The Whole Brain Group http://www.thewholebraingroup.com Smart Web Design & Inbound Marketing Strategies Thu, 26 May 2016 21:01:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.thewholebraingroup.com/home/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/cropped-WBG_150x1501-32x32.png The Whole Brain Group http://www.thewholebraingroup.com 32 32 Stop Trying to Get More Leads http://www.thewholebraingroup.com/blog/stop-trying-to-get-more-leads/ Wed, 25 May 2016 16:00:00 +0000 http://www.thewholebraingroup.com/blog/stop-trying-to-get-more-leads/ You’re working hard to get tons of online leads. You’re proud of this, because your marketing team is really hustling to get your sales team lots of leads from your online marketing efforts. But you need to stop trying to get huge numbers of leads. You’re actually hurting your sales process by doing so. B2B companies that […]

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Stop Trying To Get More Leads

You’re working hard to get tons of online leads. You’re proud of this, because your marketing team is really hustling to get your sales team lots of leads from your online marketing efforts.

But you need to stop trying to get huge numbers of leads. You’re actually hurting your sales process by doing so. B2B companies that center their marketing on getting more leads don’t actually need more leads. They need more sales.

You’ll see a better ROI on your sales and marketing efforts and you’ll close sales faster if you concentrate on finding those prospects that are more likely to want or need what you’re offering and “get” what you’re all about.

Lose the “Loser” Prospects and Focus Only on “Your Guys”

Telling your CEO, “Boss, we need to forget about these hundreds of leads here and focus on these dozens over there,” would be an interesting conversation. But remind your chief that most online lead conversion rates are just 1 percent, and then pique her interest when you mention that extremely qualified online leads often result in a 2 percent (in other words, doubled!) conversion.

Finding Your Perfect Prospects in the First Place

Start by talking to your sales representatives or culling through information about your buyers to find what general types of people are becoming clients. What do they do (what’s their function in your client companies)? What is their educational background, their gender, their age?

Most important, why did they end up buying from you? If necessary, talk to your current or past customers and ask why they purchased your product and service and not a competitor’s?

Once you know who these buyers are, you can then create buyer personas. Be as detailed as possible as you create them because all your marketing will be targeted to these “ideal customers” – your perfect prospects – from now on.

Finding, Nurturing and Selling to Your (Future) Champions

Now that you know who loves you and why they buy from you, create content that speaks to their pains, their driving questions, and desires. Your marketing becomes pertinent and valuable to your particular best customer.

Generate Fewer – But Better – Leads, Close More Sales

Ignore leads generated via non-targeted means. Instead, identify your tribe and then reach out to its members. Give them something exceedingly useful to help them solve their problems, reach their goals, achieve success. Do this repeatedly: nurture your leads. Watch them convert into sales.

Next Steps

Download the Cooking with Inbound eBook

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This Is What Your Sales Funnel Really Looks Like http://www.thewholebraingroup.com/blog/this-is-what-your-sales-funnel-really-looks-like/ Fri, 20 May 2016 10:30:00 +0000 http://www.thewholebraingroup.com/blog/this-is-what-your-sales-funnel-really-looks-like/ Behold, the ideal sales funnel. Symmetrical in form, it’s a model of beauty and efficiency that makes sense of your visitors, leads, opportunities, and closed sales. But that’s not what YOUR sales funnel looks like. Unfortunately for most B2B companies, the reality of their sales funnel is a misshapen figure that looks more like a […]

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This Is What Your Sales Funnel Really Looks Like

Behold, the ideal sales funnel. Symmetrical in form, it’s a model of beauty and efficiency that makes sense of your visitors, leads, opportunities, and closed sales. But that’s not what YOUR sales funnel looks like.

Ideal sales funnel

Unfortunately for most B2B companies, the reality of their sales funnel is a misshapen figure that looks more like a funhouse mirror. And a lot of these companies don’t even realize it because they don’t know what their funnel looks like. They know how many visitors and closes they have, but everything in the middle is a mystery to them. So they assume their funnels have the idealized symmetrical form when in fact they’re horrible-looking messes.

It’s critical to know the shape of your company’s funnel, because it will tell you where you need to invest your time, money, and effort to be successful. Typically, marketers bite off more than they can chew by attacking every stage of the funnel at once. But this generalized approach doesn’t work.

When you know what your funnel actually looks like, you can address the problem areas by focusing your time and effort on the right spot that’s actually going to be beneficial for you.

In this post we’ll show you how to identify your sales funnel’s true shape and how to fix it for increased sales and greater revenue—with less wasted effort.

How to Find Your Sales Funnel’s Shape

Not sure what your sales funnel looks like? Ask these questions:

  • How many site visitors do you have each month?
  • How many leads do you get during that time?
  • Do you already have a database of contacts?
  • How many sales opportunities come through in a month?
  • How many closed sales do you earn in that period?

Knowing these details will give you all the information you need to clearly see the shape of your company’s funnel—and address the problem spots with laser-focused attention.

Which of these funnels is yours?

Four Misshapen Sales Funnels and How to Fix Them

Too Many Leads

Sales funnel with too many leadsIf you’re like most B2B companies, your sales funnel looks something like this. You’ve got a giant database of contacts, but not a lot of website visitors and not enough opportunities—and you’re starving for more closed sales. Most of the leads in your database are old and they’re not engaging with you, so you’re only paying attention to the few new leads you’re getting.

Most people look at the trickle of new leads and go full-throttle after more visitors. If you just had more leads, you’d get more opportunities and close more sales…right?

Actually, the best solution is to nurture the leads you’ve already got. You have tons of contacts in your database who could become opportunities. If you start engaging them with email marketing, your site visits will go up, increasing your number of visitors. And many others will proceed from lead to opportunity, reshaping your funnel proportionately.

Pro tip! Your sales team might be feeling overwhelmed and frustrated because they know that many of your leads could be good ones, but they don’t have the time to make the calls. So marketing can become an invaluable sales partner by asking a couple key questions: What type of information should we be sharing with our leads? How can we nurture these leads to help sales?

We’ve got a sales enablement webinar that can help you figure all of this out.

Not Enough Leads

Sales funnel with many visitors and few leadsYour funnel is overflowing with visitors but you’ve got hardly any leads. You’re doing a phenomenal job attracting people to your site, but you’re not converting them. There could be two reasons for this:

  • You don’t have any way to convert them. You have a Contact Us page but no other way to collect visitors’ contact information. Find opportunities for conversion. Examine how people flow through the site. Where do you need to add a CTA? Do you need to tweak different things? What do you need to change in order to convert leads?
  • You’re targeting the wrong persona. If you have multiple conversion points but no leads, your content probably isn’t targeting the right person. Collaborate with Sales to refine your ideal customer profile and your buyer personas, then refine your content to hone in better.

If this sounds like your issue, download our Cooking with Inbound guide for recipes to get your personas, content, campaigns, and conversions flowing.

Low Close Rate

Sales funnel with very few customersYour visits are good, leads are fine, and the number of opportunities are solid, but you have a very low close rate. Your leads are close enough that they want to move forward, but for one reason or another, they pull back at the last minute and you can’t close your opportunities.

Chances are, you’ve got some gaps in your process. Examine your sales process and identify core gaps. Look for roadblocks and any objections from buyers that are getting in the way of a sale:

  • Unqualified leads filling the wrong part of the funnel
  • Salespeople need better training
  • Supporting sales and marketing assets need optimizing
  • The buyers you’ve worked with for the deal aren’t the actual decision makers—you need to educate and turn the buyer into an advocate and empower them to help sell you internally

Not Enough Visitors

Sales funnel that looks very straightThis funnel looks more like a tube because there’s almost no difference in the number of visitors and sales. In this case, all of your visitors immediately want to buy. You have ridiculously high conversion rates all the way down the funnel.

As great as this might seem at first, it’s a malnourished funnel. This funnel is a sign that you have very little brand exposure and all of your visitors already know who you are—probably due to referrals. You’re missing out on an entire segment of buyers who aren’t even visiting your site and will never find you.

Focus on increasing your visitors by investing in top-of-funnel content and social media to boost your brand awareness. Identify your personas and start producing focused content that targets them. Get our Social Media Checklist to get some tips to help boost traffic to your site.

What Shape Is Your Funnel?

Know what your funnel looks like, and you’ll identify your greatest marketing and sales needs. Attack the problem spot over the next quarter and reassess your funnel, then adjust your focus based on the way its shape has shifted.

This targeted approach, instead of a general shotgun method that hits the entire funnel, will give your sales and marketing teams focus, high impact, and a much greater effectiveness in winning more sales and driving more revenue.

Next Steps

Sales Enablement Webinar

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Seamless Collaboration Results in Seamless Security: Access Control and Custom Bullet-Resistant Doors http://www.thewholebraingroup.com/blog/seamless-collaboration-results-in-seamless-security-access-control-and-custom-bullet-resistant-doors/ Wed, 09 Mar 2016 15:09:54 +0000 http://www.thewholebraingroup.com/blog/seamless-collaboration-results-in-seamless-security-access-control-and-custom-bullet-resistant-doors/ Building a good bullet resistant barrier systems with access control requires seamless collaboration between vendors.  This doesn’t just reduce stress and lower cost (although it always does the former and almost invariably the latter)—it also results in systems with a tighter fit, smoother look, and altogether better performance.  Seamless collaboration is the only way to […]

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Building a good bullet resistant barrier systems with access control requires seamless collaboration between vendors.  This doesn’t just reduce stress and lower cost (although it always does the former and almost invariably the latter)—it also results in systems with a tighter fit, smoother look, and altogether better performance.  Seamless collaboration is the only way to get a seamless system: One that operates smoothly, consistently, and doesn’t tip off possible attackers.

Access Control is a System

In contrast to traditional door locks—which are interchangeable stand-alone pieces that can be easily swapped out—a modern access control system is just that: A system, relying on dedicated software.  While the initial installation and configuration is more complicated than just having a locksmith come in, the resulting functionality is an order of magnitude simpler to deal with and more useful.

For example, key management is traditionally a nightmare—staff turnover, new hires, lost and stolen keys, special access needs, contract maintenance teams, security staff, etc. With an access control system, adding or removing access is just a matter of keystrokes. If someone looses an RFID fob or keycard, issuing a new one is significantly cheaper and easier than having a new key cut (or, in the worst-case scenario, having to re-key all the doors accessed with a given key). In a building-wide system, each individual user can have customized access to different spaces without having to carry an entire ring of keys, and can be granted access on a temporary or conditional basis (e.g., only on weekdays, only between 8am and 5pm, only after business hours, etc.).  A system can have 100,000 users or just 10, it can be accessed via keypad, card, card and PIN, RFID tag, biometrics, and so on.  Additionally, the system can log users as they come (and go), or pass between building sectors.

“These are really incredibly flexible systems,” Eric Malzahn, a Total Security Solutions project manager, explains.  “So, before an architect or facility owner starts talking to any vendors, what’s most important is to really take a look at the end-users’ daily operations, how they are functioning every single day, so that the system can be designed around that.”

Secure Access Demands Collaboration

Eric notes, “With such powerful systems, it’s really important to get all the details right, all the parts meshing.  What separates TSS is that we’re willing to work with other security vendors as equals.  Other companies in our industry really shy away from that. They don’t understand access control, so they don’t want to deal with it. We’re not scared of these types of challenges.  We’ll customize our systems to make it work however the end-user wants.  We always take the time to research it and work with others to make it happen.”

Such collaborations can be very straightforward.  It might take nothing more than a few quick phone calls, and then supplying doors prepped for specific hardware.  TSS can also design and fabricate bullet resistant barrier systems around the access control system, which can include integrating power supplies feeding the appropriate voltage, installing electric strikes and electrified hinges, and so on, so that the access control system can be easily wired up once the barrier is installed.  “We’ve done full-blown access control systems with everything: key cards, electric strikes, Aiphone, the works—much of it buried in the door or frame, so you don’t have external wires and ‘after-market add-ons’ showing.”

This isn’t limited to new construction or entirely new systems.  “For example, we were working with a client in Florida who had an Aiphone system in place.This brand of audio/video intercom system is especially popular with schools.  “We came in, took measurements, investigated what we need to do to keep their existing access control system while improving on their security by seamlessly integrate access control with a fully rated door.”

A Security System is Only as Good as its Doors

Instead of bulk-purchasing mass-produced pre-fab doors, TSS fabricates all of their doors entirely in-house.  In part, this is simply a matter of practicality:  A pre-fab door is never going to be a perfect fit. If you want a system that looks good and works smoothly, you need a custom-tailored door.  By building their own doors, TSS can be sure that any hardware the end-user wants will be perfectly fitted to the door, and that the door can be properly prepped for seamless integration with any access control scheme.

But for TSS CEO Jim Richards, custom bullet resistant doors are about more than just being practical. “We always want our work to be a cut above,” he explains.  As an example, he shares these 100% custom interior double doors, built for a sensitive corporate facility.  “This is the kind of custom work we can do on a one-off.  No one in our industry has ever done doors like these.”

DSC01411

At first glance, they seem like standard vestibule doors.

“But those door lites aren’t individual panes—each door has a single-piece of monolithic acrylic, visually divided by false muntins that we built from scratch, precisely blended to the surface of the door”—which is backed with bullet resistant fiberglass, and also conceals access control devices integrated with the building-wide system.”

In most cases a buyer will order a door either veneered, or simply primed to be painted on site.  For this particular job, they needed a quick, quiet, clean installation.  The client also wanted to assure durability, so TSS handled a custom paint job, as well as all of the brass hardware, perfectly matching every other piece in the building.

The result: security-rated doors and advanced access control systems, seamless integrated to fade into the background.

NEXT STEPS:

Make or Break Project

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Your First Bullet Proof System: Planning, Production, and Installation http://www.thewholebraingroup.com/blog/your-first-bullet-proof-system-planning-production-and-installation/ Wed, 02 Mar 2016 22:00:51 +0000 http://www.thewholebraingroup.com/blog/your-first-bullet-proof-system-planning-production-and-installation/ According to Jim Richards, CEO of Total Security Solutions, people worry too much about bulletproof barrier installation:“They get really focused on what it’ll take to get a system installed, and it’s hard to persuade them that this isn’t that big a deal. The real challenge is in the initial planning, which comes weeks and months […]

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bulletproof glass barrier in business setting

According to Jim Richards, CEO of Total Security Solutions, people worry too much about bulletproof barrier installation:
“They get really focused on what it’ll take to get a system installed, and it’s hard to persuade them that this isn’t that big a deal. The real challenge is in the initial planning, which comes weeks and months before anything ships. That’s the tricky part, the part we’re really eager to carefully guide them through. The installation? Heck, we get that done overnight. That’s a piece of cake.”

Planning for a Great Bullet Proof Barrier System

There are five questions you’ll need to think through before calling a bullet proofing consultant:

1) What sort of threat do you need to protect against? It takes different levels of ballistic material to stop a .9mm and an AK-47. Likewise, it takes different styles of systems to deter an ideologically driven sniper and a smash-and-grab bandit.
2) What area of your building do you need to secure? Different materials and designs work better in indoor and outdoor applications. The number of access points, the height of ceilings and lengths of counters, the materials of the walls, all have an impact on system design.
3) What sort of business do you need to get done through the barrier? A barrier with high traffic–many transactions, many deliveries, many visitors, a loud and bustling lobby–poses different challenges than a barrier mounted at the end of a quiet hall with only the occasional visitor turning in paperwork.
4) What are your aesthetic goals? Some businesses want unobtrusive bullet proof reception windows and bullet resistant doors that blend in with every other door in the building; others want the system to clearly announce itself and act as major a deterrent.
5) What limitations are there to the delivery and installation? Your system arrives in a semi-truck strapped to pallets that need to be moved with a forklift. Installing on a second floor with narrow halls in a building at the end of an alley is challenging–knowing about that early will give TSS time to find solutions.

Getting the Details of Your Project Right is the First Step

Once you have these details clear in your head, then you will have a very productive conversation with a TSS consultant. That consultant will walk you through the options that suit your space and application, arrange to get accurate measurements, have drawings prepared as you work through the approval process, and so on.
It surprises most new customers to learn that the trickiest aspect of any bullet proof system is the doors. Any member of Jim’s team can recall countless occasions when a customer has been absolutely confident that they need a door hinged on the right and swinging into the secured area, only to take one look at the drawings and realize that’s impossible because of the furniture layout, or the way two halls come together, or fire code, or one of a million other tiny details.
“Doors get people all the time,” Jim notes. “It’s why we made this bullet proof door checklist, to help people think through it before they commit.”
It may seem like a simple matter, but TSS bulletproof doors are entirely custom made–which is how they can get a seamless fit and smoothly integrate your your preferred hardware, from standard keyed locks and panic bars to multi-entry computer-controlled electric strike access systems. Changing the direction of swing or how the door is hung often necessitates redesigning the door from scratch.

Smooth Production and Installation Preparation

Once the plan is squared away and approved in writing, the process rolls very smoothly. All TSS bullet resistant barrier systems and components are fabricated on-site). In order to assure tight tolerances among all of a barrier’s components, TSS relies on a highly tech-driven engineering workflow. Because of the job batching process, many projects go into production immediately upon receiving your approval. This is great for delivery times, but bad for last minute changes; always double check all drawings carefully prior to approval.
While your system components are being fabricated, there are a few things you can take care of to be ready for installation. The most important of these are:
1) Establish a single point of contact within your organization to answer any questions about the system, delivery, or installation. Having a single point of contact assures faster turnarounds and fewer miscommunications.
2) Prepare for installation: Make arrangements within your organization to receive shipments, clear out spaces, grant after-hours access to installers, and so on.

Keeping Installation Easy

The installation itself is a breeze, rarely taking more than a single evening. Even complex systems can be installed over a weekend. While some buyers may elect to do their own installation–especially with a “single-site” or “single element” installation, like putting in a simple transaction window–Jim is quick to point out that it’s easy to bite off more than you can chew.
“These are unfamiliar materials to most people,” he explains. “What you’ve got to keep in mind is that these materials can’t be treated the same way as regular building materials. First off, they’re heavy. It’s very easy to damage your drywall or framing by leaning a large ballistic acrylic window against it. A bullet proof door, if leaned against a wall, can actually deform under its own weight. Also, some of the materials–especially the transparency–can be badly marred by things like paint thinner or lacquer thinner, which are no problem for regular window glass.”

NEXT STEPS:

Bulletproof Glass History

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Hero or Outlaw? How to Use Archetypes in Marketing Your Brand http://www.thewholebraingroup.com/blog/hero-or-outlaw-how-to-use-archetypes-in-marketing-your-brand/ Thu, 30 Apr 2015 20:03:59 +0000 http://new.thewholebraingroup.com/?p=396 If someone asks you what your archetype is, don’t worry—it’s not a cheesy pickup line. Archetypes are an ideal model of a type or group, like a personality type or a typecast character. Think of Darth Vader as the archetypal Bad Guy, or Dorothy Gale as the archetypal Innocent. Archetypal images represent fundamental human desires. […]

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If someone asks you what your archetype is, don’t worry—it’s not a cheesy pickup line.

Archetypes are an ideal model of a type or group, like a personality type or a typecast character. Think of Darth Vader as the archetypal Bad Guy, or Dorothy Gale as the archetypal Innocent. Archetypal images represent fundamental human desires. In literature and art, they connect with readers and viewers at deep emotional levels.

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7 Ways You’re Ruining Your Calls to Action http://www.thewholebraingroup.com/blog/7-ways-youre-ruining-your-calls-to-action/ Thu, 30 Apr 2015 20:02:51 +0000 http://new.thewholebraingroup.com/?p=394 Let’s face it. You spend more time combing through stock photos than you do crafting your calls to action. CTAs are easy, right? Just tell your lead to sign up or download. Simple!

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Let’s face it. You spend more time combing through stock photos than you do crafting your calls to action. CTAs are easy, right? Just tell your lead to sign up or download. Simple!

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