SharpSpring Consultant Reveals Powerful Process for Making Your Marketing Work

As a SharpSpring consultant, I get to see a ton of marketing and sales campaigns come together, or not. The goal of this article and video is to help business owners and leaders understand why strategic planning and creative content are so important when it comes to making your marketing and automation work without losing your mind or your shirt.

If you own and operate a SharpSpring account to manage your marketing and sales, this article is for you. Even if you don't use SharpSpring because you're committed to another marketing automation platform, this articles is for you because what you're about to learn is a proven process for powering any marketing automation engine or campaign.

In case you want to read about this and not watch my video, here's the bottom line ...

You have to have sound business fundamentals such as an effective strategic plan of action and the right people on your team to execute marketing and sales success. This is your foundation, and we can easily agree all big companies and organizations depend on a strategic plan of action to align the team.

Given a sound plan and team, you then have your marketing and sales campaigns. Generally, these revolve around your website and whatever "real world" presence you see fit to integrate into your plan. For example, many of my clients attend trade shows. The question for them becomes how we make sure their marketing platform, SharpSpring, helps them make the most of their investment in every trade show they attend.

SharpSpring will serve as your "ultimate" marketing assistant and platform. It will tend to the needs of virtually any sales organization, and can always integrate with Salesforce and other CRM systems. But my approach with the marketing technology, much like the strategic plan of action is FOCUS.

The main point for you is if you own a business, you invest every day in marketing, sales, technology, and people to make it all work for you. When you embrace a solid plan of action, then your success is all about content.

The more creative, engaging and compelling your marketing and sales messaging is, your content, the easier it will be for you to attract, engage, and convert more prospects into happy, paying customers.

We can all agree that we depend on the internet and technology to compete for our fair share of customers in any business or market. With or without marketing technologies like SharpSpring, the business of life might be simpler. This does not imply your life would be easier until you learn to master the art of strategic planning aligned with creative content, committed people and a purpose-powered business culture.

I always appreciate constructive comments and questions here on my blog. If you need help with strategy, sales and marketing performance, action planning, training, and creative content, connect with me here for a free ROI strategy session.

To your success, Cliff

P.S. If you are interested in learning how SharpSpring can make a difference for you and your business, let's go through a Marketing Automation Vendor Comparison that will show you the best value for you, not me. Ask me about special savings and programs for making SharpSpring work for you.

What Can Kartra and SharpSpring Do for Your Business When It Comes to Managing Relationships, Content and Marketing Automation?

Want to get a glimpse of a typical day for me when I'm in "campaign building" and creative technology mode? What would a customized, online training and group coaching program do for your sales and customer service teams? Want more clarity, confidence and results from your sales, marketing and tech investments? Let's connect.

Who Wins This Marketing Automation Vendor Comparison? SharpSpring vs. Hubspot vs. Marketo vs. Act-On vs. Pardot vs. Infusionsoft

Want to see who wins this marketing automation vendor comparison? Check out my short video or read the article because I'd love to hear your opinion on which of this list of marketing automation "heavy hitters" might be best for you and the people who work hard for you.

I'm going to do my very best to walk you through a case study that compares what I consider to be the biggest and most competitive, most widely used marketing automation platforms in the industry. All of these solutions can be integrated with CRM. Each of these vendors offers their basic CRM or what I would call more like a contact management list management system.

This particular worksheet is provided compliments of SharpSpring to SharpSpring partners. I am a SharpSpring partner, but as any of you who know me well, who have worked with me one on one in the hundreds of instances I've implemented or optimized a marketing automation platform, you know I am a suitability guy. This means I help you choose and optimize the marketing automation platform that is BEST for YOU.

The main message of this article and video is this: Always include your key people in the process of evaluating the best marketing automation solution for you and your team. There are MANY VARIABLES to consider!

Please, never buy marketing automation or any software for your company in a seminar and bring it back to your office and wonder why nobody is very happy with you.

You’ll hear the details of the comparison in the video. The needs analysis that will produce a side by side comparison, including trust, radius reviews. This scenario includes a larger company, typical of what I prefer to work with.

Here’s the company profile …

When you watch the video you will hear and see my detailed breakdown of the marketing automation vendors so you can see a side-by-side comparison.  Listen to the nuances of my professional opinion after hundreds of implementations and optimization projects since I started using marketing automation software in 2008. (The article would have been way too long.)

Sharpspring is the only company I know that exclusively focuses on selling through partners like me, consultants, marketing agencies, integrators, technology firms. They mostly sell directly to businesses.

My top insights shared in the video ...

  1. Look at the annual cost and upfront commitment. That's a big deal. Contract terms, third-party CRM integration availability is also important. Except with Infusionsoft, this is not entirely true. (Full disclosure: Infusionsoft and I had a long run as a top-rated partner. I know it well but don’t like it much.)
  2. Infusionsoft offers solid customer relationship management for outbound salespeople where you can sort reach contacts drilled down, and leverage a lead scoring system. So it's not a terrible CRM.
  3. I would say the best free CRM here is HubSpot, but just know they limit what you can do in free CRM.
  4. Infusionsoft is the lowest price in this comparison. But you should not buy this on price alone. Focus on function and ROI! (What do you people want?)
  5. The upfront commitment to make the software work for you is a big difference. Now, the vendor comparison is a little misleading. If I'm going to set up a full system, you should plan on spending about $10,000 including a great strategic input based on a lot of thought, clear communication and experience through my process and about 90 days plan to invest for an initial build or a high-performance optimization, about $10,000, maybe a bit less.
  6. You can see some of these solutions are much more expensive. I'm telling you when we get into a cost-cutting down cycle in this economy, companies will be cutting these expenses and head counts. And you all know what I'm talking about, month to month terms unlike everybody else.
  7. I can run this marketing automation vendor comparison for any scenario. It takes me about a half hour to do it and run you through it. I can work in any of these systems because what I focus on is the strategy of the campaign, the targeting, and most importantly, the messaging, the frequencies, the things that actually make any of these incredible systems work.

In closing, remember to never buy any software like this in a seminar. The bigger the company, the better the leadership and capabilities of the marketing and sales pros. They “get it” when it comes to choosing and investing in their marketing technologies.

But most small business owners don’t “get it.” They wing it and that gets expensive and frustration fast.

If you need help contact me.

I always appreciate your constructive comments and questions.

To your success!

P.S. I normally suggest far simpler solutions now for true, small businesses of one, two and three people. Schedule a time to chat with me if you’re interested in learning more.

CRM User Review - Pipedrive vs SharpSpring vs Infusionsoft

Want better sales pipeline performance and results? Check out my CRM User Review video comparing the CRM function of three popular CRM and marketing automation solutions.

What's the best CRM or marketing automation solution for you and your team? Well, you can't teach a kid to ride a bike in a seminar if you ever studied Sandler Sales Institute and the legendary work of David Sandler who wrote a book by the same title. (It's one of the best books ever on sales. See link below.)

Here's the bottom line - know how your salespeople will use your CRM and empower them to focus on PROCESS and ACTIVITIES every minute they are in sales mode. Make it easy for them to research, contact, engage, update and convert new customers through your sales stages.

This is critical for outbound B2B sales organizations or anyone who's serious about accelerating sales success. When you focus on a sales process it's game over!

Why do you suppose every successful company empowers their salespeople by listening to their needs and providing amazing admin support along with marketing automation and content like pitch decks, proposal templates, email templates and more? ROI - Return on Investment!

Here's the Sandler book I suggest.

Did this video and article help you? If so, thanks for subscribing to my email updates, blog, and YouTube channel, maybe even leaving a positive comment, or sharing this video with a friend.

Want to connect for an ROI Strategy Session and explore what I can to help you get better marketing ROI and sales pipeline results? If so, the best way to do so is the contact page of my website or LinkedIn. You pick. I promise to listen, ask a few relevant questions, learn about your goals and frustrations, and give you my honest, professional opinion about what I may or may not be able to do to help even if it's in some small way.

SharpSpring Saves You Time and Money With New Content Calendar Manager

This post walks you through how SharpSpring saves you time and money with the new content calendar manager. The short video is the best way to see exactly how I test drive the new SharpSpring tool for better managing social media marketing.

Who is SharpSpring? Glad you asked.

SharpSpring is one of the leading marketing automation solutions on the planet. But you may not have heard of them because they don't spend money advertising directly to business owners, sales and marketing leaders. Instead, they choose to target and market value added consultants like me, and mostly, amazing agencies who see the power of putting SharpSpring in place as the content marketing and customer relationship management solution in one.

My short video walks you through SharpSpring's newest feature called the social media content calendar. I call it a manager because that's what it does. It makes managing your social media posts to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter easier because you can do all the work in one place and schedule for posting now, or in the future.

Block Time, Schedule Social Media Posts

One of the best ways to get even more from a social media management tool as powerful as this is to block time every week, month or quarter to plan, choose, set up and schedule all your social media posts in advance, IF that makes sense for your business model and marketing plan.

If not, there are many other ways to make social media a more effective tool for top of funnel marketing awareness and lead generation. But the key is knowing who will do this hard and very important creative work, and make sure it gets done on a regular basis. Consistency is one of the keys to being effective with social media marketing. Don't cut corners because every word, every image, every link makes a difference.

The bottom line is social media, when done consistently well over long periods of time, can be a powerful way to boost traffic, attract and engage more of your ideal customers.

How do you manage your social media now, and what would you change, if anything?

I always appreciate your comments and questions here on my small business success blog.

If you'd like to learn more about SharpSpring, or how I and my small team of writers and marketing geeks can help you with content, strategy and creative marketing insights, connect with me here.

To your success!

Marketing Automation Vendor Comparison - SharpSpring vs. Hubspot vs. Other?

This is a marketing automation vendor comparison case study featuring the leading marketing automation solutions on the market. In the interest of full disclosure, I've worked in marketing automation since 2008 when I became an early customer, then a top-rated partner, with Infusionsoft. I am currently a partner with SharpSpring, and have invested thousands of hours working in many of the best marketing automation solutions on the market.

Also, there are other worthy email marketing and marketing automation solutions on the market that are not included in this post. For example, MailChimp, Constant Contact and Aweber are worthy email marketing services, aka EMS.

The reason I limit my marketing automation vendor comparisons to the following list of companies is because the marketing team at SharpSpring built their tool to feature the more robust, true marketing automation solutions available on the market today.

Which marketing automation solution is optimal for you? The one you have right now IF you're getting the sales and business results you seek. I suggest to everyone that choosing the best marketing automation solution is never done in a seminar, on a whim. These are serious systems for powering high-ROI sales and marketing results. Small companies become big companies when marketing automation aligns well with the sales focus of the organization. But your success is determined by choosing "suitable" marketing automation based on your business model, strategy, goals, people, and more.

In other words, you need to do your homework before you invest in marketing automation.

If the people helping you choose, implement and power marketing automation are not completely plugged into your strategy, people, content, target market (Avatar or Persona), and 94 other key discovery points, you're probably not getting the best results.

The marketing automation vendor comparison used in this video is powered by SharpSpring. It will help you quickly and easily assess which marketing automation solution is best for you. Whether you're launching your marketing automation solution for the first time, or up sizing or down sizing, this is by far the fastest way to help your team assess the major players in the market.

Got a question or comment? Please post it here on the blog.

You can also connect with me here.

Let's get social ...


SharpSpring Marketing Automation

Get expert help you can trust with SharpSpring marketing automation. As a certified SharpSpring partner, I've worked with hundreds of small company owners, leaders and managers for more than 20,000 hours setting up, optimizing and powering SharpSpring with amazingly engaging content. I've also worked in many competing marketing automation solutions such as Hubspot, Infusionsoft, and Act-On.

Are you ready to discover the power of "The Ultimate Pipeline Manager" powered by your SharpSpring marketing automation platform? Great. Let's schedule a one-hour discovery conversation to discuss your business goals, budget, team and other important factors to make the most of your SharpSpring account.

Also, I invite you to explore the Marketing Automation Vendor Analysis to determine which system is best for you. This detailed analysis takes your company profile and analyzes the start up costs, monthly costs, features and customer reviews of SharpSpring, Hubspot, Act-On, Marketo, Pardot, Infusionsoft

What Could SharpSpring  Marketing Automation Do for You?

Still Shopping Around for the Right Marketing Automation Solution?

Let me help you with your due diligence! I've saved hundreds of companies tens of thousands of dollars in software costs and leaky marketing campaigns that don't work.

The best way for me to help you is to schedule a free Marketing Automation Vendor Analysis.

This detailed analysis only takes about 20 minutes to go over. It provides you with an apples-to-apples breakdown of all the major marketing automation solution providers.

Which marketing automation solution is best for you?

Let's find out!

Schedule a time to connect here.



Sharp Spring Review

I'm a SharpSpring consultant and even though I work in any of the major, marketing automation solutions, this marketing automation vendor analysis review will reveal to why I choose to be a proud SharpSpring partner. SharpSpring powers my small business and websites because it's the most suitable marketing automation solution for me.

Warning: Watching this video will save you buckets of time and money IF you're in the market to invest in a marketing automation solution to power your people and drive the growth of your business.

If you're in the market for a marketing automation solution, how would you know which vendor is best for you? Most importantly, which marketing automation system is best for your team - yeah, the people who wake up every day and get to use it. Let your team help you choose the most SUITABLE solution for your company.

The reason it's essential to review all the major marketing automation vendors (BEFORE you buy one at a seminar) is because all the major marketing automation solutions cost tens of thousands of dollars to set up and power over the long haul.

How much will these systems cost you? Check out my video that details the powerful marketing automation vendor analysis tool available only to SharpSpring partners. It's amazing because when you compare apples to apples, and you know what you need your marketing automation solution to do for your business, then you can quickly and easily compare all the big players including ...

Which marketing automation solution is best for you out of this selection? These are the big dogs in marketing automation. And they are quantum leap beyond email marketing systems like Mail Chimp, Constant Contact or Aweber, just to name a few.

The answer lies in doing the research!

Check out the case study I share in my video.

Got a question or comment, maybe even need some help?

Schedule a free ROI strategy session with me, or leave a comment here on my blog.