Come and Work for FLG 360!

We’re looking for a Sales Executive, to work here at FLG HQ in Padiham, near Burnley.

Enjoy views of the beautiful Northern countryside (and heavy goods traffic) from our lovely new offices, whilst talking to potential new customers and gently persuading them to join our happy family.  If it sounds like the dream job, that’s because it is!

Here’s the details, contact us to apply.

What we expect from you:

  • Set up and support clients with their new accounts, consult clients on best practice, and help build long term relationships.
  • Work hard and enjoy what you do.  Support and inspire other members of the team.
  • Respond to inbound (warm) phone or internet enquiries, get them excited about what we offer with an online demo, and eventually close the sale.
  • Hit or exceed your sales targets.

The experience or qualifications you’ll have:

  • Solid B2B sales experience.
  • You’ll be a top seller in your current role and they’ll be reluctant to let you go!
  • Experience of selling business software would be a major advantage, but is not essential.

What you’ll get in return:

  • Contact us for salary details.
  • 20 days paid holiday + bank holidays.
  • A chance to work with great people in a fun and fast growing technology business.

Connecting Other Services to FLG 360 with Zapier

We don’t yet have FLG 360 listed as a service in Zapier.  They require us to publicly publish the API docs, which we’re in the process of doing.

Until then, it’s fairly easy to connect service -> FLG 360 with Zapier’s webhooks, and vice versa.  In this tutorial, we’ll connect email -> FLG 360.  That’s not so useful, but by replacing email with any of Zapier’s other ~250 services, it becomes very useful.

In Zapier, create a new Zap:

Zapier 1

Choose ‘Email’ (New Inbound Email) as the trigger, and ‘Web Hook’ (POST) as the action.

Next, you’ll see a couple of options which Zapier will tell you are all set, just move on.

Zapier 2

Now, choose an email address that you’ll use to trigger this Zap.  We’re choosing ‘flg360′ as the email address prefix.  It can be anything you want.

Zapier 3

Next, you’ll need to head over to FLG 360, and go to ‘Tools’, then ‘Capture Leads’, and select ‘From a Website’.  You should see a screen like this:

Zapier 4

Choose the lead group you want to receive leads into, and untick ‘JavaScript Validation’.  Then click ‘Continue’.  That should give you a web form that (normally) you’d paste into a web page, but we’ll pick out some elements from it and enter them into Zapier.  So keep this to hand.

Zapier 5

This is the trickiest part (but don’t worry, it’s not too bad).  Find the URL inside <form action="">, it should be like this but with your account’s subdomain:

httpx://demo.flg360.co.uk/api/APIHTTPPost.php

Paste this into the ‘URL’ field in Zapier.  Then you need to fill out the ‘Data’ box in Zapier with the other fields in your form that you want to send through.

Zapier 6

You’ll at least need:

intLeadGroupID|(The lead group ID)
strLeadFirstName|(The first name)
strLeadLastName|(The last name)

These three fields are always required.  But you might want to add other fields you can see in the form such as strLeadEmail or strLeadData1.

Pay attention to the optional/required settings in your lead group, and the field types for any additional fields.  The data you get from your action will of course need to be compatible with your lead group’s restraints.

We’re using these settings (assuming our lead group ID is 12345):

intLeadGroupID|12345
strSource|An email
strLeadFirstName|{{Subject}}
strLeadLastName|.
strLeadEmail|{{Sender}}

Click the ‘Insert Fields’ button to insert a field that comes from the action.  In our example, we’re using the email’s subject as the first name, and the email sender as the lead’s email address.  You might find that the mappings are more obvious when you link a more relevant service to FLG 360.  We’re kind of fudging the mapping for the purposes of this demo.  After you’ve tested the Zap, you’ll see samples too when you insert fields which makes things easier.

The final step is to test and make the Zap live, which happens over the next few steps.

Zapier 7

You should then be live!

It’s also possible to do this the other way round, going from FLG 360 -> service by making the trigger in Zapier a webhook, and adding a webhook lead type action in FLG 360 when you want to trigger the Zap.

WPForm – WordPress Plugin Form Shortcode for FLG 360

If you need to add FLG 360 forms to WordPress sites, your life might get a little bit easier from now on.  Webby Scots have built a great little FLG 360 shortcode to make it super simple to install FLG 360 forms onto any WordPress site or blog.

By default, you get a form with these fields:

  • Title
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email
  • Telephone
  • Submit

But you can tweak the form and make it your own.  You can add a site ID, marketing info, etc.. and use all the options that FLG 360 web forms support.

For now, the plugin is available by downloading from GitHub.  To learn how to install and use it, please visit Webby Scots.  A big thanks to Webby Scots for building this excellent plugin and making it available to FLG 360′s users.

Act quickly with FLG 360 to win more business!

Today’s little spark of sales lead knowledge aims to ignite the fire of your sales team to act rapidly and drive conversion rates – and to add more to your bottom line.

Online sales leads are notoriously fickle; attention spans, and your window of opportunity, can be measured in minutes. It’s essential that a new lead is engaged immediately. In a recent piece of research (Oldroyd, 2011) it was ascertained that “[Firms that try] to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead (which we defined as having a meaningful conversation with a key decision maker) as those that tried to contact the customer even an hour later.”

To complicate matters, even in a business to business environment, it’s incredible how many sales leads are generated at weekends or at night – and of course this number increases in business to consumer interactions. Often, the lead has made his or her mind up by the time you’re back at your desk in the morning, meaning your sales cycle is closed.

The key is to have an instant response to your new client. Nurturing begins in the first second of contact, your new client needs to be thoroughly engaged until all the benefits of your service have been discovered. An Email response to your new lead, introducing the person in your team that is devoted to winning their business, is the first and vital step – but more importantly this email needs to be tailored to their needs (through recognition of their industry type , geographic location or other specific criteria.) There should immediately be an indication of the next steps – when and how you will contact your new customer in waiting, as you seek to move through the sales cycle.

FLG 360 is a product that will do all the above and more. In one great value package, there is the opportunity to manage new leads, instantly interact, nurture and broadcast your message before profiting on a sale to a thoroughly informed and satisfied new customer.

It is evident that in the information age, sales administration needs to move quickly to keep up and business processes need to be updated to reflect shorter attention spans. The review we mentioned earlier went on to suggest that “It’s already evident that most sales organizations need new tools and processes to meet the demands of the online age” – Visit us, learn more and take a test drive today at www.flg360.co.uk

Oldroyd, J. B., McElheran, K. and Elkington, D., 2011. The Short Life of Online Sales Leads. Harvard Business Review. Harvard Business Publishing. Available through: Harvard Business Review Website [Accessed 23/05/2012]

 

Avoid Missed Home Visits & Appointments – Nurture Them Carefully

Many businesses depend on home visits – especially those in home improvements, such as window & conservatory sales, blinds, solar, etc..  Some businesses depend just as much on meeting a person face to face, but instead the meeting takes place at an office.

It’s really important to keep in touch with the customer, before and after the appointment.  People can be forgetful (especially if they don’t know what’s in it for them before the appointment), so you need to remind them when the appointment is and what’s in it for them (maybe a week before and a day before).

After the appointment, it’s always good to thank them for their time, and follow up with any information they were promised.  If the customer went away with a decision to make, you must ask for that.

So let’s break down each step:

  1. Confirm the appointment:  You’ll want this to happen as soon as the appointment is made.  Depending on the context of the appointment, you might want to mail a confirmation out.  Usually, an email is enough.
  2. Send reminders:  Again, depending on exactly what the appointment is for, you may want to send a few reminders, or maybe just the one.  For most cases, a reminder email a week before, and a text message the day before should be enough.  Try and get as personal as possible at this stage, mention the person’s name who they’ll be seeing – that way the customer will be less likely to let you down.  Give the customer either direct means to change the appointment or just a signal that it’s OK for them to do that – a rebooked appointment is better than a missed one.
  3. Offer directions and as much extra information as possible:  Especially if the customer is visiting you, offer directions and plenty of information about what they can expect when they get there.  It may seem trivial to you, but a small detail to you may be a real worry for your customer.  You should do this on the morning of the appointment, by email, or even better, by phone.
  4. Thank the customer:  The day after the appointment (or maybe the same day in the evening), drop a short but sweet email or text message saying thanks for their time.
  5. Follow up later:  The purpose of every appointment is of course different, but you’ll know what you promised the customer, or what you need to ask to get an outcome.  Now’s the time to do this.  Remember not to be pushy but be persistent.  Follow up until you get an outcome.  You may want to push the customer back to a nurturing stage again here if they say ‘no’, but don’t say ‘never’.

The important thing is to put the processes in place to do all this.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, and you can accomplish all the above with a simple set of tools (a diary, your email client, your mobile phone), and some discipline.

I can guarantee if you do all of the above your failed appointments will fall.  Maybe not by double digit percentages, but if you can get 5% extra appointments to succeed, and you are doing 20 appointments a week right now, that’s an extra appointment every week.

If 1 in 4 appointments make you money, that’s roughly 1 extra sale a month.

FLG 360 sales lead automation software makes it easier.  In fact, every element above can be automated (well not quite, you’d still need to make the phone call!).  Within 1 week, we can have you up and running with a solution where you give FLG 360 the customer’s details and the appointment date, and it does the rest!

  • All letters, emails and text messages are scheduled around the appointment date.  If the appointment date changes, they’ll automatically be rescheduled.
  • You can automatically choose a local representative or office depending on the customer’s location.  You choose how appointments are allocated if you have more than 1 rep (randomly, round-robin, etc.).
  • FLG 360 can even partially automate a rebooking process.  Give the users a link to click in their confirmation email if they want to reschedule.  When they click it, FLG 360 automatically cancels the appointment and routes the customer back to a person who can get in touch to rebook the appointment.

As a bonus, you can store a full history against all your previous appointments, segment your customers, and send email or text message marketing campaigns with just a few clicks.  See our features summary for more.

Take a tour of FLG 360, or get in touch to tell us how we can help you.

Put this code into Google

For all those geeks that love making Google do amazing things, search this:

2 sqrt(-abs(abs(x)-1)*abs(3-abs(x))/((abs(x)-1)*(3-abs(x))))(1+abs(abs(x)-3)/(abs(x)-3))sqrt(1-(x/7)^2)+(5+0.97(abs(x-.5)+abs(x+.5))-3(abs(x-.75)+abs(x+.75)))(1+abs(1-abs(x))/(1-abs(x))),-3sqrt(1-(x/7)^2)sqrt(abs(abs(x)-4)/(abs(x)-4)),abs(x/2)-0.0913722(x^2)-3+sqrt(1-(abs(abs(x)-2)-1)^2),(2.71052+(1.5-.5abs(x))-1.35526sqrt(4-(abs(x)-1)^2))sqrt(abs(abs(x)-1)/(abs(x)-1))+0.9

(Source: me-also)

Introducing Forms – For Sales Scripts & Workflows

We recently added one of our best and most anticipated features yet to FLG 360 (our sales lead management and automation platform).

Simply put, our new ‘forms’ feature allows you to:

  • Easily create on-screen forms to guide your sales people through the sale, collecting information as they go along.
  • Add intelligience, changing the workflow depending on the prospect’s responses.
  • Be alerted or pass the lead to another person or department under conditions you set.

(Forms, bots and lead actions can be combined to create some really clever, and money making, automations).

This powerful feature is available on our XL edition.

Take a free 14 day test drive of FLG 360 and try them out!

Using Text Messaging for Better Sales Lead Conversion

It’s true that text messaging is based on old standards, but it’s still incredibly popular (in 2010, people in the UK were sending 11 million text messages every hour).

Maybe it’s because of it’s accessibility – pretty much anyone can send or recieve a text on their mobile (smartphone or oldphone!).

So you have deeply integrated text messaging in FLG 360.  You can send text messages to an individual lead (in a lead, click ‘New > Text Message’).

You can send text messages in bulk too.  Go to ‘Leads > Search Leads > Bulk Actions’, click the ‘Contact’ button, and choose a text message template to start your campaign.

(See our packs and services page if you use larger volumes as we can give you a discount in return for your commitment).

But you might not know about an incredibly useful feature that can be a real aid to sales lead conversion.  It’s quick and fairly unique..

If you’re using our XL edition, we can set up text message replies for you.  So when you send text messages, your customers can simply reply to the text, and the reply is assigned straight back to the user who sent it.

Use it to:

  1. Engage with customers when they otherwise can’t talk (at work, in a public place).
  2. As a frictionless way to collect in small pieces of information to move the lead on.
  3. Or just when the customer prefers to text back and forth.

It hardly costs anything – just £10 per month to add reply text messaging to your whole account (it’s £10 flat, not per user).

We can also set up ‘TEXT KEYWORD TO 80818′ shortcodes to receive new enquiries.   These are £10 a month too.

Why Nurture Sales Leads?

Not everyone is ready to buy the moment they make an enquiry with you.  They may need more information, they may be thinking ahead.

Maybe they’re sizing you up against your competitors.

Many companies cherry pick the sales ready leads and forget about the rest.  They get the same average results and wonder why they don’t get better conversion rates.

The answer?  Nurture your leads - keep in close contact with the people who aren’t quite ready to buy.

It’s not about bombarding your prospects with sales material.  Here’s a quote from the US author and speaker Bob Burg:

“Internalize the Golden Rule of sales that says: All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.”

- Bob BurgIt’s there in Bob Burg’s advice – lead nurturing should be about building a relationship, and building trust:

  • Educate your potential customers about buying what you sell.
  • Gently pursuade them about how you’re different from competitors.
  • Build up to a sale by making an offer or two.
  • Use emails, letters and calls, but make them work in harmony and always relevant.

Within FLG 360, you can nurture leads using ‘bots’.  Bots are available on the Plus edition and higher.

First, create your email, letter and text messages templates (‘Settings > Templates’).  Then go to ‘Settings > Bots’ and create your sequence of nurturing steps.

It’s not just about creating trust, in fact, there’s an even simpler reason that lead nurturing works.  Prospects will only buy from you if they remember you.  It’s startlingly simple, but often ignored.

“It is not your customer’s job to remember you. It is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you.”

- Patricia Fripp

4 ideas on automating your sales process

There’s a lot to be said for sales automation. Things don’t get forgotten. Your sales people can do things quicker, and more consistently. You satisfy the folks in compliance.

But whilst making your sales people happier is great, the simple truth is that it has to bring in more sales.

So where should you focus your efforts? Here’s a few ideas:

1. Automate the boring stuff and your sales people will spend more time SELLING.

FLG 360, our sales lead automation platform, will thank a customer for their enquiry, decide who’s best to deal with it, tell the sales person to call, and remind them when they need to follow up.

In fact, there’s no such thing as a ‘dead’ lead with FLG 360. Every single lead is a potential deal and is never forgotten.

2. Make qualifying a prospect a pleasure, not a chore.

It takes around 10 minutes* to set up a step by step qualifying process within FLG 360. You can tell your sales people what to say, and the sales person can record the customer’s answers. Then take action accordingly, you decide.

(* An askerisk normally means “that isn’t quite true”, but I can assure you, in this case it is. Call us and ask us to prove it. There’s no programming involved).

3. Eliminate busy lines, dead numbers, answer phones and no answers. Use a dialler.

Maybe you’re reluctant to use a dialler for fear of killing the spirit of your sales people. I know I was at first. But there’s an often overlooked third option between inefficient manual dial and soul crushing auto dial.

That’s ‘power hour’ dialling – just 1 hour of intense calling each day, freeing up the rest of the day for selling.

FLG 360 can set you up with sales lead automation with a pay as you go dialler. It works with your existing phones. Because there’s no up front investment, there’s no risk in trying this technique.

4. Create and send quotes with a couple of clicks.

So it’s the end of the sales call and the customer wants a quote. Many of our customers used Word, sometimes Powerpoint, before discovering FLG 360. Copying and pasting details, writing a cover email.

They can now do the same work with literally 2, maybe 3 clicks, in 30 seconds. Either all within FLG 360 (by email), or by teaming FLG 360 up with quote building software.

For sales lead management software that does all this and more, take a look at FLG 360.

About This Blog

Sales Lead Brain is brought to you by FLG 360, the sales lead management & automation platform.

We bring you advice on how to source sales leads and how to maximise conversions.

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