The Pace Of Innovation Is Picking Up Speed — How Does Your Team Keep A Pulse On All Of The Changes?
There are two weeks of the year that I just love. Both of those weeks involve having our entire Square 2 Marketing team in the office working on training, team building, innovating our engagements, innovating around client engagements, reviewing technology that helps us drive even better results for our clients and giving back to our community.
Teams that don’t invest in their people and encourage their teams to be innovative as part of their culture are going to be left behind. They’re going to get limited results for the agencies or companies they work for, they won’t be able to advise their clients or companies on new tools and they won’t be truly strategic.
If you think this might be you, here are some symptoms you might be experiencing:
- Less-than-expected results across a variety of tactical executions
- Less than full utilization of any software or tools you’ve purchased
- Partial answers to strategic questions around why programs are underperforming
- A lack of direction with the overall program strategy
- No clear methodology for prioritizing projects or tactics
- Limited data on the detailed program performance
Here are some of the ways we empower our team to be constantly innovating our company and our engagements to produce better results for our clients.
Square 2 Certified
Everyone has heard of certifications related to software and methodology. If you’re even remotely connected to HubSpot, you know about the Inbound, HubSpot, Sales, Sales Enablement and other certifications. You sign up, take the classes, take the test, and get the certificate and badge.
Quite frankly, the standard certifications related to software are not going to be enough to create the team you need to exceed your revenue goals. You need to define your own competencies, levels of expertise and expectations for your own team members.
Then you should consider how you train, educate and keep your team updated on all of the changes taking place in the sales, marketing and customer service space.
At Square 2 Marketing, we’ve created our own certifications that push the bar up above what most agencies expect from their team and far above what the software venders are calling certifications.
Square 2 Certified means our people have to maintain of all their industry certifications with Google, HubSpot, Marketo and other technologies, but they also have to put in almost 50 hours of additional training, learning and testing for certifications in areas like UI/UX, conversion optimization, search engine optimization and paid media tactics.
Continue to review and enhance those certifications, and make sure your certifications are as all-encompassing as they need to be to deliver your program at your company.
With over 7,000 sales and marketing technology solutions available, it’s almost impossible to keep track of and updated on every single technology option.
It takes practice to keep tabs on all of these new tools, evaluate what tools are right for your company and build a deployment strategy for the key tools you need to drive revenue.
One way we’ve found most effective is to have science fairs. These internal events (we use that term loosely) give vendors and internal champions the opportunity to show new software to a broader audience, prove how they would work, highlight key features and gain internal support for both investment and deployment resources.
With new software coming out every week, this process allows you to review new tools, see how they would apply to your company, gauge any lift that would come along with the new tools and make some prioritization decisions.
While you won’t be able to buy every newfangled software gadget, you can strategically continue to upgrade your tech stack to help you hit and even exceed your revenue goals.
Innovation Labs And Innovation Competitions
People love being empowered to innovate. We regularly run innovation competitions and innovation labs that give people the time and push to work toward innovation. This can be in the form of efficiencies in delivery, meaning you can do more with less.
Remember, so many different marketing- and sales-related levers can be pushed and pulled to produce results, and sometimes it’s valuable to be able to do more with the same or fewer resources.
Then you can look at innovating the quality and quantity of results. If you can innovate how you work to get prospects to close faster and more frequently, you can make a major impact on your company’s ability to drive revenue and growth.
Labs and competition represent one way for people to get motivated and rewarded for thinking out of the box, and that out-of-the-box thinking almost always produces significant gains in key areas.
This type of program is great when you want to get a group together to brainstorm an issue, fix a weak spot at your company or improve your knowledge in one specific area.
The mastermind group format gives the team the structure needed to come up with answers in a relatively short amount of time. Each person in the group covers a specific area of the issue, and as a whole they come together with a more comprehensive solution.
You could run a mastermind group around getting more organic visitors to your website, converting more visitors into leads, increasing the quality of leads, converting more leads into sales opportunities or even closing more new customers.
Today’s marketing and sales are so complex and have so many tactics for consideration that people find themselves working on deliverables all week long. They often have no time left for learning, training, researching and exploring new ideas or new techniques.
The rate of change and the acceleration of marketing and sales tactics requires this exploration and experimentation be part of any team’s day-to-day activities.
One way we deliver this for clients is to give our team members what we call unstructured time. This is time that is not billable to a client. People are not working on a client project. This is time to do research, learn new techniques or try new ideas.
It often produces some of our most dramatic innovations and could work in a similar way for your company.
We use all of these processes to make sure our team is up to speed on all of the new tools, new processes, new thinking and new approaches to ensure our clients are always getting the latest and greatest when it comes to revenue generation.
As an agency, we feel it’s our responsibility to bring this thinking and these solid recommendations to our clients, so they don’t have to keep tabs on the breakneck pace of change in the sales and marketing space.
If you’re going to tackle this internally, you can apply some of the same approaches.
One key to keep in mind is that you’re going to want to challenge your team to show business outcomes in almost every instance. It’s not enough to buy the latest and greatest SaaS-based marketing app if it doesn’t produce quantifiable business outcomes like more high-quality leads, more sales opportunities or more new customers and revenue.
Keeping people focused on this goal is important.
Square 2 Marketing – Revenue Is Earned Through Experience, Methodology And Insights!