How Prospecting with Colabo is Like Fishing

, ,

I am not a big fisherman, but when I used to go with my grandfather years ago, the one thing he always would say is “fishing isn’t supposed to require effort.”  He would tell me that the fish always knew when you were stressed, and that relaxing would help me catch more fish, but also make it more fun. Thinking back, I probably hooked him more than I did fish, but what I did enjoy was when we used a trotline to catch them, because it was a lot easier to catch more at once and, most importantly, without having to cast continually. You simply bait multiple hooks all attached to a long line prior to setting it up in the water, and you were able to sit back and check back periodically to see what you caught.  This was great because there was no need to cast time after time, and in my case, not get anything on the hook.

This could not be more relevant to a tool that we now use when prospecting on the various social networks we use to connect with people everyday.  Colabo is the trotline when it comes to prospecting. An example is how we target folks who use LinkedIn. Some people are job hunting or building their online resume. Others are wanting to catch up on news relevant to their interests (business or otherwise). And then there are those who are looking to market their products or services to those two groups.

If you happen to be on LinkedIn, then I am sure you have been a part of at least one of these groups, but most likely have interacted with all 3. For the salespeople who use it as a tool to get in front of as many people as possible, I will share how you can increase the efficiency of your efforts by using Colabo, and turn your one-on-one InMails into more of a trotline to start filling your pipeline.

Here are 5 ways Colabo can help you catch more fish…

Send mass, but personalized messages with one button – One feature of Colabo that you will see an immediate benefit is the ability to send messages to your entire audience, but have it look like it is a personlized message to each prospect. On the leads tab in the application, you can select prospects that would all match the criteria to be sent the same message, but instead of a long list of recipients on your message, each prospect receives an individual InMail that is personalized with their name and/or company name.

Filter your audience to get the right message in the right hands –  With Colabo’s filter feature, you can select from criteria such as actions taken against your LinkedIn messages (it tracks unanswered v answered messages), if you have sent them an connection invite on LinkedIn, and even things such as job title, company, and how long they have been a prospect of yours. This will save you the headache of looking through your prospects and addressing them 1 by 1.

View your history of interaction with your prospect – Yes, we all know there is a record of messages you have sent and received in most applications, but the timeline feature in Colabo will show you the complete chronological list of all interactions across platforms (emails, LinkedIn messages, CRM activity, etc.).  There is also an option to add notes about those interactions so you can know what to talk about next, without ever having to leave the Colabo application.

Add your leads to a nurturing campaign – In sales, there is no company I know of that has a 100% success rate with prospecting. And if you work there, please share your secrets. But for those that do have misses, or people that aren’t quite ready to convert, having a digital marketing strategy to stay top of mind while also tracking your prospects’ actions is the next best thing. With Colabo, there is an integration with Eloqua that will let you add those prospects to a segment that will be automatically marketed to in order to stay relevant. WIth the rules you establish to capture their digital body language (or actions taken against the marketing you put out), you can then reach out to them once the time is right.

Push the leads found directly into your CRM – And finally, if you are tracking leads within a CRM, having to do it in multiple places is not ideal. Salespeople want multiple ways to source leads, but it kills time to have to document where and how each lead was acquired. We use Oracle Sales Cloud ourselves, and the ability to push all of the same leads we have in Colabo to Sales Cloud eliminates the need to have to document each interaction in both applications, thus saving time and allowing sales to do their jobs instead of entering data. You can still view the information captured in Colabo while in your CRM, so the information will never have to be chased down.

 

For those thinking of activities that will provide the most return when it comes to sales, Colabo is something that can increase the amount of prospects you reach in less time. There are plenty of ways you can increase you efforts (working extra hours, making more calls, sending more messages, etc.), but remember working smarter and  And just like fishing, prospects do not always come without a fight, but Colabo acts as a wider net and fish finder all in one. Getting someone’s attention is just the beginning, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a full pipeline and decide which opportunities are keepers and which ones you can throw back?

For more information on Colabo, please contact us at info@sfcg.com for details.

Coding Tricks for Oracle Developers

, , ,

Being a developer is hard. We tend to strive to make the best, most precise code. We tend to try to keep it clean and readable in case somebody else might need to review it and work on it in the future. However sometimes we believe our code is clean and as it turns out, once you are done, you realize that your code might be confusing for another developer or you might want to reuse your code and might find yourself updating it several times in different sections. Fortunately, there are several tricks that are useful in helping you make your code simpler and reusable. Below are 3 tricks I follow when developing a script (PHP, Javascript, Groovy, etc) for any Oracle CX system.
 

  1. Use Camelcase Syntax

Camelcase syntax is the writing of compound words or phrases where each word or abbreviation in the middle of the word begins with a capital letter with no spaces between them. For example “iPhone”, “JohnDoe”, etc. This syntax is helpful in keeping your code clean and readable. Mostly used for declaring functions and variables this syntax will look something like this in php scripting:

 

                Declaring a function with variables in it:

                

               

  1. Use Comments

Comments are a programmer's readable explanation in the source code. These are used with the purpose of making the script easier to understand for people that might be working with the script in the future. The syntax varies depending on the programming language, with the most common of them being that comments start with “//”. You can also use a block of comments to write documentation, these generally start with “/*” and end with “*/”. Below you can find our previous example with comments added to it.

 

  1. Use Code Golf

Code Golf is the term used to describe the technique of writing code that can be reusable. In other words the less code you can write the better. This technique is usually applied when you develop a big project that can have thousands of lines. A good example would be if you need to get information from a MySQL database for 5 different tables, the first idea would be to write 5 separate functions to get the data from the 5 places. Using the code golf technique we can reduce these functions to one by sending the table name inside a variable to the function before we execute it, and then reusing that same function by changing the value of the variable every time we need to. To end result would be that you will have a clean code without it being thousands of lines long.

 

Conclusion

Having been a programmer/developer for the past 8 years has shown me that by using these techniques, you can reduce the amount of work you do, you can understand the code in a more humanly way, and you will be able to reuse your creation for different purposes. At the end of the day the goal is to make your customers happy, and what better way than by making their application the best one there is. 

Eloqua From Best Practice: The First Step to Knowing Your Customer

, ,

Marketers use forms as a data collection tool to get a better picture of their audience. At the same time, forms can also facilitate customer transactions with your organization, for example:

  1. Signing up for newsletter, demos, free trials
  2. Registering for special events and seminars.
  3. Managing account preferences (the frequency and content a certain audience is interested in)
  4. Gating content in exchange for contact data

Well Eloqua makes it super easy to create a form, so let’s take a look:

Basic Settings:

Click the ‘assets’ tab from the homepage and choose ‘forms’. There are two options for you; either create a blank form or integrate an external form. I chose create a form here which then takes you to template chooser. Choose a blank form or use an existing template.

First you will need to name the form and decide the overall settings of the form. Simply click the little arrow located on the right top of the screen, and click settings

Form creation

Now there are three main parts on the screen: the tool bar, the work area, and the configuration panel.

First, taking a look at the left side of the screen, there are three purple icons called ‘Contact Fields’, ‘Custom Fields’, and ‘Field Groups’.

Choose the tool bar to select the fields you want for your form. In the screenshot, below I dragged ‘First Name’ ‘Last Name’ and ‘Email Address’ into the form.

Then, moving on to the ‘Custom Fields’, there are many different formats you can choose from that give your audience the ability to interact with your forms in different ways, including ‘Single Line Text’ ‘Paragraph Text’ and many others. I dragged the ‘Single Check Box’:

The last one, ‘Field Groups’, is a collection of commonly grouped fields. But we will explore this later on.

*At the bottom of those three, there is an icon called ‘Progressive Profile’, which will send the audience another form to fill out when they have given certain responses. (You know, to further collect useful data or to remind the audience about an event).

Customize the filed

Next, when you click into any field, it will take you to the field settings on the right. You can customize the field instructions, size, and data types.

By clicking the validation tab button, you can select the box to make the blank required or that it must contain an email address, among other criteria as you can see below.

The next step in creating a good form is to click the pre-population tab, and specify the text field that you want to appear on the field when opened. You can provide a static value, such as an email address for example. Or you can use a field merge, and pre-populate the field if it is an already known contact in your database so that a returning customer would not need to retype the information again.

Also you can use the field label and field instruction to give your audiences instructions with more clarity of what you need them to fill out. You also can drag the field to put the boxes in whatever order necessary to make the form more logical for the audience.

 

In the end, remember to keep your from short, clean and easy to read. Putting in the work on the front end makes the customer experience much better because it makes the interaction with your company easy.  Oh, and don’t forget to save the form so all of the work you put in doesn’t go to waste!