Why Innovative Thinking Doesn’t Happen at Work| By |Ryan Estis

creativity at work

Where do you do your best thinking?

My research shows that it usually isn’t at work. In fact, when discussing where creativity and big breakthrough ideas tend to originate, the office rarely even enters the conversation.

We know “busy is the new fine.” Unfortunately, “overwhelmed and distracted” is the new workplace. Which is a problem if your work depends on finding time for deep focus and concentration.

What is the answer?

Take control and focus on what matters. Decide when you’re going to check and respond to email. If you’re worried about missing something important, consider this quick audit: Which is more important, the prioritized task you’re working on now or the next email that lands in the inbox (whatever that happens to be)?

What Gets Scheduled Gets Done

If you wake up without a prioritized plan for the day, you’re already a step behind. I find it most helpful to organize by “day parts” — chunks of time dedicated to my most important priorities.

A good day plan also includes white space. Instead of scheduling back-to-back meetings from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., give yourself time during the day to think strategically or just simply relax, breathe and let the mind wander. So often, it’s in those moments of solitude and reflection where the big, breakthrough thinking happens.

This is why I start my day with a reflection and journaling practice before I enter “screen time.” It’s why I also have “creativity” scheduled into my calendar. The people working with me, who have access to my calendar, know that creativity time is sacred. If you want a white space guide, Jim Collins recommends 10 hours for every 2 weeks of work.

I’m also a big fan of scheduled breaks. Taking short breaks during the day to walk around, go outside, or get a glass of water (try working in 50 minute bursts) leaves you refreshed and ready for the next challenge. Longer breaks have also proven to be a catalyst to unleash both clarity and creativity. Readers of the blog know I just returned from a technology-free long weekend retreat in Colorado. I’m planning on extending my 2017 summer sabbatical from 30 days to 6 weeks.

You don’t need a weekend retreat or a summer sabbatical to unleash creativity. However, it just might require more disciplined time management and a bit of failure tolerance. Check out the video where we discuss why innovative thinking never happens at work and precisely what to do about it.

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How to Sell Apps: Handling Common Objections| By |Andrew Gazdecki

apps common objections

There is no point in sugarcoating it: sales is synonymous with rejection. A salesperson faces rejection every single day, no matter how good their product or service is. If you are selling apps to small businesses, the constant objections can be discouraging. You might be thinking it’s part of the job, and there’s nothing you can do about it. While it is part of the job, you can learn to handle objections in the most productive way. This doesn’t mean telling your prospect they’re wrong, it means helping them come to a different conclusion on their own accord.

In the process of persuading them, Hubspot says it’s important to distinguish between sales objections and brush-offs. “While objections are authentic, brush-offs are excuses. Objections are far more serious than brush-offs.”

Here are the most common sales objections to selling apps and you can handle them:

1. Sales Objections About Price

Examples:

  • “It’s too expensive”
  • “There’s no money”
  • “We don’t have any budget left this year”

Selling a product or service to small businesses is arguably even harder than selling to big bureaucratic companies. A small business owner will almost always reference their limited budget as an objection. It is your job to help him or her justify the cost. According to Alyssa Gregory, a small business consultant, the best way to do this is by “breaking down your total cost into smaller amounts that are attached to smaller services so the client can see why your price point is what it is.” Most importantly, demonstrate how an app can help the small business save money and increase revenue. After implementation, it will basically pay for itself in a couple of months.

2. Sales Objections About Competition

Examples:

  • “I can get a cheaper version of your product from someone else”
  • “I can get a better product/more features product with a competitor”

Find out what is happening below the surface here. Is your prospect also talking to a competitor? Are they using this objection as a way to drive the cost down? Or does your prospect think the competitor offers a better product or price? To counter these objections, focus on the unique value that your app will provide for their business that they won’t be getting from a competitor or an alternative product. For the former, explain how the features you offer compare to the competitors’ offerings. For the latter, show how other marketing and operational projects will not yield the same results. Overall, you need to emphasize its worth, not its cost.

3. Sales Objections About Product

Examples:

  • “I don’t see what your product could do for me”
  • “I don’t understand your product”
  • “I don’t see the potential for ROI”
  • “Apps are just a fad”

These objections are actually requests for more information. Be able to answer these questions in depth, explain exactly how your product can solve specific problems. Use case studies of previous clients to demonstrate how an app provides trackable results and accomplished goals. “Nothing sells quite like hard numbers”, says Hubspot. Furthermore, apps are relatively new when it comes to small business application. Therefore, you need to show how mobile apps have become a necessity for any business trying to grow (or even survive). A small business owner, then, often needs a shift in perspective from seeing an an app as a mere add-on to their marketing portfolio to a full fledged mobile solution. To formulate your argument, check out our blog article debunking the myth of an app as an add-on.

4. Sales Objections About Change

Examples:

  • “I’m okay with the way things work right now”
  • “I don’t want to change the way we’ve been doing things for years”

Often these small businesses have existed for many generations, hence they don’t want to mess with the status quo. Get the client to see why they need to make the change. Share research that shows how apps are becoming crucial for small businesses to survive. Together with the client, take a look at local competitors and their tools. Showing that competitors are far ahead can open the small business owner’s eyes to what needs to be done. In addition to the fear of change, small business owners are often already overwhelmed by all the new tools they need to keep up with, such as social media, online reviews, mobile websites and so forth. Put them at ease by showing how an app easily fits into their current strategy with minimal effort.

5. Sales Objections About Trust

Examples:

  • “You don’t seem to have the necessary experience to do this”
  • “I’ve never heard of your company”

As an app salesperson, you are not just selling a product, you are also selling your services as a mobile marketing expert. For that reason, you should not approach the small business owner as a salesperson. Instead, be a small business advisor. Advise them on their marketing efforts, by showing them where there is room for improvement. Sharing these observations, without asking for anything in return, will build trust. Be honest about your expertise, and be willing to share testimonials and case studies that will diminish your prospect’s feeling of uncertainty. They need to be confident in your ability to help their business.

6. Sales Objections About Timing

Examples:

  • “It’s too much for me to take on right now”
  • “I’m too busy”
  • “Call me again in a couple of months”

If the lack of time is an issue for your client right now, chances are it will still be an issue in six months or a year. To overcome this objection, you need to make the decision to hire you a no-brainer. More specifically, explain how you will help to set everything up, as well as be there for ongoing support. Depending on the arrangement you make with your client, you can take over the entire app endeavor (i.e. design & build, promotion, push notification etc.), making it as convenient as possible for a busy small business owner. Show them that you will go that extra mile to make their app a success.

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6 Tips to Avoid App Uninstalls| By |Jaykishan Panchal

When it comes to apps, the competition is fierce. Over two million apps fight for the coveted spot on a person’s device. Consumers, however, have limited storage, short attention spans, and low tolerance for sub-par performance. Any app that fails to dazzle users, doesn’t offer value, or does not provide lucrative incentives to keep using the app, is likely to go down the uninstall path within the first three days.

App uninstalls

Low performance, crashing, freezing, and bugs are the top causes for uninstalls. In a study by Compuware, only 16% of users will give more than two chances to a failing app. Apps that take too long to load, work slowly, annoy users, or malfunction are also less likely to last more than a few days on the user’s device.

Other factors that can play a part in driving users towards the uninstall button include:

  • Unpleasant UX/UI
  • Taking up too much space or drains a battery too quickly
  • Too many notifications
  • Difficult registration or onboarding process
  • Lack of in-app support
  • Too many updates

Now that we know the top factors that affect an app’s uninstall rates, let us take a look at the steps you can take to ensure better performance and customer satisfaction, which can help minimize uninstalls.

6 Ways to Reduce Uninstalls

To put it simply, you need to listen to what your customers are saying about your app, find out what is troubling them, and fix it. Easy, right?

It’s easier said than done, but by following the seven step below, you can significantly improve the overall user experience and satisfaction to ensure a long and mutually-fulfilling stay on the customer’s device.

1. Master your analytics and monitor critical drop-off points

For effective retention, you must leverage the power of clever analytics and tracking software to find out what is ticking your users off the most. Mapping in-app KPI’s to find out exactly where your users disengage is the first step to diagnosing and fixing the problem.

There are a number of potential drop-off points for an app user. Your app’s on-boarding process may be confusing, the registration may be taking forever, and finding the relevant product, service or information could be a hassle. If yours is a gaming app, running out of credits might be what’s causing drop-off. If it’s a shopping app, unexpected shipping charges can be the tipping point. Knowing precisely what your users find distasteful will help you fix critical issues and avert disengagement.

Use in-app event tracking and analytics to gather insightful data about how customers like to use your app, but remember every person is different. While some may be using your app to buy a certain product, others might be using it only to compare prices. Knowing this helps you offer targeted incentives that will nudge ‘on-the-fence’ users to gravitate towards completing high-value actions in the app.

2. Offer personalized incentives to dormant customers

30% of users will consider coming back or start using an app if they are offered a discount or coupon for their next purchase. In a market full of apps where users have too many choices, most people will only come back to your app if you offer something tangible like real savings and discounts.

The right way to do this, however, is to personalize and customize the offer to every individual customer. For example, offer discount on a product that’s been lying in their cart, with a personalized message that makes them feel valued. Track the services they frequently use and extend customized offers accordingly.

Incentivized app usage

3. Re-engage across multiple channels

An effective re-engagement strategy should involve multiple channels and touchpoints instead of using just one. In addition to using compelling in-app messaging and clever push notifications, you must leverage other channels to entice users.

Email marketing is still a great way to re-engage customers. Checking emails is, for most people, a daily ritual, and if done well, a persuasive email marketing program can steer users back to your app. Take a look at some of the most delightful re-engagement emails for your inspiration.

Social engagement is still a great way to re-engage customers who may have gone away from your app. 83% of Americans have a social media account and 48% of Americans have interacted with companies or institutions on at least one social media network. Popping up in your users’ newsfeed with an offer and friendly nudge can effectively draw them back to your app.

4. Gather and implement feedback

How do you find out what your users think about you? Simple—ask them. And then listen.

Scour multiple channels to gather actionable feedback directly from users. Watch out for reviews on app stores, social networks like Facebook and Twitter, open-ended email feedback, and others. Most users who are upset with your app will share their frustrations on external channels like the app stores and social media instead of directly contacting you. That is why it is crucial keep a pulse on what customers are saying about you, and to engage to genuinely resolve their concerns.

In addition to social media, in-app feedback is one area where you can really maximize engagement and minimize chances of uninstalls. Actively seeking feedback in-app and promptly resolving issues can, in fact, prevent negative reviews from going public in the first place, and create a communication channel between you and the user, bolstering trust and confidence. And who better than Apptentive to help you with that? 🙂

5. Provide a great experience from the start

This may sound like a no-brainer, but no harm in refreshing our basics, right? When it comes to designing a spectacular user experience at the development stage, several factors need to be considered.

  • Smooth your onboarding process. Keep it short, explain why you need the details you are soliciting, do not force users to sign up and remember allowing social media login.
  • Look out for battery life. Apps that are too heavy and drain the users’ phone batteries quickly are less likely to survive on the device.
  • Stay low on storage. Too many apps, too little space. Users struggle to keep all their favourite apps on the limited storage, and if your app occupies too much of it, users will find it difficult to keep you on.

6. Go easy on notifications

Push notifications are one of the most powerful features of apps, allowing you to engage with customers, sending targeted offers, and keep customers updated on your best features. However, timing is everything. Too many notifications can sour the experience and drive users to the uninstall button. An app that persistently pings and buzzes can nag users into flicking it off their phone.

The same rule applies to ratings. If a customer is asked to rate an app every single time they use it, it’s easy to lose patience and just uninstall. Give customers enough time to use the app before you prompt them to rate it. If the customer has declined to rate your app, give them a good amount of time before you ask again.

In conclusion

The above tips can help you make sure customers who have installed your app continue to use it and enjoy it for years to come. An app that does what it promises, provides value for money and time, delights with every use, and performs consistently will retain the coveted spot on the user’s device and manage to convert time and again, giving you the ROI you deserve.

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