5 business experts helped write it. Some are best selling authors, one teaches at Harvard, and others come from Hubspot and beyond. Get ready for a wild ride. There's so much information here, you're bound to find something that will grow your business.
What's Packed Into This Post:
5 video interviews with business growth experts including:
Marketing - Hubspot's Lindsay Thibeault
Sales - Marcus Sheridan from The Sales Lion
Finance - Ron Baker from VeraSage
Innovation - Harvard professor and best selling author John Kotter
Customer Service - Lisa Ford, Hall of Fame Speaker and customer service author
An infographic chuck-full of goodies on business growth. [Scroll to bottom for infographic]
26 Tweetables to share with your audience.
Over 30 actionable steps you can take today to grow your company.
If you're looking for inspiration to grow your business, the experts below add a ton of value. Let's get started.
Lindsay Thibeault: Hubspot Professor
Lindsay is an Inbound Professor at Hubspot, a company that specializes in online marketing tools. She helps their customers master the software and the concepts of inbound marketing.
Businesses with websites of 401-1000 pages get 6x more leads than those with 51-100 pages. Click to Tweet.
Content marketing generates 3x as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less. Click to Tweet.
"Click Here" gets the highest % of clicks over "Go" and "Submit." Click to Tweet.
Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by 10%. Click to Tweet.
37% of consumers are more likely to purchase on a mobile-optimized site. Click to Tweet.
Determine how many leads / deals / customers each of your marketing systems provide to your business.
Choose 5 great blogs to learn from. Study them and try to beat their standards.
Invest marketing money in an epic blog, not a boring blog.
Write down common questions from your customers and answer them on your blog.
Marcus Sheridan is a blogger, podcaster, and speaker on the topics of sales and marketing. Better known as The Sales Lion, he helps companies amp up their customer acquisition.
Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. Click to Tweet.
Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. Click to Tweet.
The sales funnel is no longer linear. Prospects don’t always enter in the top and work their way to the bottom. Now they enter the funnel at different stages, go up and down, and sometime never leave a funnel stage. Click to Tweet.
Connect your marketing software to your sales software for efficiency.
Set up a CRM or Customer Relationship Management Software.
Respond to all qualified leads within 10 minutes of form submission.
Create a list of 10 questions you can ask leads to qualify them.
Create content that qualifies your leads so that they're ready to buy when you call.
Sign up for a sales training course this year – We recommend Marcus Sheridan and Jill Konrath.
John Kotter: Harvard Professor & Best-Selling Author
John has an extensive background as a Harvard Professor and consultant. He teaches the concepts of innovation and change as drivers for business growth. He has written 18 books, 12 of which are best sellers.
In the period 2006–08 about 22% of the manufacturing companies introduced product innovations. In comparison, about 8% of companies in the non-manufacturing sector were product innovators. Click to Tweet.
Of high patenting firms (15 or more patents in a four-year period), small businesses produced 16 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms. Click to Tweet.
Create a work environment that encourages change and innovation.
Ask customers what's missing from your product or service and then build it.
Take your entire team off site once a year to brain storm innovations and how to execute them.
Create an innovation budget - money that's set aside for development of ideas only.
I'm extremely passionate about recruiting. I believe it's one of the most important parts of your business. Without a strong recruiting system, it doesn't matter how good your product or services are because you won't have good people to support them.
Small firms accounted for 63% of the net new jobs created between 1993 and mid-2013. Click to Tweet.
94% of recruiters use, or plan to use social media for recruiting. This number has increased steadily for the last 6 years. Click to Tweet.
Employers who used social media to hire found a 49% improvement in candidate quality over candidates sourced only through traditional recruiting channels. Click to Tweet.
Companies that have formal candidate relationship processes (such as through software), and that track all their applicant communications are 40% more likely to be “best in class”. Click to Tweet.
Create a recruiting process that fits your culture and vets candidates to your needs.
Make sure social media research is included for each candidate.
Use recruiting software to track, review, and analyze each candidate.
Too many businesses throw their staff into the proverbial fire. The sink-or-swim mentality is costly to a business. When you develop a real training system for your staff, you'll have less turnover and higher productivity.
25% of employees would be more satisfied at work if they were given the opportunity to do what they do best. Click to Tweet.
Training and development spend has risen by 15% in the last year alone. Click to Tweet.
Research tells us that over 70% of learning on the job occurs informally. Click to Tweet.
40% of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year. Click to Tweet.
Companies that offer comprehensive training enjoy a 24% higher profit margin than those who spend less on training. Click to Tweet.
Outline the training needs of each level of employee in your organization.
Invest in a new employee training plan.
Invest in a long-term training plan for existing staff.
Lisa Ford: Author and Hall of Fame Speaker
Lisa is the customer service guru. She's written five books on the subject, created several online learning tools, and travels the world teaching businesses how to "wow" their customers.
A typical business hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers. Click to Tweet.
On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10x as much as their first purchase value. Click to Tweet.
In the last year, 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration when they could not talk to a real person. Click to Tweet.
In 2011, 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience. Click to Tweet.
Crown someone your chief happiness officer and have him or her teach service to your team.
Create a reward system for when employees treat customers right.
Get rid of your phone tree and let an employee answer the phone.
Let your employees see you giving great customer service on a daily basis.
Send your company to a training seminar on customer service.