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[AUDIO] Customer Love Summit - Audience Questions

By Trish Fontanilla, VP of Community & Customer Experience at Vsnap

We upped the audience participation at the Customer Love Summit this year by allowing some time focused on questions that our attendees submitted during the conference break. This audio clip features insights from Dave Wieneke (Digital Strategy Practice Director of ISITE Design), Bill Harris (VP, Sales at Vsnap), and Dave McLaughlin (moderator + CEO at Vsnap) talking about support within an organization, living out company values, and how to capture customer stories.

(This audio file is available on SoundCloud: click here)

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4 Ways Successful Sales Managers Start Q2

By Guillaume Delloue, Director of Marketing at Vsnap

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This is it. The beginning of Q2. Only one question should be on your mind: Is your house in order? While most are still reeling from the previous quarter, successful sales managers hit the ground running. Here are four best practices sales pros follow to hit their numbers before beach season.

Affirm Executive Direction

When your teams are out in the trenches all day selling, it’s easy for your sales representatives to lose sight of the big idea. Start Q2 by regrouping with the C-suite and confirming the executive direction. Are there new markets you should be going after? Any competition you should be paying extra attention to or specific objectives you need to achieve? Take that information and bring your reps in a room to communicate the strategy.  

Reignite Relationships

Do a little spring cleaning and reach out to those leads you didn’t have time to get to. And don’t forget about those smaller accounts that may have been neglected either. Taken together they can add up to considerable revenue. Now’s also a good time to reach out to trusted connections in your network by sending them a personal note.

Experiment With A New Tool

Used correctly, SaaS products like CRMs, email tools (HubSpot Signal, Yesware), predictive analytics platforms (Lattice, Infer) and others (like Vsnap!) can significantly increase sales performance. Whether it’s by organizing your customer database, eliminating pains for your staff or shortening the sales cycle. If you’re already covered, third-party apps (like those found on the AppExchange in Salesforce.com) can also provide value.

Address Your ABCs & Energize Team Morale

Pore through the data from the previous quarter and assess your ABC’s — as Jack Welch put it. Reward your top 20% performers. Train and set thoughtful goals for the middle 70%. And unless there are extenuating circumstances, let go of the bottom 10%. Don’t forget to blow off some steam by treating your team to what they enjoy doing — going out for drinks or getting together for a game of pickup basketball. If a consensus is hard to reach, it’s fine to split into groups. The key is for the team to have fun without having to worry about business.

Did we miss anything? What are your Q2 rituals? Share them below!


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[Video] Customer Love Summit - Great Customer Service as the Brand

By Trish Fontanilla, VP of Community & Customer Experience at Vsnap

How can a company whose products don’t appear in Google search also hit #11 on Internet Retailer’s 2014 list of the leading (top 500) mobile commerce sites? In the following video, Jeff Cram (ISITE Design) and Tom Weisend (Rue La La) will talk about Rue La La’s online gated community, its explosive growth, and keeping customer delight at the center of experience. 

Thanks again to Jeff and Tom for doing this fireside chat for the 2014 Customer Love Summit

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Recap: MassTLC Sales & Marketing Summit 2014

By Guillaume Delloue, Director of Marketing at Vsnap

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Last Friday, the Vsnap team attended Mass TLC’s Sales & Marketing Summit. It was a busy morning, as we alternated between hosting our own table, interacting with guests, and listening to the speakers. Dave even got to pitch Vsnap in front of the whole crowd!

The main talk (“The Art and Science of Growth Hacking”) was delivered by Boston VC David Skok, along with commentaries by Brian Balfour (VP of Growth at HubSpot), Damian Roskill (VP of Marketing, uTest), Michael Yaffe (VP of Marketing, Beyond Trust) and Justine Jordan (Marketing Director, Litmus). It was a wonderful presentation — serving both as a primer to the concept of growth hacking and a more detailed conversation on how to quickly iterate your product for maximum growth. Here are 4 of my takeaways from the morning. 

Deliver WOW! As Quickly As Possible

As anyone working on a SaaS product will tell you, the most difficult challenge is getting users to make a purchase after the trial period is over. According to David, the best way to get there is by delivering WOW! As he said in the blog post that inspired his talk, “Wow! is the moment in a free trial where your buyer suddenly sees the benefit they get from using your product, and says to themselves ‘WOW! This is great!” Getting to that WOW! moment is never easy. But it’s necessary if you want to succeed. And growth hacking is one of the most effective ways to get there.

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Focus On Flow And Conversion

According to David, growth hacking hinges on two metrics: flow and conversion. Flow is the number of users at a given stage of the product/sales funnel. Conversion rates refer to the percentage of users who advance to the next stage of the funnel. The goal is to constantly fill the top of the funnel with quality leads, convert them into paying users and keep them returning. (Bonus if you can empower your biggest fans to easily refer the product to others.) This is accomplished by identifying where users drop off, understanding why and testing various solutions (i.e. hacks) until they reach that WOW! moment.

Diagram The Funnel And Showcase It To Your Team

Given how critical a well-optimized funnel is to your team’s success, David recommends showcasing it prominently on a wall for your whole organization to see. It will ensure your team is on the same page and help foster creative thinking around any of the blockage points. Great ideas can come from anywhere!

Content Is Still King But The Rules Are Evolving

The latter part of the event was a workshop session led by Alan Belniak (Content Expert) and Jonathan Burg (Director of Demand Generation, Apperian) about crafting a content strategy to align with the B2B funnel. The exercise focused on defining customer pain points, how to recycle content strategically and how to diversify your outbound channels. Jonathan also reminded the crowd that the successful implementation of a SaaS product involves a lot more than just its users. That’s why it might be important to consider IT personnel, customer service folks, C-Suites and others as part of your content strategy.

Overall it was a productive session with insights for marketers, sales folks and product people alike — never an easy feat! If you’re hungry for more, scroll through the Storify below to see what everyone was tweeting about during the event.

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[Video] Customer Love Summit - Building a Culture You Love

by Trish Fontanilla, VP of Community & Customer Experience at Vsnap 

When thinking about customer love, you’ve also got to think of employee love. Past the free coffee and unlimited vacation days, how much thought have you spent on the place your team works from each day? In the following video, Vince Pan from Analogue Studio and Robby Bitting from MassChallenge will talk about how design can foster culture, from the sign that hangs in the front lobby down to where you place the kitchen. Vince will show The Grommet, MassChallenge, and Workbar as examples of spaces that use design to empower the people that work there.

Thanks again to Vince and Robby for doing this fireside chat for the 2014 Customer Love Summit

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