Alchemise Business Growth Newsletter #5 – Q3 – 2017/18

Sales & Marketing
Market Wrap 2018 

Introduction and Digital Risk Awareness  

In this quarterly newsletter, I would like to firstly focus on some broader topics to raise for awareness and why business owners, CMOs and marketers should be really focused on ensuring that business risk is managed for any digital presence or online identities.

Secondly, as any business evolves and focus is on revenue growth and profit targets, the issue of risk management may not be actively thought about or made aware of, so the topic of digital identity risk is really important to understand what can happen in this digital world that could turn a business upside down very quickly if awareness isn’t high and not managed properly. More on this topic shortly!

Marketing Insights Survey
We have just launched our “Why my marketing campaign failed” 2018 marketing insights survey and encourage participation of any business owners or sales and/or marketing managers to share how they have felt and what their experience has been in their marketing campaigns success, failure or ROI expectations and why.

We’ll be sharing data-driven insights and a review of marketing trends and challenges at the conclusion of the survey.

Additional information available later in this newsletter.


How does digital risk relate to your day to day business sales and marketing activities?

If your sales and marketing initiatives heavily depend on your brand and/or reputation with clients online or offline in the market, there are some basic checks to ensure your business has protected your digital identity in terms of (but not limited to) your online security policies, client data integrity, and domain name and social media ownership.

As with any business risk, there is always the flow on effect and direct or indirect impact on your sales revenue and marketing effectiveness if there is a loss of productivity, reputation damage or opportunity cost.

Such examples include having your URL or website down, or if your marketing technology applications aren’t functioning or getting breached by hackers on your customer database.

If you don’t have an SSL certificate on your domain names you may be at risk and as a secondary risk, this can also damage your organic SEO ranking with Google’s search algorithms.

Who actually owns a domain name in a business? Is it the IT department to manage or is it a marketing department responsibility or the marketing agency?

If this is of interest to explore how you can protect your business we have a few simple checks inside our a new blog article that you MUST read!!

How do you protect your business identity and digital risk?

This month I also wanted to share with you some broad news areas to raise the awareness of and how to ensure you are covered.

Customer Data Protection and Security

1) Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme

data-management

In Australia, from 22nd February 2018, small businesses with over $3M in revenue need to be aware of the regulatory requirement to publicly disclose and report any customers’ data breached by hackers or technology problems.

We’ve linked two articles below for further reading:

Businesses unprepared for new data breach notification laws
Which small businesses have mandatory data breach reporting obligations?

2) European GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation 

EU-GDPR

If you are engaging globally and in countries within the European Union, you need to be aware of the new guidelines around data privacy regulation which come into effect on 25th May 2018.

If you are an Australian business, you might need to consider if and how this GDPR requirement impacts you.

This resource from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner contains more information about, and how to comply with the new requirements for Australian businesses operating within the EU GDPR, available here.


Start of 2018 – What we’ve been up to… 

Welcome Andrew McFayden
Marketing and Sales Insight Consultant andrew-mcfayden

In January we welcomed Andrew McFayden to Alchemise Consulting. Andrew joins us as a Marketing and Sales Insight Consultant and brings over 20 years of experience, across the IT, FMCG, automotive, construction and real estate sectors, to the team.

Andrew has an upcoming podcast series which you can preview here:

 How inbound sales is still unchanged from the 1940s to today

He has also written a blog about protecting your digital business identity and minimising risk, available here:

 How do you protect your business identity and digital risk? 

______________________

Welcome Bryan O’Reilly
Associate Consultant bryan-oreilly

We have also welcomed Bryan O’Reilly into our team recently as an Associate Consultant, and he broadens our experience and capabilities in the technology and telecommunications sector.

On that theme, we recently released a blog about NBN reseller services and how to differentiate amongst the current competition, covering increasing profitability and addressing customer churn as well as satisfaction and loyalty, available here:

6 ways NBN resellers can differentiate their services


 Marketing Case Study

How we helped an IBM Business Partner increase their lead generation conversion rate by 25% 
Case Study

IBM-business-partner

We have helped a leading IBM reseller in one month increase their 2018 campaign for cloud services and outperform a traditional lead generation conversion by 25%.

Using a combination of inbound marketing and a problem-centric approach we managed to generate 8 SQLs, 23 MQLs and 53 prospects in 30 days.

Typically traditional telemarketing typically achieves only less than 3% success rate of conversion from a numbers game.

Read more about the challenge, our solution, and the outcomes here:

IBM Business Partner drives up lead generation conversion rate by 25%


 Alchemise Marketing Survey 2018 

Why Marketing Campaigns Fail

We have just released an open survey on the back of our ‘5 Reasons Why Marketing Campaign Fail’ series (available here, if you missed it)to invite approximately 200 business owners or sales and marketing managers to share how they have felt and what their experience has been in their marketing campaigns success, failure or ROI expectations and why.

online-survey-marketingTo thank you for completing the survey, we will send you a checklist of questions and considerations for you to demand of your marketing agency or team to ensure you are getting the best ROI for your marketing spend! We’ll also send you our ROI calculator to help you work towards aligning your sales and marketing efforts. We are also offering a Digital Readiness Assessment (including a digital identity risk check) to early survey participants!

Once we compile the results, we will report back to you with data-driven insights and a review of marketing trends and challenges.


Alchemise Consulting supports The Intern Group

You may remember we hosted Charlotte Rogers from the UK on an intern placement in 2017 – Chak was featured as a new Host Partner in The Intern Group’s newsletter earlier this year!

intern-group-chak-ngWe believe in provide career opportunities to recent young graduates get a head start with work experience is important and to embrace global diversity with programs such as what Intern Group offers.


 Good luck with your Q4 and the fast approaching end of financial year! 

If you are looking for more information, or to arrange a consultation with us, please contact us at info@alchemiseconsulting.com,@alchemise_cons (Twitter) or phone our Head Office in Melbourne on +61(3) 9225 5022.

sales-marketing-alignment

Stay tuned for the next quarterly release of the Alchemise Consulting Business Growth Newsletter. If you would to like to learn more about how we can help you grow your business in 2018, please click below to make a time to talk!


Alchemise Business Growth Newsletter #4 – Q2 – 2017/18


Sales & Marketing
Market Wrap 2017 


I would like to share briefly our perspective on the main trends and market insights that have been seen throughout this year. In working with clients in digital marketing and sales acceleration to help business growth there are some common challenges faced.

If you think digital marketing is moving forward at a faster pace and feel like you can’t keep up, consider that in 2017 the marketing technology space is continuing to develop with over 5000 providers in the landscape.

growth-marketing-technologyDigital Marketing

How AI, Voice Channel Analytics and Social Influencing can drive your customer engagement further.

We have watched the introductions of Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa with interest in B2B and B2C and how voice search will which are paving the way for the continued momentum and validating the strength of voice as an effective marketing channel for inbound leads.

The progress of AI and chatbot technologies have provided some insight into how this can drive advanced marketing automation platforms further in the next 12 to 18 months and opportunity for better customer experience and increase time to market whilst developing more creative engagement for competitive advantage.

As published by a Gartner blog earlier in the year, we have seen the use of AI based voice call analytics warming up in the market for customer experience and specific marketing insights. If you are considering improving customer experience or use of direct call voice marketing analytics for B2B and/or B2C then we’d encourage you to understand how investment in this area can help you get ahead.  How can help you generate stronger ROI as part of an omni-channel strategy?  We have some progressive cost-reduction strategies which might help your business free up some cash flow from operational expenses in the area of digital connectivity needs.

Social Selling 

Social selling has continued to be a hot topic among both experts and everyday users, and from a sales and marketing perspective, a focus has been on the generational shift in consumer behaviour and communication. Surveying end users has shown a shift in preference from typing or messaging toward using voice for convenience and will lead many Millennial and Gen Z interactions.

While I was in the Philippines earlier this year, it was eye opening in understanding how Facebook is the central social media channel for news consumption in both professional and personal use. This highlighted the real decline in the traditional newspaper online and print mediums.

Yes, video content is a growing content channel, following the increasing functionality of Facebook and LinkedIn as well as existing video channels like YouTube and Vimeo. Video production doesn’t always have to be a professional, high-cost exercise; the value comes in building brand awareness and the personalisation of the way your company presents to your audience.

Here are some interesting digital market statistics from State of Inbound 2017 by Hubspot:

blog-distribution-channels

The influence of digital in sales and marketing is seemingly ever-increasing, and while it may seem daunting to enter the space or know how to budget for a realistic ROI, and keep up. You know that there are simple strategies and approaches to help ensure that your company is well-positioned to have the most successful relationships with your customers. We can help you on an suitable digital strategy or readiness to transform no matter where you are in the journey currently.

If you have found this interesting and want to explore further, feel free to contact us. We are also offering an obligation-free initial Digital Readiness Assessment and strategy consultation before the end of January.

Some of our 2017 highlights

In 2017, we completed our Sales Enablement Specialisation with HubSpot, so please come and talk to us about your needs for HubSpot CRM implementation, Sales and Marketing Alignment, Sales Enablement and Sales Coaching. Of course the full funnel approach for marketing automation is also available.

We saw at Inbound 2017, held in Boston in September, that marketing automation is maturing with lead generation driven by video content and Account Based Marketing (ABM)  so you can really focus on strategically targeting the specific audience and customers you are looking for.

We have also referred on some opportunities for the EMDG (Export Market Development Grant) application for some additional marketing funding initiatives from AusTrade.

Our most popular blogs in 2017

Our top headline blogs during 2017 around business growth and digital progression with our clients are recapped below.

  1. Digital strategy and user experience study for IT security consultancy
  2. New Market Entry Assessment saves 40% in start up costs in A/NZ – leading UK ICT serviced provider 
  3. 3 essential factors in a new market development strategy
  4. To small business owners, from your future Generation-Z customer 
  5. 3 key elements of what a Digital Readiness Assessment provides
  6. How inbound marketing and HubSpot marketing automation helped win a new client in just 10 days

Don’t forget also that cyber security has been a prominent topic of focus with some high profile corporate breaches occurring this year. If you are a cyber security services provider or vendor and looking to increase your marketing ROI please speak with us about how to really add value to your prospective clients.

Looking forward into 2018

Look out for our coming news on how our Inbound Digital Sales Enablement and Marketing services is designed to meet our client requirements and market needs.

From our perspective, the market is rapidly shifting and clients are much more ethnically and culturally diverse than before across APAC but even more noticeably in the A/NZ market.

We are also launching some value added services based on marketing analytics with an operational cost model to help support investment into the digital voice channel space.

We are looking forward to expanding in 2018 with an addition to our Inside Sales consulting team . This will allow us to focusing on regional and local client sector needs within business services, technology services and the sales and marketing channel.

sales-marketing-alignment

Stay tuned for the next quarterly release of the Alchemise Consulting Business Growth Newsletter. If you would to like to learn more about how we can help you grow your business in 2018, please click below to make a time to talk!


Alchemise Business Growth Newsletter #3 – Q1 – 2017/18

September 2017

Business Growth Newsletter Edition #3 – Q2 2017/18

It has been a very busy quarter with many developments in this new financial year so far.

In the headlines this year, cyber security has been a prominent focus with some high profile corporate breaches occurring this year. If you are cyber security company, read about how we can assist with specifically driving some marketing initiatives and raise your brand awareness and sales initiatives in the market with our specialised expertise in this area.

From an ICT sector perspective, the market opportunity needs differentiation in a very crowded marketplace with the security vendors, integrators and technology consultancies competing for growing market share in the APAC region. This was observed at the Gartner Security and Risk Summit in Sydney last month.

Our new initiative coming soon is to discuss ways to differentiate and help you with specific marketing and sales strategies to increase brand awareness whilst addressing the speed to engage opportunities. This includes exploring an influencer and social selling marketing approach to increase brand awareness first as part of a go-to-market strategy. We have engaged partnerships to deliver more value with security client marketing initiatives.

The common denominator has been developing more qualified leads and engaging at a deeper level to create and nurture a high quality sales pipeline. We will also raise and talk about the role of Inside Sales.

I would be happy to share some marketing insights into this area, so feel free to contact me to talk about the nuances of how to market effectively and drive your cyber security sales with a low cost and shared risk approach.


Marketing & Sales Insights

This quarter we are going to focus on some considerations for differentiation with marketing cyber security products and services if you are a vendor, reseller or partner…

Marketing for Cyber Security

Part 1 : Marketing Tips for Cyber Security: 6 Reasons to Differentiate with Sales Enablement Actions

If you are a cyber security provider or vendor and feeling that you aren’t getting enough leads from engaging marketing agencies or traditional telemarketing lead generation methods, there might be some key areas to consider in improving your performance and ROI for marketing campaigns.

Here are 6 reasons why you need a different approach to differentiate increasing your security domain knowledge and effective strategy to deliver better leads and being able to differentiate in marketing and selling cyber security solutions and services.

Read More


Part 2 : Marketing Tips for Cyber Security – 5 ways to deliver you more leads for Cyber Security companies

Increasing Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) quality isn’t based on just a numbers game for the reasons of a finite audience with your customer segment and depth of credibility and positioning:

What constitutes an acceptable MQL lead is not just a B-A-N-T approach to qualification. It requires some higher level of depth of information around the specific qualification of the security environment and any business needs that is more targeted through building sufficient credibility and point of different during the lead nurturing and generation process. This is typically applying a level of sales acumen which is where typically a Sales Development Representative or Inside Sales Representative delivers more effective result and is a better investment to deliver an Sales Qualified Leads (SQL).

Read More


Inside Sales – A Key to Increasing Lead Generation

Part 1: Why Inside Sales is a Key to Successful Lead Generation

This article has been written to open up some strategic thinking and discussion for business owners, as well as sales and marketing managers in SME’s or Corporate businesses on different ways to increase lead generation success with Inside Sales and Sales Enablement. Inside-Sales

It was refreshing to hear last month that a prominent marketing agency acknowledged that marketing supports sales and that successful lead generation cannot be achieved with just marketing automation and digital content alone.

It’s becoming even more important with the need for both sales and marketing functions to complement, align and integrate with each other and adopting a “full funnel” top down view. So how can you start that process and get a business to commit to a shift in mindset?

Read More


 Part 2: Why Inside Sales is a Key to Successful Lead Generation

How Inside Sales could provide more value than Business Development for SMEs:

The inside sales function can help bridge the gap between Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL’s) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQL’s) with the right sales enablement onboarding process and agreement between both marketing and sales.  We see this as a combined function with, ideally, common budget allocated between the two departments. Our recommendation is to engage Inside Sales specialists who understand your market and are able to scale based on demand.

Read More


New People

Charlotte Rogers-1.jpegWe welcomed Charlotte Rogers to the Alchemise team in August. Charlotte came from the UK to Australia for a six-week internship. In her time as Associate Intern at Alchemise Consulting, Charlotte had exposure to a variety of business experiences. We wish Charlotte all the best as she returns to the UK to start her final year of Economics at University College London.

Read Charlotte’s blog contribution and her piece with real marketing insights into future Gen Z buying habits,

To small business owners, from your future Generation Z customer.

My internship at Alchemise Consulting has been wonderfully rewarding. It has been incredibly beneficial to take my learning outside of the lecture hall, and to gain useful experience. I have particularly enjoyed applying the knowledge from my degree to a business context, such as performing analysis to extract insights from a real dataset.

These six weeks have passed far too quickly, and I am sad to be leaving Melbourne (and the excellent coffee) so soon. Exploring the laneways, galleries and cafés has secured its place as a favourite destination of mine, and I am certain I will return – hopefully sooner rather than later. Until then, I feel fortunate to be travelling back to London more knowledge than when I left, and with fresh motivation to complete my studies and begin my career. I want to extend my warmest thanks to Alchemise Consulting, for providing me with this enjoyable and informative experience.

– Charlotte Rogers

SujaySalvi Profile pic.jpegWelcome also to Sujay Salvi, based in Sydney who joined the team in August as our Business Development Consultant. Sujay is a seasoned ICT Inside Sales professional with technology-based entrepreneurial flair. He has more than 8 years of Asia Pacific IT Sales and Partner Account Management experience across Enterprise and SMB partners. He has specific experience in building go to-market regional channel partner business plans and accelerating growth of marketing lead generation campaigns and sales enablement delivery.

 

6243101430495380482.jpegCindy Marr has also joined the Alchemise team as Associate Principal Consultant. Cindy brings over 25 years experience in the IT industry in various roles from sales and sales management, corporate management and strategic consulting. She also has over 5 years experience in sales coaching and delivery. For sales training, Cindy asks for you to bring the courage and the commitment, and she’ll teach you the capabilities that will guarantee confidence and all that is required to go from being a mediocre sales person to an extraordinary success.


Upcoming Events

20161111_091356_resized.jpegI am looking forward to the Hubspot Inbound 2017 conference this week in Boston. Since last year we have come a long way in our partnership as a certified Hubspot agency partner and Sales Enablement specialists.

Hubspot Agency Partner Certification Alchemise Consulting April 17.png The development of a solid content marketing strategy is even more vital to get consistently right. We have found using a proven marketing automation platform with a well executed sales enablement process will provide a sustainable growth engine to drive more sales leads.

Come and talk to us about your needs for Hubspot CRM implementation, Sales and Marketing Alignment, Sales Enablement and Sales Coaching.

For a further insight into our experience with inbound marketing,
check out our recent blog,
How inbound marketing helped win a new client in 10 days.

Alchemise Business Growth Newsletter #2 – Q4 – 2016/17

Introduction to Q1 2017/18
New Financial Year Business Growth Plans

Welcome to the first quarter of this new financial year! This year is quickly progressing since welcoming in the New Year for 2017. I hope you have just finished Q4 strongly and ready for a great performance and business growth in the 2017-18 financial year. It’s the time to kick off with new financial goals and plans, and hopefully to capitalise on last year’s performance to aim for year-on-year growth and profitability.

Our aim is to publish quarterly newsletters with updates on our latest business news and developments in the area of sales and marketing, so feel free to follow our us via LinkedIn and subscribe to our newsletter.


A time to review last year

Some reflective questions to consider about last financial year and plans for year moving forward: 

  • Where is your competitive position in the market?
  • How can you increase your profitability?
  • What worked and didn’t work from your business plan?
  • What new strategies are needed for sales growth?
  • How much marketing investment do I need to make to improve ROI?
  • Do you need more sales and delivery resources?

Some market observations from last financial year 2016/2017.
The market is changing even more rapidly in this world of disruption, new technologies and innovation which is touching every industry sector. The same challenges involving the digital world are impacting traditional methods to develop leads and grow sales pipeline with every business. The need to generate a solid ROI from every investment dollar spend, and to be able to justify the spend is even more important than before. There are some many channels now competing for budget do where you spend relies on a solid direction and strategy plan before embarking on a lead generation campaign.

Within the marketing environment, creating the right partnerships can take some time and trial and error to find a suitable fit. There is a convergence of digital marketing, full service marketing agencies and niche marketing agencies which all specialise in helping to address marketing and lead generation. Direct experience in the sector your are operating in and tangible results will help choose the right help to suit your business.

This has been highlighted in the market with some larger and smaller acquisitions of digital media companies and marketing agencies by IT companies, management consultancies and some consolidation of marketing agencies through organic growth or client driven contracts and capability needs.

Marketing investments can be difficult to allocate for the greatest impact on your business. Do you spend $20,000 on Digital SEO, Website design, Google AdWords campaign or content writing? Do you run a marketing event? Or budget to hire an experienced sales person for direct field engagement? The way the marketing environment is changing and developing is only creating more pressure on and competition for marketing budgets.

The recently released HubSpot State of Inbound 2017 report on the future of sales and marketing shows many SME organisations spend less than $20,000 on marketing expense.The average small business spends at least $50,000 on their digital marketing presence, which may not be directly generating a tangible ROI and sales revenue from disparate digital marketing agencies or through time and effort delivered in-house. What we have observed is that not always a sales and marketing go to market strategy plan has been developed first.

Compounding the above marketing challenges is the average tenure in senior sales and marketing roles reducing to about 18-24 months, and good talent is hard to secure at the right market rates. In an APAC context there is movement without necessarily achieving a significant increase so retention of good sales and marketing leaders is proving more challenging pending sales quotas.

We recognise the importance of digital marketing and having a strategy to be more successful in effective lead generation, new business development and a more personalized content appeal to specific buyer’s audience.

Register for a complimentary Digital Readiness Assessment to find out how an improved digital strategy can help grow your business.

Digital Readiness Assessment

In more detail – Market Insights and Trends 2017 
For an experience-based extended commentary into market insights and trends, and the push toward digital marketing strategies, check our one of our latest blogs HERE.

Newsletter: Commentary: Market Insights and Trends 2017

Our Sales and Marketing Projects
We continue to expand our consulting services capability in line with market demands. We now have a greater focus on sales enablement services and inbound digital sales and marketing focus, working to develop better sales and marketing alignment for more consistent engagement.

We have been delivering consulting projects for new clients during the past 12 months at each stage of the sales and marketing process with a holistic approach from Top of Funnel, Middle of Funnel and Bottom of Funnel stages to deliver higher quality leads nurturing warm prospects, delivering sales channel enablement and specific marketing campaigns.

Our speciality last year was predominately within the technology and services sector – cyber security, networking and cloud/data centre domains, specialised engineering services and financial services sectors, throughout the broader APAC region.

We acknowledge that the marketing of professional and niche services is both a science and an art but it can be challenging without the real field and industry expertise required to assist with a go to market engagement. Areas such as ICT security and finance/investment sectors demand a strategic and contextual approach with good quality content for effective marketing to enterprise, corporate, mid-market and government- or sector-based prospective clients.

Let us tailor a custom marketing demand generation campaign for you that links your business strategy, sales and marketing targets, and people, process and systems together with a suitable investment focussed on Return on Investment.

The State of Inbound Report 2017
SOI17-partner-linkedinv2.png

The State of Inbound 2017 was released in May from HubSpot based on the latest data around the future of sales and marketing.

Here are some statistics from the report which may resonate with you and your current business, sales, and marketing challenges:

  1. Only 22% of all respondents say their organization’s sales and marketing relationship is tightly aligned.
  2. 31% of C-level executives say there is tight alignment between their marketing and sales teams, but only 17% of managers and individual contributors agree.
  3. Respondents with sales and marketing SLAs in their organization are 3x more likely to say their marketing strategy is effective compared to those in misaligned organizations.
  4. 70% of marketers say their top priority over the next 12 months is converting contacts/leads to customers.
  5. 63% of marketers say their top challenge is generating traffic and leads.
  6. 38% of salespeople say getting a response from prospects is more difficult than two to three years ago.
  7. 35% of salespeople say closing deals is more difficult than two to three years ago.
  8. 38% of salespeople say they struggle most with prospecting.
  9. 45% of salespeople say they spend over an hour performing manual data entry, yet only 21% of C-level executives said this is so.

My visit to the 2016 HubSpot Inbound Event in Boston provided validation of the rapidly shifting nature and importance of digital marketing automation. Every marketing plan requires an inbound methodology to respond to the ways in which buyers make purchasing decisions today compared with a more traditional approach.

I am looking forward to returning to the HubSpot Inbound Event 2017 in September, but in the meantime:

Read more about the State of Inbound report and the increasing importance of why you need to align sales and marketing with the impact of digital HERE

Alchemise Consulting – Digital Marketing Capabilites
For an overview of our recent news release and expansion of our digital services capabilities, please click here.
News Release: Alchemise Consulting expands digital services capabilities for APAC region

Case Studies

If you haven’t seen our recent published blog posts so far this year, here are some examples of some various client projects we have worked on during 2016 and how we have assisted with some common but key sales and marketing challenges from large MNC’s and SME businesses.

  1. Vendor partner channel engagement support
  2. IT security digital web user experience review for lead generation campaign
  3. US ICT vendor sees the need for marketing automation process improvement in APAC
  4. New market entry feasibility to Australia saves 40% cost for a UK ICT Services provider

Upcoming Calendar 

Stay tuned for our upcoming events or conference visits

  • July 2017 – HubSpot Grow Event, Sydney
  • September 2017 – Inbound 2017, Boston
  • Q1/Q2 2017/2018 – Alchemise Event Briefing for Business Owners and Sales/ Marketing Managers – (TBA)

Stay tuned for further updates and information on our upcoming events for the remainder of 2017.

Thank you for your support to date and look out for our next edition of the quarterly Alchemise Consulting Newsletter.
Have a great start to Q1 2017/2018 and remember, our success is your success. We aim to maximise your profits – happy selling!

If you’d like some tips and strategies for increasing your sales, click below to register for our e-book, “How to increase your sales with 7 profit multipliers”

Profit Multipliers

 

Selecting Marketing Automation Tools – An independent review of HubSpot

Alchemise Consulting would like to acknowledge and thank you to our guest independent reviewer Jamie Strachan for providing this article.


One of the key technology trends of 2016 in small-to-medium enterprises (SME) is the increasing adoption of sales and marketing automation tools to help businesses retain and grow their customer base and increase sales revenues.

A recent SME Directions survey suggests that more than 60% of businesses plan to use automation technology in the next financial year to help cut costs and streamline existing processes. 

A benefit of this technology is enabling businesses to better understand their growing volumes of customer data with the use of customer relationship management technology (CRM), SEO and online and social analytics. This in turn helps to identify buying trends, devise targeted campaigns and revise and improve inbound sales and marketing strategies over time.

Marketing automation tools allow both marketing and sales teams to work together more seamlessly. A lot of manual processes around content creation, management and personalisation are removed, while creating more qualified and targeted leads for sales reps to engage with. Lead and customer data is updated and shared by both teams and stored in the CRM.

According to Forrester Research, companies that implement marketing automation experience a 10% increase in their sales pipeline contribution.

HubSpot, a US-based company, is looking to lead the way in this market with a cloud-based platform offered to SMEs.

5 Benefits of the HubSpot offering:

  1. For small businesses needing an “all-in-one” online strategy, HubSpot will host your site, publish landing pages and blog content, while optimising it for search engines with keyword research relevant to your content and market.
  1. Manage your social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with scheduled posts, and report on brand mentions and social engagement with your content and services.
  1. Grow your inbound audience by creating simple search and social media advertising all from within the HubSpot dashboard. Track and optimise your ads as you go to increase your traffic and conversions.
  1. Create targeted email campaigns to new and existing customers with strong call-to-action (CTAs) offers.
  1. Use HubSpot’s native CRM or integrate with Salesforce to track engagement with your campaigns, CTAs, and record all customer interactions with plug-ins for common email clients. Integration to your existing CRM via the HubSpot API is also available.

HubSpot in the Cloud

Taking advantage of the today’s growing Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings, HubSpot has built a robust, secure and highly-available service for its 18,000 plus customer base.

Basic HubSpot CRM subscriptions are free for up to 100 contacts. As extra functionality is added for content creation, analytics, optimisation, CRM integration and more, subscriptions can range from AUD $300 – $3000 per month.

With digital strategy becoming evermore critical to business success and revenue growth, HubSpot offers a compelling turnkey solution for traditional small business content management and hosting. Added to this sophisticated inbound strategies, marketing and analytics provide the secret sauce that can add real business value, grow the bottom line and makes sales teams and marketers more productive.

Please contact us if you would like to continue the conversation about marketing automation and inbound marketing, and how it can help to grow your business.

Thank you once again to our guest independent reviewer Jamie Strachan for providing this article.

For further information about the current data and future of sales and marketing, feel free to register to download your FREE copy of the State of Inbound 2017 Report published by Hubspot.

State of Inbound 2017 Report

 

 

3 Business Challenges for Small Business Owners – The PROFITABLE Approach

Three of the biggest business challenges for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are 1) cash flow, 2) access to resources and expertise in this fast paced and dynamic market. The third challenge is 3) scalability and how to grow the business in a structured planned way.

Freelance and project-based contractor approaches are becoming more widely used as the market shifts away from the traditional employee model. The need to access specific skillsets, often for a short period of time, is driving a more dynamic strategy to staff and resourcing.

In a very competitive and commoditised environment the cost of employment can prove prohibitive to scale and growth for SMEs. Recruitment fees, poor-fit staff, superannuation, and additional staffing overheads all contribute to operational costs, and impact actual net profit.

In order to solve complex challenges, we believe that a project-based model that is cross-functional can provide a pathway to achieving business outcomes, while working from the same client value set and beliefs.

We acknowledge that the traditional consulting model relies on a top-heavy assessment and recommendation approach that can prove costly for SMEs, so we function to deliver specific outcomes through tight scoping and a shared risk model. This offers access to and collaboration with a team of globally experience senior executives from the CxO management level.

As the end of financial year approaches, we know internal resources are limited. A locally delivered augmented strategic or tactical project can help to ensure that day to day challenges, as well as critical issues, are addressed and resolved. Whether you need resources in IT, HR, marketing, sales or finance and operations, we can customise a consulting engagement that suits your desired outcome using a shared risk value proposition.

For an initial obligation free consultation on how our independent advisory services can assist with a low cost approach, please visit www.alchemiseconsulting.com or contact us via info@alchemiseconsulting.com or call +61 39225 5022 to speak with one of our senior consultants.

4 Key Elements of what a Business Growth Assessment provides

What is a Business Growth Assessment?

Are you finding that the sales and marketing approaches and strategies that worked five years ago are no longer as successful today? Your business strategies need to be able to adapt to suit and be effective in the current competitive environment, both to sustain and to grow.

Alchemise Consulting offer a Business Growth Assessment (BGA), to independently review your business, sales and marketing performance and operations. We’ll assess where your business is at, by collecting meaningful and relevant data and reviewing your goals and strategies around the following:

Business vision, goals, and objectives assessment

The essence of your business, your vision, goals and objectives, should be the key drivers behind your day-to-day functions, however often they do not align to the ground level operations. We’ll assess their validity and role in your business’ sales and marketing functions, by examining company growth measurement and performance, your sales base review and overall financial performance.

Marketing assessment

We frequently see a disconnect between company objectives, marketing, and sales functions, which can quickly create challenges and hinder or slow growth. Our BGA will explore and assess your current marketing strategies, campaigns and initiatives, CRM metrics and performance, the unique selling proposition for your product or service, as well as a competitive review and analysis. We’ll also begin the process of closing the gap between marketing and sales by assessing the interaction, handover and review between the two functions.

Sales assessment

Following on from the examination of the interactions between marketing and sales, we’ll go on and assess your current sales structure and review the sales ROI, as well as delving into sales performance metrics, and the financials – revenue, profit and cost of sale per client (amongst others)

Internet/digital marketing assessment

Marketing in the current competitive environment is becoming increasingly focused on the Internet, but more broadly digital capacities. We will review your use of social media channels and email marketing, as well as your broader online presence across your website. User experience is paramount in the digital space and we’ll review several aspects of how prospects and customers can interact with you and your business.

If you, as a business owner or director, feel that sales and/or growth has slowed or stagnated, and can’t figure out why or how to progress, please contact us for an initial discussion about how a Business Growth Assessment can address your challenges and provide recommendations for moving onwards and upwards.

 

Business Growth Assessment

 

 

Alchemise Business Growth Newsletter #1 – Q3 – 2016/17

NEW QUARTER, NEW FOCUS…

We are excited to publish our first newsletter. Read about what has been keeping us busy in recent months, welcome our new consultants and recap and look ahead to a variety of events.  Featuring: Sales and Marketing ProjectsHubSpot Inbound Event 2016Alchemise Christmas Event 2016Welcome to the Team, Melanie and Kai KiatNew Case StudiesUpcoming CalendarClick below to read further  https://info.alchemiseconsulting.com/blog/alchemise-newsletter-business-growth-1

 

How to increase your business gross profits using the 7 profit multipliers way

Business gross profits is usually the key indicator of performance and new business development activities and sales.

It is a sad truth that 80% of businesses fail in their first five years of operation, and one 1 in 25 will survive their first ten years.

The main reason is because they don’t have enough customers buying from them regularly – they simply run out of cash.

  • They don’t attract a sufficient number of qualified prospects;
  • They fail to convert their prospects into profitable customers;
  • They let their current customers slip away to do business with their competitors.

So, the only way to succeed in business is for the owner to have a clear understanding of the market for its products and services.

  1. Lead Generation – Getting more qualified leads

Before a person becomes a customer, they are merely a name, a lead. A customer is someone who has made an actual purchase. A lead in merely a potential customer. A prospect. The more leads or prospects you have, the more you can convert into paying customers.

How do you get more prospects?

There are many methods:

  • Advertisements
  • Direct mail campaign
  • Referral program
  • Internet marketing
  • Promotional techniques
  • Joint venture arrangements, and many, many more.

Because the choices for finding more prospects are many — and not all created equal — choosing the correct ones becomes a prime area of concern.

  1. Improving Conversion Rate – Turning more prospects into customers 

This means a higher percentage of sales based on people served. For example, if a company were averaging 20 sales per 100 people contacted, a worthy goal would be to increase sales to 35 or 50 per 100 prospects.

There are ways to make this happen: Improved telemarketing scripts, more attractive offers, testing different prices, improving quality, and more.

  1. Increasing Average Sale Value – Creating repeat customers

One of the Holy Grails of marketing excellence is the repeat sale – or more specifically, creating repeat customers who come back to buy again and again. Far too many businesses ignore this simple-to implement, common sense strategy to boost profits.

Repeat sales are sometimes called “back-end” sales. For many companies, sales on the back-end are where the true profits are made. For many companies, first sales may generate little or no profit, or even a small loss. This is sometimes called a “loss leader.” It’s a low-profit sale designed with an eye on making real money on the second and third sales. But whether one makes a profit on the first sale, or not, getting more sales after a first is a major key to higher success in marketing and selling.

  1. Increasing Gross Profit Margin – Getting the most out of every transaction

It takes a certain amount of time and effort to make each sale. Why not squeeze more out that transaction while the customer is in the process of buying? It’s easily done. For example, if a customer buys a shirt, he may also buy a tie at the same time – but the customer is far more likely to do so if actively prompted by the seller. Suggesting an additional sale at point of purchase is called ‘Cross-Selling’. A cousin of Cross-Selling is ‘Up-Selling’. An example: “You can get the larger soft drink for just 25 cents more. It’s a better value.” The idea is to prompt the customer to buy a larger size, amount, etc.

Profits can be increased with each sale by manipulating packaging, whereby the customer pays slightly more but gets an item of extra value.

The small amount of extra profit obtained from each sale represents a higher level of profit because no extra money needs to be spent on marketing. Even in packaging deals where premium products are given away, special deals from wholesale suppliers can make the extra giveaway items well worth the cost because of increased overall sales and mark-ups.

  1. Increasing the Number of Purchases – Create a lasting relationship

When customers buy an initial product from a company, and that products delivers value, benefits, and enjoyment to the purchaser, a good company should feel obligated to sell that person more, to improve that customer’s life even more. If a company is proud of the products it sells and the customer agrees that the company delivers high quality, all sides win if more purchases are made.

What if the company has no additional products to sell a customer who has been sold once? The obvious answer is that efforts should be made to obtain second-tier products. But if this is not immediately feasible, the original seller can refer the customer to another non-competing company who may have something the customer can use. Why make the effort? What’s in it for the original seller? Among other reasons, it’s a terrific opportunity to build good will with a future potential joint venture partner. The second business may often return the favor and send new customer back to the original seller. Finally, an arrangement can be made so that a commission or profit share is provided.

  1. Increasing Lifetime Value – Know what each customer is worth to you

In knowing the ‘lifetime value’ of your customers tells you scientifically how much you can spend to acquire new customers.

What is the ‘Lifetime Value’ of a customer?

‘Lifetime Value’ is the true Total Worth of a customer to you.
To maximise your customers’ lifetime value, consider the following contributing factors:

  • Average purchase value
  • Average number of times they buy in a year
  • Average number of years they remain your customer
  • The monetary value of their referrals.

Knowing this customer value can not only help you better understand and achieve sales and revenue targets; knowing this value can also help you to strategically structure your marketing budget.

  1. More Referrals from Customers – Leverage the power of your customers

As much as 90 percent of new business comes through referrals of new customers made by existing customers. Providing extra value, referrals cost next to nothing. Referrals are powerful because it’s an endorsement of a product from a trusted source – a friend, colleague, or acquaintance – not a advertisement which has been specifically constructed to make you think or feel a certain way about a product or service.

Consider how businesses can ‘distribute’ their brand:

  • Single Channel of distribution – Most businesses typically rely on one method of generating income from direct sales and hence time versus effort is the limited factor to achieving massive results.
  • Multiple Channels of distribution – This provides instant leverage and multiple income streams to boost sales revenue and profitability from a lower cost base exponentially than linearly.

Based on limited resources and investment in overheads this is far more effective to select complimentary channels to help grow your business. With every referral obtained the growth potential is increased by the number of channels who are active.

Summary

Increasing just one of these profit multipliers will help your business to grow organically with existing clients and help acquire new clients.

Increasing all of these multipliers by just a small margin will exponentially skyrocket your bottom line profits and should be considered as part of your sales strategy.

To have a further discussion about improving your business’ sales profits, and to better understand how to implement these strategies effectively, please contact us for an obligation-free conversation or register for our FREE business growth assessment.

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