Learn how to build a sales team at Disrupt 2020

The classic model of enterprise sales (the relationship building, the big client dinners, the baseball games, etc) was upended in the 2010s. New approaches like inside sales offered better leverage for salespeople, better metrics to track performance, and a more assured funnel that helped SaaS companies drive efficient revenue growth. That foundation shows up directly…

ascher kazanjy rowley disrupt - Learn how to build a sales team at Disrupt 2020

The classic model of enterprise sales (the relationship building, the big client dinners, the baseball games, etc) was upended in the 2010s. New approaches like inside sales offered better leverage for salespeople, better metrics to track performance, and a more assured funnel that helped SaaS companies drive efficient revenue growth. That foundation shows up directly in the markets: software companies have mostly survived the past few months and, in fact, have even thrived, driving higher valuations as investors flee to strong companies.

Now it looks like sales is going to be reinvented again in the 2020s. With social distancing, remote work, and massive economic calamities flowing across global business, can sales reinvent itself for what will almost certainly be a radically different decade? What strategies are the ticket to revenue growth this time around?

Given that sales is the lifeblood of most enterprise startups (and even some consumer startups these days), we wanted to make sure we had a great panel of people with the deep expertise to talk about what sales is going to look like going forward. And we’re excited about who we are bringing together to talk more about building a sales team on the Extra Crunch stage at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020.

First, we have Brian Ascher, who is a partner at Venrock. Ascher has spent his two decade VC investing career focused on the sales market, backing such enterprise companies as 6Sense, Socrates AI, and Dynamic Signal. He’s going to bring his two-sides-of-the-table perspective to our discussion: how he advises founders on building sales teams today, as well as talking about what the market looks like for sales-focused software platforms.

Next, we have Pete Kazanjy, an authority on sales in Silicon Valley. Many founders learn sales through his popular works like “Founding Sales” as well as his intense community building. In addition to all of that leadership, he has also founded his own company, Atrium HQ, which builds tools for sales teams to increase their performance.

Third and finally, we have Jill Rowley, an early startup employee at enterprise giants Salesforce and Eloqua who has since spent more than a decade guiding and advising founders and executives on how to build out a sales teams and improve their performance. She brings a wealth of experience of all the different models of sales and how they interact with each other.

Sales is no less important today, but the models are once again changing. It’s critical that startup founders adapt to the changing nature of the beast, and we’re excited to have three experts provide a guide map. Plus, because this is the Extra Crunch stage, we will be taking audience questions throughout the panel. So come engage with us and learn the secrets to sales team success.

Disrupt 2020 kicks off tomorrow September 14-18. Get your Digital Pro Pass to participate in this interactive session along with the rest of the insightful content on the Extra Crunch stage.

Are You Sitting on a Customer Retention Goldmine?

September 15, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Conversion rate optimization is generally viewed from the lens of customer acquisition: “How can we A/B test different aspects of our marketing campaigns and storefront to boost sales?”However, what happens after the sale? What happens when the customer you’ve been barraging with…


6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Conversion rate optimization is generally viewed from the lens of customer acquisition: “How can we A/B test different aspects of our marketing campaigns and storefront to boost sales?”

However, what happens after the sale? What happens when the customer you’ve been barraging with ads about how amazing your product is doesn’t see or hear about you after the sale, or worse, sees the identical acquisition ads over and over?

It’s natural that every entrepreneur should want to optimize every facet of their business. For most, customer acquisition is the shiny exciting number that screams growth, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of building a long-term customer retention strategy that aims to convert new customers into champions. 

Related: 3 Tips for Maximizing Customer Relationships

Follow the money: Retention > acquisition

Retention is a more efficient and effective means to generate revenue that would have cost multiples through other customer acquisition strategies; it’s said to up to five times cheaper to get an existing customer to buy again rather than to get a completely new customer. 

The most significant expenses in customer acquisition usually occur at the top of the funnel: making completely new customers aware, informed and enamored with your brand. A rookie mistake is to consider the relationship you’ve developed in your acquisition phases as fizzled out the moment you hear that Shopify ka-ching notification.

If you’re building a long-term business, you should be looking at the bottom of your acquisition funnel as the beginning of a hopefully endless customer retention sequence. How can you continue to delight your customers? 

“Customer retention should be the top priority of any business that depends on customers buying their product again and again,” says Moiz Ali, the founder of personal care company Native. “Customer retention doesn’t just increase the value of a single customer — it brings in additional customers and reduces customer acquisition costs through word of mouth and brand advocacy. You must provide two things: products that deliver on their promise and customer service that delights rather than infuriates people. If you provide only one, the best you can be is Comcast. If you provide both, you can become Amazon. Ultimately, businesses that are so myopic that they only see dollar signs when they look at their customers are destined to fail.” 

For example, some car dealerships will spend more on post-purchase advertising than regular advertising to prevent buyer’s remorse and encourage word of mouth. A new customer is more likely to be happy with their product and will become more willing to spread the word if they start seeing some ads that showcase the lifestyle and value of the purchase they just made, which tends to require an entirely different type of creative. 

Related: 5 Strategies to Keep Your Customers Long-Term in 2020

Turn your customers into champions by investing in brand affinity

Solely focusing on customer acquisition and not developing brand affinity is like playing a game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos, except instead of keeping all your customers, they potentially enter the jaws of a competitor when they’re inevitably targeted by similar ads. 

However, if you focus on creating a delightfully positive customer experience by nurturing your customers after they purchased, they’re likely to stay with you despite being blanketed by competing ads. 

What makes for a more meaningful relationship: meeting a new person every day or having an ongoing conversation with the same person on a regular basis?

By focusing on customer retention, you can deepen the relationship between your brand and your customers while keeping the intimate human element often lost in customer acquisition campaigns. 

Instead of viewing a customer purchasing your product or service as the end of your funnel, view it as the beginning of an entirely new funnel — one that focuses on turning a paying customer into a brand champion. 

“We see our customers as friends, not dollar signs,” says Taylor Offer, co-founder of Feat Clothing. “The relationship we create with our customer could be the highest ROI we see across the whole business. It’s about making the relationship with a customer conversational, not transactional. We don’t only communicate with our customers to buy more; we add value to their lives with content they enjoy. One of our best acquisition channels is word of mouth, because we not only deliver a great product but also a great experience that customers want to talk about.

The small things you do to make your clients feel special contribute to an increase in brand affinity — and that’s more than simply sending them a 20 percent off coupon because they subscribed to your email list. 

Think of ways to humanize the digital experience. Not only is a champion of your brand likely to continue buying from you, they’re also likely to spread the word whenever asked for a recommendation.

Best of all, if you can fully retain ownership over your customer base on an email list, reaching out to them becomes dramatically more cost-efficient. In addition to fueling your acquisition machine, you can keep your customer list engaged and primed for another purchase for a fraction of the cost.

Having a close-knit community of customers helps you shorten the feedback loop for testing everything from new product variations to marketing campaigns; testing that would likely cost magnitudes more in time and ad spend to test on an open market. 

Related: How to Increase Customer Lifetime Value and Boost Profits

Final thoughts

At Juice, the integrated digital marketing agency I co-founded, we know that the rapidly evolving paid social landscape requires a light-footed flexibility to adapt to new conversion rate best practices. 

It doesn’t take long for one company’s successful CRO strategy to be replicated by its competitors, but by taking full ownership of your audience and turning them into champions, you’ll have a stronger command over the future of your business that is highly likely to be pulled out from under you.

Not many brands think about how to nurture brand affinity, and for some reason, prefer to duke it out with competitors on an increasingly expensive acquisition battlefield. By being mindful of both offense (customer acquisition) and defense (customer retention), a business can scale while also increasing the lifetime value of its customers in a long-term framework.

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Why a Time of Crisis is an Opportunity to Revisit Your B2B Sales Fundamentals

Strengthening the foundations of your business will set you up for longterm sales success. Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses. September 9, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Entrepreneurs in all kinds…

Strengthening the foundations of your business will set you up for longterm sales success.

Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing

This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses.


6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneurs in all kinds of industries are still grappling with the repercussions of COVID-19, and although there have been some encouraging signs in recent weeks and months of a possible return to the “New Normal,” we are not yet out of the woods. Many small businesses, startups, and their sales teams have shifted into a short-sighted, short-term panic mode, where they’re throwing away their usual playbooks and sales fundamentals, and instead seem to be thinking that “desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Don’t panic. Don’t despair. Don’t give up on your tried-and-true, time-tested B2B sales fundamentals. If you fall into a mindset of panic and desperation, even during this time of extreme uncertainty, your business might not recover.

Related: How the Sales Process Has Drastically Evolved to Fit the Future

Instead of panicking, use the opportunities of this moment to revisit and strengthen the foundations of your business. Here are a few reasons why B2B sales fundamentals are more important than ever.   

1. Organized B2B sales processes keep you on track for success

When the economy is good, a lot of companies get complacent and start to get sloppy with how they do business, how they manage clients, and how they organize their sales processes. Many companies don’t have a well-organized sales process or “sales funnel” to help work with clients throughout the B2B sales decision-making process or shepherd the buyer along from one stage of the buying process to the next.

In uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to keep working through your sales process. Stick to the process. Revisit or reimagine your sales funnel if needed; see if you need to adjust your approach or refine your sales pitch along the way. But don’t assume that you can speed up your closing process. Give customers the time that they need to get their questions answered.

Also, be deliberate and proactive about making a specific “ask” of the customer and getting approval at each stage to move forward. If a deal has stalled, make sure you are being clear with the customer about what your expectations are for next steps. Do you need to ask to meet with other stakeholders at the company? Do you need to offer to do an online demo of your product, or run some numbers to provide an updated ROI estimate for how much money your solution could help your buyers to save?

Don’t abandon your sales process, and don’t try to rush it. A good, orderly B2B sales funnel can help guide your sales conversations, clarify your customer expectations along the way, and help you close a higher percentage of deals.

Related: 3 Chat Automation Tools That Accelerate Sales Growth

2. Relationship building is more important than ever

One of the biggest fundamentals of sales has not gone away, even in times of crisis: people buy from people. People like to do business with people that they like. Relationships matter more than ever, and it’s especially true today. Budgets are tight and companies are re-evaluating a lot of their spending and scrutinizing every dollar that goes out.

This means that you can’t take any B2B sale for granted. You need to really have trust in the relationship to get the sale. Don’t rush things, don’t put your buyer under excessive pressure; do keep the lines of communication open. Keep talking with your customers. Be real, be helpful, build credibility, keep adding value for them, keep showing how you can help their business survive and prosper in the new environment that we’re all dealing with today.

3. Nurturing your sales leads can keep leads from going cold

Major account B2B sales are often a long-term endeavor from first sales call to deal close. If you’re used to a 6-month sales cycle, you might want to prepare to double that timeframe (or more) in the current environment. Not only because budgets are tight, but quite frankly, many B2B buyers might not be in any position to purchase your solution or services until after a vaccine is available and until more of the economy and everyday life can return to “new normal.”

This means that it’s more important than ever to nurture your long-term B2B sales leads. Customers who aren’t ready to buy today might suddenly have a big burst of pent-up demand by Q1 or Q2 of next year. A lot of companies are hoarding cash right now and just trying to stay afloat until conditions stabilize and they can start making proactive investments again. Try and line up as many deals as possible and keep nurturing your sales leads, even if you know that they probably won’t close for 6-12 months. 

You can still make good use of your time by staying in touch with your sales leads—keep talking with them, keep sharing insights with them, keep the conversations going even if you know that they won’t be ready to buy anytime soon. And most importantly, don’t rush things. When you put pressure on a prospect, it damages the trust that you’ve built with them; people are smart, and if they feel like you are only thinking of your sales numbers instead of being empathetic to their situation and looking out for their best interests, you might lose a customer who otherwise would have been happy to close a deal with you just a few months later.

4. Maintaining perspective can help you stay focused

Entrepreneurs are known for their optimism and resilience, even in the face of setbacks. COVID-19 has thrown the world into uncertainty like nothing we’ve seen in our lifetime, but even in a moment of crisis, it’s important to remember that this current situation isn’t going to last forever. Very few businesses are doing better than they were pre-COVID. You and everyone else are feeling this and navigating through it. We are all in this together and doing the best that we can.

Related: 4 Mistakes You’re Probably Making If You’re Struggling to Close a Sale

Sometimes during a moment of crisis and uncertainty, one of the bravest things any of us can do is to just keep doing our daily work. We don’t have to be afraid, or desperate, or panicky. Anyone who’s in business right now is facing many of the same challenges and most of the fundamental rules have not changed. Keep building relationships and building trust with your customers. Stick to the process. Do the small simple things every day to stay organized and on track. No matter how long it takes for a vaccine and full return to “normal life,” B2B sales fundamentals can help your business succeed.

How to Make Remote Sales Work for You

The time to for creative, virtual closing is upon us, and it’s easier than you might think. Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now! September 11, 2020 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Remote sales are likely here to stay, and there’s good…

The time to for creative, virtual closing is upon us, and it’s easier than you might think.

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Remote sales are likely here to stay, and there’s good news and bad news about that. The bad news is, those in-person interactions with customers won’t be happening for the foreseeable future, and sales reps are limited to phone calls, emails, LinkedIn and Zoom meeting connections.

The good news is everyone is in the same boat, and all that time saved by not traveling begets an opportunity to get creative. We have a chance to think outside of merely maximizing meetings and infuse some creativity into our processes. Here are some key factors to keep in mind. 

Your prospects will experience your pitch differently

Take the time to understand how your pitch translates virtually. If you previously relied on your in-person charm to seal the deal, you may want to push prospects to have a video call with you versus a phone call. Do a practice run of your pitch and record it; this is valuable even for veterans. 

Bonus tip: People tend to be tuned into facial expressions during video calls, so you want to make yours match your words.

Related: How to Transition Your Team to Remote Work

Be intentional with your outreach

If you’re still batch-blasting mass emails to your prospects, it’s time to change that habit. Sellers need to be able to analyze data, stay up to date on everything happening within the companies of their prospects and tailor their messages accordingly if they want to build top-of-funnel leads. According to Kyle Coleman, vice president of revenue and enablement for Clari, which helps companies streamline their revenue-generation, social media can be a powerful tool for this. 

“More and more, the lines between personal life and work life are blurring,” he says. “And this includes the information that people are willing to share about themselves on professional networks. LinkedIn is no longer just a place to understand someone’s 9-to-5 — you can now get a great sense of a person’s 5-to-9. Use these insights about the person to craft messaging that will best resonate with what they care about.”

This is especially important in a 100 percent virtual sales setting. A qualitative, not quantitative, approach helps customers take immediate action.

More business hours to connect with prospects

As Nir Goldstein, monday.com’s vice president of sales, said in a recent interview on The Forecast, “You can speak with so many people throughout a single workday. You can start your day in the morning, speaking with a prospect in Australia, at noon, speak with prospects in the UK, France and Europe. And then in the evening, speak with another prospect in the U.S. It’s so efficient and so scalable to run sales like that.”

Remote sales certainly cut down on travel costs and time, but only if you know how to get those meetings in the first place. Which brings us to the next bit of guidance….

Create a mutual plan with your prospects

Once you have secured a pitch meeting with your prospect, give some structure to the proceedings. Remember, without that face-to-face interaction, you have to find unique ways of creating virtual milestones.

In the aforementioned Forecast interview, Goldstein suggests developing a mutually agreed-upon course of action that both sides need to execute during the sales process. “It’s just like a mutual project with all the different tasks that we need to run together,” he says. “Each one has an owner and a timeline until you get the deal closed.”

After monday.com implemented this into their process, they increased their large deal commits by more than 40 percent and shortened their sales cycles by more than 15 percent, according to Goldstein.  

Related: These Founders Built a Perfect Remote-Work Product… Without Realizing It

Have fun!

Lastly, don’t forget that people are stuck at home and bored out of their minds, making this the perfect time to experiment with something stimulating. You could offer a virtual happy hour and have a beverage company sponsor it by sending your guests a newly brewed beer (or for those who don’t consume alcohol, you might find an alcohol-free alchemy spirit such as bonbuz). That energy will rub off on your prospects, and we all could use a little fun in our lives. 

7 Psychological Hacks to Boost Sales Numbers of Your Business

Here are seven psychological tactics you can use alongside your current sales strategy, regardless of the industry you’re in

Never before has there been more choice for the consumer. Regardless of your site’s niche, you will have significant competition, and every trick in the book needs to be used to beat these competitors to the sale.

An often-overlooked area of sales is psychology. Using some simple psychological hacks can turn a skeptic into a believer, a browser into a buyer

Here are seven psychological tactics you can use alongside your current sales strategy, regardless of the industry you’re in.

Leverage the Power of Social Proof

People will nearly always be skeptical about your intentions. They know that you’re trying to sell to them, and this will always leave a small seed of doubt in the back of their mind. They’ll be far more inclined to believe fellow consumers though, which is where the power of social proof comes into things.

But how do you get into a position where you can leverage the power of social proof? Well, there are, among other things, conversion counters that display the number of purchases of a product, tickers that show how many people are currently browsing a particular page, and testimonials from satisfied customers.

Less is More

It’s very tempting to provide as many choices as you possibly can for a customer. Red or blue? Long or short? With or without? The trouble is, this just creates more doubt in the mind of the shopper, as they’re overwhelmed and don’t know if they’re making the best choice.

A better approach is to simplify your selection. Instead of offering every bag on the planet, why not just push ten that you know are big sellers? Or, instead of trying to up-sell by introducing 10 different products, why not just offer them one product that really complements their purchase perfectly?

Give a Free Gift

A fantastic way to make a sale is by creating the perception of obligation. You’ll probably have noticed that many companies give away free gifts. Sure, this is to increase brand visibility (eebewdotcom), but it’s also a great tactic for sales. If you’ve given them something, then they’ll almost feel like they have to return the favor by buying something.

You don’t even have to give a physical gift away. Instead, you can use your own knowledge. Solve a problem for someone, and they’ll want to effectively thank you for your time. So, take the time to speak with customers and really understand their issues.

Other ways to promote this kind of obligation include:

  • Providing a free demonstration
  • Granting an exclusive bonus
  • Offering a free trial

The Power of FOMO

FOMO = Fear of Missing Out. It’s a very powerful way to encourage sales, as people simply don’t want to potentially miss out on something that they want or need. It’s actually one of the oldest tricks in the sales manual, as all you do is create a sense of urgency.

Just think: how many times have you seen “sale ends Tuesday” notices, or signs saying “just five pairs left?” They might be true statements, they might not, but they’re designed to make customers buy there and then. After all, if they don’t, they could find themselves missing out on something fantastic.

The infamous so-called, “standing room only” tactic that works exceptionally well online.

You can put countdowns in email messages, stock limits on products, and much more. Essentially, do everything you can to persuade them that the thing they want, whether it’s a product or a discount, might not be there tomorrow.

Benefits, Not Features

Many websites make a very simple mistake when trying to sell items: they assume that people care about the features of a product. In truth though, they don’t. Instead, they care about what these features can do for them. Most people are intrinsically egotistical, and this is something you need to tap into.

Let’s look at an example. You could be selling a laptop with a massive hard drive. A customer will only care once you explain what this means to them — faster loading and increased storage for photos would be two benefits to push.

Quickly explain the benefits for a particularly helpful strategy if you’re selling something people don’t always understand, such as technology products. Lay it out simply for customers: what are the exact reasons why the product will improve their life? You can then talk about features if they push you to.

Understand Objections

Does it ever feel like the best salespeople have an answer for everything? This is because they do. They realize that customers will have objections or concerns about purchasing a product, and they do everything they can to resolve these concerns and make the sale.

This isn’t hard to do. Just ask customers why they’re not buying – this can be done online via email by using email marketing tools to customers who only got partway through a sales funnel. Your product knowledge should then be strong enough to counter their objections, and the more you answer their objections, the more they’ll feel like they have to make the purchase.

There is an important line not to cross here though, as responding to objections can easily look like you’re pestering or desperate, which is never a good look for a business. So, know when to stop and realize that not every potential sale converts.

Make it Relatable

People really do love a good story. This is why many sales experts use personal tales in order to promote their products – tales about how something came in handy while they were in a tough spot, or how a product really made the difference to a result they achieved.

Explaining how a product makes the difference can be achieved in a few ways in the online world.

Good content is perhaps the most important, as a top writer will be able to inject that personal feeling into everything they write. We’ve already mentioned them, but testimonials are also fantastic – stories that have the benefit of not coming from a biased seller, which will also build trust in the product.

As you can see, psychology really does play a massive role in the sales process. The overriding thing to remember from what you’ve read above is this though: put yourself in the shoes of your customer and then sell in a way that would work on you.

Just a few simple tweaks to your sales process could lead to some impressively large improvements.

259924e93483840b9aed187e9d4282eb?s=125&d=mm&r=g - 7 Psychological Hacks to Boost Sales Numbers of Your Business

Asim Mughal

Asim Mughal is Co-Founder of Webbee Inc. He is a business analyst who helps companies to improve the search visibility and grow their business sales and revenue ($$$).

You’re Not Actually Bad at Sales: 3 Ways to Gain More Confidence

What’s missing from your strategy isn’t some learned technique. Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now! September 3, 2020 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Sometimes, it’s not your abilities that let you down. It’s doubting yourself.“When I was first getting clients, it…

What’s missing from your strategy isn’t some learned technique.

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Sometimes, it’s not your abilities that let you down. It’s doubting yourself.

“When I was first getting clients, it felt like I had to fight objections in near hand-to-hand combat with the prospect,” Joshua Centers, founder of Clicks on Command, told me once. “They’d eventually tap out, and I became disheartened. It wasn’t that I couldn’t sell; it was that I doubted whether I could pull it off. I was not confident, and it was affecting my sales.”

This experience is very common with entrepreneurs, and though sales isn’t everyone’s forte, it’s possible to get better at it. You may feel you’re bad at sales because of your lack of experience selling, and you’ll try to make up for it by taking courses, reading books and watching videos to close that gap.

However, the best way to improve your sales performance — and performance in other areas — is actually to improve your confidence first. Confidence has been shown to positively affect performance in many areas, from school to athletics to the workplace. Here are three ways to boost your confidence and sell more.

Related: Self-Confidence Is the Best Motivation for Chasing Your Goals

1. Learn more about your product

One of the reasons you may feel less confident in sales is not because you don’t know sales, but because you don’t know your product well enough. When you need notes or even a presentation to sell a product, you don’t know it well enough.

This doesn’t mean that visual or written aids can’t help you sell. But if you couldn’t talk about the product without using these aids, then there’s a problem. The more comfortable you are with the product, the more confident you are in your own ability to talk about it.

Take the time to learn about your product. What does it really do? How does it work? How has it helped your current clients? What do they like about it? Being able to handle the details of the product and speak about it more qualitatively will make a huge difference.

Even further, this familiarity comes across in your sales conversation, making you appear more relaxed, knowledgeable, and assertive — all of which help you sell.

2. Build an arsenal of what already converted

There’s a reason companies use case studies to sell: They work. People like reviews, unboxings, data and evidence that a product actually does what you say it does. However, beyond being more convincing, knowing what already worked can help your confidence.

Instead of making an empty promise to a customer in your sales pitch, bring up examples of when you used the product to successfully grow another client. In digital marketing, I can present a funnel that I know has already converted leads for my clients.

The more you believe in your own product, with actual examples and evidence to back you up, the more confident you’ll be in it — and in your ability to sell it.

Related: 4 Mistakes You’re Probably Making If You’re Struggling to Close a Sale

3. Use the DIP method

Centers, who I quoted at the beginning of this article, uses a method he calls the DIP Method to organize and close his sales conversations. DIP stands for Discover, Identify, Position.

The DIP Method focuses on finding your customer’s needs and targeting them. Instead of jumping into why your product is so great, you should find the reasons why your customer needs your product and how it can be the best solution for their problems.

  • Discover: Ask your customer some questions. How many leads do you have right now? What is your offer? What marketing efforts are you currently conducting? Don’t interrupt them or answer for them in this part. Let them talk to you about what they’re doing in their marketing and lead-capturing, without filters or expectations.
  • Identify: Based on their answers, you should know what problems they’re having. Do they have little to no leads? Do they have a problem converting leads? Are they not running any marketing at all? Identify the problems and relay them back to your customer so they can confirm them. Often, the customer may not recognize them for themselves, but since you’re basing it on the answers they gave, they can easily accept them to be true.
  • Position: Here’s where you shine. Position your product or service to solve the problems you and the customer identified. Tell them you and your product can help and explain how. This is where you make your sales pitch, getting into benefits, features and pricing. However, it should always be focused on solving the problems they’ve identified.

Following the DIP Method gives you confidence, not only in your process but also in knowing that your product can actually help your customer. If you’ve built confidence in your product, your process and yourself, you can more effectively sell and promote your product and business.

CAC is not S&M

Note: this was originally published at https://alexoppenheimer.substack.com/Generally accepted accounting principles were designed to create a single standard for comparing any and all businesses using the same terms and metrics. This is a very powerful tool, but it is a clear exchange for breadth over specificity. As a result, the economic reality of a business will likely…

Note: this was originally published at https://alexoppenheimer.substack.com/

Generally accepted accounting principles were designed to create a single standard for comparing any and all businesses using the same terms and metrics. This is a very powerful tool, but it is a clear exchange for breadth over specificity. As a result, the economic reality of a business will likely differ from what the accounting metrics represent. By looking at a subset of business models, we can improve specificity – terms like ARR and GMV are both examples of this. While these terms have their own challenges with definitions, I think most agree what they represent: ARR is annualized recurring revenue for SaaS companies, and GMV is gross merchandise/marketplace value for marketplace companies.

One of my favorite examples of this is CAC – customer acquisition cost. It’s relevant for both SaaS businesses and marketplaces. Average CAC is the cost to acquire a single customer and Total CAC is the full spend for a cohort of customers. So what is the difference between CAC and Sales & Marketing expense? The truth is that Total CAC and S&M over a given period of time might be the same. That being said, the usually differ by a time offset that depends on sales cycle length.

The critical distinction is sales cycle length. Sales cycle is how long it takes for a customer to go from first contact to closing a deal. We measure sales cycle by segment and can use simple reports in Salesforce or another CRM tool to figure out how long it takes on average for customers to move through the sales funnel. Generally sales opportunities begin as leads, some of those convert to qualified for sales and then some of those convert to closed-won. The Sales Funnel shows the volume and conversion at each step in the process and is usually in the hands of the CRO or sales operations team. The two lengths of time that we care about in finance are: top of funnel to sales qualification (i.e. marketing cycle length) and then sales qualification to closed-won (i.e. sales cycle length).

There is a large variance in sales cycle lengths from business to business. For example, consumer software might have a

For

The 5 best platforms for launching an email newsletter, whether you want to run a marketing campaign, generate sales, or update customers on your business’ latest news

mimagephotography/Shutterstock This story is available exclusively to Business Insider subscribers. Become an Insider and start reading now. Email has been around since the advent of the internet, but newsletters are enjoying renewed popularity in recent years.Users check their email more than a dozen times a day, and the service offers a direct line of communication…

5ee3b1cf5af6cc1463533205?width=24&format=jpeg&auto=webp - The 5 best platforms for launching an email newsletter, whether you want to run a marketing campaign, generate sales, or update customers on your business' latest news

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mimagephotography/Shutterstock


This story is available exclusively to Business Insider subscribers.
Become an Insider and start reading now.

  • Email has been around since the advent of the internet, but newsletters are enjoying renewed popularity in recent years.
  • Users check their email more than a dozen times a day, and the service offers a direct line of communication between sender and recipient, cutting out unpredictable algorithms.
  • Not all newsletters are the same. Business Insider split the platforms into five categories – marketing, sales, retail, editorial, and creative – and chose the best product in each section.
  • Read on for a break down of SendinBlue, GetResponse, Drip, Substack, and ConvertKit.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Since its inception more than two decades ago, email has remained a fixture of the online landscape

Rather than decline into slow obsolescence over time, email has enjoyed a banner year in 2020. As companies and individuals grow increasingly wary of social media algorithms, the original electronic communication has come into a new vogue. 

In recent years, technology has created entirely new email capabilities. Advanced automation allows email services to send tailored messaging based on readers’ behaviour. Intuitive design lets non-coders craft gorgeous, responsive missives. Sophisticated analytics help users understand what’s working and what needs adjustment.

Indeed, email is direct, inexpensive, and gets checked more than a dozen times a day. It’s no wonder, then, that its competitive landscape is more crowded than ever. 

To help cut through the noise, Business Insider has compiled a list of the best email newsletter platforms based on testing, customer reviews, price, and available features. The results were broken into five categories: marketing, sales, retail, editorial, and creative.

Marketing

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SendinBlue


Company: SendinBlue

Launched: 2012

Pricing: Free; Lite, $25/month; Premium, $65/month; Enterprise, custom

Why it’s the best: The email-marketing universe is packed with competition, which makes choosing the best platform into a calculus of compromise: Who offers the best product for the least money in the most accessible format? The answer: SendinBlue. 

The Paris-based company provides every feature you’d expect from a marketing newsletter, including personalized design options, templates, customizable calls-to-action, and more. SendinBlue also boasts a robust free plan with automation that growth-oriented teams will love, as well as live customer support and detailed analytics.

Sales

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GetResponse


Company: GetResponse

Launched: 1998

Pricing: Basic, $15/month; Plus, $49/month; Professional, $99/month

Why it’s the best: GetResponse was built to get results. The email platform boasts Conversion Funnel Software that is designed to do the heavy lifting of turning curious subscribers into serious customers. 

The platform also offers a landing page editor and the ability to create webinars, as well as elegant automation and free access to 1,000 iStock photos. The site’s intuitive design makes it accessible for beginners and professionals, meaning that businesses of all sizes can take advantage of its customer-generation tools. 

Retail

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Drip


Company: Drip

Launched: 2013

Pricing: Based on number of email recipients; $19/month minimum 

Why it’s the best: Drip was designed to offer smart automation for the retail world. In other words, when a Drip user sends out a marketing blast, the newsletter software provides different responses to customers based on their behavior, and these responses are created specifically for retail. Many newsletter services offer customer automation, but no one does it like Drip. 

Its niche functionality, combined with its easy-to-use interface and integration with other software, makes it the clear choice for ecommerce enterprises.

Editorial

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Substack


Company: Substack

Launched: 2017

Pricing: Free to use; 10% service charge levied on monetized accounts

Why it’s the best: Substack is far from the first editorially aimed newsletter; it follows in the footsteps of TinyLetter and other pioneers. Its genius, though, lies in its business model and simplicity. 

Unlike other newsletter services, Substack asks readers to pay, rather than charging the sender, which effectively monetizes the output of individual writers. (Charging your readers is optional.) Combined with the site’s minimalist user interface, Substack’s so-obvious-no-one-else-thought-of-it breakthrough has helped the startup become one of the hottest media companies of the year.

Creative

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ConvertKit


Company: ConvertKit

Launched: 2013

Pricing: Free; Complete, $29/month

Why it’s the best: ConvertKit is extremely easy to use, a reality that alone makes it a valuable tool for creators who might lack technical expertise. It also offers landing pages, which means users can direct their audience to a page hosted by ConvertKit rather than having to build a website. 

Its features were designed with bloggers, YouTubers, and other creative entrepreneurs in mind, so ConvertKit is the clear choice for passion-economy players looking to boost their reach through email.

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3 Chat Automation Tools That Accelerate Sales Growth

These AI platforms are unleashing the power of social commerce by providing around-the-clock support. Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now! August 30, 2020 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Companies in most industries are struggling. According to LinkedIn’s June 2020 U.S. Recovery…

These AI platforms are unleashing the power of social commerce by providing around-the-clock support.


6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Companies in most industries are struggling. According to LinkedIn’s June 2020 U.S. Recovery Tracker, key factors in the labor market haven’t improved, such as hiring rate, job postings and employer confidence. It’s important for businesses to find opportunities that maintain or grow revenue, as well as operate cost-efficiently given the new normal in U.S. consumer and B2B demand.

However, there are long-term trends that are too disruptive to ignore. A seismic change in consumer behavior is the growing use of messaging apps for more than sending and receiving texts. Ecommerce and social messaging apps are enabling internet shoppers to send payments, book reservations, watch multimedia and purchase items, among many features. Chatbots are unleashing the power of social and ecommerce by providing customer support 24/7, year-round.

There are a number of artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted conversational bots that can help give your enterprise a competitive edge in acquiring sales, automating customer support and saving money. Here are three I personally recommend.

Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your Business

1. School of Bots

Founded in 2016, veteran strategists at San Diego, California-based School of Bots help marketers and companies acquire sales, automate operations and provide 24/7 customer engagement, largely through chatbots deployed on Facebook Messenger and SMS, with training available for other big messaging platforms. School of Bots’s experts teach proven strategies on platforms with whom they have close partnerships and create custom chatbot marketing systems for startups and consultants alike. An example of such a tailor-made bot might accompany a prospect down the sales funnel and nudge him or her into an eventual transaction.

“This year, more people are using messaging apps than social media platforms, according to eMarketer, and that could indicate a major shift in consumer behavior,” says Kyle Willis, CEO of School of Bots. E-HUB, the company’s chatbot training platform, gives members access to checklists, instructional videos, standard operating procedures and hands-on mentorship. After undergoing training, members are accredited to offer consulting and agency services. Moreover, the platform enables participants to earn certifications, hire qualified bot builders or get hired and connect with fellow members in a virtual coworking space.

School of Bots works with tools such as ManyChat, which provides reach through Facebook and, explains School of Bots cofounder Natasha Takahashi,  “has superior capabilities for automation and tracking that allow us to produce maximum ROI.”

2. Drift

Bots can be a partial solution for businesses that have laid off customer-support staff during the recession. Automated bots prevent consumers from visiting competing sites, and therefore help to capture sales opportunities. Moreover, they streamline operations and boost productivity. They can be programmed to answer frequently asked questions, book a meeting with a sales rep, troubleshoot problems and move online shoppers towards checkout.

Drift positions itself as a “conversational marketing platform” to emphasize the revenue-generating features of its bots. The company is a well-known solutions provider that installs chatbots that are able to qualify leads 24/7/365. Drift’s bots are used by large brands such as GrubHub, GitHub, Marketo and Ellie Mae. The tech is also geared more towards B2B sales and enterprise use cases. Drift’s conversational AI can tell when a user is making a statement (instead of asking a question) so that it can recommend certain products and display pricing. Other features include automatically booking meetings, as well as routing conversations to a sales team.

According to a Drift survey published on Salesforce.com, people use bots for these top reasons: 32 percent get an answer to a question; 29 percent get a detailed explanation; 27 percent resolve a problem; and 27 percent receive customer service. Bots give businesses a competitive advantage given today’s consumer preference for interacting with messaging apps. Moreover, a big chunk of mobile users want immediate answers to queries. This automated ability to give real-time engagement ups the ante for every B2B and B2C business.

3. Intercom

According to a 2018 Accenture survey, 56 percent of executives say conversational bots are disrupting their sector, and 57 percent say the technology can deliver large returns on investment with minimal effort. AI and machine learning are the most revolutionary innovations of our lifetime, and a bad recession won’t stop the adoption of automated conversational interfaces. These platforms are growing more sophisticated. For example, AI is becoming better at natural language processing (NLP), which enables the tech to have conversational dialogue with humans.

Intercom has been around for nearly a decade and deploys custom bots that engage prospects, route conversations and reduce the need for web forms and emails. The company offers clients a proprietary Business Messenger app that provides automated real-time answers. This messaging software enables Intercom to differentiate itself in the bot marketplace. Mostly B2B users receive data they need to make timely business decisions. That includes dashboard info such as order status, invoice data and educational articles within the messaging app. In a 2018 Bloomberg interview, CEO Eoghan McCabe noted that emails are increasingly ineffective, and that more business professionals and consumers are turning to messaging apps for real-time business communication.

Intercom builds chatbot solutions to help enterprises make purchase decisions, such as by personalizing buying experiences and giving product tours. Access to certain features depends on your monthly subscription. A basic plan includes live chat and outbound messaging while an advanced plan is geared more towards B2B lead generation, automated workflows and reporting tools.

Related: 5 Innovative Ways to Train Your Sales Team

Chatbots are great sales tools that are seeing more use in B2B and B2C, and they provide a competitive edge by enabling companies to offer 24/7 customer support. Because bots are growing in sophistication, they can be programmed to book reservations, set up meetings and other functions without human involvement. They can also be implemented cost-efficiently compared to hiring human personnel. So with all businesses tightening their wallets, now is the time to consider automating the customer experience where you can.

Facebook To Pay More Than $110 Million In Back Taxes In France

Facebook To Pay More Than $110 Million In Back Taxes In France (reuters.com) Posted by BeauHD on Monday August 24, 2020 @08:10PM from the cough-it-up dept. Facebook’s French subsidiary has agreed to pay more than $118 million in back taxes, including a penalty, after a ten-year audit of its accounts by French tax authorities, the…


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Facebook To Pay More Than $110 Million In Back Taxes In France (reuters.com)






Posted
by

BeauHD

from the cough-it-up dept.

Facebook’s French subsidiary has agreed to pay more than $118 million in back taxes, including a penalty, after a ten-year audit of its accounts by French tax authorities, the company said on Monday. Reuters reports: France, which is pushing hard to overhaul international tax rules on digital companies such as Facebook, Alphabet’s Google, Apple and Amazon, has said the big tech groups pay too little tax in the country where they have significant sales. Current international tax rules legally allow companies to funnel sales generated in local markets in Europe to their regional headquarters. Some of the tech companies, including Facebook, have European or international headquarters based in countries with comparatively low corporate tax rates, such as Ireland.

A Facebook spokesman said French tax authorities carried out an audit on Facebook’s accounts over 2009-2018 period, which resulted in an agreement by the subsidiary to pay a total 106 million euros. Facebook’s spokesman also said that since 2018 the company had decided to include its advertising sales in France in its annual accounts covering France. As a result, Facebook’s total net revenue almost doubled in 2019 from a year earlier to 747 million euros, a copy of Facebook France’s 2019 annual accounts, filed with France’s companies registry and seen by Reuters, showed. Facebook France, which employs 208 people, refers to the French tax audit report in its 2019 annual accounts, saying it amounted to a tax adjustment of about 105 million euros. This includes a penalty of about 22 million, the annual accounts showed.


It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.

Working…

Ironclad (YC S15) Is Looking for a Demand Gen Manager

At Ironclad, we are on a mission to power the world’s contracts with products that legal teams love. We are an SF-based, Accel and Sequoia backed team of of lawyers, engineers, business professionals, and creatives who are helping companies like Dropbox, GoFundMe, and other Fortune 500 companies transform contracts into code, streamlining critical business processes…

At Ironclad, we are on a mission to power the world’s contracts with products that legal teams love. We are an SF-based, Accel and Sequoia backed team of of lawyers, engineers, business professionals, and creatives who are helping companies like Dropbox, GoFundMe, and other Fortune 500 companies transform contracts into code, streamlining critical business processes and workflows.

The marketing team’s charter is to drive growth and build a brand that delights customers. Our team is hard-driving, fun-loving and low ego.

We’re turning ordinary legal teams into legends. Our software lets customers focus on the work that really matters so that they can transform their companies from within.

About the Role:

We’re looking for an ABM-savvy Demand Generation leader who has a proven record of driving pipeline volume.  

You are:

A revenue driver. You own and accelerate marketing sourced pipeline and booking targets

A lifecycle marketer. You guide campaigns from cold outreach to closed won across a variety of integrated channels

A channel expert. You can optimize spend against SEO, SEM, Email, Webinars, Events to identify ideal mix

A sales partner. You can help sales executives and sales development teams penetrate target accounts

A technologist. You can build a world-class account based marketing stack to fuel rich insights and personalization

A people manager. You have proven leadership abilities with strong coaching skills across marketing ops, digital campaigns and field marketing

Requirements

    • 5+ years of Enterprise SaaS marketing experience
    • Strong proficiency in SFDC, Marketo/Hubspot and sales development tools
    • Experience building a modern Account Based Marketing (ABM) stack with platforms like Google Analytics, DemandBase, DataFox, Bizible, Drift etc.
    • A strong understanding of the marketing funnel and mapping content to the buyer’s journey
    • Strong analytical mindset with a passion for digging deeper and summarizing insights

Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

Crooks are using a new way to “jackpot” ATMs made by Diebold

STICK ‘EM UP — ATM maker is investigating the use of its software in black boxes used by thieves. Dan Goodin – Jul 20, 2020 9:40 pm UTC Diebold Nixdorf, which made $3.3 billion from ATM sales and service last year, is warning stores, banks, and other customers of a new hardware-based form of “jackpotting,”…

STICK ‘EM UP —

ATM maker is investigating the use of its software in black boxes used by thieves.


diebold atm 800x600 - Crooks are using a new way to “jackpot” ATMs made by Diebold

Diebold Nixdorf, which made $3.3 billion from ATM sales and service last year, is warning stores, banks, and other customers of a new hardware-based form of “jackpotting,” the industry term for attacks that thieves use to quickly empty ATMs.

The new variation uses a device that runs parts of the company’s proprietary software stack. Attackers then connect the device to the ATM internals and issue commands. Successful attacks can result in a stream of cash, sometimes dispensed as fast as 40 bills every 23 seconds. The devices are attached either by gaining access to a key that unlocks the ATM chassis or by drilling holes or otherwise breaking the physical locks to gain access to the machine internals.

In previous jackpotting attacks, the attached devices, known in the industry as black boxes, usually invoked programming interfaces contained in the ATM operating system to funnel commands that ultimately reached the hardware component that dispenses cash. More recently, Diebold Nixdorf has observed a spate of black box attacks that incorporated parts of the company’s proprietary software.

“Some of the successful attacks show a new adapted Modus Operandi on how the attack is performed,” Diebold Nixdorf warned in an active security alert that was issued last week and provided to Ars by a company representative. “Although the fraudster is still connecting an external device, at this stage of our investigations it appears that this device also contains parts of the software stack of the attacked ATM.”

The advisory said elsewhere:

In general, jackpotting refers to a category of attacks aiming to dispense cash from an ATM illegitimately. The black box variant of jackpotting does not utilize the software stack of the ATM to dispense money from the terminal. Instead, the fraudster connects his own device, the “black box,” to the dispenser and targets the communication to the cash-handling device directly.

In the recent incidents, attackers are focusing on outdoor systems and are destroying parts of the fascia in order to gain physical access to the head compartment. Next, the USB cable between the CMD-V4 dispenser and the special electronics, or the cable between special electronics and the ATM PC, was unplugged. This cable is connected to the black box of the attacker in order to send illegitimate dispense commands.

Some incidents indicate that the black box contains individual parts of the software stack of the attacked ATM. The investigation into how these parts were obtained by the fraudster is ongoing. One possibility could be via an offline attack against an unencrypted hard disc.

Mimicking the ATM computer

The growing number of attacks target the company’s ProCash line terminals, particularly the ProCash 2050xs USB model. The ongoing attacks are occurring in “certain European countries,” the advisory said.

Bruno Oliveira, an expert in ATM security, said he had heard of the earlier form of black-box attack. The connected device manipulates the APIs included in OS extensions such as XFS or CFS, which communicate with remote servers operated by financial institutions. Black boxes, which mimic an ATM’s internal PC, can either be laptops or Raspberry or Arduino hardware that’s fairly easy to build, Oliveira said. Black boxes are one of four jackpotting techniques that Diebold Nixdorf describes here.

In some cases, the attached devices connect directly to the cash dispenser and issue commands for it to spit out cash. The other form of black-box attack plugs into network cables and records cardholder information as it’s relayed back and forth between the ATM and the transaction center that processes the session. The attached device then changes authorized maximum withdrawal amounts or masquerades as the host system to allow the ATM to dispense large sums of money.

The above-linked jackpotting brochure describes two other types of attacks. The first swaps out the legitimate hard drive with one created by the attackers. The other uses phishing attacks against bank employees. Once attackers obtain access inside the network of a financial institution, they issue commands that infect ATMs with malware that can be used to clean out the machines.

Good news and bad news

The new attack variation described by Diebold is both good and bad news for consumers. On the one hand, there’s no indication thieves are using their recently acquired software stack to steal card data. The bad news is that attackers appear to have their hands on proprietary software that makes attacks more effective. The recent increase in successful jackpotting ultimately results in higher fees, as financial institutions pass on the costs caused by the losses. Diebold has issued a variety of defenses that ATM owners can take to protect against the attacks.

There’s little ATM users can do to prevent jackpotting. Still, it’s important to use only ATMs belonging to major banks and eschew those from mom-and-pop businesses. It’s also a good idea to shield the keyboard while entering PINs and to check bank statements each month in search of any unauthorized transactions.

The ‘right’ way to downsize

What years of working with startups taught me about laying people off Issac Roth is a seasoned entrepreneur who advises founders on open source technology and keeping communities engaged. Over this career, he’s created and sold multiple enterprise software companies and stays active as an advisor and investor. A little over a year into launching…

What years of working with startups taught me about laying people off

GettyImages 637406494 - The ‘right’ way to downsize

Issac Roth is a seasoned entrepreneur who advises founders on open source technology and keeping communities engaged. Over this career, he’s created and sold multiple enterprise software companies and stays active as an advisor and investor.

A little over a year into launching StrongLoop, an enterprise API startup eventually acquired by IBM, we were out over our skis. It was my doing — having built a vast top of funnel, we expected our product to have a specific sell-through rate and I’d optimistically hired in engineering, customer support, marketing and sales. However, the sales cycles were long, burn rate was too high and we had too many highly skilled people who were a little bored. It was time to orchestrate a reduction in force.

I’d been laid off a few times myself, once from a pivoting startup and again during the downturn of 2001, so I knew what it felt like. I’d also been a manager at a larger company that laid off employees, so I’d seen the corporate playbook. But as the CEO, I had personally sold these people on our vision, cramming into a small substandard office with them for months or years — it felt very personal. Back then, the job market was robust: I didn’t worry about team members finding new jobs. Today is more uncertain.

With many startups under the pressure of a pandemic-fueled economic crisis, I interviewed several CEOs who have had to orchestrate COVID-19-related layoffs to capture (what I believe) are some best practices to downsize correctly and compassionately.

Put people before projects

One company had a pending product launch, yet a few renewals were pushed due to COVID-19-based uncertainty. Meanwhile, the board had decided to extend runway to have more options. The question was: Should the company complete the product launch and let employees know they’re losing their jobs after? Or should they tell employees ahead of time, risking a loss in focus while some members of the team (correctly) start looking for jobs?

This 28-Hour Bundle Can Teach You Today’s Top Digital Marketing Tools

Grow your brand online with help from expert instructors. Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses. August 18, 2020 2 min read Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful.…

Grow your brand online with help from expert instructors.

Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing

This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses.


2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

In 2020, everything is digital. For entrepreneurs, that means you have to have a comprehensive digital marketing and advertising infrastructure if you want to see your business grow. Whether you’re just starting out and you want to generate some new business or you’re a veteran business that wants to scale, The 2020 Learn Digital Marketing & Advertisement Certification Bundle will teach you the skills you need to thrive in today’s digital environment.

This nine-course bundle offers 28 hours of training in some of today’s top digital marketing channels. Whether you’re just launching your brand or trying to grow it, these courses will teach you the right mindset to have and how to leverage a variety of resources to their greatest potential. You’ll learn how to generate leads across the web and create highly profitable digital sales funnel that work passively to drive more business your way. You’ll also get a crash course in the advertising duopoly, Facebook and Google, so you know how to use today’s top advertising platforms to generate leads and get paid for clicks.

There’s even a course on search engine optimization (SEO), giving you a cost-effective way to increase your brand’s visibility online. Finally, once you’ve learned your skills, the bundle offers two courses designed to help you run your business like a digital agency, getting paid to help brands succeed online.

Every business could benefit from some more digital marketing expertise. In the 2020 Learn Digital Marketing & Advertisement Certification Bundle, you’ll learn what it takes to push your brand to the next level online. Right now, you can get it for just $45.99.

This $40 Training Can Help You Make YouTube a Profitable Channel

Reach more people through compelling video content. Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses. August 13, 2020 2 min read Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you…

Reach more people through compelling video content.

Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing

This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses.


2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

It turns out that using video as a marketing tool can be a useful and popular strategy. Whereas 63 percent of businesses invested in video in 2019, 81 percent use video in 2020. That’s a significant increase that is only going to trend upward. If you’re looking for a new way to reach and engage potential customers, you might want to start making videos and building a presence on the video platform that rules them all: YouTube. If you don’t know where to start in making a YouTube account worth the time and money, The Complete Content Creator Bundle for YouTube is for you.

This 10-course, 50-hour bundle is led by top creators and instructors who have garnered millions of views online themselves. Even if you’ve never even recorded a video, this bundle will take you to a point where you’re comfortable creating for a massive audience.

You’ll learn how to record and edit video using Final Cut Pro X and upload it to YouTube, which is where the fun really begins. These courses will teach you how to use Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects to create dynamic links to garner more traffic to your web pages, and build out a complete sales funnel on YouTube. You’ll learn some of the platform’s most successful marketing techniques and understand the SEO secrets you need to know to grow your channel organically. You’ll also learn how to harness YouTube Advertising to create additional revenue from your video channels while simultaneously driving traffic into your sales funnel.

Before you know it, you’ll have a viable video marketing strategy that is generating real value for your business. Right now, you can get The Complete Content Creator Bundle for YouTube for just $39.99.

SUCCESS INSIDER: OnlyFans influencers explain how they’re building big followings and earning 6 figures

OnlyFans is a subscription platform where influencers can conceal content, including NSFW photos and videos, behind a paywall. BI spoke to three creators about the strategies they use to build massive audiences on social media and then funnel those followers back to their OnlyFans accounts, where they can charge them a fee for access. Here’s…

OnlyFans is a subscription platform where influencers can conceal content, including NSFW photos and videos, behind a paywall. BI spoke to three creators about the strategies they use to build massive audiences on social media and then funnel those followers back to their OnlyFans accounts, where they can charge them a fee for access.

Here’s how they do it.

This week we have Jeff Bezos’ favorite books, time management tips from a CEO coach, how a swimwear company’s cofounders turned a $30,000 loan into a multimillion-dollar brand in less than a decade, and more.

12 books on leadership and success billionaire Jeff Bezos thinks everyone should read

svg%3E - SUCCESS INSIDER: OnlyFans influencers explain how they're building big followings and earning 6 figures

Jeff Bezos.

MANDEL NGAN—AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has often credited his success to the lessons he learned in books. Here are the top 12 books that helped shape his $185 billion fortune.

Read more here.

svg%3E - SUCCESS INSIDER: OnlyFans influencers explain how they're building big followings and earning 6 figures

Adam Nathan is the CEO and cofounder of Almanac.

Courtesy of Almanac


Open-source platform Almanac gave Business Insider an exclusive look at the pitch deck the startup used to raise $9 million in seed funding. CEO and cofounder Adam Nathan estimated at least 70% of their pitches in this round were done over the phone or video conferencing.

Read more here.

Read the remote-work guide used by an education company that trains employees at Google and Deloitte

svg%3E - SUCCESS INSIDER: OnlyFans influencers explain how they're building big followings and earning 6 figures

General Assembly offers several intensive coding boot camps that turn participants into programmers.

General Assembly


General Assembly offers classes in hot areas like data science and web design. It’s also a pioneer in remote work, with offices around the world. Here’s the slide deck GA uses to train managers on leading distributed teams effectively.

Read more here.

A 24-year-old college student who paid off $10,000 of credit card debt in 6 months shares the exact budget sheets she used to do it — and they show every dollar of her monthly income

svg%3E - SUCCESS INSIDER: OnlyFans influencers explain how they're building big followings and earning 6 figures

Tiffany Ferguson.

Tiffany Ferguson/Heather Ferguson


A college student who makes a living as a YouTuber used personal finance apps and strict budgeting to pay off $10,000 of credit card debt in just 6 months. She shared her exact budgets with Business Insider.

Read more here.

A millionaire fitness founder shares the 5 steps he followed to grow his online business from $2,000 in annual sales to more than $3 million in half a decade

svg%3E - SUCCESS INSIDER: OnlyFans influencers explain how they're building big followings and earning 6 figures

Millionaire entrepreneur Tanner Chidester was awarded by ClickFunnels for exceeding $1 million in a sales funnel.

Tanner Chidester


At 22, Tanner Chidester dropped out of college and had to move into his parents’ basement to save cash. Five years later, he’s founded two businesses and makes “close to eight figures.” He shared five steps he followed to scale his online businesses fast.

Read more here.

I’m a stay-at-home mom who went from making $8 an hour at Starbucks to over $100,000 a year as a freelancer. Here are 5 steps I took to build my client base and income from scratch.

svg%3E - SUCCESS INSIDER: OnlyFans influencers explain how they're building big followings and earning 6 figures

Jamie Johnson.

Jamie Johnson


After a seven-year hiatus, stay-at-home mom Jamie Johnson reentered the workforce, making $8 an hour as an entry-level employee at Starbucks. Now, five years later, she’s bringing in more than $100,000 annually as a freelance writer. Johnson shared her strategy with Business Insider on building her freelancing career successfully.

Read more here.

A CEO coach who works with executives at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation reveals the time management trick she gives her clients to help them take control of their schedules

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Sabina Nawaz.

Courtesy of Sabina Nawaz


CEO Coach Sabina Nawaz advises executives at companies like Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of her biggest pieces of advice for her clients? Manage your time like your money with a time portfolio.

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PPP just ended. A new small business relief program could benefit certain industries and owners — including allowing some to apply for a second government loan.

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The US Capitol is seen from the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky


PPP ended over the weekend. Policy experts expect the next small business relief program will benefit specific owners, such as minority-owned companies, and allow to some to apply for a second government loan.

Read more here.

How Monday Swimwear’s cofounders turned a $30,000 loan into a multimillion-dollar brand in less than a decade

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Monday Swimwear cofounders Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman.

Emily Abay Photography


Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman cofounded Monday Swimwear in 2014 with a $30,000 loan and have doubled revenue every year since. Profitable in year one, the brand is on track to do $20 million in annual revenue before 2022.

Read more here.

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How to Create 4 Facebook Custom Audiences That Convert

Want better Facebook ad results? Do your Facebook ads reach the right people at the right point in the customer journey? In this article, you’ll learn how to develop Facebook audiences for cold, warm, and hot prospect targeting and deliver ad creative that reaches hot prospects who abandon their carts mid-purchase.

Want better Facebook ad results? Do your Facebook ads reach the right people at the right point in the customer journey?

In this article, you’ll learn how to develop Facebook audiences for cold, warm, and hot prospect targeting and deliver ad creative that reaches hot prospects who abandon their carts mid-purchase.

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To learn how to create audiences for the top, middle, and bottom of your marketing funnel, read the article below for an easy-to-follow walkthrough or watch this video:

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#1: Create a Properly Sized Facebook Lookalike Audience for Targeting Cold Audiences

It’s important to work out what stage of your marketing funnel your audience is in. We’re going to start at the top of the funnel targeting cold audiences. One of the best audiences you can target at this stage are lookalikes.

In its simplest form, a lookalike audience is exactly what it sounds like: You provide Facebook with an audience of your past customers and its magical algorithm will find people most similar in terms of the interests, demographics, and sociographics of your original seed list.

To create a lookalike audience, hop into Ads Manager and click on the Audiences option.

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When the Audiences section of Ads Manager opens, click Create Audience and then choose Lookalike Audience from the drop-down menu.

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From here, you can either select an existing data source or create a new source audience.

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Some of the most powerful lookalike audiences you can create are based on customers who purchased from you in the past. If you have a CSV file that you can export from your content management system (CMS), click Create New Source and then upload that file.

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For this tutorial, we’re going to keep things simple and imagine we’ve already uploaded a CSV file with the email addresses of past customers.

In the Select Audience Location field, we’ll choose Australia as the location of this audience.

Next, we need to select the number of lookalike audiences to create. Keep in mind that the larger your lookalike audience, the more inaccurate it becomes. The reason is that as they grow in size, Facebook has fewer data points to match with the original seed audience.

A good rule of thumb is to have at least 1,000 emails in your original seed audience list before you create a lookalike audience. The more data you can give Facebook, the better. If you have a lookalike audience of 1%, it will be more relevant than a lookalike audience of 1% or 2%. For this example, we’ll use a 1% lookalike audience.

Once you’ve filled in all of the details about your lookalike, click the Create Audience button. Note that it can take up to 48 hours for your lookalike audience to propagate.

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#2: Build Website and Engagement Custom Audiences to Retarget Consumers Who Viewed Your Offer

Now that you have some audiences to target at the top of the funnel, let’s look at some audiences to create for the middle of the funnel to target people who have more of a relationship with your business.

Website Custom Audiences

Go back into the Audiences section of Ads Manager, and this time, select Custom Audience from the Create Audience drop-down menu.

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Some of the best audiences you can target in the middle of your funnel are website custom audiences so select Website as your source.

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For a website custom audience, you can target everyone who has visited your website in the last 180 days (or less). If you want to get a bit more specific, Facebook lets you target people who visited specific web pages. You can even target people based on how much time they spent on your website.

Let’s say on average, people spend 15–20 minutes (in total) on your website before they make a purchase. You want to retarget them with an incentive-based offer because you know this segment of your audience is the most likely to purchase.

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Another cool thing you can do with website custom audiences is retarget and build audiences based on people who engaged with the custom events you’ve set up on your website.

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There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to running Facebook ads. I really encourage you to look at your data. Review your Google Analytics to determine which audiences and web pages are performing best. To illustrate, if you know that people who visited your website in the last 45 days are your most engaged audience or most likely to buy, you probably want to retarget everyone who has been to your website in the last 45 days.

To create a website custom audience to retarget those visitors, select All Website Visitors and choose 45 for the number of days. For the audience name, type in “(v45)” (“v” for views and “45” for the duration) and the URL those visitors came from.

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If you want to get more specific, you can target people who viewed your latest promotion. To create this audience, select People Who Visited Specific Web Pages in the last 45 days. Then select Contains and type in the URL. After you name your audience (“(v45) yourwebsite.com” for instance), click Create Audience.

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Because the day-range limit inside website custom audiences is dynamic—meaning Facebook is constantly updating it in the back end—you don’t have to worry about changing or creating new audiences. Facebook does all of that heavy lifting for you.

Engagement Custom Audiences

Another effective type of audience you can target in the middle of the funnel is the engagement audience. Facebook lets you retarget people who engaged with your Facebook page or Instagram business profile.

To build these audiences, create a new custom audience and select either Instagram Business Profile or Facebook Page as the source.

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Let’s say you want to create an engagement audience based on people who engaged with your Instagram business profile. The default is to target anyone who engaged with your business in the last 365 days so it’s very broad.

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If you want to narrow this audience, you can target anyone who visited your profile, people who engaged with the post or ad, people who sent you a message, or people who saved your post or ad.

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Some of the best custom audiences you can target are people who engaged with your business profile most recently. And you can replicate the same strategy and also build very similar audiences based on people who engaged with your Facebook profile.

Pro Tip: If you want to increase the number of people you’re reaching in these audiences, combine your Facebook engagement audiences and Instagram engagement audiences at the ad set level.

#3: Develop Website Custom Audiences to Retarget People Who Abandoned a Cart

Now let’s look at the bottom of the funnel, which targets hot audiences. One of my favorite hot audiences to target is people who abandoned a cart. If you don’t do eCommerce, the equivalent to abandoned carts would be somewhere on your website where a lead is falling off or maybe just before you’ve asked people to fill out your lead form.

What I’m going to show you now is one of the easiest ways to set up a very simple abandoned-cart audience for retargeting. Start by creating a new website custom audience. When you see the website custom audience creation window, select InitiateCheckout from the drop-down menu.

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You want to run ads to people who abandoned their cart in the last day but not people who already purchased in the last day. So change the number of days to 1.

Next, click Exclude People and then exclude everyone who purchased in the last 30 days. They don’t need to see this ad again because they’ve already purchased from you. You also want to avoid a negative brand interaction by showing up in their news feed and offering a discount that’s no longer relevant to them.

The last step is to name your audience; for example, “Abandoned Carts (Last 1 Day).” Then click Create Audience.

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Now that you’re armed with an abandoned-cart audience in the last day, ask yourself what stops people from actually getting out their credit card to purchase your product or service.

One thing might be that shipping is too expensive. In this case, you could retarget this abandoned-cart audience with an incentive-based retargeting creative: “Free shipping 24 hours only” or “Oops, it looks like you left this item in your cart. Use the code FREE SHIPPING in the next 24 hours.” You’re taking away a potential objection along the path to purchase and giving yourself an opportunity within 24 hours to make the sale.

Conclusion

Product, price, promotion, and place are all important variables when it comes to running Facebook ad campaigns. However, all of your careful planning and effort could be in vain if you’re not targeting your ads at the right people. The four audiences above can help you drive the most profit from your Facebook ads at different stages of your marketing funnel.

Remember: One of the most important things with these audiences is that you want to test, look at your data, iterate, and optimize for what performs best.

What do you think? Which of these Facebook audiences will you use to reach consumers at different stages of your funnel? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

More articles on Facebook advertising:

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Funding in an uncertain market: using venture debt to bridge the gap

Will Hutchins Contributor Will Hutchins is a managing director at Espresso Capital, a leading provider of innovative growth financing and venture debt solutions. While a handful of tech companies like Zoom and Shopify are enjoying massive gains as a result of COVID-19, that’s obviously not the case for most. Weaker demand, slower sales cycles, and…

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Will Hutchins
Contributor

Will Hutchins is a managing director at Espresso Capital, a leading provider of innovative growth financing and venture debt solutions.

While a handful of tech companies like Zoom and Shopify are enjoying massive gains as a result of COVID-19, that’s obviously not the case for most. Weaker demand, slower sales cycles, and customer insistence on pricing concessions and payment deferrals have conspired to cloud the outlook for many tech companies’ growth.

Compounding these challenges, a lot of tech companies are struggling to raise capital just when they need it most. The data so far suggests that investors, particularly those focused on earlier stage financings, are taking a more cautious approach to new deals and valuations while they wait to see how individual companies perform and which way the economy will go. With the outcome of their planned equity financings uncertain, some tech companies are revisiting their funding strategies and exploring alternative sources of capital to fuel their continued growth.

Forecasting growth in a pandemic: a difficult job just got harder

For certain businesses, COVID-19’s impact on revenue was immediate. For others, the effects of slower economic activity and tighter budgets surfaced more gradually with deals in the funnel before the pandemic closing in April and May. Either way, in the second half of 2020, technology CFOs face a common challenge: How do you accurately forecast sales when there’s very little consensus around key issues such as when business activity will return to pre-COVID levels and what the long-term effects of the crisis might be?

Unfortunately, navigating this uncertainty is just as daunting a challenge for investors. These days, equity investors’ assessment of a company’s growth potential, and the value they are willing to pay for that growth, aren’t just impacted by their view of the company itself. Equally important is their assumptions about when the economy will recover and what the new normal might look like. This uncertainty can lead to situations where companies and their potential investors have materially different views on valuation.

Longer funding cycles, more investor-friendly deals

While the full impact of COVID was felt too late to have a material impact on Q1 deal volumes, recently released data from Pitchbook and the NVCA suggest that 2020 will see a significant decrease in the number of companies funded, possibly by as much 30 percent compared to 2019 among early stage companies. And, while it often takes several months to see evidence of broad trends in investment terms, anecdotal evidence indicates investors are seeking to mitigate risk by demanding additional protective provisions.