3 ways to fast-track your sales efforts


How did one of the fastest-growing small to midsize businesses (SMBs) in America reach its goals and pave the way for increased growth in the years ahead? It helps to take a look at the SMB landscape, and compare how high-growth and no-growth SMBs approach sales and marketing overall.

Vastly different approaches

When you put high-growth small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and no-growth SMBs side-by-side, one thing becomes clear: These two groups approach customer engagement — in terms of marketing, sales and customer service — in very different ways.

This insight emerged through a study we completed at Vistage, in partnership with Salesforce, which surveyed more than 1,000 CEOs from SMBs to identify the key differentiators of fast-growing companies. Our results suggest that:

  • High-growth companies are involved in more initiatives in marketing, sales and customer service than no-growth companies.
  • High-growth companies are better at executing initiatives in marketing, sales, and customer service than no-growth companies.
  • High-growth companies have dedicated leadership to drive initiatives in marketing, sales and customer service, whereas no-growth companies do not.

But what, exactly, are these winning initiatives? At Dreamforce last fall, I moderated a panel of SMB leaders that explored this topic which included Bettina Hein, founder and CEO of Pixability.

Based on this discussion, I’ve compiled a case study about how Pixability, one of the fastest-growing SMBs, has developed unique and powerful initiatives in marketing, sales and customer service.

Case study: Pixability

About the company: Headquartered in Boston, Pixability is a technology company with 80 employees that helps media agencies and brand advertisers maximize the performance of video ad campaigns across social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Spotify. For three years running, Pixability has been named to the Inc. 5000; they have achieved three-year revenue growth of 902%.

Winning marketing initiative: Pixability leverages its own data to create compelling content marketing. They start by analyzing billions of data points about the performance of video advertising across different social platforms, and then use those insights to create thought leadership and marketing content for various channels. For example, the company publishes in-depth studies (30-70 pages) on its website; pitches stories to journalists based on its analytics; creates webinars and in-house events for prominent clients; and activates its content via advertising and organic social media campaigns.

In addition, Pixability looks for opportunities to showcase its research and insights at major industry events, whether by securing speaking engagements or by using geofencing to target attendees with advertising.  “We may not be able to afford the quarter-million-dollar sponsorship at a conference,” explains Hein. “But with geofencing, attendees will see us if they go on Facebook or Snapchat while they’re at the event.”

Winning sales initiative: By consolidating the applications that its sales team uses, Pixability has streamlined its sales processes and made them more efficient. Previously, Hein notes, employees were using more than 100 different solutions at a time. “We had to look at what people were actually using and ask: What are you getting for that? How can we consolidate that into a few touchpoints to really make our processes more efficient?” she says.

Winning customer service initiative: Because Pixability is a small firm dedicated to enterprise-level selling and service, it has invested in building a seamless process for new customers that kicks in immediately after a sale closes. To manage the handover from sales to what it calls “customer success,” the company first enters insertion orders from new customers (i.e., agencies and advertisers) into its Salesforce-powered system, and then that information is transferred into Pixability’s proprietary software. This allows the company to anticipate and address the needs of an enterprise from the moment that it becomes a client. “All throughout this process, we really have to prove our added value by using our data to show how well we perform,” explains Hein.

This article originally appeared in Inc. Magazine.

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