Buying a CRM? Don't Go It Alone.

You want to increase sales, and you understand that strengthening and managing your professional relationships with customers is the key to your success. So, it's likely you're looking to adopt a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Adopting a software like this isn't as easy as flipping a switch.  It takes multiple steps and requires a detailed and organized process. At Acadia, having adopted several software applications for internal use, so we understand what goes into a change like this, and have become quite good at it.  Our advice: don't go it alone. 

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Be Fierce but Graceful - and do Great Things

 If you are involved in complex or considered purchase sales, you understand the challenges associated with them: 

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Constructing a Winning Blueprint: Analyzing and Tracking Your Marketing Efforts

If you're a manufacturer, you know that going from blueprint to delivery requires a very customized, repeatable process. Yours probably includes highly-skilled team members, technology, procedures and more. And that's how sales and marketing should work as well. There's a special sales/marketing combination that works best for each manufacturer - it isn't one size fits all. You may have the most success with trade shows, or email or phone calls - it's most likely however that you need the right blend of all of the above (and more). And like many manufacturers, you may not yet know what that special blend is.

To address the sales and marketing challenges manufacturers face, Acadia collaborated with 22 other HubSpot partners on the just-released ebook, Constructing a Winning Blueprint for 2017. It's geared toward helping you, the manufacturer, overcome your biggest marketing and sales challenges, including finding what works best for you. The section below focuses on analyzing and tracking marketing efforts. Not quite there yet? Download the full ebook for help getting started. Chapters include:

  • Prospects Can't Find You if You Don't Market to Them
  • Prioritizing Investments: Technology vs Sales vs Marketing
  • How to Remain Competitive in an Increasingly Smaller World

Now, back to analyzing and tracking...

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Achieving Predictable Sales Forecasting Results

History

Over the years of both doing direct selling and managing sales teams, I began to analyze why sales forecasting was so unreliable. Why could we not get to a high degree of accuracy month over month? It occurred to me that if we did not have a well-defined sales process we could not get a reliable sales forecast. I asked myself, so when do I say a deal is going to close? I realized that it was when I felt it was going to close.
And my sales teams acted the same way. I began to examine what was critical to predict when a sales opportunity was going to close with a high degree of accuracy. My research and my evaluation of the activities
I was doing helped me come up with a model that can drive a very high degree of predictability. 

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The Business of Sales

I am often approached by businesses that complain that their sales are not what they want them to be.
They feel that they have a good organization with good sales representatives. They are certainly interested in growing their business, but the sales aren't there. As I dig further into their concerns, I often discover that the challenge for them might be bigger than just selling. It may be The Business of Sales.

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5 Things I've Learned as a Sales Intern

When I heard that I was going to be a sales and marketing intern, I had no idea what to expect. I was very excited yet nervous at the same time. I had always been interested in sales but, to be honest, I had never sold anything. I want to take this time to share the 5 most important things I’ve learned as a sales intern and how they will continue to help me through the rest of my internship and career.       

*Image source: http://blog.admissions.illinois.edu/?p=5218

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The Perils of Travel

Traveling this holiday? On a plane? Lucky you. Here's a story from my trip last week.

We've all been there, especially if you're in sales. Packed in like a sardine, right next to the dreaded, shall we say, "unpleasant" passenger. I'm 6'4", 245 lbs., and have a window seat on an MD88. I've got no place to go and am just trying to survive a two-hour flight next to this person who immediately showed the proverbial chip on their shoulder to be the size of the state we're departing, Texas. I'll call them "Seatmate." I've got two hours with this rather unpleasant person, who, mind you, is maybe 5'4".  I've been seated next to many people my size and somehow gotten along with them just fine. But oh no, not this bugger.

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How to Find the Perfect Intern(ship)

It’s that time of year again. Classes have started (for students like me) and the career fair is upon us. Some of us skip the career fair because a) we're only freshman or sophomores - why bother? b) we have classes during the fair c) we're too busy with classes and jobs or d) we don’t even know what or when it is. But take it from this intern: The career fair can be one of the most rewarding events of the college experience. As a senior at Wright State University, I've learned that attending that career fair is not only good for getting your name out there and practicing your marketability, but also for meeting other students in the same field. Today, getting a job has a lot to do with networking and who you know.

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Inbound + Outbound = Marketing Amplified

If you're reading this, you're probably familiar with inbound marketing. Inbound is indeed amazing, but I'm here to tell you that traditional "outbound" marketing still plays a big role in the B2B world! Here's why.

First, a bit of our back story. In 1999, when Marge founded Acadia Lead Management Services, we (the company) had one focus: sales outreach for industrial and technical organizations. No, not the dreaded telemarketing, but true inside sales efforts that produced meaningful sales leads along with a healthy dose of business intelligence. While things have changed since 1999, phone calls (AKA outbound marketing or human interaction) remain and will always be part of the B2B space. That's right - at some point in the B2B sales cycle, there will be a conversation before the deal is done. Always.

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Data, Data Everywhere

My last blog discussed the problems that can arise from an inconsistent sales pipeline. I equate it to riding a roller coaster. When sales are going up, all is great! But when sales are going down, you lose your stomach. So, how do we create a consistent sales forecast? There are several steps involved, but it's not as difficult as you may think. Start with basic data segmentation and sales stages.

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This blog exists to educate manufacturers, engineers and technical minds on the wonders of inbound marketing, sales enablement and more.

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