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If you’re in marketing, it’s likely you’re tracking leads using forms on your website. But if your ads, emails, or landing pages include a phone number, you may be missing out on credit for leads that come in through a call (or text). Depending on your industry, callers can be the most motivated leads. Call tracking helps complete the full picture of the customer journey and shows you how each campaign is performing.
Call tracking at the most basic level is pretty simple – it’s using a unique phone number for each marketing campaign to tell calls from each campaign apart.
For example, Atlanta Auto currently spends money on online marketing like Google Ads and offline marketing in the form of direct mail to help generate leads to their business. Atlanta Auto’s marketers want to make sure their phone leads are being tracked, so they purchase two unique phone numbers from their call tracking provider: one for Google Ads and one for direct mail.
It gets a lot more fun and fancy from here. Let’s talk about leads interacting with your website.
Dynamic number insertion, or DNI, is a method of advanced call tracking on your website. You install a snippet of code on your website (or CallRail’s convenient WordPress plugin) that’s connected to a pool of phone numbers. As visitors come to your site, each person sees a different phone number (dynamically swapping out your main phone number on each page). When they dial that phone number, call tracking providers tie each visitor’s session data to that unique phone number when they call.
With DNI, Atlanta Auto will get more details on their landing page leads without having to set up each campaign individually. Now leads that call from any ad will be associated in the call log with their sessions on the Atlanta Auto site – including landing page parameters, referring sites, etc. Instead of having one unique tracking number per campaign, now each visitor is (temporarily) given a unique tracking number for their use only, so the call tracking provider can identify them and provide even richer data. This gives Atlanta Auto marketers proof that a ppc ad generated leads, even if the lead didn’t call until sessions or days after originally clicking the ad!
With DNI, your call tracking software should be able to get you all the data above, plus:
With DNI, you can report on all the marketing touchpoints a specific lead interacted with before converting, so your efforts will still get credited even if the lead saw your ad weeks before contacting you.[insert photo]
With this granular data, Atlanta Auto has insight into specific details on the customer journey of a lead. They can see reporting on which ads, marketing channels, campaigns, emails, keywords, and pages are converting best, empowering them to make decisions on where to focus time and money to get the most leads. For example, maybe an ‘Atlanta Auto Cares’ campaign was very successful at the top of the funnel, getting people to click and visit the website for the first time. Many of these visitors returned later to look at the services list, some calling in and some booking an appointment online at some point in the next month. With call tracking, the ‘Atlanta Auto Cares’ campaign gets credit for all those leads!
Marketers prove additional value by connecting previously untracked phone call leads to marketing campaigns. Call tracking software like CallRail integrate with a number of different softwares, so marketers see improved data accuracy across platforms (Google Ads, Facebook, HubSpot, Salesforce, and many more). Attribution, CPL (cost per lead), and ROI (return on interest) reporting becomes more accurate, allowing you to make key decisions on your ad spend to optimize future returns.
Even for the most channel-centric companies, partner conflict is inevitable. Conflict can occur for various reasons such as pricing, poor communication, or even deals poached by the direct sales team. By being proactive, you can take steps to prevent these issues.
To increase channel sales, it’s vital to keep your product top of mind with your partners. Depending on the industry, your partner may be selling hundreds, if not thousands, of other products. So what can you do to increase “mindshare” with your partners so that they prioritize you?
In competitive industries like IT and software, partners rely on trust and loyalty. The partner they trust the most is usually the partner they do the most business with. Channel managers are often the “face” of their organization within channel relationships. The channel manager’s decisions during partner conflicts can have dire consequences.
There are two sides to preventing channel conflict. One is the logistical side: access to information and ease of selling your product. The other is the relational piece: conflict resolution and building strong partnerships. The following tips will show you how to handle both.
Let’s face it. As a channel manager, you’ll eventually let your partners down. As with all healthy relationships, conflicts are natural and should serve to make the relationship stronger. To mitigate hurt feelings, prove to your partners that you’re investing in them.
If your partner feels that you’re on their team and want them to succeed, they’ll be more understanding. Are you paying adequate attention to your partner? How often do you check in with them, update them, come to them with new leads? This brings us to tip #2, which is to invest in the right partner portal.
Efficient communication is the bedrock of your relationships with partners. By being transparent about goals and expectations, you’ll avoid confusion around performance expectations. By training and equipping them with the proper tools, you increase their confidence.
Channel partners should have access to updated, co-branded marketing materials at all times. With several other products in their arsenal, your channel may not be able to pitch your product adequately. This is where having the right sales collateral comes in to bridge the gap. With easy access to marketing materials, there’s a higher chance of hooking the customer during meetings.
Your channel partners don’t have the benefit of in-house employees. Being outside of your company prevents them from receiving consistent training and motivation. By investing in partner training, they’ll be more prepared. Through the training process, the relationships strengthen.
After you’ve invested in your partners, it’s important to track your results. By gathering data, you’ll be able to determine if your partners are meeting your KPI’s. By analyzing these stats, you can determine who needs more coaching or market development funds.
Your deal registration process is where your partner relationships solidify. Its rules can either help or hinder your reputation with the channel. A deal registration process outlines how your partners should do business with you.
Deal registration rules of engagement depend on the customer’s buying process. When the end customer entertains more than one partner at a time, you’ll most likely have a “first come first serve ” rule. While there can be exceptions to these rules, best practices do exist for creating your deal registration process:
Most deal registration programs provide competitive pricing and added support. This is the main motivator for partners to register deals in the first place. Joint sales efforts such as communication and collaboration will live in your PRM. An example of this is Allbound’s unified pipeline feature. You and your partner need to keep each other up to date on every stage of the deal.
Deal registration is rarely cut and dry, but partners need to view your rules as fair. When two partners are competing for the same customer, deal registration can be awarded to whoever is furthest along. This could mean providing proof of an on-site customer visit or demo of the product.
Implementing a partner relationship management system (PRM) makes deal registration easier. Partners will be able to log deals in the system with date stamps and records of changes. Having these records in one place creates accountability. It also allows channel managers to see the facts with their own eyes so that they can decide between the two partners.
Deal visibility is important, especially for forecasting. Update opportunities in real-time so reps can take necessary action to close deals. Being able to see deal progression is especially important for newer companies. Sales leadership uses this data to understand the channel sales cycle as a whole.
In uncomfortable clashes between two partners, it’s easy to lose sight of the customer. Unfortunately, channel conflict can have potential negative consequences on your end-customers. This can include customers not getting the best price or delayed orders.
Despite both sides of the partnership wanting to close the deal, the customer comes first. Sometimes you’ll need to remind your partners of this. Communicating this can prevent hurt feelings.
This strategy is last because it may not apply to all industries. For software and technology companies, reducing the number of channel partners creates exclusivity. It also motivates your partners to invest their time and energy into you. Having less known competitors reduces the frequency of channel conflicts.
To reduce channel conflict, prevention is key. Cohesive communication and tangible investments in your partnerships make them stronger. Creating fair rules and processes prevents partner competition from turning ugly. Forethought goes a long way when it comes to creating long-lasting, profitable partnerships.
As we approach the end of the calendar year, we find ourselves inundated with tasks and responsibilities in and outside of work that keep our minds and inboxes busy. Approximately 83 percent of workers are stressed by at least one thing at work and 30 percent of U.S. employees have high levels of stress. Predictably, these numbers are even higher for entrepreneurs. In the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 34 percent of entrepreneurs–four percentage points more than other workers–reported they were worried. And 45 percent of entrepreneurs said they were stressed, three percentage points more than other workers.
Jessica Carpenter, founder of Wellness Staffers and SEED SPOT alumna, explains the relationship between mindfulness and resilience in the workplace. “I think that mindfulness in any environment is important, but especially in the workplace because it builds and replenished resiliency. Resiliency is the thing that helps us get the job done, recover and move on to the next step. Being mindful gives us the ability to slow down so that we are more present and aware of our in-the-moment needs. This type of mental focus helps guide our actions with calm clarity.”
Many of our team members and entrepreneurs consider mindfulness a strategy that can be used to channel stressful situations into an opportunity for further motivation, energy, and creativity. Sometimes, incorporating mindfulness into a work routine can seem like a task within itself. At SEED SPOT, we find that fitting in mindfulness is something we all strive to do on a day-to-day basis… and breaking it down into mini moments makes it even simpler to achieve.
Pause Your Notifications
Gmail offers many tools and plugins to manage notifications – many on our team use Boomerang to bring emails in and return them at key times of focus. Many also “pause” their inboxes during times of peak workflow or during meetings to avoid getting message overload.
Chief of Staff, Corinn Perry, limits her calendar notification reminders for virtual meetings to be one minute before the meeting starts. “I’ve found that it’s the optimal amount of time to close out what I’m working on, get my headphones set and click on the link for the next meeting, rather than having to keep it in the back of my mind for 5-10 minutes.”
Many team members also use statuses on Slack to indicate they’re not receiving messages. Do-not-disturb is a great way to manage focus and prevent overloads of information. It’s also important to let your teammates know how they can get in touch with you if it’s urgent. Letting them know that a phone call is appropriate for urgent or important communications will allow you to prevent notification and message fatigue.
Mini-Time Management Tricks
On weeks when time is extra scarce, our team consciously blocks off time for not only meetings and calls but also for breaks, work time, and even food! Director of Training and Support, Tristan Gandolfi also sets seated time limits to make sure that back-to-back calls don’t keep her sedentary for too long.
Setting timers or utilizing alarms to break up longer stretches of work time or deep “flow” in work actually support productivity in the long run. “I try to go hard 25-30 minutes at a time then take a two-minute break to breathe, take a moment, and prioritize,” says Vid Micevic, SEED SPOT’s Senior Entrepreneur Support & Impact Analyst, who utilizes the Pomodoro technique of working for about 25 minutes with short breaks in between. The technique supports task ownership and encourages focus by setting mindful boundaries between pieces of work that would otherwise be blockers.
There’s an app for that. Headspace and Calm are incredible apps that make short meditation accessible for even the most entry-level meditators. Being able to work up to longer meditations is all a part of the process – practicing influences your resiliency in the face of setbacks and your ability to focus for longer and more productive periods of time.
Mindful Breaks and Breathing Between Meetings
We all have those days where one Zoom call cascades into another until hours of time have passed and we haven’t had a chance to take our eyes off the screen. Senior Marketing Manager, Bianca Buliga, makes it a point to take an intentional break after long stretches of meetings to ensure that she is refreshed and refocused. “Stretches and intentional breathing after back-to-back meetings” are what help her brain bounce back to its optimal performance.
In a world where many jobs can be done from behind a laptop, commuting to and from an office can often be seen as a chore rather than an opportunity. “Honestly, I find a lot of mindfulness on my way to work,” said Vid. “Biking to work clears the mind and makes me come to work on such a good energy level. If I work from home, I try to stretch every couple of hours. If it’s a nice day, a nice stroll to enjoy working at a nearby coffee shop and soak in the day outside.”
Many team members take the opportunity to take calls while out on walks, or simply just sitting outside.
Take a PTO Day Just Because
This one is a little longer than a moment, but think of it as a mini-staycation. Paid-Time-Off tends to be associated with a big event, travel, or over multiple days in order to be “valid.” Don’t just use your PTO for events where your energy may be depleted – spend some time renewing yourself and taking a break. Between work days, remember to combat cycles of hard work with true breaks to eliminate symptoms of burnout and to recharge your energy.
Mindfulness at work is not a one-time goal. It requires plenty of practice to positively affect your productivity and work-life balance. By incorporating these mini moments of mindfulness into our everyday routines, we aspire to keep energy high and create a productive, collaborative and creative environment to support entrepreneurs.
Are you looking to start or grow a business that prioritizes mindfulness in the workplace? Search for an upcoming SEED SPOT program near you HERE.