Mikko Honkanen

Mikko Honkanen

Mikko Honkanen is Vainu's CEO and Co-Founder with a strong background in SaaS industry and B2B sales.

R.I.P. FTP Servers, Hello, Workflow Triggers

Imagine if Microsoft Teams, Slack, or email would work like this: to read new messages, you first have to load all messages, and then, compare them to the previous batch of downloaded messages and figure out if there’s anything new.

Wouldn’t make any sense, right?

And yet, that’s what you often do to find out what changed in your CRM data.

For decades, companies have employed interns, junior analysts, consultants, and data researchers to try to make sense of their CRM data and keep records up-to-date. It was—still is in many cases—a constant flow of files back and forth between systems and people. The era of FTP servers, as one might call it. Not a simple process, but it allowed data analysts spot changes in any data point. For salespeople, such analysis is critical because it helps discover new sales opportunities.

We’re well into the 21st century, so yes, there’s a better way. Let’s take a look at one easy way to keep track of changes in your CRM data, and do it without exporting and importing files.

Perfect Your B2B Segmentation With Custom Industry Categories

Most of us use the industry data field in our CRM and marketing automation. It’s an important piece of information. We often create segments and lists by using that industry information as one of our search and B2B segmentation criteria. But how often you end up with endless target lists that include companies that have nothing in common?

This post will cover how to use custom industry categories to create hyper targeted B2B segments. In other words, you’ll learn how to sell more by selling to fewer.

Let’s get to it.

B2B Sales Trends 2021

What a year! We can all agree 2020 wasn't exactly what we expected. However, looking ahead with renewed optimism, we're continuing tradition and predicting the most important sales trends in 2021.

Things have changed, but sales activity hasn't stopped. The pandemic forced many companies to rethink their strategies, and we saw remote sales become common almost overnight. Going forward, sales and marketing teams will be more creative and resourceful, building on the lessons learned in the last few months. As a result, companies will refine their strategies with a focus on a new digital customer journey with multiple touch points and channels across various channels.

A renewed focus on the digital journey that puts the customer at the center. That's the premise in which we're predicting next year's sales trends—and here they are:

Customer Segmentation: Driving Sales With Targeted Marketing

It’s well documented that target marketing campaigns, like account-based marketing (ABM), deliver better results and higher return on investment. The rationale is very straightforward. ABM concentrates most resources on the highest-value prospective customers possible, using highly targeted, personalized campaigns to win over particular accounts.

As attractive as it sounds, ABM might not be worth your time without the right setup. And, that includes heavy reliance on data. In this article, we’re going to see how you can segment your target audience and create small account clusters so you can drive sales with targeted marketing.

Let’s get into it.

The Taxonomy Theory: The Art Of Classifying Your Accounts

Ask a librarian how they classify books and you better have some free time. Grab a coffee, sit down, the reply will be long. Library classification is a precise, systematic method for coding and organizing library materials so people can find its books quickly and easily.

Successful business-to-business sales and marketing activities also require a methodical classification of accounts and the decision-makers within those accounts. When you group companies according to specific attributes, you can uncover unique ways to identify the particular needs of each group. You’ll serve each group of companies better.

We have a sales code: Are we practicing what we preach?

At Vainu, we believe there’s a right way of doing sales. One that uses data in every step of the sales process to be truly relevant for prospects, to listen, and to provide value. However, are we practicing what we preach?

Best Practices For Using Vainu Under The New Circumstances

You had everything figured out. Your goals for 2020 were set, your sales playbook was locked in, and you’d even trained the team and got them operating smoothly.

Survey Results: B2B Sales Under Unprecedented Circumstances

How do you continue selling in the current situation? Will companies invest or scale back their sales activities? What effect do all-remote sales teams have on productivity?

Practical Tips to Master Remote Selling While Working From Home

A long and firm handshake. This gesture used to signify the end of a long sales process. At that moment, the prospect and the salesperson developed a solid relationship, even a friendship, after meeting in person several times at each other’s office, and more often than not, for a good amount of after-work cocktails.

The History of B2B Sales Prospecting

For most companies, there are millions of sales prospects available. For decades, salespeople have struggled to prioritize certain prospects over others.

Fortunately, modern technology makes it easier than ever before to master sales prospecting. Though it’s taken a long time to reach the point we’re at today, we are now at a point where predictive and prescriptive lead scoring technology can recommend the right companies for you to reach out to, the right time to approach these companies and the right way to get in touch with them.

This article is the first chapter in our ebook: The Ultimate 60-Page Guide to Sales Prospecting. Here we take a look in the rear-view mirror and review the history of B2B sales prospecting.

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