A Guide to Selling SharpSpring

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1 A Guide to Selling SharpSpring (for those new to marketing automation) version

2 WELCOME This is your first step towards a long and successful partnership with SharpSpring. With this guide, we will prepare you to discuss the benefits of marketing automation with your clients. We will cover: Three revenue streams from marketing automation How do you price SharpSpring? How do you sell SharpSpring? Common objections and questions Difference between marketing automation and ESP Difference between marketing automation and CRM Cost Argument page 1

3 Three Revenue Streams Before discussing specific pricing strategies, it is important to understand that there are 3 main revenue streams that come from offering marketing automation products to your clients. 1 Margin SharpSpring s agency pricing is unique in the industry allowing our agency partners to keep as much as 90% of the retail pricing charged to the client. Agencies can charge clients retail pricing which far exceeds the wholesale cost and profit from the difference. 2 Management Fees Marketing automation allows for highly personalized communication workflows with your client s leads based on their behaviors and interests. Producing these high-converting workflows and related content represents an opportunity for increased billable hours for the agency, while providing sales revenue and impressive ROI for clients. 3 Recurring Revenue SharpSpring allows you to tie your clients to your agency and build retainer relationships. When used correctly by an agency, marketing automation becomes ingrained in your client s business processes generating leads and revenue and providing value on a daily basis. page 2

4 So, how do you price it? Our pricing model is designed to be extremely flexible. We want to make it easy to make money, and we don t expect you to be a reseller of software. Remember, SharpSpring is licensed to your agency, so you have the freedom to price our product any way you would like. The retail pricing listed on our website is a tool for you to use when speaking to customers about price. The listed retail prices on our website gives you the ability to apply 3 strategies to pricing SharpSpring: Full Retail You can charge your clients the suggested retail price on the website and collect additional revenue from the mark up. SharpSpring will never knowingly compete with our agency partners. If your client seeks a price from SharpSpring, they will always be quoted the full retail price, and 100% of the license fee will be required in advance. Completely Free In contrast to the full retail pricing strategy, we have many agency partners that elect to not charge their clients for SharpSpring at all. Instead, they absorb the minimal licensing cost, and they use SharpSpring to generate billable hours and retainer-based relationships with their clients. Discount on Retail Perhaps the most common strategy employed by agencies is to extend a discount off the retail price. Typical discounts we have observed range between 20% and 50% off retail. Agencies who employ this strategy build goodwill with their clients by passing on a discount, while still maintaining very large margins for the agency. We find agencies that offer deeper discounts are more concerned with using SharpSpring to build retainer-based relationships and/or billable hours with their clients. The discounted price further ties the client to the agency since only an agency can offer its customer a discounted price. Platform-based Pricing NNote These varying pricing strategies are only possible because of SharpSpring s unique platform-based pricing model for agencies. Pricing flexibility is generally not possible with any other automation company where the agency is considered a reseller and receives a minimal discount off of a set retail price. page 3

5 How do you sell SharpSpring? The key to selling SharpSpring is clearly communicating the benefits of marketing automation. This includes defining marketing automation and explaining the benefits of the tools to your client s unique situation. What is marketing automation? Marketing automation is a suite of tools to: Drive more leads - VisitorID - Dynamic forms - Campaign optimization Convert more leads to sales - Behavior tracking - Lead scoring - automation - Sales notifications Demonstrate ROI - Campaign analytics - Google AdWords integration - Content ROI tracking TP Talking Point Start Simple When you explain marketing automation to people with no prior knowledge of the tools, it can be easy to overwhelm them. We recommend starting with simple solutions. Since SharpSpring is so affordable, the ability to receive notifications of traffic to a pricing page could be all the value needed to sell SharpSpring. Later, you can layer on additional workflows and higher-value automations. page 4

6 How do you sell SharpSpring? How does marketing automation benefit your client? Marketing automation generates more leads, drives sales and proves ROI. In other words, your agency will optimize each phase of the client s marketing funnel. At the top, you will capture more leads with VistorID and dynamic forms. In the middle, lead tracking, lead scoring and sales notifications will enable sales teams to close more deals. At the bottom, closed deals (won and lost) are analyzed to eliminate waste and identify successful tactics allowing you to drive more leads with the same marketing dollars. Features Optimize Campaign Generate Leads Drive Sales Measure ROI Identify anonymous visitors Capture information with forms Campaign optimization Social media integration Lead scoring to alert hot leads automation for nurturing Behavior tracking for lead insights Sales notifications Comprehensive analytics Exportable graphs and reports Eliminate waste Invest in successesful tactics page 5

7 How does this differ from an ESP? Now that you ve seen the tools and understand the benefits, it s important to understand the difference between marketing automation and Service Providers (ESP) like MailChimp or Constant Contact. Confusion between marketing automation and ESPs is very common for those just becoming aware of marketing automation.. This list of features will help you clearly understand the value of marketing automation and the limitations of an ESP. ESP Marketing Automation Generating Leads Importing lists of contacts VisitorID for identifying anonymous web traffic Dynamic form fields for building complete contact profiles Third-party and native-form integration Simple CSS adoption to make your forms blend in Driving Sales CRM integrations Easy-to-use designer Large catalog of predesigned templates Lead scoring based on engagement and sales readiness Single s scheduled to specific contacts at future times Valuable sales insights pertaining to a lead s interests Notifications sent to sales team of a lead s online activity Automatic list segmentation based on lead behavior Targeted messages for near one-on-one communication An illustrated timeline of all s each contact received Automatic distribution of s based on contact s behavior Effortless conversation with individual contacts Increased engagement with segmented messages Proving ROI Open rate and click-through-rate tracking Website behavior reports Identification of contact s position in sales process Online and offline monitoring of leads activity Automatic return on investment calculations page 6

8 How does this apply to my clients? For most businesses, adopting marketing automation will result in an exponential return on investment. The No. 1 reason for pushback from clients is that they confuse marketing automation with other services like basic or CRM. Focus on the BENEFITS of marketing automation rather than selling the specific features. Remember that the three benefits of marketing automation are: 1. Drive More Leads 2. Convert leads to sales 3. Prove ROI and optimize marketing spending Of course, you ll need to talk about the features but always be sure to do so in the context of these three main benefits. Once your client understands the features and benefits, you might want to consider showing your client how marketing automation will work with their specific business. Explaining marketing automation in the context of your client s business is simple. The application of marketing automation can be divided into two categories: Business-to- Business (B2B) companies and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) companies. Here is a simple chart of the features of SharpSpring put in the context of the benefits to a B2B and B2C company. B2B B2C More Leads Dynamic forms VisitorID Campaign optimization Campaign optimization AdWords integration Drive Sales Lead scoring Sales notifications Behavior tracking List segmentation Lead scoring automation Prove ROI Campaign analytics Eliminate waste Campaign analytics analytics page 7

9 How does this apply to my clients? (continued) B2B Application In nearly all cases, the high revenue per sales transaction (RPU) of the typical B2B company justifies the relatively small spend on marketing automation. Every sale is worth thousands, and every lead is worth hundreds of dollars. Typical B2B companies spend hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars on sales salaries and lead generation activities. Therefore, it is extremely important to identify every lead and convert each of these leads into sales at the highest rates possible. B2B Tool Kit Lead scoring Sales notifications Behavior-based automation Dynamic forms Marketing automation drives more qualified leads and collects valuable sales intelligence to improve closing rates. These efficiencies are incredibly valuable to your B2B clients. Triple Your Leads via VisitorID For B2B companies, highlight the Visitor ID feature, and point out the fact that SharpSpring can double or triple the number of leads generated by all of your client s other marketing efforts. How? Less than 3 percent of visitors fill out a form. That means that 97% of the traffic being generated from PPC campaigns, search engine optimization (SEO) and other digital marketing can be considered wastful. VisitorID will identify many of these anonymous visitors, tell sales people what they are interested in and provide contact information such as and phone numbers. In many situations, Visitor ID can double or triple the average conversion of a website. Rebrand SharpSpring NNote As part of the onboarding process, your agency will rebrand the SharpSpring platform, notifications and Visitor ID Daily s allowing your agency s brand to be in front of your client and providing value everyday. page 8

10 How does this apply to my clients? (continued) B2C Application Marketing automation present B2C companies with a different set of value propositions, but without a doubt, the benefits of marketing automation for B2C companies can be equally impressive. The ability to segment customers and automate near one-on-one communication will drive more sales. While all the analytics SharpSpring captures will help eliminate waste, refine messaging and prove ROI. B2C Tool Kit Personalization through automation Campaign Optimization (when every penny counts, low RPU and high competition makes optimization key) Lead scoring for automation Customer Segmentation via Dynamic Lists If your client is a B2C company, the dynamic lists are a great way to illustrate the power of marketing automation. Give your client an easy example. For instance, a t-shirt company selling colored shirts. You send out an with five links for five colored shirts. The contacts will click through to the color shirt they are interested in. As this happens, a dynamic list will populate and inform the t-shirt company which shirt color the contacts like. The dynamic lists then allow you to send specific messaging geared towards the contacts interests in this example the color of the shirt. SharpSpring s lead scoring will quantify the engagement of this communication and notify your client s sales team when a hot lead is ready for a purchase. page 9

11 How does this apply to my clients? (continued) This list of features will help you remember what tools you can apply to your client s business. VisitorID Triple your leads by identifying anonymous traffic Behavior Tracking Understand your leads to create one-on-one communication Lead Scoring Priortize your pipeline and reach out to sales-ready leads Sales Notifications or text sales team when a lead indicates they are ready to buy Dynamic Forms Capture more leads with forms designed to convert Automation Send s with triggers and build personal relationships with leads CRM Integration Immediately plug your leads into your sales team s system Campaign Optimization Eliminate waste and identify opportunities Sales Analytics Enable your sales team with key insights about each lead page 10

12 Common objections & questions The benefits of marketing automation are hard for a business to resist, but if you do face objections, it is generally based on a misunderstanding of the technology and the benefits. The most common objections are easy to mitigate. Objection 1 Confusion about services versus marketing automation YOU MAY HEAR I m okay. I already have an service provider - I use Mailchimp. or What is the difference between marketing automation and Constant Contact? If you hear this, you ll have to gently explain it s not possible to do marketing automation with an ESP. ConstantContact is an service provider (ESP) other popular ESPs include MailChimp, Vertical Response and icontact. ESPs are extremely limited in functionality and analytics. An ESP will send an and tell you how many people opened and clicked through the link. On the other hand, marketing automation will send s then track where contacts traveled through the website, score this behavior and automatically send follow-up s based on activity. Just as important, marketing automation can notify salespeople of a leads behavior and interests, so they have the knowledge to turn the lead into a sale. Finally, marketing automation will produce analytics for every step through the sales funnel, allowing the saavy marketer to optimize the entire process. There is simply no comparison between the benefits of marketing automation and traditional ESPs. This sales sheet clearly illustrates the difference between marketing automation and ESP. page 11

13 Common objections & questions Objection 2 Confusion about customer relationship managment tools versus marketing automation YOU MAY HEAR No thanks, I m currently using SalesForce. or What is the difference between marketing automation and a CRM? Unfortunately, we hear this a lot. Customer relationship managers (CRM) like SalesForce, Sugar and Zoho are not marketing automation platforms. Marketing automation platforms are a robust set of tools for generating and qualifying leads. There is a nice harmony between the two platforms, but a CRMs functionality is basically limited to tracking communication between a sales rep and a prospect. Marketing automation uses forms, behavior tracking, dynamic lists, automations and analytics to feed the leads into and sales organization. Simply put, a CRM does not generate leads or help convert them to sales. Instead, it is an organization tool for sales people and sales managers. This sales sheet clearly illustrates the difference between Marketing automation and CRM. page 12

14 Common objections & questions Objection 3 Concern about the cost YOU MAY HEAR I can t afford marketing automation or How can we keep this within our current retainer? SharpSpring is extremely affordable. When a client is concerned about the cost, it s important to reiterate the benefits: driving more leads and converting more sales. Your clients are investing in your agency. With marketing automation, your agency will deliver and prove a return on that investment. Business owners appreciate an opportunity to yield more than a dollar on every dollar they spend. Marketing automation is one of those opportunities. Additionally, SharpSpring eliminates waste. For example, if you re spending thousands of dollars on a PPC campaign that is only driving a handful of leads, SharpSpring will identify this issue and allow you to redirect those dollars towards productive campaigns. In some cases, eliminating waste alone will justify marketing automation. You also can make the case for consolidating tools. SharpSpring s robust set of features allows you to operate from one low-priced platform. By cancelling your client s MailChimp subscription, you can find the budget for marketing automation. If they continue to have cost concerns, we recommend offering the client a free trial. With our platform-based pricing, there is no charge to an agency for setting up or removing clients within your pool if you have the available space. You can use the empty accounts to offer your clients an opportunity to try SharpSpring before they buy. page 13

15 Class dismissed Are you ready to get out there and start selling? Just remember, it s all about the benefits of marketing automation: More Leads Drive Sales Prove ROI TP Talking Point Back to the Benefits We covered a lot in this guide, and if you only remember one thing, remember the benefits: more leads, drive sales and prove ROI. Memorize these benefits. When you explain SharpSpring, tie all the features back to these benefits. Your ability to close the deal is riding on your ability to communicate these benefits. Once you decide how to generate revenue for your agency and pick a pricing strategy, you need to start talking to your clients and prospects about the benefits of marketing automation. As a professional marketer, you shouldn t have any problem deciding on the best channel to communicate your pitch, and don t forget, SharpSpring is free for your agency to use. What better way to prove the value of marketing automation than to use it in your sales process? Start capturing leads, tracking visitor behavior, segementing leads (B2B vs B2C) and sending automated s to communicate: What is marketing automation? What are the benefits of marketing automation? How does marketing automation apply to my business? Last but not least, we are your partners. If you ever need any help or have any questions, send us an at or visit our resource page here. Now go start selling! page 14

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