INTERVIEW: Samantha Mckenna & Amy Volas | A Masterclass In Modern Sales | SSP Interview

For More Episodes Visit: www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Amy Volas:

Amy Volas is the Founder and CEO of Avenue Talent Partners. In her 20-year career, she’s closed over $100 million in sales serving in various sales roles —from spearheading national accounts for ZipRecruiter, Gild, Indeed and Yahoo! to exceeding expectations at Jacobson and DataTrend. Today, she applies her vast sales experience helping other startups scale their sales teams.

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Samantha McKenna:

Samantha McKenna is an aggressive sales leader with endless energy and optimism; always putting her team first and still crushing the sales goals put before her. She is the creator of eight different programs such as a structured mentorship program, sales culture initiative and executive social selling power hours.

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Stories worth telling.

On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.

Website: https://www.scottdclary.com

Podcast: https://www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/successstorypodcast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sdouglasclary

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sdouglasclary

Facebook: https://facebook.com/sdouglasclary

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sdouglasclary

BLOG: 4 Tools Your Next Remote Event Needs to Succeed

It’s pretty difficult–or dare we say, even impossible–to run a successful remote event without the right tools backing you.

Some of the tools you need depend on the type of event you’re running and how you want to interact with your audience. That being said, there are a few core pieces every remote event needs to succeed.

Today, we’re going to cover four of them.

4 Tools Your Next Remote Event Needs to Succeed

  1. A solid internet connection
  2. Good-quality lighting, sound, and video
  3. Event management software
  4. A way to engage and interact with your audience

How fast and reliable is your internet connection?

There’s nothing quite as frustrating during a virtual event than losing your connection to your audience thanks to poor internet connectivity. Not to mention, if you’re constantly cutting in and out, it’s incredibly annoying for viewers!

So, before your next remote event, make sure you’ve taken the steps you need to ensure your connection will be solid so you can stay connected throughout the event. If you know it can be spotty in certain areas in your house, consider renting a room at a library or a co-working space. Then, test the internet connection ahead of time. Once you know it’s fast and reliable, host your virtual event from here instead.

Audio, video, and lighting during a remote event

Even if your internet connection is strong, dim lighting, low-quality video, and spotty audio drastically reduce audience engagement and enjoyment during remote events.

Depending on the style of remote event you’re hosting, a newer smartphone or Android may provide sufficient quality audio and video. But if you’re hosting a bigger event or you’re going for a more professional look, consider investing in professional equipment, including a microphone and camera with live-streaming capabilities.

Another factor to consider is your lighting. If you’re positioned properly and the weather is on your side, natural lighting can do the trick. But a lot of remote event hosts decide to invest in lighting meant for recording video. If you’re filming with your phone, a small, attachable ring-light can work wonders for the lighting in your video.

When your audio and video is clear, bright, and steady, your audience will have a much better experience during your next remote event and they’ll walk away eager to attend the next one you host!

Remote event management software

Virtual events take planning and coordination much like in-person events. It’s tricky to keep everything you need streamlined, but there are different remote event management software programs that can help you do just that.

Depending on the software you choose, it can come with all sorts of convenient capabilities to help your next event go off without a hitch.

They include:

Event registration: Your audience can click a link to sign up for your event. Then, their RSVP is automatically recorded in your event dashboard

Real-time analytics: Receive accurate, real-time data and input from your audience to shape the course of your event.

Branding: The option to brand your remote event with your logo, colors, and design to keep everything streamlined and authoritative.

But here at Swift, our team picks favorites when it comes to what remote event software can do. For us, every great event needs powerful audience engagement and interaction tools! That’s why we’re proud to offer just that.

Audience engagement and interaction

We think an engaged audience is a happy audience. If your audience members walk away feeling like they had a chance to be heard, ask questions, and interact, that’s a great sign your event was a success.

Now, there are several different ways to interact with and engage your audience during remote events.

Here are just a few of them.

Live Polls

Live polling lets you create a real-time dialogue with your audience during events. Maybe you create a poll to gather opinions or poll your audience to test their knowledge on a particular subject. Either way, live polling gives your audience the chance to be heard and provides you with powerful data at the same time.


Another favorite way to interact with your audience during remote events is with question and answer sessions. Whether you’re asking your audience questions and hearing directly from them or vice versa, they provide a powerful tool for engagement.

We’ve taken all the guess-work out of Q&As. As the remote event host, you can moderate questions before they’re put on display for your entire audience. You can also let your audience upvote their favorite questions so you can focus on what matters most. Finally, you can even turn on anonymity features. That way, your audience can ask questions anonymously in case they’d be reluctant to do so otherwise.

Quizzes and Games

Who doesn’t love a friendly round of trivia or a chance to show off their knowledge and skill set? Integrate quizzes and games into your remote presentation or event so your audience has a fun way to get involved. You can even choose to display the results on a leaderboard to strike up a fun competition between attendees. And everyone’s favorite: you can even offer prizes and incentives for the winners!

Are you feeling inspired to start planning your next remote event?

What are some other great tools you’ve used to take your remote events to the next level?

BLOG: Unlearn Your Assumptions

UNLEARN your assumptions.

When John Legere became CEO of T-Mobile, he listened in on customer service calls for three hours, every single day.

The CEO of a 45 billion dollar telecom giant.

Could he have asked his front-line managers?


Could he have asked his product teams?


Could he have engaged customer success?


He knew that any information he received from anyone else in his company would be condensed into a clean report, filled with succinct data points, key takeaways, metrics, suggested deliverables and action items.

He knew this wouldn’t be raw, real and authentic.

He knew he had to go to the source to get unbiased, unfiltered and uninterpreted customer feedback.

What’s the take away?

Unlearn your assumptions.

Challenge the way it’s been done.

Go to the grassroots source to find the information.

Only then will you understand the truth of any matter, be it in business, news, life.

Take nothing for granted, and always challenge the status quo.

INTERVIEW: Scott Miller, EVP Franklin Covey | 30 Years of 7 Habits of Highly Successful People | SSP Interview

For More Episodes Visit: www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Scott J. Miller is Executive Vice President of Thought Leadership. Scott has been with the company for 20 years and previously served as Vice President of Business Development and Chief Marketing Officer. His role as EVP caps 12 years on the front line, working with thousands of client facilitators across many markets and countries.

Prior to his appointment, Scott served as the General Manager of the Central Region, based in Chicago. Scott originally joined Covey Leadership Center in 1996 as a Client Partner with the Education Division.

Scott started his professional career with the Disney Development Company, the real-estate development division of The Walt Disney Company in 1992. As a research coordinator, he identified trends and industry best practices in community development, education, healthcare, architectural design and technology. Scott received a B.A. in Organizational Communication from Rollins College in 1996.

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Stories worth telling.

On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.

Website: https://www.scottdclary.com

Podcast: https://www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/successstorypodcast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sdouglasclary

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sdouglasclary

Facebook: https://facebook.com/sdouglasclary

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sdouglasclary


INTERVIEW: Rosie Mercado, Model & TV Star | Body Positivity, Mental Health & Entrepreneurship | SSP Interview

For More Episodes Visit: www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Rosie Mercado is an American plus-size model, celebrity makeup artist, fashion designer and television personality. She was an expert Life Coach on talk show called Face the Truth. Produced by Dr. Phil and Jay McGraw’s Stage 29 Productions, on the show Rosie dealt with conflict and provided people with a usable takeaway dished out with her no-nonsense style.

A proud, bilingual Latina, Rosie is a true crossover star who also guest-hosts and is a correspondent on leading Spanish-language networks, Telemundo and Univision, as well as on the Emmy-award winning Dr. Phil Show and The Doctors.

In fall 2020, Rosie has two projects launching simultaneously. Her shocking story of survival and triumph will be told to a worldwide audience through the publication of her memoir, The Girl with the Self-Esteem Issues, in both English and Spanish by Harper One and Harper Espanol. With the same title, fans are excited about the international launch of her podcast in partnership with the Himalaya Media Platform. The podcast, with both video and audio components, will be released in English and Spanish. Each episode will feature candid discussions between Rosie and influential figures from all walks of life covering topics such as parenting, health and relationships.

The journey of her 240-pound weight loss and life transformation into a prominent voice for women’s empowerment went viral. Now, Rosie was named in 2019 by People en Espanol as “Top 25 Most Powerful Latin as,” Rosie is an exciting star with a universal, international appeal.

Show Links





Stories worth telling.

On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.

Website: https://www.scottdclary.com

Podcast: https://www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/successstoryp…

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sdouglasclary

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sdouglasclary

Facebook: https://facebook.com/sdouglasclary

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sdouglasclary

BLOG: Which CX Metrics To Add To Your Marketing KPIs

Guest Post By Mark D. Hall

Metrics are your marketing scorecard, which is why you need to ensure you’re tracking the right ones

Metrics are the ‘scorecard’ of your digital marketing work. When these metrics, also known as key performance indicators (KPIs), are moving upwards, you’re winning the marketing game. When they’re trending downwards, you’re on the losing team (at least for now).

You probably know your conversion-related KPIs by heart: metrics like conversion rate, revenue per visitor (RPV), and average order value (AOV). And on the acquisition side: cost per acquisition (CPA), return on ad spend (ROAS), and marketing qualified lead rate (MQL).

But, to get a clear sense of what matters most in your customers’ minds, you need to include customer experience (or ‘CX’) metrics in your scorecard mix. These CX metrics measure your prospects’ and customers’ perceptions of your brand, judged after several interactions, or ‘touchpoints,’ with both your online and offline marketing channels. They ultimately tell you whether your customers will come back to buy more, or start looking for another brand that will serve them better.

Customer Assets

CX Metric 1: Net customer value growth

The most important CX metric in business is adding value – principally, bottom-line (profit) value to owners and shareholders. Knowing this, CX guru Jeanne Bliss defines the number one CX metric as ‘Net Customer Value Growth’ (NCVG). So, what does this mean?

NCVG is simply the difference between the number of new customers you added in a given period, less the number of customers you lost during the same period. Importantly, it’s not just the net number of customers gained or lost, but the economic value of this customer growth or loss. That is:

Net Growth or Loss of Customer Asset =

New Customers (volume and value) – Lost Customers (volume and value)

It’s vital to show your customer asset metrics as whole numbers, not as retention rates so there’s a clear connection between the people and the math. Just talk percentages or scores and your executive team’s eyes will glaze over. But show how much your marketing, customer service, and retention activities have grown the value of their stock, and you’ll soon see the eyes of your executive team, particularly your CFO, widen with excitement.

Why? Because this metric sees customers as what they are: assets. Something that puts cash in the ‘accounts receivable’ column of your balance sheet every month. This metric reflects what they did versus what they said they would do in surveys. As we know, actions speak louder than words in the business world.

CX Metrics

CX Metric 2: Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The net promoter score (NPS), created by Fred Reichheld, and now trademarked by SatMetrix™, is considered the core metric for customer experience management programs around the world. The reason: it’s simple to collect and calculate.

The graphic above shows the range of ‘promoter’ scores. Survey respondents are asked: ‘How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?’ Only respondents who give a nine or ten are considered brand promoters; the others are detractors or passives.

Calculate your NPS as follows:

  • Survey hundreds of your existing customers (the more you survey, the more accurate your scores will be).
  • Tally the number of responses in each bucket (detractors, passives, and promoters), then convert that to a percentage (of the total number of responses).
  • Subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters to get your NPS.

You’re looking for an NPS that’s greater than zero and preferably higher than 20%.

There is a downside to the NPS: it doesn’t tell you why your customers are dissatisfied or less-than-excited about your brand. This takes us to CX Metric number three, which is a set of behavior-based metrics.

CX Metrics refferal

CX Metric 3: Referrals from existing customers

Let’s take that NPS down another level: to the actual referrals, your existing customers are giving to friends or colleagues. But first, here’s a little customer cost background.

It costs a lot more to acquire and convert a new customer than it does to retain a current customer. One study found that it was five times as costly and a McKinsey and Co. study found that word of mouth was the driving factor in 20-50% of B2B purchase decisions. So it pays to invest time in measuring and responding to customer attitudes about your brand.

Having worked as an account manager at a few digital agencies, I know that ‘willingness to refer us to prospective clients’ is the number one CX metric. If, after working with your agency for months or even years, a client isn’t willing — actually, eager — to recommend your agency to other clients, you’ve wasted a lot of time and effort. What’s more, these clients’ negative or neutral comments are likely lowering your referrals (and also your New Customer Value).

Some clients, when I mention the importance of tracking this metric, say ‘Um… I can’t get that.’ Well, to this I say, ‘you need to try harder to find a way to,’ because referral specifics are a crucial measurement of your customer experience.

Here are some ideas on how to get this referral data:

  • For customers who give you an NPS of seven or higher, start tracking their social shares and other comments tied to their account (or email address).
  • (For agencies) Have your account managers request referrals from clients at appropriate times (for example, two months into an engagement, and bi-monthly thereafter).
  • (For companies) Have your customer service reps request referrals from customers under certain conditions, for example, after they have ‘touched’ your brand two or more times (be sure to track these touches in your customer-facing apps).
  • Use text analytics to analyze sentiment on your social media accounts – mainly Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These tools have algorithms that can gauge whether sentiment (feelings expressed) about your brand is mostly positive or negative. Learn more in the ‘Four Must-have Features for your Customer Listening Platform’ [insert link here] blog post by SmartInsights.

I’m sure there are other ideas you can come up with. My main point: gather your team and other people who regularly interact with your customers to discuss how to best capture and track these referral events.

CX Metrics analytics

CX Metric 4: Behavior patterns that show strengthening or weakening of the customer relationship

As a digital marketer, your goal is to trigger positive emotions and even build new beliefs, in the minds of your customers. But, as I described for CX Metric number one, it’s actions that matter most. So what you’re seeking are connections between visitor actions and the associated lead-generation and conversion implications of those actions.

For example, questions you might want to get answered include:

  • Revenue and profitability by customer group or segments (customer segment movement). Are some of your customers moving upscale (to a higher-priced subscription, which is good), or downscale (bad)?
  • What percentage of your customers did not sign up for a subscription (‘free trial offer’ scenario) or renew their subscription (‘customer subscription is ending’ scenario)?
  • What percentage of your customers were lost after an incident? This is very powerful as it measures your customers’ perception of your company’s recovery.

It’s getting these answers, based on the data analyses leading up to them, that will best help you win at the digital marketing game.

Examples of insights per sales stage

Here are a few examples of valuable, analytics-based insights you can get at various stages in your sales cycle.

Key insight for the prospect acquisition and nurturing stage:

‘Prospects who viewed at least three content marketing pieces had a conversion rate (CR) 40% higher than prospects who didn’t.’

Key insight for the prospect conversion stage:

‘Prospects who engaged with online chat one or more times had a revenue per visitor (RPV) 230% higher than those who didn’t.’

Key insight for the customer retention stage:

‘Customers who didn’t have their support issue resolved on the first contact were five times more likely to churn.’

These insights are invaluable because they allow you to confidently change your marketing tactics or update your user experience to boost the factors that lift your performance metrics. In other words, they tell you which levers you should ‘pull-on’ to drive KPI increases.

These customer insights can come from many sources, including:

  • An Excel sheet statistical analysis of existing customer data.
  • The reporting included in your visitor analytics or personalization platform.
  • Your ‘big data’ analyses of prospect and customer behaviors based on your marketing creative, your internal data (e.g. CRM data, chat log data), and third-party data (e.g. social media-triggered ‘behaviors of value’).

These kinds of insights excite me and not just because they drive higher profits, but because they produce a more satisfying experience. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Recommendation: Hire an analytics geek

If you don’t already have someone passionate about data and analytics on your team, consider hiring someone with that skill set, or bringing in an outside consultant. You’ll likely get an uber-high ROI on this investment.

This person doesn’t need to be a full-blown ‘data scientist’ (though that would be nice if you can afford one). But they should enjoy using a wide range of analytics tools (including Excel) and doing complex data queries. This person should also know a lot about predictive analytics.

Add CX metrics to your KPIs

In business and marketing, it’s the bottom-line performance that matters most. So you must choose the right metrics by which to judge this performance. It’s time to think beyond the traditional ‘inside-out’ marketing metrics to the ‘outside-in’ customer experience (CX) metrics that measure what your prospects and customers think about your brand and how they behave as a result, so you’ll know how these attitudes affect the value of your brand.

Net customer growth, net promoter score, and referrals are great CX metrics to start with since they indicate how your customers judge your brand at a given time. But going forward we need to seek out the behavior-based data, analytics, and insights that tell you how to confidentially tweak your marketing tactics to grow revenues, profits, and value. By augmenting your ideas, this analytics-based intelligence that will help you become the odds-on favorite in every digital marketing game you play.

Guest Post By Mark D. Hall

Seasoned Voice of Customer (VOC) Insights, Customer Experience (CX) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) professional. Mark raises the revenues and customer loyalty of E-Commerce and SAAS-based brands by finding and fixing the ‘holes’ in their customer experience. For over 20 years Mark has worked with a wide range of clients, including AT&T, AutoZone, American Express, Delta Dental, Kaiser Permanente, Denon, Edmunds, eDriving, SpyTec and The California Lottery. Mark holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Washington, and an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado. When not working, Mark enjoys playing tenor saxophone, mountain biking, reading and watching soccer. Read his blog, connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter

BLOG: Convert Customer Frustration Into Conversion

Guest Post By HP Morgan

A single bad review can have a huge impact on your business, which is why customer service is key. A customer journey map can help improve conversion

Are you facing issues while trying to provide a stellar customer experience? The onus is on the businesses to rectify this situation quickly because customer experience has been a cornerstone of business since the very beginning. However, today, the business landscape is growing increasingly competitive. Businesses are doing more than ever to get customers’ attention than ever before.

Not so long ago, the need or want for a product meant we were supposed to drive miles to get to a brick and mortar store to spend hours looking for the desired product. From test driving each option to trying to determine the difference between models, we would make the comparisons in person.

If possible, you might even have ended up asking a friend or two for a recommendation. In a general scenario, there is always a sales rep ready to help who could answer questions and help you proceed with your purchase. Most likely, you’d decide right there, selecting a familiar brand name. Do you know what the biggest struggle was then? Finding a parking spot near the store.

As of now, there are a huge number of options available when it comes to researching and purchasing products and services. You can find almost any product from any brand and compare it by quickly visiting review sites, social media, and blogs. You can find out about everything from quality to price to customer service.

Of course, this also means that negative reviews can influence the buying decision of your end-user. Businesses with just one negative review risk losing as much as 22% of their customers. If three negative articles or reviews pop up in a search query, the potential for lost customers increases to 59.2%. Get four or more negative articles, and you’re likely to lose 70% of your potential customers.

It seems as though the word of a bad experience can travel faster than lightning. One negative review can quickly spread across the globe like wildfire and cause damage to your brand’s reputation. Unfortunately, people often tend to remember negative events and reviews more easily than positive ones. Research suggests that it can take 12 positive experiences to repair the damage caused by a single negative one.

Keeping today’s fast pace life into account, most customers don’t bother to complain – they just never come back – leaving you in the dark without explaining why they left in the first place.

  • What went wrong?
  • How was their experience?
  • Is it the price, product, or service; what is the issue?

All you know is that you can suddenly experience a high rate of customer churn. This is why it is important to remember that one single customer can make or break your brand.

What causes bad customer experiences?

Rejection comes in many shapes and sizes, so predicting its cause isn’t easy. However, there are several commonly-reported issues that you should bear in mind:

  • Long wait times.
  • Unable to understand customer needs.
  • Unresolved issues/questions.
  • Automation without a human touch.
  • Service that is not personalized.
  • Rude/angry employees.

There are likely to be more causes of bad customer service than these though. It’s easy to put yourself in the place of your customer and consider the last time you were frustrated by a service you received and why. Are your customers having the same experience?

Customer journey mapping: How to make this work?

Customer journey mapping, the concept has the potential to provide companies with a rare ability to better understand their customer in regards to the user experience your brand offers and, therefore, stop problems before they start. Its benefits include:

  • Tailoring your UX to the consumer, giving them a better all-around experience.
  • Losing fewer customers as they engage with your brand (and therefore increase profit).

Apart from this, by mapping your customer journey, you’ll better understand how your business works, be able to spot potential weaknesses, and allocate resources more efficiently. As a result, you will be able to improve and streamline your customer service, as well as identifying (and removing) any potential weak links.

More importantly, discovering, reaching out to people, encouraging conversion, effective delivery, and aftercare are the crucial stages in the process of the customer journey map. You must make sure you truly engage and empathize with the customer’s experience through all five of these stages.

Boost conversions and keep customers happy

Around 80% of businesses believe they offer a superior customer experience, but only a handful of customers agree that this is the case. You can learn from the customers who don’t agree by reaching out to them to gather as much information as you can regarding their expectations and whether they are being met and where there is room for improvement.

At the same time, it is a good idea to research websites, especially those that are similar to your own. Keep an eye on them, get to know what they do and what seems to work for them. Then, revisit your website. Can you spot the difference? Is there any similarity between the CX you offer and what they provide?

On top of this, you should be assessing how many people are viewing key parts of your website, clicking through to different areas, staying on your site, or bouncing off. This will help you get a better understanding of whether your content is helpful and engaging, as well as how long it takes people to convert. If too many people are bouncing or exiting, address this. If the conversion process is too long, try and cut it down by addressing the information you provide earlier on.

A holistic approach

If you wish to truly improve your customers’ experience, you need to be holistic. After all, if someone reaches the three points of annoyance in the ordering process, they won’t complete their purchase, let alone come back to your site. Even a few small issues can build up and be enough to make a customer abandon their purchase. With a customer journey map; you can create a detailed and segmented journey to help you prevent even small annoyances.

You should identify the ‘Pain Points’ that a customer may experience. This is vital as it will allow you to see which areas of your business are performing below expectations. These can be the areas that customers are reporting a negative or neutral experience or where you can see customers dropping off when you assess your analytics. Get into the nitty-gritty of why they are leaving your website. The chances are, you may not have considered the issue beforehand.

Last but certainly not the least, quantify. This is one of the most crucial things you need to do when you are about to deal with fundamentally subjective and often intangible concepts, such as customer emotion, decision-making, and overall perception of your brand. Mitigating these difficulties using metrics whenever possible, is the best thing to do. Once you have your information through adequate testing and quantifying, nothing can stop you from succeeding.

Guest Post By HP Morgan

BLOG: 21 Sales Training Games, Activities, & Ideas to Ramp Up Your Team

Guest Post by AJ Beltis

There are nearly 15 million salespeople working in the United States, and they spend weeks or even months training for success in their role.

Given the different responsibilities, industries, and team structures salespeople encounter, it’s hard to recommend a one-size-fits-all approach to sales training. Your reps need to learn and retain all of the company-specific skills and knowledge in order to succeed in their jobs.

Download Now: Sales Training & Onboarding Template [Free Tool]

That’s why we’ve made a list of the best sales training ideas, activities, and games. Read through the list to determine the best tactics and programs to use when training your sales team.

1. Use a sales training template. [Featured Resource]

a sales training template

Download This Template for Free

sales training and onboarding plan consolidates role expectations, training timelines, and resources into one place for your newly hired salespeople.

Since every sales team has different goals and expectations, it’s important to craft a custom training plan specifically for your new sales hires.

This template is pre-filled with the sections you’ll find on most sales training plans. You can use it to build out a more detailed and specific onboarding plan for your organization.

2. Subscribe to industry publications, newsletters, and podcasts.

One of the mottos we love here at HubSpot is “Always be learning.

Complacency can kill in a sales job, so encourage salespeople to listen to sales podcasts and subscribe to newsletters from the best sales blogs, regardless of where they are in their career. As the industry shifts and new thought leaders emerge, reps can use the knowledge from these publications to stay in touch with new best practices and continuously build their knowledge base.

3. Have the team do objection handling training exercises.

I once spoke to a software engineer who described his job as “coming in and figuring out how to break our software everyday.” He and his team worked to determine the best ways to ensure that the break or breach wouldn’t happen.

Why not take a similar approach with your sales team?

Have your reps come up with all of the reasons they’ve heard why someone would reject your product. Then, have them develop — on their own or in groups — the most convincing counters to those objections. That way they’ll be locked and loaded when someone brings that concern up on a call.

4. Get certified.

Strengthen your team’s understanding of selling best practices by requiring or suggesting they acquire a useful sales certification. For example, HubSpot Academy has a free Inbound Sales Certification and Course available online, including insights and advice from industry experts. The course has been taken thousands of times and can be a helpful step in making salespeople better at their jobs.

5. Host success (and failure) panels.

Honesty goes a long way in training, as do personal connections.

Hosting panels with salespeople in your org that highlight their stories of success can serve as guidance and inspiration to both new and existing salespeople.

However, what might be even more valuable is a sales failure panel. Reps can open up about a time where they fell short, didn’t make the deal, or didn’t achieve the outcome they were expecting. More importantly, they can explain what they learned and how they addressed the problem next time.

6. Listen to and assess call recordings.

Sometimes referred to as “What did you hear?” this sales training exercise involves playing recorded sales calls or meetings and discerning the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Listen to the call alongside your rep, with each of you writing down what you heard that could have been said better, or what was said that stuck out in a great way. Compare notes to see how attentive your rep is and to hear their opinion on how the call went.

This equips reps to go into calls with more confidence, the right vocabulary, and a clear direction in which to take the conversation.

7. Present your buyer’s journey.

After new hires are trained, have them give a presentation on what the typical buyer’s journey looks like for your product or service.

The presentation could follow one of your buyer personas realizing their problem, looking for solutions, how they stumbled upon your business, and what made them choose to do business with you.

This will make salespeople sympathetic to their future customers’ problems, get a grip on the entire sales cycle, and understand how your product/service is actually helpful.

8. Conduct a competitive analysis.

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” Chances are, your company has some insight into your competition. You might even have an entire competitive analysis team. However, your new sales hire might not know all of your comparative strengths and weaknesses, even though those points may come up on their very first sales call.

Having reps conduct their own competitive analysis offers many benefits for you and your company. For example:

  • It exposes your reps to what internal documentation you already have on the subject.
  • It can focus on one specific aspect of your product/service for a more thorough deep dive.
  • It compares you to your competition with a fresh set of eyes, which could offer new talking points and arguments for future sales situations.

9. Provide opportunity for shadow programs.

Here’s where you’ll pair a new sales rep with a more established, successful one. The existing rep can walk new hires through the day-to-day of the job, show what success looks like, and serve as a mentor for personal and professional growth.

10. List your potholes.

Dan Tyre, a sales director here at HubSpot, recommends a tactic to foster self-reflection and personal growth in new hires. He suggests new reps set up a written list or spreadsheet of the three “potholes” they fall into each day, as a way of holding themselves accountable, taking risks, and reviewing growth opportunities.

1. Sell Me This Pen

Ever seen The Wolf of Wall Street?

As real-life investor (and crook) Jordan Belfort, Leonardo DiCaprio delivers this line to a group of colleagues in an impromptu selling exercise, challenging them to create a need in the eyes of a potential buyer.

The challenge could involve picking anything in the room or office. Task your reps with identifying what the problem is to which the obscure item is the solution. From there, in a mock selling situation with a prospect (either another new rep or someone on the training team), have the rep try to get the prospect to identify the need themselves, and provide the solution (in this case, the obscure product).

2. Match Game

If your business sells multiple products, software, or upgrades, make a list of the key ones. Then, write out a one or two-sentence scenario where a potential customer would benefit from it.

Shuffle both lists and have salespeople match the problem to the solution so they can determine when someone is a good candidate for a certain solution. Here’s an example of what that might look like.

an example of the sales training activity 'match the product to the person'

3. What’s a …?

Keep new hires on their toes with this fun activity.

After a new sales class is onboarded, inform them that the rest of the company has been instructed to — at any time during the work day — approach new sales hires and ask, “What’s a…” followed by the name of your company, your product, or your software.

On a moment’s notice, and without hesitation, salespeople should be ready to explain what it is that they are selling in a concise, convincing, and clear way. This is especially true if your company sells a complex software or if it’s a newer, lesser-known company.

As an added bonus, this can serve as an introduction for new hires to employees from other departments.

4. Jeopardy!

At the end of your training, quiz new hires on five to 10 different categories, with each category containing five questions of increasing difficulty and point value. This game is particularly effective with a big onboarding class or for retraining a large group of existing reps.

If you’re in need of a Jeopardy! style template, Lifewire has compiled a resourceful list of templates you can use to quiz your salespeople on product training.

5. Elevator Pitch (or E-Pitch)

The concept of the elevator pitch (or e–pitch) is simple — you’re in an elevator with somebody you’re trying to sell to, and have only 30-60 seconds to make your case before that person gets off the elevator.

E-pitch competitions are a staple for new hire training, as they force reps to get the value of a product out clearly and quickly. However, you can also run e-pitch competitions for continued sales training, putting random objects or ideas in a hat and challenging existing salespeople to pick one at random and brainstorm a pitch to work on their public speaking, persuasion, and brevity skills.

6. Pop Quiz

One of the best ways for your reps to retain information could be for you to reinforce it during the training. Spontaneous pop quizzes during training and onboarding sessions can keep your salespeople engaged, particularly if the testing is gamified.

You can use mobile-based quiz platforms like Kahoot to put the quiz right in the hands of your trainees, ensure everyone’s involvement, and analyze where the gaps in data are in your group afterwards.

7. Make a Commercial

In this game, the sales manager or trainer splits reps into multiple teams and distributes a random object to each team. The object can be something abstract like a strange Lego build, or it could be an everyday item laying around the office.

Each team then collaborates to come up with a purpose for the item, identify the pain it solves, and script messaging for a “commercial” to “sell” the item to the group.

At the end of the presentations, hold a vote and give a prize for best commercial.

This game develops creativity, positioning, and presentation skills.

8. S’up

S’up is a common sales game for building reps’ confidence.

Take your team to a public place, like a mall or networking event, and have them pair up for accountability. Each rep must initiate a conversation with a stranger and “prospect” for personal information during the course of the conversation.

Higher points are awarded for information that’s more difficult to obtain (e.g. what they had for lunch is worth less than a story about their childhood).

9. Still Don’t Get It

Similar to S’up, this game is also played in public. Instruct each rep to approach a stranger and ask a question. (This game is often played by asking for directions to somewhere, but any question will do.)

When the stranger provides the answer, the rep must probe for more information as if they “don’t get it.” Points are awarded to reps based on how many times they are able to push the stranger for more information. This develops sales reps’ muscles for reading prospects and knowing when to push further or quit.

10. Cold Call Bingo!

Have one of your reps make a cold call while the rest of the team listens on speakerphone. Each listening rep has a Bingo! card with common sales tactics and milestones (such as “price objection” or “need/pain identified”). The point is to get the team actively listening for and identifying prospect handling techniques while learning from a live example.

Reward the Bingo! winner and the cold caller for a successful Bingo! achieved.

11. Next Logical Question

In large new hire classes, role play as a prospect and have reps take turns asking the next logical question following the statement you’ve made.

For example, a rep might ask you “What made you reach out for more information?” You would then express a common problem a potential customer might look to your company to solve. Then, the rep needs to figure out the best question to ask in response to that need.

If the answer is all wrong, or if there is a silence in the room, you get to chime in and give guidance on what could be asked. Keep track, and the person who asks the most logical next questions wins.

No matter what sales training ideas, games, or activities you’re using in your office, they should serve the ultimate purpose of making salespeople better at their jobs. Ross Nibur, Director of Revenue Operations and Strategy (and former Director of Business Development) at Toast, proposes a four-step process to developing and implementing any sales training idea.

Sequentially, sales trainers should answer these four questions:

  1. What knowledge or skill do I want salespeople to acquire?
  2. Why are those skills important to them and to business growth?
  3. How can we ensure salespeople retain this knowledge?
  4. How can we support salespeople if they are struggling to learn the skill?

So, for example, you may decide you want your salespeople to become experts in your product. That answers question one. This information is important so reps can speak knowledgeably about products to prospects, set proper expectations for the end user, and earn the trust of those they’re talking to, answering question two.

Question three is where you match a training idea or activity to teach or outline the learning you want to highlight, so maybe you decide that a sales rep giving a successful product demo is the best training idea for addressing this need.

As for question four, new reps who fall short on their demo might be given access to additional documentation, recordings of successful demos, or demo coaching sessions to strengthen their skills.

That’s an example of a training idea implemented with purpose, a clear goal, and actionable next steps to ensure the knowledge and skills and retained.

These ideas and games are perfect ways to sharpen the skills of your existing team or as part of onboarding training for new sales hires.

Guest Post by AJ Beltis

AJ Beltis is a Content Marketing Manager for HubSpot’s Acquisition team. When he’s not creating tools and resources for HubSpot’s blog readers, he’s probably rewatching one of his favorite movies, writing something, planning his next road trip, or impatiently waiting for the next season of Stranger Things to hit Netflix.

5 Ways to Use Live Video Integration for Your Next Virtual Event

Have you considered using live video integration for your next virtual event? If you’re not sure how or why it’s a great option, read on!

The benefits of virtual events

Rather than canceling their events entirely, more and more businesses are turning to virtual options instead. And there are plenty of good reasons for doing so: virtual events offer a more efficient, cost-effective, and inclusive option. Not to mention, it’s also a lot easier to collect feedback during a virtual event.

But not all virtual events are the same.

What sets the really great ones apart from the rest? You want your audience to come away feeling motivated, inspired, and engaged.

Fantastic virtual events include not only high-quality information and talented presenters, but they need the right tools and tech behind them as well.

Live video integration for virtual events

One of the tools utilized more than ever during virtual events is live video integration.

During your virtual event, you can engage and interact with remote participants with live video integrated into the same tab as the rest of your content!

That’s right: no more clicking between windows and links. All major live video streaming services can be integrated right into your presentation to make your virtual event one to remember!

Are you convinced live video integration is what your next virtual event needs? Here are five ways to implement this tool during your next event.

5 Ways to Use Live Video Integration for Your Next Virtual Event

Remote keynote speakers

If you’re hosting a virtual event with one or more keynote speakers, live video integration will be your new best friend! Your keynote speakers can present to your remote audience from any major live video streaming service.

Offer special extras

Would you like to offer certain remote attendees exciting extra features? Live video integration is an awesome way to do this.

You can use it to give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your virtual event, extra content from keynote speakers, or for question and answer periods with the speakers after an event.

Engage and interact your audience

There’s nothing quite like live interaction for engaging your audience. There’s a time and a place for pre-recorded content, but live video has a way of capturing the attention of your audience like nothing else. When you use it to interact with your remote audience, they’ll instantly become more more engaged and attentive to your presentation

One of the most fun ways to use live video integration to interact with your audience is with questions and answers.

You can either ask your audience questions or they can submit their own questions to you during your virtual event.

You can moderate these questions as they come in to limit repetitive or offensive questions. Or you can even save unanswered questions to get to at another time. Your audience can also upvote questions they’re most interested in to give you insight into the most important topics to cover.

As you answer these questions over live video, you can even shout-out whoever asked the question to create another opportunity for engagement.

Product launches

Is your brand launching an exciting new product? Offer your audience the opportunity to be the first to see it by streaming the launch over live video. Whether you film a live product demo or an unveiling, your audience will appreciate the novelty of being the first to see your new product.

Breaking news

Does your brand have breaking news you can’t wait to share with your fans? Host a virtual event with live video integration to share this news with your audience in real-time! You can collect their reactions, answer questions, and engage with your audience as you go to keep them informed and excited.

Live video tips

Now that we’ve covered some ways to use live video integration during your next virtual event, we’re going to discuss some of our top tips for filming live videos.

  1. Practice: You don’t necessarily need to run off a script during your live event. But doing a few run-throughs ahead of time helps your presentation go smoothly. You’ll also know exactly what you need to cover ahead of time rather than being stuck on the spot.
  2. Appropriate clothing: If you’re the host of a virtual event, try to pick an outfit without a pattern. Otherwise, it looks too “busy” on the screen and it can distract your audience.
  3. Tech check: Before you go live, triple check your audio, video, and lighting to make sure everything is working properly.
  4. Keep a drink handy: A slight tickle in your throat can turn into a full on coughing fit if you don’t have a drink nearby! Keep a bottle of water handy while you present over live video to prevent this from happening to you.


Running a live event virtually is no different than standing on stage in front of 5 or 50,000 people.

Prepare , deliver value, excite, entertain and teach. Although the medium may be different, the way you communicate value to your audience — is not.

INTERVIEW: Erik Bork, 2x Emmy 2x Golden Globe Writer | Earth To The Moon & Band of Brothers | SSP Interview

For More Episodes Visit: www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Erik Bork is best known for his work as a writer-producer on the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and From the Earth to the Moon, for which he won two Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards. He’s sold multiple original pitches, and written pilots and features for many of the major studios and production companies. He teaches at UCLA Extension and National University’s MFA Program, and has been called one of the “Top 10 Most Influential Screenwriting Bloggers.”

Show Links https://www.flyingwrestler.com/ https://twitter.com/flyingwrestler

Show Sponsor https://www.nthround.com/


Stories worth telling.

On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.

Website: www.scottdclary.com

Podcast: www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/successstorypodcast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sdouglasclary

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sdouglasclary

Facebook: https://facebook.com/sdouglasclary

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sdouglasclary

BLOG: 4 Ways to Energize Your Virtual Meetings

Does it seem like you spend half your day attending virtual meetings for work? By now, you might have noticed some virtual presentations are more energized and exciting than others. But it might be hard to put your finger on what exactly it is that sets one virtual meeting apart from the next.

Now let’s say you’re the one hosting a virtual meeting. Try as you might, you can’t seem to keep your audience energized as the presentation goes on. But we’ve got good news! It’s easier than ever to organize energized virtual meetings with Swift technology on your side.

Our favorite ways to energize virtual meetings

Today, we’re going to discuss some tools and tricks to use in your next virtual meeting to keep everyone energized as you go.

Start off strong

When you start your meeting off with a bang, it sets the stage for the rest of the presentation. It’s also important to begin on a positive note. Can you start by celebrating the completion of a project or another success?

Another option is starting the meeting by highlighting a particular team member. Ahead of your meeting, you can have team members enter the name of a team member who has worked particularly hard or gone above and beyond. Begin your meeting by giving this team member a shout-out before you get into the rest of your content.

When meeting attendees are mentioned and included, they’re much more likely to stay engaged and focused during your meeting.

Offer an icebreaker

Another way to get attendees energized and engaged is by offering them an icebreaker. Create a poll (this takes just a minute) on a fun or interesting topic. Meeting attendees can vote and see results in real-time, allowing for further engagement and bonding over the results.

Create a quiz

When you include a quiz in your next virtual meeting, it serves a variety of purposes.

Not only does it allow you to gauge your audience’s interest and knowledge level on a particular subject, it also calls for their attention and focus.

You can also let attendees know at the beginning of the meeting there will be a quiz at the end. This encourages them to pay closer attention to the content. Up the ante by adding a prize for the winners. You can also display results in real-time on your leaderboard to add a competitive element to the quiz.

To participate, your attendees can scan a QR code, text their responses, or click a link to access the quiz.

Our quizzes come with several other handy features, including:

  • A quiz timer
  • Custom graphics and branding
  • Image and video based questions
  • Text responses
  • Full automation

Let your audience interact with you

There’s nothing quite like a Q&A session to keep any presentation exciting. Not only do they give you as the meeting host the opportunity to interact with your audience, but they also offer a streamlined, efficient way to collect audience questions and comments.

From press conferences to lectures, brainstorming sessions, virtual meetings, and more, Q&A sessions help you engage your audience no matter the format.

We also know you’ve got a lot on your plate preparing for virtual meetings, so we’ve made it as simple and straightforward to increase audience interaction as possible. Your first Q&A can be set up in a few clicks, and before you know it, your meeting is more energized and interactive than ever.

5 Ways to Build Great Team Culture

When you hear “team culture,” your mind probably goes right to the culture of your own corporate team. If you’re lucky, you have a positive association with this term. But let’s say your first thought is, “Yikes, our team culture could use some work.”

What is team culture?

Consider this: your team culture is made up of the attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors shared by the members of your team. So, if even one team member has a bad attitude or negative behavior, the culture of your entire team is affected.

Now, just imagine if your entire team is struggling with these things. Naturally, you wouldn’t expect your team to operate successfully. Project completion will feel like pulling teeth, your clients will take note of this poor team culture, and the overall quality of the team’s work will suffer.

How to build great team culture

But here’s some good news: your team culture can be improved! It’s not set in stone; it can be built upon and improved.

And as a leader, it’s your job to set these changes in motion and provide a positive example to your team.

Here’s how.

Define your ideal team culture

There are a lot of qualities that are ideal in almost any team culture. But when you can get really specific about yours, it will be easier to create.

When you define your ideal team culture, you can share these values with your team so they all know what’s expected of them.

Depending on your business, your ideal team culture could include things like:

  • Serving the non-profit community is a common goal
  • Checking egos at the door
  • Your team values a culture that promotes learning and asking questions
  • One of your team’s common goals or values is keeping diversity and inclusion top of mind

Set an example

It’s often said that a group or a team is only as happy or successful as their leader. If you want to improve your team culture, it starts with you.

As you work on improving your own attitudes, behaviors, values, etc., your team will take notice.

This requires some self-introspection.

Ask yourself:

  • What kind of example do I set for my team?
  • Do I react to stressors and situations the same way I expect my team to?
  • Do I have negative beliefs or attitudes about certain things that should be reexamined?

As you make these changes for yourself, you’ll notice the entire culture of your team starts to follow suit.

Meet regularly

Whether it’s in-person or online, it’s important to meet regularly if you want to build great team culture. While you may all be working toward the same goal, if you’re not all interacting or meeting, it’s hard to really feel like a team.

Regular meetings help make sure everyone’s on the same page. They also help build rapport and relationships within your team. And they even boost productivity!

Give your team notice for these meetings, and if possible, set them for the same time and day each week or month.

Open lines of communication

It’s important to establish clear and open lines of communication within your team. Maybe this means creating a team chat in Slack or offering your team members another way to connect. But once you are connected, it’s important to use these lines of communication for constructive feedback.

Rather than letting issues build and stew, discuss them right away. If you’re noticing one team member isn’t pulling their weight or they’re falling behind, address it sooner rather than later. The longer these issues go on, the more they’re likely to damage team culture.

Just as you need to offer feedback for areas that can be improved, you also need to give credit where credit is due.

When your team has a big win, celebrate it! The same goes for individual successes.

Anytime you can cheer on your team, consider this a great opportunity to build team culture.

Get to know your team

A team with strong personal yet professional bonds has a better chance of having a great team culture than those who strictly interact about business and know nothing about their team members other than their job title.

As a leader, you need to know your team members. At the same time, your team members should get to know one another.

Building these interpersonal connections is vital for creating open communication within the team. It also helps team members feel more comfortable and encouraged to share and speak up. These peer-to-peer relationships also go a long way for team problem-solving, supporting development, and providing opportunities for growth.

Remember: building a great team culture starts with you. When you set a positive example for your team based on your definition of positive team culture with open communication, constructive feedback, regular meetings, and strong bonds, your team will be more successful than ever.

I want to hear from you! What are your favorite ways to create and improve your team’s culture? Let me know in the comments down below.

BLOG: 6 Tips for Creating Content That Spreads Naturally

Guest Post by Janet Aronica

We’ve all been there — you hit publish on a blog post and expect the social shares, page views, and agreeable comments to start rolling in. But sometimes you get pure silence (or crickets 🦗) in response.

Using social media and content to market your business isn’t a new concept, so doing the bare minimum won’t cut it.

Don’t believe me? Think about how often content is shared across the web — for instance, there are over 2.45 billion Facebook users and over 500 million Tweets shared per day on Twitter — and that’s only two of the several popular social platforms. Needless to say, there’s a lot of content everywhere … and as a result, a ton of noise.

It takes more than simply publishing content to stand out among your target audience and competitors. To prepare you for success from the get-go, here are six ways to cut through all of that noise and make sure your content comes out on top every time — no additional marketing effort required.

create content that spreads

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6 Ways to Create Content That Markets Itself

Follow these tips to ensure your business’s content stands out, spreads naturally, and markets itself among your target audience, buyer personas, leads, and customers.

1) Don’t try something new.

Wait. What?

Seriously. There’s no reason you’d need to start from scratch with a completely new content approach every time you create blog.

You already have content that’s getting discovered on its own — so, learn from those efforts. (Remember, sometimes you can simply work smarter rather than harder.)

Review your analytics and look for the posts that are generating the most views, shares, and leads, to determine how you can replicate that success.

For instance, use web analytics to identify your blog’s sweet spots. From there, create a blog editorial calendar with topics that will help you replicate past successes — whether it’s a post’s format, subject matter, title, author, or something else entirely.

2) Surprise people.

… Or make them happy, sad, afraid, angry, even disgusted!

Why? Because, in content, there’s a strong relationship between virality and emotion.

While I’m sure disgust or anger aren’t really the kinds of reactions you want associated with your brand, that’s not exactly the point here. The lesson is that content will be able to market itself if it provokes a strong emotional reaction with the audience. After they consume your content, they’ll feel like they have to share it with others so they have the opportunity to feel the same emotion.

Consider content you’ve read or created that provoked an emotion and action in the past — use this as inspiration for your content.

3) Nail your headline.

How can you increase the likelihood someone will click on a link to open your content?

A great headline that’s attention-grabbing and intriguing. No matter the subject of your content, a great headline will help a piece of content get opened more and spread further.

So … what makes a great headline? It’s similar to writing a great subject line for email marketing. Think about these four U’s in regards to your subject lines and headlines:

  • Useful: Why is the blog post valuable?
  • Ultra-specific: What can I expect to learn from the blog post?
  • Unique: Why is this blog post compelling and unique?
  • Urgent: Why should I read this now?

Be sure to incorporate all four of these qualities in every headline that you write so your audience will want to open and share your content.

4) Show don’t tell.

Today’s social media platforms reward visual content — this should be a major element of your content strategy. After all, visuals are proven to increase shares and engagement.

Whether it’s unique photos, graphic design content, video content, or branding visuals you share via blog, site page, email, social media, etc., they will help you increase conversions while offering an engaging and appealing presentation of your content.

Not to mention, these days you don’t need to be a designer to create and share professional-looking visuals. In fact, there are plenty of easy-to-use design tools on the market for people with any level of design knowledge.

5) Enable your blog to market your content.

More social media referral traffic coming to your site means more new visitors arriving via that content for the very first time.

However, these new visitors likely don’t know much about your business — meaning, you need to capture their interest and gain their trust before they’re ready to become evangelists of your content, too.

Consider how you can use your blog’s real estate to improve the presentation of your content and offer further recommendations that will earn new visitors’ attention and loyalty.

For example, add related-content recommendations at the bottom of every post. By tailoring recommendations to audience members, you’ll increase page views, time-on-site, and engagement.

This is what the “Related Articles” section at the bottom of HubSpot’s Blog posts look like:

related blog articles example


In addition to recommendation widgets, add social follow and sharing buttons and modules to your content. This allows your audience members to click a button, no matter where they’re consuming your content, and immediately share that content among their personal networks.

Making this process simple is critical to your content spreading. I mean, have you every tried to Tweet an article that didn’t have a Tweet button?

It’s a total pain: 1) copy a URL, 2) open another tab, 3) go to a link shortener, 4) paste that link, 5) click the shorten button, 6) copy that link, 7) go to their Twitter account, 8) paste that link in there, 9) look up the Twitter handle of the publisher, 10) and then add custom copy for the tweet.

I’m exhausted just typing it out. So, make life easier on your audience and, in return, they’ll do a lot of your content marketing for you.

Finally, make sure you’re making content subscription easy. For example, your blog should have a customized CTA so people can choose to “Subscribe” and receive email alerts when you publish new content.

What better way to drive email traffic to your content without lifting a finger (except for the finger you use to press “Publish”, of course) than growing a giant base of followers and subscribers?

6) Don’t forget about search engine optimization (SEO).

Every time you publish a blog post, you create a new page on your site that’s being indexed in the search engine results page (SERP). At that point, Google is marketing content for you. For free. Forever.

If you pay attention to SEO, hone in on keyword research, and optimize your content, and update your current content, it’ll surface more frequently SERPs and you’ll drastically improve your traffic, conversions, brand awareness, and more.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December, 2012 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Guest Post by Janet Aronica

Janet is a senior marketing professional with 10 years of experience across digital marketing, content creation, and go-to-market strategy.

BLOG: Improve Your Live Presentation with These 5 Tips

We all set out with the best intentions for devoting our full attention to a live presentation. Then before we know it, that attention gets lost among the many distractions that consume us.

Shorter attention spans as a result of social media, quick mobile access, and easily digestible content, makes getting and keeping your audiences’ attention tougher than ever. Not to mention, busier lifestyles make for distracting thoughts about kids, plans, and to-do lists.

As a presenter, it’s important to understand your audience. You want to give them what they want and need through your live presentation. Quality and efficiency are key in delivering on their expectations and making sure their experience is enjoyable all around.

We recently shared our top tips for better online presentations. But today we’re switching gears and focusing on presenting live and in-person.

5 tips to improve your live presentation

The ability to give a great live presentation is a fundamental skill. That’s why you should know how to give a great one! We’ve broken down some easy tips to improve your live presentation and engage your audience for an experience they’ll remember.

Put effort into your introduction

An introduction to a presentation can often be compared to a first impression.

This is your one chance to really grab your audience’s attention and set the tone for the rest of your presentation. A poor start is bound to lose attendees right off the bat and discourage them from keeping interest in the rest of your messaging.

Make use of a powerful introduction.

Here are a few great ideas for how to start:

  • Tell a story or personal experience
  • Set up a scene or describe a relatable character
  • Relate to recent events
  • Ask a question
  • State a remarkable fact

Interesting ways to start your live presentation are endless. So whatever method you choose, keep in mind that your introduction should give your audience a reason to continue listening.

It’s also wise to clearly explain what the presentation is about and what attendees can expect from it. Set up a quick preview or agenda to give them a clear idea of what’s to come and avoid leaving them guessing on what topics they can expect to hear about next.

Use engaging language

No matter how enthusiastic or charismatic you are in your live presentation, the language you use can make all the difference to your delivery.

Be sure to use words that your audience is familiar with and try to meet them on a human level, rather than only spewing out facts and fancy jargon.

Think about the style of your presentation and whether it will be best to take a formal or casual approach. A more professional crowd could mean use of proper language, whereas a relaxed crowd could be a lot more casual.

If you are taking a more casual approach, it can sometimes be great to add in a bit of humor in order to keep the tone of the presentation light. Comic relief can help to break up factual messaging and keep your audience’s focus.

Also, try to use positive language such as “we can” or “we will,” and “great” instead of “good.” This helps make your message feel motivating and inspiring to those listening. Just make sure all of your statements are true.

Structure your live presentation with a great story or theme

strong narrative is critical for audience engagement during a live presentation.

Structure your live presentation with a story or theme in order to hook your audience and make it a lot more memorable and digestible than if you were to use plain facts. A good story will draw people in and keep them wanting to hear more.

Learn as much as you can about your audience and what’s important to them. Show that your presentation can relate to them on a personal level. This will help them to see why they should care about the points you’re making in your presentation through clear examples and similar interests.

Use body language

Although it’s expected you’ll have a lot running through your head during a presentation, don’t forget to use body language.

The most effective presenters will pay attention to the physical relationship they make with their audience.

Avoid fidgeting, hiding behind people or objects, slouching, or being stagnant. Use gestures in order to involve your audience in the information you are delivering. Gestures should be open and happen naturally. Always be sure to stand up tall to show confidence and help keep your audience alert.

Making eye contact can also be an incredibly useful technique to help your audience feel involved. When used correctly, eye contact can address audience members in a way that it is much more personal.

Never hold eye contact for too long as it can make audience members feel uncomfortable. Use eye contact within reason to smaller sections of a larger audience.

Get your audience involved

There are a number of ways to get your audience involved in your presentation which can help them to stay engaged.

Be flexible and don’t be scared to talk a bit off script. Allow for questions and be creative in making conversation around any topics that get brought up.

Ask questions or even include interactive elements to your presentation like games or quizzes.

Try to connect to what is happening now — in the room and in the world.

The more back and forth between you and your audience, the better. And the more relatable your presentation feels, the more involved they will become.

INTERVIEW: Kevin Hancock, CEO of Hancock Lumber | Leadership & Americas Oldest Private Company | SSP Interview

For More Episodes Visit: www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Kevin Hancock is the Chairman & CEO of Hancock Lumber Company, one of the oldest family businesses in America. Kevin has worked at the company since 1991 and is part of the sixth generation of his family to help lead the organization. Established in 1848, Hancock lumber grows trees and manufactures lumber for global distribution. Locally, in Maine and New Hampshire, the company sells a full line of building materials from its stores and truss plant. A six-time recipient of the Best Places to Work in Maine Award, the company is led by its 525 employees.

Throughout his career, Kevin has received the Ed Muskie ‘Access to Justice’ Award, the Habitat for Humanity ‘Spirit of Humanity’ Award, the Boy Scouts of America ‘Distinguished Citizen’ Award, and Timber Processing Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ Award. He is also a past chairman of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association.

An award-winning author and public speaker, Kevin’s first book, Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse, won three national book awards. His second book, The Seventh Power: One CEO’s Journey into the Business of Shared Leadership, will release on February 25th, 2020 and is being distributed by Simon & Schuster.

Kevin is a frequent visitor to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and an advocate of strengthening the voices of all individuals — within a company or a community — through listening, empowering, and shared leadership.

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Stories worth telling.

On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.

Website: www.scottdclary.com

Podcast: www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/successstorypodcast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sdouglasclary

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sdouglasclary

Facebook: https://facebook.com/sdouglasclary

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sdouglasclary

INTERVIEW: Kris Hartvigsen, Founder of Dooly | Why Modern Sales Is Broken | SSP Interview

For More Episodes Visit: www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Kris Hartvigsen is the CEO & Co-Founder of Dooly and a leader in the tech industry with over twenty years of experience. Before founding Dooly, he held senior consulting and management positions in sales for companies like Mobify and led Vision Critical as their EVP Sales from its early startup days to revenues in excess of $100 million.

Show Links




Stories worth telling.

On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.

Website: www.scottdclary.com

Podcast: www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/successstorypodcast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sdouglasclary

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sdouglasclary

Facebook: https://facebook.com/sdouglasclary

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sdouglasclary

BLOG: The Fear Of Buying

Why do you feel a slight hesitation right before you buy something? Especially something big. The reason is because when we buy, we are literally giving away some financial security. That security could be invested in something else, something that may help us in a better way, or a different way. Yet the outcome or the ROI of the different decision is unknown.

To put it simply, we’re trading our own financial security for something we desire. Something that will help us achieve something, yet we only do this when the perceived benefit of the thing, outweighs the fear of financial loss.

To get over that fear, they need to trust the salesperson. It doesn’t matter how good or well priced your product is, to get over an innate fear, the buyer needs to trust the seller. If they doubt you, they’ll never buy from you. To sell is to gain trust.

Be authentic. Over-deliver. Provide value. Build trust.

Help people overcome their fear.

INTERVIEW: Josh Taekman, CEO of EBoost | VP Marketing at Bad Boy, To Serial Entrepreneur | SSP Interview

For More Episodes Visit: www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Josh Taekman is a lifelong entrepreneur and the founder/CEO of Eboost, a premium clean performance supplement company using natural ingredients and formulas to make you feel great & do more in life and sport. Prior to Eboost, Josh worked alongside Sean P Diddy Combs as VP of Marketing for Bad Boy Entertainment and was a key driver in building Bad Boy and P DIDDY brand into a Global Entertainment Empire and personality. Josh lives in Tribeca with his wife, Kristen Taekman (model & tv personality) and their children.

Show Links





Stories worth telling.

On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.

Website: www.scottdclary.com

Podcast: www.podcast.scottdclary.com

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/successstorypodcast

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sdouglasclary

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sdouglasclary

Facebook: https://facebook.com/sdouglasclary

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sdouglasclary

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