data Effectively

Many companies come to data providers with the goal of enhancing their revenue but think they need to “rip and replace” all the data they have collected so far. Saif says it’s actually all about assimilating what has worked up until now and leveraging the right solutions to understand where the volume and quality of leads can be improved. When you understand the bigger picture, you can build short- and long-term plans for your success.

AI

AI is changing the world. It has so many uses within outbound sales such as helping SDRs to create ICPs based on their best-selling customers. Paul Gilhooly also explains how within 6sense’s platform it can be used to do a statistical lookback at the last few years of your CRM data and identify key trends and opportunities.

AI can be instrumental in getting the timing of outreach right, as well as providing a workflow to help you to prioritise the best opportunities. Liz explains that “using AI we’re able to match the data in the CRM to bring it right up to date with what’s happening on the internet.” In fact, it’s so powerful that it can update a changed job role from LinkedIn within minutes. This is amazing for reducing duplication and data accuracy.

Intent Data

Intent data is all about understanding the dynamic of how people buy today. Paul offers up two key questions here:

  • Do we want to contact the people who we could sell to?
  • Or do we want to contact people who want to buy?

From there you can ascertain what sales opportunities there are and if they are really feasible.

With first- and third-party data to consider as well as anonymous data there is lots to consider and much research emerging too. Rather than looking at one subset of data, it’s important that you aggregate it to get a full picture of your ICP’s pain points, needs and buyer readiness.

Outbound Sales Best Practices

  • Opt for Account-Based selling over transactional selling
  • Take a multi-channel approach – don’t just sell through the phone
  • More doesn’t mean more, its quality that counts
  • Personalisation, relevance and timing have never been more important
  • Leverage what you already have alongside intelligence tools
  • Offer a bespoke, tailored approach at every stage of the sales cycle
  • Profile the right companies to call using the data
  • Work on accounts that align to who the AE is going to sell to
  • Know your sales hooks
  • Be intentional with how you use data
  • Always A/B test
  • Ask the right questions
  • Be patient

It’s pays to remember that there is no one size fits all when it comes to sales and marketing intelligence. James Isilay summarised it well when he said “data providers are a bit like newspapers. We all have different ways of collecting data and different propriety signals that we overly on that. There’s always differences in our data and accuracies. We all make a different soup in how we bring the data together.”

The most important thing is that you engage influencers and decision makers within a company in the right conversations, demonstrating that you understand their challenges and have a specific solution to ease them.

Outbound sales should be a collaborative approach laser-focused around your prospects. Making effective use of data at every stage of the sales process is vital especially within the mid to end of the funnel where there is so much intelligence to be gleaned.

As James says “Don’t burn the opportunities that you do get. They’re so hard to come by right now – they’re like golden nuggets!”

Thank you to our excellent panel for their time and knowledge. We hope that you found this roundtable as engaging and insightful as we did!