The Growing Importance of Product Led Growth in B2B Selling

The Growing Importance of Product Led Growth in B2B Selling

Remaining competitive in the B2B sales industry relies on customer retention and overall satisfaction. Many companies are embracing the idea of product led growth (PLG) to help boost their numbers and increase brand loyalty. 

It seems obvious you must have a good product, but the value of providing quality services continues to increase. PLG is more complex than simply having something worth buying. It relies on ensuring a user-friendly experience and excellent customer service to create lasting relationships.

Marketing is no longer the only way to push leads through the sales cycle. By combining a focus on the customer experience, sales and marketing can create a cohesive end goal. Not only does a product centric approach help align departmental goals, it allows the customer to have a voice throughout the sales cycle.

To learn more about the ways your team can benefit from PLG, keep reading, or use the following links to jump ahead:

What is Product Led Growth (PLG)?

Like many trending B2B strategies, product led growth is not a new concept. It is, however, an important strategy to empower customers and retain sales. As PLG continues to increase in popularity, your team should better its understanding and implementation of the concept.

Simply put, PLG allows the product or service to drive sales and retain customers. This relies on several factors like ease of use and excellent product experience. Rather than expecting marketing to do the heavy lifting for brand awareness, this strategy incorporates product functionality directly into the sales process.

By putting the product at the center of all conversations, it can help align goals across departments and boost business growth. This also means employees will be working toward the single objective of excellent product experience for all customers.

Through this all-company collaboration, more people are introduced to the user experience, which drives conversations with customers from all angles. However, PLG isn’t solely based on your team’s understanding of the services your company sells.

Another key component of this strategy is allowing customers to see the product value before asking for a purchase. This means having a strong user experience that allows prospects to dive deep and trial the product on their own. 

Rather than watching product demonstrations or Q&A webinars, customers should be able to test the functionality on their own. Through implementation of this strategy, success relies on overall customer satisfaction before a sale has been completed.

For example, free trials work hand-in-hand with product centric approaches. Allowing customers to test how the product can provide solutions to their unique problems helps provide valuable insight before purchase. It also allows prospects to address concerns and work out potential problems with a company expert. 

PLG helps instill confidence in clients through transparency of service. By providing an inside look at user experience, your team can boost customer satisfaction and increase overall retention rates. 

Product Led Growth Public Companes

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It is not surprising that the B2B industry saw rapid digitization during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before this sudden shift to virtual sales, leaders in the industry were finding ways to innovate customer experience through increased use of technology. While the pandemic sped things up, trends like PLG are here to stay.

Buyers have the resources to be more educated than ever on products before making a purchase decision. This means remaining competitive in the industry relies heavily on customer experience throughout the entire sales cycle. 

As brands continue to have an increased online presence, customers are able to interact with products before they even speak with a salesperson. In fact, research shows 94% of B2B buyers perform online research before initiating contact with a sales team. 

Educated buyers are now interacting with demos and free trials as early as possible in the sales cycle. Rather than wanting to speak with salespeople for a product introduction, clients are eager to have a hands-on approach to testing solutions. According to a 2015 Forrester survey, almost 75% of buyers would rather make an online purchase than go through a sales team.

This has shifted initial sales conversations to focus more on product details and the technical capabilities of products. Customer preparation has led to an expectation of expert customer service throughout the sales process. In most cases, buyers want salespeople to act in tandem with the website so they can navigate the process alongside an expert.

The Benefits of a PLG Strategy

Product led funnel vs Traditional funnel

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To understand how this strategy can benefit your business, it is important to make a comparison between traditional growth methods. Starting off, marketing teams usually qualify leads through online interactions like targeted ads, web forms, and email marketing. From there, leads enter the sales funnel and the salespeople reach out for an introduction.

Next, the sales department focuses on showcasing product benefits and providing details on how the product can provide needed solutions. If interested, the customer chooses to make a purchase. 

Once the sale has been completed, the customer works with the success team for onboarding and implementation. Assuming things go well, the customer becomes a repeat buyer and the sales cycle restarts.

The traditional strategy allows for a long period of time before the customer is introduced to the product’s functionality. In a time where buyers are prone to making quick decisions and competitors can offer easy demos, following a traditional timeline may not land your company the sale.

In contrast, PLG allows the prospect to jump right into the product. Marketing and sales departments act as experts to help guide customers through the user experience. Rather than client information being captured from online traffic, this cycle starts as soon as the customer signs up for a trial.

Known as product-qualified leads (PQLs), these clients begin interacting with the product as soon as possible. Rather than waiting to be contacted by a salesperson, clients are most often familiar with the brand before the introduction occurs. Once a salesperson reaches out, the conversation can focus heavily on the client’s specific areas of interest, potential personalized features, and any other questions the customer may have about the product.

This kind of transparency is a huge benefit to companies. PQLs convert at a rate 3-4x higher than traditional marketing leads. When customers feel confident in a product before making the purchase, retention increases. 

PLG is a great way to gather feedback from customers and improve overall product functionality. When the product is a driving force behind sales, customers are able to provide honest feedback to companies about their experiences.

When a sale is completed, your team is able to hear what was the deciding factor. On the flip side, offering your customers a free trial of your product, even if the sale falls through, helps provide insight into areas that need improvement. 

This strategy is cost-effective. Customers begin the onboarding process by themselves, which frees up your employees to concentrate on providing excellent customer service. Less time and money are wasted on deals that don’t come to fruition. 

Providing a better user experience increases customer retention and provides incentives for word-of-mouth advertisement. When clients are able to test out a product for free, they are able to share this information with others in their network who may be looking for similar solutions.

Since there are no hold-ups on anyone being able to trial the service, these leads come directly into the pipeline once they sign up. Along with increasing a user base, this helps speed up the sales cycle. 

Gaining valuable customer contact information is easier when your product leads the marketing strategy. Usually, web traffic may visit a page or interact with an online ad, but their contact information might never reach your pipeline. Since users have to fill out a full form for free trial access, your marketing team is able to take PQLs directly to the sales team.

For example, when using Leadboxer to capture web traffic, your team can tell these customers are already qualified and scored since they began the demo. This pushes them to the top of the sales cycle, which allows for speedy outreach from your team. By encouraging a quick turnaround time, PLG helps outreach happen faster while leads are still interested in the product.

Implementing PLG Into Your Business

Before jumping into this strategy with your employees, it is crucial to understand PLG is a long-term approach rather than a short-term fix. Implementation will take time and resources to be successful. It may require departmental changes and an overhaul of the company mission to ensure a product-centric focus. 

When implemented correctly, PLG will help lead your team to higher sales and increased customer retention. Below are tips on successfully getting started and utilizing a PLG strategy:

1. Evaluate your product

Having an intimate understanding of your product, including its flaws, is the first step in implementing a PLG strategy. Before it can sell itself, your company needs to thoroughly understand the value the product brings to the market. 

Evaluation can begin with a few simple questions:

What is the core function? What solutions does your product provide to customers? What feedback is most often received?

Compare your product to the competition. Notice the similarities and differences. 

Find the best way to engage prospective customers when speaking on these topics. Educated clients are willing to ask directly about these types of variances. Be prepared to answer honestly during these conversations.

For example, your product may lack certain features compared to that of a competitor. However, your starting price point may be lower. Understanding how to explain this to prospects will help build trust within the relationship.

2. Focus on the customer experience

When the customer is driving the sale through self-education, a user-friendly experience is crucial to finalizing a deal. Beginning with initial onboarding, signing up for the product should be self-explanatory and easily accessible. Prospects are eager to get started, so the sign-up process should be quick enough to hold a customer’s attention.

Sales conversations should bring value to the customer. Rather than relying on old-school tactics, your team needs to focus on acting as product experts to prospective clients. 

Removing fluff from these interactions is one way to increase trust within the relationship. Make sure customers feel like they took away valuable information from each conversation with your salespeople.

Allow ample opportunities for clients to provide feedback. Not only will this help customers feel more valued, but it will give your team vital information regarding potential product improvements. 

Customize features when possible. Buyers love the idea of personalization, especially when they’re looking for solutions to unique problems within their organization. 80% of customers favor the ability to customize their user experience. 

3. Provide continuous onboarding

In the initial onboarding process, users will be signing themselves up for a trial. That doesn’t mean your team should take a backseat to onboarding, though. Instead, customer success teams should concentrate on secondary and next-tier opportunities to increase user engagement.

Customer retention increases when there is a strong need for your product. By encouraging clients to continuously use new features and engage with your software, your product will quickly integrate into their daily workflow.

This is another opportunity to allow conversations with customers about their user experience. As they add more features to their product usage, make sure your team is doing their due diligence. 

Having check-ins about new features during the continuous onboarding process will help your team have internal conversations about product performance. This allows your team to collect data on what is working, as well as find areas that may benefit from improvements.

4. Align departmental goals within your company

Overhauling long-term business strategy can be a big undertaking. For success, departments must be on the same page about the company’s mission. When practicing a PLG strategy, marketing and sales teams will be trying out nontraditional tactics.

It is important to make sure the product is always central to the mission. Marketing teams should work closely with sales and customer success to understand the feedback being given. Adjust your marketing outreach to lead with the product.

These efforts from all departments should encourage excellent customer journeys and work to increase brand loyalty. Even though the product and customers are doing a lot of heavy lifting, it is still the goal of your team to provide value throughout the sales cycle.

5. Tailor your marketing practices to showcase the value

Since much of the beginning sales cycle in PLG strategy involves solitary customer research, messaging is key. Customers will want to see an overview of key features as well as pricing when comparing brands.

Make sure your pricing sheet is accessible and easy to understand. Marketing content should help explain how clients can benefit from the premium version of your product. Simple explanations of which plans work well for specific groups can encourage prospects to explore the features that are most relevant to their needs.

Online resources, like blogs or social media posts, should showcase the features your product offers. Many users will be looking at multiple options during their research. It is important to make your product stand out by providing valuable information about the user experience rather than fluff content.

6. Utilize upsells and premium features 

Once a sale is made, the goal should be to encourage repeat purchases from that customer. This typically happens through contract renewals, but there is an opportunity to add more revenue through upsells and new features.

If a client is thoroughly enjoying the service your product provides, your team should brainstorm ways new features may bring additional value. Asking customers what they want to see in future rollouts is a great starting point.

Offer items in discounted bundles or find ways to include an option for premium features. These types of add-ons may be an easier sell once clients are familiar with your product. Ongoing outreach from the sales team to current customers is crucial for landing these upsells. 

7. Encourage user referrals

PLG provides ample room for customers to refer your product to others in their network. If your trial period is easy to access, prospects can sign up and get started within the same day of hearing about your product. 

Capitalize on your customer experience by offering a referral program that incentivizes current relationships to bring in new business. This type of program can help boost brand loyalty, as clients can continue to tell others about your product.

According to McKinsey, a recommendation from a trusted friend or colleague is 50x more likely to result in a purchase. This helps boost your overall return-on-investment (ROI) since referrals typically cost less than acquiring a brand-new lead.

User referrals can help boost overall customer satisfaction. Current clients will feel appreciated when their recommendations are rewarded by the brand.

8. Follow through on your advertisements

When customer experience is a major driving factor for sales, following through on promises is crucial. The classic saying ‘under promise, but over deliver is a good motto to have when implementing PLG.

Your product will be doing most of the selling, and it should be able to stand alone while customers are participating in a demo. However, if your salespeople make promises about product features or capabilities in conversations, it is important to see them through.

Transparency is huge when utilizing product led marketing. It will negatively impact customer retention if users don’t see sales agreements come to fruition. 

This comes into play when customers are making the transition from the free trial to the premium version. If your team offers specific features or personalized capabilities, it is crucial to ensure these are available as soon as onboarding begins.

Clients have educated themselves on the benefits of your product versus your competitors. Since they’ll have spent time with your services, they will notice any lack of follow-through on promises. 

PLG relies heavily on customer retention, and the easiest way to lose a relationship is by not providing the right service. Make sure to have honest conversations about the features your product has, and address any concerns as soon as they arise.

9. Use data to drive product choices

PLG strategy relies heavily on accurate data to understand the customer’s needs. Data analytics will help your company ascertain what value users are receiving from your product. This information can also help develop product improvements as your team rolls out new features. 

When implementing a PLG strategy, it is important for your company to equip itself with the right tools and resources for success. Make sure you have a way to track data and pilot the user experience. 

Along with using these kinds of tools, manage expectations among departments by setting KPIs and reviewing targeted goals. This allows your employees to easily measure success throughout the process. 

Key Takeaways

Product led growth may be the newest trendy buzzword in the B2B industry, but the strategy is here to stay. In order to remain competitive, your company should be looking at the long-term benefits of a product-centric approach. 

As customers continue to push for more virtual sales options, your product will need to be able to sell itself during the trial phase. Focus on having your salespeople become experts on product features. Tailor your marketing to showcase features that set your product apart from competitors. 

Understand the best way to implement PLG into your organization. Invest in the right resources to ensure this strategy increases your customer base and retention. 

Allow user experience and customer feedback to drive initiatives within your departments. Build lasting customer relationships through transparency. By focusing on the customer experience and product value, your company can benefit from this strategy.

To get started with Leadboxer, click here for your free trial!

The Value of Pre CRM and Marketing CRM

The Value of Pre-CRM and Marketing CRM

Using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and strategy is vital to a successful B2B sales team. CRM software has become a major asset for many companies as it helps organize, integrate, and streamline customer management.

With more businesses offering remote or hybrid work options, keeping up with customers has begun to rely heavily on the successful use of CRM software. While using a CRM is great once a lead has come into the pipeline, there is value in developing a pre-CRM strategy.

To learn more about the function of pre-CRM strategy and the usage of a marketing CRM, keep reading or use the links below to jump ahead:

What Does Pre-CRM Mean?

Traditional vs Modern CRM

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Tracking website activity and importing potential customer data into a CRM is usually the first step in creating a relationship. Although, there are probably more website visitors than contacts in your CRM. Not every prospect is going to input data into your web forms, so there needs to be a strategy in place to anticipate prospects who may eventually enter the sales pipeline.

Having a Pre-CRM strategy means your departments are working to improve initial customer interactions to begin developing a strong business relationship. Before companies were able to have a strong digital presence, salespeople needed to greet customers and have organic interactions to cultivate their pipeline.

By taking these old-school tactics and adapting them to fit your company’s digital presence, the pre-CRM stage can help present your company to prospects. Engaging potential customers before they’ve been entered into your CRM can be tough. Utilizing social media, email marketing, and a website can help introduce your brand before customers are familiar with your team.

Most importantly, taking advantage of the Pre-CRM stage means your company is using its marketing and digital presence to help create product awareness. Many customers only become active when they have a need, but engagement can start before then. Marketing should focus on sharing what your company offers while allowing customers to interact with your content.

Reaching Out to Pre-CRM Leads

How do you reach out to customers before you know their needs, or before they understand what your company specializes in? Finding ways to engage pre-CRM leads takes creativity, but the payoff can help boost your sales pipeline.

Thinking of it as similar to greeting customers in the offline world can help map out the best way for outreach. Find ways to humanize digital communication, like displaying employee profiles and making contact information readily available. Encourage engagement through chatbots, and utilize video features to showcase products and salespeople.

The goal of this outreach is to improve initial customer impressions. When your company is able to create a positive first touchpoint, prospects will be more inclined to continue engagement with the brand. This will help filter leads in your pipeline and CRM, which will help boost sales. 

What Is a CRM?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is software that can be used to manage your company’s relationships and interactions with clients and prospects. This technology helps streamline your business, grow your pipeline, and organize goals across departments.

A CRM can be used throughout the entire customer lifecycle, including marketing, sales, and customer service. This software stores prospect and customer information, which helps build out your database for maintaining relationships.

By keeping data all in one platform, your CRM can help make sure all of the necessary steps are being done to provide clients with quality service. It also allows your teams to track customer engagement, plan outreach, and identify future sales opportunities.

Many teams have turned to a remote or hybrid working environment, so utilizing a CRM can make a big difference in collaboration when employees are stationed across multiple locations. This software can also align your sales and marketing departments to tighten up the lead generation and nurturing process.

Along with creating more efficient workflow within departments, CRMs can integrate with other technology to streamline the sales process. Many CRMs have the ability to work with your current tech stack to free up time and resources for customer outreach. For example, Leadboxer integrates seamlessly with CRMs to improve lead-generation processes.

The CRM Cycle

CRM is a great strategy for improving the quality of your outreach, and in turn, creating stronger customer relationships. Rather than aiming to cast a wider net, successful customer management will help encourage repeat sales and brand loyalty.

There are seven stages within the CRM cycle, and each plays an important role in customer success. Walking clients through this journey will help fill your pipeline with quality prospects and increase sales.

The Pre-CRM stage begins with brand awareness and creating an environment that encourages customer engagement. Inputting a new lead into the CRM happens once your team has contact and basic information about the prospect. Log the details in your CRM and begin walking them to the next step in the cycle.

Once a prospect begins interacting with your brand, like clicking on an email link or filling out a web form, the nurturing process can begin. By using features in your CRM software, you can tag clients and track their engagement. This helps your sales team determine which leads are cold or warm.

Moving toward the sales opportunity happens once a lead schedules a sales call. This moves the customer from warm to hot. 

Your team should be tracking the movements of this client as they move through the sales funnel. Enter the details from the sales call to log the outcome in your CRM. This helps your team see which leads are actively working their way toward closing a deal.

A little over halfway through the cycle, the goal is to have hot leads converted into closed deals. Once the client says ‘yes’ to your sales pitch, you can consider them an active customer. 

However, the CRM cycle does not end here.

Next, delivery of your product or services should be scheduled. It’s important to create follow-up reminders to keep in touch with the customer as they begin using your product. This phase should also include gathering feedback and providing any additional training or information that the customer may need to be successful.

Instead of moving on to the next cold lead once a deal has been completed, try bringing your customers into the ‘upselling’ stage. If clients are happy with the product and experience they’ve had so far, pitching an upgrade in your services can help boost the overall sale. Engage with customers to see if there are any additional needs your team can help fill.

Lastly, the CRM cycle relies on continuity to cultivate strong customer relationships and promote lasting brand loyalty. Continue reaching out to current clients. 

Schedule regular check-ins and encourage feedback. These actions can help increase repeat purchases throughout the length of the business relationship.

The Benefits and Challenges of a Marketing CRM

CRM Strategy Enablement

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Implementing a CRM can play a huge role in the success of your marketing department. Since the goal of marketing is to create awareness and generate leads for the sales team, a CRM can help align the efforts of these departments.

By breaking down barriers to avoid organizational silos within your company, a CRM helps increase the flow of information between teams. This will improve the overall quality of customer service as your marketing campaigns direct qualified leads into the sales pipeline. 

As website visitors interact with content and email recipients click on links, a marketing CRM can help your team track these actions to qualify leads. By integrating with other technologies like lead generation software, the CRM increases conversions and campaign effectiveness.

While a CRM can be a huge asset to many companies, there are a few challenges to be aware of before implementing the software. For employees who are unfamiliar with the system, learning how to use a CRM effectively can be a daunting task. Provide extensive training to make sure your team is confident in the program.

Integration with tech stacks is a great benefit to using a CRM, but it is important to make sure the CRM you choose works with your current technology. Marketing campaigns can benefit from tracking customer engagement, and a marketing CRM can help organize this data. 

Key Takeaways

A Pre-CRM strategy can help humanize your company and begin nurturing leads before they have entered your pipeline. Use this strategy to create positive brand awareness with potential prospects. Encouraging early engagement will help drive customers to your business when they have a need for your product.

Utilizing a marketing CRM is a great way to create a communication flow between departments and increase campaign effectiveness. Tracking and tagging engagement from customers can help inform future marketing efforts and outreach for sales pitches. 

To see how Leadboxer can integrate with your CRM, click here for a free trial!

Automated Lead Sales Intelligence Platforms

Automated Lead & Sales Intelligence Platforms: The Key to Successful Sales Strategies

Automated lead generation software is paving the way to success for B2B companies. These highly integrated platforms have continued to rise in popularity. For businesses who want to keep a competitive edge within their sales and marketing departments, lead generation software has become a necessity.

Diving deeper into the market trends and forecasts, several reports have closely inspected how lead generation and automated marketing will trend through 2029. Keep reading, or use the links below to explore these findings:

According to an Insight Partners study, the lead generation market was valued at 3,103.80 million USD in 2021. It is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5%, and reach a value of 9,589.11 million USD by 2028.

The Global Lead Generation B2B Software Market Research Report 2022 shows that the lead generation market is split up into four areas. They are lead capture software, lead intelligence software, lead mining software, and lead scoring software. 

These sections each play a role in successfully generating and nurturing leads while saving companies time and valuable resources. 20% more sales opportunities are created when leads are properly nurtured. However, 65% of B2B companies have not established a process for lead nurturing.

Technology-driven processes are crucial for companies to identify quality leads. In fact, 44% of marketers are already using software like automated marketing for lead scoring.

On average, sales leads for B2B companies can cost between $31 and $60. Within six to nine months of utilizing lead management automation, companies can see a revenue boost of 10%. This software helps drive sales and increases (return on investment) ROI. 

Lead generation software continues to increase in popularity due to its flexibility, low maintenance, and resistance to corrosion. As businesses continue to grow within the digital space, this software helps companies remain competitive within their industries.

Forbes reports that 58% of business leaders see lead generation as a key challenge. Lead generation platforms like Leadboxer are instrumental in helping companies find qualified prospects to fill their pipeline. Through automation, data collection, and software integration, these platforms are able to improve processes across multiple departments.

Lead generation software has benefited from the advancement of technology, and it will continue to optimize its product performance. Integration between customer relationship management (CRM) and lead generation platforms is a step toward success.

52% of companies have already integrated their marketing software and CRM. 88% of marketers will use web analytics to continue improving their lead-generation strategies. Lead generation platforms like Leadboxer integrate with CRMs and other technology to provide quality leads and analyze data.

Lead generation priorities of marketers

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The Global Marketing Automation Market Analysis Report 2022 released by researchsandmarkets.com takes a closer look at the current environment for this software. The report finds the market was valued at 5.45 billion USD in 2021. As automated marketing software continues to gain traction among businesses, it is projected to reach 8.58 billion USD by 2026.

Due to the increased usage of these platforms, the market is expected to grow by 9.49% between 2022-2026. The report notes the advantages of using this software include improved efficiency, reduced staffing costs, and an overall increase in revenue. 

Cloud and On-Premise are the two studied segments of marketing automation deployment types. Cloud deployment was found to cover a market majority at 58%.

This report studied eight channels of marketing automation: 

  • lead nurturing
  • mobile application 
  • campaign management
  • inbound marketing
  • social media 
  • email
  • reporting/analytics 
  • other

Out of the channel categories, email marketing automation led the way with 17%. 

A Demand Gen Report found that 53% of marketing teams say that early-stage lead generation is most effective when done through email. With email automation pulling ahead of other channels, automated marketing software can help companies save time and resources in producing email campaigns. 

Across industry applications, it was observed that healthcare began utilizing marketing automation software strategies. This implementation has helped create consistent messaging and improved customer service. During 2022-2026, the use of marketing automation in healthcare is expected to grow by 12.5%.

As for regions, this report discovered that North America made up the largest share of marketing automation at 34.3%. Over the forecasted period of 2022-2026, Europe and North America are expected to be the largest markets. Due to a rise in mobile usage and increasing use of advertisement campaigns, the Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing market. 

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Shaped Automated Software

COVID-19 continues to show lasting effects on the way businesses handle sales outreach. With quick switches to digital communication as in-person meetings were canceled, many B2B companies had to adapt to a virtual environment.

58% of experts believe poor technology infrastructure led to businesses struggling to deal with the pandemic.  The Global Marketing Automation Market Analysis Report 2022 suggests that the pandemic highlighted the importance of marketing automation as companies made the switch to digital channels to keep in touch with customers.

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are playing a significant role in the post-pandemic world. 50% of businesses plan to push forward with their AI strategies as they enter into post-COVID operations.

While the pandemic caused upheaval across all industries, it also helped drive innovation and advancement. 43.42% of B2B marketers plan to switch their in-person meeting budgets to digital efforts. 

By investing in automated marketing and lead generation software, B2B companies will be prepared to face a post-pandemic world. 

The Future of Lead Generation and Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation Valuable Features

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Lead generation software and marketing automation is a growing markets. The Global Marketing Automation Market Analysis Report 2022 found several factors for these upward trends including higher social media usage and trending mobile marketing.

While many marketing budgets continue to shrink, a survey from Gartner finds 26.6% of Chief Marketing Officers plan to increase their spending on automated tools. Statista Research Department shows that 2.6 billion USD was spent on lead generation in the United States in 2019. This number is predicted to hit 3.2 billion USD by the end of 2023.

The demand for these tools continues to increase, but this market does face challenges as well. Cyber security and data quality issues were found to be impeding issues for market growth. The quick nature of social media and continued internet usage has posed security and compliance challenges for marketing teams.

Despite advancements in automated software, 40% of businesses find their marketing tools are outdated. This suggests companies are still working to find the best lead-generation platform for their needs. 

As the B2B industry continues to evolve within the digital sphere, lead generation and marketing automation will increase in marketing and sales departments. The content marketing platform is expected to grow the fastest between 2022-2026. Global Marketing Automation Market Analysis Report 2022 suggests it will increase at a CAGR of 17%

85% of marketers say their biggest focus from content marketing is lead generation. Research shows an emphasis on producing quality customer experiences and a growing need for analytics-based content will drive content marketing growth. 

AI integration, predictive analytics, and a focus on personalized marketing are contributing to the market increase.

The combination of AI and automation software is pushing businesses toward better customer service and creating stronger interactions with prospects. Lead generation platforms help target the correct customers to drive marketing efforts in the right direction.

Key Takeaways

Lead generation and marketing automation are paving the way for companies to save time and resources when filling the sales pipeline. 80% of marketers saw an increase in their leads after using marketing automation. 

Both markets continue to grow and are projected to rise to new levels by 2029. B2B companies will need to include lead generation platforms and automated marketing into their business strategies to remain competitive in their respective industries.

Marketing automation provides a huge boost in sales leads. Using this software for marketing campaigns can increase these numbers by 451%. Content marketing is used for lead generation by 80% of companies. It is expected to be the fastest-growing channel for automated marketing between 2022-2029.

Lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to push companies toward digital communication. Customer trends show that many prefer buying in a virtual space. These habits will most likely increase as social media marketing trends upward.

While lead generation and personalized outreach benefit from automated software, challenges with consumer privacy and data quality will continue to be part of the conversation. Salesforce found that 86% of consumers want more transparency regarding the usage of their personal information. 

Investing in highly integrated platforms like LeadBoxer will help departments utilize their existing tech stack to its full potential for lead generation, marketing automation, and customer management.

See what LeadBoxer can do for your business. Get your free trial today!

Harnessing the Power of Video Marketing for B2B Lead Generation

Harnessing the Power of Video Marketing for B2B Lead Generation

Creative lead generation can help your B2B company fill the sales funnel with qualified prospects. Social media continues to be vital for marketing teams, and jumping on the upward trend of video content is a way to boost your outreach. 

Utilizing video marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness and encourage content engagement. This tactic can push your outreach to additional target audiences and help increase your lead generation. Video marketing can also work when trying to retarget and engage potential prospects.

Keep reading, or use the following links to jump ahead:

What is Video Marketing?

Video marketing statistics

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While the strategy isn’t new, video marketing has become crucial for staying relevant in a competitive market. According to WyzOwl’s 2022 Video Marketing Statistic Report, 86% of businesses already use video in their marketing strategy. 

This marketing tool is important to have across all channels. Videos are an easy way to educate prospects on your product, as well as create brand awareness.

In a Hubspot survey, it was found that video content was the second most popular way to increase social media engagement. By encouraging interaction from customers, this strategy can help boost shares and expand audience reach. 

Even though video marketing has been around for a while, many businesses saw a rise in demand for this content during the pandemic. 64% of marketing teams feel the pandemic has affected their 2022 video marketing strategies. Coupling this with the rise of marketing on social media platforms like TikTok, utilizing these tools can make a big difference in engagement.

Increasing Sales Conversions Through Videos

Marketing teams work hard to reach audiences that can be converted successfully for the sales department. These tactics require a lot of planning and resources to make sure content is being delivered to the right prospects.

Video marketing is an accessible tool that helps engage customers before they’ve even spoken to a salesperson. If you’re just beginning your video strategy, a great place to start is finding ways to include this type of content on your website.

According to BizCommunity, conversion rates can be increased by 80% if you include video content on your landing pages. When leads are visiting your site for the first time, videos are able to introduce your product and brand quickly. This type of content encourages engagement as prospects are able to get a glimpse of what your company has to offer.

Additionally, adding videos to your site can help improve search engine optimization (SEO). By having this content on your pages, visitors are more likely to spend more time on your website, which helps boost your page in search engines.

Moving on from initial lead impressions, video marketing can play a role in boosting customer retention. This content has the ability to support salespeople as they walk clients through the sales journey. By having video tutorials and demonstrations, leads are able to interact with your product before making a purchase, which can increase customer confidence.

The options for video content are endless, and it is a great tool to build trust while showcasing an authentic brand to prospects. Utilizing how-tos, customer testimonials, and customer support videos are just a few ways your team can take its marketing strategy to the next level.

How to Create a Successful Video Strategy

Creating content that encourages audience engagement is a good starting place. With high-quality smartphone cameras and a multitude of editing apps to choose from, access to video creation is easier than ever. 

However, starting without a plan can be an overwhelming undertaking for any marketing team. Take time to allocate resources and prepare your team for the content rollout. This type of foresight will help align the marketing and sales department to ensure the highest return on investment (ROI) is being achieved.

Once your teams are ready to go, begin by evaluating your company’s needs. Determine which pages and social platforms will benefit most from the content. Laying out the areas that will receive videos can help decide what the content will showcase.

Next, determine the target audience. For video marketing lead generation, have your team identify what platforms see the most traffic from prospects. 

Bizcommunity found that videos help 90% of customers make buying decisions. By getting this content on pages that see the most interaction from leads, video influence can help push these prospects into the sales funnel. 

Align the goals of the campaign across departments. Multiple videos can serve different purposes, but it is good to have a clear objective before creating any content. This data will also play a role in determining the video’s success late in the journey.

Decide on the video distribution platform. There are a few factors that will help narrow down the best place for your content. Consider your budget, including money for sponsored posts, and your current tools. 

Shorter videos may find their home on TikTok or Instagram, whereas Youtube remains a leader for long-form content. Determining a platform before filming will help drive the subject matter. It is important to take into consideration the type of audience on each social media channel, as well as how engagement is measured.

Platforms like Instagram reels and TikTok rely on short, snappy videos that can quickly grab a viewer’s attention. These sites also work off of algorithms that rely on comments, likes, and shares. Longer videos may do better on Youtube or LinkedIn, especially if the goal of the content is to educate. 

Begin scripting and filming content. If you are not sure where to start, look at similar businesses or competitors to see what type of videos they are sharing. This can help your team gather an understanding of where your industry fits into the digital sphere. 

Once posted, begin measuring the content’s success. While each business may track unique metrics, there are a few basic ones that can help your team see what works and what needs improvement. Engagement is huge. Track comments, likes, and shares. 

Time spent on your site is another great metric to consider. If you have longer videos, are your visitors watching the whole thing? Take a look at any generated leads or conversion boosts. 

Are your visitors interacting with other areas of your site after watching the video? For example, keep an eye out for any upticks in form completion.

Lastly, continue to re-evaluate and produce video content. While you shouldn’t fix any content that seems to be working, don’t be afraid to add new posts. Variety in content can boost engagement and encourage frequent customer interaction. 

Revisit any videos that don’t produce the results your team wants. This form of content is constantly evolving, and it is good to be prepared to embrace changes as needed.

Best Practices for Video Marketing

Once you have a strategy ready to go, implementing best practices can help boost the success of your marketing campaigns. Understanding the different types of video content can help your team see a positive ROI from this work.

Videos like product demonstrations, educational content, or expert interviews can help increase lead generation. While content like customer testimonials, live streams, or personalized messages from employees can create brand awareness.

Use video marketing to retarget old leads. This content can help encourage prospects to re-engage with the sales journey. Maybe the lead wasn’t sure your product was the right fit, but an educational tutorial or how-to guide can help show the ways their company can benefit from a purchase. 

Video Marketing & Social Media

Time spent watching online videos

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The rise of platforms like TikTok and Instagram has expedited the evolution of video content. Now, businesses are able to utilize these channels and interact with leads at a faster pace. In turn, social media has also helped shape marketing trends.

Viral trends dominate the ways content is viewed across platforms, and brands are not exempt from participation. While being TikTok famous isn’t the goal of video content for your business, it’s becoming more common for companies to participate in these trends. 

In 2020, Statistica found that one-fourth of adults online have viewed videos posted on TikTok. Tapping into these markets and finding ways to engage with viewers is important for making the most out of your online presence. 

Influencer marketing has also continued to rise in popularity. Videos like a how-to or product reviews from influencers help create brand awareness and build trust with customers. This type of sponsored content speaks to viewers without seeming too forced. 

According to HubSpot, 64% of businesses found new customers because of a Facebook video. Social media helps successfully mix business with pleasure, as many adults spend time scrolling through Facebook and Instagram throughout the day. By posting video content on social media, your company can see a higher ROI on video marketing.

Get started with lead generation by trying out Leadboxer today!

Top B2B Lead Magnet Examples

Top B2B Lead Magnet Examples

Attracting qualified leads to the sales pipeline is crucial for B2B businesses. Identifying prospects and cultivating relationships will increase sales conversions and create loyal customers.

With email marketing filling up a prospect’s inbox from your company and competitors, it is important to offer valuable content that will help your product stand out. Finding ways to establish yourself as an expert in the industry and producing informative marketing materials can help create lasting customer relationships.

When trying to find potential clients and obtain their contact information, utilizing a lead magnet can kickstart the conversation. Use the links, or keep reading, to learn about lead magnet examples and how your company can benefit from their usage:

What is a Lead Magnet?

Number of lead magnets on websites

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Simply defined, a lead magnet is an incentive that companies can provide to prospects in exchange for contact information. More than that, though, this type of offer can start building trust with potential clients from their first interaction with a business.

Types of lead magnets can vary across industries, but all of them should provide value to the recipient. For example, retailers may offer first-time website visitors a small discount code if they join their mailing list. 

For B2B companies, lead magnets can be more than just a way to grow their email marketing outreach. Connecting with prospects and exchanging contact information is vital for building out a B2B sales pipeline. 

By utilizing a lead magnet, prospective clients can begin to see the value your product offers. With this in mind, planning and executing lead magnets may be different for each potential customer. 

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to this marketing strategy, and businesses that provide innovative and informative lead magnets can boost themselves ahead of competitors. The content within the lead magnet is crucial to forming the foundations of a strong business relationship.

Lead magnets are not seen as optional for businesses that want to remain competitive within their industries. These tools can help plot the trajectory of a prospect’s customer journey by providing a valuable glimpse into a business’s product. 

For technical industries, a lead magnet tends to lean into a demonstration of a product’s solution. This can be done in many ways, like White Papers or Webinars, but the content should provide valuable market insight. 

The Importance of Customizing Lead Magnets

Just like any other marketing tool, customization of outreach is important for lead magnets to be used to their fullest potential. Whether your business has a large array of products or only a few solutions to offer, customers will be coming to you with unique problems that are specific to their organization.

Initial content provided by your business, especially as a way to gain contact information and create first touchpoints, should begin the process of selling your solution. The magnet isn’t a sales pitch itself, though. Rather, it’s a marketing tool to generate interest and educate prospect’s on your product’s capability.

The goal of your marketing efforts is to be seen as an expert in the field. This means prospects and current customers will look to your content for industry insight. Using a lead magnet should entice prospects to provide contact information because they want to engage with the content of value.

Knowing your audience and understanding their needs will help create trust between customers and the business, as well as cultivate interest in your products. Alongside providing solutions, loyal customers will appreciate customized content that caters to their interests.

Before choosing the types of content you want to produce, it is important to identify your target audience and take the time to understand their needs. Research prospective clients, find pain points that your product can help alleviate, and pay attention to market trends. 

Identifying and targeting the correct audience will make sure your content is providing information to those who are most likely to become loyal customers. By investing in research to understand your prospect’s interests, your company should see a higher ROI for lead magnets and other marketing materials.

Along with customization for specific customer bases, making sure your content is up-to-date and relevant to current events can help create engagement. Utilize statistics to show ongoing trends in your industry. For example, as the economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, providing customers with content that addresses this topic will help your business be seen as an informed source.

Lead Magnet Examples

Lead Magnet with Highest Conversion Rate

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Email marketing, lead generation, and content engagement are all important tools for becoming a successful B2B company. These are no longer optional if you want to be a competitor in the market. On top of utilizing digital marketing to reach prospects, any content provided to potential clients should begin to build a relationship.

Creating sales pipelines and adding qualified leads to the funnel can be a tough task. Some prospects may be weary of providing contact information, and others may have no idea who your company is. 

By creating and providing quality lead magnets, your business should be able to showcase its value to these potential clients to build trust and begin the sales journey.

Not all lead magnets are the same. Some will serve different purposes depending on the type of customer you are working to attract. All of these tools should be enticing enough to earn contact information. 

Digital marketing continues to evolve as new social media platforms pop up and customers continue to be inundated with content. However, lots of clients are still beginning their search for solutions by turning to Google. 

Attracting potential clients through organic web traffic is a great way to score contact information from potential leads. This is where lead magnets can become a huge game changer. This content should be accessible on your website, in exchange for contact data, and it should be interesting enough to catch a prospect’s attention.

Below are lead magnet examples that can help your business take its lead generation to the next level.

White Paper

This tool is one of the top lead generators for B2B companies, but it needs to be interesting enough to garner interest from website visitors. There are several approaches you can take to white papers, and any form should provide unique information that is specific to your client’s industry.

A white paper is a tool that provides industry information using facts and statistics, but also helps build a case for the product that is sponsoring it. This content provides research-backed knowledge and promotes a solution through authority on the topic. 

As with all lead magnets, the content within the paper should be valuable, and it is important to make sure it’s enough to convert a prospect into a qualified lead. The subject should be creative, but something that can be heavily backed by data.

Providing a professional reference guide or one written by a C-Suite member can be a great start for a white paper. Allowing the CEO or COO to be the face of a paper on a trending topic in the industry can help establish your company’s expertise.

A professional reference guide would act as a comprehensive resource for professionals in your industry. While this type of content may seem basic and geared toward beginners in the field, it helps show off the knowledge of your company. This content is also easily refreshable, which takes fewer resources to maintain. 

Taking a more statistical approach can help gain points from prospects who may value insight into market trends. Analyze a case study or write about market predictions based on past trends. This content can help establish your organization’s credibility and focus on how your product fits into the current market. 

A simple type of white paper can be a comprehensive product breakdown to provide crucial insight into the solutions your business provides. This helps with the technical aspect of your sales pitch and can help introduce prospects to your tools.

Webinars

Leaning into a product demonstration, webinars are an easily accessible avenue for prospects to become acquainted with your company. Live webinars are a great resource to pitch your product to potential customers who may be exploring several solutions. 

These live streams provide in-depth product demonstrations and leave time for questions that participants might have. By showcasing your product and demonstrating your team’s expertise through answering questions in real time, webinars help prospects familiarize themselves with the solution your company provides.

Also, webinars make capturing contact information extremely easy. Many platforms require participants to sign in with their email addresses and include information regarding their role within the company. This allows your team to start targeted outreach to these prospective clients as soon as the webinar begins.

Live webinars help give easy to provide participants with a call-to-action at the conclusion of the demonstration. After seeing your product and its features, potential clients can easily take the next step to set up a meeting with one of your business development employees.

Another option for webinars is creating an ongoing series that is relevant to current market trends. This moves the presentation away from a simple demonstration and allows your team to discuss your product’s role within the industry.

This type of series helps create fresh content to promote engagement from prospects and loyal customers. Along with providing valuable market insight, these conversations and the Q&A following can help potential clients see the way your team interacts with existing customers.

By showcasing your customer service and your expertise within the industry, prospects may feel more inclined to move along within your sales funnel.

Risk-Free Trials

A classic lead magnet for many B2B companies is offering a free trial of the product. This is particularly popular for businesses that are promoting software as a solution. Some prospects may benefit from exploring the product on their own to determine if it’s a good fit.

Important factors for a risk-free trial to be successful in qualifying leads include clear communication about the trial’s terms and ease of cancellation before being charged for the service. 

Free trial sign-up forms will capture contact data so your team can reach out to these prospects and discuss their needs while they’re trying out the product. This is a great way to establish a relationship and help potential customers see the full benefit of your services.

Another aspect of the risk-free trial is gaining feedback from prospects as they self-navigate your product. Conducting check-ins to the contact information provided can start the conversation and allow your team to hear about the customer experience.

This type of lead magnet does require a product that can be easily trialed, but other types of products may be able to utilize a virtual demonstration if a free trial is not possible. Allowing prospects to test the software before purchasing can help build trust. 

Communication is important for successfully providing free trials as a lead magnet. Make sure your team is able to reach out to the user as they work, listen to feedback that’s given, and be transparent about the subscription details. 

eBooks

Similar to a white paper, an eBook is a long form of content that can serve as an informational guide to prospects. However, an eBook tends to cover general topics and may combine multiple pieces into one piece of content.

This type of lead magnet is great if your marketing team works heavily with blogs or has a series on specific topics that relate to your product and industry.  Different from a white paper, an eBook tends to be less academic and bundles more information together.

Sharing an eBook with prospects helps them save time that they would’ve spent searching through your website. The information covered in the content can go over trending industry topics and the solution your product provides. 

Since prospects won’t be able to view the content in your book before providing contact information, the brief overview and title should be catchy enough to catch their interest. 

Quizzes

A creative option for lead magnets is creating a quiz that prospects can take on your website. This type of content encourages direct engagement with your site, and should tell the potential client something about themselves and your product at the end of it.

A quiz can be a fun way to introduce your product and help clients feel comfortable sharing their contact information with your business. 

Making sure you’re implementing an appropriate quiz format is important for this type of lead magnet to be successful. Create a relevant title that entices website visitors to engage.

For example, if your company offers multiple solutions to workplace problems, you could use something as simple as “What Type of Product is Right For You?”. Next, the length of the quiz matters. Avoid making it too long because you don’t want prospects to get bored and abandon the activity.

The results of this should prompt action from the prospect. Try to tailor the results to collect contact information from qualified leads. You can take it a step further by using a quiz to assess where the prospect is in their customer journey.

This type of lead magnet can provide your team with data to move the lead within the sales funnel, as well as encourage prospects to take the next step with your product.

Templates

Offering a way for a prospect to streamline their process by simply providing contact information in return is an easy way to start building a relationship. Often, potential clients are trying to achieve something through their search and that’s how they’ve ended up on your webpage.

By providing templates as a lead magnet, customers are able to gain access to a quick solution and then explore your product in more depth as your team begins targeted outreach. Templates are a great resource for your marketing team to create as well because they don’t require constant refreshing.

Templates can also be used for most industries since they are easy to create in any form. For example, your business can offer email, design, social media, or spreadsheet templates. This type of content targets qualified prospects by tapping into their needs and providing a quick solution.

While templates don’t necessarily demonstrate how your product works, they are able to provide market insight. Tailoring these templates to things such as “Cold Outreach” or “Instagram Posts” can help your prospect see the understanding you have of the industry.

Email Courses

While online courses are easily accessible, taking it one step further and implementing an email course can expand your reach. According to a Statista survey, 96% of workers check their email outside of office hours, and 13% say they check theirs multiple times per hour. 

Email inboxes are cluttered with promotional emails and irrelevant content, so it is important to find ways to reach your prospect with valuable information. Email courses are a great way to allow potential clients to opt-in to a sequence providing insight into industry topics.

This helps establish a relationship between your company and the customer, and they are actively engaging with your content by reading the course. Also, it can help promote the ways your product integrates with the topics covered in the emails.

An email course provides multiple touchpoints to continue nurturing the lead and qualifying their needs. While some prospects may download an eBook but never get around to reading it, email courses provide a consistent stream of digestible content.

This helps your company stay at the forefront of prospect’s mind while they are searching for solutions to their needs. By sharing educational content, the customer will feel like your business has added value and they may be more inclined to move forward in the sales process.

Another great thing about email courses is they can help continue engagement with prospects who may not be ready for purchase yet, but will want to buy your product in the future. These sequences serve as a quick reminder of your business and help cultivate the business relationship, even before a sale is made.

Using Lead Magnets to Demonstrate Product Solutions

Lead magnets are resources that your marketing team is investing time and money into creating, which means you want it to serve a strong purpose. Rather than passively capturing contact information, a lead magnet should do more than just expand your email campaign lists.

Using these tools to their full potential means finding ways for them to demonstrate how your product provides solutions. Potential clients want to see the value your business can share, and a lead magnet is a great first step.

By relating the magnet to your service, your business should be able to qualify the incoming leads and ensure they are getting to the right salespeople. High-tech service providers need to demonstrate the value of their product, whether its data analytics or AI software. By using a lead magnet to begin showcasing the product’s features, potential clients will start to understand the solution.

While it may seem like the easiest way to do this is using a free trial as a lead magnet, other formats can provide the same kind of experience. Webinars, email courses, and white papers help establish businesses as key players within their industries while building trust with clients.

The important thing is to make sure lead magnets are providing educational information, not just serving as an advertisement for the tools your business offers. White papers can lean into your product’s ability while providing data-backed research on market trends. Webinars and email courses can cover industry-specific topics and demonstrate the solutions offered by your product.

This content should be specific to the audience you are trying to engage. Lead magnets should be tailored to the interests of your potential clients and refreshed as needed to stay relevant within the industry. By demonstrating how a product works and the features it has, targeted prospects should feel more confident in allowing your business to provide the solution.

To get started with engaging prospects with these lead magnet examples, check out Leadboxer’s free trial. 

The Benefits of Sales Team Diversity

The Benefits of Sales Team Diversity

The subjects of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are leading conversations surrounding best business practices. While discussions about diversity in the workplace have increased over the past few years, these topics are more than just trendy buzzwords. Research suggests that diversity in sales can increase return on investment (ROI) and improve customer satisfaction ratings.

Staying competitive in the sales industry starts with creating a company that attracts diverse talent. Accomplishing this takes more than simply acknowledging the need for a diverse sales team. To benefit from DEI, companies must work to provide welcoming environments that offer a pathway for professional success for employees of varying backgrounds, genders, races, and ethnicities.

Keep reading, or use the links below to see how sales team diversity can help your company succeed:

Diversity Drives Increased Sales

Reasons to create more inclusive work groups

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Every business to business (B2B) company shares one major goal: increasing sales. Successful companies work hard to drive higher sales each year. 

A diverse sales team can be the key to higher numbers. According to a study by Forrester, 60% of sales teams surveyed attributed increased sales to having a diverse and inclusive sales force. 

Creating a diverse work environment means more than hiring from underrepresented groups. Successful teams will create a culture that celebrates diversity and allows these differences to become a driving force for their sales process.

Racial and cultural diversity has been at the forefront of these discussions, and with good reason. According to a 2019 study, only 5% of employees at Silicon Valley tech firms were people of color. The same study found women filled just 28% of roles in the tech industry. 

These numbers provide insight into the glaring DEI issues many industries are still facing.  Along with obvious race and gender gaps, diversity in age and life experience are important for driving increased sales. 

The Census Bureau notes that an annual $4 trillion dollars in buying power comes from Millenials, African Americans, and Latinx populations. Having a diverse sales team that is representative of these groups can help you tap into this lucrative market. 

On top of achieving higher sales numbers, diverse hiring practices can help bridge the gap for unfilled positions. Many companies struggle to fill sales roles with employees who meet or exceed their quotas. By expanding the candidate pool outside of the usual network and into more diverse groups, the time it takes to fill these open positions can decrease.

Sales team diversity also leads to innovation in the workplace. When collaboration is needed to explore new sales tactics, having a team with members from different backgrounds can make a huge difference. 

The Harvard Business Review reports that companies leading in diversity are 45% more likely to report market growth from previous years. This research suggests that sales team diversity drives innovation and allows new ideas to be heard.

Widening Your Lead Pool

Leads are vital for any B2B sales model, and most companies spend time and resources to widen their lead pools. Sales team diversity is another tool to help add leads to your pipeline, and research suggests diversity leads to higher conversions. 

According to Forrester, teams leading in diversity see a conversion rate of 54% for leads to opportunities. In contrast, other teams only see a 26% rate. 

When more groups are represented on your sales team, it is easier for customers to connect with salespeople. This helps engage leads and nurture them throughout the customer journey.

Harvard Business Review found that salespeople who share ethnicity with a potential client are 125% more likely to understand their needs. This statistic shows how vital diversity is for converting leads. When new prospects enter the sales pipeline, being able to provide a positive customer interaction is crucial for landing the sale.

Customer bases are diverse, and reaching out beyond your immediate network can help introduce your team to new leads. It’s important to acknowledge that American consumers expect brands to embrace DEI practices. Forrester found that 55% of consumers will buy from a brand that reflects their personality.

These statistics show how important it is to employ a diverse pool of salespeople. For your sales team to succeed, it is crucial that it be made up of different ethnicities, races, ages, and backgrounds your customer base can relate to. 

40% of Americans identify as diverse, based on race or ethnicity. With such a large group of diverse consumers, sales teams must reflect this reality. 

Increasing ROI With Diversity and Inclusion

Successful sales practices are an investment for any company. These costs include hiring, software, lead generation, customer retention resources, and marketing. The goal of these business investments are to see a higher return due to increased sales conversions.

By attracting a diverse sales team, the ROI for your company can increase. Through higher sales forecasts, lead conversions, sales attainment, and customer satisfaction, DEI can play a huge role in bolstering B2B sales success. 

During a 2021 study, Forrester found that the sales team leading in DEI initiatives had already hit 43% of their sales attainment goals, while other groups were sitting at 31%. Understanding the value of DEI can help set your team apart from those who are lagging in diverse hiring practices.

Among those businesses who lead the way in DEI, 44% believe diversity will continue to play a larger role in business decisions for the next two years. Investing in

inclusive practices will pave the way for future success.

While creating a diverse sales team with an inclusive environment does not happen overnight, taking the necessary steps can pay off by leading your team to higher sales. To begin, analyze the demographics of your existing team and look for areas where improvements are needed. Survey current employees to better understand how their gender, race, or background affects their experience at your company.

Harvard Business Review found that in the absence of diverse leadership, underrepresented groups are less likely to see idea endorsement compared to their counterparts who are straight, white, and male. Women are 20% less likely, LGBTQ+ are 21% less likely, and people of color are 24% less likely to have their suggestions seriously considered.

Understanding how these numbers can harm your business will help unlock insight into ways to drive a higher ROI. Establishing a culture that encourages innovation from diverse employees will help tap into underrepresented markets. 

Improving Customer Satisfaction

Importance of inclusive and diverse marketing ads

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Customers are the most important part of B2B sales. Retaining customers helps increase ROI, as it is five times more expensive to attract new customers than it is to engage current customers. By improving customer satisfaction rates, your company can save money and increase sales conversions.

Sales teams leading the way in DEI report a 24% increase in customer satisfaction scores. Having an accurate representation of your customer base on your sales team can help improve customer relations. 

Leaning on the ideas of your employees can help engage customers in a personal way. By diversifying your sales team in age, race, and gender, each customer can interact with a point-of-contact that understands their needs. 

Along with customer representation, sales team diversity helps bring fresh ideas that can appeal to other demographics. For example, having older employees on your team can help engage customers in the same age group through proper marketing channels.

With multiple generations in the workforce and a diverse American population, understanding motivation is the key to customer success. These varying viewpoints can allow your team to see what types of sales pitches, products, and marketing materials different groups prefer.

Marketing and sales work hand-in-hand to identify and qualify leads. Creating targeted audiences for marketing materials is important for a personalized customer experience. Through DEI practices, these resources are more easily refined to appeal to each target base. 

Through research, Facebook found that 71% of consumers want to see promotion of diversity and inclusion in their online marketing materials.Yet, 54% don’t feel represented in online ads. Utilizing diverse sales teams can help encourage marketing that accurately represents an equally diverse consumer base.

By representing customers accurately, customer loyalty will follow. In fact, 59% of consumers are more loyal to brands with inclusive marketing practices. Incorporating DEI into your hiring practices and customer experiences can have a huge, positive impact on customer loyalty with your brand.

Key Takeaways

Sales team diversity is not just the right thing to do, it has a direct correlation to success in the current market. Investing in the resources, tools, training, and employees who can bring diverse outlooks to your sales team takes time and money, but ultimately increases sales and ROI.

The consumer base wants to feel represented when buying from companies, and diverse sales employees can lead to improved customer experience rates. Alongside marketing tactics, inclusive practices will help engage underrepresented communities and generate brand loyalty.

The research is clear: diversity in the workplace leads to more innovation. Remaining a competitor in B2B sales is vital, and leading teams in DEI see higher sales attainment coupled with longer employee retention. 

Understanding and acknowledging the importance of an inclusive company culture is the first step to creating sales team diversity. Next, listening to employees and improving DEI practices can help launch your B2B sales to a higher level.

Creating Generational Marketing Strategy

Create a Generational Marketing Strategy Without Alienating Key Target Audiences

Creating a marketing strategy that appeals to a diverse range of ages can be a difficult undertaking. Mass appeal to multiple generations requires a deep understanding of how each group tends to interact with marketing materials. Planning ahead and using appropriate resources are essential elements of any successful generational marketing campaign.

Reaching a broad range of target audience members during a marketing campaign is important for maximizing your return-on-investment (ROI). The goal of your generational marketing strategy should be to reach potential customers without alienating any key audience bases. 

For tips on creating a successful generational marketing strategy, keep reading, or use the links below to skip ahead:

What Is Generational Marketing and Why Does It Matter?

As you are probably well aware, marketing is not a one-size-fits-all approach when building the right customer base for your business. Even if your team is only selling one product, the pitch needs to be adjusted based on a variety of factors, including age. It’s important to understand ways you can incorporate content that appeals to mass audiences throughout your generational marketing strategy to avoid alienating key target groups.

Generational marketing uses segmentation to split audiences by age to better reach each target demographic. Currently, there are four generations of consumers your marketing team should be targeting: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. 

It is important to understand that each generation interacts with marketing differently. By understanding which age demographics are in your target audience, your team will be able to produce appropriate content. 

For most businesses, it is beneficial to appeal to multiple generations. By analyzing the preferences of each generation you seek to engage and eventually convert, you can gain valuable insights, making it possible for your team to develop and apply a successful generational marketing strategy.

Annual Consumer Spending by Generation Feb 2019

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Baby Boomers

In 2020, the Baby Boomer generation made up 21.45% of the U.S. population. This generation refers to those born between 1946-1964. Their substantial makeup of the population means they play a significant role in the economy.

Most importantly, Baby Boomers are a generation that has had to embrace major advancements in technology as it has developed at an accelerated rate in recent decades. In comparison, younger generations have had high levels of technology use incorporated into almost every aspect of their lives from a young age. Because of this disparity in lived experience, many Baby Boomers are used to traditional marketing tactics and tend to prefer in-person interactions. 

This isn’t to imply Baby Boomers are out of touch when it comes to technology. According to Pew Research, in 2021, 71% of adults aged 50-64 use at least one social media site. Baby Boomers are a great example of how traditional sales tactics can be combined with social media for maximum outreach.

Generation X

Sometimes referred to as the “Middle Child” generation, Gen X encompasses those born between 1965-1980. This group was the first to grow up with access to personal computers, and tend to be more tech-savvy than their predecessors.

This group makes up less of the population than Boomers and Millennials, coming in at 19.71% of the U.S. population in 2020. Gen Xers tend to be swayed by customer testimonials, and it’s helpful to provide a mix of traditional marketing with digital tactics.

Millennials

Also known as Generation Y, Millennials surpassed the Baby Boomers in size in 2020. Currently, Millennials make up 21.93% of the U.S. population.  

Those born between 1981-1996 are classified as Millennials, which means they grew up during the rise of technology. This demographic tends to have a large online presence and a good grasp of digital marketing tactics. 
There are more than 80 million millennials, most of whom are very active on social media and tend to consume information on their cell phones. Marketing tactics should take mobile compatibility into consideration when trying to reach this generation. Delivery of advertising and other content via online blogs and social media is highly effective with this demographic.

Generation Z

A young generation on the rise, this group makes up those born between 1997-2012. They account for 20.35% of the U.S. population, but only a fraction of this group is old enough to enter the workforce. 

Gen Zers grew up online, and have embraced social media from a young age. They tend to have a shorter attention span and the ability to consume different forms of media simultaneously. A  2017 survey by the National Retail Foundation (NRF) shows 74% of Gen Zers consider ‘spending time online’ to be a hobby. 

As a unique group, Gen Z may not be fully entered into the workplace yet, but that hasn’t stopped them from having a substantial impact on the economy. The NRF found that consumer spending on Gen Z equated to $829.6 billion in 2015. 

Generation Z prefers quick messaging and dislikes marketing ads that disrupt their online experience. They tend to lean toward tech-savvy sales tactics, but they place a larger emphasis on quality when it comes to products.

Establishing Your Target Audience

With such diversity spread across the generations, it is important for your marketing team to know which groups they need to target. Not all products will appeal to a mass audience, and that’s okay. By knowing your customer base, your company can allocate its resources towards marketing efforts aimed at reaching the right people.

Start by creating your ideal customer profile. The idea is to target clients who will most likely benefit from using your product. Odds are, your customer base will span across several generations, but it is possible it may not appeal to all of them.

Creating an ideal client profile takes time and resources.But the information gleaned is worth doing the necessary research so you understand who is most likely to benefit from and purchase your service or product. This information will prove vital in assisting your marketing team as it begins creating successful campaigns aimed at nurturing potential customer relationships. 

Once established, take a look at the generational demographics of your target audience. If your list contains members of Generation X or younger (and it most likely will), your team should start thinking about the best ways to incorporate social media into its campaigns.

Millennials and Generation Zers are known for their online presence, but they are also in tune with marketing tactics. These groups don’t want to be bombarded with ads during their content scrolls, but they do want quality information delivered in an easy-to-digest format. 

According to a 2022 consumer survey, 81% of consumers prefer receiving personalized communications from brands. This means your company needs to establish which customers are buying your products and then find ways to personalize your marketing outreach.

What is Attitudinal Segmentation?

Similar to generational marketing, attitudinal segmentation involves splitting your audience into groups. Rather than focusing on age, attitudinal segmentation groups customers together based on shared beliefs. This strategy dives deeper into the way customers think and feel.

This type of audience segmentation can help your marketing team personalize their outreach based on the feelings of specific customer groups. It is also most successful when combined with other tactics, such as generational marketing.

Using these strategies together can help maximize outreach and avoid alienating key audiences. When beginning the implementation of attitudinal segmentation, starting off with a few simple questions can kick start the process.

Try establishing motivations with questions like “Why do you…”, or focus on opinions with “What do you think of…”. These answers will help guide audience members into segmented groups based on their purchasing behaviors. By understanding the way consumers feel, your marketing team will be able to develop content that speaks to the needs of your customers. 

The Importance of Brand Loyalty Across Generations

The Importance of Brand Loyalty for Consumers

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There is more to creating a successful marketing campaign than simply understanding generational preferences and customer attitudes. Audience engagement helps lead a marketing campaign to the finish line by filling the sales pipeline with qualified leads ready to start the purchasing process. 84% of consumers will interact with advertising when they feel loyal to the brand. 

The sales cycle begins with marketing touchpoints that happen long before customers get the chance to speak with the sales or customer service departments. That means brands start building their reputation from the moment content is extended to an audience. Establishing and maintaining a credible brand is important for encouraging customer engagement.

According to Havas, over half (60%) of brand-related content fails to deliver and is considered clutter by consumers. Before taking any concrete steps to plan a marketing campaign, the team should understand that consumers value quality over quantity when it comes to brand communications. 

Generational and attitudinal marketing strategies align when it comes to understanding what customers want to get from a brand. Not all consumers share the same attitudes, and many are loyal to the same brands for different reasons. Diving into the insights that generational and attitudinal preferences share with brands can help your team create a successful campaign that reaches the correct audience.

For example, Gen Z looks for brands who are able to provide for the greater good and offer value. As a group that has grown up connected to communities through the internet, 68% of Gen Zers say they expect to see brands positively contribute to society. On top of their overall belief in bettering society, Gen Zers look for tech-savvy brands. In fact, the majority of this group won’t engage with websites/apps that are slow to upload.

Gen X is known for being the most brand-loyal group. Statistics show four out of 10 Gen Xers will stick with brands with which they have already established relationships. Continued outreach and implementation of customer feedback will be important to maintaining loyalty with many in this age group.

Along with preserving a good standing among consumers, brand loyalty leads to repeat purchases by customers. Studies demonstrate purchases by repeat customers are vital to success, accounting for up to 65% of a company’s business. Brand loyalty helps establish long-term relationships with consumers and encourages multiple purchases from these buyers. 

In between buying cycles, marketing plays a large role in nurturing customer relationships through targeted content. This outreach helps your company and the services or products it provides stay top of mind for consumers. 

Creating a Generational Marketing Strategy Without Alienation

After taking a deeper look at the different generational motivations, the best place to start with campaign creation is understanding how incorrect use of this information may cause alienation. Generational marketing can help successfully reach out to consumers across different age ranges, but overgeneralizations about the groups can cause more harm than good. 

While understanding generational differences, especially with the preferred communication styles, is important for marketing, it is just as important to avoid stereotyping. A successful generational marketing strategy will combine with attitudinal segmentation to provide a positive personal experience for the target audience. 

To start a successful campaign, it is important to identify where age will play a role within your company’s outreach. Knowing how generational differences factor into your brand will help your team segment audiences appropriately.

Diversity Within Generations

One of the main problems with traditional generational marketing is failing to take into account how large these groups are. For example, with 80 million Millennials in the generation, it is safe to assume not all of these consumers share the same beliefs. All of the generations are made up of diverse groups who may act differently from their peers.

Consumer age can provide insights into their preferences, but these trends do not replace a personal connection with the customer. Simply assuming your client will act a certain way due to their generation can cause tension and potentially ruin the business relationship if those assumptions are proven false.

Implementing attitudinal segmentation alongside generational marketing can be a great way to find middle ground when creating campaigns. Using data that provides insight into customer opinions, purchasing history, and lifestyle, these tactics can help companies avoid getting caught in a stereotype trap. 

This allows your marketing team to focus on creating content for groups with similar interests, rather than just age. By delivering quality content that speaks to a consumer’s preferences, attitudinal segmentation can boost overall engagement and reach mass audiences.

Stick With Tried and True Marketing Tactics

Social media usage continues to grow across generations, but traditional marketing tactics still have a place in campaigns. Email communications continue to be the preferred marketing channel for most generations, except Gen Z. 

Continue to communicate with groups via email blasts, but focus on tailoring content to reach the targeted audience. Segment these groups based on preferences like the amount of communication the consumer wants or specific products they may buy. 

Quality customer service remains a high priority for consumers. According to Microsoft, 69% of U.S. consumers view customer service as an important factor when maintaining brand loyalty. Customers will continue to repeat purchases from companies they view as excellent in the customer service department. To ensure these efforts are reaching the right audiences, tailor your customer services to the needs of different generations. 

Millennials and Gen Z are known for their online presence, and online customer service options make addressing these issues easy. For those who may prefer a more traditional route, implement customer service over the phone and make sure consumers are able to interact with a real person. 

Marketing for Tech-Savvy Groups

A huge mistake that can be made during generational marketing is assuming some groups may not be active on social media. While Millennials and Gen Z tend to spend more time online than others, it would be incorrect to assume Gen X and Baby Boomers avoid the internet completely.

68% of Baby Boomers are active on Facebook, which means a majority of this generation sees Facebook advertisements daily. For those companies who want to utilize social media for all generations, sticking with traditional outlets like Facebook can help with effective outreach.

Two-thirds of the Millennial generation are active on Facebook daily. Reaching Gen Z, however, may be more successful with Snapchat or Instagram, since over 50% of this generation uses these apps daily.

Due to the Millennial’s and Gen Z’s tech-savvy lifestyle, digital marketing tactics are important for reaching consumers in these age groups. It is important to have a strong understanding of the way these groups interact with online communities to maximize outreach efforts.

According to Epsilon, 75% of these generations shop online with their smartphone. That means usability across devices is important for closing sales. Website compatibility and access on smartphones will help connect younger consumers with your products. The study also found that Millennials spend more money online than other generations. Having the ability to purchase items directly on a website is important for tapping into this generation’s spending potential.

While Millennials lead the way in e-commerce buying on sites like Amazon, Gen Z has adopted a different tactic when it comes to online purchasing. According to Forbes, 97% of Gen Z view social media as their main source of shopping inspiration. Being able to purchase items in apps, like Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest, helps Gen Z have a more personalized shopping experience. 

While younger generations tend to lead the way in online shopping, multi-generational households are changing the way older generations make purchases. Baby Boomers with kids are 42% more likely to shop online. 

77% of consumers in Gen Z who still live with their families say they have an influence over household food and beverage decisions. These multigenerational interactions mean it is important to maintain digital marketing with mass appeal. 

Embracing Brand Authenticity

Generalizations about age groups are nothing new, but falling into these traps can be detrimental to your generational marketing strategy. Avoid getting stuck in the belief that all boomers hate technology or that millennials are entitled. These stereotypes often find their way into conversations, but they alienate audiences and can negatively impact your brand’s image.

Instead, focus on authentically presenting your brand in a way that can resonate across generations. Consumers are smart, and they will easily identify inauthentic attempts to ‘fit in’. For example, unless it is already part of your company’s persona, using cheesy social media lingo can be a turn-off to younger customers.

According to a study done in 2018, transparency is one of the most attractive qualities for 69% of consumers. Hiding behind generational stereotypes can cause customers to feel as though your brand is not presenting an authentic vision. Forbes points out that over one third of Gen Z follows brands that they like, which means consistent branding is important for this generation.

Not only does the youngest generation care about authenticity, but overall, brands with consistent presentation saw a 33% increase in revenue. Across generations, consumers are focused on the image a company presents and how its actions back this up. With customers holding the buying power, authentic brands will benefit and continue to rise to the top.

Key Takeaways

Generational marketing is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Marketing teams should avoid jumping into a campaign that is based on age alone.   Instead, creating a diverse plan with attitudinal segmentation and patterns based on generational behavior will avoid the alienation of key target audiences.

Embracing technology works for all generations, but some may require more creativity to be persuaded into a purchase. Stick with traditional outlets to reach Baby Boomers and Gen X, but don’t be afraid to try out new platforms like TikTok in hopes of reaching Gen Z. Maintain authenticity and transparency across all social media and email, though. Consumers will appreciate consistent branding, and this can increase your company’s brand loyalty. 

Establish your target audience through a range of factors. Look into their lifestyles, communication preferences, and product interests. Segment your audience based on attitudes and opinions, as well as generation when applicable. Focus on creating brand loyalty and rewarding repeat customers. 

Overall, generational marketing can help companies better reach their targeted demographic, but it is crucial to approach this strategy with ample research. To avoid missing out on outreach to key audiences, combine generational and attitudinal marketing strategies for a successful campaign.

For a free trial on using customer insights from web traffic, check out LeadBoxer!

Lead Generation Strategies that Boost Sales

Lead Generation Strategies that Boost Sales

Your business wants to up its lead generation game. However, there are many strategies out there that promise you exceptional results. How do you improve your lead generation?

You may already have some of the pieces in place. Before you stress out over what new lead generation trend to follow, here are some strategies to try:

Update Your Website

Your website is the first interaction customers have with your brand. Make a good first impression with an updated website. 

Updating your website doesn’t mean going overboard with videos, graphics, or text. If you think your website is “cool” because it has Adobe Flash Player, think again. 

Great websites are optimized for search engines, have user-friendly designs, and valuable content. You may already have these on your website, but here are more tips to make your website great:

Don’t Overwhelm Visitors With Options 

People like having choices. However, too many choices can be a bad thing. 

When people have too many options, they can get confused and overwhelmed. They may get flustered and bounce from your website because they can’t make a decision. 

To see how easy (or difficult) it is to navigate the options on your website, explore it yourself. Better yet, have someone else poke around your site. Ask them to write down questions and observe their experience. 

Pay attention to how easy it is to go on to the next step. Look at whether your pages make sense and accomplish your company’s goals.

Put in the Effort to Tell People Who You Are

Chances are you put more blood, sweat, and tears into certain pages of your site. Your product or services pages and testimonial pages likely took much of your attention. How much time did you devote to your About Us page?

It’s great to give specifics on your products and services and share the experiences of satisfied customers. Consumers want to know about your company before doing business with you. Your About Us page is your chance to give a good impression and build trust with potential customers. 

Information to put on the website homepage

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Your customers will feel more comfortable working with your business if they know its background, staff, mission, values, and awards. Think of it as introducing your business to a new customer or friend. 

Be sure to include high-resolution images of your leadership and staff on your About Us page. For content, include your mission, value proposition, and a clear call to action. 

Get Information on Who Visits Your Website

Gone are the days when you hope the right people find your website, make a sale, and return. With our Lead Identification solution, you can know valuable information about who visits your site. We can tell you:

  • Who visits your website
  • What company do they work for
  • All the company’s firmographic details
  • What services or products they are interested in
  • Visitor’s company contact information
  • How many visitors from this company visited
  • Based on above and more, what is the visitor’s lead score value

Embedded Lead Identification into your website requires no buttons or forms to fill out. All the data is collected automatically and discreetly.

Utilize Effective Landing Pages

Landing pages are good at capturing leads. However, a poorly-created one will not give you the amount or quality of leads you want. Here are some tips for creating effective landing pages:

Keep Your Landing Pages Simple 

Marketers can overthink when it comes to creating landing pages. They want them to be complex and sleek. An overly-complex landing page, however, will lead to more bounces. 

The purpose of a landing page is for people to leave their contact information to access valuable content. It is important to grab people’s attention and offer high-quality content. You also need a clear call to action telling people what to do next. 

Get straight to the point in telling visitors why they need your services or products. Also clearly show them what they need to do to get started.

Include Testimonials on Your Landing Pages 

You know how powerful testimonials are. You use them on your website. Why not use them on your landing pages?

Testimonials by satisfied customers let people know your offerings are effective and your brand is trustworthy. Adding testimonials to your landing pages are simple and effective lead generation strategies.

It is easy to find testimonials. Look at your company’s social media channels, customer support emails, and product reviews. Before you use a testimonial, reach out to the source and get permission. 

Have a Mobile-Friendly Landing Page 

Your leads and customers are more likely to view your website and landing page on the go via their cellphone. Your landing page needs to be optimized to fit on the tiny screen of a phone. If it isn’t, your landing page will look clunky and unappealing. 

If you don’t think a mobile-responsive website is important, you might want to think again:

  • 70% of web traffic comes from mobile devices 
  • 80% of the best websites are mobile-friendly
  • 61% of users won’t return to a non-mobile-friendly website  
  • 70% of mobile searches lead to a conversion 
Importance of optimizing opt-in forms.

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Since your landing page will be formatted and look different than it would on a desktop or tablet, shorten your opt-in forms. Be sure to optimize your call to action (CTA) buttons and make them highly visible. 

Remove Menus From Your  Landing Pages

Menus on your landing pages are distracting. Going back to the first point, the simpler the landing page, the better the conversion rate. Remember, you want them to stay on the landing page and follow the call to action. 

Upgrade Your Content

Using the text on your website and blog simply as an area to stuff keywords won’t get you conversions. To generate leads, you need to know your desired customer and what content will be valuable to them. You’ll attract customers most likely to convert and your informative content will boost your brand’s authority. 

There are many ways to use high-quality content. You can have it on your website and feature an opt-in form for visitors to read more. A blog with good content has a better chance of getting noticed and shared.  

Start Blogging and do it Consistently

Blogs are real estate for you to share valuable information with website visitors and they can boost your SEO. A blog adds personality to our brand and improves your brand’s credibility. They can also attract 67% more leads per month.

First-time website visitors will want to know more about your company than the great products or services you offer. They expect your business to be knowledgeable in your industry. They also want to be treated with the utmost importance. 

Once you start a blog, you need to regularly produce high-quality content. If you’re not consistently blogging, customers will get bored. Your blog content will no longer be engaging, current, or relevant. 

When you blog consistently, you help create an engaging interaction with potential leads. The longer a lead engages with you before signing up or opting in, the more likely they will become paying customers. 

A relationship with a lead not only increases their likelihood of becoming a paid customer, but also a returning customer. Loyal customers can be counted on for repeat business and they can become valuable brand ambassadors. 

Before you write your blog posts, research your target audience and keywords to use throughout the content. If you need help coming up with topics to write about, look up trends happening in your industry. When writing your blogs, be sure to include clear CTAs (call to actions) alerting readers what to do next. 

Email Marketing is Your Friend

You may think flooding people’s inboxes with emails is a bad idea. However, email marketing is one of the most effective lead generation strategies around. It is also one of the easiest to do.  

According to Neil Patel, email marketing has an effectiveness of 48% and a difficulty rating of only 18%. Email marketing beats out content marketing, landing pages, social media marketing, and SEO. Only the creation of landing pages is easier.

Lead generation difficulty and effectiveness by channel.

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To get results, you’ll need to carefully plan out your content, segment your audience, and schedule your emails. 

Get Active Online

Your blog isn’t the only way you can engage with leads online. Here are some ideas you can try to share your expertise: 

  • Answer questions on Q&A sites like Quora or HARO (Help a Reporter Out) that relate to your industry
  • Get involved in relevant conversations on Twitter
  • Cross-promote content on other websites and blogs via guest posting. (Remember: guest posting is reciprocal)

Get Active on Twitter

You may think that LinkedIn is the go-to source for professional social networking. Twitter offers options to form valuable business and sales connections. 

When you create a Twitter lead card and attach it to a tweet, you can get people’s emails. This happens when someone clicks on the CTA button on your tweet. 

Lead generation on twitter

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Whether you need a landing page, a blogging or email strategy, or to get started on social media, LeadBoxer can help you to translate your Lead Generation Strategies into qualified leads. They know how important lead generation is for your business. 

Effective online lead generation is easier than you think. You may be doing some of the listed ideas already. Regardless of what strategies you try, remember it is about the customer.

How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

Want to stimulate interest in your brand without paying for ads? Content marketing is the answer. This type of marketing involves making videos, blogs, and social media posts that solve problems for your ideal customers, thus building loyalty to your brand and encouraging them to buy from you. 

This strategy is essential for staying ahead of competitors. A 2021 report from HubSpot found that 70% of over 1,500 marketers surveyed are actively investing in content marketing. The same study noted that 40% of marketers consider content marketing vital to their overall strategy.

Creating and implementing a content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be time-consuming. The following techniques will set you up for success.

Read on or jump ahead to these topics:

Get Company-Wide Support

Great content marketing happens when everybody in a company collaborates. To do this, you’ll need to get the leaders of various teams and departments behind you.

Ardath Albee of Marketing Interactions explains, “You need executive backing to fund and source a content strategy. You also need the support to ensure there is enough commitment to see a content marketing strategy through.”

To get leaders of your company on your side, position content marketing as a way to help their departments reach their goals.

Understand Your Audience

Before creating content, you need to think carefully about your ideal customers and anticipate what videos, blogs, or resources they want. Consider these questions:

  • Who is the ideal person reading your content?
  • What information do people want that isn’t readily available?
  • What pain points are your customers feeling?
  • How does your target audience make buying decisions?

By creating content that anticipates and answers your ideal customer’s questions and pain points, you can simplify their decision to buy from you.

Invest in Branding

Consider hiring a reputable agency to develop your brand’s look. The visuals and messaging used to represent your company impact your bottom line. A 2019 Reboot study of 2,500 consumers found that the right color can increase brand recognition by 80%. Furthermore, a 2019 Lucidpress survey of 400 organizations found that a consistent presentation of brand imagery, messaging, and values across channels can increase revenue by 33%.

Publish Guest Blog Posts

Curating blog posts from thought leaders in your industry is a win-win for all involved. It creates new content for your website with less lift from your marketing team and gives contributing writers a platform for sharing their ideas.

Guest blog posts also encourage the creation of backlinks, or links connecting one website to another. This happens when the contributing writer shares the article on their personal site. Backlinks signal to search engines that your content is valuable, which in turn boosts your site’s ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Here are some tips for finding and recruiting credible guest bloggers:

  • Visit other blogs in your industry and see who is writing for them
  • To grow your audience quickly, reach out to in-demand writers with large audiences and offer to pay them
  • Mention the benefits of writing for you, such as the number of monthly visitors to your site and the exposure writers will receive

Create Evergreen Content

While new content is helpful for keeping social media and email audiences engaged, there’s no need to churn it out all the time. Instead, invest energy in creating evergreen content, or resources that are always relevant. Examples include:

  • Frequently asked questions
  • How-to guides
  • Tutorials
  • Encyclopedia pages
  • Troubleshooting articles

Over time, these pieces of content will rise to the top of SERPs and draw new prospects into your audience.

Repurpose Content

Another way to save your marketing team time is to reconfigure content for different channels. For example, transform an interview between a member of the marketing team and one of your executives into a podcast episode, blog post, infographic, and series of social media posts. 

Content repurposing ideas

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This gets more mileage out of the original piece of content and can help you reach audiences on various platforms.

Organize Content on Pillar Pages

A pillar page is a high-level article that provides prospective customers with an overview on a topic. The page includes links leading to blog posts or pages that cover subtopics in more depth.

Pillar page blog structure

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Pillar pages help keep your site organized. They’re also another effective way to reuse existing content.

Include Videos and Graphics

Visuals help break up long blog posts, appeal to visual learners, and can increase site traffic and the amount of time visitors spend there. A 2020 survey conducted by Wyzowl found that 86% of marketers say video has increased traffic to their website. The same survey noted that 83% of marketers credit video with helping increase the average time visitors spend on a page.

Measure Your Results

Analyzing the effectiveness of your marketing helps determine what types of content lead to the most sales and what parts of your strategy need improvement. To measure your results, use a tool like Google Analytics or LeadBoxer to study your site’s data.

LeadBoxer tracks what your leads do on your website or when you email them. You can see what pages they visit, how much time they spend there, and what resources they download.

Leadboxer content analytics features

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By comparing customer journeys, you can identify common pathways or pieces of content that lead to sales. You then know which content types are most effective and worth replicating. You can also determine which pages to keep updating and sharing on social media.

Final Thoughts

Content marketing is vital for attracting, nurturing, and retaining customers. By anticipating and answering questions with your content, you establish your brand as a thought leader with unparalleled customer service.

Techniques like publishing guest blog posts, creating evergreen content, organizing content into pillar posts, and repurposing content across channels help your marketing team reach the most people with the least amount of lift.

A tool like LeadBoxer helps you analyze your strategy. With LeadBoxer, you can see what pages or downloadable resources are driving the most sales. Get started today with a free trial.

How Intent Data Can Increase Sales Conversions 3

How Intent Data Can Increase Sales Conversions

Having a deep understanding of customer behavior can increase sales conversions. As technology continues to advance, businesses have the advantage of utilizing data to target their audience and successfully pitch their products.

Collecting this data helps marketing departments better understand their ideal customers. Sales teams are able to improve outreach and streamline their communication with potential clients. 

Use the following links to jump ahead, or keep reading to learn ways to successfully increase sales through internal data. 

What is Intent Data?

As industries continue to face constant evolution within technology, the way sales are made have changed. Most customers begin their journey for new products or services through a web search. Online behavior can provide crucial insights for sales teams.

Intent data is information that is collected regarding a user’s online behavior, specifically through content interaction. By tracking these actions, businesses are able to see patterns and gain knowledge about their prospect’s interests.

Most importantly, this data can provide clues that help sales professionals understand the likelihood of a purchase from customers. This helps tailor sales tactics, drive marketing campaigns, and increase the chances of conversions within the pipeline.

Behavioral data is collected through the ways users are interacting with your content. This allows your team to see what areas of your site are most attractive to potential customers. This information can also help sales professionals gain an understanding of where a client is at in the buying process.

Gaining Insight Through Behavioral Data

Intent Data Uses for B2B Digital Marketing Strategy

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Having access to this information helps take the guesswork out of the sales process. Intent data can help pinpoint the market for your product, how to segment clients for marketing outreach, and what their purchase intent looks like.

Analyzing behavior is a huge asset for marketing. This allows teams to personalize content to target the proper audience for your products and services. By reaching these prospects, your sales team will have more leads funneling into their pipeline.

Behavioral data can help with brand exposure. Having an accurate idea of the topics and areas on your site that get the most traction provides marketing with important insights. The team is able to customize messaging to drive similar customers to your web pages. 

This type of brand awareness helps your business reach more individuals who are still in the research stage. By having content that reaches customers in need of your solutions, information on how your business is the best fit for prospective buyers is provided.

Another major benefit of behavioral data is aligning your marketing and sales to see a higher return on investment (ROI) on your outreach. Research shows that companies become 67% better at closing deals when marketing and sales collaborate for account-based marketing (ABM). 

This data allows your teams to sync up by higher quality leads and better understanding of client behavior. Marketers are able to discover unique interests among target customers, and this information allows sales to strengthen relationships with their accounts.

Behavioral data provides your business with the necessary tools to accurately predict buying patterns. By having insight into their actions, it is possible to track where customers are at in their purchase process. This allows marketing and sales to accurately plan outreach to nurture leads and walk clients to the end of the sales process.

First Party Intent Data Vs. Third Party Intent Data

While intent data can help increase sales, it is important to understand the different types and how they can play a role in your business. First party data is collected through your website and content pages. This tracks how visitors are engaging with your marketing.

First party data is something most businesses already track in some form. Analytics, automated tools, and the backend of your website keep up with this engagement. Internal data provides deep insight into customers, but often, it comes across as anonymous engagement.

Leadboxer helps your business discover the leads behind internal data. The platform captures the cycle of behavior from online engagement, starting with the first visit to your site. By uncovering this data, Leadboxer is able to identify who your visitors are.

This allows your team to have access to qualified leads, which helps plan client outreach. The identification of these customers happens through IP addresses, email engagement, and other touchpoints.

Third party data comes from providers who are able to collect the ways prospects are engaging on other sites. This allows for a complete view of buyer activity to see how customers are interacting with competitors. Behavior data can provide a sense of consumer purchasing patterns online.

This side of things provides valuable insight into any backtracking or missteps that are made throughout the buying cycle. By seeing where customers are spending their time, it is easy to pinpoint their pain areas and see where their greatest needs lie. 

Most third party intent data will surface during the research stage. This information can provide crucial guidance for future outreach and marketing tactics. Third party data shows what keywords customers are using, which brands they interact with first, and what solutions they are searching for.

Privacy Concerns and Third Party Intent Data

Difference Between First, Second & Third Party Data Intent

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While first party data comes directly from users interacting with your content, third party information can be trickier. As privacy concerns push for tighter restrictions, companies that rely on third party data are beginning to focus on ways to utilize what they are able to collect.

The biggest concern regarding third party data is that it can be unknowingly collected. This information comes from tracked behavior across websites, and it can contain personal identifiable information (PII). As concerns have grown, actions have been taken to promote transparency within the data.

Sites that use third-party cookies, which track engagement across sites, are putting banners on their content to ask for consent from visitors. These regulations have caused restrictions on the data that third parties are able to provide. This shift promotes the need for businesses to rely on first-party data.

Internal Data and Its Importance to Closing Deals

Once your business understands the importance of intent data, it is time to optimize its use. Most importantly, internal data is a tool that can help increase sales conversions by encouraging warmer leads and stronger client relationships.

Businesses must qualify prospects as part of their sales planning. In order to see higher sales conversions, the team must know where to spend their time and resources. Not every lead that comes through a website will be a buyer. 

Through behavioral data, engagement can provide insight into how serious a customer is about making a purchase. From the first website visit, Leadboxer tracks the content, forms, and emails that see prospect interaction. This helps put together a timeline for sales professionals, as they are able to gauge where a client is in their customer journey.

Creating Customer Profiles Based on Internal Data

A customer profile helps your business keep personalized records of your clients. This information helps marketing segment their messaging and allows sales to keep up with their pipelines.

Each profile is a detailed record of a customer’s needs, demographics, and behavior patterns. By using intent data to fill out these descriptions, your team can keep track of customer relationships and note their behaviors to increase conversions.

By understanding what problems individual customers are facing, sales will be able to drive solutions to their doorstep. Online behavior can provide insights through touchpoints to help illustrate a customer’s current needs. 

When a qualified lead begins interacting with your product page, downloading your content, or filling out interest forms, sales will be able to reach out at the right time. This data helps sales nurture leads through the process.

Providing Insight to Identify, Segment, and Score Leads

Each visitor is tracked when they reach your site, but it is important they make it to the right place in the sales funnel. Throughout their time on your site, Leadboxer collects information and tracks their actions to accurately discover the lead’s identity. 

From there, leads can be integrated with a business’ tech stack to move them through the cycle. After identification, prospects can be segmented into groups to receive appropriate marketing. These segments allow your team to filter leads by company name, size, location, or behavior. 

Most importantly, Leadboxer handles automatic scoring to keep the most relevant leads at the top of your pipeline. This distinction is based on customer behavior, interests, and properties. Sales will be able to begin their outreach to provide the proper solutions according to specific customer needs.

With internal data, lead scoring is accurately ranked to help pinpoint prospects who are most likely to make a purchase. Their behavior helps determine where they are in the process, and what they need to get to the finish line.

Get started with your internal data analysis today by signing up for a free Leadboxer trial!

How Customer Connections Drive Relationship Based Sales

How Making a Customer Connection Drives Relationship Based Sales

Successful businesses thrive on strong customer relationships. These connections help increase the number of sales conversions. Most importantly, the resources used to create a strong customer connection will see a strong return on investment (ROI).

Professional relationships go beyond initial contact points as good sales teams work hard to personalize the customer journey based on individual needs. By cultivating a strong relationship with clients, the likelihood of their repeated patronage increases.

As technology continues to evolve, businesses are constantly competing for attention from prospects in the digital realm. Focusing on relationship-based sales can help boost engagement with your social media, as well as direct your messaging to the correct target audience.

Keep reading, or use the following links, to learn more about how these connections drive customer relationships to a sale:

The goal of every sales team is to increase their numbers. There are many tactics out there to see higher conversions, but it is crucial to start at the beginning of the pipeline. Customer connections can happen during the first introduction to a prospect.

Making the most of interactions, even while a prospect is still in the ‘Lead’ stage, can have a huge impact on finalized sales. Before starting the process of making these connections, it is important to understand the driving idea behind this strategy.

Relationship based sales happen when a salesperson prioritizes the interactions and connections with a client to complete a sale. While price and types of services will always be a factor for customers, relationship based sales primarily focus on building customer loyalty.

Actions Needed to Move Towards Relationship-Based Selling

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Utilizing this strategy to foster relationships will help each customer feel more valued by your business. Clients will lean towards loyalty to brands when they are appreciated by the company.

B2B businesses can see a huge benefit from adopting this mindset. Since purchases of these services typically require a higher-level of commitment due to the size, customer loyalty goes a long way.

Personalized outreach is a great starting point for creating strong customer engagement strategies. Customers start their buying journey when they have a problem, so it’s important to segment your marketing for tailored audiences. Once a lead enters your pipeline, allow your salespeople to take time to nurture the prospect and gather insight into their needs.

These customer relationships have many aspects that will require personalization. The more effort your team puts into creating these lasting bonds, the higher your conversions will rise. Starting off with personal interests, encourage your salespeople to get to know their customer contacts.

By knowing their geographical location, personal hobbies, and basic profiles, it will be easier for your sales staff to find similarities to create connections. For example, an easy connecting point between sales and clients could be a similar interest in sports teams or graduation from the same alma mater. 

On the other side of things, ensure that your sales team is working hard to listen to the needs of each customer. Find out if your services or products can be tailored to provide the best solution possible. Take time to listen to customer insight before pitching specific packages.

Another crucial aspect to forming lasting customer connections is having continued contact once a sale is finalized. If your product requires training or onboarding, make sure the correct resources and enough support staff are available during this time. Be proactive in your outreach to gather feedback, and listen to any suggestions these customers may have.

Ensuring Loyalty Through Customer Experience

Once you’ve started focusing on the ways to foster strong connections, it is important to make sure these interactions are increasing customer loyalty. The key to this strategy is good customer experience throughout the buying journey.

Before implementing a customer connection strategy, you need to have an understanding of what your current clients think about your services and their experiences. According to Forbes, 80% of businesses believe they excel in customer service, but a mere 8% of customers agree with that statement.

Conducting research and opening the conversation for genuine client feedback can help your team see where improvements can happen. This information is valuable for sales strategies, and these interactions will help your customers feel valued and appreciated. Be sure to incorporate as much of their feedback as possible into your future relationship.

Looking ahead to future customer experiences, it’s important to understand how much each interaction matters in the cultivation of customer loyalty. Forbes asserts that within a day of a poor customer experience, 47% of consumers are willing to take their business to a competitor. Due to the ease of finding other options through a quick web search, there is little room for mistakes during the buying journey.

Speed and efficiency are key elements of a positive customer experience. While B2B sales cycles tend to be longer than B2C due to the nature of service, clients still value quickness. Instead of looking at ways to shorten the sales cycle itself, focus on the ways your communication can be streamlined.

Many people are conditioned to expect answers within seconds due to the availability of instant online search. While having salespeople within reach as soon as every problem occurs may not be possible, there should be resources  in place to help customers. Make sure your web forms work, check emails regularly, and don’t be afraid to hop on a call to quickly offer solutions.

Offer loyalty programs or rewards for repeat customers. 73% of customers enrolled in loyalty programs recommend that business to other buyers. By incentivizing current customers, your business will be able to attract new clients as well. 

How To Avoid a Bad Customer Journey

Conversion rates will increase when your clients feel they are on a good buying journey. There are a few ways to help avoid negative experiences during the purchasing process.

Start by focusing on the entirety of the process rather than singular pieces. Analyzing the customer journey from beginning to end will help your team pinpoint problem areas. From there, begin tracking customer behavior to identify patterns throughout your target audience.

Personalized messaging, optimized payment options, and convenient sales processes are all ways to engage modern consumers. Clients are online more than ever before, so use the data detailing their actions to your advantage.

Make sure your team is setting realistic conversion rates. Despite all of the great customer service your business provides, not every lead will result in a sale. To have an understanding of the genuine ROI from marketing and sales efforts, reasonable conversion goals are necessary.

Focus on communication while making customer connections. At the end of the day, most clients will appreciate when a business goes above and beyond to listen to their needs. Fostering strong relationships and ensuring quality customer journeys requires time, commitment, and consistent communication.

Social Media & Customer Connections

The Social Consumer Analytics

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While it is one of the newer resources in the long line of sales strategies, social media has begun to dominate the playing field. Utilizing these platforms can help accelerate your numbers, and provide valuable insights into consumer behavior.

The top platforms, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube, will be enough to help provide your business with the tools for successful social selling. Starting off, social media will generate leads and track data for better understanding of customer behavior.

Leadboxer’s platform integrates with your team’s tech stack to access data, generate leads, and provide tools for higher conversion rates. Throughout your email and social media campaigns, Leadboxer is able to uncover data to provide contact information and behavior patterns for potential buyers.

One of the key benefits of social selling is gaining insight and learning about customers to create meaningful connections. By integrating your workflow with technology like the Leadboxer platform, your team will be able to gain a broad understanding of this data.

Generating leads through social platforms helps your salestaff find new prospects for outreach. From the very first interaction, customer connections can begin to take shape. Social media offers vital personal information to help your salespeople find similarities with their contacts.

Using social media as a way to teach about the industry and your products is another great use of the tool. By reaching your target audience with educational information, your business will be able to establish itself as a reliable leader in the industry. This allows prospects to find your product before your team even has a chance to discover them during a search process.

Engagement through social media helps to continue the professional relationship with clients. According to Hootsuite’s Digital Report 2021, 22.7% of internet users are using social media to network and handle work-related research. Continued social media outreach and marketing is crucial for maintaining strong customer connections, with many consumers using the internet to develop business relationships.

To see how social media integrations can help with customer connections, check out LeadBoxer with a free trial.

16 Best WordPress Plugins for Business

16 Best WordPress Plugins for Business

Generating leads is a crucial part of building revenue for any business. This involves having a constant stream of new customers to nurture into repeat, loyal patrons. Your prospects are looking online for products and services to meet their needs and solve their problems. 

The lead generation process begins with your website, your company’s online presence. With more than 455 million websites built on and hosted by WordPress, chances are yours is too. WordPress is a solid website builder that offers easy customization and SEO-friendly items. 

If you use  WordPress, the many plugins can be overwhelming. Which ones are best for your business? Which ones will generate leads?

Below are the 16 best WordPress plugins for business – read on or use the following links to jump ahead:

1. WPForms

Your website must have a way for customers to reach you. WPForms allow you to easily create surveys, payment forms, order forms, contact forms, and subscription forms. With WPForms, you can access 300+ pre-built landing pages and forms and see valuable analytics like tracking and abandonment. 

2. MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights connects websites to Google Analytics which allows you to gather data on who visits your site and how they find it. With MonsterInsights, you can make the necessary changes to boost subscribers and traffic. 

3. All in One SEO

More than three million websites use All in One SEO. This plugin is SEO-friendly and offers all the tools you need to maximize your on-page SEO. With an SEO-maximized site, you’ll boost your website traffic, which increases revenue. 

4. OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the most widely-used plugin for boosting sales and email subscribers. It allows you to convert bounced website visitors into email subscribers. With hundreds of conversion templates, it is easy to build personalized campaigns. 

OptinMonster WordPress Plugin

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5. PushEngage

Push notifications allow you to send targeted announcements to website visitors. PushEngage plugin offers A/B testing, drip campaigns, tracking, segmentation, and opt-in reminders. 

6. Shared Counts

Social sharing effectively allows your customers to tell others about your company. With Shared Counts, you can add social sharing buttons to your website. Additionally, this plugin lets you see how many people shared your content. 

7. WPML

With the Internet connecting people worldwide, you likely have customers in different countries speaking various languages. WPML allows your business to create multilingual websites. 

8. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a must-have plugin for e-commerce businesses. More than five million websites and online stores use WooCommerce. WooCommerce offers a  WordPress ecosystem that includes hosting and themes.

WooCommerce WordPress Plugin

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9. Nextiva

Believe it or not, people do still contact you by phone. Nextiva’s plugin allows your business phone to have online faxing, unlimited calling, call routing, and more. 

10. Ahrefs

With Ahrefs, you can get an inside look into your competition. You’ll be able to see the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Ahrefs also track your and the competition’s backlinks.

11. Smash Balloon

Smash Balloon boosts website engagement by sharing your new content. It offers plugins to many popular social networks. Smash Balloon allows you to customize your feed anywhere on your website. 

12. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo helps you get your content out there with the ability to connect with influencers and generate high-performing content. It also allows you to find trends in your industry. 

BuzzSumo WordPress Plugin

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13. WP Super Cache

With the speed of the Internet, customers are impatient. If your website takes too long to load, people will abandon your site and head to another. WP Super Cache improves your site’s speed by converting dynamic pages to static ones

14. Pure Chat

Having more than one way for customers to contact your company will help you retain them. In addition to contact forms, offering live chat with Pure Chat will allow customers to talk to someone at any time. With someone always available, your customers will be satisfied. 

15. MailChimp for WordPress

It is crucial to have an email list. MailChimp allows you to access customer emails from comments, contact forms, and opt-in pages. MailChimp is one of the best and easiest-to-use email platforms around. 

16. LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer tells you who visited your website. This notifies your sales team and lets them know who they need to reach out to. People who repeatedly visit and spend time on your site are interested in what you offer. 

LeadBoxer WordPress Plugin

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Leads are what generate sales for your business. One of the most important lead-generating options out there is a WordPress website. A website will ensure your company will be found online.

Having a website for your business is a great start. However, if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your website, you need customization. With these 16 WordPress plugins, you’ll be on the fast track to building your business. 

How to Develop and Implement Your First Successful SEO Campaign

How to Develop and Implement Your First Successful SEO Campaign

Marketing strategies are constantly evolving to keep up with the fast-paced digital world. Now, more than ever before, customers are able to see a comprehensive list of solutions in a matter of seconds.

As technology continues to get smarter, potential buyers are becoming even more accustomed to personalized product searches. In order to stay relevant, businesses must remain on top of the trends to make sure the internet is working to their advantage.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a new term to those familiar with digital marketing practices. However, SEO has become a major buzzword as these campaigns continue to rise to the forefront of marketing plans. With this increase in popularity, successful digital communications rely on an accurate understanding of SEO and best practices for campaigns.

Read on or jump ahead to these topics:

What is an SEO Campaign?

Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving your digital resources to increase visibility and engagement through web traffic. The goal of SEO campaigns should be twofold: to grow the volume of visitors and to improve the quality of their online experience.

This works when your content is able to show search engines that it is the best answer for the topic. While all search engines are powered by different algorithms, Google has a market share of about 92%. Focusing your optimization efforts around this platform is the best place to start.

Spending money and allocating resources for marketing strategies is an investment for future growth. You want to make sure your return-on-investment (ROI) is as high as possible. By using SEO, you should start to see an uptick in web traffic from qualified leads as your site reaches your target audience.

Timeframe for Seeing SEO Campaign Results

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Successful SEO campaigns are based on thoughtful and targeted keyword research, link building, and web analysis. An in depth understanding and correct implementation of fundamental SEO principles will significantly boost your ROI.

Over a three year average, B2B industries see a 702% ROI from SEO campaigns, and a 7 month timeline to break even.

Identifying Your Target Audience

The first step to successfully implementing an SEO campaign is understanding who your target audience is. A target audience is a real group of people that could be interested in the products or services offered by your company. 

Your SEO campaign should work hard to direct as many potential buyers to your site as possible. This kind of brand exposure will help increase your sales conversion rates and build out your sales pipelines with new leads.

By understanding the ideal base for your audience, you will be able to map out your SEO strategy. This will help guide your keyword search as you narrow down the most likely used terms for optimization. Tailor your online content toward this specific group of visitors to help improve your overall customer experience.

There are a few ways to determine your target prospects. Start by understanding your current client demographics. Open communication between marketing and sales teams will allow salespeople to share profiles of their customers. 

Take advantage of social insight tools. Social media and website tracking can provide vital information about exactly who is actively engaging with your content. 60% of consumers subscribe to email blasts to stay involved with promotional messaging. By analyzing current followers and subscribers, you can build out your ideal target audience.

Identify the questions being asked by potential buyers. Which problems does your current customer base have that are solved by your products? If you can pinpoint the topics of discussion, your content can reach similar groups facing these issues.

Organic Keywords & Data Analytics

Share of commerce traffic generation from organic searches

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An organic keyword attracts free traffic through SEO, whereas pay-per-click (PPC) words are bid on through paid campaigns

On average, there are 3.5 billion Google searches happening each day. Organic keywords can help drive traffic from those searches to your website. Using words in your content that people are actively searching for is the best place to start gaining organic traffic. 

Organization is also key. Avoid dumping words onto one page, and make sure to use them throughout your site. Unique content that offers genuine information is the best way to utilize these organic keywords.

Data-driven marketing means using collected data as the main component when creating your SEO campaigns. This tactic allows your research to guide the build-out of marketing strategies for effective implementation.

Use data analysis tools to better understand the ways traffic interacts with your content. By analyzing your data, you will gain a better understanding of visitor behavior and drive more organic traffic to your site. 

Developing and Implementing a Successful SEO Campaign

Now that you have the basics down, executing your SEO strategy should be easy. Try the following steps to get started.

1. Evaluate Your Current Site and Its Content

Are you using a modern website builder? If your site’s platform is up-to-date, optimization will be a much easier undertaking. SEO will not work outside of a user-friendly environment.

Audit your current SEO plan. Maybe some of your pages already have a good foundation. Don’t throw out anything that is already working. 

Make sure to pinpoint the areas that need change. Focus on evaluating your current URLs and page structures.

2. Topic & Keyword Research

Before you can develop a list of keywords, you will need to create a set of topics to explore. A topic is a set of related search terms broader than your keyword list. Gather all relevant details when building out these sets.

You will want to dive deep into the research to have comprehensive knowledge of your chosen topics. Figure out the total search volume for these words, analyze the type of existing content appearing, and gauge competition levels.

3. Create Quality Content

It’s a simple step, but it may be the most important one in creating your campaign. Content needs to be authentic and relevant to your audience. 

Your site should be free of technical errors. Pages should include strong titles, which is a key element in SEO.

Try to produce evergreen content. If your blog is full of pieces that are relevant to the industry, chances are you will see more engagement. This can include ‘how-to’ articles, product reviews, and videos. 

Establish partnerships and create strong relationships with social influencers. Your content should provide shareable information. Earn credibility by producing pieces to share your brand’s mission with your target audience.

Use backlinks to help build confidence in your brand. This helps signal to search engines that other sites approve of your content. Earning backlinks from highly respected sites should be a desired goal.

4. Implement On-Site Optimization

Once you have content ready to go, it is important to maintain your website for SEO-friendliness. Utilize keywords in your URL slugs. Optimize the alt-text for your digital media, and be sure to incorporate long-tail keywords. 

Don’t forget about technical optimization as well. Server speed, source code, and IP addresses should be evaluated for the best user experience. 

Making sure your content is mobile-friendly is extremely important. To help with this, use the smallest file sizes possible for graphic content.

Create meta titles and meta descriptions that look natural while featuring keywords. Optimize the layout for user experience and search engines. Focus on fixing any accessibility issues such as any 404 redirects from Google.

5. Combine Your Campaign With Other Marketing Resources

Email marketing is a strong tool on its own. It’s even more powerful when paired with a comprehensive SEO strategy. 

Use personalized blasts to drive qualified traffic to your site. Test content through email, and add successful elements to your site. 

While social media isn’t a direct ranking factor, you can still use it to boost your overall brand awareness. Increase engagement through social shares, find link opportunities, and have positive interactions with potential web traffic.

Thought leadership allows your brand to establish itself as a leader in the industry. 47% of C-Suite executives said they shared contact information after reading thought leadership content.

When providing this type of content, make sure it fits within your SEO plan. If potential decision makers engage with your site, it’s important to make sure they are directed to the right place.

Integrations and SEO Campaigns

Once you have a plan to roll out your SEO campaign, use integrations for smooth implementation. Leadboxer connects with email marketing tools like MailChimp to help track data from audience engagement.

This software allows you to see who is visiting your site so you can learn what they do once they land on the page. Use this information to fine-tune your content and improve the customer experience. 

By tracking engagement, Leadboxer helps demonstrate which parts of your SEO campaign are working and which areas could use improvement. 

To see how your business can benefit from the LeadBoxer lead generation platform and its many app integrations, sign up for your free trial today!

how to recapture and nurture inbound leads 2

How to Recapture and Nurture Inbound Leads

Your business wants to see revenue flowing in. Understandably, it makes sense that the more inbound leads you land, the more paying customers you’ll get. You devote your time and resources to gain new leads.

Lead generation is popular as 53% of marketers say half or more of their budget goes to lead generation. While over half of companies engage in new lead generation, only 35% of B2B marketers have a lead nurturing strategy. 

What about your old leads? In the rush to get your brand out there in front of new prospects, they can sometimes be forgotten.

Read on or ‘jump ahead’ to the following topics:

What Are Inbound Leads

For years, marketers and salespeople have relied on outbound sales to generate new leads. Cold calling and spam emails are common outbound methods of reaching out to prospective customers.

However, people don’t like to be pestered by businesses. Today’s best leads will reach out to you through inbound marketing and sales. Inbound leads are much more likely to convert.

What are inbound leads? They are prospective customers that respond to a piece of content as part of a business’s inbound strategy. Some examples include filling out a survey, downloading an eBook, or contacting a salesperson after reading an article.

Why should you use an inbound strategy? Why is it necessary to pay attention to nurturing your old leads instead of continually generating new ones? The section below highlights statistics that may inspire you to alter your lead generation strategy.

Stats on Recapturing Old Leads

Your business needs customers to make a profit. Constantly devoting resources to generating new leads is not the best strategy. Here are some reasons why:

Nurture Inbound Leads - Stats on Old Leads

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Inbound Leads Stats

Inbound leads promise more for your business than outbound ones. To fully maximize the power of inbound leads, they need nurturing. Here are some reasons lead nurturing works:

Nurtured vs non-nurtured inbound leads

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Ways to Re-Engage Old Inbound Leads

Those old leads you’ve forgotten are important. It is equally important to nurture them.

Maybe you have leads that have gone cold. How do you re-engage old inbound leads? Here are some effective strategies to try:

Continuously Offer Fresh Content

New leads are drawn to your company via interesting, valuable content. However, if the content doesn’t change, they will no longer engage with your brand and will go elsewhere.

To keep people coming back to your website or storefront, you need to continuously provide fresh, interesting content. This content can be website content, new product descriptions, blog posts, webinars, white papers, vlogs, etc.

Invest in Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective lead nurturing strategies out there. They can be sent with minimal effort and costs and they are received immediately.

However, email marketing is more than sending a massive e-blast every so often. Emails spared from the spam or trash bins are those that are interesting and personal. To have a solid email marketing strategy, you need to know your customers.

Categorizing your customers based on where they are on the buyer’s journey is the best way to get conversions. Researching who each audience is along the buyer’s journey will make your emails personal and eye-catching. 

Nurturing Inbound Leads Statistics

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Use Paid Retargeting Ads on Social Media and Google

Customers are on social media and/or browsing the internet at least once a day. While social media marketing and SEO are great lead generation strategies, they may not be enough.

Paid Google ads and social media retargeting ads only show advertisements the customer would most likely be interested in. The customer won’t be overwhelmed by irrelevant products or services. This means your offerings will only be shown to those customers most likely to make a purchase.

Send Personalized Notes Through the Mail

In this day and age, it may seem odd to send notes to customers via snail mail. Because of the rarity, personalization, and thoughtfulness of mailed notes, they are effective in warming up cold leads.

The effectiveness and feasibility of mailing notes to leads also depends on your targeted audience and your customer base size. If your ideal customers are younger and your business has thousands of customers and prospects, email is a better option.

Ask For Customer Feedback Via Surveys

In most cases, an inbound lead grows cold because it’s either been neglected, or it’s been engaged in the wrong way. Asking the potential customer to provide feedback will empower them, which sparks engagement.

Asking a cold lead to provide suggestions for marketing efforts shows you care about the customer. Online surveys via email, text, or social media are quick and cost-efficient. They can also be viewed by the customer anytime, anywhere.

To improve the likelihood of survey completion, offer the customer a ‘thank you’ gift or discount.

LeadBoxer Integrations Can Boost Your Inbound Strategy

If your company hasn’t done inbound marketing or invested in lead nurturing, getting inbound leads can be a daunting task. However, you don’t have to go it alone. LeadBoxer is a sales and marketing platform that offers numerous features and integrations to help recapture and nurture leads.   

With LeadBoxer, you’ll obtain valuable insights and analytics into your customers and their behavior. Learning who they are and what types of outreach they respond to will boost your marketing strategy and generate quality, loyal leads.

LeadBoxer works with a variety of marketing and sales tools you already use. The LeadBoxer platform identifies, enriches, and provides custom lead scoring so you know you’re targeting the right people. The insights provided also help you reach out to those most promising leads.

Some of the benefits of using LeadBoxer include:

  • Enjoying cutting-edge, big-data technology
  • The ability to identify, capture, enrich, score, segment your leads and customers
  • The ability to combine lead and customer activity and gain valuable insights into profiles and email/website behavior

Email Marketing Integration

You can’t recapture and nurture inbound leads without a strong email marketing strategy. LeadBoxer offers a variety of integrations for the email marketing programs you currently use. These include Hubspot, Marketo, Gmail, MailChimp, Outlook, Pipedrive, and Active Demand.

LeadBoxer provides thorough email tracking that allows you to import and export data. You can gain valuable insight into your audience and their behavior. 

Nurture Inbound Leads - LeadBoxer Email Marketing Integration

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MailChimp Integration

MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing programs. LeadBoxer can help you identify your audience and track their behavior on your website. This offers valuable information about what your leads do once they click through from the email to your website.

Once an inbound lead is identified, you can see their future visits to your site. By learning who visits and returns to your website and which pages they visit, you will be better equipped to nurture your leads effectively.

Through the integration of your MailChimp email marketing platform with LeadBoxer, you can:

  • Identify more users on your website
  • Learn what your audience does after they land on your website
  • Better understand your email marketing campaigns
  • Be notified when your audience is ready to make a purchase
  • Qualify leads based on profile data and behavior
  • Segment leads based on scoring algorithms
  • Data can be exported and synchronized to multiple programs

Data Analytics 

Why are data and analytics important to your inbound marketing strategy and nurturing old leads? The short answer is that it allows you to foster relationships with leads. Your marketing activities are personalized based on each lead’s behavior and preferences.

All your customers and leads are unique individuals who respond to different messaging and strategies. When you send out generic email blasts or paid search ads, they will turn away many leads. Effective inbound marketers know that one size doesn’t fit all.

Inbound leads come to your website looking for something. They chose to do business with you over the competition. To keep them coming back, you need to nurture them.

Lead nurturing involves a relationship between your brand and each customer. When your leads feel like your business knows them and values them, they are likely to come back. Using analytics to track audiences and preferences means you can alter how you connect with each lead.

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Nurturing Leads-Leadboxer platform

The insight you gain from data analytics will help you market to each lead in a way that sparks their interest. Additionally, the relationship they build with your brand will encourage them to become loyal customers.

There are people out there who want your products and services. If you don’t invest in an inbound marketing strategy, you miss these qualified leads. You need to recapture old leads by nurturing them.

LeadBoxer can help you with nurturing inbound leads and take your inbound marketing strategy to the next level. Contact LeadBoxer today and start generating high-quality leads who will become loyal customers.

B2B vs B2C Clients Buyer Intent

B2B Vs. B2C Clients: Key Comparisons in Buyer Intent, Decision Making, and Sales

Successful (business to business) B2B and (business to consumer) B2C sales rely on in-depth knowledge of targeted customer bases. While both of these business models involve sales, there are key differences between the worlds of B2B and B2C. Customers for each of these business models base their decisions on different factors. Understanding the decision-making process and buyer intent in B2B sales versus B2C will help you optimize the sales process.

Continue reading or ‘jump ahead’ to the following topics:

B2B Vs. B2C Mindsets

b2b vs b2c comparison

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B2B companies sell their products and services directly to other businesses. B2C companies sell directly to consumers. There is no right or wrong business model, but B2B and B2C have different mindsets when it comes to the sales process and buyer intent.

In a B2C environment, the product is being directly marketed and sold to the customer. There is no middle man in this process. 

Customers are directly interacting with the business during their purchase. With this model, customers tend to make purchases based on emotion.

Since the customer is directly involved, the emotional investment carries weight for B2C models. Advertising in the B2C world usually appeals to the customer by invoking feelings about the product. For example, a primary motivator to make a purchase may be because the product and advertisement make the customer feel happy.

B2C models typically see a shorter buying cycle. Customers tend to be less informed about the differences between competitive products.

It is easy for the business to capitalize on the quick decision process of these consumers

With B2C, there are fewer parties involved in the purchase. This allows B2C companies to relate directly to their targeted customers without waiting for their product to be approved by multiple decision-makers.

A B2B model focuses more on the logic behind buyer intent. B2B consumers tend to spend more time on research, and the sales cycle is longer. Typically, these purchases are larger in quantity, and the product has the ability to affect an entire company.

Because B2B consumers spend more time on research between competing products, B2B marketing tactics tend to lean on product information and avoid emotional appeals. B2B buyers invest time in the purchasing process, which allows them to thoroughly research and understand the product and compare it to alternative solutions offered by competitors.

The Markets of B2B Vs. B2C Models

B2B models rely heavily on customer retention and strong client relationships. Since the sales cycle is longer and requires more resources, it is crucial for these companies to have successful customer outreach. B2B sales teams must be prepared to speak with multiple stakeholders throughout the sales cycle, and the product must have broad appeal to the client.

A B2C model has a larger consumer base, but only targets customers on an individual basis. Most likely, any purchase made from a B2C company will be on a smaller scale with the majority of the decision-making done by a single buyer.

Because of these differences, B2B models tend to focus on a large-scale market. Typically, the products and services being sold aim to solve a problem that an entire team within a company is facing.

Understanding the price points of these purchases provides insight into the value of the product. The average B2C sale is $147. In contrast, the average B2B sale is much higher at $491. The vast difference between the average sale totals in the two business models illustrates the divergence in sales cycle length.

When B2B consumers are considering making a purchase, the higher price tag helps encourage a more informed buying process and buyer intent. The value of this purchase will most likely reach larger numbers of people since these services and products target entire organizations, teams, or departments.

The B2B Decision Making Process

Understanding the B2B buying process and buyer intent of B2B customers will help your company streamline its sales efforts. 

It is important to keep customers engaged throughout the sales cycle. B2B sales rely on informational marketing to provide an in-depth look at the product or service, as well as a strong sales strategy to make it to the finish line.

First, B2B consumers must identify a problem they need to solve. Known as the “awareness” stage in the sales process, a customer will realize there is an issue in need of an outside solution. This recognition pushes the consumer to begin researching potential products to help resolve their dilemma.

An active buyer in the B2B process will begin searching through their options to narrow down the products they would like to explore further. The market is full of B2B solutions, so customers most often begin their search online.

This is where B2B marketing and strong customer relationships play a huge role. If your marketing is targeting the correct audience, customers in need should become leads in your sales funnel. 

New leads can also come from existing clients. Strong customer relationships may result in a referral if a company knows someone who could benefit from your product.

Next, customers will begin to evaluate the solutions they have discovered. This is when numbers begin to play a huge role in the sales process. 

B2B consumers are driven by data-backed results

These clients will be evaluating products by features, conducting cost-benefit analyses, and researching the supply company.

After coming to a decision, B2B customers make their purchase. While completing a sale seems like the easy part, there are several things that will take place before a transaction occurs. Payment terms are negotiated on an individual customer basis and then the successful launch of the product can take place.

The final stage in the B2B decision-making process is nurturing the post-sales relationship. B2B models rely heavily on repeat customers. Continued contact after the original sale can be a pivotal determining factor in how long a sales relationship lasts.

Post-sales contact should include any troubleshooting with the client, collecting feedback, and providing additional offers or services over time. These interactions will help strengthen your ties with the customer and lead to future purchases during the escalation or contract renewals.

Influencing the B2B Purchasing Decision

As a B2B company, it is important to understand what factors help customers come to a decision. Knowing the driving forces behind purchase intent can help your company successfully target and provide information to potential clients.

A Gartner study reveals that a buying group spends 27% of their time researching solutions online, and only 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers. This means that your B2B marketing and online resources play a crucial role in instigating the customer life cycle before a sales rep even reaches out to a potential client.

When looking at their purchase decisions, customers will focus on product performance. They will need to know how your product can provide a solution, as well as how your services perform against options your competitors may offer.

Durability and product pricing plays a critical role when it comes to landing a sale. The client will need to know how long your solution will last, as well as what the cost-benefit analysis looks like. In addition to the overall price, customers will look at discounts, credits, and any hidden fees that could be incurred during the product launch and regular use.

By providing transparent information about your services, the sales process can be influenced. Focus on your online marketing as well as the information provided by any sales reps to make sure customers have access to the appropriate resources.

B2B & B2C Customer Lifecycle and Buyer Journey

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The customer lifecycle of B2B and B2C models varies in length. Most commonly, the B2B customer will go through four phases within its cycle. The customer lifecycle follows general stages for both B2B and B2C models, with greater emphasis on each stage depending on the product.

First, awareness and reach are crucial to the lifecycle. When a consumer becomes aware of a problem, they will begin searching for a solution. 

For B2B customer bases, this includes research of product options and potential outreach to companies. B2C buyers rely on advertisements and marketing to inform their buyer intent.

Next, customers will begin to act on their needs. It is important to capitalize on this stage to begin converting these leads into sales. Most of the B2B customer lifecycle will focus heavily on the purchasing process while the client tries to get the best (return on investment) ROI on their purchase. 

Converting a B2C sale will lean on emotion through promotional outreach

The end of the cycle includes engagement and retention. Both B2B and B2C businesses need to form relationships with loyal customers.  

B2B and B2C customer journeys vary in terms of complexity and client involvement. B2B models engage with more people on their journey, as there will be multiple departments involved in the purchasing process.

Customers from B2B tend to make fewer, but larger purchases, which means the relationship is more valuable. More time and resources go into closing a B2B deal than a B2C sale. Overall, the B2B process can be lengthy due to the high complexity of the decision for the customer.

Check out Leadboxer for a free trial to begin finding clients at the beginning of their customer journey today!

customer centric strategy

Using CRM to Craft a Winning Customer Centric Strategy

Managing your customers is an important task for every successful business. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has become a major asset for companies, and the global market for this technology continues to rise, helping in arranging a winning customer centric strategy. CRMs help provide easy management of employee, customer, and lead interactions. This software automates sales processes, integrates seamlessly with other technology, and assists in organizing operations in individual silos.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have found themselves leaning on CRMs more than ever to manage interactions with customers. In a recently released report by Global Industry Analytics, INC (GIA), research digs deeper into the current trends and predicts continued CRM growth in the coming years.

As companies continue into the world of digital communication and increased remote work environments, knowing the best practices for CRM use can help with successful operations.

Continue reading or jump ahead to the topics below:

Increasing Popularity of CRMs During COVID-19

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The pandemic has reshaped the way many companies approach their business strategies. Throughout these unprecedented times, there’s been an increased emphasis on remote working environments. Managing customer relations remains an all-time priority, yet the challenges for successful outreach have grown.

With an unexpected mass shift to virtual work, there has been a need for technology conducive to interdepartmental collaboration. CRMs can help fill multiple deficiencies across workflow when departments are communicating remotely. With integrations and automation, these systems help improve productivity.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the GIA study reveals that the global market for CRM software is projected to reach $81.9 billion by 2024. While CRMs may have been underutilized pre-pandemic, research demonstrates how crucial this technology is for successful remote work.

The GIA study also shows the overwhelming use of CRMs across different sizes of operations from start-ups to large corporations in the United States. CRM software in the U.S. accounts for 49.7% of the global market for this technology.

In a time when employee disconnect saw an all-time high, CRMs were able to help provide a sense of relief to businesses. Due to the rise in popularity, the usage of CRM software continues to be on an upward trend.

Workflow Management for CRMs in Remote Environments

Due to COVID, companies saw a quick switch to virtual work with little time to prepare for the transition. Since then, employees have relied on technology to stay connected with their teams. Improving workflow in remote work environments can be done through proper organization and constant company communication.

Improving operational activities within individual silos is just as important as encouraging collaboration between departments. CRM usage played a role in assisting companies to work at maximum efficiency within specific teams.

CRMs benefit employees through features like calendar and email integration, as well as notification systems. These are crucial in helping reduce the amount of missed information between employees. 

With data organized on one platform, workers are able to stay on the same page while working from different locations. Switching out of the office setting means the workflow of most departments faced disruption. 

Using CRMs means teams are able to utilize automated features to ensure proper delegation. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) can recognize and route customer emails directly to the right person without getting lost in the digital shuffle. 

Since coworkers no longer have the ability to quickly ask questions in person, built-in pipelines through CRMs can drastically improve communication.

Customer Outreach During COVID-19

In addition to causing employee engagement challenges, the pandemic also impacted customer outreach efforts. Keeping in touch with current and potential clients is vital to building out a sales pipeline. 

Due to the lack of in-person meetings and a constant stream of Zoom invitations, staying at the top of customer inboxes is an easy way to boost sales.CRMs can assist this process by sending out mass emails and setting reminders for timely follow-ups. 

CRM software allows companies to utilize templates and build-out personalized campaigns. By tracking customer engagement and storing data, CRMs also help your sales team nurture leads and re-engage stale leads.

Sales & Marketing Alignment

Successful sales campaigns are the starting line for closing a deal. To have this communication with customers, sales and marketing departments must work together. 

CRMs encourage alignment between sales and marketing teams through data collection, seamless communication systems, and software integrations. With a centralized database in your CRM, both teams can access all of a lead’s information for easy contact. 

CRM software can also help each team keep track of where a lead is within the sales pipeline. Allowing both departments access to this information helps direct marketing and sales communications to the correct clients while cutting down on duplicate outreach.

CRMs work to increase the success of your business’s lead generation and nurturing process, which ultimately improves your sales conversion rates. Utilizing a CRM can provide deeper insight into the customer journey.

Building out complete customer profiles in your CRM encourages your teams to get personal with their strategies. This allows your salespeople to understand the persona of each customer when pitching your product, while your marketing team can finetune campaigns for targeted audiences.

Customer feedback can be recorded in the system, which helps sales teams improve their sales strategies. Employees are able to track each interaction with potential customers. This information can be accessed across all departments. 

By properly using a CRM, your company can easily improve customer experience.

Customer Centric Strategy

A customer centric strategy also referred to as client-centric, means focusing your business model on creating a great customer experience to build brand loyalty. These businesses make sure that customers remain the center of their operations. The end goal is always client satisfaction.

This business approach uses the theory that going above and beyond to meet customer expectations is the best way to gain repeat sales. When utilizing the customer centric strategy, the goal is to properly maintain your existing client base to ensure long-lasting relationships.

Benefits of a Customer Centric Strategy

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Focusing your sales efforts to attract loyal customers can help your business in the long run. Simply put, new customers can be hard to find. Investing in existing relationships will help boost your sales.

Not only can it be a challenge to track down leads, but acquiring new customers is costly. Nurturing current relationships helps save your team money while selling more. The goal is to continuously provide a seamless customer experience across all of the products and services your company offers.

Using Your CRM for a Customer Centric Strategy

Improving your customer experience starts internally with your sales and marketing departments. Teams should have the proper resources to successfully meet client needs.

CRMs help streamline communication channels between teams and better your customer management practices. With easy access to contact information and the ability to track engagement with leads, staying on top of customer outreach should be a priority.

Implementing a Customer Centric Workflow

You don’t have to start from ground zero to centralize your business around customer needs. Taking advantage of your CRM and other software can help you get started with a customer centric model. There are a few key takeaways to keep in mind when using this theory:

Focus on all-hands involvement. To ensure your company is providing the best customer experience, get your teams on the same page. Emphasize interdepartmental communication. 

Make sure your employees are utilizing CRM functions for efficient workflow. Provide every team with access to customer insights so they can work to improve your client relationships.

Communicate with existing customers and gather valuable data. Understanding what your current customers like and dislike about your services provides valuable feedback for your company. Dig deep into the analytics and make sure your CRM has the most up-to-date data available for your teams.

Personalize your outreach. Automation is a huge help for mass outreach, even to your existing customers. Use your CRM to develop personalized email campaigns for segmented customer groups. 

Be sure to reach out to customers at the right time. CRMs can help keep track of when to follow up by setting reminder notifications for when it’s time for your next outreach.

Don’t be afraid of change. A customer centric strategy requires constant analysis of trends. The goal is to best predict your customer’s needs and continually provide quality solutions. As those needs evolve, make sure you are adapting to serve your base.

Automating and Integrating Your Technology

Devoting more time to an improved customer experience is easy when you have the ability to automate parts of the process. Integrating your CRM and other technology helps improve workflow and frees up time for customer outreach. 

Rather than having multiple tools to get the job done, merging your technology will create efficiency within your workflow. When combined with a CRM like Hubspot or Pipedrive, Leadboxer works with your existing stack to help push data where it needs to go. 

When using Leadboxer, your sales and marketing teams can easily access contact information, use tools for email tracking, and manage your customer relationships from multiple platforms.
Get firsthand experience with CRM integration capabilities by checking out a free LeadBoxer trial.

sales enablement in 2022

Sales Enablement in 2022

A major priority for all sales managers should be to put their team on the path to the highest earning potential. While the art of closing a deal is natural for some, businesses must provide all their sales reps with the most up-to-date resources for success. With remote working environments and a reliance on technology for company communications, sales enablement plays a major role in developing your sales team. Even though your employees may be working from different locations, it is still the duty of managers to successfully guide teams toward one unified goal.

As industries continue to navigate a post-pandemic economy, earnings from virtual selling tactics are at an all-time high. Coupled with increased work from home arrangements, sales enablement continues to be crucial for any sales department’s success. 

Despite the challenges derived from remote work in 2021, the potential to increase revenue remains extremely promising. Providing your team with support and focusing on sales enablement in 2022 will help companies thrive in the coming months.

What is Sales Enablement?

At its core, sales enablement is the process of providing sales training, coaching, enablement technology, and lead enrichment data to sales and marketing teams to improve performance across the board.

It doesn’t matter how great your top-earning sales reps are, there’s almost always room for improvement. Sales enablement helps everyone on the team excel by teaching, motivating, and most importantly, enabling them to exceed office quotas and expectations.

The Impacts of Virtual Working Environments

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced employees to remain flexible as working from home has become the new normal for many. Despite a rushed transition period into remote accommodations during early 2020, workers have successfully settled into their new environments.

In fact, 77% of employees report higher productivity while working from the comfort of their home office. With increased engagement and focus comes the uncapped revenue potential from these eager salespeople.

In order to reach these exciting earning levels, sales managers must be able to provide their teams with the proper resources. On the flip side, due to an ever-increasing digital world, it is important to focus on quality versus quantity when utilizing sales engagement tools.

According to Forbes, globally, companies are averaging the use of 23 learning and engagement platforms. This number has doubled since 2011, and it is very likely it will continue to increase as long as remote work continues. While sales engagement tools can play a huge role in successful conversions, overload and employee burnout need to be taken into consideration.

The Importance of Sales Enablement

Consumers today have more information and power at their fingertips than ever before. A study by Salesforce & Publicis Sapient found that 87% of consumers begin their buying journey with online research. The study also found that 64% of shoppers say they feel that brands don’t truly understand their individual needs and desires.

Brands have to work hard to personalize their approach. Therefore, selling to informed customers has become a nightmare for many in the sales game. Check out this post on how to make a brand persona to learn more.

In order to break through and start a genuine conversation with potential buyers or clients, your sales and marketing teams need to be equipped with the most advanced resources available.

Four Benefits of a Sales Enablement Strategy 

The benefits of a sales enablement strategy are vast. So long as the sales reps within the team are capable and the products or services being sold are valuable.

1. Better Teamwork

Sales enablement enhances the team as a whole, not just the best sellers and not just those that need help. By implementing sales enablement strategies, companies no longer have to rely on top earners to carry the sales team.

2. Better Data

Sales enablement provides a superior framework for the collection and organization of data from engagements between reps and consumers. Data relating to pain points, customer personas, buyer intent, historic behavior, and more, all combine to help salespeople personalize each engagement.

3. More Efficiency

Better data and organization also increase team efficiency. With valuable resources at their disposal, salespeople are able to make faster data-driven decisions, decreasing the time it takes to go from prospect to client.

4. More Collaboration

Sales enablement increases collaboration between sales and marketing teams. Sales reps have to provide valuable, personalized content to prospects in order to persuade them to make the deal. The marketing team is often the source of that content. With that being said, marketing is invaluable and, in many cases, inseparable from the sales process.

Fostering Team Collaboration in Remote Environments

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The sudden switch to remote work during 2020 caused companies to adapt their communication strategies to a digital world. Zoom happy hours and endless slack threads became the roots of establishing a virtual rapport.

Now, continuing to navigate the challenges of working from home, teamwork remains vital for overall success in the sales industry. Cohesion through a single platform encourages collaboration and streamlines communication and project management.

Along with helping build your team’s correspondence, utilizing single platforms with integration capabilities will help with trans-departmental conversations as well. Lead generation and lead nurturing practices can be kept up within the same tools as your sales funnel. These combinations help keep your marketing and sales teams on the same page. 

Integration of Sales Enablement Tools

Just as capturing a customer’s attention amid the endless stream of online content has become a new challenge, so has to maintain the focus of your team during the workday. 26% of employees feel that app overload makes them more inefficient at work. 

74% of employees have more than five apps open at once. While 16% of employees are using 15 or more apps simultaneously.

Along the same line, the average worker switches through 13 apps around 30 times per day. Productivity is key to closing deals, but over inundating employees with too many platforms may have adverse effects.

Automation, artificial intelligence, and digital sales platforms can improve your team’s workflow when implemented correctly. Finding ways to consolidate the digital clutter that your employees are clicking through can drastically save time and preserve attention spans.

Leadboxer helps cut down on the number of individual apps used by your team through seamless integration with some of your most-used platforms. Through this combination, sales reps are able to find all of the necessary resources in one program. 

Whether it’s email automation, marketing campaign tracking, or data analysis, multiple sales engagement tools can be accessed from one place, hassle-free. 

The Importance of Better Content

One of the most important functions of sales enablement is ensuring that your teams have the right content and that they utilize that content at the right time.

There’s a wide variety of sales enablement content, but three of the most common types are:

  • Case studies
  • Blog posts
  • Emails

Case Studies

Case studies document real-life examples of a product or service in action. They’re essentially glorified testimonials, as they help identify the struggles faced by your customers as well as solutions you bring to the table.

They’re versatile, as they can be distributed to customers to highlight the advantages of working with your products and services. They can also be distributed to sales and marketing teams to highlight consumer behavior and customer pain points.

Blog Posts

Although content marketing and sales enablement are two different fields of study, there are some obvious applications that are worth highlighting here. Blog posts provide value to readers without asking anything in return. Not only can you build a wealth of trust and establish your brand as an authority in the industry, but you can also reveal to readers problems they didn’t even know they had.

Emails

For many brands, email is the first contact with potential customers. While this may be true, email marketing is an invaluable tool for the closing stages of a sale. It can be difficult to discern which types of emails to send and the best time to send them, but the combination of a great CRM and a great CMS will make the job much easier. 

There are several types of emails that are perfect for the closing stages of a sale. They include:

  • Order confirmations
  • Thank you emails
  • Abandoned cart emails

Most people check their emails on a daily basis. There are several elements to a great email and demand generation marketing strategy, and we won’t dive into them here, but emails are personal and you can customize them in a number of ways.

Continuing to Move Forward 

Navigating the changing landscape of the sales industry in 2021 has been a challenge for most, as well as an opportunity for uncapped growth and development. Teams who are willing to invest in the proper sales engagement tools will be set up for success as they continue to thrive in remote environments.
Focusing on integration and collaboration will help your team perform at all-time highs. To get started with a cohesive platform and see the ways consolidation can improve your workflow, check out Leadboxer for a free trial.

lead nurturing in 2022

Lead Nurturing in 2022

Creating lasting relationships and increasing conversion rates are the main goals of your customer sales cycle. The process begins with lead generation and relies heavily on successful lead nurturing to obtain the desired end result – a sale.

Putting increased time and effort into your marketing and sales process means your client relationships will benefit. Ultimately, your company will begin to see a higher return on investment (ROI) on its efforts. Jack Born, the creator of Deadline Funnel, speaks about the many ways lead nurturing plays a role in successful conversion rates.

  • In 2022, walking leads through the sales process means navigating an increasingly digitized world. Timeless tactics like cold calling are great ways to cultivate leads. Although utilizing newer tools like data automation and content creation can improve your customer lifecycle. 
  • Incorporating AI software alongside tactics like audience segmentation and targeted messaging are the first steps to take for creating competitive marketing campaigns.

To learn more, read on or jump ahead to these sections:

Using Automated Messaging

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Born also points out that in this current time of endless content streams, maintaining top-of-mind awareness with your leads is crucial to nurturing client relationships. On the flip side, successful digital communication relies on avoiding repetitive and irrelevant content to reduce the clutter in a prospect’s inbox.

  • Marketing sequences require time and resources. Utilizing automated messaging can help alleviate these burdens. Automation allows your team to accurately target customers with informative content. It can help them make decisions throughout their sales journey.
  • Segmenting your leads will help improve your focused marketing and lead to high engagement rates. The immediate goal of your campaigns should be prospect interaction with your brand, rather than just a sales conversion. This helps get leads excited about your product. Also gives them the tools to explore the ways you can help them.
  • Through lead segmentation, specific content should be directed to customer groups based on their needs, buying habits, and customer profiles. Separating your outreach will help potential clients understand the distinct value of your product in relation to their unique business. 
  • Automated messaging allows content to be sent across multiple channels to reach audiences on different platforms. Data collected by these automated campaigns will also help improve your return on investment (ROI) since money spent on engagement will lead to higher sales conversions. 80% of users saw the number of leads increase when automation tactics were employed.
  • This technology tracks important data like email open rates, click through rates, and customer engagement with promotional content. For example, you will be able to see when a customer fills out a form through your campaign. This allows you to move them into the next stage of the sales process. 

Timing Your Marketing Campaigns for Lead Nurturing

Born stresses the fact that perfecting the art of segmentation is just one small step in utilizing automated messaging to its fullest potential. Understanding how crucial timing is for your outreach can help improve your conversion rates.

  • One of the biggest benefits to automated messaging is being able to ensure leads don’t run cold. Your chances of landing a sale are a lot higher if you contact a lead when you can offer a solution to their current problem. By being able to schedule sales follow-up sequences, clients will be reminded of your product when their needs are high.
  • Data analysis allows AI software to track a lead’s activity and engagement throughout the day to determine the best time to hit send on your campaign. By having a deep understanding of your client’s schedule, automated messaging helps increase engagement rates. It happens by delivering your content at the ideal hour for interaction.
  • Predictive sending takes the guesswork out of your email lead nurturing campaigns. This means your team can focus on creating informative content while technology handles the rest. Nurturing leads with targeted messaging sent at their peak activity times will help avoid the sales funnel leakage. It commonly occurs with infrequent contact.

Authenticity in a Digital World

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Your content quality directly affects your credibility. No matter how big or small a role it plays in the marketing plan. It is crucial for your brand’s success to remain authentic when utilizing automation.

While technology helps maximize your outreach, nothing can replace genuine human connection. This means your marketing strategy needs to be driven toward providing relevant information that starts a conversation with your prospects.

  • Avoid creating a bad reputation for cluttering inboxes with fluff emails. The goal of automated messaging is to successfully nurture leads by effectively communicating with clients. And not to alienate them with a constant barrage of meaningless spam. When used correctly, automation helps boost your brand by sharing relevant, informative content with your prospects.
  • Another key component to increasing your credibility is ensuring automation does not remove the ability for conversation. Sequences, like email campaigns and deadline messages, often come in automatic waves across multiple days to spread awareness. Make sure your team is still available for contact if leads want to speak with a representative directly. Rather than relying solely on the scheduled follow-up emails.
  • Automation is meant to supplement your marketing efforts. Your sales team should still be putting in the effort to cultivate strong client relationships alongside your digital campaigns.

Evaluate Your Pricing Models

In order to make a sale, you need to drive traffic to your website to generate leads for cultivation. So, what does this traffic see when they visit your site? Most companies are going to be looking at your product and what type of solution it offers. But they are also going to focus on pricing.

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As Jack Born has sketched out, there is a Tactical Triangle that can help your team evaluate your prices. As well as understand the lifetime value of your client. Simply put, the model explains how it is necessary to work backward to land a sale while understanding the moving economics of your campaigns.

  • Pricing models are an aspect that should constantly be evaluated. The most effective way to come up with prices for your product includes working off customer personas, using correct metrics, and listening to your customers.
  • Proper presentation is crucial for relaying your prices to clients. Are you offering one price or are there multiple price points for leads to contemplate? 
  • Ideally, you will want a price point for each level of the customer persona. This ensures web traffic will not be overwhelmed with your options. Plus, automated messaging can target specific groups with product promotions at the correct tier.
  • Another aspect to keep in mind when evaluating your models is the amount it costs to drive this traffic to your site. You’ll want to see a higher ROI on your marketing efforts. So prices need to be set accordingly, based on the amount spent to generate and nurture leads.

Utilizing Order Bumps to Increase Engagement

Staying competitive means more than just evaluating your pricing and offering deadline deals. Working with an order bump strategy can lead to higher conversion rates and bring in more overall revenue. 

  • This doesn’t have to be something that requires resources to create. But rather an automated offer to help increase sales among well-qualified leads. If a customer is already committed to the purchase, offering an order bump such as an upgrade from the basic to professional plan, can be an easy way to maximize the sale.
  • Using this tactic helps your lead take more time to think about your product and the benefits it can provide. Since this happens close to the end of the sales cycle, you can feel confident that a lead has already seen the value in the purchase. By offering a bump at checkout, the client may go ahead and make the switch to a higher price without feeling like the process was too pushy.

Extending Customer Life Cycles for Lead Nurturing

Determining your customer lifetime value (CLTV) can help your business successfully retain valuable clients. The CLTV also works hand-in-hand with the customer acquisition cost (CAC) to illustrate the timeline needed to recover the investment spent to generate leads.

  • The CLTV can be found by evaluating the amount of revenue brought in by a client in addition to the predicted length of the relationship. This metric is crucial to creating a customer retention solution, as well as company budgeting. It also allows your team to analyze the ways in which these customer life cycles can be extended.
  • Lead nurturing is the first step in building a customer life cycle. This process should continue past the initial sale. Client relationships will improve when you actively listen to their onboarding experiences, provide frequent check-ins about your product, and incentivize repeat purchases.

To experience how LeadBoxer can help you nurture leads into successful sales through the website and email tracking, lead segmentation, and marketing campaign tracking, get started with a free Leadboxer trial today!

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Ranking the Top 5 Lead Generation Platforms

Businesses, particularly B2B models, rely on successful navigation of the sales journey to close the deal, like lead generation platforms. One of the most important stages of the journey is the beginning, which means lead generation. All companies have limited amounts of energy and resources to accomplish their goals, so it’s crucial to spend these on the right prospects.

Continue reading for an examination of why automation is a necessity in sales today and a breakdown of are the top five lead generation systems or “jump ahead” to the following topics:

Lead generation is the starting line for all sales. The research and efforts spent on this step will determine the rest of the sales cycle. Rather than burying employees with manual identifying and qualifying, automating the process with a lead generation company can kickstart a smoother customer journey.

What is Lead Identification and Lead Qualification?

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The first stage in any sales journey is pinpointing the prospects worth reaching out to, or in short, identifying leads. The next step is determining if these potential clients are worth your time and energy, also known as qualifying leads.

While there are many manual ways to determine the value of prospective clients, finding ways to streamline the process can help your company focus its efforts on closing the deal. The easiest way to simplify lead generation is through automation by investing in a platform that meets your needs.

Lead Generation Platforms and Data Analysis

Understanding the role data plays in automated lead generation will help your company better utilize any chosen tool. This data provides insight into a prospect’s engagement with your brand, as well as information that helps tailor your marketing strategies for maximum outcomes.

Lead generation companies help you accurately target clients who will benefit from your services. The data analysis from these platforms works to help break down information provided by online engagement, as well as score prospects based on their actions.

By tracking online traffic across your platforms and identifying these visitors, lead generation companies help you target customers and pitch your services based on their needs.

Lead generation companies help you see which parts of your brand visitors are engaging with. With this insight, you can tailor your marketing and sales strategies to highlight the ways you will be able to help these customers.

Top lead generation companies are able to collect contact information from anonymous web traffic, which makes it simple to connect with these prospects. Using a lead generation platform allows you to see how qualified these online visitors are in terms of benefiting from your services.

Crucial insights provided by this type of software kickstarts the sales journey. By targeting leads most in need of your services, your business will be able to increase sales conversions.

Understanding Lead Generation Software

Automation is one of the most important features of lead generation software. Instead of using employees and company resources on manual paperwork for data analysis, automated software streamlines the process by doing the crunch work.

Platforms track website and email engagement to identify potential prospects. By having a list of potential clients given to you, with data to illustrate their recent activity, your team can focus on selling instead of research.

So, how do you decide what software is best for your business? “Lead generation platform” has become a loose term covering several different types of technology.

Programs like LeadFeeder and Snitcher are considered  IP lookup tools. Their main function is identifying potential leads based on the IP addresses that visit your website. While online visitor identification is an important part of lead generation, other platforms offer more robust operations to dive deeper into the sales cycle.

Taking it a step further, other programs focus on providing contact details from visitors who engage with websites. Lusha and Seamless.ai are tools that create lists of email addresses and other contact information from online engagement. This gives a business the ability to get in touch with potential leads after being identified by the software.

The Top 5 Lead Generation Platforms

Getting the most bang for your buck is important when it comes to lead generation companies. You’ll want a program that offers both lead generation and IP address verification for website traffic. A strong combination of data analysis and integration capabilities will go a long way to helping simplify and strengthen your generation process.

1. LeadBoxer

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Starting strong with a choice that analyzes data across multiple channels, LeadBoxer is a platform with built-in features designed to enrich company or personal data. The platform enables you to accurately qualify prospects based on behavior and profile data.

It includes powerful filers and intuitive scoring algorithms to divide your list into segments. These results can be synchronized or exported toward numerous destinations using existing integrations or custom-built solutions.

Features:

  • Website & email tracking
  • Identify website visitors
  • Enriched firmographic data
  • The ability to use your own data
  • Accounts view for ABM
  • Create segments for filers
  • Automatic lead scoring
  • Email notifications
  • API
  • Auto form tracking
  • Campaign tracking

Integrations: Google Data Studio, Clearbit, Active Demand, Gmail, Outlook, Copernica, Google Big Query, Zapier, Google Tag Manager, MailChimp, Drupal, LinkedIn, WordPress, and Pipedrive

Pricing: Trial & Basic plan – $195/month billed annually; Premier Plan – $495/month billed annually

Pros: Flexible, analyzes multiple types of data, automatic scoring, multiple integrations, and customizable

Cons: No ROI tracking, no free lite version

2. LeadForensics

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LeadForensics is a software that works to uncover the identity of website traffic, so you can turn website visitors into actionable leads. This platform allows you to utilize it as an additional data source to gather names, job titles, and contact information of site visitors.

LeadForensics also analyses the engagement on your site. You will be able to see what was searched for, which pages were visited, and how many times they have visited your site.

Features:

  • Website & email tracking
  • Smartphone app for easy access
  • Lead manager for the organization
  • Upload your own data to track potential clients
  • Data insight
  • API
  • Lead scoring
  • Email notifications

Integrations: Salesforce, ZOHO, Microsoft Dynamics

Pricing: Flexible; Free trial + plan created based on your needs

Pros: Identifies leads in real-time, lead scoring based on multi-criteria system, customizable, provides integration options

Cons: Does not give a price plan upfront; fewer integration capabilities than competitors

3. Albacross

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Albacross brings together revenue teams to accelerate conversion rates. Their lead generation software works on identifying anonymous visitors, analyzing engagement, as well as segmenting and qualifying prospects. This platform allows integration with most major tools and CRMs for easy data access.

Features:

  • Website engagement tracking
  • Lead identifying and qualifying
  • CRM integration
  • API
  • Easy organization for captured leads
  • Automated email reports
  • Flexible filtering

Integrations: HubSpot, Sugar CRM, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Slack, Microsoft Dynamics, ZOHO, Base

Pricing: Flexible; Free trial; Pricing plans are discussed with Albacross to determine the best fit for your needs

Pros: Easy to use; integrates with most major CRMs and business tools, customizable

Cons: Lacking pipeline management feature, no upfront pricing

4. Leadfeeder

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This platform focuses on bringing web intelligence to businesses. Leadfeeder wants to help integrate your sales and marketing team to create a smoother process and increase conversion rates. The software identifies anonymous web traffic, qualifies potential leads, provides important contact information, and syncs data with your CRM.

Features:

  • Website tracking
  • Contact insights
  • Automatic Lead Scoring
  • Personal email alerts
  • CRM integration
  • Unlimited users
  • Company search function
  • Versatile filtering

Integrations: Pipedrive, Mailchimp, Salesforce, Hubspot, ZOHO, Zapier, Microsoft Dynamics, Slack, Active Campaign, Google Hangouts Chat, Google Data Studio, Google Analytics

Pricing: Free trial; Free lite version; Plans start at $63/month

Pros: Strong integration system, lower cost than many competitors, allows as many users from your company as you would like

Cons: No in-depth data analysis, functions mostly as a “look-up” tool

5. KickFire

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KickFire’s IP address intelligence translates IP addresses to companies and provides vital data for B2B organizations. KickFire enables access to this data across multiple channels including their LIVE Leads platform, API, and software integrations that best fit your company’s needs.

Features:

  • Website & email tracking
  • Real-time lead alerts
  • Lead management
  • Lead scoring
  • Live dashboard feature
  • API

Integrations: Adobe, Act On, Drift, Eloqua, Ensighten, Google Marketing Platform, Integrate, Intercom, LiveRamp, Marketo, Openprise, Segment, Sitecore, Slack, Tealium, Connectwise, HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Sugar, ZOHO, Constant Contact, Mailchimp, Active Campaign

Pricing: Free trial; Plans created based on your company’s needs

Pros: Large list of integration abilities, customizable software, ROI tracking, free lite version

Cons: Short 7-day trial window before purchasing

Getting Started with a Lead Generation Platform

Overall, lead generation software can be a complete game-changer for most companies.

For small and large companies alike, automation will speed up the sales process and result in higher conversions to sales. Important data insights are provided in real-time, so your team will never miss a hot lead again.

Having the right lead generation platform is crucial for encouraging productivity and can play a huge role in targeting sales efforts that lead to successful conversions. Take the leap for a more productive sales team, and get started with your free trial of LeadBoxer today!

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Creating Sales Urgency

Marketing campaigns play a huge role in creating higher sales conversions. These tactics are the ways your company and brand are being introduced to potential customers. While effective marketing strategies can be based on multiple factors, focusing your messages on creating sales urgency within customers can help boost sales.

Jack Born, the technical founder of Deadline Funnel, speaks about how he developed a solution that nurtures leads and increases engagement. Through the implementation of a deadline strategy, Born helps companies understand the importance of authentic offers.

In a world of constant digital interaction and never-ending streams of promotional content, success comes from making a genuine human connection with leads. Tapping into universal human experiences, such as procrastination and the fear of missing out, sales urgency works to motivate prospects into action.

Increasing Sales Conversions Through Marketing Tactics

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Digital content has become the new normal for marketing. Customers have the ability to see constant advertisements through social media and email messaging. Because of these trends, successful marketing campaigns rely on calls to action to engage customers.

Email lead generation relies on participation to score and nurture leads. Once a prospective lead is identified through web traffic or other means, focus on introducing your product and providing tangible ways to interact with your brand.

Using persuasion in your messaging is a way to create urgency among potential clients. When your content only pertains to your product but doesn’t give clear steps for engagement, customers are likely to scroll past. Providing a reason to interact with your brand will persuade leads to learn more.

Your marketing team has the ability to convince customers to try your product through their communication. It’s human nature to hit snooze on products that provide future benefit when there isn’t messaging demonstrating ways your company can make a difference now. For example, providing special bonus offers or free trials are clear ways potential clients can engage with your content.

Another way to add sales urgency to your campaigns is to utilize deadlines. When potential leads are on the fence about your product, deadlines help push candidates towards a decision. These types of campaigns play a role in creating a steady sales funnel throughout the year, rather than just during promotional periods.

If you are constantly providing ways leads can interact with your brand now, they most likely will engage rather than putting it off until a later date.

The Importance of Reaching Your Target Audience

Creating content takes time and resources, but it is important to put in the effort to customize your campaigns for different audiences. Although you are promoting your unified brand, each of your clients may be at a different place in the cycle, with unique perspectives about your product.

The goal of your marketing tactics should be to reach as many customers as possible with the tailored messages. This means segmenting your email lists and utilizing different emails for each base. Targeted campaigns increase engagement because customers feel as if the content you’ve provided is valuable and specific to their needs.

It is crucial to understand your sales pipeline, as well as the customer journey, to successfully segment leads. Digging into the data your team has will help map out which customers need to hear certain messages. This will help direct your emails to the right inboxes at the correct time.

Creativity from your marketing team will fuel prospect engagement. Focus on producing dynamic content for each segment of leads. Make sure to create appropriate content based on the different stages for customers, which should provide tangible action items for prospects to engage with.

These emails can be as simple as having different versions of the same promotional incentives. Your marketing team can work to pinpoint the different customer personas of your clients, as well as their engagement patterns. This strategy will help each campaign reach its targeted demographic.

While customization can seem like a hefty undertaking, there are ways to do it without wasting time or resources.  Use automation to swap out images and copy text to tailor to specific customer data. Include automated pop-ups or recommendations on your website to provide valuable insight when prospects engage with certain pages.

Using Automation Effectively in Marketing Efforts

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Utilizing automation helps streamline your marketing communication with prospects. This allows you to focus on promoting your brand while allowing automation to do the heavy lifting. Taking advantage of this technology allows you to send automatic welcome emails, track engagement across platforms, and segment your prospects.

Effectively automating your marketing cycle means you are using platforms to help nurture leads, score leads, and walk clients through the customer journey. For example, automation can send follow-up messages when prospects interact with your website to help nurture the relationship.

Avoiding leakage from your sales pipeline helps increase your conversion rates. Automation ensures that consistent messaging is being sent to leads, so they don’t go cold. This is a huge help for businesses that want to continue establishing strong relationships with their customers.

Automation focuses on passive marketing, which allows prospects to hear about your brand in ways other than live launches. When your company doesn’t have any product updates to share, sales funnels may seem smaller than usual. Avoiding these dry times by implementing automated campaigns will help build out your pipelines.

An evergreen funnel works to gain your business passive profit through automated engagement. This works by enticing the lead to become a buyer through content-driven messaging at the beginning of their journey.

The goal of these tactics is not limited to an immediate conversion. Evergreen funnels may be a long game strategy, as they work hard to push for brand engagement that will eventually convert to sales.

Using the Deadline Tactic in Your Messaging

Furthering this marketing tactic, the deadline, or countdown, funnel is an add-on that leans into the idea of urgency. Prospective customers receive dozens of promotional emails per day. Capitalizing on your digital real estate within a lead’s inbox will allow for the successful implementation of a special offer.

This is where your call-to-action will start. Whether it’s a free download, promotional code, or even a limited-time discount, the key is having a real deadline in place. This allows you to create a timeline of communication that introduces your offer and entices prospects into engagement over a period of a few days.

Authentic deadlines should be created through the personalization of the unique customer journey. By using tracking points, your email campaigns will tailor to each lead and automatically generate content that relates to their place in the sales funnel.

Deadlines work to help your sales team avoid the stress of a lead going cold. Once a prospect is discovered by your team, this tactic will help illustrate the importance of swift action. The quicker a potential customer interacts with your brand, the quicker your sales team will be able to begin the lead nurturing process.

The 5-Day Sequence

One successful series of implementation can be found by trying the 5-day sequence. This campaign will consist of five or more emails spread across five days to nudge potential clients into engagement.

Your first two emails will be the beginning of brand awareness. These first contact points will aim to provide value to the recipient as well as insight into your product. The third email will be a hybrid of value and promotion, as it transitions into a call-to-action. This will serve as the first introduction to the offer and the deadline.

The final two emails work to sell the offer and convince your prospect to take the leap. Sales urgency remains a vital characteristic at this stage of marketing communications. By highlighting the impending deadline, scarcity is also shown to the prospect. This tactic helps motivate the lead to act, as they won’t want to miss out on the valuable deal.

Finding Balance Between Being Pushy & Creating Sales Urgency

Why do these tactics work? Human nature leans towards procrastination. Even the best workers can admit to being guilty of occasionally putting tasks off to a later date. By using incentivization, you are helping clients move along through their customer journey.

These strategies speak to the human need for timelines and the fear of missing an important offer. By giving a deadline, you can motivate prospective customers who may be facing hesitations to engage with your product, as well as rule out ones who aren’t worth your time.

Finding a balance between sales urgency and pushiness is a key component to successfully mastering this marketing strategy. One of the most common mistakes is emphasizing the deadline too soon.

When applied too early, the urgency created can come off as inauthentic or even gimmicky. Avoiding the desperate salesman look and focusing on tactfully introducing the timeline can help boost your credibility with leads.

Born recommends emphasizing the promotion deadline in the last 48 hours of the campaign. This can be done with three final emails to help nudge the prospect into action.

Discover the many ways LeadBoxer can help you increase the effectiveness of your efforts to create urgency in sales today.

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Strategies for Reviving Old Sales Leads

Chasing a warm lead is the best way to expand your business and maximize your sales pipeline, but what do you do once the lead runs cold? While there are many reasons prospects may not work out, it is always possible to revive the relationship. If you plan on reviving old sales leads or creating urgency in sales, it is best to have a strategy before jumping back into the sales conversation. Understanding your lead cycle and focusing on trigger events can help determine when is the best time to reach back out to a prospective customer.

To learn more, read on or jump ahead to these sections:

What is the Sales Lead Life Cycle?

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Each prospect goes through the sales lead life cycle before your team is able to determine the customer’s status within your pipeline. Some leads may go through the cycle quicker than others. Understanding the process will help your marketing and sales team properly nurture these relationships.

Web Traffic and Subscribers

To create a lead, your business must come into contact with prospects. This can happen in many ways including cold outreach, website traffic, or email subscribers. Think of this as the first introduction to your brand.

During this stage, most customers are doing their research to determine if there is a product that will help solve the problems they are facing. To get these prospects to the next stage, your goal should be to provide light content that will create interest in interacting with your product.

Prospective Lead

In the next part of the cycle, your web traffic becomes prospective leads. This means the customer status has not been determined yet, but they have interacted with your brand. A customer can typically be moved to this stage once they have provided your team with additional contact information or filled out a website interest form.

Marketing Qualified Lead

Commonly referred to as MQLs, these are the customers that are readily engaged in your product. They have determined there is a need in their company, and your brand is on their list of solutions.

Your team should have determined trigger points for this stage. For example, if a customer visits your product page a certain amount of times in a week, requests a demo, or downloads a promotional offer.

Sales Qualified Lead

Once a prospect has become an MQL, the next stage will be determining if they are a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). These are the leads your sales team has decided are ready for direct follow-ups about your product.

When a prospect is in the MQL stage, your marketing team should be directly introducing your product as a viable solution. Once the lead is handed to your sales team, it should be ready for warm contact from a salesperson.

Customer

After an SQL has been identified, the lead becomes a customer once the product has been purchased. The goal of your sales life cycle is to have high conversion rates from traffic to customer. Not every lead will make it to the customer stage, but this will help you determine which old prospects in your pipeline can be recycled and potentially revived.

Determining the Status of a Lead

Accurately deciding where a lead falls in your pipeline is crucial to a successful sales cycle. The status of a lead plays a huge role in your sales and marketing efforts. To ensure time and resources aren’t being wasted, you’ll want a smooth process for qualifying leads.

Known commonly as lead scoring, the beginning of this process will help your team decide which prospects are sales-ready. With this strategy, points are assigned based on a list of factors. These include the buyer profile, company information, and online behavior.

By using these traits to score your leads, your team will have an accurate understanding of each prospect. This helps to gauge interest in your brand, so your sales team knows where their efforts are best directed.

Teleprospecting Old Leads

Before jumping into the importance of this strategy, let’s define the role of teleprospecting in the sales cycle. Typically done by an inside sales rep, teleprospecting engages with leads through cold and warm contact to determine their status in your pipeline.

As discussed earlier, not every lead will complete your sales cycle. This means your company may have a list of old leads with the potential to be revisited. Your team won’t want to waste their resources on leads that cannot benefit from your product, so this is where teleprospecting can help.

If a prospect has gone cold but is already aware of your brand, the relationship may be revived when the time is right. Businesses are constantly changing, and telepropsectors can help determine when a lead is ready for contact again.

Teleprospecting should be done when an old lead goes through major changes as a company, or if they have requested you reach out at a later date. Your teleprospecting efforts should keep track of any leads that mention future interest, so you can circle back at the right time.

When employing this strategy, it is important to avoid overwhelming a potential customer. Your teleprospectors should approach each conversation as a check-in, rather than a sales opportunity. This will help accurately determine where the customer is in dealing with their issue without seeming too pushy.

The Importance of Lead Recycling

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Ideally, your sales team will want to have the highest conversion rate possible, with very little leakage from the pipeline. However, every salesperson knows how much effort goes into the early stages of the cycle just for the leads to drop off throughout the cycle.

Rather than casting aside and giving up on leads gone cold, your business can reuse leads to optimize the pipeline and increase the conversion numbers. Recycling leads can play a huge role in the success of your sales team.

The best way to start the recycling process is to continue to send relevant content to passive leads. Avoid filling their inbox with useless clutter, but make sure to share occasional emails about your product. The lead was originally in your pipeline because they had a problem and your product offered a solution, so continued communication can help nurture the relationship.

Pay attention to engagement from these leads. Are they opening your emails, engaging with your website, or filling out website forms? If so, try to use teleprospecting efforts to determine their interest.

Once your team identifies whether a lead is ready to re-engage, add them back into your pipeline and continue with them through the sales process. By recycling these leads, your sales conversion rate may increase and you will begin to see a higher return on investment (ROI) on your pipeline.

Reviving Old Sales Leads

One way to approach initiating outreach to old leads is following company trigger events. These occur when a potential customer goes through big changes, which means they may be ready to utilize your product now.

Timing is crucial when it comes to completing a sale, so understanding what your leads are experiencing can help your sales team maximize their efforts. A trigger event is an event that provides an opening for a sales opportunity.

The key to reviving old sales leads after a trigger event is knowing when the event occurred and reaching out during the right timeline. Tracking major trigger events in potential customers can help you restart the conversation around your product.

For example, pay attention to when new executives get added to your old leads. Typically, new leadership will want to maximize efficiency without concern for company tradition, so discovering new solutions will be on the table. You can keep tabs on these types of changes through LinkedIn or press releases.

Another trigger event could be company expansion or a merger. If a prospect is growing, problems may become more apparent within their workflow, so you’ll want to reach out with the solution.

Additional Strategies For Re-engaging Leads

In addition to trigger events, there are many other strategies for reconnecting with past leads. As the business world continues to dive deeper into the digital realm, social media has become an invaluable tool for sales teams.

Utilizing LinkedIn and other social media can help your teams reviving old sales leads, as well as provide the opportunity to reignite the conversation. If you see major changes happening within a prospect on LinkedIn, use it to your advantage and reach out. Use the conversation as an opportunity to provide a solution to problems the business may be facing.

Rekindle warm leads through your content. If you feel like your product may be a good fit for a lead, send them a guide or invite them to a webinar. This helps your team demonstrate the value of your product without seeming overly pushy.

Make sure to keep past conversations in mind. One mistake to avoid is approaching re-engagement as a new lead. These prospects are familiar with your brand, and you should treat the conversation as such. Remind them of your past interactions, and if needed, show the ways your product has improved.

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Lead Types: How to Determine Your Sales Lead Temperature

Learn how to properly identify the different lead types and determine your sales lead temperature in this ultimate guide.

Have you ever played a game where you hide something and give clues like “getting hotter” or “getting colder” until the person eventually finds it? Working with and nurturing leads is kind of like that.

  • The warmer a lead, the closer they are to buying.
  • If a prospect is cold, it means you need to keep providing the lead with information until they are ready to buy.
  • It isn’t always easy to recognize the signs indicating which lead type you’re dealing with, which is why we created this guide.

Keep reading to learn how to rate each sales lead temperature and how the right lead scoring system helps you correctly categorize all of your leads.

You can also choose to “jump ahead” to the following subtopics:

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What Are the Different Sales Lead Temperature?

A sales lead is someone who is in the market for your service or product. This person fits your criteria for being an ideal client and would benefit from what your company offers.

These lead types are segmented into three major categories:

  1. Cold lead
  2. Warm lead
  3. Hot Lead

The ability to recognize sales lead temperature is essential for establishing where leads are in the funnel. This information aids in finding the sweet sales spot to ensure successful conversions.

Cold Lead Definition

Cold leads are those who ft your target audience but haven’t yet interacted with your company or brand. These leads are the farthest from converting and need to be educated about your company’s mission, exactly what you offer, and why your product/service is the right solution for meeting their specific needs.

This lead is not ready to buy in any capacity. If you try to make the sale at this stage, you may alienate and lose them altogether. Instead, focus on warming the potential client up through high-level, informational content.

Warm Lead Definition

Warm leads are closer to converting because they have shown some interest in your product or service. They may have searched a business on Google that offers a comparable product or service or even visited your website. A warm lead may have also engaged with one of your social media posts or clicked a link in an email.

These types of leads are categorized as warm because they’ve already had some interaction with your product or service so they are at least acquainted with what your business offers. This means they are actively researching solutions and are looking to buy in the near future.

Hot Lead Definition

A hot lead often referred to as a qualified lead, is a lead that is very interested in what your company does and is ready to buy. This person has been to multiple sites, talked to people about their solutions, and has likely eliminated the competition.

It’s essential to recognize the buying signals for each lead type, so you’re prepared to move them along the customer journey.

Buying Signals for Lead Types

There are surefire buying signals you need to be keenly aware of to be an effective salesperson. Typically cold leads aren’t going to emit any buying signs, but there are ways to identify when a lead is cold.

How to Tell if You Have a Cold Lead

If you see a new lead on your dashboard and have nothing more than a name or an email, that’s a cold lead. These leads haven’t interacted with your company and don’t know about you or your service/product.

How to Tell if Your Lead Is Warming Up

You’ll start to notice a lead is warming up when you see them interact with your brand more. Maybe they fill out a form to download a PDF, or they sign up for a free trial of your software. At this point, they’re familiarizing themselves with your brand and deciding if you’re the right solution for them.

If you’re going to reach out to this person, it shouldn’t be to convince them to buy, but rather, to offer additional support if needed. As a sales representative, you need to show them that your company cares about how they use your services and wants to be the helping hand they need when they have questions.

At this point in the sales cycle, you still may not be sure whether the lead is qualified or not. Thankfully, there are questions you can ask to help determine where they are in the buying process.

How to Tell If My Lead Is Hot?

Only when a lead comes to you and asks about pricing, signing a contract, or getting started should you try and close them. You can nudge them in the right direction by asking them how their free trial went once it’s over,  but a lead isn’t truly a hot lead until they ask for concrete steps to move forward.

If you think you have a hot lead but aren’t sure, try a soft close. An example of this would be letting them know you have a deal going on but not asking them to purchase. Let them tell you they want to buy.

The Importance of Sales Lead Management

Sales lead management is the overall lead qualification process for a business. The flow a lead generally goes through is:

  1. Identified: A lead is recognized.
  2. Educated: A lead learns about your brand.
  3. Engaged: The lead has performed an action with your company.
  4. Qualified: The lead is qualified and is ready to purchase.
  5. Passed On To Sales: Sales has the lead and is closing it.

As a sales manager, you need to be clear about the sales process and determine the parameters for a lead’s temperature. Without setting clear guidelines and expectations, your sales team won’t know how to move a prospect through the temperatures and turn them into a hot lead.

By creating a winning lead strategy, you can expect to see your team more confident in their sales. They will also be more capable of closing deals and building long-lasting relationships with your new clients.

It is tough to look at those five stages and manually move leads around to serve them best. That’s why lead management software is a great choice to help classify a sales lead temperature.

Why You Should Use a Lead Management Software to Determine Sales Lead Temperature

A CRM can boost your sales by up to 29% and has proven to increase productivity by 34%. Getting the right lead management software helps you to warm leads up and increases the amount of time your sales team is selling rather than prospecting.

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Automatic Lead Tagging

A lead management software will automatically tag and filter your leads to show you the ones that need interaction with you. After setting up the parameters for a cold, warm, and hot lead, your sales team will save time by only focusing on the closest to-converting prospects.

Built-in Integrations

Lead management software is typically built with numerous integrations to make your daily life easier. These integrations can help warm up your leads by sending them relevant emails to inform and encourage them to keep interacting with your brand.

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Superior Tracking Abilities

When it comes to understanding a lead’s temperature, don’t underestimate the importance of tracking your prospect’s actions. IP tracking will tell you when a prospect comes to your site, opens your emails, and what they end up doing with that information.

Knowing what they interact with and what they ignore will help you tailor your sales pitch to meet their unique needs.

Advanced Segmenting

Using filters helps to remove clutter in your dashboard. Filters and segments enable you to focus your efforts on leads that are inside your target audience.

You can filter data such as a company’s name, the business’s size, where their head office is, and how they initially found your business. From there, your lead management software will be able to automatically send targeted messages to help move prospects through the funnel.

Lead Qualification

Good lead management software helps you segment your leads and enables you to qualify leads. Knowing how to qualify a lead is a skill that all salespeople and marketers are constantly working to perfect. Don’t try to do it all yourself; allow the software to help make the process easier and more efficient.

Notifications

When you use the right lead system, you’ll automatically be notified when someone interacts with your site, indicating they are ready to buy. You no longer have to rely solely on identifying the signals yourself. You can trust your software to alert you of critical actions your prospects are taking.

To begin using an automated lead generating and nurturing system, request your free LeadBoxer trial today!

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The Importance of Determining Your Ideal Client Profile

You’ve generated a new lead, now what? Conversions happen when your pipeline is filled with quality prospects that are in the market for your product. Determining which leads will turn into active accounts is an important first step in the sales cycle. Lead generation focuses on gathering potential customer contact information. Sales prospecting takes it a step further to convert leads into revenue. Setting aside time and other resources for these processes will help improve your sales conversion rates. The best way to start your customer pipeline is by outlining the ideal client profile as a way to guide your sales and marketing efforts.

Read on or “jump” ahead to these sections to learn more:

What Is an Ideal Client Profile?

Before you can begin planning, you need to understand what an ideal client looks like for your company. A client profile is a strategy that helps determine which prospects are most likely to convert. This information allows you to personalize marketing tactics and use appropriate resources to create conversions.

Your client profile is a fictional representation of your best sales leads based on research, past experiences, current leads, and your team’s resources. The goal of this outline is to help discover what your target audience should be.

This strategy is crucial for successful lead generation and sales prospecting efforts. The ideal client profile illustrates that not all generated leads align with your company goals.

Creating an Ideal Client Profile

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Creating an ideal client profile is an important step in taking your business development cycle to the next level. This requires research, time, and resources to properly determine your target prospects. Allowing your collected data to drive this process and maintaining flexibility are key factors in building an accurate client profile.

Conduct Research Based on Current Clients

Whether you have a developed sales pipeline or are just starting out, research is the most crucial step in the creation of this profile.

If your company is already well-established with a substantial customer database, start by identifying your top clients. Research and compile answers to the following questions:

  • What makes this account profitable?
  • How long has the account been active with your business?
  • Does this client provide constructive feedback on your services?
  • Do you provide a high return on investment (ROI) on the requested services for this account?

Next, analyze the data surrounding these businesses and their interactions with your company. Pay attention to the ways these customers are responding to your digital marketing tactics. Focus on their social media presence, website traffic, and responses to email campaigns.

After gaining an initial understanding of their role within your pipeline, set aside time to conduct client interviews. This will allow you to dig deeper into their actions while strengthening your relationship with these accounts.

Make sure to focus on gathering insight into the following:

  • The decision-making process for business transactions
  • Company data such as industry, budget, and location
  • Company goals and current challenges to their mission
  • Purchasing decisions for your product

Using these research tactics will help you gain a better understanding of the role your company plays in each customer’s continued success. This gives you tangible evidence of how your product is being used while enabling you to examine the various ways companies interact with your brand.

Research Prospects and Industry Trends

While analysis of your current customer relationships provides valuable insight as to how your services are used by existing customers, it’s equally important to gather data on prospects within your industry. This allows you to explore new brands and discover leads in your target audience.

Use sites like LinkedIn to investigate what experts are saying about your industry. Join social media groups and listen to webinars to keep up with current trends. Knowing the market and tracking how potential clients use social media helps you tailor your marketing tactics to effectively communicate with prospects.

Compile Your Data

The next step in creating the ideal client profile is compiling data and resources to build out the profile. This information will come from market trends, current customer data, and research on potential clients.

Use the following categories for your profile’s outline, and fill in the information based on your research:

  • Background and demographic information
  • Communication style
  • Company goals
  • Potential challenges your clients may face
  • Decision making and purchasing processes

This profile should be reviewed by your sales, marketing, and customer service departments. Consistent communication about the ideal client profile across internal departments will allow your sales team to stay focused on high-quality prospects.

Remaining Flexible With Ideal Client Profiles

Of course, you want to reach out to potential accounts that fit your ideal client profile. But you also want to remain open to going after prospects with minor differences.

The point of determining your ideal client is to help your teams engage with target audiences, and then convert that customer engagement into sales.

This tactic is extremely helpful in determining which leads are worth your time and those that don’t match your company’s goals. An examination of industry leads that don’t precisely fit your ideal client profile may inform your sales team and aid your attempts to expand the reach of your brand.

Ideal Client Profile vs. Customer Persona

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An ideal client profile shows your model sales prospects, while a customer persona is the representation of that ideal buyer based on research and data.

The two terms sound similar but serve different functions in the process. A customer persona is a detailed analysis of the employees who make sales decisions, not the company itself. This encompasses the different buying patterns seen in the profile of your ideal client.

Companies may have multiple personas. While there are specific roles you will interact with to land a sale, each employee will have a different personality. This varies depending on who your sales team interacts with and the challenges each of these employees face in their day-to-day work.

These personas help your business interact more effectively with leads. Your marketing tactics can be tailored to fit the different roles each of these personas encompass.

For example, you may interact with a “by the book” salesperson, rather than someone who is open to nontraditional pitches.  Doing this allows you to shift messaging across departments as needed to show how your product can be beneficial for a range of account types.

The Links Between Ideal Client Profile and Customer Persona

A solid client profile and a well-defined customer persona can work together to inform your decisions on which leads and prospects you should pursue. Your ideal client profile focuses on identifying prime targets, and your customer persona helps find the best points for communication.

Think of it as your ideal client profile doing the front-end of the cycle by identifying qualified leads and generating prospects. Then, the customer persona continues the process by targeting messaging and communication efforts to the right audience.

Ideal Client Profiles and Account Based Marketing

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Account based marketing is a strategy that allows sales and marketing teams to collaborate to target potential accounts for high conversion rates. This allows companies to spend resources on the leads that are most likely to generate revenue.

Your ideal client profile plays a major role in account-based marketing strategies. If you understand your target audience, you’ll be able to successfully communicate the ways in which your product can specifically help each prospect.

Account based marketing strays away from the one-size-fits-all messaging. Instead, it allows businesses to emphasize the parts of their services that will benefit individual companies.

Using the description detailed in your profile, your sales team gains a deep understanding of which leads will most likely be interested in your product. From there, your marketing team will be able to research and target the correct audience.

With a firm understanding of the role, your company plays in your ideal client profile’s business model, account based marketing strategies allow for personalized messaging. Potential customers will be shown the benefits of your product through multiple channels.

Using Your Ideal Client Profile

There is a large amount of work that goes into creating a completed profile. To maximize the return on your efforts, proper implementation of the profile goes a long way.

Target leads with high conversion potential. This profile gives an outline of the ideal client that will be most interested in becoming a buyer. Your sales team should use this data for lead generation and prospect cultivation.

Use the information from your profile to guide the content coming from your marketing team. Develop keywords that highlight the main aspects of the ideal client profile. Use consistent themes that speak to a company’s needs.

Make adjustments to your outlines as the market changes or your business grows. The best part about this strategy is the opportunity for growth as your company discovers new leads.

Continuously research current and potential clients, keep up with industry trends, and tailor your ideal client profile as needed. Also you can learn about creating sales urgency to help.

By devoting time to reach out to potential customers who fit this profile, your conversion rates will improve.

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A Complete Guide to Thought Leadership + 6 Ways to Drive Sales Using It

What ultimately determines whether a customer buys from you or a competitor? Is it the price of your product or service, its features, or your return policy? While all those things factor into a person’s decision, studies show that your brand’s thought leadership is just as important.

In this guide, we’ll discuss what thought leadership is and why it drives sales. We’ll also dig into actionable, data-backed strategies for how you can cultivate thought leadership. As a result, you’ll be able to attract and qualify a constant stream of leads for your sales team.

Read on or jump ahead to these topics:

What is Thought Leadership?

A person or brand is said to possess thought leadership when they are seen as an expert in their field. However, a thought leader isn’t just knowledgeable about their industry—they are also the figures who blaze new trails. Research that determines more effective industry techniques and solutions often comes from such experts.

Consider these thought leadership examples:

  • If you are looking for the latest search engine optimization tactics, your first impulse might be to check the blog of Neil Patel, an online marketing guru.
  • Top-tier copywriters looking to brush up their skills would likely read the Copyhackers blog or buy a course from them.
  • Hikers and campers looking to purchase a new mattress pad might consult a comparison guide on REI’s blog before hitting the “add to cart” button.

By disseminating high-quality advice free of charge, these thought leaders engender a feeling of trust in their audience. That confidence increases the likelihood that a potential customer will purchase a product or service from them instead of a competitor.

There’s plenty of data to back this up. The 2019 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study found that 55% of decision-makers use thought leadership as a way to vet potential vendors before agreeing to work with them.

The same study found that interest in thought leadership is growing. Between 2018 and 2019, the percent of decision-makers who spend an hour or more a week reading thought leadership content grew by eight points.

It is clear that thought leadership is a crucial element of any marketing and sales strategy. Fortunately, cultivating it is relatively low-tech and relies on knowledge and skills you likely already have.

6 Ways to Increase Sales with Thought Leadership

For best results, employ all of these strategies to become a thought leader and leverage your status.

  • Create Educational Content for Ideal Customers

Thought leadership is often synonymous with content creation. For example, the three experts highlighted in the previous section—Neil Patel, Copyhackers, and REI—all have a robust blog where much of their advice lives.

However, these leaders don’t just publish what they think is most important to talk about in their field. They anticipate potential customers’ questions and answer them. This shows that you are in tune with prospects’ needs and are capable of supplying the solution on demand.

Creating content not only fosters thought leadership but also doubles as a way to qualify leads for your sales team. Once you have a repository of content, you can then track the behavior of people visiting your site. This data will help you zero in on the most promising prospects.

LeadBoxer is a tool that identifies visitors to your site and analyzes the actions they take while there. You can see what content they’re engaging with, the duration of their engagement, and the frequency of actions.

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In addition to showing your sales team who they should get in touch with, this information reveals what problems a potential customer needs to solve. This allows sales reps to prepare answers to possible questions that might arise during outreach.

Creating thought leadership content that anticipates and answers questions for ideal customers both drives sales and makes your sales reps’ jobs easier. Prospects will be more informed about your industry and product or service, while reps will know who to reach out to and what talking points to use.

  • Conduct Research or Publish Case Studies

When it comes to creating content, thought leaders don’t just rehash what others have already said. They put out studies and research that create new viewpoints for their industry.

You don’t need to have a huge budget or poll thousands of people to accomplish this. In fact, case studies about your existing clients are a solid way to build thought leadership.

Consider Copyhackers, a brand that provides education about copywriting. The company’s blog features case studies that use data to back up claims about the effectiveness of certain techniques. For instance, take a look at the opening of this article:

case studies from Copyhackers

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By claiming a 108% lift in revenue, Copyhackers-founder Joanna Wiebe instills confidence in the three featured copywriting principles. Results like that sell your brand without you having to make a more obvious pitch.

  • Contribute Content to Media Outlets

In addition to putting out your own blog posts, try to create content for other sites. This helps build awareness for your brand and shows potential customers that other industry leaders value your insight.

There are two different types of media outlets you can write for. The first is a mainstream outlet, such as Forbes, Business Insider, or Fast Company. Prospects will immediately know and trust these high-profile sites and magazines.

The second type you can contribute to is a niche outlet. Research which brands are the leading publishers of content in your field. For example, companies looking to increase their clout in the field of digital marketing might try to write for the HubSpot Marketing Blog or the Moz Blog.

  • Give Talks About Your Field

Like writing for media outlets, being involved in digital or in-person events can raise your brand’s profile. This could be something as simple as leading a free webinar or participating in a conference.

  • Turn Your Sales Reps Into Experts

Thought leadership content is often written or delivered by your company’s C-level executives. This helps potential customers connect to the human side of your brand. However, it’s vital that all of your employees are just as knowledgeable about your product and industry as your C-level executives. After all, customers will spend most if not all of their time working with your sales and customer service teams.

Picture these two different scenarios:

  • A prospective customer asks a sales rep a question about your product, and the rep refers them to a piece of content in your knowledge base.
  • A prospect asks a question, and the rep is able to easily answer it in real-time (though perhaps sending them content for future reference).

Which would you rather experience as a potential customer? Chances are, you would be more likely to buy from a company where the reps can answer your questions right off the bat. This knowledgeability demonstrates a company-wide passion for quality.

  • Be Strategic in Your Self-Plugs

While thought leadership content is a sales tool, it should be able to stand on its own as a free service. Cluttering articles with plugs for your brand is a quick way to turn off potential customers. People instinctively know when they are being sold to, and might tune out anything that comes after.

However, that doesn’t mean you should never pitch your product or service. The key is to be intentional about how you do it.

For example, readers of a long-form piece of content likely won’t mind one or two natural segues into a description of how you can help. Those who are actively searching for a product to solve a problem will be even more appreciative of the information.

Case studies are great because they organically tout your brand without you ever having to make a pitch. Readers should reach the end of the piece impressed with your results, so much so that reaching out to you with their problems is a no-brainer.

Get More Sales with Thought Leadership

Thought leadership is simply the process of putting your expertise on display. This is critical for building trust with your prospective customers and ensuring they choose you over your competitors. The majority of decision-makers consult thought leadership content when determining who to give their business to.

Publishing guides or case studies and participating in public conversations are all ways of demonstrating your knowledge. Combining this content with a tool like LeadBoxer lets you qualify leads on autopilot.

Perhaps most important to remember is that the best thought leaders are passionate about education. They find joy and value in creating informative content that, on its own, can make peoples’ lives better. Potential customers can sense that dedication and will feel endeared by it.

Already have plenty of thought leadership content and looking for a way to make it work harder for you? Take LeadBoxer for a spin and see how it can transform your blog into a lead generation tool. Get a free two-week trial and try out LeadBoxer today.

how to use intent data to drive sales

How to Use Intent Data to Drive Sales

If your sales team isn’t leveraging intent data when researching prospects, then you can assume there’s a huge leak in your pipeline. When it comes to identifying accounts with the highest likelihood of doing business with your company, intent data is the most important tool at your disposal. It also gives you a head start on your competitors.

This guide covers what intent data is, why it’s more valuable than other types of business-to-business (B2B) data, and step-by-step instructions for how to use it in your business. In no time, you can shore up your sales pipeline and maximize your output while minimizing your effort.

Read on or jump ahead to these topics:

What is Intent Data?

Intent data tells you whether or not an individual or account is actively seeking the kind of solution your company provides. It’s derived from things like:

  • Recently searched topics or keywords
  • Ads clicked on
  • How prospects are using social media
  • News about the company such as job changes, new investors, or new owners

Vendors gather intent data by tracking cookies and IP addresses. With intent data at your fingertips, you can figure out who might benefit from your product before they come across your brand. This can give you a head start over competitors when identifying accounts worth reaching out to.

We previously published a detailed guide on the different types of intent data and the best software for finding it. Check it out here.

Why Intent Data is More Valuable Than Other Types of Data

In addition to intent data, sales teams often rely on a few other types of B2B data during the sales process:

  • Firmographic Data: Firmographics are for companies as demographics are for people. This data describes a business’s name, how many employees it has, its location, revenue, etc.
  • Contact Data: These are the details that help you reach a particular individual within a company, like their name, phone number, email address, social media profiles, and job title.
  • Technographic Data: This tells you what software a business is already using, but it can’t necessarily tell you how often employees use it or how long the company has had a particular tool.
  • Engagement Data: Engagement describes things like how often an account is visiting your website, what links they’re clicking in your email marketing, and how long they stay on a particular page.
  • Prioritization Data: This is when you analyze all the data described above—usually with the help of artificial intelligence—and rank prospects according to how likely they are to buy. A lead score is a common example of prioritization data.

All of this data is useful. But without intent data, you’re not getting an accurate picture of which accounts are most worth your time. It’s like finishing a puzzle but missing the most important piece.

For example, your lead intelligence software might highlight an account that fits your ideal customer profile and has high engagement with your brand. What it’s not seeing is that the individual visiting your site is researching market trends or thinking about making a career change in your industry.

What Intent Data Shows

Intent data shows whether that account is actually interested in buying your product or if they’re just passing through. This prevents sales reps from wasting their time on uninterested contacts.

Intent data is also more valuable because it brings your brand to someone’s attention earlier in their buyer journey.

Your sales team might not start collecting other types of data—especially engagement data—until after someone visits your website for the first time. However, that prospect may have been researching your competitors long before ever coming across your brand. Intent data finds your ideal customers even if they don’t know who you are yet so your reps can contact them first.

How to Leverage Intent Data to Drive Sales

  • Use a Third-Party Intent Data Vendor

A third-party intent data vendor lets you see what topics and keywords accounts are searching for across thousands of sites. This gives your sales reps insight into who is potentially looking for a product or service you provide before they ever land on your page.

Popular third-party intent data vendors include Bombora and Aberdeen. With Aberdeen, you can integrate the software with Salesforce so companies expressing intent appear on the dashboard.

aberdeen intent for salesforce

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According to research from Insights For Professionals, 99 percent of businesses are using some form of intent data, so it’s crucial that your sales reps have every advantage when reaching out to accounts. Aberdeen’s alerts give them that edge.

There are some downsides to using third-party intent data. Vendors are limited by the number of sites and topics they monitor. They also can’t give context for someone’s searches.

If you aren’t using an automated pop-up as the one Aberdeen provides, there’s the chance that the data you find will be too old to act on.

  • Track Anonymous First-Party Behavior

Anonymous visitors to your site are also prospects who are early in their buyer journey. They haven’t yet filled out a lead generation form or signed up for your email list, but they are viewing pages and consuming your brand’s content.

You can identify some of these accounts for free by digging into your Google Analytics. Simply access the Network Report within the dashboard, assuming you already have Google Analytics connected to your site.

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To access the report, begin by logging into your Google Analytics account. Click ‘Technology’ under the ‘Audience’ header, then click ‘Network’.

Adjust the data range as needed. This will show you some of the major ISPs visiting your site.

However, software like LeadBoxer takes this a step further and identifies individuals and their contact info, not just their ISP—all without requiring them to fill out a lead generation form.

leadboxer 360 view identification

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With this info, a rep can ring up a prospect and start chatting with them about some of the topics they might be interested in.

  • Analyze Context

It’s important for reps to know whether a company is undergoing job changes, gaining investors, or being bought by another business. All this news provides crucial context that can add or take away weight from your intent data.

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LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a great source for some of this context. It sends you alerts about what’s going on at a company, like job changes. At a starting price of $65 per month, it’s accessible for most professionals.

EverString is another tool that gives you a 360-view of a prospect’s current situation. Not only does it track news about companies, but it also monitors 20,000 different intent signals. With a starting price of $820 per month, this solution is better for enterprise-level businesses.

  • Prioritize Accounts

Intent data on its own can’t tell you who is most worth your reps’ time. You need to analyze the data along with the company’s firmographics and other details. The software can make sense of all this data and create a ranking system or visual that makes it easy for sales pros to select their next contact.

LeadBoxer’s solution is its lead scoring tool. You decide which factors are most important when determining a lead score, then LeadBoxer crunches the numbers to calculate it.

LeadBoxer’s leadscoring tool to score intent

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A result is a number up to 100 that illustrates how likely a prospect is to buy. The higher the number, the more likely you can close a deal with them.

Reps know at a glance exactly who they need to get in contact with. This saves them time so they can devote more individualized attention to qualified prospects.

  • Personalize Your Messaging

If you’ve used the right tools and done your job well, you know what products or solutions prospects are looking for and if they’re the right fit for your business. Using all the data at your disposal, sales pros should reach out to contacts with content tailored to their needs and interests.

Nothing beats the human touch. When you use intent data to zero in on the most qualified accounts, sales reps have more time and energy to speak with contacts directly instead of sending them a templated email. Your prospects are sure to notice the difference.

Exceed Your Sales Goals With Intent Data

Leveraging intent data isn’t just about increasing the speed and efficiency of your sales team. It’s also essential for providing the highest quality experience to your potential customers. With intent data, you can anticipate their questions and provide customized content, which helps build confidence in your business.

With 99% of survey respondents claiming they already use intent data, you can’t afford to sleep on this sales strategy. If your competitors aren’t already using it in some way, they will be soon. Fortunately, several solutions work seamlessly with your existing software.

Looking for an all-in-one tool that gathers intent data as well as other types of B2B data, then analyzes it to generate a lead score? That’s where LeadBoxer can help.

LeadBoxer works out of the box and is intuitive enough that your team can test it out without much training. Get started today with a free trial.

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B2B Lead Generation: Customer Journey Map

Business to business lead generation is one of the most essential parts of the sales cycle. Utilizing all resources at your disposal will help generate and convert your leads into sales. A crucial part of successful lead generation is the customer journey map.

Not only will customer journey mapping help contribute to successful lead management, but it will also help to improve your overall customer experience. B2B companies rely on customer experience for conversion rates. These strategies will help increase these rates, as well as contribute to customer satisfaction.

Overall, the successful implementation of these strategies and maps will create strong relationships with customers. This will also improve your marketing focus and accomplish your business goals. This article will cover the best practices for B2B lead generation.

Read on or jump ahead to these topics:

Distinguishing Between B2B and B2C Customers

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There are two major types of business models, Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C). While both of these are centered around sales, each includes different customer journey stages.

In short, B2C companies sell directly to consumers, while B2B companies sell to other businesses. While it seems like B2C would involve more direct interaction with people, B2B sales often involve multiple people throughout the sales cycle. It is important to remember you are not selling to the company, but rather the people who work there.

Because of these differences, the customer journey maps for B2B and B2C businesses follow separate outlines. For B2B companies, the buying cycle can take 1-3 months and 80% of these cycles include up to six people.

The Basics of a Customer Journey Map

A customer journey map is a visual representation of the customer cycle from start to finish. This strategy takes into account the entirety of a customer, including pains, emotional needs, and actions. By mapping out all of these factors, B2B companies are able to better understand their target demographic and create meaningful relationships with their leads.

The ideal customer journey map looks at the complete lifecycle from the introduction to any post-sale support services, including the engagement that occurs in between. While each one will look different for unique leads, there are a few customer journey mapping tools all will include based on universal experiences.

Common Elements for Customer Journey Maps

  • Persona: A profile of the brand and its client groups.
  • Touchpoints: All possible client interactions with your brand. These may include advertising, social media, direct communication, and purchases.
  • Moments of truth: Information regarding which touchpoints impact a customer.
  • Performance Indicators: Anything that evaluates how customers are responding to touchpoints.
  • Visuals: Typically, this is either a linear or cyclical illustration of the customer cycle.

Creating The Customer Journey Map

Once you understand the concept of the map, you can begin creating for each of your customers. Begin with the prep work and go through the process one step at a time. These maps won’t seem like a huge undertaking if you have a plan of attack.

Set your objective. Determine what you want to get out of the map to make sure you are including the correct information. Clear objectives will guarantee that the map is beneficial to your sales process.

Next, define the persona and determine the touchpoints. These parts will be crucial in generating your B2B leads. Finish mapping by identifying the performance indicators. Choose ways to best identify how the customer is interacting with your brand and learn about creating sales urgency.

What is Lead Management?

Before you can start successfully using your customer journey maps, understanding lead management will ensure the conversion of leads to sales. Simply put, lead management is the process of managing throughout the buying journey.

The Lead Management Cycle

Lead management goes through five major steps to help create conversions.

  • The Lead capture: determining leads and preparing them for the cycle
  • Lead qualification: scoring the lead to find out how sales-ready it is
  • The Lead nurturing: helping push leads from expressing interest to purchasing
  • Lead routing: handing off the leads that are sales-ready
  • Lead reporting: closing the gap between marketing and sales

Important Elements of B2B Lead Management

B2B sales involve a lot of moving parts. It is important to keep track of everything in the beginning stages to have a high conversion rate later on in the cycle.

Lead management involves identifying the people in the process, including your internal team and the contacts of your leads. Determine your internal processes as well. Make sure to decide upon a centralized lead qualification process, as well as have passive marketing content ready for the early stages.

Avoid the common mistakes where lead management can fall short. For example, don’t pass off qualified leads unless they meet all of the agreed-upon criteria. Use cross-marketing for all of your lead nurturing. Make sure to view your lead management through the customer lens.

Using Your Customer Journey Maps

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Creating the map is the first step to making the most out of this sales strategy. Ideally, you will have a customer journey map for each lead. The main objective of this strategy is to properly nurture your leads to convert into sales, as well as improve the overall customer experience.

These should help with introductions, creating brand awareness, and successful education of your product to leads.

Introduction to Your Lead and Starting a Conversation

Using your gathered information, plan the introduction of your brand to the lead. This is the first part of your customer’s journey with your brand, and first impressions really matter. Determine the best first touch and be sure to document all of the following interactions.

From this point, the goal will be to build your relationship while allowing passive content (social media and paid advertising) to further educate the lead about your product.

This tactic successfully combines your customer journey map with your brand’s marketing strategy. It’s been found that laying out this plan can increase marketing to sales conversions by 25%.

Getting to Know Your Lead

Once the conversation has begun, the customer journey map plays a role in better understanding the target customer. The data collected by your map provides crucial insights into how your customer behaves and the motivations behind their actions.

To move from a lead to a qualified lead, multiple touches must happen. By being able to place these touchpoints into a specific section on the map, you can begin to see underlying needs and patterns within the customer.

This data is important for providing an excellent customer service experience. Imagine, you’re able to have an in-depth understanding of your lead’s actions. This allows you to predict their movements, choose the best times to reach out, and provide solutions to problems for them.

Customer satisfaction is key to having repeat purchases. Being able to identify the needs of a lead and provide solutions with your product will help create a meaningful relationship that benefits both sides.

Collecting Data and Measuring Conversions

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Customer journey maps do more than just provide the framework for your actions. These plans allow you to collect data and analyze it to continually improve your sales process.

These maps allow you to track the channels incoming leads originate in. By having this information, your company is able to see which tactics are worth focusing on and which areas need improvement to create engagement.

Data also allows you to trace the path each lead took before converting to a qualified lead. You will be able to see if they responded to a LinkedIn message, interacted with an Instagram post, or visited your website through a search.

By including these paths as they occur in your map, you can begin to understand the customer and utilize this information to best generate new leads. Keeping track of this data allows you to keep an eye on changing trends, so you can shift your focus to channels that provide the most engagement.

Generating New Leads and Discovering Generation Channels

A completed customer journey map provides a clear view of all the possible generation channels. Usually, undiscovered generation channels may get passed over or lumped together with existing ones. By having this map, you won’t miss any opportunities to generate leads.

Along with discovering new channels, these maps may help you generate new leads by providing new touches. All of this can be measured through your data, so you can fully understand what is the best way to create conversions and grow your customer base.

The Importance of the Customer Journey Map

Overall, this strategy should play a prominent role in B2B sales, account based selling, and marketing strategy. From the initial prep work and research of a lead to closing the deal, this map will be there to guide and collect data.

Start as soon as you capture a lead, and continue using the map throughout the customer journey stages. This will ensure that your leads are following the path to conversion.

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Using Lead Nurturing Email Content to Boost the Buyer’s Journey

This article will discuss how the buying cycle and content mapping can guide your lead nurturing strategies to ensure that the customer journey is effortless. This article also includes a few examples of email nurturing content that can help boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, convert leads into sales, and help your company understand the impact of content on the buying journey.

Read on or “jump” ahead to these sections to learn more:

Content Mapping and the Buyer’s Journey Guide Lead Nurturing Strategy

Creating lead nurturing campaigns has become one of the most successful ways to transform leads into sales. Both B2B and B2C companies are familiar with the strategy. And 35% of marketers have some sort of strategy currently in place. More than that 50% of companies who have one or more successful lead nurturing campaigns have created more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost than those without lead nurturing strategies.

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Over 55% of marketers have said that email campaigns drive the highest ROI of any of their other lead nurturing platforms. As such, email marketing remains one of the most powerful tools for converting leads to sales, advertising, and leveraging insights to boost the customer journey experience. Using lead nurturing email content can help your brand convert leads into sales, ensuring that customers have the most personalized and helpful customer journey content.

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  • The Buyer’s Journey

The Buying Cycle makes up the broad stages of a customer journey. Personalizing your lead nurturing content to a given customer means ensuring that they are targeted with the most useful product or service options. The Buyer’s Journey represents each step in the process of a potential customer becoming a repeat buyer. The buyer’s journey, also known as the customer journey, is comprised of three core steps that a potential buyer may follow:

  1.  Awareness
  2.  Evaluation or Consideration
  3.  Purchase

As the buyer moves through these three steps, your brand must also supplement the buyer’s journey with email nurturing content. This kind of content is crucial for the success and follow-through of a sale from a particular buyer. And therefore, requires careful consideration and planning. Leadboxer’s platform offers a variety of tools that can aid in lead generation, and gather insights so that your company can create the most effective content for each lead.

  • Content Mapping

Content Mapping is one strategy that ensures that your brand is creating the most relevant, effective content for your target audience. The kind of content that is created for a particular content map relies on the sales cycle of your own company, as well as that of your industry. It is also crucial to create buyer personas so that your strategy is well-informed of what your clients needs.

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Defining and redefining your target audience, and aligning this audience with the correct buyer persona is crucial to ensure a successful email nurturing campaign. Creating a variety of content assets that differs from competitive brands is one sure-fire way to stand out among current and potential customers. Fostering a customer-driven mentality throughout the brand exhibits consistency and trust with customers who feel they have derived value from your brand’s content and relationship.

Aligning an Email Nurturing Campaign with the Buyer’s Journey

Targeted, customizable, and valuable email campaigns provide a high return on investment (ROI) for inbound marketing tactics. The ultimate goal of email nurturing or lead nurturing through email campaigns is to build trust with customers.

The benefits of email lead nurturing campaigns from a logistical standpoint are that while they do require planning and prepared execution, these kinds of campaigns are ultra-targeted, automated, and timely. Creating unique content for each stage of the buyer’s journey is an email campaign strategy to carry out lead nurturing that converts prospective buyers into customers.

  • Stage One: Customer Awareness of Your Brand

During the awareness stage, the focus of your lead nurturing content should be on providing information about the customer’s problems, not on your brand’s solution to those problems. Providing information that educates a potential buyer about their problem begins to foster trust in the customer and sends the message that your brand is not just simply looking for another source of business.

Certain kinds of informational content are most appropriate for this stage in the buyer’s journey, and once a client has expressed awareness and interest in learning more, your brand can begin its lead nurturing email campaign. Below is a list of some potential types of content that are appropriate for the awareness stage:

  • Informational emails: These emails serve to give customers more information about the brand. They should provide information about certain potential problems that a customer might have, based on buyer personas, and other demographics.
  • Demo Videos, social media, and tip sheets or checklists: Visual cues are crucial for any kind of marketing campaign, and can be especially useful for giving information to customers who are previewing many different products or services. Quick informational facts and product information can be compiled into a comprehensive video, infographic, or social media post.
  • Stage Two: Evaluation, Deeper Exploration, and Consideration

At this stage, a customer has identified their interest in your brand. And has possibly reached out to the sales team, marketing team, or has otherwise expressed a deeper interest in exploring your product offerings. This is the time to begin advertising your brand’s products and services. But most importantly, specifying how your products can address that customer’s pain points.

Creating lead nurturing content at this stage of the buying cycle is crucial. Because it can determine whether a customer will follow through and convert into a sale, or take their business elsewhere. The goal of this kind of content is to highlight the usefulness of your brand’s products and offerings. The more that a customer values their relationship with their brand, the better the customer journey, encouraging sales conversions from prospective leads.

Having compiled various types of content now is the time to offer more in-depth content that provides a comprehensive look at how your products or services would solve the customer’s pain points. Some appropriate content might include:

  • Educational Webinars, e-Books, and blog posts: In-depth and long-form content are effective for providing information about how your brand’s products or services can solve the customer’s pain points. Webinars provide space for customers to take in your products and services at their own pace and reach out with questions. While e-books and blog articles can offer more tailored information about specific topics, customer testimonials, and your brand’s insight into various industry problems.
  • Case studies and Whitepapers: Case studies and whitepapers are effective forms of content for customers who are looking for more data-driven and technical information about your brand’s services and products. Case studies can act as in-depth testimonials and consistently rank as one of the most effective marketing strategies. Using case studies as a unique pillar page to tie in other kinds of content builds customer trust and education.
  • Stage Three: Purchase and Sale Conversion

During the final stage in the buyer’s journey, customers are ready to take the next step and commit to a brand’s offerings and products to aid in solving their pain points. The content that is most effective at this stage requires the lead to take action and your brand should have already provided information about the lead’s problem. And how your company can best solve that issue.

That being said, there is still a variety of content that can solidify a sale in this final stage. Effective content at this stage can include:

  • A free Trial or Live Demo: Providing these kinds of interactive content is crucial to showing the customer that your product or service is going to solve their problem. Showing the lead that your brand is the best fit for them is important. A customer is more likely to invest long term when they know a product works well for them.
  • Consultation or Estimate: Gives the lead an idea of how your services would fit into their budget and company overall and should be used to educate the customer to the fullest about their situation. And help them come to a decision.
  • Coupon or Product Reviews: Past product reviews can act as “recommendations” from past customers who have experienced similar issues and may provide the lead with the needed proof that your company is the solution to their problems. Coupons or a discount on a certain product or service are another way to demonstrate to the customer that your brand cares about helping them with their problem, rather than just treating them as another sale.

All of these different types of content can and should be used in your lead nurturing email campaigns. By providing potential clients with a variety of content at each stage of the buying cycle, a qualified lead is nurtured from beginning to end and is more likely to lead to a sale.

Making sure that the right kind of content is reaching customers at the right time is important to ensure that customers don’t feel overwhelmed or spammed with content that is not useful. LeadBoxer’s platform can help you create the most effective content for boosting the buyer’s journey. For additional information, contact LeadBoxer for a free demo.

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B2B Lead Strategy and Marketing Alignment

Business-to-business (B2B) sales involve companies selling products and services to other businesses. B2B companies either sell items to another company so they can make their own products or meet a specific need.

The Purpose of a Good B2B Lead Strategy

In B2B sales, you’re likely to deal with several decision-makers within one company. In fact, salespeople engaged in B2B sales will need to work with an average of seven decision-makers. These people include CEOs, sales representatives, board members, and those in the financial and legal departments.

Selling to a group of people is different than pitching to an individual as in business-to-consumer (B2C) sales. The need to successfully make a pitch to individuals with varying perspectives differentiates B2B lead strategy from that required for B2C sales.

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Elements of an Effective B2B Lead Strategy

Relationship building is essential to both B2B and B2C lead strategies but takes on increased importance in the B2B arena. Here are some elements of a successful business-to-business lead sales and marketing strategy:

  • Know Your Prospects

Researching those you’re selling your product or service to will improve your chance of a successful transaction. Keep in mind, not every business prospect is a good fit. If you know this beforehand, you’ll avoid wasting time and energy that could be spent on quality leads.

  • Focus on Building Relationships

Typically, the B2B sales and relationship-building processes take more time in comparison to B2C. In B2B, businesses lose 45-50% of their clients over five years, which is significant and must be addressed.

To avoid losing B2B prospects, building and maintaining long-term relationships through a strong lead nurturing strategy is encouraged. B2B sales bring in more revenue than B2C sales as you’re dealing with companies, not individual consumers. When a B2B client is lost, thousands, not hundreds of dollars can disappear.

  • Build an Effective Website

Most B2B leads will do thorough research before making a purchasing decision. They will examine your website and social media profiles. Make sure these look professional, and that your website is easy to navigate and clearly states your company mission, background, and includes testimonials from satisfied clients.

  • Establish a Social Media Presence

Having a powerful social media presence is beneficial in many ways. It can offer your sales and marketing departments the following advantages:

  • Insight into your competitors and prospects
  • An avenue to establish credibility
  • A means for building trust with leads and buyers
  • Opportunities to reach out to prospects and buyers
  •  Allows social selling
  • Helps share content
  • Use Email Marketing

According to Marketing Sherpa, 64% of respondents believe email marketing delivers the best return on investment. Email marketing is effective in cultivating relationships with business prospects and in nurturing them through the sales funnel.

email marketing ROI

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The Importance of Sales and Marketing Alignment

As mentioned previously, relationships are a crucial element in B2B sales. Everything in your B2B strategy should revolve around building long-term relationships with business prospects. A strong business-to-business leads strategy will involve both the sales and marketing teams.

Your organization will appear more credible and trustworthy when the marketing and sales teams work together. Companies with a B2B strategy that features sales and marketing alignment are more successful in nurturing prospects into buyers.

Throughout the marketing and sales processes, both departments work together to provide a cohesive, smooth experience for prospects. Marketing produces valuable content at each stage of the funnel while sales provides personal and prompt lead follow-up. Both sales and marketing must do all they can to serve, nurture, and build relationships with each lead.

Market Alignment Goals

Your marketing message plays a big role in the success of your company’s B2B sales. Market alignment is defined as “the process of creating a marketing message that is appropriately aligned, or in sync, with the target audience the message is intended to persuade.” The goal of your market alignment is to deliver the right message at the right time to the right prospects.

This is achieved when you focus on the buyer’s needs rather than on emphasizing how good your company,  products, and services are. Knowing your prospects, their pain points, and how your services and products can help, builds trust and a rapport. The early relationship-building formed by market alignment messaging improves the chances of a sale.

To fully understand which prospects your marketing department should be targeting, regular collaboration with the sales team is required. When marketing and sales are properly aligned, customer-centric messaging is incorporated into each sales funnel stage. Marketing can introduce market alignment messaging into content and sales can include it in lead follow-up and nurturing initiatives.

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Sales and Marketing Misalignment Issues

When sales and marketing aren’t on the same page problems ensue. Beyond the miscommunication and contradictory messaging issues that are bound to occur, misalignment can negatively affect the buyer’s journey. This lack of cohesiveness makes it more difficult to convert B2B leads into paying customers.

  • Issue #1: Poor Marketing Qualified Leads

A common marketing and sales misalignment issue is the failure to produce marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to sales. As a result, the sales team is stuck with poor prospects that do not respond to lead nurturing efforts. In turn, these leads fail to convert into paying customers.

  • Issue #2: Lack of Lead Follow-Up and Nurturing

Whether prospects are qualified or not, marketers can get frustrated at sales for not following up and nurturing the leads they are given. Once the marketing department hands off prospects to sales,  its nurturing endeavors may end.

  • Issue #3: Poor Marketing to Sales Handoff

When the sales and marketing teams use different lead qualification requirements, the prospect handoff can cause problems. When prospective buyers are handed off from marketing to sales, mixed messaging can occur. Leads are quick to notice the inconsistency and may be hesitant to move forward along the sales funnel.

  • Issue #4: Lack of ROI Attributed to Marketing

In some cases, marketers don’t know how their lead generation impacts the company’s return on investment (ROI). This can alienate the marketing team and lower the incentive and motivation for your marketers to aggressively seek the new leads your company needs.

Strategies for Meeting Your Marketing Goals

Common B2B marketing goals include producing qualified leads for your sales team, creating valuable, targeted content, and building relationships with buyers. Successfully completing these tasks plays an essential role in bringing awareness to your brand, products, and services. These goals are more attainable when they are S.M.A.R.T goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely).

Here are some B2B marketing goal strategies to try:

  • Establish MQLs Criteria: Work with your sales team to create uniform marketing qualified leads criteria. Only prospects that meet all of these established conditions should be referred to sales for nurturing.
  • Track Marketing ROI Contribution: Inform your marketers of how their lead generation efforts have directly contributed to the company’s ROI.
  • Involve Marketers in the Sales Process: Create opportunities for your marketers to sit in on sales calls and learn the overall selling process.
  • Utilize Marketing Automation Tools: Synchronize your company’s email and scheduling software between sales and marketing. Using the same program, a singular marketing message can be carried through in follow-ups by the sales team.
  • Create Unique Content for Each Step of the Buyer’s Journey: Marketers can create targeted content using buyer data, marketing goals, buyer personas, and lead generation strategies. The diversity of content is geared toward prospects in each stage of the sales funnel.

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  • Marketing Content

The foundation of your content marketing strategy should be centered around your buyers’ pain points and your company’s unique selling proposition. B2B leads will be more trusting of a company that demonstrates how it is focused on them and the ways it can help them to succeed. Referencing your company’s unique value proposition will make you stand out from your competitors.

Successful marketers build long-term relationships with B2B prospects, generate qualified leads, and help convert those leads into paying buyers. Throughout the buyer’s journey, there are opportunities to meet these marketing goals through content. Your content needs to build prospect trust, establish and reinforce brand authority, and resolve lead queries and concerns.

Your marketing content should provide valuable information to the right prospects, at the right time. The alignment of your marketing message should be adopted by your sales team when they interact with leads. Knowledge of the sales process will help form marketing content for each stage of the sales funnel.

Here are things to keep in mind when building relationships with B2B leads through content marketing:

  • Create a content library to guide prospects through the buyer journey
  • Share the content library with your sales department
  • Use gated content
  • Your content is for informing and educating, not selling
  • Keep the buyer at the center of your messaging
  • Use a variety of content pieces

To attract buyers, there must be sales and marketing alignment. Your market alignment messaging needs to be buyer-centered. There are many opportunities throughout the sales funnel to effectively use content marketing to reach prospects along the buyer’s journey.

Without a cohesive B2B lead strategy and sales and marketing alignment, you risk losing prospects. When your messaging is off, you may get unqualified leads.

LeadBoxer’s sales lead scoring platform enables you to correctly identify the best business-to-business buyers.

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What is IPv6 and Why Does it Matter?

Don’t be scared of the technical jargon surrounding Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). If lead generation is a major component of your company’s marketing plan, then learning about the latest version of the Internet is a must.

Once you understand what IPv6 is, why it’s important to your business, and how to leverage it, you’ll be able to identify and nurture prospects more effectively and responsibly than you currently do. To learn more, read on or jump ahead to these sections:

What is IPv6?

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the latest version of the Internet Protocol (IP), which is the system for identifying and connecting devices across the Internet. In essence, your device’s IP address is a series of numbers that tell the Internet where to send emails, articles or other content you want to access.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) started developing IPv6 in 1998 in preparation for the inevitable exhaustion of IP addresses provided by Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). Under IPv4, IP addresses are only 32 bits. A typical IPv4 address looks like this:

typical IPv4 address

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There are only about 4 billion possible 32-bit IP addresses available, a limit the world has long since hit. To accommodate the growing number of devices connecting to the Internet, IP addresses created by IPv6 are 128 bits. A typical IPv6 address looks like this:

typical IPv6 address

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With IPv6, there are approximately 3.4×1038 addresses available, or 340 undecillion addresses. Simply put, the world will never run out of IP addresses under IPv6.

Pros and Cons of IPv6 for Your Business

Hypothetically, IPv6 addresses can make it easier for marketing and sales teams to track and nurture leads. In reality, there are a few technical factors that complicate matters.

  • Pro: Better At Identifying Individual Devices

IPv6 addresses are potentially capable of acting as an identifier for each connected device on the planet, which would allow marketers to refine their targeting.

With IPv4, addresses typically describe a group of devices that share a network. For example, a laptop, tablet, mobile phone, and connected TV that belong to a family might be assigned a single IPv4 address. If there are multiple people within that household, marketers are limited in how well they can target a particular individual across devices.

With IPv6, the nearly infinite number of addresses theoretically makes it possible to assign a unique address to each device. Marketers could then associate an address with an individual as opposed to a household, thus making it easier to target that person whether they’re on their phone or laptop. Not only could this help increase conversion rates and customer experiences, but it could also make analytics more accurate.

While this sounds great in theory, there are a few considerations.

  • Con: Less Stable Tracking Technique

Not every device currently uses IPv6. In fact, IPv4 and IPv6 will likely be in use simultaneously for many years.

As of January 2021, only about 33% of people around the world who access Google have an IPv6 address. In the U.S., IPv6 adoption is just above 44%.

IPv6 adoption stats in USA

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This can create confusion for marketers. For example, a tablet within a household might have an IPv6 address while other devices connected to the same network might share an IPv4 address. To marketers, this would make it appear as though those devices came from two different households.

  • Con: Privacy Issues

Since IPv6 addresses can describe a unique device, you could make the argument that they can identify an individual better than IPv4 addresses. This would classify IPv6 addresses as personal information under privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

IP addresses were never meant to be a tool for marketers or advertisers, which is why the GDPR regulates how companies can use them. However, as you’ll later see, there are ways to leverage IPv6’s benefits while respecting your customers’ privacy.

How to Take Advantage of IPv6 in Your Business

Don’t let IPv6’s shortcomings prevent you from leveraging this new technology. With the right software and strategies, you can identify individual leads and determine how likely they are to buy from your business.

  • Use an IPv6 Tracker

There are countless tools out there that help you gather data about leads so you can better target and nurture them. For example, you could collect info about prospects through a sign-up form like this one:

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The data would then be sent to your lead intelligence software or customer relationship management (CRM) tool for your marketing and sales teams to review. With this knowledge in hand, employees have a better idea of who might be interested in your company’s product or service.

But what if a visitor to your site doesn’t fill out a form? This doesn’t mean they aren’t a good lead for your business. It also doesn’t prevent you from figuring out who are they or how to contact them.

Lead intelligence software like LeadBoxer can track and do reverse lookups on IPv6 addresses. You can see who is visiting your site, what company they work for, and even what their contact info is, all based on their IP address.

track IPv6 addresses with Leadboxer

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Best of all, this capability works right out of the box, so you can start capturing lead data on autopilot.

  • Create Personalized Customer Experiences

Want to make a stellar first impression? Tailor your website so that it’s even more relevant to prospective customers. You can do this by optimizing pages with content that automatically adjusts based on a visitor’s IP address.

This doesn’t require a ton of leg work or crafting personalized pages from scratch. Consider this example from Quicksprout:

Quicksprout personalized pages

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A single element within the copy changes depending upon the visitor’s geographic location. In this case, it’s Corpus Christi. This small detail instantly catches the user’s eye and increases the likelihood that they’ll answer the call to action.

  • Assess “Hot” Prospects

Leadscoring is the process of assigning a prospect a number between one and 100. The number reflects how likely the lead is to buy from your company. The higher the number, the better the prospect. This saves your sales team time by showing them who they should focus their attention on.

Tracking leads via IP addresses can increase the accuracy of a lead score. When you track a particular address, it’s easy to know which pages a prospect has visited or how much time they’ve spent on your site, which is essential for calculating a lead score.

LeadBoxer’s leadscoring tool

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LeadBoxer’s leadscoring tool is completely customizable. You decide which factors are most relevant to your team and how much weight they carry.

  • Update Your Privacy Statement

If you intend to use IP addresses in your lead generation efforts, there are a few legal considerations to keep in mind. In order to be GDPR compliant, companies must include a privacy policy on their website that states:

  • What type of information the site collects
  • Why this data is collected
  • How it’s processed, like where it’s stored and for how long
  • What steps you take to keep the info secure

There should also be clear, easy-to-follow instructions for visitors who want their personal information removed or not collected in the first place.

If you use lead intelligence software like LeadBoxer, you’ll need to add a disclosure about the product. Click here for paragraphs that you can copy and paste into your privacy policy.

For a more in-depth look at how to be GDPR compliant, check out this guide.

  • Mask IP Addresses

If you don’t want to disclose the use of LeadBoxer in your privacy policy, you can always enable IP address masking within the software. This feature keeps IPv4 and IPv6 addresses anonymous in the sense that the software won’t record the addresses onto a disk and store them. However, LeadBoxer can continue to identify companies, geographic locations, and other generic data points and be GDPR compliant.

IP masking with LeadBoxer is easy. Simply go to the datasets overview, click the settings icon, then tick the box labeled Enable Ip Masking.

IP address masking with Leadboxer

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IP masking with LeadBoxer

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Final Thoughts: Start Leveraging IPv6 Now

Of all the technological advancements that affect marketing and sales teams, IPv6 is perhaps the most important one to understand and prepare for. Adoption is ongoing and IPv6 will likely never be surpassed in our lifetime. In other words, resistance is futile.

Fortunately, there are several advantages to using IP addresses in your business. Tracking IPv6 addresses can give you a detailed picture of who is visiting your site and how engaged they are as a prospect. There are also several lead intelligence tools, such as LeadBoxer, that are already equipped with IPv6 address-monitoring capabilities.

There are some downsides to IPv6, such as privacy infringement. LeadBoxer has an answer for that, too. The IP masking feature makes it easy to stay GDPR-compliant, all without sacrificing any of the benefits of address-tracking, like identifying companies or geographic location.

Want to see for yourself? Get in touch with LeadBoxer and start a free trial today.

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Outlook Email Tracking Plugin: Customer Data Integration (CDI)

Tracking the online behavior of customers and prospects is becoming increasingly important. This helps to understand who’s visiting a website, why they’re there, and how the organization can contact them. While understanding website behavior is vital, tracking emails is also essential. That is where an email tracking plugin comes into play. These tools can attach to a user’s email provider and track who opens a message, when they do so, and much more. LeadBoxer is happy to introduce their new, sophisticated Outlook email tracking plugin. Before giving it a try, it is important to understand how it works and the benefits it provides for organizations.

Keep reading, or use the following links to “jump” ahead:

How Does the Outlook Email Tracking Add-In Work?

The LeadBoxer Outlook plugin is a feature that gives organizations better control of their email management process.

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The picture above is an example of how the tracking details appear in an Outlook account. The user can clearly see what email was opened, the time it was seen, and how many people viewed it.

This advanced tool can easily be downloaded to an Outlook account, giving instant access for improving lead generation efforts. That is not all; this sophisticated plugin also provides the following:

  • Link Tracking

Aside from tracking who opens emails and when the LeadBoxer Outlook plugin also tracks link behavior. The tool understands what links are clicked on, allowing a business to learn more about its customers or prospects.

When an email link is clicked, users of the plugin are able to see which exact link was chosen. This may help to paint a clearer picture of the customer’s needs.

  • Auto-On or Off Capabilities

Users may wish to employ the Outlook email tracking plugin only at certain times. Luckily, this advanced tool allows teams to do this with ease.

Users can simply switch the plugin on or off, giving them complete control. Users can also schedule the add-in feature to automatically turn on or off at set times. This customization is very convenient and can make an organization much more efficient.

  • Automatic Lead Scoring

While the Outlook plugin brings many benefits, it also effectively integrates with Leadboxer’s other valuable tools. When a customer or prospect opens an email, LeadBoxer will determine if that user is a qualified lead. If they are, LeadBoxer will give them a lead score.

This Outlook email tracking add-in helps sales teams understand more about their customers and where they are in the sales funnel. It can help organizations learn more about the user’s interests, making it possible to strategically target prospects for further engagement.

  • Website Activity

Those who integrate this plugin also have the ability to see the website behavior of their email users. When someone clicks on an email link, it will take them to the organization’s website. This advanced tool then tracks everything the user does on the site, providing many valuable insights.

What is even more beneficial is that LeadBoxer will remember the website and email behavior over long periods of time.

For example, let’s say someone clicks on an email link and looks at a few site pages. Years later, they go to that same website for more browsing. LeadBoxer will remember every detail of the online behavior from both instances.

The lead generation platform will then use those valuable insights to determine qualified leads and understand more about customers. If a user ever returns back to the same website, LeadBoxer will track every move. This can provide extremely valuable analytics to help power lead generation efforts.

Email Tracking Pixel

This Outlook plugin solution is all made possible thanks to something called an email tracking pixel. To learn more about how these can help lead generation efforts, read this post from LeadBoxer: How to Use an Email Tracking Pixel to Identify Sales Leads.

A tracking pixel usually comes in the form of a 1 pixel-by-1 pixel transparent image. This is then placed in the header, body, or footer of an email. When an email that contains the image is opened, the tracking pixel will load.

After the email has been seen, a message is sent to the server that indicates the action taken by the recipient. This is exactly how the process works for the LeadBoxer Outlook add-in. When the plugin is integrated, these tracking pixels are placed in every single email sent to customers.

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Benefits of Email Tracking

While estimates show there are currently 3.9 billion daily email users worldwide, having an effective email marketing strategy is imperative. As technology has advanced greatly over the years, email tracking services are becoming more popular.

Here are a few benefits of utilizing an email tracking solution:

  • Provides Context

Email tracking provides users with many insights regarding their customers and prospects. These can be used to boost outreach efforts and cater to the specific needs of the user. Learning which emails are opened, what’s clicked on, and how the user maneuvers around a site can provide tons of useful insights.

One example of this involves a customer that opens up an email multiple times in one day. In this case, the organization may reach out to this user to see if they need any assistance. Chances are, they may be highly interested in buying a product or learning more.

  • Saves Time

Some email users get annoyed if a business continues to send them emails, even if they have never opened up a single one. Email tracking allows organizations to better understand how successful their emails really are.

If a recipient did not open up the first, chances are they will not view the follow-up emails. When email tracking is used, businesses can make smarter decisions about who should be on their email list. These details can also help businesses determine if changes should be made in their email development process.

  • Team Benefits

The LeadBoxer Outlook plugin allows teams to work smarter than they ever have before. Instead of blindly sending emails to potential customers, this tool helps specify the best prospects to target.

A team within an organization may spend countless resources trying to reach potential customers. When they are unsuccessful, it can be difficult to understand the best course of action moving forward.

When email tracking software is integrated within a team, it provides more clarity on the success or failure of the group’s email strategy. If there is room for improvement, changes can be made to gain better results.

How Email Tracking Impacts Lead Generation

Lead generation is a hot topic for businesses around the globe. However, many businesses struggle to have the right strategy in place. That’s when leads drop and profits shrink.

Email tracking is geared towards powering lead generation efforts. It does this by providing valuable data for organizations to make faster and smarter decisions.

The LeadBoxer Outlook plugin offers a wide variety of details once a customer or prospect opens up an email.

detailed metrics of leadboxer outlook plugin

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Once a user opens up an email, details will then be displayed, similar to the graphic shown above. The information populated may include:

With all of this data at the fingertips of the user, targeting customers or prospects becomes that much easier. Businesses can use these detailed metrics to build ads, adjust marketing campaigns, and execute lead generation strategies.

  • Unlimited Emails

While some email tracking solutions limit the number of emails that can be tracked, that is not the case with LeadBoxer. Its Outlook plugin enables users to utilize this feature on each and every email they send. This means ample opportunities to gain more leads.

  • Unlimited Users

LeadBoxer’s email tracking Outlook solution provides users with an unlimited number of accounts. Whether an organization has two employees or two hundred, each and every person can utilize this plugin. This feature can also help drive more leads.

Installing the Outlook Plugin

LeadBoxer has made it extremely easy to integrate their email tracking plugin into an Outlook account.

To take advantage of this feature, be sure to follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook, then download and install the add-in
  2. Restart the Outlook app, then click on the setting symbol
  3. Find your LeadBoxer dataset ID, then copy and paste it into the field that populates

Note: This number can be found in your signup email

how to integrate email tracking plugin into outlook

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Next, compose an email as you normally would, then click on the track email icon located near the top of the screen.

how to enable email tracking in outlook

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While LeadBoxer offers an exceptional email tracking plugin, they also provide many other incredible tools to help organizations succeed. Schedule a demo with LeadBoxer today to find the high-quality leads that drive business growth.

Customer Engagement Strategies for Millennials

Most organizations strive to engage with their customers at a high level. However, engagement with the right audience at the right time can be difficult to achieve. When assessing who to target in your lead generation efforts, it’s important to find the right demographic best suited for your offerings. While an organization may target a wide variety of people, Millennials are currently a common demographic to approach. In order to effectively develop and cultivate leads, it’s best to understand a few key customer engagement strategies for Millennials.

Keep reading or use the following links to “jump” ahead:

Customer Engagement Strategies for Millennials

When comparing millennials to other generations like Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z, there are many differences to consider.

Millennials operate very differently when making purchase decisions. For example, a Baby Boomer may call a retailer while a Millennial would rather surf the web before calling. Due to the constant changes in how this demographic operates, it’s vital to stay updated on the following customer engagement strategies to boost engagement and generate leads.

Complete a Marketplace Analysis

To effectively target Millennials, it’s important to understand how this audience behaves. The first step in learning more about this demographic involves completing a marketplace analysis.

  • What is Marketplace Analysis?

A marketplace analysis dives deeper into the behaviors and patterns of a target audience. Additionally, it involves an assessment of the industry, competitors, and other market variables. The process involves the following three elements:

  • Customer Analysis: Understanding more about the needs and wants of the customer in order to provide relevant offerings.
  • Competitors Analysis: Reviewing competitors to see how your organization can improve.
  • Partner Analysis: Understanding how partners or suppliers help to achieve goals.

As the visual below demonstrates, there are several factors used to complete an effective marketplace analysis. The process involves both internal and external elements.

effective marketplace analysis

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By completing a marketplace analysis, organizations can better understand the buyer landscape for Millennials. However, effectual customer engagement strategies for Millennials rely on the ability to appeal to this generation by understanding the typical buyer journey of this audience.

Understand the Modern B2B Buyer Journey

It turns out that more and more Millennials are making key B2B buying decisions. In fact, a 2018 survey showed that 13% of Millennials are decision-makers in B2B purchasing. The same survey showed that 28% of them help to influence purchasing decisions within their organizations.

As these numbers are relatively low, we expect those percentages to continue to grow. We learned in 2015 that Millennials are now considered the largest generation in the workforce, passing Boomers.

So, what’s the best forward-thinking approach to increase engagement with Millennials and create more leads? It involves understanding more about the modern B2B buyer journey.

The Millennial buyer journey looks different compared to other generations. According to HIPB2B, 86% of millennials prefer to not engage with sales until the middle of the buying process. Additionally, 67% of the buyer’s journey is now completed in a digital format.

Those statistics show that Millennials will review your website and content before making a purchase decision. Other generations may make a decision much sooner in the process.

  • Privacy

As Millennials enjoy browsing through a website until they decide to make a purchase decision, they don’t like to be pressured. If they open your emails or download something on your site, experts suggest not calling them right away.

While calling them may sound like the most practical decision for your lead generation efforts, it can make them feel pressured. Millennials prefer to stay behind a screen. It’s best to be patient and focus on a lead-nurturing approach.

cell phone habits graphic

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As the graphic demonstrates, Millennials are far more inclined to text rather than call. As you’re looking to increase customer engagement with this demographic, these findings are important to consider.

  • Sending Nurture Messages

Instead of pressing this generation into a phone call, sending lead nurturing messages is encouraged. Some common types of nurture messages include:

  • An introduction or greeting
  • Information about a product or service
  • Directions
  • Call-to-action
  • Availability hours

While GenXers and Boomers may prefer to speak with a sales agent about a product or service, Millennials prefer doing research on their own before making a call.

Know Where Millennials Go for Information

Another customer engagement strategy for millennials involves finding where they get their information. It’s vital to understand how they operate online and what information they use to make purchase decisions.

Millennials use some of the less traditional B2B sources to find their info. According to MarketingSherpa, 38% of Millennials rely on industry analysis when making decisions about what B2B products/services to purchase or recommend to others. 36% rely on in-person meetings with vendors, while 33% of Millennials gather information from a vendor’s website.

  • Building Trust

Why do you think Millennials rely on an industry analysis when making B2B purchase decisions? For the most part, it involves trust.

Industry-analysis content gives your brand third-party validation that creates trust in the eyes of the buyer. If a Millennial is able to see that you’re a reputable brand in the industry, they are more likely to become a high-quality lead.

Provide a Bargain

As every adult today has lived through some type of great recession or depression, we all understand the value of a dollar. In fact, the majority of generations are still experiencing the impact of the 2008 recession.

That could point to the fact that Millennials are constantly looking for a good deal. According to MediaPost, 48% of Millennials used online coupons in 2016. That was more than both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

While Millennials may not be using their own budget when buying something, these B2B buyers are still bargain shoppers.

To cultivate as many leads as possible, it’s encouraged to send out coupons to your entire audience. As everyone enjoys saving money, providing coupons can be a driving force for increasing conversion for your Millennial shoppers.

Properly Segment Content

Another smart tactic is to ensure your content is segmented effectively. Content segmentation involves positioning your website to effectively convert visitors into buyers. Due to how differently Millennials operate online, it’s important to know which content segmentation strategies work best for this demographic.

The process starts by first assessing what you see working for each age group. Through A/B testing and optimization, organizations can determine what types of content these audiences enjoy. Following that step, you’ll then want to target those generational demographics based on your findings.

As the graphic below indicates, four key areas must be understood to properly segment content. Given how different age groups are more responsive to specific types of content, understanding the proper segmentation process can allow you to make smarter, more relevant decisions with your messaging.

market segmentation graphic

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Develop Personalized Mobile Messaging

According to The Future of Customer Engagement and Experience, personalized mobile messaging is what drives conversions. These messages are more relevant when received via text, and these messages receive higher open rates compared to other mobile marketing tactics. Furthermore, mobile messaging boosts customer loyalty.

While mobile messaging is a driving force for millennials, it also provides these benefits for retailers:

  • SMS works on any device and any network
  • Requires no apps to download
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Easy to implement
  • Safe and secure
  • A simple source of communication
  • Cost-effective

With the abundance of digital services available today, it’s easy for retailers to start mobile engagement strategies to boost lead generation. Areas such as shipping and account alerts are easy places to start. From there, an organization may choose to promote personalized marketing offers or even a loyalty program.

Another part of your personalized mobile engagement strategy could include two-way communications with customer service, personalized shopping assistance, and surveys and polls that operate in real-time.

  • Intelligent Notification Platforms

Organizations may choose to utilize intelligent notification platforms in their mobile messaging strategy. These are used to improve service quality for the customer. Without it, users may receive the wrong messages on the wrong devices.

These platforms help to ensure the following:

  • Messages reach the right user on the right device
  • Messages align with objectives
  • Interactions are private, safe, and secure
  • Messaging is reliable
  • Interactions build customer loyalty
  • Messaging increases engagement

Utilize Data Resources

Understanding more about Millennials involves understanding more about the data at your disposal. Luckily, there are many avenues to find valuable data insights regarding how the Millennial audience behaves online.

Today, it’s even possible to get near-real-time anonymized mobile data aggregated from millions of mobile users from across the world.

To provide the most relevant and timely messaging, you should leverage internal and external data sources and intelligent notification platforms as well as account based selling if it fits. This can ensure your organization has the most relevant, valuable data to drive your lead cultivation efforts. It can also ensure the right content is delivered to the right audience at the right time.

Boosting customer engagement with Millennials involves utilizing high-quality lead management software. Contact LeadBoxer today to learn more about its sophisticated lead and customer data platform.

customer data security scaled 1

Customer Data Security: What You Need to Know and How LeadBoxer Does it Better

“We guarantee 100% privacy. Your information will not be shared.” All businesses pursuing leads through emails try to reassure their clients of the security of their email services. However, customer data security is not only different from data privacy. It’s also more complex as it involves the collection and processing of data along with its protection from unauthorized sources.

Read on to learn about data collection and customer data security, why they are necessary, and how LeadBoxer is helping you keep your customers’ data secure or “jump ahead” to the following subtopics:

data privacy vs securitySource

Lead Generation and Data Collection

Lead generation is an integral part of the sales process, and identifying quality leads is important. LeadBoxer has been using data-driven lead qualification for a number of years.

By collecting and analyzing tracking data from websites and emails, platforms such as LeadBoxer help you generate, identify, and follow up on promising leads by providing you with an individual lead score. This method of quantifying makes it much easier for you to evaluate the quality of leads.

Modern email marketing is automated with the help of tools that can be integrated with major platforms such as Gmail and Outlook. Tools such as a tracking pixel may be used to uncover data on who has opened your emails, or clicked on a link, or started drafting a reply.

email marketing statistics on customersSource

Some popular email tracking plugins compatible with Outlook include those provided by HubSpot, ContactMonkey, SalesHandy, and Bananatag. LeadBoxer has integrated a new Outlook email tracking add-in to further enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your lead generation process.

Data may also be collected via other means, such as social media profiles, particularly LinkedIn. Intent data, including topic data and context data, is a useful up-and-coming indicator of a potential lead. Leads generally respond favorably to the first ones to approach them in a timely manner. That’s why LeadBoxer’s data collection and analysis tools are built for speed.

While data is not infallible, it highlights major trends and subsets in your potential leads. It also showcases which parts of your service are being more frequently used, which calls to action (CTAs) are working well, and which marketing strategies are most productive. In the modern, data-driven world, lead generation is more reliant on data collection than ever before.

With highly detailed data being collected on an unprecedented scale, customer data security is more important now than ever before.

layers of protection from ADP

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What is Customer Data Security and Why is it Necessary?

Customer data security is the process of securing data against all forms of unauthorized access and corruption. This is done using a variety of techniques, including encryption, secure cloud storage, designated channels for data transfer, and more. In the case of email security, databases containing email tracking and other information are secured to prevent data breaches.

facts about cyber security and vulnerability

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When a client hears the word “tracking”’ or approves of their data being collected and used by a business, they worry that their sensitive information might fall into the wrong hands. That’s because data can be misused in many ways.

If email data is made public, phishing and spamming agencies will begin harassing clients. Potentially even widening the data breach. Multiple online accounts can be compromised, intellectual property can be stolen or misappropriated. Or worse, data can be sold to the darker sides of society.

In order to prevent a data breach—which would lead to these scenarios—data security is necessary.

When talking about the importance of customer data security, trust is another aspect to consider. The entire sales process is based on building brand awareness and trust. A breach of security would cause a breach of trust, greatly hampering your brand image. In a study conducted by IBM in 2018, 78% of respondents in the US said a company’s ability to keep their data private was “extremely important.” You can also read about brand persona more.

Lastly, leaked data may be used by competitors in order to steal your clients, reversing all your hard work. Needless to say, data security is critical to the success of a data-reliant lead generation system.

Where Do Businesses Go Wrong?

  • Not Keeping Track of Access Permissions

Instances of multiple access permissions can cause confusion within an organization. In cases where employee turnover is high, former employees may still have access to data. All databases should be strictly monitored to reconfirm who has access. Access redundancy should be eliminated.

  • Not Being Aware of Internal Threats

In many cases, internal stakeholders may “betray” the company by initiating a data leak. It is important for an organization to assess and monitor those potential threats to customer data security. It is also important to educate all internal stakeholders about safe operating procedures, ensuring the security of emails, and the importance of keeping company and client data secure.

  • Not Knowing How to Respond to a Data Breach

Many organizations do not have the knowledge or experience to effectively react to a data breach. This aggravates the issue: it leaves data compromised for a longer period of time. And encourages data thieves to expose much more data than would normally be possible, painting the organization in a poor light.

In the event of a data breach:

  • Identify the source and the extent of the breach. When you have a proper security log, this task and improving security for the future will become easier.
  • Alert your breach task force so they begin work on containing the breach.
  • Test to ensure that the temporary fix is completely secure, and implement the fix on any similarly vulnerable systems.
  • Inform all concerned authorities and affected customers of the breach. Make sure you have complied with all applicable laws in this regard.
  • Work to recover customer trust and reduce the economic impact of the breach.
  • Not Accounting for Physical Factors

Software is not the only risk factor for data security. Companies should make sure that all hardware is protected against risks such as side-channel and Trojan attacks. They should further ensure that hardware is protected against environmental and physical hazards, to prevent data loss and corruption.

  • Not Caring or Knowing Enough About Customer Data Security

Hackers and others with malicious intent often pick out “easy” targets for attacks. When an organization doesn’t put in proper safeguards to protect customer data security, there may be backdoors into your network. Remove them as soon as possible.

Organizations should routinely scan all systems for malware that may create such weaknesses, and remove them. They should also routinely check for improper configurations and corrupted files that may create weaknesses in your network. It is also important to educate employees so that user errors are kept to a minimum.

Organizations with poor data security make themselves more vulnerable to multiple/consecutive attacks. Because hackers are more aware of the weaknesses in the system, and how to exploit them.

What are Good Personal Data Security Practices?

  • Maintaining Strong Passwords

Weak passwords are hackable, providing those with malicious intent an entry into the system. A strong password should include lowercase and uppercase letters, at least one numeral, and at least one permissible special character. Take care not to repeat passwords (often). If you have a poor memory or too many passwords, use a password manager.

  • Educate Yourself (and Others)

Make sure to know the best customer data security practices, to use them. And to help others in your professional network, particularly colleagues, with the process. It will help you and your organization.

  • Be Conscientious

Integrate good data practices into your daily life! Use a virtual private network (VPN) when possible. Don’t share secure data without checking for HTTPS or a security certificate. Don’t share sensitive information over public networks. And don’t leave yourself logged in to online accounts.

How LeadBoxer is Keeping Client Data Secure

  • GDPR Compliance

LeadBoxer understands the potential risks of a data breach, and endeavors to keep your clients’ data secure. In accordance with this ideal, LeadBoxer’s lead generation process is fully GDPR compliant. GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, is a regulation agreed upon by the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission. It applies to all companies who market to—and therefore collect the data of—citizens of the European Union, irrespective of where the company is based.

GDPR infographic on one year of work

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The regulation is stringent, ensuring that companies are transparent in their data privacy policies, and do their best to maintain data security. According to a 2018 survey by DMA, 62% of UK respondents felt more comfortable sharing their data once these laws were in place. General public response to the regulation is positive, and LeadBoxer’s compliance reflects a commitment to data and email security.

  • Privacy Policy

LeadBoxer’s privacy policy is GDPR-compliant and highly transparent. Steps we take to ensure the security of all data, irrespective of origin, or function. While data security and privacy are not the same, LeadBoxer is striving to ensure that data security and data privacy are both ironclads.

LeadBoxer provides a digitally secure, automated solution for data-based lead generation. Security of emails ensures that you are getting genuine clients and that your clients are protected. Alongside providing a secure system for your sales team, LeadBoxer is committed to maintaining customer data security and email security for you and your prospects.

customer engagement strategy scaled 1

How to Implement a Customer Engagement Strategy With Customer Engagement Trends

When comparing interest in customer engagement over the last 15 years we see a steady increase in search volume. It’s no wonder, with software companies constantly looking for new ways to view and use data to improve customer engagement strategies and customer experience.

We want to help guide professionals through this ever-changing journey. That is why we put together these trends and strategy tips to help improve your company’s customer engagement strategy through the use of emerging technologies.

Read on or jump ahead to a section:

What Is Customer Engagement?

Customer engagement is the process of interacting with your customers through the use of different channels and mediums. By connecting with your clients this way you’re strengthening and improving your relationship with them.

Most companies consider the starting point for the customer engagement process as the first interaction a potential customer has had with your business. The process continues even after you have made a sale.

Social media tends to be one of the most popular ways for brands to directly interact with their customers. When done right, it has great benefits. In fact, 71% of people who have a good experience with a brand on social media are likely to refer others to that business.

One way companies continue to create personalized engagement is through conversation in the comments section of social media ads and posts. Companies that do this offer a unique and engaging experience for their customer base, making them more likely to buy from them in the future.

The 4 Types of Customer Engagement Levels

There are four distinct types of customer engagement levels every company should be aware of before crafting their customer engagement strategy.

1. Contextual Engagement

When you do not have any context in your advertising efforts, any engagement you try ends up turning into noise customers tune out.

Contextual engagement means interacting with your customers at the optimal time in the way they want to be communicated with. We can do this through the use of analytic technology that assists your teams in understanding your customers’ behaviors.

A lead generation and management software can help you identify demographic information such as IP addresses, filled out forms, and other website engagements, giving you the context you need to interact with them effectively.

customer engagement
customer engagement

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For example, in this photo, we can see the engagement potential clients had with the site. From this, we can engage them with the content they are already interested in.

If LeadBoxer were a potential lead of ours, we would see Eddie engage with us on Twitter, but Wart likes to read our emails. To reach each of them effectively, we would send Eddie a direct message on Twitter and Wart an email.

These are examples of how we use contextual engagement to interact with our customers based on the information we have about them. By focusing on the individual client’s behaviors we can achieve a more personalized customer journey and offer an unmatched experience.

2. Engagement of Convenience

Engagement of convenience is any type of interaction that increases convenience for your customers and allows the company’s software to better understand each customer’s needs. Put simply, it’s when a customer can easily engage with your business through simple channels. Consumers engage with you because it’s easy for them to do so.

An example of this is Amazon’s  “one-click” purchase option where purchasing preferences such as payment and shipping address are pre-saved and speed up the purchasing process. Because of the convenience, more people shop with Amazon even if it ends up costing them more.

If you sell products online, implementing this level of customer engagement in your strategy could help you convert leads quicker and make it more likely for them to come back to you.

3. Emotional Engagement

With 95% of buyer decisions happening unconsciously, it is important to consider the emotional reaction of customers. Emotional connections have traditionally been marketed through brand color schemes or imaging. However, consumer awareness has evolved, making it necessary for companies to engage with consumers in a more personalized way.

Utilizing software that tracks an increasing number of data points means increased awareness of each customer’s ideal environment for making buying decisions such as when to buy and how often they should purchase.

By using an emotional engagement data manager, you can create more accurate buyer personas. You can even identify the point where leads are most likely to convert and become long-term customers.

Some of the more advanced software will send you emails when a lead is likely to convert so you can jump on it right away.

customer activities
customer activities

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4. Social Engagement

Social engagement is the real-time advocacy of your company.

And social media is where people go to get information, real-time reviews, and customer testimonials for your business. It is easy for your customers to leave reviews online for others to see.

You must make sure your customers have a good experience with your brand to avoid negative reviews. Being vigilant about your customer experience also helps you avoid losing customers due to a negative experience. It is also important to respond to customers in a  polite, helpful manner.

Having positive social engagement is essential for a business to be successful. When you have positive endorsements online, say from influencers, you’re more likely to have a positive online identity.

Understanding how the different types of customer engagement levels help your business will guide you to create an effective customer relationship marketing strategy.

The first must-use customer engagement marketing trend you need to be a part of is using a customer relations management platform (CRM) that profiles your customers. CRM software enables the profiling of your customers and provides an enhanced understanding of your customer engagement levels.

lead-management-platform

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A good CRM can even tell you how often a customer would like to be engaged and when they would like to be engaged, helping you do better with contextual engagement.

The second must-have in your marketing strategy is a strong mobile-first strategy. Almost half of all online shopping is done using a mobile device. You can’t get away with having a site that looks great on the desktop but does not work on mobile devices. It is imperative for you to have a well-functioning, mobile-friendly website.

The third customer engagement strategy you need to implement is becoming extremely personalized in your marketing messages. Use the potential customer’s name in the subject line or intro in your email campaigns. 82% of marketers have seen an increase in open rates when they use personalization in their campaigns.

It’s simple to set up personalization, especially with email campaigns, and there’s no reason not to include it. You can even extend personalization into any type of advertisement, such as tracking which products people look at on your site, and then serving ads to them later featuring those products.

The last customer engagement strategy you must include is SMS/text messaging. Text messaging open rates are at a whopping 98% compared to just 20% of email marketing. If you are not including an SMS strategy in your plan, you are missing out.

Now that you understand what the emerging trends for 2021 and beyond are, let’s get into how to use these to build an effective customer engagement strategy.

How to Develop & Implement a Customer Engagement Strategy

With up to two-thirds of a company’s profits relying on customer engagement, it’s imperative to create a customer engagement strategy and implement it early. Follow these steps to create your customer engagement strategy:

  1. Define your customer journey map. You have to understand who your ideal customer is and where they are likely to shop.
  2. Identify interaction points—where and how are your customers are engaging with you.
  3. Setup engagement where people want to be engaged. If you post on social media all the time but no one ever comments, you are wasting your efforts. You need to find new channels for customer engagement.
  4. View behavior in real-time. See what your customers are doing as they’re interacting with you, and give them the content that’s most important to them.
  5. Offer personal service. Give each customer a unique and personalized experience.
  6. Watch conversions and non-conversions to see where people are converting and where they drop off to improve the experience.
  7. Take feedback. Ask people how they felt while interacting with your brand and make changes when needed.

Implement Your Customer Engagement Strategy Today

Now that you understand the current customer engagement marketing trends and the steps you need to take to get started, it is time to create and implement your customer engagement strategy. Be sure to check out this helpful guide to help you build a top lead generation strategy.

Are you serious about getting your strategy launched today? Check out LeadBoxer’s website to schedule a free demo.

lead generation versus prospecting

Lead Generation Versus Prospecting: Similarities and Differences

You may believe that closing a sale is the most essential part of the sales journey. However, how that journey begins is equally important. It begins with identifying potential customers—the people who are most likely to convert into a sale. Leads are another very important element in the sales process. Although leads and prospects have some similarities, there are many differences to consider. Understanding these variances can help you achieve more success in your sales efforts – lead generation versus prospecting is what we’re going to cover.

Keep reading or use the following links to navigate to different sections:

Sales Prospecting Definition

Sales prospecting is the process of finding, initiating, and developing new business. It involves a wide variety of tactics for targeting potential customers. At a critical stage of the sales funnel, the goal of sales prospecting is to convert prospects into revenue-generating clients.

One of the fundamental elements of prospecting involves finding potential customers who are best suited for your offerings. This process involves understanding the challenges this audience is facing, then finding solutions to those needs.

Essential Sales Prospecting Elements

Sales prospecting techniques and tactics can vary from one organization to the next, but there are some key components to consider.

  • Ideal Client Profile with Elasticity

Developing an ideal client profile is essential in your sales prospecting efforts. This step involves conducting research into defining your ideal customer. Then, you develop a profile that lists out each of those characteristics.

While it’s vital to build a profile of your ideal client, it’s best to build one with some elasticity. In the podcast Sales Reinvented, The Key to Successful Lead Generation and Prospecting, Bill McCormick asserts, “You’ll want to build an ideal client profile with some elasticity. Don’t be so rigid in your profile that you don’t look outside of it.”

Of course, you want to target prospects who fit your ideal profile, but giving it some flexibility is the smartest tactic. This can lead to developing more prospects, which could eventually result in more sales.

ideal customer profile

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The visual above is an example of an ideal client profile. As you can see, the customer is described using the following characteristics:

  • Values, goals, wants
  • Fears
  • Success
  • Pain
  • Objections
  • Failure

By asking these questions regarding this specific person, organizations and sales professionals can gain insights into whom to target. Knowing this information can lead to making better, more informed decisions in the sales process.

Social Selling

Social selling has become an important component of sales prospecting. It involves leveraging your social network to find highly qualified prospects. This is achieved by building relationships and making social connections.

To have a better understanding of social selling, there are four key pillars to consider:

  • Build a professional brand
  • Focus on the right prospects
  • Use insights for engagement
  • Develop trusted relationships

A professional brand shows trust. As buyers are selective with the brands they choose, you must position your organization in a professional light.

When it comes to engaging with prospects, you want to be seen as an expert in the industry. Be sure to share relevant industry content with your followers, comment on news alerts, and stay engaged with users.

As 62% of B2B buyers respond to salespeople that connect with relevant insights and opportunities, relevancy and engagement are essential.

  • The Power of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the leading channels for your social selling efforts. As it’s essentially known as “the social media for business professionals,” it’s a great place for sales prospecting.

Currently, there are nearly 700 million active users on LinkedIn. This platform is used by business professionals and organizations across the globe that provide many potential prospects.

LinkedIn is a leading destination for social selling for the following reasons:

  • User-friendly platform
  • Very popular
  • Many useful features
  • Paid media available
  • Simple messaging

Social selling is also an effective tool for authentically nurturing a prospect. It is a way to show value to the potential customer and position you as a reputable force in your industry.

nurturing a prospect in linkedin

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According to the information on the graphic above, LinkedIn has a huge impact on sales prospecting and buyer decisions. If you’re looking to boost your social selling efforts, LinkedIn is a great place to start.

“Ditch the Pitch”

A sales pitch has always been a key aspect of any sales process. However, Ben McCormick from the Sales Reinvented podcast urges sales professionals to “ditch the pitch.”

“We have to develop ways we are providing value and insight at every turn so we can nurture someone along,” Ben adds.

Instead of leading with the pitch, you want to focus on nurturing and adding value through every phase of the cycle.

  • Selling from the Heart

Authenticity is a big factor when trying to close a deal. After all, customers want to trust you and believe your product or service is what they need. That said, you want to focus on how to authentically nurture relationships with prospects.

As you want to move prospects along in the sales funnel, show them you genuinely care. Give them valuable information and insights wherever they are in the sales journey. Remember to never be pushy, don’t pitch right away, and focus more on the conversation.

“Don’t think in terms of closing a sale. You don’t want commission breath. Think in terms of having a conversation,” Bill McCormick adds.

Lead Generation Definition

Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers to obtain their contact information. The goal is to find effective ways to make someone interested in your products or services. If they do become interested and provide contact information, that’s when they become a lead.

While sales prospecting and lead generation do have some similarities, Ben McCormick from the Sales Reinvented podcast points out some clear differences.

“I see a lead like they’re at the top of the funnel. They aren’t yet qualified, and they may even not be a part of the sales process. But a prospect is someone who is already qualified,” Ben notes.

“All prospects are leads, but not all leads are prospects,” he adds.

As 60% of marketing professionals say lead generation is a key pain point for their business, understanding its key elements is essential.

Key Components of Lead Generation

Finding highly qualified leads is a vital part of the sales process. Using various techniques and tactics, organizations have developed very specific steps for their lead generation efforts. While this process can vary from one organization to another, there are some key components to understand about generating leads.

  • It Happens Early in the Process

Bill McCormick points out that lead generation happens in the beginning stages of the sales journey. However, rather than prospecting, lead generation is all about lead qualification.

The process involves quickly assessing an ideal client profile to decide if that person will move to the prospecting stage. Once a prospect, further research is needed to nurture these potential customers through the sales funnel.

  • Profile of High-Value Lead

Similar to sales prospecting, successful lead generation efforts begin with developing an ideal client profile. However, as you want to convert leads with the most value, it’s best to build a profile of a high-value, ideal customer.

Once you design this client profile, it can help you determine which leads to moving forward and which leads to discarding. Once these leads are generated, the next essential component involves deciding if these leads can become prospects.

Lead Qualification

Lead qualification is an important element of lead generation. Although many organizations have different tactics, lead qualification involves the characteristics that qualify someone to become a lead.

This process is completed by capturing client information using the following resources:

  • Site views
  • Website behavior
  • Email subscriptions
  • Email tracking
  • Social media

lead qualification map

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As seen in the graphic above, the lead qualification phase is a vital part of the sales funnel. This step is when a business decides to move on with a lead, or discard them altogether. If a lead isn’t interested at the time, they can swing back to the marketing phase where further nurturing occurs.

Targeting and Nurturing Leads Authentically

Just like in sales prospecting, authenticity goes a long way in lead generation. After all, no one likes a pushy, insincere salesperson.

As persuasion is a fundamental element of a sales job, there is a way to persuade in an authentic manner. This is done by providing value and useful insights through natural conversation with the customer.

  • Don’t Rush the Process

Ben McCormick from the podcast also mentions how sales prospecting and lead generation should never be rushed. “Timing is everything,” he notes.

“If we focus on valuable and insightful conversations, the sales will come when the time is right,” Ben adds.

While sales prospecting and lead generation involve many elements, data and analytics are what powers these efforts. LeadBoxer is a platform that assists in collecting and mining data to properly identify high-quality sales leads.

social selling best practices

Social Selling Index Best Practices

Does your business do social selling? And no, we’re not talking about social media marketing. Are your salespeople developing meaningful online relationships with prospects?

If you rely on cold-calling and sending spam emails then you’re at a disadvantage. Your customers want to interact with and buy from a person, not a company. Such kind of selling creates beneficial relationships between businesses and customers.

In this article, we explore social selling and how it has revolutionized the B2B market. We also explore the social selling index and what a positive score can mean for lead generation and meeting sales quotas. Read on or jump ahead to the sections listed below:

What is Social Selling?

Social selling is the use of social media to find, engage, and nurture leads. It is different from social media marketing which seeks to increase brand awareness. It sets your business up as a trustworthy industry leader.

Salespeople who do this kind of selling become the source of information and solutions to their prospects’ problems. They rise to the top of their prospects’ minds and are most likely to get the lead’s business.

social selling sales model

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How to Start a Selling Business Through Social Selling

The first step in setting up successful social selling is creating social media profiles. A professional LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, and Facebook business page are all essential foundations. Ideally, each salesperson will have a social media account tied to your business.

The next step includes finding and socially listening to your prospects. Once you find qualified prospects, identify their unique problems to make it easier for you to offer customized solutions. Below are some ways you can use Facebook and Twitter to identify and begin having interactions with prospects:

  • Facebook

With a Facebook Business Page, social selling salespeople can flaunt their expertise and professionalism while showing some of their personality. After creating your business page, connect with current followers, and reach out to other businesses for social selling success.

You can engage followers by publishing open-ended questions and responding to customer posts and comments. Rapport also happens when you like and share customer posts. Publishing an ebook, report, infographic, or white paper on Facebook, based on customer feedback, also promotes engagement.

You can set yourself apart from other salespeople by sharing, liking, and commenting on the posts of other businesses. When you engage with other companies on Facebook, they will likely return the favor through reciprocal engagement. When businesses engage with your brand, your name will be shown to their followers. This expands your prospect pool.

LeadBoxer Facebook Page Example

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  • Twitter

Twitter Lists are a great way to find and organize sales prospects. These lists help you keep track of which leads get what content. Sharing targeted information with prospects will move them along the sales funnel quicker.

Here are some examples of lists salespeople should create and update regularly:

  • Existing customers
  • Leads
  • Competitors
  • Twitter lists

Social Selling Best Practices

Social selling relationships that are cultivated correctly will be more successful. Due to your sales team’s diligent and consistent efforts, your business will be positioned as the best solution in the minds of current and potential customers. As a perceived industry leader, these best practices will increase your sales conversion rates:

  • Be Human

Robots are impersonal and don’t engage prospects. While there are automated liking and commenting tools to save you time, they don’t build rapport with leads. Automation robots can actually damage your brand’s reputation and customer relationships.

Show up instead! Prospects will more likely trust, interact with, and make purchasing decisions when feeling they have made an authentic connection with a real person. Do this through friendly professionalism.

You can share your personable approach to sales through your professional social media profiles. Optimizing your profiles through titles, job functions, and industry keywords can enhance your visibility to prospects. Posting helpful articles, partnering with other industry leaders, and participating in industry online groups illustrate your friendliness and value.

LeadBoxer LinkedIn Profile Example

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  • Do Social Listening

A glance at your prospects’ social media profiles alerts you to what they like, need, and want. With this information, you’ll be poised to deliver targeted, relevant content to them. When you offer a solution to their specific problem, a relationship forms.

Social listening also provides salespeople valuable information concerning mutual contacts. And what people are saying about the company. Request a brief introduction from established customers to these shared connections so you can network. Observe problem areas people are commenting on about your company or industry and respond with solutions.

  • Provide Valuable, Helpful Content

The goal of social selling is to build relationships with leads. This isn’t done through sales pitches and presentations. Instead of praising your product or service, produce valuable, helpful content.

Prospects are more willing to interact and do business with a salesperson who is seen as an industry expert. Write informative posts and add knowledgeable insight to others’ posts via comments. Sharing posts from other industry leaders illustrate to your sales leads that you have a genuine interest in enabling them to resolve their own issues.

Relationships take time. So, salespeople engaged in social selling should not seek to make a sale from their first interaction. Your product or service should only be referenced if it adds value to your conversation with a lead.

  • Build Lasting Relationships

Building relationships with prospects to nurture them into customers is a common goal. However, the relationship after conversion needs to continue to produce repeat customers. Customer retention is more cost-effective and profitable than constantly acquiring new ones.

Lasting relationships involve give and take. Salespeople should do more than provide valuable content and contributions. They also need to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions and comments of the prospects they’re cultivating a relationship with.

Social Selling on LinkedIn and the Social Selling Index

LinkedIn is a social networking site built around forming professional connections. It is where professionals can showcase their expertise. Sales reps in the social selling business have a LinkedIn profile and are actively engaged in LinkedIn groups.

LinkedIn helps establish brand credibility and connects salespeople to valuable leads. For those in B2B sales, LinkedIn is the place where one can connect with those making purchasing decisions. Here are some ways you can maximize your social selling on LinkedIn:

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  • Boost Your Authority

When creating your profile, be sure to emphasize relevant experience, accomplishments, awards, and memberships. Highlighting how you’ve helped past customers makes your profile customer focused. Additionally, ask your contacts for recommendations and to endorse your skills.

With an optimized profile, you’ll be visible to prospects and be viewed as an authority and a valuable resource. Most importantly a resource that is offering the solutions leads are looking for. You’ll secure prospects, building relationships with them, and converting them into customers.

  • Expand Your Network

LinkedIn is an example of online business networking and a good place for account expansion. The more connections you make, the greater your network becomes. The larger your network, the more opportunities you’ll have to meet promising leads. Or people who’ll introduce you to prospects.

Here is a great example of a Guardian Life financial advisor whose leads took off with LinkedIn. With one client, he obtained 35 referrals. Since then, his social selling business has more than doubled.

  • Participate in LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn has many professional networking groups that offer opportunities to meet other professionals and prospects. Here, one can share and post relevant, informative content and comment on other’s posts. When you’re active in a group, it conveys that you’re knowledgeable in your industry.

  • Social Selling Index

Salespeople with a high social selling index do better at attracting and converting prospects. LinkedIn is a great place to boost one’s index score. LinkedIn social selling index correlates to more leads and met sales quotas.

This index is a score that takes into account the following variables:

  • The quality of relationships
  • The salesperson’s personal brand
  • The amount of relevant content and engagement they produce
  • How well ideal prospects are targeted and nurtured

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Tips on Using Social Selling to Optimize Sales

Businesses that employ multiple salespeople to make big-ticket deals, such as in the B2B industry, benefit from social selling. Prospects and customers are more likely to engage when interacting with a human rather than a heavily automated business. Successful social selling salespeople are able to effectively blend their professional and personal lives.

The use of social media and digital marketing channels offers a great way to do that. Salespeople can be professional by stating their employer, skills, connections, certifications, memberships, and so on. They can also show prospects a glimpse of their personal side including their hobbies, interests, and personal goals.

Gone are the days of cold-calling and email spamming. Engaging with leads via social media channels has proven far more successful in building relationships between businesses and customers. Here are some suggestions on how social selling can be used for sales:

  • Require each salesperson to create a personal business profile on social media
  • Educate your salespeople in the basics of social media marketing best practices
  • Establish regular collaboration between sales and marketing
  • Align sales and marketing lead funnels

Salespeople and sales lead generating platforms like LeadBoxer use social selling to build relationships with prospects to get more leads and make more conversions. Social selling salespeople will greatly benefit from LeadBoxer’s seamless lead scoring and data gathering. Begin your social selling success today with a LeadBoxer free trial.

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Using Digital Marketing Channels for Lead Generation

A business must generate leads to be successful. Lead generation consists of content and media that nurture leads into paying customers. Digital marketing solutions and digital marketing channels facilitate the capture of quality leads and enable lead nurturing through digital media.

Meanwhile, continue reading or use the following links to “jump” ahead:

What is Digital Media?

The term digital media refers to the tools and programs that share information online. This content comes in many forms including audio, video, images, website content, web pages, social media, and email.

Digital media is most effective when it includes personalized content. So when your online messaging speaks to individual consumers, it builds credibility for your brand, service, or product. And when you put effort into content personalization, the reader will trust your brand and offerings and make a purchase.

Personalized content is also good for improving the visibility of your business website. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing tool that utilizes unique, high-quality content to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). According to WebFX, 75% of people do not go past the first page on SERPs.

As mentioned above, your digital media, or personalized content, can take many forms and appear in many places. Most content involves SEO website content and blog posts, social media posts, and videos. Your digital media is most impactful as a part of a digital marketing strategy.

how keyword planner for seo works

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What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is “the use of the Internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other channels to reach consumers.” There are numerous digital marketing channels and techniques available to get your digital media noticed by your target audiences. The most common include:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing

A strong digital marketing strategy incorporates the above digital marketing channels and techniques. Your digital strategy should not replace your sales lead generation and nurturing strategy. Your digital marketing and sales strategies work best when used together.

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The Digital Marketing Sales Process

Now that you understand what the terms “digital media” and a “digital marketing strategy” mean, we will discuss the combination of digital marketing and sales in the digital marketing sales process. This process incorporates sales funnels, lead generation, and lead nurturing. And it is using digital marketing channels to reach prospective buyers online, boosting your brand’s digital presence.

The five-step digital marketing sales process can be seen as the journey your customer takes from lead to paying customer. Researching your qualified leads and developing a content personalization plan for each stage of the buyer’s journey lays the groundwork for your digital marketing sales process. Here is a list detailing the five stages of the digital marketing sales process:

1. Marketing/Prospecting Your Target Audience

The first step in the digital marketing sales process involves coming up with your brand’s unique selling proposition (USP). This sets your company apart from your competitors and shows leads why they should do business with you. Your USP should answer how your business is unique and how your product or service fills a void within your industry.

Your USP and personalized content are ineffective if online visitors aren’t consuming it. This is why you need SEO, PPC, and social media marketing to drive traffic to your website. Once you attract website visitors, you will be able to track and analyze who finds your content useful and converts. Website visitor tracking enables you to further narrow your audience, fine-tune your target customer-base, and assess which types of content resonate most with your target audiences.

2. Building Credibility and Trust

The ease and quickness of digital transactions have made the internet a prime target for cybercrime and scams. Your potential customers will be extremely wary when choosing which businesses get their money. As the online storefront of your business, your website must give a good first impression.

Excessive sales solicitations are also prevalent online. Leads require nurturing to accomplish the goal of having them develop a relationship with your particular brand, product, or service. This connection is crucial to cultivating new customers. Companies that are seen as trustworthy both online and offline will be more successful in bringing their leads through their sales funnel and make a successful account growth.

Here are some things to consider when assessing whether or not your website appears credible:

  • Does it look legitimate and professional?
  • Does it have working links and high-quality images?
  • Is the site easy to navigate?
  • Does your content contain proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation?
  • Does it include clear privacy and security policies?
  • Is the product and support information easily accessible?

3. Escorting the Buyer

Due to busy schedules and the abundance of digital media that is readily available, most first-time visitors to any website are not yet ready to buy. When people land on your website, you will need to guide them to the point where they realize they have a need for what you offer. For this guidance to be successful, the organization, navigation, and checkout process on your website should be fast, secure, and simple.

Having detailed product pages, resources, FAQs, and testimonial pages, visible contact information, chatbots, and internal linking are some ways to make your website user friendly. Your website also needs to be optimized to fit the small screens on smartphones and other handheld devices and should load quickly. Your site should escort the buyer on their journey from a casual website visitor, to the checkout process and through post-purchase follow-up.

4. Presenting the Product or Service

After you guide website visitors to your website, you need to present your products or services in a way that shows buyers your solutions are the best available options for meeting their needs. Every product or service should include relevant, specific descriptions that answer any questions a prospective buyer may have. High-resolution images and videos featuring the products or services in action should also be included.

5. Closing the Sale

The ultimate goal of every business website is to make a sale or a desired conversion. For e-commerce sites, the goal is to get people to make a purchase. For brick-and-mortar stores with an online presence, a website can be used to get leads to sign up for a mailing list or schedule a call with a sales representative.

The use of digital marketing channels makes it easy to analyze the results of your digital marketing sales process. You’ll be able to see the impact of your digital marketing efforts on your sales strategy. And make necessary adjustments and improvements. Both digital marketing and sales are processes that include post-purchase follow-up.

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Why is Digital Marketing Crucial for Sales?

Businesses can’t thrive without digital marketing. Even with a solid sales team and sales process, a company without an online presence won’t succeed. This is because consumers prefer the speed, ease, and accessibility the internet offers.

Here are four reasons the utilization of digital marketing channels is crucial for sales:

1. Mobile Device Optimization

Today’s smartphones are small, portable computers. This allows consumers to make purchases anywhere, anytime.

According to Forbes Insights, 7 out of 10 senior executives use mobile devices to look up product or service information after they first hear of it. Most of them also use smartphones to conduct research and make buying decisions. The vast majority of consumers have a smartphone and use it for researching, shopping, and entertainment.

2. Easier Follow Up

In sales, follow up is crucial. Most consumers require 7 to 13 contacts with a sales professional before they are ready to buy. Digital marketing makes follow up quicker and cheaper through scheduled emails, retargeting ads, and personalized ads included in social media interactions.

3. Provides Buyers With Personalized Content

As opposed to a “one size fits all” message, digital marketing allows you to prepare more relevant and personalized content for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Digital media comes in many forms including blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, coupons, and case studies. When you use digital marketing solutions, you can offer prospects a tailored sequence of content that takes them from lead to customer.

4. Measured and Optimized Results

With digital marketing, results are measurable. Whether it’s a social media ad or an SEO campaign, you can gather important data about leads and measure results to identify what’s working and what isn’t.

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In sales and digital marketing, your time and money are better spent on those who see your products and services as the solutions to their needs. This is where lead qualification and social selling comes in handy. A sales lead scoring platform like LeadBoxer’s customer relationship management (CRM) program identifies leads most interested in your product or service.

LeadBoxer’s lead generation and lead qualification platform gives you insight into which prospects are most likely to find your digital media useful. Understanding who your target audiences are and which digital marketing channels are most likely to reach them increases the likelihood of successful sales conversions.

best sales ai tools

3 Ways AI Empowers Sales Enablement & 10 Sales AI Tools to Help

As a sales team manager, you want to see your reps improve their close rates. This means more growth for the company and a more enjoyable work experience for your employees. The secret to making it a reality? Equipping your department with tools driven by artificial intelligence (AI).

This guide takes a deep dive into what sales AI is, how it aids your team’s success and 10 of the best software options for the job. Read on or jump ahead to these sections:

What is Sales AI?

Your sales team deals with an immense amount of data, from prospects’ contact info, to what pages leads are visiting, to the number of emails they’ve received and opened. This is an essential part of sales enablement, or the process of supplying your team with info, tools, and training that help them close more deals.

This goldmine of data empowers your sales team by helping them identify, nurture, and convert more potential customers into clients. However, it’s impossible to make sense of it all without a little help.

That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in. AI collects and processes mountains of data into actionable insights. This reduces the time reps spend on repetitive tasks or making unreliable judgments about prospects. It also increases close rates and the company’s profits.

3 Ways AI Improves Sales Enablement

If more leads for less effort is a priority for your business, you can’t afford to skip on AI-driven sales enablement. According to a study from Harvard Business Review, sales AI can increase leads by more than 50%, contribute to cost reductions of 40-60%, and reduce call times by 60-70%.

How exactly does it do this? There are three areas along your sales pipeline where AI can step in and optimize tasks.

  • It Identifies Ideal Leads

Gone are the days of having to search databases for possible leads, manually creating profiles in customer relations management (CRM) software, and deciding who to call or email first. AI turns what was once an imprecise, time-consuming task into an automated, data-driven process.

An AI-empowered sales tool can gather intelligence about the individuals and accounts actively engaging with your brand’s site or social media. It syncs and enriches their contact info and other details to your CRM platform, then analyzes each lead to determine which ones are most worth pursuing. This indication is often called a lead score, which is based on how closely an account matches your ideal customer profile and whether their behavior suggests an interest in your product.

  • It Automatically Nurtures Leads With Tailored Content

Your sales reps don’t have to guess which email or white paper leads are most interested in receiving. There are AI-backed software options that listen for signals from your prospects, such as clicking on a link, then emails them content relevant to that behavior.

  • It Tells You What Action Will Most Likely Convert a Lead

AI can do almost everything except hop on a call or step into a meeting with prospects. AI can, however, coach your sales team on how to close more deals. Some tools review the lead and offer insights on their communication styles and preferences. Other software options analyze the behaviors of sales reps, then provide feedback on what they can do to improve their close rate.

10 Top Tools for Sales AI

Here are the best software options to help you find the most qualified prospects, nurture them, and close the deal.

  • Identifying Leads

Need to pinpoint exactly who your team should focus on? These sales intelligence tools stand out from the pack.

1. LeadBoxer

top tool for sales AI

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The first step to increasing your sales is knowing exactly to who you should devote your time and energy. LeadBoxer finds that info on autopilot. The platform aggregates tons of identifying and behavioral data about prospects and then calculates a lead score illustrating how likely they are to buy. With this insight, reps don’t waste any time trying to woo the wrong people.

LeadBoxer’s clear, intuitive interface makes it easy to get started right out of the box. Within minutes, you can see exactly which companies are visiting your website, how long they stick around, and what pages they’re checking out.

2. HubSpot Sales

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If you’re looking for a tried-and-true CRM with lead scoring capabilities, check out HubSpot Sales. This lightweight tool tracks visitors to your website and creates a comprehensive profile on each one. You’ll be able to see who’s interested in your product with little to no effort.

HubSpot Sales has several flexible and affordable pricing options. Small business owners will love starting for free, getting used to the product, and growing their company before ever whipping out a credit card.

3. Everstring

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Everstring hangs its hat on intent data or an indicator that someone is interested in the solution provided by your company. For example, if an individual is actively researching project management tools, Everstring will let you know. The platform is great for finding and reaching out to leads that might not have heard about your product yet.

A common complaint is Everstring can be a little tough to learn. Fortunately, the company provides training to get you up to speed.

4. ZoomInfo

zoominfo supplies you with intent data

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Like Everstring, ZoomInfo supplies you with intent data about prospects, so you can know exactly who’s in the market for your products. ZoomInfo also automatically enriches contact info within your CRM, negating all the time reps would otherwise spend on confirming up-to-date email addresses or phone numbers.

Nurturing Leads

Lead nurturing software keeps your prospects engaged with content that’s perfect for them, freeing up more time for sales reps.

5. SharpSpring

sharpspring tool benefits your marketing and sales departments

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SharpSpring is a tool that benefits your marketing and sales departments. It combines CRM with marketing automation, like sending personalized emails after a lead completes a particular action. The visual builder, like the one pictured above, allows your marketing department to create, see, and optimize journeys that turn more prospects into buyers with less lift from your sales team.

At $550 per month for a small business, SharpSpring is a bit on the pricier side. Fortunately, there are month-to-month plans and no long-term contracts are required.

6. Keap

keap tool for sales AI

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Did your prospect book an appointment or download an ebook? Keap automatically follows-up with a personalized email sequence. In addition to lead nurturing features, the platform comes equipped with a CRM, lead capturing tools, invoicing, and payment processing. Plus, with plans starting at only $79 per month, it’s an affordable all-in-one option for many small businesses.

7. Marketo Engage

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Marketo has long been an industry heavyweight and for good reason. The platform can provide personalized experiences for leads both on and offline. Whether someone is checking in for a live event or visiting your site, Marketo Engage follows up with email campaigns tailored to their behavior. It also targets them with custom ads and even pop-up messages sent to their phone.

The downside? At a starting price of $1,000 per month, Marketo is almost exclusively a large enterprise solution.

Closing deals

When it comes to making the sale, nothing beats a personal touch from a rep. Even for the sales in the future. These platforms increase the odds that they say the right thing at the right time.

8. Gong

gong AI sales tool

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Gong gives you data-driven insight into what’s happening with the market, your leads, and your sales team. Most alluring are the people intelligence features, which analyze reps’ calls and offer suggestions about how they can close more deals based on the behavior of the department’s highest-performing members.

If you think AI can’t replace an in-person sales coach, think again. With Gong, some customers report increasing close rates by 30% and deal sizes by 33%.

9. Crystal

crystal personality assessment tool with AI

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Crystal gives you a peek inside what makes your prospects tick. Do they prefer a little chit chat before diving into business? Are they more of a straight shooter? With Crystal, there’s no need to guess. Reps can adapt their calls and emails to perfectly fit every lead’s personality, ensuring the best conversation possible.

10. Sugar Sell

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Sugar Sell, a product of SugarCRM, comes equipped with a sneaky, powerful feature called Sugar Hint. Simply input a name and email into the software and then sit back as it gathers data from social media, news, and business sources.

Sugar analyzes this info before offering insights like when to contact the lead and what message to give them. The platform claims to increase your team’s productivity by over 30%.

Turbocharge Your Sales Team’s Success With AI

Knowing exactly what your prospects are thinking can massively accelerate your pipeline. Thanks to sales AI, you don’t need a psychic or crystal ball to do it.

Looking to implement your first AI-empowered sales tool? Consider one that finds leads and ranks them according to their likelihood to buy. A steady supply of top-notch prospects is the first step to increasing profits.

LeadBoxer can help. The platform analyzes who’s visiting your site, then assigns them a lead score. Get started today with a free trial.

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The Future of Sales Post-Pandemic

While the future of sales is constantly shifting as the pandemic continues to disrupt everyday life, figuring out how to navigate the world of post-pandemic business is the topic on everyone’s mind.

The new “normal” will look a lot different than how business was conducted pre-pandemic. With an emphasis on remote working, finding ways to lean into these changes and social selling will help your company thrive as the effects of the pandemic set in.

In this guide, we dive into post-pandemic sales to provide tangible actions your team can take to make sure your business comes out on top. Once you have an idea of what the post-pandemic world may look like, you can start planning effective methods of introducing these ideas into your content marketing plans. Keep reading, or jump ahead to the following sections:

Navigating Virtual Business

Swapping over to remote business has been a huge undertaking for most companies. Luckily, everyone is finally getting the hang of virtual work. The most important takeaway from the sudden shift to virtual—it’s here to stay.

What does that mean for your business? You have to be flexible and use sales AI tools for example. Continued evaluation will go a long way as you navigate virtual business for your workers and clients. Shift your thinking from short-term solutions to a long-term plan.

The Future of Conferences and Networking

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Before the pandemic, it was common to go to multiple conferences a year and several networking events to generate leads and cultivate relationships with potential clients. Since going virtual, the business world has come to the realization that these events aren’t actually necessary to create relationships.

This may be a huge shift for you if you are a handshake-deal kind of salesperson, but virtual networking events can be just as effective when implemented properly.

Now, you can network from the comfort of your home office, and your company doesn’t have to foot the bill for expensive travel plans. Zoom, and other video platforms, have the option for break-out rooms and screen sharing, so your networking can be focused on direct conversation with prospective clients.

Working Remotely With a Full Staff

The operational change from office work to telecommuting shook things up when the pandemic first began. Now employees are beginning to realize the perks of working from home. Some of your staff may even find themselves being more productive when telecommuting, so it is worth embracing virtual options for the long-term.

Now that everyone is beginning to adjust to virtual sales operations, it is important to set standards for your employees when they are conducting business from their homes. Outline clear goals and keep a constant stream of communication.

Be sure your employees are aware of your expectations, such as the dress code for Zoom meetings or the policy on background noises. Doing this will ensure virtual meetings run as smoothly as possible.

Get Comfortable With Your Technology

Find your favorite virtual platform, and master it. Technology can be unreliable, but knowing how to troubleshoot efficiently can save your meetings when they experience problems. Using your platforms with confidence will show the clients you are prepared.

Use e-signatures and make sure your clients are on board with this practice. This practice isn’t something that developed because of the pandemic, but with fewer in-person meetings, there is a greater reliance on closing deals electronically.

Like your other platforms, find a format that works for you, and be prepared to walk your client through the steps. Address their concerns about signing documents over email. Assurance and understanding will go a long way in making this process as smooth as possible.

Generating Leads and Creating Connections

Sales has always been an industry that requires a lot of communication, especially in-person, for sales conversions. Shifting to virtual sales operations provides more options when generating leads if you supplement in-person cultivation with an online generator.

Relying on technology to help generate leads can make a big difference for your team. With the current lack of chances to meet new leads in-person, supplementing with an online platform will create new opportunities.

Leadboxer’s platform is an example of this technology. It allows you to track every movement, beginning with the first interaction with your website, so you can qualify each prospect and plan your pitch accordingly.

Creating Genuine Connections

Without the ability to hit the golf course or meet for drinks with clients, finding an effective sales process during virtual meetings is crucial. Zoom meetings can seem formal compared to your usual networking activities, so find ways to make these interactions feel natural for all of the participants.

Take a few minutes before starting your meeting to chat about non-work related things. Use your camera and crack a few jokes instead of jumping straight into your pitch. Your clients will appreciate these efforts, and it will ease tensions going into the meeting.

Another obstacle to tackle is navigating older business people who may be unfamiliar with technology. By finding ways to create those connections, like a virtual happy hour, you may strengthen your relationship with hesitant clients.

Utilize Visual Materials

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Virtual meetings give you the ability to screen share with participants. Take advantage of this feature. Come prepared with Powerpoint presentations, do live demos of your products, and use engaging visuals to help the customer understand your services.

These visual tactics will boost engagement and keep your attendees’ attention throughout the meeting. With virtual meetings, vying for your client’s full attention is difficult since you’re competing with web browsers, cell phones, and instant messaging. Delivering a presentation that keeps the client’s focus will make a huge difference.

Don’t Forget the Follow-Up

Virtual business means it is possible for more meetings to be scheduled back to back during the day. So following up in a timely manner is important to stay fresh on your client’s mind.

After your meeting, send a quick email summarizing your discussion. Attach your PowerPoint presentation, or send links to your website. It is important to provide clear next steps with your client while demonstrating that you are committed to helping them through the process.

In addition, make sure your messaging is in keeping with the times. The pandemic is continuously shifting the focus of each business. Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your client’s industry.

Reach out when your services can be valuable to their efforts. It’ll help strengthen the relationship by showing your client how dedicated you are and it’s important for account expansion too. Try to stay fresh on your client’s mind without bombarding them with constant messaging.

Don’t forget personalization when following up. Virtual doesn’t have to be boring. Send a personal thank you card or take time for a check-in phone call.

Crafting Your Pitch

Appropriate messaging is crucial as we shift into the world of post-pandemic sales. Every business has been affected in some way. Most have been affected in numerous ways. Now is the time to focus on having multiple pitches that can be tailored to each of your prospects’ needs.

Do your research. How has their company been impacted during the pandemic? What practices are they instituting for recovery, and how can you help? By understanding their motivations, you can craft a pitch that speaks directly to how you can meet their current needs.

Content-Driven Sales

Using all of your marketing channels will help as you navigate the post-pandemic virtual sales game. Let your content speak about the company’s mission when it appears in the client’s inboxes and on their social media feed.

Work alongside your marketing team to craft content that illustrates the points you make during your pitches. Use images when giving presentations and when sending information to prospects.

With the switch to virtual business, relying on content and utilizing these channels will help boost your sales. Provide concrete calls-to-action and direct steps for your clients to take when they receive your content. Create a strong lead strategy.

Key Takeaways

Expectations of what the post-pandemic sales world will look like are constantly evolving. Your company will need to be flexible as you continue to adjust your sales and operational planning.

Embrace the virtual world. Get comfortable with Zoom meetings and online networking events. Allow technology like Leadboxer to fill the gaps in areas like generating leads and tracking client action. Leadboxer offers proven ways to generate leads and help your sales team as they navigate the current business climate.

Stay up-to-date on how the pandemic is affecting your clients. Tailor your pitches and content to showcase how your services can meet their needs. Always make sure to avoid tone-deaf messaging and continue to provide ways your company can help these prospects.

Make sure to find strategies for continuing to cultivate genuine client relationships via inbound or outbound marketing. Make time before each meeting to chat and connect. Utilize visuals and online presentations in your virtual meetings.

Remember, the future of sales may be uncertain, but one thing is for sure— virtual business is here to stay.

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Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

You wake up, check your phone, and immediately delete three spam emails without even opening them. Make your coffee, hop in the car, and encounter a handful of billboards on the way to work.

Drive home, tuning out the loud, angry men arguing on a talk show, and the ads that too frequently interrupt them. Get home, realize your sister’s birthday is next week, look up great gifts for cat-lovers, and send her one. Make dinner, using a recipe that was emailed to you by a food blog you follow and go to sleep.

We all encounter an endless barrage of marketing every day. Some of that marketing is effective and made with the help of sales AI, and some of it’s, well, annoying. This division between effective and ineffective marketing strategies can be acutely seen when comparing inbound vs outbound marketing.

This guide will cover the differences between the two, and offer tips on how you can use them to convert leads into sales for your business.

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What is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound marketing is how your grandfather was marketing. It’s often referred to as the “classic” form of marketing.

To outbound market, companies initiate the conversation with consumers by sending messages out to them. These messages come in the form of television commercials, telemarketers, billboards, radio ads, and email spam, in other words—things that make your day a little worse when you see and hear them. If it was bird hunting, the company would be covering their eyes with a blindfold and wildly shooting into the air in the hopes that eventually, with time and enough bullets, they would hit something.

Effectiveness of Outbound Marketing

If that last description didn’t get the point across, let me emphasize here, outbound marketing is not a very efficient way for businesses to market. It’s hard to track the return on investment (ROI);  it has trouble producing lead conversions, and it is becoming less effective with every day that passes. This can be attributed to the increased availability of customer data platform software designed to combat it, like email spam-blockers which continue to become more sophisticated, and the fact that with increased frequency, people are watching and listening to media on commercial-free streaming services.

Outbound marketing costs more than other forms of marketing, too, with a study by Doyen Digital finding that it’s 61% more expensive than inbound marketing strategies, and requires more labor. Yet, most organizations still spend an astonishing 90% of their marketing budgets on outbound marketing.

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What is Inbound Marketing?

While outbound marketing requires you to start the conversation with consumers, inbound marketing is how you get consumers to start the conversation with you. Outbound marketing is screaming through a bullhorn a message consumers have no interest in hearing; in contrast, inbound marketing is attracting consumers to your site who are already interested in your product or service. Inbound marketing does this through content marketing. Some examples of content marketing include blogging, SEO, social media, and opt-in email marketing, where Mailchimp integration can help.

Effectiveness of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing has become more popular recently because it’s effective. It involves attracting and nurturing promising leads, using content to provide valuable information to customers, and in the process build trust with your clients.

A survey by CRM Daily found that half of the companies who started using inbound marketing saw a 25% increase in ROI. Inbound marketing had 30 times the lead conversion rate of outbound marketing. When asked which marketing tactic actually resulted in the most high-quality leads, 59% of marketers said inbound, 16% said outbound, and 26% said self-sourced leads.

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Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is much less effective than inbound marketing. It costs more, requires more work, but doesn’t actually drive more business for companies. Because of this, organizations who find that their marketing is ineffective should consider reallocating their budget and time from outbound marketing techniques to inbound marketing techniques.

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Email Marketing as Inbound Marketing

79% of marketing leads will never convert into sales, which can largely be attributed to companies failing to nurture their leads. An excellent content marketing strategy for paying continual attention to your leads is email marketing. Email marketing is all about providing information to subscribers, increasing customer loyalty and retention, and trying to keep up a constant stream of traffic to your website.

Outbound email marketing involves blindly spamming people with emails that will likely end up in their junk folder, and even if they do see it, they will most likely delete it immediately due to their lack of interest. Inbound email marketing involves emailing interested parties through an opt-in option on your website, or through past interactions, they have had with your company’s online presence. It’s more targeted, more personalized, and much more effective.

Email Marketing Tracking

Tracking emails allows sales reps to identify and continue to stay in contact with their most interested leads. LeadBoxer’s Lead Scoring Feature makes it one of the best email tracking apps on the market.

Lead scoring allows you to identify how likely a lead is to convert into a consumer by analyzing their activity on your company’s website, social media, and emails. Their lead score quantifies their interest, enabling you to target them for segmented campaigns.

lead scoring example from leadboxer

Customer Segmentation

Marketers who use segmented campaigns see their email revenue increase by 760%. It’s no wonder: By using email segmentation, you increase the likelihood of audiences opening your email by nearly 15%.

You can easily use LeadBoxer’s Filter Feature to create successful segmented email campaigns. This feature allows you to focus on targeted customers, filtering profile data such as business information like company name, industry, size, and behavior like page views, URLs, exit links or visits, and marketing data like UTM tags or referrer.

successful segmented email campaigns

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Email Contact List

The key to successful email marketing campaigns is personalization and finding leads to target. To do both of these things, you need to keep an organized contact list that is always current.

LeadBoxer’s Contact Management Feature helps you manage, identify, and nurture leads while tracking leads’ activities on your emails, website, and social media. It’s the ultimate tool for email lead generation. It helps you find contacts, adding their information to your database when they visit your website, limiting the amount of time you need to spend finding and reaching out to leads.

best contact management feature from leadboxer

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: Popular/Effective Types of Content Marketing

  • SEO

The first place people go nowadays when they have a question or are considering buying a product is their computer. More specifically, they turn to their search engine and can provide some buying signals.

SEO starts your relationship with consumers when they enter a search into their search engine. Using PPC campaigns, Google AdWords, and SEO keyword research, you can get your website, blog, and other online content to rank high in search engines so that it will draw consumers to your business.

It’s important to rank high because the very top listing on Google’s search engine results pages (SERP) gets 33% of the search traffic, while the second gets 17% of search traffic. In other words, if you don’t snap up the lead search ranking for your product or service, a competitor will.

  • Blogs

Blogs are one of the most effective ways to increase and improve your SEO, driving more organic search engine traffic to your site. Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages and 97% more inbound links than websites that don’t. If you are looking to drive traffic to your business through search engines, you need a blog.

They are an affordable marketing strategy, easy to produce content for. And also build consumer trust through teaching them about their queries with informative, interesting articles.

  • Landing Pages

Landing pages are the face of your business online. 80% of search traffic goes to the top 10% of landing pages, so you have to make sure that yours is focused to keep people reading and increase conversion levels.

A great way to optimize your landing page is by including a video. Landing pages with videos have up to an 80% increase in conversion rates.

This could be due in part to the fact that featuring videos increases the time spent on sites by 105%. Landing page videos not only increase conversion rates within your site, they also improve traffic to your site, increasing organic traffic by 157%.

  • Social Media Marketing

Social media—not just for stupid videos and kids anymore. It’s a powerful business tool. The best way to increase your business’s visibility is by creating social media accounts.

Social media builds your brand, increases customer loyalty, and allows you to directly interact with customers. 71% of customers who had positive social media experiences with a company were likely to recommend that business.

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Upgrade Your Marketing Strategy With Content Marketing

These content marketing strategies are best used together. Promote your blog posts on your social media, link to your landing page in your blog posts, increase your social selling index, and optimize your landing page with SEO. And don’t forget to think about the future of sales.

Through personalization and creating informative and interesting content, you can completely upgrade your business marketing.

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Demand Generation Marketing Strategies: Tips and Tricks

Business-to-business (B2B) demand generation is important for any business. It is especially crucial for start-ups, companies launching new apps, and those offering business services. Awareness of your business’ products and services involves demand generation marketing strategies.

You can skip some parts of the post and jump ahead:

What is Demand Generation Marketing?

Awareness is at the heart of demand generation marketing. To sell your services, your customers need to know they are available and are the best solution for their business challenges.

Demand marketing reaches out to customers who are unaware of your brand, products, or services. This type of marketing positions your offering as the best option to meet their needs.

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How to Develop and Implement a Demand Generation Marketing Strategies

There is an effective way of bringing positive attention to your company and its offerings through the development and implementation of demand generation marketing strategies. Below are the steps you can take to make sure your customers’ needs are paired with the solutions your business offers:

1. Create a Robust Content Marketing Strategy

When people visit your website and blog, they need to know what your company does and what it offers them. Your content needs to be clear, concise, informative, timely, and relatable.

A content calendar is a great way to regularly get information out about your brand. When people and search engines see you consistently produce original, quality content, your company will become visible. It will also be seen as credible.

Quality content is for both readers and search engines. Search robots will notice the keywords and relevancy of your content. When you provide important, useful keyword-rich information, your content will appear higher in search results. This will increase your brand’s visibility and expose more web users to your brand and its offerings.

2. Offer Free Content

You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who will refuse free stuff. When you’re looking for new customers to introduce to your brand, products, and services, you need to appear trustworthy.  When you offer free content, you’ll establish your brand as an authoritative source in your market.

As people read about the helpful information you offer, they will become interested in your company and offerings. Some of the items you can offer for free include:

  • Blog Posts
  • White Papers
  • EBooks
  • Infographics
  • Free Tools
  • YouTube Videos
  • Social Media Posts

3. Engage Online, Particularly on Social Media

After you have content on your website and free offerings, make sure you share it on your organization’s social media pages. 53% of consumers are more likely to make purchases from brands that are transparent on social media.  Your content must be authentic to your brand and share relevant, engaging content.

4. Partner With Influencers

Collaborating with reputable, well-known individuals in your market is another way to improve your brand’s online visibility and credibility. When your brand associates with a well-known influencer in your industry, your brand will get attention.

These associations through influencer research and outreach take many forms. Some of the common ways partnerships develop include podcast interviews, link building, advertising on industry-related websites, and guest posting.

5. Continually Measure and Tweak Your Demand Generation Marketing Strategies

Your work isn’t done when your demand marketing campaign comes to an end. Compare the results to your original goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). Did your B2B demand generation marketing campaign meet, surpass or fall short of those benchmarks? Continue to analyze it after its completion through the use of tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.

demand generation marketing strategies from leadboxer

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Why Demand Generation Marketing Strategies are Essential

Brand awareness is the most important goal for 89% of B2B marketers. What is the importance of a demand generation strategy and why is it a “must-do” for your organization? Here are some benefits to this type of marketing strategy:

  • Help Make Small Businesses and Startups “Known”

B2B demand generation marketing strategies are crucial for any business. It is more important for start-ups and new brands who have yet to form a substantial customer base.

Demand marketing fast-tracks these new businesses in establishing credibility and trust with their customers. Once this happens, business and client relationships can form.

  • Increases the Conversion Rate = More Sales

59% of consumers are more likely to purchase a new product or service from a brand they trust. Bringing awareness to your brand through demand generation marketing is the first step in building this trust.

  • Builds Trust and Credibility

B2B demand generation marketing is most effective when customers have a strong relationship or connection with the company they do business with. Demand marketing exposes your brand and its products and services to business leaders through well-written, engaging, informative, and optimized content. Your online communication needs to instill a sense of expertise in your niche while also relating to the reader.

6 Tips and Tricks for Demand Generation Marketing

Below are some tips for B2B demand generation marketing your marketing team can use to spark interest in your products or services. And don’t forget about sales enablement for your team too.

1. Consider Your Marketing Funnel

According to Salesforce, 79% of a company’s leads never convert to a sale because 65% of companies don’t have a funnel or lead qualifying system in place, and of those who do have a funnel, the majority don’t have a way to measure its effectiveness.

When your company has a marketing funnel that is measured, you’re able to meet customers where they are in the sales and marketing process. You’ll be equipped to give customers the appropriate content and messaging that moves them closer to a sale.

The typical B2B funnel consists of six stages: awareness, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation, and purchase. Demand generation marketing addresses potential customers at the top of the funnel in the awareness stage.

For demand generation, you’re interacting with a large, broad audience that is not familiar with your brand, service, or product. You want to avoid any sales content. Instead, offer them blog posts, downloads, free ebooks, infographics, and engaging social media content. Here some of the best customer data platform software can help.

b2c vs b2b marketing funnel comparison

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2. Don’t Forget Form, Email, and Webpage Tracking

Remember to insert tracking on registration forms, emails, and webpages. The insertion of tracking on your business’ online properties provides valuable information about those curious about your brand. Some popular tracking programs to try include:

3. Score Your Leads

While demand generation marketing targets and engages with customers at the top stage of the funnel, it doesn’t mean you should neglect to implement a lead scoring system or have a strong lead strategy.

As with every business funnel, the number of customers who make it all the way through to create a sale is a small percentage of leads that entered the funnel at the awareness stage.

As leads progress through the funnel, the costs, and resources needed to keep them moving forward to make a sale increase. This is because they are qualified and are the most interested in doing business with you. A lead scoring system evaluates how likely a lead is to make a purchase.

4. Invest in Display Advertising

Most marketers today invest in online advertising. With the high competition for prime advertising real estate on websites, it can be difficult for new, small businesses with limited advertising budgets to compete. Especially when the future of sales post pandemic isn’t so clear.

Google has a suite of marketing platforms geared toward different budgets and marketing goals. Google Display Network consists of partnerships with millions of websites on which business owners can advertise.

The purpose of this type of advertising is not getting people to purchase your product or service but to create brand awareness. According to Clutch and WebFx, 55% of companies use display advertising and receive an average click-through-rate of 35%.

5. Offer Your Best

Rather than bombard customers with information, put your brand’s best foot forward by sharing your finest piece of content. Content should be informational, not promotional.

When you offer your best content, your brand will become recognized as the go-to information source. This is key in the long run as it forges positive relationships between your company and its customers.

Consumers who feel they can trust an organization will most likely become loyal to it. This benefits your business as loyal customers are easier and less expensive to retain than new ones.

6. Build Online Relationships and Credibility

Customer experience plays a bigger role in a company’s bottom line than ever before. Nearly three-quarters of consumers say good customer service plays a role in their loyalty to a brand. Conversely, negative customer service experiences cost businesses billions of dollars each year. Check out more about cost per lead on our blog.

Some customer relationship-building ideas include:

  • Show-off your expertise through your social selling, blog and website content
  • Be responsive, authentic, and transparent in your social media comments and direct messaging (DM)
  • Invest in producing YouTube videos where consumers can see the people behind your brand which will give it a personal touch
  • Participate in industry podcasts and online industry conferences
  • Get connected with influencers to review and talk about your products or services
  • Encourage customer reviews

LeadBoxer can help your start-up or small business with its demand generation marketing through lead qualification. With LeadBoxer’s tools and services, you can better connect with leads that are most interested in and in need of your services.

using email tracking pixel to identify sales leads

How to Use an Email Tracking Pixel to Identify Sales Leads

Although email marketing remains a popular marketing tool for many industries and brands, few realize that email tracking is a crucial tool for optimizing your business’s marketing strategy. New email tracking software and tools are constantly improving. But one thing that remains critical to the success of any email marketing tool is the email tracking pixel.

According to data from OMC, 19% of all “conversational” emails contain an email tracking pixel to aid in marketing campaigns and other lead conversion strategies. With millions of spam emails on the web, tracking pixels are often noted as a primary reason many email users block certain features. When used correctly, tracking pixels enhance customer experience through personalized, targeted content.

Keep reading, or use these links to “jump” ahead:

email tracking pixel to identify sales leads

What are Tracking Pixels?

While there are many ways to create and name a tracking pixel, the most common form of it is a 1 pixel-by-1 pixel transparent image. It’s placed somewhere in the body, title, header, or footer of an email.

Marketers often use email tracking pixels in targeted email campaigns sent to a small group of subscribers. In order to prevent spam being sent to the entire email list. They are useful for gathering information about individual customers or subscribers such as browsing habits. So that individuals can be grouped for future campaigns.

Using a tracking pixel within an email campaign allows the sender to know:

  • Whether the recipient received the email
  • Whether the email landed in a folder other than the inbox
  • If the email was read or clicked on
  • What time and where the email was opened
  • If any links or advertisements within the email were clicked and followed

Limitations

At its base, an email tracking pixel is an image. The image is either a PNG file or a GIF file and must be downloaded in order for it to send information to the sender. The receiving server then downloads the image for correct functionality. And can block it in some cases.

Information received from an email tracking pixel can be hindered in a few ways:

  • If the recipient is automatically blocking images from loading.
  • When the recipient is displaying all content as text in received emails. This will block the tracking pixel.
  • If the recipient has software to block email tracking downloaded.

An email tracking pixel is unable to relay information back to the sender when any of these options are enabled by the recipient. Pixels provide valuable insights and are an advantageous tool for any email marketer. Even though there can be limitations to a tracking pixel because of a user’s setting choice.

When you use a tracking pixel, an email that is opened counts either when the images in the email are loaded. Or the user clicks on a link in the email even if the images are not loaded. Once the user opened an email, its data gathered and transmitted back to your email tracking platform. Where it is used for customer relationship, experience management, and in demand generation marketing strategies.

While they function similarly to internet browser cookies, cookies can be blocked by the user. Email pixels cannot be overtly blocked unless the user uses additional software. However, if tracking pixels are overused, they can significantly slow down your website.

Websites that are overloaded with tracking pixel tags lose traffic and render the pixels ineffective. Avoiding pixel tag malfunctions and website tag bloat is crucial to keeping customers coming back to your website. Overusing tracking pixels can slow down your website. This can cause inefficiency and an oversaturation of usable data that simply becomes confusing.

Benefits

LeadBoxer specializes in email tracking. And relies on tracking pixels to achieve one thing: to create in-depth and accurate insights. They allow your brand to leverage compelling data for a competitive edge.

Email tracking pixels are the technical component that enables software access to various marketing information. The benefits of tracking pixels are also representative of the improvements to technology that have allowed for increased consumer insights.

Using an email tracking pixel has many benefits. On the surface, they offer your marketing campaign a variety of insights into one or more potential or current customers. This can help you personalize your email content for a targeted audience. At a deeper level, email tracking pixels are proven to increase click-through-rate. And also the likelihood of lead conversion.

You can also use tracking pixels for a variety of email marketing campaigns and account growth. While they can be tools to gather marketing information about groups of consumers, they are also useful as tools to reassert the importance and relevance of your products.

retargeting vs remarketing difference

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Retargeting Vs. Remarketing: Does it matter?

Retargeting or Remarketing campaigns are essential to reminding customers that your product exists and is worthy of consideration. Remarketing is slightly different from retargeting. This type of campaign focuses on reintroducing a current product offering. Often with the release of new improvements and updates in order to show that your company continues to innovate.

Remarketing campaigns work best with cross-selling and up-selling content offerings. And email tracking pixels offer a powerful tool for tracking these campaigns. When multiple products are featured as content within an email, it is useful to know which customers click which products. So that those customers can be included in further targeted campaigns.

This method of tracking customer product interest so that they might be included in a more targeted campaign is called retargeting. Retargeting campaigns are often most effective as the next step of a remarketing campaign. So that content is tailored to a specific, small audience likely to lead to a conversion.

Other Kinds of Campaigns

Tracking Pixels are not only useful for retargeting and remarketing campaigns. But also for any kind of email that you want your audience to see. Whatever product your brand is selling, whether it be software, marketing services, or high-end fashion, email marketing campaigns are still a great way to remind your customers that your brand is worth exploring.

Although the tracking pixel works essentially the same way, regardless of what kind of email you are sending, your brand can decide which insights you want to focus on based on the type of email campaign. For example, if your company wants to focus on getting the brand out with a welcome campaign or a standard promotional campaign, then you might focus on simply who clicks on a link to visit your page. And some basic background about the customer.

Once it’s determined which customers have shown initial interest in your brand or product, you might decide to run a new kind of campaign. It will be focused on finding out what products customers are most interested in. Or what parts of your website are most visited. Email tracking pixels attached to campaigns such as a seasonal, connect-via-social, or a cart abandonment campaign could all give you further insights into the interest level and buying habits of your customers.

After customers made a purchase or visited your website a few times, you can follow up with a newsletter, post-purchase drip, or re-engagement campaign. These campaigns, if instilled with a tracking pixel, can all continue to give insights. This can help you retain long-term customers through promotions, giveaways, and other benefits.

Tracking Pixels Improve Customer Experience

Tracking pixels are extremely helpful for customer experience management (CEM). CEM is the overall customer journey map for either a single customer or a group of customers. The information gained from tracking pixels not only gives you insight into specific details that you can use to market with greater success. These details can also help you organize and classify customers based on desired information.

The process of leveraging these tracking pixels to reveal buyer information begins with an audit. The technical process of running an audit on the performance of email tracking pixels starts with implementing a tag inspector scan. This scan runs diagnostics on issues related to your pixel tracking tags. These issues affect load performance, security, and privacy factors such as third-party website tags.

Managing tracking pixels accurately and efficiently ensures that your website avoids website tag bloat or tracking pixel overuse. Tracking pixels improve customer experience. Because brands are able to better predict the kinds of content or products that an individual or group of customers are interested in. Leading to increasingly targeted conversions.

Looking for More Help?

Using email tracking pixels to identify website visitors, control your data, and create compelling content in one place propels your brand toward creating a unique relationship with customers who are seeking distance from brand fatigue. Contact LeadBoxer to learn more about how its streamlined, user-friendly platform can help your brand generate quality leads.

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Lead Capture Pages 101: Importance, Strategies, and Software

If you spend more of your time scouring the internet for leads than actually closing deals, consider adding lead capture pages to your marketing strategy. With lead capture pages, you can automatically populate your CRM with fresh, highly qualified prospects, letting you spend more time connecting with people and less time combing through lead databases.

Best of all, lead capture pages can be implemented quickly. With the right software and strategies, you can get a lead capture page up, running, and working for your business in no time. Before you know it, you’ll find new leads for your business without lifting a finger.

What is a Lead Capture Page?

A lead capture page is an essential component of an inbound marketing strategy. Visitors usually land on the page after searching for business solutions or learning about your company through social media, blog posts, or search engines.

nutshell inbound marketing strategy

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A lead capture page attracts potential customers by offering a free resource, such as a white paper, report, or trial of a product. In exchange, the prospect fills out a short form with their contact information. This supplies your sales team with a continual source of leads.

The info collected from a lead capture page is then uploaded to your CRM, becoming the foundation of any contact record in your sales pipeline. Once you’ve identified a lead, lead intelligence software can uncover additional details about a prospect, analyze how engaged they are, and offer insights into how to best communicate with that person.

How Lead Capture Pages Help Sales Teams

Between calling clients and closing deals, your salespeople are busy enough. Lead capture pages give them the freedom to focus on these high-touch tasks and understand their prospects better.

Find qualified leads on autopilot

An efficient lead capture page reduces the time your salespeople would otherwise spend trawling LinkedIn or contact databases for leads. It also automatically begins the qualification process, as leads who express interest in your offerings are likely to be more receptive than cold leads to communications from your sales team.

Gain insight into prospects

Manual lead generation can’t compare to the level of contact enrichment that lead capture pages help provide. Many programs that build and run lead capture pages can take the data submitted and use it as a launchpad to uncover tons of other details about leads. This gives your sales reps a greater understanding of who they’re selling to.

Score and prioritize leads

If members of your sales team often wonder which leads they should prioritize over others, a lead capture page can help. When used in tandem with lead scoring software, you can analyze the online behavior of leads captured from a web form and more accurately predict which ones are likely to buy. That way, sales reps know exactly who to focus their energy on and who they can pass on.

15 Lead Capture Page Software Options

Many tools and sales artificial intelligence tools too with lead capture page functions come packed with additional features that help you get more from your leads. These software options usually fall under one of three categories:

  • Lead capture page software with lead intelligence and nurturing
  • CRMs with lead capture page builders
  • Landing page builders

Lead Capture Page Software with Lead Intelligence and Nurturing

1. LeadBoxer

lead capture pages software

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Out of the box, LeadBoxer can start identifying leads from forms, as well as IP addresses, email, and other touchpoints.

Pros:

  • Tracks leads’ online activity, including what web pages they visit on your website, how long they spend there, and what emails they click through
  • Creates a lead score to help your sales team prioritize prospects
  • Can identify website visitors who don’t complete a form

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include a CRM

Cost: LeadBoxer starts at $195 per month.

2. Leady

marketing strategies from leady

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Leady identifies and scores new leads based on their level of engagement. It includes features that help flesh out contact records, giving sales reps greater insight into who they’re selling to.

Pros:

  • Creates detailed profiles about people visiting your site so you can better segment leads for your sales team
  • Reveals where leads came from so you can zero in on the marketing strategies that work best
  • Tracks a lead’s activity with your website and email marketing, as well as all communications with your sales team

Cons:

  • Only downloads data once per day, so you can’t start nurturing new leads immediately
  • Basic plan only identifies 300 unique site visitors per month

Cost: Leady starts at $39 per month.

3. Autopilot

marketing automation software autopilot

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Autopilot is marketing automation software that can help you build lead capture pages, then nurture new leads on, well, autopilot.

Pros:

  • The interface allows you to visualize exactly how the customer journey will unfold
  • Can automate repetitive tasks like educating new subscribers, assigning leads to members of your sales team, and following up on new leads
  • Easy to build multiple drip campaigns tailored to lead segments

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come equipped with a CRM, so you’ll need to integrate it with a separate program
  • Integrates with a limited number of tools

Cost: Autopilot starts at $49 per month.

4. Act-On

web form builder act-on

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Act-On integrates with your CRM to help you attract, convert, nurture, and score leads with ease. Its web form builder tracks conversion rates and the source of form visits so you know which of your marketing efforts are working best.

Pros:

  • Automatically starts sending drip campaigns to leads
  • Comes with features that help score leads based on their website activity, so sales reps know their level of engagement
  • Easier to use than direct competitors like Marketo

Cons:

  • Incredibly feature-rich and on the pricier side, so it’s not feasible for many small and medium-sized businesses

Cost: Act-On starts at $900 per month.

5. Karta

marketing and sales solution from karta

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Karta was designed as the most complete marketing and sales solution on the market. It touches almost every aspect of the customer journey, from letting you build lead capture pages to scoring and prioritizing leads for your sales team.

Pros:

  • Includes lead tagging and scoring features
  • Doesn’t require integrations to manage all aspects of your business
  • Can create segmented campaigns that respond to specific behaviors, so you can start nurturing new leads automatically

Cons:

  • With so many features, Karta can sometimes feel clunky or unwieldy
  • Karta is newer to the market, so some kinks are still being ironed out

Cost: Karta starts at $99 per month.

CRMs with Lead Capture Page Builders

6. HubSpot

hubspot marketing platform

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HubSpot offers an all-in-one CRM and marketing platform that can build lead capture pages, organize leads, and prioritize them based on engagement.

Pros:

  • Comes with tools to build lead capture pages or embeddable forms with 1,000 form fields and a dozen different form types
  • Automatically uploads leads into the CRM and begins nurturing them with email campaigns
  • Gauges lead engagement, then prioritizes them in the CRM so salespeople know who to focus on

Cons:

  • While HubSpot CRM is free, you’ll likely need to invest in the sales and marketing bundle to get all the lead capture features you want

Cost: HubSpot Marketing Hub and Sales Hub start at $50 per month, while a bundle starts at $112.50 per month.

7. Pipedrive

marketing automations from pipedrive

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Pipedrive is a popular CRM known for working well right out of the box. With its web form builder, you can start capturing leads within minutes.

Pros:

  • New contacts in your CRM are automatically created from form submissions
  • Tracks all calls, emails, and contact activity for each lead
  • Pipedrive is so easy to use, you can train new users on it in just one day

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come equipped with predictive lead scoring, so you’ll need to integrate an additional tool if you want this feature
  • Limited marketing automation features compared to a CRM like HubSpot

Cost: Pipedrive starts at $12.50 per user per month.

8. Zoho CRM

lead generation from zoho

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Zoho CRM, one of the top-rated CRMs available, comes packed with features like web forms for lead generation. The tool can meet your customers at every stage of their lifecycle, from marketing to customer support.

Pros:

  • Drag and drop web form builder makes it easy to launch lead capture pages in minutes
  • Multiple levels of billing is great for businesses that plan to scale up
  • The interface is so user-friendly, many customers claim not to need training before getting started

Cons:

  • Customers report that importing and exporting leads sometimes leads to corrupted files
  • Emails generated by Zoho CRM can sometimes get sent to leads’ spam or blocked entirely

Cost: Zoho CRM starts at $12 per user per month.

9. Agile CRM

lead capture form tool agile

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Like Zoho CRM, Agile CRM lets you manage marketing, sales, and customer service all in one platform, but with a slightly cheaper price tag.

Pros:

  • Lead capture forms automatically sync data with the CRM, which can then segment leads based on behavior and characteristics
  • Can help you find unknown email addresses for leads using only a lead’s name and their company’s website address
  • Allows you to purchase additional features without upgrading to the next subscription level

Cons:

  • Users find some of the marketing automation features buggy
  • Customer support can be inconsistent

Cost: Agile CRM starts at $8.99 per user per month.

10. Keap

marketing and sales processes from keap

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Keap is the solution for teams who want all of the marketing and sales processes within the same platform. From the moment you capture leads to the time they make a payment, Keap does it all.

Pros:

  • Automatically segments leads based on form answers, then nurtures them with emails and content based on certain behaviors and triggers
  • A great e-commerce business solution
  • Full range of marketing automation capabilities is notably strong

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work well at blocking spam form submissions
  • New users need significant training before they can expect to use the program efficiently

Cost: Keap starts at $79 per month.

Landing Page Builders

11. Instapage

landing page builder from instapage

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Instapage started as a dynamic landing page builder but has since transformed into an advertising conversion cloud. With Instapage, you have all the tools you need to optimize your advertising funnel and turn more leads into customers.

Pros:

  • Create an entire advertising funnel to attract visitors to your web forms, then convert them into leads
  • Automates the process of creating multiple landing pages that match the messaging of your social media or search engine ads
  • Drag and drop landing page builder creates stunning lead capture pages with no coding required

Cons:

  • Doesn’t integrate with email marketing platforms like ConvertKit, so you’ll need to find a workaround if you want to start automatically nurturing new leads from form submissions

Cost: Instapage starts at $149 per month.

12. Unbounce

lead capturing opportunities from unbounce

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Unbounce offers many of the same features as Instapage but at almost half the price. Small businesses that want to build unique lead capture pages to match all their ads will love Unbounce’s functionality and affordability.

Pros:

  • Drag and drop builder lets you collaborate with team members and make edits in real-time
  • Lets you create pop-ups and sticky bars for even more lead capturing opportunities
  • Uses A/B testing to automatically optimize pages for the best conversions

Cons:

  • The builder isn’t as intuitive as some of its competitors, so new users should expect a slight learning curve
  • Certain landing page features require additional coding

Cost: Unbounce starts at $79 per month.

13. Leadpages

lead generation tool leadpage

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Leadpages is a landing page builder and lead generation tool geared toward small business. It’s extremely easy to use and has almost no learning curve.

Pros:

  • Comes packed with templates so you can start capturing leads even faster
  • Has a feature that tells you exactly what you need to tweak on your landing page in order to increase your conversions
  • If you only want to build a few basic lead capture pages, Leadpages is the most affordable option

Cons:

  • Doesn’t integrate smoothly with software like Stripe, so if you want to add fields like coupon codes to your pages, you’ll have to find a workaround
  • The price of the fully functional version can be prohibitive for small businesses

Cost: Leadpages starts at $25 per month.

14. Landingi

landingi landing page creator

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Landingi is an affordable alternative to some of the bigger landing page builders in the industry but is just as easy to use.

Pros:

  • Customer service is receptive to user feedback and often implements suggestions into future upgrades
  • Includes a feature that tells you where site visitors came from, so you know which marketing efforts are leading to the most conversions.

Cons:

  • Not good for making several similar landing pages with tweaks only to certain blocks or modules
  • Less feature-rich than some of its competitors

Cost: Landingi starts at $29 per month.

15. Mailchimp

mailchimp all-in-one marketing platform

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Mailchimp has long since upgraded from an email marketing tool to an all-in-one marketing platform, offering features like a landing page builder, conversion rate tracking, and even free domains.

Pros:

  • Easy to integrate with almost any tool
  • Start building and hosting landing pages for freet
  • Its paid version is the most affordable of its competitors, making it ideal for small or new businesses

Cons:

  • A landing page builder isn’t nearly as dynamic as others on this list
  • Limited segmentation ability
  • No plugin with Spotify

Cost: Mailchimp’s paid plans start at $9.99 per month.

Tips for Creating an Optimized Lead Capture Page

Not all lead capture pages are created equal. To maximize your conversions, there are certain best practices you should keep in mind when designing a form.

Limit the fields in the lead form

Having too many fields, especially ones that feel irrelevant or invasive, can lead many visitors to navigate away before they finish completing the form. The quicker a visitor can enter their info, the more likely they are to convert.

For example, visitors who want to sign up for a free trial of LeadBoxer only have to enter their email address to get started.

lead form from leadboxer

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Even if they need to enter additional info before they can start using the program if feels less forced than a form that demands several lines of data upfront.

Compare that to this form, which requires visitors to fill out seven fields before they can access a report.

how to loose valuable conversions

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Chances are, this company is losing out on valuable conversions because visitors aren’t ready to divulge that level of information.

Match the fields in the lead form to the offer

It doesn’t matter if it’s helpful for you to know a lead’s company or job title. If that info doesn’t relate to the gated resource you’re offering, it might reduce your conversion rate.

Check out this registration for a free webinar from Kinsta, a managed WordPress hosting provider, which only requires that attendees submit their name and email.

registration form from kinsta

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This is presumably so attendees can receive the link and a calendar reminder for the webinar. If Kinsta were to ask for less relevant information, such as company name or job title, visitors might be put off and leave the page before completing their registration.

Choose the right positioning for the lead form

There are three places you can position the lead capture form: above the fold, at the bottom of a page, or in a pop-up. Each has different benefits.

If the form is above the fold, that means you can see the form at the top of the page without having to scroll. This type of form is quick to grab a visitor’s attention and works best when used as a post-click landing page for a search engine or social media ad.

right positioning for the lead form

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Sometimes the form is positioned next to an image of the product. This serves as a visual reminder of what the visitor will receive in exchange for their info.

Another option is to position the form at the bottom of the page.

lead capture form from hubspot

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Visitors who read through all the info about your product or resource before submitting their info demonstrate a high level of engagement, which helps your sales team prioritize them.

Finally, you can put your lead capture form in a pop-up, as Instapage does for visitors who want to download a free guide.

pop-up capture form from instapage

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This method keeps visitors focused on the form, so they’re less likely to be distracted by other links or elements on the page before submitting their info.

Include your privacy policy

The info collected through lead capture pages is sensitive enough to qualify as personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR, which regulates the personal data of all European Union residents, requires that you disclose how and why the data is collected, as well as how you handle the data and dispose of it.

In addition to including this disclosure in your existing privacy policy, you should also link to your privacy policy on the lead capture page. HubSpot, like many B2B companies, positions this link at the bottom of the form so that visitors are sure to see it before they submit their info.

privacy policy on display ob hubspot

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Aside from being a legal necessity, having your privacy policy on display shows your brand’s professionalism and commitment to the customer’s best interests.

Generate Leads on Autopilot for Your Sales Team

Your B2B marketing strategy is incomplete without a lead capture page. A lead capture page is the simplest way to find and qualify prospects for your sales team, who can then redirect their energy on nurturing leads and closing deals. In the long run, this relatively inexpensive strategy can end up generating significant revenue for your company.

However, even if you follow all the tips and best practices for creating an optimized lead capture page, the page only works as well as the software you pair it with. With the right software, you’ll never have another high-quality lead slip through the cracks because of pipeline mismanagement. Your best bet is to use a lead intelligence tool that can take the info you collect from lead capture pages and turn into actionable data that helps you prioritize leads and convert them into customers with ease.

sales intelligence tools scaled 1

Comparison: The 10 Best Sales Intelligence Tools

It’s no secret that to make sales, you need to know your individual prospects inside and out, from the size of their company to their most recent source of funding. However, gathering this data is time-consuming. Most sales reps are extremely busy communicating with their leads and working to close deals.

Meanwhile, sales intelligence tools automatically find and interpret this data so your reps don’t have to. With the right sales intelligence tools, your reps can focus more on delivering a better sales experience to prospective customers and less on data entry.

This guide offers an introduction to sales intelligence and a comparison of some of the most popular tools available. That is to say, with the right suite of tools, your team will be able to close more deals faster and with less data entry.

Keep reading or skip ahead to these sections:

What are Sales Intelligence Tools?

Sales intelligence involves gathering and analyzing information about prospective customers. As a result, sales reps can keep their pipelines filled with high-quality leads that are likely to close.

While a sales rep could do this manually by collecting data from social media, news outlets, lead capture pages, and company websites, in reality, the process is too time-consuming for this approach to be feasible.

That’s where sales intelligence tools come in. These tools automate the collection and interpretation of data, helping reps to:

  • Find potential new customers
  • Populate prospect records with details such as contact info, company size, and revenue
  • Track online behavior, including email clicks, website interactions, and search habits around the web
  • Qualify and rank leads according to their likelihood to buy
  • Update lead records so their data is always accurate
  • Gather relevant info from public sources like social media or news outlets

The Importance of Sales Intelligence

The main selling point for sales intelligence is its ability to streamline your workflow, therefore saving your team time and energy.

Moreover, without sales intelligence, reps can end up wasting time:

  • Searching for leads and accurate contact info
  • Pursuing leads with no real interest in buying
  • Passing up on prospects that actually want to hear from them

In short, with sales intelligence and sales AI, not only do reps know who they should contact, in addition, they’re already familiar with that company’s unique financial situation, any recent staffing changes, and other details that influence their pain points. As a result, reps can then refine their pitch to be sure they’re addressing each prospect’s most pressing needs.

The 10 Best Sales Intelligence Tools

1. LeadBoxer

sales intelligence tool leadboxer

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LeadBoxer helps you identify, track, and prioritize leads with ease.

Pros:

  • Identifies anonymous website visitors
  • Finds and fleshes out prospect profiles with contact info, company size, and other important details
  • Tracks website and email marketing behavior
  • Assigns contacts a lead score and helps prioritize prospects

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include intent data
  • Doesn’t gather insights from news outlets regarding recent company changes

Price: LeadBoxer’s basic plan starts at $195 per month.

2. ZoomInfo

zoominfo sales tool

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ZoomInfo keeps your lead database up-to-date with the most relevant and actionable details.

Pros:

  • Includes intent signals, so you know exactly which accounts are actively researching problems for which you provide solutions
  • Enriches contacts within your CRM, as a result, information like company size, funding, and technology use is always accurate

Cons:

  • Doesn’t score or help prioritize leads

Pricing: Contact ZoomInfo to find the right plan at the right price for your needs.

3. LinkedIn Sales Navigator

linkedin sales navigator

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LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps you find new leads and offers a ton of insight, for example, who they are and what makes them tick.

Pros:

  • Advanced search and lead recommendation options make it easier than ever to find prospects that fit your ideal customer profile
  • Integrates with your CRM so the leads you find are automatically saved as new contacts
  • Sends you alerts about job changes and other big shifts happening at target accounts

Cons:

  • Offers no insight into a lead’s behavior on your company’s website or around the web
  • Doesn’t help score or prioritize prospects

Pricing: LinkedIn Sales Navigator starts at $65 per month for a basic plan.

4. EverString

everstring business data tool

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EverString uses a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and human intelligence to monitor companies and give you the most comprehensive view of their current situation.

Pros:

  • Firmographics, news, intent data, and more certainly give you a 360-degree view of prospects
  • Tracks 20,000 intent signals per company, therefore giving you insight into who needs your product most
  • Automatically verifies contacts so you’re reaching out to the right person every time

Cons:

  • Requires significant training before you can use it efficiently
  • The cost can be prohibitive for smaller businesses

Pricing: EverString starts at $820 per month, so it is on the pricier side.

5. HubSpot Sales

hubspot lead searching tool

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HubSpot Sales is a CRM and lightweight sales intelligence tool all in one. As a result, making this a comprehensive solution for businesses on a tight budget.

Pros:

  • Tracks who visits your website in real-time so you can find new, qualified leads without actively searching
  • Prioritizes leads and scores them, showing reps who to reach out to first

Cons:

  • Doesn’t search for news or other insights that may impact your lead’s willingness to buy
  • Doesn’t automatically update or verify contact information

Pricing: HubSpot has a free version of its popular CRM, but Sales Hub starts at $50 per month.

6. Clearbit

sales contact database clearbit tool