Miles Austin

Miles Austin is a Sales and Marketing Technologist. Known worldwide as “The Web Tools Guy”, he guides organizations through technology changes and implements, trains and measures powerful new tools that deliver enhanced results. He shares his expertise on his blog Fill the Funnel. Connect with him on Google+ or Twitter

Articles by Miles:

    5 Tips and Tools To Combat Your Sales Slump

    It happens to everyone throughout his or her career. Opportunities that have been identified turn out to be dead ends. Or the number of leads to pursue simply is not enough to hit the sales quota for the year. Sales slumps are inevitable. How you act is up to you.

    Here are 5 tools and tips that can help you get out of your sales slump and hit your numbers by the end of the year.

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    7 Ways To Repurpose Your Most Important Message To Find New Customers

    You or your marketing team has created a masterpiece!  A magical collection of words and images that captures the essence of what your company offers to your customers. It is clear, highlights the advantages of selecting you over your competition and positions you as the go-to solution in your market. It has influenced prospects to choose to do business with you. It resides in different formats ranging from a yellow note pad, to a slide deck, to sticky notes and many times to a whiteboard or flipchart from a very productive session with employees or customers.

    Sadly, it is frequently found sitting idly on the sidelines of your sales and marketing efforts while your potential customers are searching high and low for what you provide.

    This post shares seven ways to re-purpose your magical masterpiece and get it in front of an expanded audience of prospects that need your product or service right now.

    7 Ways To Repurpose Content

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    How To Automate Repetitive Work To Up Your Productivity

    You are putting in the hours. Your effort is being given. Well-meaning friends and leaders will recommend “work smarter, not harder”.  Yet you are not getting the results you and your company are expecting. There can be several reasons for this but typically your productivity is a great place to put your focus.

    Productivity is defined by Dictionary.com as:

    “The quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services”.

    Every job has repetitive, tedious tasks that are required on a regular basis. Many are done on a regular, predictable schedule over and over. An opportunity now exists to leverage the latest web tools to automate these specific, repetitive actions either one at a time or in a sequence that triggers a chain reaction. The opportunity is to “automate the repetitive stuff”.

    I have found the following exercise helpful in identifying the activities in your day and then to decide which of these can be automated so you don’t have to do them yourself.

    Base_Zapier_IFTTT

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    How to Distribute High Value Content to Your Customers on Autopilot

    Your customers are seeking high value content every day. How they find it and who delivers it is up to you.

    Recently I shared a post about how to find high value content worthy of your prospects and customers. In it I provided seven tools and tactics that when deployed correctly will provide just the information that your customers will appreciate.

    Once you have this helpful information available, the next question becomes:

    “How do I get this information into the hands of my prospects and customers on a regular basis?”

    I suggest the follow-up to that is:

    “How do I make sure that they know that it is being provided by me?”

    By using the following tools and techniques, you will not only deliver the desired information but also establish yourself as the “go-to” person for this information. It will not only open additional opportunities with your existing customers, it will open the doors of opportunity for prospective customers that you have not yet met.

    Here are tools to help you get your name and information into the customer’s hands:

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    How To Find High Value Content Worthy Of Your Prospects And Clients

    How To Find High Value Content Worthy Of Your Prospects and Clients

    One of the New Rules of selling is that you need to be a trusted source of information, news, trends and the latest thinking on topics and products that are important to your customer. “Content is King” has been shouted from every marketer and pundit for the last several years and many believe was originally coined by Bill Gates back in 1996. The link is a worthy read on its own merit.

    There are two key hurdles that sales people have to becoming that trusted source for their customers:

    • Where do I find quality, relevant content?
    • How do I deliver it to them?

    This post answers question #1 and a follow-up post will introduce you to simple, automated ways to get this helpful information into the hands of those who need it.

    Most days in sales are already packed with important, necessary tasks and activities and taking time to create content isn’t feasible. So it just doesn’t get done.

    The problem with this is that customers still desire and seek out this information. If you are not delivering what they need, they will find it somewhere else. Search engines, peers, and your competition are all waiting in the wings.

    Finding important content for your industry and customers does not need to take up much time at all. You are probably doing much of the work already in your other call preparation, research and selling activities. This activity can all be automated.

    Here are a few of the tools to find and organize helpful content for your customers.

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    Why Is Selecting A CRM So Damn Confusing?

    Why is selecting a small business CRM so damn confusing?

    Many people want to pull their hair out when it comes to selecting a CRM system. With so many out there, how should you go about selecting the right CRM and sales productivity tool for your business?

    I ran a little experiment. Entering “CRM” into Google’s search bar returned 43,200,000 results.  OK, what about narrowing it down a bit and trying “CRM Tools” instead? That yielded 45,400,000 results. That’s millions folks! I tried to narrow it down to those that are focused on small business so I entered “SMB CRM Tools” – that helped. Down to only 10,400,000 results! OK, I entered “Solo Entrepreneur CRM Tools” and that returned 11,300,000 results.

    It became clear that narrowing down the choices using Google was of little value.

    So, how can you cut through the massive volume of data and find a CRM that will be helpful to you and your business? This post is meant to simplify the process and explain why the current market is so damn confusing by exploring these 5 questions:

    • What are others of similar size and industry using?
    • What are customers saying about the CRM that they are using?
    • What are your goals for your CRM tool?
    • What is your budget?
    • What devices will you use to interact and where will you be using it?

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    The Secret of the Ultra-Successful Sales Person: Testimonials and Recommendations

    The secret of the ultra successful sales person

    Testimonials and recommendations work. Many will argue that they are THE most successful way to attract new business. Entire business models like Yelp have emerged to leverage this truth.

    It is a recognized fact that our customers are active in the selection process before sales ever gets involved.  There is disagreement about how far the customer typically has progressed down the buying path, but they have typically started the process before sales is engaged. Much of the time, this activity will take them directly to customer reviews or testimonials. Having them available at this stage can make a positive impact on their interest in you and your company. If they are absent or hard to find, you might not ever have the opportunity to compete.

    Why are sales people not taking full advantage of this powerful sales influencer?

    1. Don’t know how or are uncomfortable asking for them.
    2. How to use them.

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    Is Your Company Ready For BYOD?

    6 keys to successful BYOD in your organization

    BYOD is a hot topic for organizations now. We’ve written about it before, but this post will provide an overview of action points for companies who want to adopt a BYOD policy.

    Bring your own device (BYOD) is an example of how consumers can change corporate policy at even the largest organizations.  BYOD or even BYOT (Tech or Tools) has taken hold despite the concerns and resistance of IT executives.

    The BYOD movement began in earnest when the iPhone and then Android smartphones hit the market, and exploded dramatically with the introduction of Apple’s iPad. No matter what the IT policy was at the time, employees simply ignored the policy and started using their mobile devices and tools to help them get their jobs done.

    Of course there is still the need to protect company data. A progressive IT leader understands that BYOD is a reality and can provide this flexibility to their employees while locking down company assets.

    Here are several areas to consider when rolling out BYOD, in no particular order.

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    Old Rules vs. New Tools Part II: CRM and Mobile

    Old Rules vs. New Tools 2

    In an earlier post, I wrote about the old rules of selling and the new tools and technology that are changing how salespeople work. I left off the obvious two core areas of sales – CRM and Mobile and will share some thoughts on those here.

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    9 Questions You Need To Answer Before Introducing New Tools To Your Sales Team

    Selecting a new sales tool for your team can be a daunting task. Whether it’s a web-based solution or a new app, it’s important to do your due diligence before overwhelming your sales team. Sales Tool consultancies such as Fill The Funnel and Smart Selling Tools have documented over 3,000 such tools currently available.

    That’s a lot to consider.
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