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If you ask a dozen agency marketers to list the essential ingredients for building a good marketing agency, you’ll probably get a dozen different answers. But no matter what industry your agency works in — and no matter which analytics are your main points of focus — building and maintaining close relationships with your clients is critical to your overall business strategy.

Indeed, there’s a reason that client churn is always a pressing concern for agency marketers As AdWeek reported earlier this year, it’s not uncommon for small-to-medium-sized agencies to see upwards of 40 percent client turnover, year over year.

By fostering closer relationships with each individual client, you’ll ensure that your customers will stick with you for the long haul and continue generating revenue month after month. And even better, maintaining tight-knit and trusting relationships with your clients makes it that much more likely they’ll refer other business your way.

But forging those close relationships requires you to go above and beyond your day-to-day responsibilities, and make your agency truly indispensable to your clients. Fortunately, you’ve already done the hard work of gathering data and analytics around your marketing campaigns. By using your marketing analytics as a foundation, you can start providing meaningful, impactful business coaching and strategic guidance to your clients. (While also earning some additional revenue sources for your agency to boot!)

Let’s review some of the ways you can start using your marketing tech right now to deepen your partnerships with your clients.

Using call recording for business coaching

One of the most-used call tracking features is call recording, and for good reason: This allows you to record calls for future playback, and tag and sort your calls according to their contents.

This is a supremely useful feature for sales teams, as it can help you zero in on your most valuable leads, and ensure you never miss out on a potential conversion. But call recording can also provide your agency with something that’s potentially even more valuable: A frontline view of how your client’s phone team is performing. 

By playing back and reviewing recordings of a client’s inbound sales calls, your agency can be the first to know whether the client’s team is sticking to the script and performing well, or whether there are skill gaps that are causing prospects to drop out of the sales funnel. This, in turn, creates a prime opportunity for your agency to provide additional revenue-generating services to your client.

As an example, say your client offers home renovation services, primarily around kitchens and bathrooms. And by reviewing recordings of the client’s sales calls, you’re seeing that many leads are falling out of the sales funnel because the client’s phone team isn’t properly trained to answer prospects’ questions about installing premium marble surfaces and countertops.

Armed with this information, you explain the situation to your client, and they concur wholeheartedly — so much so, they agree to your proposal to pay your agency an additional monthly fee to help train their phone team!

Now your agency isn’t just creating digital campaigns for the client, you’re also helping oversee their sales team, further integrating your agency into their essential day-to-day business and making your work truly indispensable.

One example of the efficacy of this approach is the Atlanta-based digital marketing agency Cardinal, who have seen great success leveraging advanced call tracking features in order to both deepen their existing relationships with clients and forge new ones.

By making extensive use of the call recording feature, they’ve been able to address what is so often a blind spot in clients’ sales funnels — the over-the-phone experience. Cardinal now fully embraces their new role as business coaching experts, which means they’re earning more for their services and retaining clients for longer, while those same clients are also seeing better results for their campaigns.

Keyword Spotting identifies missed opportunities

Paid ads and SEO are another arena in which your agency can use the marketing data you’re already collecting to go above and beyond the call of duty. By using the Keyword Tracking data you’ve gathered from call tracking, you’ll be able to see the exact search keywords that are driving new leads, calls, and conversions.

This data also naturally complements the work you can do as call coach: Keyword data can help you tweak the sales script in order to better reflect the keywords that are driving the most calls. For example, if many callers are searching for a specific feature before picking up the phone, but the call recording then reveals that the feature isn’t part of the sales team’s usual script, you’ve just identified a critical skill gap that needs to be filled.

But keyword data from individual campaigns can be put to use beyond just business coaching — you can also demonstrate how your agency’s work benefits the client’s big-picture plans.

For example: Your agency was hired for a PPC campaign for a company that repairs and refurbishes smart devices, and your primary goal is to generate top-of-funnel leads, in order to both bring in new business and reduce the client’s overall Cost Per Lead (CPL).

While strategizing with your client, you learn that another key objective for the remainder of the current business year is to increase per-customer revenue through promotions for returning customers. As your campaign gets underway and the weeks go by, you can see that your client isn’t having any trouble bringing in new leads, but their rate for add-ons and upselling is much lower than it should be.

A thorough review of your keyword tracking data in CallRail identifies one reason for this shortfall: A big chunk of both leads and returning customers found your client through a web search for a smart device repair business that makes house calls. And while your client has a traveling repair team for their premium customers, they’re not properly advertising this fact on their website or in their ad copy.

With this data to support your strategy, you can now proceed full-steam and craft ads and campaigns that will not only continue to bring in new prospects and reduce CPL, but also help with the client’s big-picture plans of increasing per-customer revenue. By taking the initiative and showing interest in your client’s wider strategic objectives — and pointing out where your agency fits into the mix, of course — you can establish yourself as an indispensable strategic partner.

But you don’t have to take us on our word alone, because we’ve received testimonials from plenty of agency users who have seen serious improvements to their bottom line with this approach. As FreeGren founder Scott Freeborn explained: “This wasn’t a service we originally were charging for, but more and more we find ourselves playing the role of both calling center coaches and strategic partner for our clients.”

“Many of our clients’ businesses involve very high-dollar-value transactions. The time we allocate to listen to their inbound calls, review call transcriptions and analyze the information on inbound forms directly benefits our clients as a properly handled call or reply can be the difference between thousands of dollars in sales, or a potential customer who decides to look elsewhere.”

Learn more about the benefits call tracking can bring to your agency.

The post How call tracking helps your agency coach clients and boost revenue appeared first on CallRail.

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Are you ready to launch a PRM?  It seems that every tool out there can help you in some way, but how can you tell if the benefits outweigh the cost? It all ties back to your reasons for needing the product. For any manager to approve the budget, a tool must not only solve your problems, but the tool should easily achieve its ROI. That ROI can present itself as time back in your day, an accelerated process, better communication, or reduced risk of mistakes. When quantifying all of the saved time, efforts, and unnecessary mistakes, you’re able to paint a clear-cut picture as to why you should or should not purchase a tool. For a partner program, there are a handful of things to consider before launching your Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Tool. These three things will help determine if a PRM is really the right choice for you.

 

 

Three—You Want to Eliminate the Manual Process

Think about the past month. How many hours of your week have you dedicated to answering emails from partners, just for them to request that same ebook, case study, etc. two weeks later? You may be thinking “I just sent John Doe that white paper last week, how could he have lost it already?”. Well, emails get deleted, files aren’t saved, computers crash, these are some of the dozens of reasons resources get lost. This may not be a big deal if you have five partners, but what happens when you have 100 partners?

 

Replying to partner requests, finding the correct content, making sure content is updated, and getting the resources into the hands of your partners can quickly consume your 40 hour work week.

 

However, if you could find a tool that would save you time and allow partners to access what they need when they need it, why wouldn’t you invest? Not only will it allow your company to save money by freeing up your time, but you can actually get back to what drives you to succeed. Not to mention, you can easily quantify the amount of wasted time and prove the tool’s ROI. If your wasted spend is greater than the price of the tool, you’re on the right track for a good investment.

 

Two—You Want to Have a Professional Appearance

Professional appearance goes a long way. Executing a strong visual presentation is vital to encouraging growth. Even if your business is small and you have few partners, with strong branding, you can easily demonstrate to your partners that you’re on the path to success. When your brand is strong and consistent across all channels, it gives your brand credibility and makes it easier to recruit and grow your channel program.

 

When partners are working with multiple vendors it’s important to be consistent. When partners are able to experience a cohesive brand it helps them feel more connected with your company. Little things like this can help lessen partner churn rates and increase partner satisfaction. A little bit of extra effort can go a long way when it comes to a long-term partner relationship.

 

One—You Want to Enable Your Partners With Resources

It’s important to make the partner journey as seamless as possible, that includes making sure your partners are prepared for anything.

 

When partners are in the sales process, you need to ensure there are no roadblocks holding them up or delaying the buying process for their customers. With the right resources to confidently seal the deal and engage more frequently with your brand, you’re likely to see an increase in partner success rates and loyalty.

 

Liftoff!

If you want to:

1. eliminate the manual process of interacting with partners,

2. have a professional, branded appearance, and

3. enable your partners to sell better and faster,

A PRM may be a great way for you to reach the stars and skyrocket your channel program. PRMs help encourage partner collaboration and make it easier for your partners to sell for you. When you’re ready, adding a PRM to your technology stack should ignite you. Are you ready for lift off?

 

Want to see how Allbound can impact your channel program success? Request a demo with one of our #Allstars today!

 

The post 3 Ways to Tell If You Are Ready to Launch A PRM appeared first on Partner Relationship Management Software (PRM).

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HIPAA infractions can lead to costly penalties, and ignorance is not a viable defense.

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As artificial intelligence becomes more commonplace, the role of phone calls in marketing is becoming increasingly more complex. This is particularly important for small businesses, since these technological advancements can have much greater consequences for SMBs compared to their larger counterparts.

So, as an SMB marketer, it’s only natural to ask yourself: Are phone calls still a crucial metric for small businesses? The answer is yes, and they’re more important now than they’ve been in the past — here’s why.

Phone calls and marketing: A brief history

Before we get into why phone calls are more important than ever for small businesses, it’s helpful to understand how phone calls and their role in marketing have changed over the years.

Before digital marketing became standard practice, businesses generated phone call leads by including their phone numbers on billboards, TV ads, paper mailers, radio commercials, and other forms of traditional advertising. But without analytics technology, it was difficult — if not impossible — to know which channels worked and which ones didn’t.

Fast forward to the 2000s, and digital marketing and analytics have become the norm. Businesses can now optimize their marketing for lead forms, landing pages, and other online conversions. Even better, they can now see which of their campaigns are working best, and learn valuable information about how their customers interact with their business online.

And with the advent of digital marketing and analytics came the rise of smartphones. In our increasingly mobile-first world users can now make Google searches on demand, which means businesses need to be able to handle spur-of-the-moment phone calls. It’s the reason why click-to-call ads exist, and why Google launched call-only campaigns in early 2018.

But isn’t AI killing phone calls?

While it’s true that AI-powered text and chat bots are becoming more popular, phone calls aren’t disappearing. In fact, according to a recent BIA/Kelsey report, calls to businesses are actually projected to grow to 169 billion per year by 2020 — doubling the 89 billion business calls made in 2017.

But even if calls were being replaced by bots, that doesn’t mean small businesses could adapt to AI as quickly as large enterprise companies. Marketing software like automation platforms and CRMs are considered standard in today’s day and age, yet many of those tools are too expensive for your average small business to consider. (The latest-and-greatest AI marketing tools are rarely built with SMBs in mind.)

How AI makes phone calls more valuable for small businesses

The reality is that AI technology isn’t advanced enough to completely replace phone calls for most companies, and especially not for small businesses. This is especially true for businesses that offer more complex services, such as law firms.

But even setting aside the latest advancements in analytics tech, it’s still in your best interest as an SMB marketer to invest in calls as a marketing channel. For one, phone calls convert at a 10 – 12 percent higher rate compared to lead forms. And perhaps even more importantly, phone calls are full of rich analytics that you just can’t get from online-only conversions.

In other words, savvy small businesses shouldn’t try to use AI to eliminate calls entirely — instead, you should put this technology to work to earn more leads and extract even more insightful data from your marketing channels.

This is where our SMB call tracking tools come in: Aside from helping you learn which marketing channels are generating the most calls, advanced call tracking platforms can also use AI and machine learning to analyze your calls and help you get as much insight as possible out of what your customers have to say. You can then use those insights to inform sales, marketing, product, support, and more — all with minimal effort on your end.

Let’s say you run a law firm that uses Google Analytics, and you also use a marketing automation platform to see what happens before and after prospects fill out a lead form online. You’re able to track how many people click the phone number listed on your sit, but that’s all your marketing tools can tell you. By adding call tracking to your marketing stack, you could have as much — if not more — post-conversion data for your calls as you do for your lead forms.

For example, you could use call recording to automatically qualify leads based on keywords, allowing you to focus on following up with the best of the best prospects. You could also use AI keyword tracking to comb your calls for frequently used keywords, and then optimize your campaigns based on those keywords. Both of these tools help save you time and provide deeper insight than you’d get from a lead form alone.

At the end of the day, phone calls aren’t going anywhere for small businesses — nor should you want them to. AI is making phone calls an even more useful lead and data source, and call tracking tools can help you harness the power of it.

The post AI is making calls more important than ever for SMBs: Here’s how to not get left behind appeared first on CallRail.

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