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Sam Aparicio

A widely recognized thought leader in the areas of usability, interface design and software innovation, and an entrepreneur at heart, Sam is a frequent speaker at technology events and author of numerous articles on technology, product design, and management. Sam drives Ringio’s strategy and tactics, customer and revenue acquisition, marketing, and product management. Prior to Ringio, Sam was the CTO at Angel.com, where he was responsible for the company’s technology strategy and the design, implementation and launch of its award-winning CX platform.
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Recent Posts

4 Practical Tips To Unlock The Value Of Your CRM

By Sam Aparicio | 2/2/15 7:00 PM

Managing relationships in the modern sales environment is hard work, especially if you don't have the right tools for the job. Take something as simple as choosing the medium you'll use to contact a prospect. A phone call might work, but what if your prospect prefers email, or social media, or video chat, or instant messaging, or... you get the idea. With today's technology, every decision you make during the sales process depends on more variables than ever before.

The good news is that help is available, for salespeople who want to streamline and strengthen relationship management. Hubspot's State of Inbound Sales 2014 report indicates that over 40 percent of sales companies use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to manage customer data, and that number is growing.

In the same survey, the best CRM satisfaction numbers correlate strongly with quality training and integration practices. The most common challenges are integrating the software effectively, and getting your people on board with the process. Let's take a look at 4 practical tips to unlock the value of your CRM.

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Sales VPs - Make Your Journeymen Sales Reps Superstars

By Sam Aparicio | 1/28/15 7:00 PM

I recently read an excellent article by David Hubbard in Selling Power titled, "Three Actions Steps to Avoid Lackluster Sales Quarters." In the article, Hubbard paints a picture that we all have seen before. Sales results lag and the gap between production and goals is widening. The Sales VP reacts by increasing the activity level of the sales force, reviewing deals in progress and taking other measures to close the gap. Hubbard identifies three ways to avoid this trap: 

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The New HubSpot CRM: Is It Ready For Primetime?

By Sam Aparicio | 1/26/15 9:00 PM

There are big things brewing for HubSpot. In their IPO in October 2014, HubSpot released 5 million shares at a price of $25 per share. As of Friday, January 23, 2015, the share price is $33.51. That's an increase of 34% in just over 3 months.

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Do You Have A Spear Prospecting Program In Your Sales Process?

By Sam Aparicio | 1/21/15 9:00 PM

In his excellent book, Predictable Revenue, author Aaron Ross defines 3 types of leads.

The first type of leads Ross identifies are "seeds." Seeds are leads that develop from channels like content marketing and organic search queries. According to Ross, "Seeds take a lot of time to cultivate and ramp up, but once they get going, they are unbeatable with the highest conversion and close rates." Most SaaS companies like ours spend a lot of time, effort and money to fill the top of our sales funnels with "seeds."

The second type of leads Ross identifies are "nets." These are the classic marketing programs like advertising, trade shows and PPC (pay-per-click) marketing. The term "nets" reflect the fact that these types of program are broadly targeted with fairly low conversion rates - the lead generation version of "throw it up against the wall and see what sticks."

"Spears" are leads generated by outbound activities that are highly targeted like top 20 target programs and the Cold Calling (Emaililng) 2.0 approach advocated in predictable revenue.

While inbound marketing programs garner a lot of attention nowadays, most effective sales organizations supplement their inbound marketing efforts with a "spear" program. Here are some things to consider for sales teams as they consider implementing "spear" programs.

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5 Tactics To Sell To The Technology SMB

By Sam Aparicio | 1/20/15 8:36 AM

No matter what you sell or who you sell it to in 2015, you have to assume that you're dealing with well-informed buyers. Even the average consumer, with little more on the line than personal satisfaction, can easily research any product, service, or company in which they have interest. Your average B2B buyer will be even better informed, especially when they represent a tech company that slants naturally toward modern purchasing and distribution channels.

Reaching the B2B tech buyer starts long before first contact is made. With the right sales and marketing tactics, you can leverage current purchasing habits to the benefit of your business. Let's take a look at five practical, actionable sales tactics you can use to reach and convert purchasers from B2B tech companies.

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How To Sell To Match The Modern Buying Process

By Sam Aparicio | 1/15/15 8:30 AM

You don't have to work in sales to see how dramatically buying patterns have changed in recent years. Consider grocery shopping. You're in the baking ingredients aisle, and in need of chocolate chips. You've never baked cookies before, but who cares? You pull out your smartphone, read a recipe, and look up reviews for the competing brands of chocolate chips in the aisle. You still have to figure out the whole baking part, but at least you know you've got the right ingredients.

Now put yourself in the same position, but 20 years ago. Forget to bring the recipe? Too bad. Don't know which brand of chocolate chips is the best? Take a guess. Today, even the least-informed shopper can become something resembling an expert, without talking to a single human being. The purchasing process has changed dramatically, which presents a major opportunity to businesses willing to evolve with the times.

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Master Your CRM To Beat Your Competition

By Sam Aparicio | 1/13/15 7:00 AM

Struggling to get the most out of your CRM? You're not alone, if Hubspot's State of Inbound Sales 2015 report is any indication. Among the thousands of sales reps and executives surveyed, just seven percent were “extremely confident” in the completeness of their platform's data. A nearly identical number indicated extreme confidence in their platform's sales funnel management ability. That leaves a large number of people somewhere between very confident (31 percent) and not confident (15 percent).

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Sell More With Fewer Leads - Lead Qualification 101

By Sam Aparicio | 1/8/15 7:00 AM

What is a good lead, really? It's a deceptively simple question. This isn't just a theoretical question, either. The quality of your leads directly influences the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales team. Basically, you don't want to waste time chasing unqualified leads with low odds of success.

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5 Surprising Insights from HubSpot's State of Inbound Sales Report

By Sam Aparicio | 1/5/15 9:00 PM

The New Year's celebration is always exciting, right? It's a time to look back at the year that was, look forward to the year ahead, and spend the night partying like you're back at college, though maybe not in that order. But now the dust has settled, and it's time to get back to business.

While we were busy greeting 2015 and picking the last bits of confetti out of our hair, the fine folks at Hubspot were already hard at work setting the table for the year to come. New for this year is the State of Inbound: Sales Edition 2014, with insights geared specifically toward inbound sales. Let's take a look at five of the most interesting numbers in this year's State of Inbound, and how you can use them to start 2015 with a bang.

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4 Pro Tips for Selling to Inbound Leads

By Sam Aparicio | 12/30/14 7:00 AM

Inbound marketing has increasingly become the predominant source of sales leads for most companies. HubSpot's 2014 State of Inbound Marketing found that more than 50% of sales professionals identified inbound lead sources such as email marketing, social media, SEO and blogging have become more important over the past six months. This tracks with research from the buyer side that shows that the average buyer completes 57% of their sales process before ever contacting a sales person. For industries like software and SaaS, inbound leads can make the difference between failure and success. 

So if you're like most of us and depend on inbound leads to feed your sales machine, here are 4 pro tips for selling to inbound leads.

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