Tuesday, 31 March 2015

5 Reasons Clients Do Not Buy

I have the money to buy and the time to discuss with you because I want to get this solution now from your company.” said no client ever. But you would love to hear it, right?

This phrase compresses the result of overcoming the 5 most common reasons that clients invoke when faced with a business proposition:

1. Money. The client usually states he does not posses the money for the service or product you are proposing. Actually, just a small amount of businesses do not have money for investing in development. The other ones have the money to buy but do not understand the benefits of your product or service yet. If it brings value to their business be sure they will invest in it.

2. Time. This reason is even more unbelievable and can be counteracted also by demonstrating the value brought by the solution. A business owner or manager will always make the time to increase the productivity and bring more money to the business. So that makes this reason obsolete.

3. Need. There are two types of reactions you get when proposing to a potential client: he knows he needs your solution or he doesn't. If he knows, it's simple to move on with the discussion, but if he doesn't, a demonstration and proof about his need is required. He has to understand clearly why he needs the service or the product. Follow the 3 steps rule or use a trigger event, which is an event that can make a person realise that (s)he needs something.

4. Urgency. The client overcame the money and time problem and he knows he needs the service or product, but why now? In this situations you need to create the sense of urgency depending on the service, product or business relationship. The client needs to know that if he does not get the service or product now he will lose money, he will not make as much or he will miss out on a great opportunity.

5. Trust. Went through with money, time, need and urgency? The client knows he has to buy the product or service and he has to take quick action, but he still does not buy yours. This is the time when the credibility question is raised. The client needs to know he can trust YOUR product or service, not a competitor's. Conquer their respect and earn their trust.

Knowing the 5 reasons clients do not buy can make you and your sales team feel prepared for any business interaction. Being always prepared will make you trustworthy and will ensure growth for your business.

What other reasons have you or your sales reps heard while proposing to a business owner?

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Zimplu CRM at CeBit 2015

Infographic CeBitIndustry 4.0 was the title of the 2015 edition of CeBit fair. Economy and The Internet of Things were the main themes of the event and discussion rolled around digitalization. Nexus Electronics felt at home between the tech solutions presented the past week. Zimplu CRM, The Uncomplicated CRM Solution got to stand straight in front of visitors among great competitors and represent proudly our company and Romania.

The official site of the trade explained in the after show report that “The beneficiaries of this year's enhanced business focus included some 3,300 exhibitors from 70 nations.” You can also see other numbers of CeBit 2015 in the infographic on the right.
CeBit posterTop managers and CEOs used this opportunity to do business more then ever, and so did Nexus Electronics. A lot of visitors stopped to see our delicious cake print and engaged us in interesting conversations about all of our solutions. We spoke with visitors from all over the world about our CRM software and explained the benefits of an uncomplicated solution for their business.

CeBit 2015 was also the perfect occasion to launch the mobile version of Zimplu CRM which makes the software even more accessible and easy to use. Now, our clients can handle sales teams, contacts, client support and meetings from anywhere at any chosen time. The only requirements are a smartphone and internet connection.

The participants expected innovation, networking and enlightenment and CeBit 2015 delivered. The experience was as great as we expected and we felt like being a part of an empowering international conversation about technology, digitalization and economy.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

How to Measure Client Retention Strategies

When it comes to growing a business, many entrepreneurs focus on getting new clients and forget about client retention strategies. Not attending your existing clients' needs can cause your business to downgrade revenue significantly. It is possible to keep it going constant for a while, but not for long.

New clients coming and going will taint your reputation and cannot take your business to a satisfying, peak level. We discussed some strategies concerning this issue in a former article about clients' loyalty.
But how do you know if your strategy is fruitful?

Photo source
The basic formula for measuring client retention is pretty easy: ((E-N)/S)) x 100 where:

E(nd) = number of customers at end of period

N(ew) = number of new customers acquired during period

S(tart) = number of customers at start of period

The notations can make the formula seem quite complicated, but it is not. Let's take an example:

You can start measuring from the existing, let's say, 400 clients and choose a time frame as you please (week/month/year/other period you choose). During that time frame you lose 40 clients, but you gain 80 new ones. At the end of the period you have 440 customers.

Putting that into the mathematical formula, you get:

440 - 80 = 360; 360/400 = 0.9; 0.9 x 100 = 90. Your retention rate for the chosen period was 90%.

Is 90% a good rate or not? It depends on your type of business, your goals on a certain market or industry.

There are some managers that get their business growth from new clients, like businesses based on subscriptions or memberships, but on the long run the market will be extinguished and the same businesses will have to attract the same old clients and make them pay again for the membership.

Most business owners understand the importance of retaining clients for a long-term partnership. They also love to talk about winning new ones, but dislike talking about loosing any of them. The reality of business world must measure both sides of clients' management. Tracking the client retention rate lets the business owner put both those metrics in perspective and provides an easy way to measure your results over time.

So, to what extent do your clients stick with your services?

Monday, 16 March 2015

How to Train Your Sales Dragons

On the business battlefield, the salespeople are your knights, the force that brings you the victory of signing a client. But first, you have to train them well about how and when to attack.

The manner of selling by following those three steps is applicable to almost 90 percent of the situations. Your salespeople can be taught to follow these steps, how to adapt to different situations and how to be prepared for a meeting with a prospective client.

For a successful sales meeting train them well to:

1. Find out what the client's needs are.

First impression is a weapon that few know how to handle. To be successful, your salespeople need to know how to act, talk and command respect from the person in front of them so the sale will take the path of a trustworthy discussion.

Teach them to hold the product's or sale's details for later and learn about the client's need. They should ask about the internal processes, the methods of organizing the company's activity or any other information that can become a stepping stone for introducing your product.
The representative of the client won't expect for a salesperson to care about the backstage of his business. He will be surprised and intrigued.

He will respond and explain his well-thought processes with the pride of a business owner and your representative will understand what his business needs.

2. Find arguments on how your product meets the needs of the client.

At this point we can agree that the salesperson understands what the client's needs are. Now (s)he has to pick up the client's weapon and show him how to use it better, faster and more productive.
The sales rep should choose several important points in the story, then rewind to the beginning and tell the same story, but this time with the product involved.

This will provide the client a simple approach on the improvements your product or service could bring to his business. The next step is to prove him that your story is as simple as you told it, it's real and it's viable.

3. Exemplify and demonstrate.

The sales representative showed the client what he can do with the weapon, but now (s)he has to let him try it. Explain exactly how the product or service works, show it to the client, create a demonstration based on some internal operations of that business. Let the client enjoy the benefits for a minute before going back to business.

This is the time where the salesperson can prove (s)he did his homework, as well. There are two keywords for this conversation: adapt and become memorable. The sales rep has to emphasize the benefits of the product or service that this client needs most. This is what Victor Antonio calls “provide insight” or “information beyond the obvious” in his video “Sales Tips - Insight, Questions and Use of Language“. The information comes from the previous conversation, which means adapting, and also from a strong background research, which provides the knowledge to be memorable.

This is also the moment to steal his attention and present the whole special business package you sent for him. Be careful! Teach them not to lose themselves in details or bombastic promotional approaches. They do not have to show everything your product or service can do. Too much information can clog the business owner's mind and make the product or service seem complex, but too complicated.

Training your sales dragons to follow these three main steps will benefit their personal approach and your business. You will learn about your clients, you will make them feel listened to, you will intrigue and then surprise them, you will make them feel good about choosing you as a partner and, of course, you will sell.

Monday, 9 March 2015

EQ or How to recruit salespeople

As a business owner, you probably do realize that more and more people pass the technical and psychological test in your recruitment process, but hiring them does not seem to bring more value to your business. There is still the 20% of your sales team that provide the 80% of revenues. The 80-20 is a valid rule, but you should wonder why this is happening and what makes the 20% special. Believing it or not, it’s emotional.

We, at Nexus, started by interviewing salespeople and following our instincts or just trusting them for the job. Turned out that many of the trusted persons left the job shortly after being hired. Then we decided to recruit by testing their logical skills and the results were similar. By trial and error, we found the best way to expand our team: we now test for logical thinking and a high EQ.

EQ or Emotional Quotient got into the spotlights as studies showed that this quotient is most inclined to influence success and business growth than personality or IQ.
The EQ reveals that a person has a set of competencies that prove he or she has the ability to recognize self behavior, moods and catalysts, and to respond best according to the situation.
According to Mike Poskey from Zerorisk HR, Inc., there is a set of five emotional intelligence skills that studies proved to be more important in the workplace than skills achieved by education or personality traits combined. 

In his article, “The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the workplace: Why it matters more than personality”, he divides the EQ competencies in social competencies which determine how people handle relationships and personal competencies which determine how people handle their own behavior. Social competencies include intuition and empathy, political and social skills and personal competencies include the three Selves: Self awareness, Self regulation and Self expectations & motivation.

The EQ test results portrait the person that will come later to the interview and makes it easier to test the accuracy of his or her answers or if the person fits the needs of your company. And he or she has to fit. One unfit, influencer type employee can harm the productivity of a whole sales department and can decrease the company's incomes. On the contrary, suitable sales people can increase revenues even if they are fewer. So keep this in mind: more employees don't necessarily mean bigger profit. We actually experienced situations about 2 times more salespeople and 40% less sales.

Furthermore, experience taught us that any recruiting tests also need to be verified by personal interaction through an interview after you have in mind the characteristics of the perfect candidate. But you have to know exactly what you need! Start from this and only afterwards focus on finding emotional intelligence tests online, training your HR team to apply and interpret the tests or even externalizing the process.

Also, the beauty of this set of five competencies is that they can be trained and improved. After you get the right sales people, you have to invest continuously in their soft skills by training and coaching them to overcome their limits and develop their emotional intelligence.

If you care for other success stories, have two more great examples:

A Texas-based Fortune 500 Company had utilized personality assessments for candidate selection for a long time with little results in reducing turnover and boosting revenues. After switching to an emotional intelligence-based assessment and EQ training and development program, they increased retention by 67 percent in the first year, which meant $32 million extra from reducing turnover costs and increasing sales revenues.

Also, a large metropolitan hospital reduced their critical care nursing turnover from 65 percent to 15 percent within 18 months of implementing an emotional intelligence screening assessment.

Furthermore, one study conducted by a Dallas corporation measured the productivity of employees with high and low EQ scores. Turns out the ones with high scores were 20 times more productive than the ones with low EQ scores.

So maybe it’s time to change the way you recruit your sales people and hire only persons that can increase that 20% percentage, nurture them, help them grow and be patient at least 3 months to see results. Be sure your business will thrive and your employees will be optimistic, empowered and productive.
Photo source.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

What is CRM and Why You Do Need One

Whether you are starting a new business or trying to grow a small, existing one, the first thing you should do is organize everything about it. Have your customer database in order, know exactly what your sales team is doing and what partners you have beside you. All of these are not simple tasks when you begin gaining more and more customers.

And no, an Excel sheet is not the optimal solution for organizing. After that exact phrase comes the CRM. I believe you already know what a Customer Relationship Management solution is. And if you do not, all the information you need about it is this: a CRM is a software solution that can organize your entire activity occupying less space than an agenda and containing more information you can ever inclose in the Office Package.

Over time, CRM software got more and more complex and gained a lot of features that can help you do almost everything in an automated way. But statistics show that managers and salespeople use only 30 % of the features of a CRM. Taking that into consideration, my advice to you is not to suffocate your sales team with unnecessary features and stick to a basic, customizable CRM solution.

Try Zimplu for free and get a complex, but uncomplicated CRM solution.

Now that we cleared that out, let’s see what you can do with a CRM solution to improve your business.

Improve your customer relationship. The first thing your CRM can help you with is organize your sales team and your help desk team to serve better the needs of your clients. Know when to call whom and find their contact in seconds. Know what was your last conversation with that client even if you hadn’t talked to him directly.

Increase revenues. Believe it or not, a CRM solution will put a plus into your sales. Organizing your database, you will get to know your customers better and, afterwards, target your products strategically to the customers that need them most. Your efforts will be more effective and the profits will come easier.

Market your product better.
Knowing who bought what, when and how long took him to purchase can help the marketing team to launch their campaigns to the exact segment of population you target. Without a CRM that is an almost impossible task, but with the help of one, the public are segmented properly and more effectively for your business’s growth.

Ease your in-house communication. With a CRM you have all the data about your customers, sales team and partners in one place organized to be found in seconds. Every sales person’s conversation can be written down and everyone will know about what to talk about when calling that customer. Of course, a manager can get reports about sales and sales team every time he wants for a better leading operation.

Save time. The most important asset none of the people in business market have is time. Automation of your internal and external processes save you and your team a lot of time to spend on other important aspects like soft skills, aspects that can never be automatized and that will improve your business’s image and bring the human touch.

So think about it. Is your business big enough to need a CRM solution or is that the reason it is not?

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Teaching Kids Entepreneurship Risk With a Doll

How many of you had any idea about starting your own business till at least high school? And how many of you followed that dream? Not many, for sure.
The fact that children thought so rarely about being entrepreneurs was also the drive of American Girl company to create a doll that can teach children the basic notions of starting their own business and transform their dreams into reality.

Grace Thomas doll and her bakery set

The story of Grace Thomas starts with a passion for baking with and for friends. After a trip to Paris she is inspired to transform her passion into a successful business. Her path follows the usual financial and bureaucratic procedures for registering the new “La Patisserie” simplified for the little ones.
The idea came naturally as a result of the high interest in stories about girls doing business. Cited by the Wall Street Journal, Julia Prohaska, senior director of global brand marketing for American Girl, also declared that “Marrying the idea of girls’ high interest in baking and cooking with entrepreneurship was just a natural fit.”

Besides the beauty of learning through games, the American Girls doll approached a real problem of the new generations: the low tolerance for risk. “We are creating generations of people who are terrified to make a mistake,” says Ted Ganchiff for Wall Street Journal, founder of the Science & Entrepreneurship Exchange, a Chicago-based nonprofit that runs classes about engineering and entrepreneurship for children between 9 and 15.

The so-called “Millennials” dramatically decreased the percentage of young people starting a business. “Only 3.6% of businesses today are started by people younger than 30. In 1989, it was 10.6%.” shows the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances cited by WSJ.
In addition, the gap between women and men entrepreneurs is still wide with around 200 000 business a month in the last five years started by women, compared to 325 000 started by men, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a nonprofit in Kansas City.

Putting aside the great educational intentions, Grace Thomas is a $120 doll, the 2015 American Girl character, following the company’s tradition of releasing a special doll that can draw children's attention from traditional toys every year since 2005. Compared with the Barbie entrepreneur, priced $12.99, Grace Thomas is no bargain for a tight budget real entrepreneur, as the accessories, the business bakery and the make-believe ingredients, sell for $500.

Photo source.