- Have you checked your sender score? Lower scores can lead to higher bounce rates. https://www.senderscore.org/
- Are you using your regular email server through Google or Microsoft for bulk solicitation? Those companies will put your email sends in BULK sender IP’s and many email servers recognize and bounce those records.
- Are you using a BULK IP or Share an IP with other companies? You are only as strong as your weakest neighbor if that’s the case here is a way to check https://sendgrid.com/blog/5-ways-check-sending-reputation/
- Are you sending multiple unsolicited emails to the same company? This practice can bounce email addresses with higher email security. Some email servers will reject overt solicitations and bounce the records as well.
- Do you have honeypots or SPAM traps in your service? That will black list you and bounce your email sends. We can run a check for you – let us know.
- Does your Email Service Provider allow for unsolicited emails? Companies such as MailChimp, Hubspot, and Constant Contact will not even allow for this type of activity. These guys built a business around it however https://www.clickback.com/
- Does your content vary or is too SPAMMY? Email servers are looking for commonality in bulk sends. They are also looking for SPAMMY language – check the list here: https://prospect.io/blog/455-email-spam-trigger-words-avoid-2018/
- Are you sending to new recipients every time or blending the send with opted-in recipients? If the entire send is to new recipients then the overall bounce / opt out rate may be too high for your email service provider. That could put you in a pool of bulk emailers that are flagged as SPAM and bounced by the recipients’ email servers.
- Are you sending to too many High Risk email servers?: Not all email servers are created equally – some are accepts all and some are binary. The accepts all are higher risk for the sender and cannot be validated in the same way. Too many unsolicited hits to these types of servers will lower your sender score.
- Are you sending to too many High Risk recipients? Unsolicited emails sent to individuals in protected countries or government entities can results in a higher risk of being reported as SPAM and having your sender score lowered.
On May 3rd, 2018 Salesforce.com discontinued selling Data.com Connect – you can read more about the product retirement here. As a result, RampedUp.io is honoring all Data.com credits for existing customers. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details or learn more about our Data.com exchange program – https://rampedup.io/data-com-credit-exchange-program/
The question on most account-based sales and marketing professionals however is why. Data.com was making money for Salesforce.com so why turn that revenue away?
In 2010, Salesforce.com purchased Jigsaw for $142,000,000 thus creating Data.com. For those of us around during that time, Jigsaw was a wonderful tool used by so many sellers to democratize contact data. The crowd sourced data model worked because there really was no other alternative aside from compiled sources built from tradeshows, tax or mailing records. I could exchange my records for another’s records and we would both be the better for it.
- Winston Churchill once famously said that Democracy is the worst form of government, save all others. But the same cannot be said of contact data because simply voting on what a person does and for what company they do it is not the best form of contact sourcing. The individual themselves are a better source of the truth and social media outlets like LinkedIn were proving that very quickly. As a result, account based sellers went directly to the source instead of data.com and the tool became somewhat of an afterthought.
- Next enter account-based principles that de-emphasize mass mailings and put a premium on targeted communication. By its very definition, data.com is a contact-centric solution where account-based solutions are company-centric. The concept of proactively soliciting companies and people who that are the best fit for your solution instead of reacting to demand has grown in popularity because the ROI is proven. ABM concepts result in 171% higher contract value! As a result, the need for contact tools like data.com has waned where account-based tools has grown. Learn more about RampedUp’s Account Based Readiness Report!
- Perhaps another reason Salesforce.com is moving away from contact data space is GDPR – or the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. The law is quite punitive and happens to take effect the same month – May 25th. “Under GDPR organizations in breach of GDPR can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 Million (whichever is greater). This is the maximum fine that can be imposed for the most serious infringements e.g.not having sufficient customer consent to process data or violating the core of Privacy by Design concepts. You can read more at the GDPR’s website https://www.eugdpr.org but obviously this law puts a crowd sourced data model in jeopardy.
- Lastly, when Salesforce.com purchased data.com, Marketing Automation was in its infancy. Eight years later, many organizations go outside of Salesforce.com to house contact data in tools like Marketo. Salesforce purchased Pardot and ExactTarget to account for this new reality thus proving that CRM is no longer the only source of truth. Today, marketing automation tools don’t need PII, or personally identified information – to communicate with contacts. Digital advertising has become very micro focused by either garnering online intent for re-targeting or proactively displaying ads to your chosen accounts.
In conclusion, data.com was a wonderful tool that outlived its usefulness. Crowd-sourcing was surpassed by social sourcing as the best methodology, mass mailing was surpassed by account-based selling in terms of effectiveness, and lastly marketing automation surpassed CRM as the database of record for most organizations. Now with the GDPR looming – its on to the next chapter of Salesforce.com.
RAMPEDUP WILL HONOR ALL DATA.COM CREDITS
Salesforce.com’s Data.com is going away and RampedUp.io is here to help. May 3rd, 2018 is the last day to purchase contact data from data.com. Companies looking to purchase, clean, or append their Salesforce.com instance can use RampedUp’s Salesforce.com plug in. Below is the full release from Salesforce.com.
To take advantage of RampedUp’s offer to honor all Data.com credits – please email email@example.com for more details.
|After much consideration, the decision has been made to retire Data.com Connect effective May 4th, 2019. Consequently, as of May 4th, 2018, you will no longer be able to purchase plans, contacts, or points with a credit card, and as of May 4th, 2019, you will no longer be able to purchase contacts with points. We understand you may have questions about how this impacts your Data.com Connect membership. Below is a list of FAQs to address some questions we anticipate you may have. If you still have questions, you can review additional FAQs regarding Connect’s retirement here.|
|When is the last day I can log in to Data.com Connect?
May 3rd, 2019 is the last day to log in to Connect.Buying Plans, Points, and Contacts with a Credit Card
Why is e-commerce is being removed?
When is the last day I can purchase a contact with a credit card?
When is the last day I can purchase a plan?
When is the last day I can purchase a contact with points?
When is the last day I can add a contact and/or company?
When is the last day I can update a contact and/or company?
When is the last day I can submit a bounce report?
When is the last day I can upload a bulk file of contacts?
Exporting Your Contacts
Can I export all the contacts I have Royalty ownership of?
When is the last day I can upload a suppression file?
My plan is expiring between May 3, 2018 and May 3, 2019. Can I buy more points after I use all my plan points?
What happens to my personal member data which I provided to register with Data.com Connect?
Moneyball is a book by Michael Lewis, published in 2003, about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager Billy Beane. Its focus is the team’s analytical, evidence based, sabermetric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team, despite Oakland’s disadvantaged revenue situation. Oakland was able to win as many games as the highest spending teams that year.
Sales teams are often faced with the same problem of getting more with less resources. We have found 4 tips for hitting better results with less investment using Moneyball tactics. As Bill Bean quite eloquently stated, ” If you challenge the conventional wisdom, you will find ways to do things much better than they are currently done.”
- Challenge Conventional Wisdom Adapt or Die.
- Do you know who this buying committee is?
- Do you have a relationship with them?
- If the committee voted today, by member who would they vote for?
- Do you know why they would vote that way?
- Could you change the committee members vote if you had to?
- Pick a Winning Strategy “Managers tend to pick a strategy that is the least likely to fail, rather then to pick a strategy that is most efficient,” Account Based Selling vs Demand Reaction
- What customers are the most profitable and why?
- What prospects look the most like these customers?
- How can we share bite-sized success stories to gain mindshare?
- Good vs Great for Sales, “One absolutely cannot tell, by watching, the difference between a .300 hitter and a .275 hitter. The difference is one hit every two weeks.” The numbers do not lie – once you have decided on a winning strategy demand execution.
- Manage to the Metrics “Losing shouldn’t be fun. It’s not fun for me. If I’m going to be miserable, you’re going to be miserable.”
“No matter how successful you are, change is always good. There can never be a status quo. When you have no money you can’t afford long-term solutions, only short-term ones. You have to always be upgrading. Otherwise you’re f****d.”
Sales intelligence has given sellers never before seen knowledge into prospective customers. G2 Crowd defines sales intelligence software as, ” Software that helps companies use internal and external data to increase sales and improve sales processes. Companies use sales intelligence software to improve the quality and quantity of sales leads by using data to find new opportunities and provide salespeople with the information they need to take advantage of them.” The returns on this functionality are amazing with sellers realizing 27% of their day returned to them in the form of efficiency. Most platforms provide the following level of detail – usually inside of CRM
- Company: firmographics, social media links, business descriptions, and recent news stories
- Contacts: Title, location, email, and phone.
- Competition: Similar Companies based on industry
- Technologies: Products for complementary and competitive targeting
But sales intelligence has become somewhat of a commodity. Just check out the 50 companies claiming to provide this type of data on G2 Crowd. In this list you will find niche players, predictive analysis tools, account based selling platforms, and even Artificial Intelligence bots; all important in their own way but lacking in one specific component – your customer insights.
Customer Insights are quantitative and qualitative details into your Closed Won Opportunities. As an example – the quantitative details are amount, location, industry, source, product, buying committee, and competitors. The qualitative details are the sellers’ insights into what worked and how it was done or the narrative. These details consist of the product highlights, the buyer messaging, and the competitive positioning used to win this particular account.
By asking for these details from the sellers when they want to share them – directly after the sale – these great Win Stories are incorporated into the tribal knowledge of the sales force and help shape the next big win. But these little selling nuggets need to be incorporated into the overall context of the sales intelligence software to provide optimal results. These details need to be held up as a scoring model for the sales intelligence software when providing data such as company, contacts, and technologies.
Demand Generation as we know it is broken.
Just check your junk folder and find the unrequited emails asking for 15 minutes or following up on an email never read. When was the last time a retweet, like, or comment ever yielded any fruit on social media. Think of the last cold calling phone blitz – what were the results of that little exercise? R2 Integrated studies have found that less than 1% of demand generation activity produce any meaningful result.
What worked in 2015, 2016, or even 2017 won’t work in 2018 because sales technology has automated best practice to the point it is no longer a best practice. Our buyers are numb and apathetic to our message. They are busy and can see right through the automation. Sellers need a new and proven approach to meet our demand generation needs. As is always the case, what was old is new again. In 1998, Michael Boylan wrote a landmark book called The Power to Get In to help sellers with demand generation before the advent of sales tech.
The concept is very simple.
- Write a letter that shows you understand the goals of the organization. This can be found in the form of press releases, annual reports, or news searches. It is a good idea to stay on top of these trigger events because they are constantly changing.
- Connect your solutions and service to the attainment of these goals. If you are unsure how to link your solution then refer to use cases or Win Stories. Not only making the connection but sharing how you have done it already with a comparable company will give you credibility.
- Take a census of the entire buying committee. If you are unsure who all is involved – work with the end in mind. If the deal closed, who would be on the training call, who would be responsible for implementation, who would sign the deal, who would be on the evaluation committee – what are their titles?
- Send the letter to the entire buying committee and reference them inside of the letter. This part is key because if you reference someone who is no longer at the company you lose credibility. If you miss someone, then inevitably that will be the person you need the most.
- When calling behind the letter – start at the top and get sponsorship for the evaluation. Demand Generation is like gravity, start with the CEO and call the CEO’s admin to start the process.
This is called a “Circle of Leverage” letter by Boylan and truly fits into modern account-based demand generation tactics. The research shows you are invested in the company, the linkage shows you have the understanding, and the use cases show you have the experience. Although that alone isn’t enough – copying the entire buying committee and starting with the CEO to spark an evaluation means your probability for sponsorship goes way up. A buyer can ignore your solicitation – they cannot ignore their boss.
Mike Scher of Frontline Selling teaches us to embrace the CEO’s admin. “We think of the call-screeners and/or admins as Tour Guides on our journey to the deal. Briefly explain your value proposition and ask for their help in identifying the person who would be part of that decision-making process. With the right approach, you can easily gather names, titles and email addresses—as well as internal referrals that establish credibility within the organization.”
In closing, if you are relying on sales tech alone to crack into your key accounts then be prepared for disappointment. Try a new approach, an account-based demand generation approach. Even if you don’t secure the appointment, then at the very least you have educated yourself on your key account and have become fluent on how you can help them. That will come in handy when they are ready to buy in the future. Besides – it beats a 1% efficiency rating any day.
ATLANTA, GA RampedUp, the industry’s leading Account-Based Selling Solution, announced a ground-breaking account scoring feature for their customers. “We are very excited to announce predictive account scoring functionality based on unique capabilities of RampedUp. For years, our customers have been using our Customer Insights for a quick reference library to move deals. Now, we can take the attributes of your most ideal buyers and identify accounts that look just like them” shared Scott Miller, founder of RampedUp.
“Two things that have always set RampedUp apart from other sales intelligence platforms have been the tailored nature of the data we provide. Our customers are exposed to contacts that are unique to their buying committee. We also share look-alike customer data based on a Salesforce.com sync that pulls customer data into our platform in near real-time. RampedUp also tracks triggering events and installed technology used by companies to help sellers understand their prospects better. All this information is used to create our unique scoring methodology.”
Sellers can qualify the fit of their prospects by the number of stars it has associated with the account. A star is awarded for each of the following categories when the account has a match:
- One of top 5 industries based on the client roster
- One of top 5 market segments based on client employee count
- Installed Technology based on products important to sales process
- Contacts present with preferred title based on selected buying committee
- Recent trigger event article showing activity over last 90 days
Customers looking for the new functionality can find it in the administrative section of RampedUp or simply work with their service rep to ensure the functionality is accurately represented.
About RampedUp: RampedUp is an Account-Based Selling tool used by some of the largest companies in the world. Our mission is to provide contact, customer, and company data all in one place, helping sellers spend less time on administration and more time selling. Learn more at www.rampedup.io.
Salesforce is the lifeblood of your organization and the main tool your sellers need to make it through their day. Sure, there
are other sales technologies and even LinkedIn for prospecting but Salesforce.com holds it all together. With the app exchange, most organizations make it the hub of all their sales tech. The problem, however, that sellers spend 27% of their time focusing on non-sales related activity because a lot the data they need isn’t accurately reflected in their Salesforce.com. Try these three simple ideas to keep your CRM accurate and updated.
Clean the data as it comes into Salesforce.com. The premise is simple, use the leads table to qualify contacts, companies, and opportunities before they care converted into permanent records. Do not allow users to add any company or contact data into Salesforce.com unless it starts as a lead and make it functionally impossible through permission settings.
Once this policy is in place, add real-time lead appending to clean leads as they come into your system. In an early blog I wrote the importance of contacting leads as soon as they come into your organization and lead appending will ensure this will happen. If you have one point of entry into Salesforce.com and the point is reinforced with a cleansing tool, your data will enter current, complete, and accurate.
Empower the users. Although up to 5% of the inaccuracy in your CRM originates from misspelled or misrepresented data from the users, empowering the users to clean up their own mess benefits the database overall. After all, who has a more vested interest in the cleanliness of Salesforce.com than the sellers themselves?
The key to Account-Based Selling is a clean Salesforce.com. By deploying a utility that corrects the company and contact data inside and account record, sellers can become part of the solution instead of the problem. An account cleansing tool will empower the user to clean up the accounts and contacts that are important to them and thus important to the entire company. Old contacts will be labelled as such and their replacements will be imported ensuring the entire buying committee is represented.
Systemic Cleaning. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times (with an average of 12 job changes) during his or her career. You can see the impact this has on your contact data by a rate of decay at 25% – 36% per year. That has a very tangible impact on the health of your CRM but also a great opportunity to follow your old customers to their new jobs for quick wins.
Data decay presents most prominently within the contact data table and we recommend cleaning / updating contact records every 90 days. The impact will be updated titles, email addresses, and locations while identifying INACTIVE contacts that have moved to other companies. We recommend keeping the old record and labeling it INACTIVE then create a new lead for the individual at his or her new company.
RampedUp is a tool born inside of Salesforce.com so of the functionality above is “native.” Real-time lead appending, user deployed account cleansing, and systemic contact clean / append are truly simple ways to keep Salesforce.com accurate and updated. The impact is an overall cleaner database that will produce more productive sellers and marketers.
With just a couple of months left in the year many Account-Based sales and marketing professionals are switching their focus to closing out the year to planning for next year. If you are one of these people let me say one thing. STOP! There is still time left to add to the pipeline this year if you know what you are looking for.
Find your old customers at their new job. Think about all the branding, familiarity, and trust you have built with your customers that just walks out the door when they take a new job. It’s maddening! Unless that person contacts you when they start their new gig – it is all but impossible to find out where they landed. We live in a transient society where the workforce turns over 2-3% every month so this is a problem for all of us – or better stated an opportunity.
RampedUp tracks employment history on our contact records and our CLEAN functionality will identify the loyal, raving fans that have left their old company. We will also tell you where they are employed today in the form of a lead in Salesforce.com – complete with title, email and phone number to reconnect. The process is so simple and impactful it can be done today literally with the push of a button. Account-based sellers can go to their book of accounts – press the CLEAN button on RampedUp – then create leads of old customers that have moved to new companies.
Think of the shortened sales process a former customer requires to move your service into their new company. You have already branded, marketed, sold, and serviced this person. Go find them to make an impact this year!
Find new executives at their new job. New executives are brought in with new agendas and initiatives. Craig Elias – author of Shift – Turn Prospects into Customers states, “A new Vice President of Sales will spend close to a million dollars in new projects in their first hundred days.” It goes without saying that new executives are empowered with decisions that are not dictated by the calendar and want to make in impact between now and the first of the year – so help them.
RampedUp monitors the news wires for triggering events and provides our customers with the very first Trigger Event search engine. We categorize our triggering events into 13 categories but perhaps the most popular is the PERSONELL field. Users can select the PERSONELL field, and firmographic filters important to them such as company size, location, industry or technology the company uses. The result is an actionable of new executives that fit search parameters. Last week alone we identified 4000 new executives – all with new agendas that you can help execute.
A little trick in building instant credibility with these new executives is to send them a LinkedIn invite and congratulate them on their new role. This will almost always get accepted as the new executive doesn’t know if you are a current vendor, friend of the firm, or well wisher.
In summary – it’s not too late to impact this year’s pipeline. Look for your old customers at new companies and help them get your solution in its rightful place. OR find new executives that aren’t going to wait until next year to get their agendas off the ground. Let us know if we can help you with either or both.
Account Based Selling is the methodology of focusing all of your sales efforts on a select number of accounts because they are the most profitable and likely to buy your products and services. Perhaps you have heard it referenced as a named or targeted account strategy. What is the right number of accounts? According to a report by EverString and Demand Gen Report, 42% of companies surveyed try to keep their account list between 50 and 500.
For companies making the switch from a reactive lead generation to a proactive account based selling approach, it can be daunting. Keep in mind – the sheer quantity of leads will dramatically decrease. But, companies with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations teams achieved 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth than similar companies who did not. (SiriusDecisions.) Organizational focus is the key, while the “low hanging fruit” might be tempting, the named accounts are far more valuable long-term. A report by TOPO, commissioned by The ABM Leadership Alliance, found that companies that have implemented Account-based principles saw a 171% increase in their Annual Contract Value (ACV).
So – how can sellers use this new targeted approach for demand generation?
- Use the News. Show your targeted accounts that you are in tune with them by referencing news stories or press releases about them. Follow up with those references by linking your solutions to helping with their stated objectives.
- Go Wide. If you only have a certain number of accounts then increase your contact points with other department heads that may have some benefit to your solution. Account Based selling is more about building a coalition of decision-makers than taking inventory of them.
- Target. Two ideas that work well for an ABS strategy is to have focused content for a specific company. Vidyard allows for video communication focused on a specific individual. I have seen demos that show functionality geared towards just one person. These videos can be re-purposed as a customized webinar for a company instead of a broad audience.
Lastly, there is a new emphasis on effort when if comes to Account-based selling. The opportunistic approach of reacting to inbound leads outside of your sweet-spot doesn’t scale. Sellers need to understand that aligning their expectations with the company’s goals will help both parties long-term.